We have this little tradition when travelling from Agnes Water to Brisbane. You see, the road is far from short and sweet but excitingly long and fabulously never-ending (if your positive vibes are working on overdrive) and there are a couple of things we proactively do, knowing positivity alone is never enough to get us happily to Brisbane. Firstly we negotiate our early start. Alexei suggests 4am and I remind him gently that Emilia’s doesn’t open until 8am, so the earliest we can leave is 4:30am, but let’s be generous and give ourselves an extra half hour sleep and leave around 5am. We usually leave at 5:15am. We get on the road and drive blissfully through the winding road to Bundaberg, and being deplete of the usual entourage of cars, caravans, hippie vans, school and greyhound buses at this time, the lack of overtaking lanes ensures the start of our journey is (mostly) stress-free.
We arrive at Emilia’s and oh what joy this moment brings. I have been counting down the minutes since a little past Childers and rationing my dry crackers to keep the hunger pains away while not spoiling my appetite for what Jodi will put together in the kitchen. This morning I order the special (mushrooms, eggs, sour dough bread, pesto, love, deliciousness etc) and while I’d really like a piccolo latte, I limit myself to a sip of Alexei’s knowing the next stop is our favourite coffee roastery in Noosa. Alexei's choice is scrambled eggs with salmon and the boys go for salmon on toast with poached eggs.
I love Emilia’s. And not just because they serve Tielka tea (getting Tielka into Emilia’s was a top priority when we first discovered this little gem in early 2015). The moment I enter, I am transported from the somewhat mundane, not-quite-city-not-quite-country feel of Gympie to a perfectly happy little café in Italy. I always make a point of having my back to the window so I can admire the burgundy walls, metal Vespa calendars with 1960’s pinup girls, old furniture and that cake display which I am still yet to indulge in. Giovanni is the perfect host, I’m not sure if there is anyone that eats there that doesn’t know him like an already or soon-to-be long life friend. It’s about the people on both sides of the counter, and teamed up with Jodi in the kitchen, they make a formidable pair.
Jodi’s breakfast special is simple but so memorable. I think it’s the Italian way, just a handful of elements, on paper so basic, but we find ourselves repeating over and over out loud “how do they make it taste so good?”. Five-year-old Paul, with surprising eloquence, explains how the salmon here is so much better than (well I won't say where on this blog)... because, well, it's easy to bite through. I look wistfully at the cake display with my already full stomach and wonder if next time I can fit something sweet in.
Next stop, Noosa.