Thursday, March 25, 2010

An early Photo Friday: Every Last Drop

Tonight we went out to dinner to save having to cook, given we will be leaving for the airport at 4.30 tomorrow morning, eeek, one less thing to worry about and all that. We went to Sizzlers in Kelmscott and had a scrumptious dinner. I may have even over indulged, as I think I could seriously squeeze into my old maternity clothes at the moment.

One of the best things about Sizzlers is the dessert bar, and I think my 4 year old daughter would have to agree, right down to the last drop.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Suitcase is....


Well kind of, I still need to throw in my toothbrush, but I'm calling it, it's packed.

Good thing too, as we leave at sparrow farts hour Friday morning, I don't get home from work until just before 6pm tomorrow and I need to grab some last minute things from the shops. So much to do and so little time to do it.

A big relief to have the suitcases done and out of the way.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

No more dreaming...

it is now a reality, my 30th birthday celebrations are finally taking shape.

This morning I finally bit the bullet, ended my procrastination and paid a deposit on our quoted holiday package. I can't wait!!!

So what do we have planned:
Return airfares with Malaysia Airlines, via Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong
8 nights accomodation with Metropark Hotel Kowloon
2 nights accomodation Disneyland Hollywood Hotel
2 nights accomodation Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel
2 day Disneyland pass
Shenzen Excursion
and of course the boring bits transfers, breakfasts and travel insurance

I no longer have to dream about my holiday, I can now dream about the places we can go whilst we are there and what we are going to see. The exciting bits, considering the logistics (the boring bits) are finally out of the way.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Point and Shoot

Miss M chowing down on a muesli bar at the Mathilda Markets at Cottesloe WA on Sunday morning.
Camera - Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6

I'm participating in a point and shoot idea from FatMumSlim, pop on over and take a look.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

All packed and ready to go...

well I should be but alas I am not. I'm sure I will still be trying to throw things into my suitcase Thursday night before I go to bed.
Are you a person that tends to packed weeks before you go or are you a last minute throw what ever you can reach into a bag just before you walk out the door for the airport packer?

For me I find that I am neither but somewhere in between. I do like to be organised and will have the suitcases out quite early (this time round I didn't bother putting them away, mega slack, but in my defence we did get back from Bali mid February, so what if I didn't need them again until the last weekend of March) and will start to throw things in almost immediately as I come across them. Only problem is sometimes there is no clear direction which leads me right up to the night before, were I have usually upturned the entire suitcase. This is the moment I think packing truly begins as I cull the stuff I have accumulated over the weeks and do the final pack ready to go the next day.

So not entirely the last minute for me and I do have good intentions to be much more organised. So how would you describe your packing timing?

99 Things

I've just come across this on Megan's blog and thought it could be a bit of fun to whirl away this lovely Sunday afternoon.

Just copy and paste these 99 things onto your blog and bold the things you HAVE done... here are mine:

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to DisneyWorld

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis 

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning
(bloody Chicken Treat)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (hey I have kids, I have an excuse, now)
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a Marathon

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice 

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (note the past-tense)

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David

41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud
(mud pie, anyone?)

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business 

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a cheque

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
(Beverley, I still have her, stitches and all)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone’s life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Got a tattoo
94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit
(as a prosecutor and witness)
98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

USA Dreaming

We had grand plans this year for my 30th, we wanted to experience a white Christmas in the USA, however the budget really was not stretching as far as we would have liked and a change of 30th celebration destination was needeed. That does not mean I have stopped dreaming about our grand USA Road trip. I come up with new ideas and plans everyday as I thumb through my USA travel guide, that I got for Christmas last year.

Disneyland is one of those places that has always been a must see and experience destination for me. Probably because both my husband and I are big kids at heart, and more so now with our own children who are Mickey mad at the moment. I think I could pretty much sing the opening to Mickey Mouse clubhouse verbatim, I've been subjected to it that much. Buzz and the princesses are also very high on my girls favourite list as well. So no stop to the USA would be complete without a trip to Disneyland.

There is so many other things to see on the west coast, would we drive up to San Francisco or would we keep going up and head up to Seattle. Then there is the other direction Los angeles, San Diego, or do we keep going on beyond the border and grab some bargins in Tijuana, Mexico. Then there the other theme parks Universal Studios, Knotts Berry Farm, Lego World, the list goes on.
A definite stop for us would be San Diego Sea World, I have wanted to visit Sea World ever since seeing Free Willy the first time when I was a little girl. The desire to visit has not swayed in the slightest.
The start of our grand road trip and I think master of all things glitz and glam, Las Vegas, all that neon, the casinos and Circus de Solei. It seems to be one of those places I need to see to believe. I couldn't think of a better way to start a road trip and little bit of gambling, well actually a little bit of watching other people gambling. I'm not a fan of gambling but I'm sure my husband would be in the midst of it all for sure.
Grand Canyon, even if we only manage to get to a look out or if we are fortunate enough to budget in a helicopter scenic flight, the Grand Canyon is a must see stop for me. Just the pure vastness of it, the colours, it truly is nature at it best and most importantly something I want to experience and take in.This one is for hubby, get your kicks on route 66, he really is quite USA mad and I think driving across the continential USA on route 66 is very likely been a long standing dream of his, as well as ring side seats to an NBA game, but he's definitely dreaming on that one. So the dream is to drive our camper van (might as well be a Winnebago whilst I'm dreaming) across Route 66 and then veer off towards New York but not into New York itself, no ways I'm driving there. Will trade the camper in for the bus, train or ferry.
New York, New York, was my ideal stop for our White Christmas, witnessing the massive Christmas tree in Times Square as well as Central Park, The Statue of Liberty, just spending a leisurely few days exploring New York and the many museums.
Now call me crazy, I do have two young kids and all, but seeing a show on Broadway would be a dream come true for me. It has been on my "one day list" for as long as I can possibly remember. My girls are young but I truly believe if we were fortunate to see a matinee like "The Lion King" or even "Mamma Mia" my girls would have an absolute ball, as would I. I'm even quite sure the hubby would enjoy it, not that he would be prepared to admit it.
As far as I am concerned, no trip to New York would be complete without a side excursion to Niagara Falls, you are so close, it would be crazy not to. I would love to cruise on the ship that goes right up to the falls and feel the drenching of the spray. To hear the noise these falls make would be amazing. It is and will always be a must see for whenever life takes us to the USA.
Other little pitstops that we have also thought about but may not necessarily happen to get to on our road trip, given the great size of the USA and the realisation that we need to be pratical and can't see everything all in one go as much as we like to are...
Washington DC and the White House
Florida and in particular Miami Beach
Kennedy Space Centre, how awesome would it be to see a launch
Walt Disney World, maybe not both in the same trip but we will eventually see both, I know it.

Don't think I could go past a Hawaii stop over, somewhere to relax and unwind after a whirlwind USA experience.
One day we will get there, maybe when the girls are a little older, maybe in a couple of years, I know we will, only time will tell. Hopefully we won't need to put it off for too much longer. If I have too much more time to think about the places we are going to see and go, I will need to take a 12 month holiday, not that that is a bad thing. :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Swimming Superstar

A very proud mummy moment today.

Whilst at swimming I was oblivious to the fact that my 4 year old daughter's swimming teacher felt she was ready to go up to the next level, I still thought she had a good couple of months at her current level, even though I knew since returning from Bali, that her swimming confidence and skills had just grown in leaps and bounds.
She wasn't the most switched on child today but through all her fluffing about she managed to meet the required skills and showed off her beautiful freestyle arms. So I am now the proud mumma of a sea drangonz level 5 little girl and she is a very proud owner of her little merit certificate. Doesn't she look pretty chuffed with her efforts.

So very very very proud of my little girl. I know she will do well in her new class and hope she has a teacher just as awesome as her previous one. Thank you Tara, Taleisha is going to miss having you as her swimming teacher.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Friday - Mauritius Memories

For my first Photo Friday I couldn't think of any better photo than this one. This photo is taken on the beachfront of the Les Pavillions Hotel in Mauritius, looking out across the ocean and towards the boat we had just spent the day deep sea fishing on, at the most glorious time of day sunset. It is the most stunning sunset I can ever recall seeing and capturing on film. Mauritius truly is a place that dreams are made of, a magical country.

Northward bound

The girls and I are heading north next Friday, very early in the morning, I think we've managed to jump on the first plane heading up there that day, the 6am delight. I'm not even trying to think about what time that means we need to get up to get to the airport on time. It's a scary thought and best left well alone for now.

We're heading for this lovely patch of red dirt in the Pilbara, WA.

Port/South Hedland probably isn't your normal choice of destination and in all honesty if we didn't have a very good reason for going I would be turning the airplane around and be heading off to more appealing destinations.

We are however heading up to see my family and celebrate my little sister's 18th birthday, should be a very good escape and the girls will be very excited to see their Aunty and Nanna (and we better not forget Poppa or Uncle as well). I'm looking forward to catching up with some old school friends in Karratha and generally enjoying moving on Pilbara time.

For those not in the know the Pilbara is an absolutely beautiful part of the world, amazing gorges and beautiful water holes and beaches, some stunning landscape but other than that it really is mining world and not a lot else to do. I still call the Pilbara home but it is now my home from afar :)

Looking forward to simply just doing nothing for 10 days, hanging out with the girls at the pool and slipping into my lovely little red number for the big 18th Hollywood Glam bash.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dreaming of: my 30th birthday celebration travels

Just in case you've missed it, I turn the BIG 30 this November, I hate birthday parties, well it's not actually the party but it's the hosting, the preparing and the clean up afterwards I despise and I simply would rather not have that stress. So I have decided to celebrate my birthday in style, Hong Kong style.

I spend my days dreaming of where we are going to go and what we're going to see, so many places, so many sights and then there is the possibilities of side trips to mainland China and Macau and even stop overs in Kuala Lumpur, the dreaming just gets bigger and bigger.

Thankfully I have a wonderful travel agent who is helping me fine tune my list of millions into a well shaped itinerary, so much so that November could not come fast enough, even my 4 year old is excited about visiting Hong Kong for mummy's birthday, after all she did celebrate her 4th in Bali.
I'm looking forward to spending many afternoons relaxing after a long day trapsising around the countryside in this roof top swimming pool at the Metropark Hotel in Kowloon with our girls enjoying a lovely splash, they are definitely both water babies. I think a couple of quiet drinks on these sun chairs would not go astray either.
I also can't wait to see the pure delight on my two girls faces when they step into the world of Disneyland, especially Taleisha she is a huge fan of pretty much anything Disney but Mickey Mouse clubhouse is definitely a favourite at the moment.
I have to say I'm a pretty big kid and have never experienced Disneyland before so I'm pretty darn excited and have already started working out different day plans to make sure we see everything. Disneyland is definitely the place that fuels dreams, we can't stop talking about it in this household.
Although I must say there is so much to see and do my 30th birthday is going to be one I will never forget and I have plenty of time to dream about it and I plan to do that and much more when I finally make payment for our holiday!!! Hong Kong here we come!!!

call me crazy...

but I'm seriously contemplating a solo trip abroad and crossing something off my "one day list" before I will be classified as too old and decrepid for it, a Contiki tour of Europe, I must be insane just thinking about it.

I know people out there don't think too highly of Contiki and I've read some negative perceptions of constant partying and drinking, but I think I'm prepared to take the risk. I feel that if I leave it and only ever dream about doing it, I am going to regret it later on. One thing huby is already too old and decrepid, so he will have to stay home with the kids, hence the solo trip, what a shame. Although it would be the first time I would have been away from my girls for any significant length of time (and I'm only talking probably two and a half weeks) but will that be too long, maybe I should do a quick weekend trip away as my first experience, woot two solo trips what a fabulous idea.

I have also taken this from the dreaming stage and into the realm of possibility in the last month or so, I've been doing my research, I've got a brief idea of when I plan on going, I know exactly which tour I want to go on and most importantly I broached the subject with the hubby. Now I can't say he was over the moon with the idea, he wants to come too after all but he is definitely entertaining the idea of me disappearing to the other side of the country for a couple of weeks whilst he would play house husband to the girls.

So my tentative (still technically at dreaming stage) plans are to head off some time between September 2011 and April 2012. The tour that I'm thinking is going to best suit my travel plans is the European Highlights it takes me to all those places that have been on my must visit list and more all within a nice tight compact two week period. London is also calling and given my tour (yes, my!!! I'm taking ownership of this dream) I think it would be silly not to do a couple days sight seeing in England too, don't you think???

It's makes me all excited with anticipation just thinking about it.

Contiki me happy!!!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ssssh, it's a secret...

and it's a surprise!!!

I am bursting to tell someone but we never know who's eyes read this blog, so I am keeping it close to my chest.

But oh my gawd, it is so good, there are going to be some very surprised and happy people some time in the future, like I said I'm not giving anything away.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Staycation: Perth Zoo

Staycation is a term I heard last week and it resounded with me, I like that idea, so here I am blogging all about it. Staycation means vacationing in your own home town and although I have no intention of going to the extreme of taking off into a hotel for a week to see the sights of Perth, we do however like to take the kids out and experience new places and even some old ones, which is what I think staycation means to me, seeing and experiencing the things that make your hometown special with your family.

Last weekend whilst getting ready for the day, we made a spur of the moment decision to take the girls to the zoo, so we packed a picnic lunch (always a winner with our girls and on the purse strings) and off to the zoo we went. Much to our surprise it was a hive of activity, there were strollers everywhere, obviously we weren't the only ones that thought this Sunday was a perfect day for a trip to the zoo.

Once inside the zoo grounds it always a joy to see the pure delight on your children's faces, although dear hubby and I did have to raise our eyebrows whilst our dear 4 year old excitedly pointed out all the drains to us. Hmmm think she might enjoy a trip to the drain factory :) Or miss almost 2 stopping and pointing out all the twigs, we did come to see the animals, I think.

Madargascan Marvel

Highlights of our visit were the tortoises and sun bears, miss 4 was very impressed with both of these, the sun bears were so cute I'm sure they wouldn' have noticed if we brought them home,other good sights were the lions escaping the sun lying right down next to the viewing window, the snakes, who were unusually all on the move and a family favourite the elephants.

If you want to check out Perth Zoo click on the link.

Our new wheels

We have a stroller, and it's sole purpose in life is for when we travel, whether that be overseas or domestically on flights or on road trips. It is was small and compact and folded down into it's only little carry bag, it was our quicksmart stroller and it was great whilst it lasted. sadly we've down a little bit of using and abusing of that poor stroller and frankly it is no longer cutting the mustard, thus it will now be retired to pram heaven, aka Nanna's shed :)

This retirement led me on the long arbious task of finding a suitable replacement to our Quicksmart. After using the Quicksmart, we were aware of it's shortcomings, and I was not prepared to get another one, with a four year old who still desires to pushed around on occasion on her throne we needed something sturdy and easy to manouveur whilst she was in it just as easily as when miss almost 2 is in it. I quizzed anyone I could on what they would recommend as their perfect travel companion stroller and came up with a few suggestions, I googled until I could google no more and I baby shopped (something that has been out of my system for quite some time, oh all that gorgeous manchester, no I do not need anymore cot sheet sets!!!)

So after all my research, one stroller had me sold...and the winner was the Quinny Zapp. We took it for a test drive today with miss four and it was like I was pushing a new born in this stroller (not that you would, it is after all for 6 months+). It was so easy, no tugging to turn or to get it to go in the direction you actually want to go, didn't feel like it was going to collapse on you (I did say we had used and abused our quicksmart LOL not quite built for shopping and bags to go on the handlebars). Like the quicksmart it has no storage but I'm going to get a net bag to clip onto the back of it to give us a little storage and anything else we need to carry will have to go into a backpack.

Now for the all important decision and one I spent sometime pondering over, colour. Now I did pick a different colour than the one we did eventually decide on going on but managed to convince myself that spending more money on a stroller purely because of colour choice was kudicrous, so we've gone with cobalt blue and it's actually quite nice. Can't wait to pick our new baby up, need to rehome some of our current wheels first, our house is turning into a pram/stroller museum :) Looking forward to christening our new baby in Hong Kong in November, can't wait!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

30 Reasons to visit Hong Kong

30. To visit a place that is world's apart from home but only about an 8 hour plane trip away.

29. experiencing new cultures

28. Mall hopping

27. Noah's ark

26. The skyline and amazing skyscrappers in it

25. The star ferry

24. Nature parks and the greenery immersion, beautiful.

23. Can experience the amazement of Macau in a day

22. A stones throw from mainland China

21. Playgrounds aplenty for the kids

20. Stanley Market

19. Temple Street Night market

18. The chocolate fountain at Cafe Kool, I am so there, wonder if I can bring my own Keg :)

17. catch a glimpse at colourful Chinese dancing

16. Repulse Bay, the name may not sound inviting but the beautiful seaside area is just gorgeous

15. Jumbo Kingdom, a massive floating Chinese Restaurant

14. Dim Sum, yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum

13. Temples

12. Ngong Ping 360, if we leave our scaredy cat selves at home.

11. The Giant Buddha

10. The Symphony of lights splendor

9. Ocean Park

8. See the giant pandas

7. Peak Tram ride

6. Victoria Peak, the cherry on top after the tram ride up

5. Shopping, Shopping and oh shopping

4. I know I've mentioned this one a little bit earlier but the food, OMG the food, drooling about it now, just thinking about it.

3. Experiencing a new culture and soaking it all up.

2. Disneyland, after all I am a big kid at heart and with small kids, a pocket sized Disneyland is a perfect park for our first experiene of the Disney brand.

and the number one reason for visiting Hong Kong???


I have been planning my 30th birthday holiday for a little while now and although it has taken on a few different transformations, I am extremely happy with our final plans and can not wait until November so we can go, is my 30th seriously that far away!!! I want to go today :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Magical Bali

February saw our long awaited family holiday to Bali, and it was truely magical. A perfectly timed escape from normal Monday to Friday mundaneness.
I don't think I could have asked for much more from our holiday, we did everything, went on a safari, soaked in the pool drinking cocktails, shopped til we couldn't shop no more, went snorkelling, got to touch wild animals (including a tiger), splashing at the water park, hair braided and got inked.

My biggest girl also turned 4 whilst on our holiday, and she happily told anyone that would listen. We were very stoked with the hotel as on her birthday housekeeping left a note wishing her happy birthday and there was a cake, needless to say she was pretty chuffed with that.

I don't think I generally have any complaints, everything exceeded our expectations, well maybe except for that 2am last minute flight change that was torture with two young kids who unlike all other children refused to even sleep a wink prior to boarding the plane, so where quite over tired and frankly there is no oher word for but they were feral, but thankfully once we were up in the air they were well and truly out for the flight.

I took a gazillion photos, as any trigger happy mother does, here is a quick glimpse into our Bali experience.

A new direction

I've decided to return to my blog and move in a new direction.

Given the very fitting name and my numerous plans in my head, I've decided to turn this blog into somewhat of a travel journal. Somewhere to jot down my plans, talk about my travel and sightseeing dreams, share stories of my adventures.

So please buckle your seatbelt, watch this safety video and enjoy the ride :)