Monthly Archives: April 2011

Handprints

Picture memory!

This is a photo from my time in Mexico. 5 friends, went into the dessert and frolicked about like idiots. Also has the time of their lives.

making a mark

Make your Mark when you travel. Enjoy your time and leave it stamped in your memory.

Visit Cuatro Cienegas, Coahuila, Mexico to experience the beauty and serenity of the dessert.

http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1159-cuatro-ciénegas-coahuila


My Snow Tips – Published!

So excited to be published in Your Money Mag.

I gave tips on planning a trip to the snow and how we managed to get such a great deal on a NZ Ski Trip in 2010.

Tips:

– Do your research

– Talk to a Travel Agent

– Compare and challenge quotes with a number of travel agents.

– Know what you want and don’t settle for anything less!

I love that this is shared with so many and that I’m pictured as expert in print!

Hope you find the tips helpful!

Thanks to Your Money Mag

check em out at www.yourmoneymag.com.au


Save the Queen

Save the Queen India Style

This may sound like an unusual name for a game which we  WERE PLAYING IN INDIA, but that’s how we roll.

Save the queen is a drinking game where one drops a coin into someone elses drink and when this happens, they must consume the rest of their drink. The reason behind the name is that the game is played by us in Australia and on our coin is the head of queen Elizabeth. So when she drops into your drink, she is drowning. Therefore, you must save her!! SAVE THE QUEEN!

WE began this game on the second evening of the wedding celebrations and carried it on for 5 nights. However, we had to change the name as the Queen is not on the Indian coins, due to the fact that they are a republic. So instead we played SAVE GHANDI or SAVE THE LION!

The game was a huge success, especially as you don’t have to play it continuously it. It carries on throughout the evening and at any time, the queen/lion/ghandi may need to be saved. Everyone is included whether they choose to play the game or not. On the second night of the game, we had the groom, the father in law and some of the grand fathers playing. Everyone gets involved!!

There are some rules of play which should be observed:

  1. Everyone is playing. Whether they agree to or not.
  2. Once the queen is in your drink you must consume the entire contents otherwise she will drown
  3. People are allowed to hold their hand over their glass. The art is in distracting them to remove it.
  4. No multi coin! 1 coin only.
  5. No physically removing someones hand from their drink
  6. No placing the coin in the drink prior to them having it, it must be done once the drinker has their drink.

Enjoy the game. Apologies for corrupting and sabotaging the Indian culture with my Aussie drinking games.


Dogs Bar – St Kilda

Day 3-  Thursday 21/04/11 – DOGS BAR

What does one do on a sunny Thursday afternoon, the day before the very ong weekend and when there are no work or study commitments. Head to the bar of course.

I went straight to the beachy area o St Kilda and met my lovely friend outside the famous Luna Park and we went to her local and favourite bar, Dogs Bar.

Dogs Bar is the perfect people watching, celeb spotting, wine sipping venue for a lovely afternoon catch up. Yes we did start drinking wine, a bottle none the less, at 4pm, but hey! It’s the long weekend. We deserve it!

Dogs Bar is a large venue set in a cool old Victorian style building. The décor is rustic and the wine menu is vast. They also have a fantastic food selection. I couldn’t go past the Meatball pizza wit chili and basil on the specials board and I was not disappointed. A delicious light meal to go with a lovely Rose.

Deni Hines, singer, personality and daughter of  Marcia Hines Australian Idol host. was stting at the table just across from us so I got my celeb spotting badge (forursquare reference). I moved here recently from Sydney , and I know that a lot of celebs do hang out here, but I didn’t expect to see one so soon. Trust, I never see them out and about in Sydney, I’m not a mad stalker fan, but it is nice to recognize people and to have the validation that the place I’m eating or drinking in is somewhat  trendy.

Dog’s Bar will definitely be experiencing a few more visits from me! I loved the vibe, the staff were welcoming, hilarious and helpful all at the same time. My friend has advised me that Sunday is the night to be there when they have a jazz/blues/swing night with great music and a pulsing atmosphere.

Dogs Bar is located at:

54 Acland Street
St Kilda VIC 3182
(03) 8534 3000
Visit the website for more details:

www.dogsbar.com.au/

Don’t be deterred by the name, there are anything but dogs here. Trendy is the word!


Rediscovering the Beauty of Australia

Having friends come to Visit your home city is a wonderful way to rediscover and reconnect with your city!

 

I have had a friend here from the States over the last week and I have been playing “TOUR GUIDE EMMA”. I get to show him all my favourite things about Sydney and surrounds. also why Australia is so beautiful.

 

Stanwell Park, South of Sydney

 

 

Day one I took him straight out of Sydney down the south  coast. We drove through the national Park at Sutherland and out towards the Wollongong coast. We stopped in Helensburgh at the amazing Symbio Animal Park – www.symbiozoo.com.au.

 

 

Symbio provides visitors with the best opportunity to have a close encounter with our national animals. Pat a Koala during the Koala and feeding talk, pet the kangaroos as they hop around in the refuge and play with a dingo’s tale as he goes on his afternoon walk. You can also hold wombats, pat snakes and watch the new Tigers eat there afternoon meal. An unusual orray of animals but a wonderful experience to really get up close and personal with so many beautiful creatures.

Art feeds the Kangaroo!! A true aussie experience

 

 

1pm and we were starved! Off to AustiCafe in Austinmeir for a lovely lunch and of course a Gelato on a sunny day. Beautiful view and a wonderful drive along the coast road and sea cliff bridge at coalcliff. This is a must for people visiting Sydney.

 

Great beach views from Austi Cafe

 

We then went to Stanwell Park for a walk on the Beach followed by a drive up to Stanwell Tops to watch the paragliders and hang gliders do their things. So peaceful, calm and beautiful. The simplicity of the natural coastline and the beauty of nature made us so happy.

 

It was off to the city the next day, Bondi Beach of course. An afternoon playing in the waves, lazing in the sun and followed by a delicious fish and chip dinner! What more can you want…. more gelato! Of course you do. So a delicious gelato as we watched the sunset.

Off to Manly tomorrow for more adventures.

 

How lucky am I to get to experience the beauty of this city I live in through a whole new pair of eyes.

 

Offer to be a tour guide to your friends. You’ll get as much out of it as they do.

 

 


Metlink Iphone APP

Day 9 – 27/04/11

Public Transport in Melbourne

I am in love with Public Transport in Melbourne. Easy, accessible, flexible and so many options. Trams, Trains, buses, cheaper cabs and great walks.

I was a bit concerned when I first got here as everyone seems to understand the system so well and I didn’t want to look like too much of a tourist, but getting a grip on it has been super easy.

Using the Metlink App on my Iphone has not been as easy, must admit, not such a fan. It has led me astray now 3 times. It seems to be rather inaccurate and also not really no the true coordinates of certain destinations. For example, Melbourne Cricket Ground. A massive landmark in Melbourne, not only in size but also in popularity. I had to get there on Tuesday and when I typed it in, I had little success. MCG. Nope, not registered. Ok so let’s try “ Melbourne Cricket Ground”. Yes! It tells me from East St Kilda to get one tram and it should take half hour. Sweet!! No, not so sweet. It drops me on the corner of commercial rd, and

St Kilda rd. Next to a tiny park and with the no enormous stadium anywhere in view. A $20 cab ride with a stupid driver who relied on my iphone’s maps app to get us to the right spot left me frustrated and angry.

This is one of those times where you should listen to your friends who give you advice. I was told to take the train from Balaclava to Richmond which would take approx 10 mins and this would put me right in front of the stadium. This information was correct. My error – leaving it too late to walk down and not really looking into that option, relying on the tram just outside the front of the house… error!!

Lessons Learnt:

–       check Metlink,

–       Confirm the travel route with a knowledgeable friend or local

–       Allow plenty of time in case of error.

–       Do not get a cab!! Waste when there is great transport options. f

Words of Wisdom from a now more transport savvy Melbournian.

I still love the transport though. There are loads of options, it’s fast and it’s very user friendly. Great signage and directions at all stations and stops.

App = Metlink (FREE)


AFL is new to me!

Day 8- Tuesday – 26/04/11

I have never been a fan of AFL. I admit it. It’s not a popular sport in NSW and really and truly the rules are just a mystery to me.

I played AFL for a GALA day when I was 12 and also studied the game in Human Movement in year 10. Even with an understand if the so called “rules” which is even in the title of the sport “AUSTRALIAN RULES FOOTBALL”, it still seemed like anarchy and chaos to me.

I had been told that I had to get myself to a game and then I would understand the excitement and passion behind the game. PASS. I never had the desire nor need to act upon this. And as there is only one team in Sydney, games aren’t as regular and only a few of my friends ever go.

Now that I live in Melbourne, I thought it was time to learn a little more. When asked what team I would follow I responded “Sydney Swans”. Just because I live here doesn’t mean I’ll abandon my city. I’ve always gone for them even though I don’t follow the port and I’m not gonna be one of them turn coat people!

On Tuesday, I had to work at the Hawthron Hawks game at the MCG. An excellent time to explore the AFL world and learn more about it. I could not believe the turn out. You would think it was the Olympics. More than 70,000 people in attendance (the day before had been 89.000 to the Collingwood and Essendon game). Madness!! It was just  mass of people and a see of yellow and brown and blue and white. These are true fans.

I was very lucky to be offered free tickets to the game after and as I have never been and I ahd nothing planned, I went along. To my surrise….. I loved it! I had so much fun and agree that you must go and watch a game live to understand the excitement. Being able to see the whole field makes such a difference. The TV doesn’t do it justice as it is just too close to the players or too far away to get the real feel of it.

The men are amazing atheletes, and I didn’t mind having a bit fo a perv too. They’re hot! I mean, fit, yes very athletic and FIT!

It was a great game too. Geelong were flailing at the beginning and it looked like the Hawks would dominate, but late in the first quarter Geelong came charging back and Hawks couldn’t recover. An amazing last quarter and some beautiful goals meant that after more than 2 hours of play, Geelong Cats were the winners.

Brilliant! I will definitely be attending more games. What a buzz!! MCG is an amazing venue too and just to experience a crowd that size in a sporting arena of that caliber is special. Having seats in Level 1 only 13 rows from the front is also a pretty good way to view a match (HUMBLE BRAG). Perks of the job.

More AFL please!!

Are you an AFL fan?


An Audience with the 7pm Project

First week in Melbourne and I find myself at the Channel 10 studios and lining up to enter the 7pm studio. How cool is this. Loving Melbourne.

My cousin works at Channel 10 in the production teams and switch rooms. I said I would try to pop in and visit him at some point and he said I could go watch 7pm Project or The Circle which he works on.

Me being the clever girl I am, let my phone go dead and had no way to contact him, so I decided to wing it. I rocked up at the Channel Ten tower. Got a guy to let me knot Reception, got reception to direct me to the &pm Project rooms, he sent me to the level where it’s filned only to have a lady tell me I was in the wrong place but she was happy to help me find the way. On the way we walked past Charlie Pickering…. Haha so weird being in TV world.

I was taken back to reception where after much persuasion I was permitted to charge my phone and contact my cuz, as I didn’t have his number. In the meantime I chat to the two staff/ security there. They are the “audience wranglers” for 7pm project. Adter chatting for a while and testing my cuz, who is busy working on the news, they say I can ho with them to bump into him, and perhaps see the show.

Long story short, I make best friends with these guys, I get to go into the audience with them. During the first ad break my cuz comes in and is gob smacked that I’ve managed to talk my way into the filming of a show. He surely doesn’t know me that well.’

The show filming was great!! Dave Hughes is hilarious and in every break he comes to entertain the audience. Its really relaxed and casual. It’s great seeing how it all works and we got lollies to keep us hyped up and energetic hahaha!

To go and watch the show yourself just go to the 7pm poroject webaite and register to be a free audience member, so easy! And it’s a great experience.

I will definitely be heading back soon to see my mates and hassle my cuz into letting me on the show!! Stay tuned…

Visit them at

http://7pmproject.com.au/about-7pm-project.htm


Lakes Entrance, Victoria

Lakes Entrance, Victoria, is perfect for a weekend getaway. A stunning spot on the south coast of Australia and just 4 hours from Melbourne city, this is perfect to get your beach dose.

As the name suggests, there are also Lakes in this area. The town actually has a lake with a bridge leading over the lake to the Beach. Very unusual but it’s beautiful and best of both worlds. Some don’tlike the rough and big waves, and so they can have the fun of the sandy beaches with the peaceful waters of the lake.

I was there for work and got put up in a pimp apartment right on the water front at Lake Tyres, 10 minutes down the road. A stunning lake with beautiful sunsets and a short walk over the sand dunes to the beach provided the most magical evening. We sat on the beach with a few drinks and watched the sky change colours in the magical way that can always take your breath away.

We had a great little pub at the bottom of the hill too with a great view of the beach, and yummy food! Great atmosphere for a quiet holiday spot.

I would totally recommend a 3 or 4 day getaway here. You can also stop here on the way to the Great Ocean Road and really get to enjoy this little gem whilst seeing some of Australias other great sights. The drive is easy and pretty through Gippsland farm country, and then the famous bush of Oz.

Cafes and all facilities, including wifi in some cafes available in town.

Check out the Lakes Entrance webpage here http://www.lakesentrance.com/

Enjoy the best of both worlds at Lakes Entrance!


Hit the ground running.

Day 2 – 20th April, 2011

One of the biggest concerns when moving to a new city and starting a fresh is the never ending concern, money!

What will you do for money? How will you support yourself? How will you survive. Ok so maybe a tad dramatic… but it is a big part of our lives and we do need to think about it!

autumn in victoria

I really had no idea what I would do here in Melbourne. Living with a friend and seeing where I go from there. Hoping to get  more into the writing arena. but really need to start with cold, hard cash!

So to my surprise and delight, I was asked to help on my very first mornign with some cleaning for my friends friend. So we hit up 2 houses, I vacuumed, dusted and walked away with cash in my hot little hand. So good. Had been in Melbourne just 15 hours and I was already working.

I'm a Leo

To a lot of people who know me, this could be of a concern, working for a workaholic isnt always the best option. But i’m so happy with it. It’s fun, I get to be with my friend, it’s exercise and it’s cash!! Easy and reminds me of my Canada days as a housekeeper hahha so funny!!

So we’ve got the cash, we’ve got the friends and life is on the move.

Loving living with my Gal Pal Adair and excited for adventures to come.

I’ve spent the afternoon scouring brochures of what to do in Melbourne!! I need tips so send them on through please.


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