This year I’ll be ringing in the New Year on top of Melbourne, literally! We will be sipping on champagne at the 89th floor of the Eureka Tower, Australia’s tallest tower and event space.
The incredible thing about NYE here is that we will have the most unique view of the fireworks in the city…… From above them. There are 6 firework sites around Melbourne and with a bit of luck, we should be able to see them all.
I shall be attending this shindig with my dear friend Kenny who will be visiting from Darwin where he is in the Australian Army. As soon as I mentioned this event to him he was in and was hounding for when we could book tickets. We’ve taken the Gold Package because we feel, if you’re going to do it, do it WELL!
This will be my 4th visit to the Eureka Tower and I’m sure it will be as wonderful all the other times but maybe just a tad more exciting. It will be an extra special day for me as I arrive back from 6 weeks of holidays in Europe at 9.30am that morning. A nap may be in order before I put on my party dress and welcome in 2014!
This was my first time flying with China Southern Airlines and I was most impressed with the experience. I picked the flights as they were the most affordable and I also thought, why not, I’ve been hearing a lot about China this year so it’s probably time to go.
The flights at Christmas time were approximately $1500 (AUD) which is almost unheard of for Australia to UK return – with the Christmas period being one of the most expensive times to travel. I did leave before December 1st which helps. I also included a 2 day stopover on my way back to give me a chance to see the city.
The check in was easy and they gave me the option to check my bags right the way through – which meant no hassle during my stopover in Guangzhou for the night.
The seats were incredibly roomy and I was very happy with the cleanliness and look of the cabin. The in-flight entertainment system, which I was told wouldn’t be included, was as good as any other airline if not better in some ways and I was kept busy for all of my 10 hour flight to China. The food options were tasty and had a western and Asian selection- the only thing I would say is I would like ice for my drinks.
The service was not great – in terms of friendliness, they were a tad abrupt. However, they were prompt and came quickly when I rang the bell and regularly walked around with water to top up our glasses.
The toilets were unique with an automated seat down and flushing functionality- not important but fascinating.
All in all, after two flights, including a 10 hour and 12 hour, I was very comfortable and happy. I most certainly will be looking at this option for future Europe adventures.
This year has been a busy year of heading here, there and everywhere but it’s time again for a big travel adventure. So off I go to Europe, with a brief stop in China. I’ve planned my trip around spending time with my family and friends. The first priority was to get over to London and the United Kingodm in order to be with my Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, grandparents and dear friends. And the best thing, my dad is also coming over to visit with the family so we’ll have his birthday, a wedding of a family friend and Christmas together!
Itinerary – 6 weeks:
– Guangzhou, China
– Madrid, Spain
– Ibiza, Spain
– Munich, Germany
– Innsbruck, Austria
– Nurnburg, Germany
– London, United Kingdom
– London, United Kingdom
– Dusseldorf, Germany
– Poss – Amsterdam, Holland
– London, United Kingdom
– Guangzhou, China
– Melbourne, Australia HOME – NYE!!!
First stop – Ibiza! After a brief night in Madrid due to flight difficulties. A last minute addition to the . Here is a photo of me there in 2006 in full season Swing! It’s a bit different this time as it will be Winter… and off season… so not party time! I’m going to relax with two gorgeous friends from the UK who now live in Ibiza and run their Sushi Boy Catering business for private parties. More on this soon as I get to learn how to make sushi with these fab two!
Next it’s a week in Germany and Austria with my dear friend Tobi, an exchange student from my high school. I’ve visited there before, and he’s visited me. It’s fantastic to have such good friends over so many years even though we are so far. We’ll be going to Christmas markets, eating yummy German food, Skiing!!!! And drinking LOTS of beer!
Then off to visit my old roomie from Mexico and my cousin in the Nurnberg and Erlangen area. More Christmas markets and just some good times with good people in this picturesque area.
Home to London town. Time with the family and catching up with some wonderful people. It’s been 2.5 years since I was there so it will be great to be there again. Just for a few days then it’s off again.
FINLAND – Cannot believe it! I’m going to meet Santa Clause! The real one! He lives in Lapland in Finland and I’m going with my best friend and her family. We’re taking my friends baby Jacob who is almost 2 years old to see Santa. I can’t wait to share this special time and see this unique country! Something new and different for sure!
Back to London for Dad’s birthday and some Christmas Lights spectacular before another jaunt to Europe. I might then head to Germany to visit a friend or head with him to Holland – another new place for me. This chapter is yet to be decided.
Back to London for family time and preparations for Christmas – it’s fun to have a Winter Wonderland Christmas which is a bit of a change to my life in Oz. It will be nice to do the winter warmers such as mulled wine, big coats, fireplaces and cozy warm houses.
Then … it’s home time! Not before stopping for two days in Guangzhou, China. Another new one! I will be stopping for one night on the way but won’t get to see much, so I purposely extended my stopover in China to see a bit of the Country. I’m flying China Southern and this was the routing – so when in Rome! Or China!
And finally home… just in time for New Years Eve and a night at Eureka Tower!! The highest building in Australia to look out over the city and the fireworks.
It’s always fun to run around Melbourne on a beautiful Spring day!! And Sunday 17th September was perfect for the City 2 Sea race, 14km run.
I have done this race before in 2011 and I did the City 2 Surf in Sydney 4 times – so I knew what to expect and I knew I wasn’t ready. Perhaps training 2 months out instead of 2 weeks out would have been better. But still, it’s a fun run and I did indeed have fun!
We started off near the National Gallery of Victoria off St Kilda Rd – And it was packed. More than 13,000 people there and everyone with nervous energy. Lizzie and I were excited and a bit scared to get going but so happy with this weather.
I tracked my progress along the way taking photos at the 4km mark, 6km mark, and 10km mark … perhaps this did slow me down. Especially the 4km mark when I stopped with these two ladies to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Why? Because Westpac was donating $50 for every person who stopped and sang! How amazing! As if we wouldn’t stop!
It’s always a great achievement to compete in one of these races and although I wasn’t quite as fit as I’d like to be, I did laugh and smile and have some lovely moments throughout the race. Especially when I saw my event manager friend Boydy at the 7km mark and get a big hug and chat from this incredible girl who had done such an amazing job working on this event.
Another great thing about competing in an event such as this is being invited to attend the VIP City 2 Sea After Party. I will run a 14km race every week if it means finishing up with a couple of ciders and some beautiful gourmet food! Lying in the sun, relaxing with my friend on a Sunday having achieved so much so early in the day. Oh and then to finish with a massage!!
Night Noodle Market has been mentioned a number of times on this blog – but this time for a different location, Melbourne. The famous Sydney food event as part of Good Food Month is now offering Melbournians the experience of this festival.
Set up in Alexandra Gardens just off the hub of the city- the Yarra River, Federation Square and Flinders Street Station, the Night Noodle Market is easily spotted by commuters as they hop off trams and head for trains. It’s a beautiful sight in the early evening seeing lots of people flocking into these beautiful gardens to enjoy a wide variety of flavours and foods.
Lights through the trees, Asian style decorations, bar areas decked out like the Oktoberfest marquees and food stalls as far as the eye can see. I was lucky to attend on the second night of the festival and it was pumping. The opening night had attracted 25,000 people and actually temporary close the doors to manage the flocks of people.
Night two was perfect with a warm atmosphere of light and relaxed people tasting amazing food from all around Melbourne. Queues were long and you did have to wait but it honestly didn’t take too long, and if you’re up for trying anything, just jump in the shortest queue. You can also stick around til late and grab some last minute goodies – like the delicious Indian street food of chaat from Autorickshaw.
I was here with my visiting friend Boydy and we managed to meet up with another few of her friend and make a real night of it. Sharing food, having a few G + T’s from Tanqueray and laughing amongst the colourful lights in this festive area.
The festival is running as part of Good Food Month so make sure to get some friends, grab a picnic blanket and enjoy the incredible Summer atmosphere with some tasty eats.
I cannot believe in just 2 weeks, I’ll be off on a 6 week trip to round out 2013 and take on so many more new adventures. This year has simply flown by and I cannot keep track of what has happened and how much I have been doing.
Apologies again for a severe lack of posting, to be honest, some days I feel truly overwhelmed by the amount of content I have to share and the amazing things that have been happening that I just instead hide away and share nothing. But I love this blog and I love sharing stories and I’m excited to focus the next 2 months on getting back on track with the blog.
So, why have I been absent? What have I been doing? A few highlights and a few of the places I’ve been in the last few months.
Finished off the ski season with a 5 day trip to Perisher with the incredible DWA- Disabled Wintersports Australia – coupled with a road trip from VIC to NSW with 2 lovely ladies
A weekend of frivolity at Falls Creek with some good friends for “Two for Onesie” weekend. Great deals and amazing outfits led to a lot of fun
Working at the Sydney Blues and Roots Festival and meeting so many amazing artists.