A creature of habit

Sunday, February 28, 2010

When I find something I like, I stick to it. Take Hubs for example - no way I'm letting HIM go :-)

Though, I refer mainly to other non-Hubs-related things, such as the fact that I ate the same lunch every day for 6 months (corn thins with herb tuna and fresh baby spinach leaves), and that I have been eating the same breakfast for almost a year (1 crumbled wheat-bix with 1/3 cup bran, soy milk, natural yoghurt and honey) and that I buy the same conditioner, moisturiser and lipstick brand every time.

Oh, and there's also this:

I've bought the same diary the last 6 years. I can't help myself! It's compact, has a nice layout and it comes in PURPLE!! But this year I've branched out into something bigger. And it was purple too!

Then I realised it was TOO big and didn't fit properly in my "new" (2nd hand $10) handbag very well, so I took the cover off and now have a much more user-friendly sized diary. I do like having a bigger diary I must admit. I feel more mature or something. Whatevs.

Flight "extras"

Friday, February 26, 2010

Since WHEN has a "seat" not been included in the cost of your flight? I have booked with both Jetstar and Tiger Air in the last month and the flight cost has been quoted to me, then I get to the "choose your seat" screen and I have to PAY for it!! Are you for REAL?? What the heck am I getting for the cost of the fare?? Can I choose NOT to sit down? Cos for $7 per person, EACH WAY, I'd be happy to stand for an hour or 2. (Okay, not really, but I needed to make my point.) I'm okay with paying for food and drinks on flights, I'm okay with paying to check in your bags, and I'm even (almost) okay with having to pay an extra $5 for extra leg room. But I draw the line at having to pay extra for any old seat.

I think this is even more dodgy than not including taxes in the fare, which, I might add, was changed a number of years ago due to legislation.

Oh, and get this, I also got slapped with a $10.91 "convenience fee". Excuse me?? I did all the freakin' work. I cannot BELIEVE they just charged me $10.91 to do everything myself!!!

So my "cheap fares" of $153.14 for Hubs and I to fly from Brisbane to Melbourne, has turned into the grand total of:


which includes:

Lowest Fare           $153.14  (wow! that IS low!)
2 Base Seat fees     $14.00    (wha?.... Do I get to take the seat home with me??)
1 Convenience fee  $10.91    (convenient for whom??)
Taxes                     $63.95    (after everything else, that's just a kick in the pants)

Can you tell by all the ??? and !!! that I'm NOT HAPPY????!!!!!

Come fly with me

As I mentioned, my family bought me a chopper ride over Brisbane for my birthday! And of course, Hubs got to go with me. It was little scary, but SO much fun! We flew with a flying school that also does joy rides, based in Caboolture. (This was the company.) This was the chopper we flew in:


It was described as a M*A*S*H chopper so of course I had the theme song in my head the whole trip! We were strapped in nice and tight:

with Hubs in the middle, and the Pilot and I on either side. It was certainly nice and cozy! The take off was a little scary, but once we were off the ground it was just so exciting! 


It was a fairly hazy day so we couldn't see the city very clearly from that far away, but it came in to view not long after. 

Beautiful Brisbane City

I was trying to get my bearings and I spotted lots of things like Stafford Rd, Brookside shopping centre, the street where Lsl is living, Victoria Park Gold Course, my schools and Mum and Dad's house!!!

To the bottom right, all those red brick buildings in a U-shape, is my primary school (Kelvin Grove Primary) (bottom) and high school (above that) (KG High) and to the right of my high school is the start of my uni (QUT Kelvin Grove). Basically right in the middle of the photo is a street that runs up and down with red blocks on it (traffic calmers) and right near the second red block from the top, is my family home! Where I grew up and cherish so many memories. *sigh* Okay. Moving on. In the top right hand corner is Ballymore Rugby stadium, and at the top in the middle, those fields are where I used to play hockey for Commercial Hockey club, AND that small field with a stadium to the left of that, is where I played a couple of my soccer games! I didn't get out much! :-) And don't you just love the heart-shape! 

Here we are back on solid ground. What a ride!

 Thanks to everyone who contributed! It was so much fun and an experience to remember! Happy Birthday to meeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Kondalilla falls

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On the Monday after my birthday party, Hubs and I felt like doing something active for the day, so our family friend Lou suggested Kondalilla Falls. And the best thing was, Lou was free on the Monday as well so we invited him along to be our guide. Lou knows the area like the back of his hand, so we didn't have to worry about such things as getting lost or eaten by giant eels :-)

It was a hot day but the walk was mainly through rainforest so we kept quite cool. We started at Barroon Pocket Dam, and left the car there. The plan was for Lou's wife Di to pick us up at the other end, just near the falls, and bring us back to the car on their way home. Lou had told us it was about 8km so off we went!

What a view!

After about 2 hours of walking, it was time for smoko and a swim

We then walked another hour or so and found somewhere to stop for lunch. Lou tried a bit of fishing but there were no bites that day. The track was all downhill for the first bit, then pretty flat for a while, and then we started walking back up again. Lou had promised us a swim at Kondalilla falls, and after a day of walking, it was exactly what was needed to cool off.

And boy was the water chilly! While we were swimming Lou said something along the lines of "You wouldn't BELIEVE how big the eels can get in here." Hmmm... I chose not to think about it...

Just before we headed back up to meet Di

It was exactly what we needed - a day out in the "wilderness", with good company and lovely views. As we headed to the car, I turned around to see a sign that said:

Baroon Pocket Dam - 11.2km walk

No wonder I was so exhausted!! Thanks so much for a great day Lou!


Monday, February 22, 2010

As many of you witnessed, and as some of you heard, I turned 30 in January. I hope I don't sound like I'm in denial, but I'm really not too fussed about turning 30, because, as they say, you're only as old as the man you feel, and since Hubs just had his 21st birthday last year, I'm still a spring chicken! Ha ha.... Actually, if truth be told, my ageing stopped around 26, as it was such a great year for me. I know physically, I'm feeling older each year, and hopefully I'm becoming more mature (boring!) and sensible (if only!) but really I'm feeling pretty damn good!

Anyway, back to the party! The usual suspects were there, and I had an amazing time! My bro brought along some of his home brew on tap which was SO awesome, and as usual, my Dad manned the BBQ while Mum coordinated the activity in the kitchen. It was most certainly one of the best birthdays I've ever had, and perhaps one of the last I'll be having at Mum and Dad's place which makes me a bit sad. I've had almost all of my birthdays there, with parties ranging from sleepovers with a few gal-pals, to 12-hour-long bonanzas. I've had themes such as a "nerd party", one-day-cricket party, a 70s Hippy party, and a Mexican Fiesta (oh boy).

This year's theme was "Wear something you bought on holiday" which gave me the opportunity to frock up in my silk transformer dress that I bought in New York. It's the first time I'd worn it as a dress instead of a skirt (more than meets the eye!) and it looked HOT! Oh, and it WAS hot. Summer in Brisbane - gotta love it!

Enough of my rambling. I can hear what your saying. "SHOW ME THE PHOTOS!!!"

Mum and I. Cheers!

Dad and I (and his.... ahem.... apron :-) (and my rockin' dress!)

Kturtle and I, and the Keggerator! Look at those beers! Yum...

And the brewer himself, sampling one of his taste sensations!

My map of the world cake that Mum and I made. (Yes, it' totally awesome.) There are 30 candles on there (duh) and each candle represents a place where I've been. I had a couple left over so I also added some places where Hubs had been, as well as 2 places I've only stopped-over in. Hey! They totally count!

And of course, with Hubs always being the one taking the photos, I don't have any of the two of us together :-( Oh well. There are obviously plenty more, but you get the general idea. Thank you EVERYONE who was able to come along. It was really special to spend the afternoon shooting the breeze. I really loved seeing you all and look forward to more celebrations to come!

One of my presents was a helicopter ride over Brisbane, but that will be a separate post. Oh! And I'm not done blogging about South Africa either! More tales to come...

Vacuuming sucks

I don't vacuum. There aren't many household jobs that I won't do, but not long after we moved in to College, I told Hubs that his job was to vacuum. Oh, and clean the toilet. I don't actually mind clearing the floor so the vacuming can be done, I just don't like actually DOING it. But when it's finished, and we have nice, clean, dust-free, feather-free carpets, it's just the nicest thing in the world. (Well, in the top 20 at LEAST!)

It's funny how, for a week or so after you do a massive vacuum and clean of your abode, any little piece of visual rubbish (bit of paper, feather from the cushion, crumbies from your toasted cheese and tomato sandwich) is immediately picked up off the floor and thrown into the bin, so as to preserve that "just cleaned" look. But then after a month, you'll drop half a cheeseburger on the floor and not worry about picking it up.

Mmmmm... cheeseburgers....

The Food - Wifey stuffing her face...

Friday, February 19, 2010

...with a muffin the size of her head... (no matter what flavour muffin you order, you get butter, jam and cheese with it. Incidentally I ordered a bacon and cheese muffin, while Hubs opted for the choc-chip variety. Both were equally scrumptious!)

And a coffee (or 3) to wash it down! (At Mugg & Bean you pay about $2.50 for bottomless cups of coffee. I couldn't have more than 2 in one sitting, but Hubs went back for a third. For someone who doesn't really drink coffee, it was kinda funny to see the caffeine kick in!!)

Then there were the Oliebollen - or "Oil balls" which are a Dutch delicacy to be had at New Years. (Shocking photo, but delicious, deep-fried goodness!)

And I'm told you NEVER forget your first Koeksister! The crispy outside, the gooey inside, the syrup running down your chin. Oh boy. It was awesome.

Vodka Martini anyone?

Or perhaps a Kahlua cream coffee for a mere $4?


Best. Brunch. EVER!!!


 Frogs eggs for dessert, anyone? (It wasn't REALLY frogs eggs. That's just what they called it! At least, that's what they TOLD me.....)

And one of the best dinners EVER, with a bit of everything.


I'm off for a walk now, to try and work some of this off!

The Big FIVE

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

We were lucky enough to see all of THE BIG FIVE in the Kruger. How exciting!

Enormous Elephant 
(it's coming right for us!!!! Drive dammit drive!!!)

Look! Lions!!! Ludicrously close Lions!


Rampaging Rhino

Brilliant Buffalo

Luscious Leopard 
(we saw it on our last day as we were leaving the park! Incredible!)

Big Five High Five! Woo hoo!

Melbourne is making a liar out of me...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Weather in Melbourne

Currently 20.4° in Parkville





Yeah... we'll see...

The food - part one

For me, travelling is all about the food and the people. And the toilets, but we won't get into that (punny!). Back to the food. We arrived in South Africa on a Monday and on the Tuesday we set out to the local berry farm. 

You pay 30 rand (about $5) to go in to the berry farm, and you get to eat as many berries as you want!


You don't need to tell us twice! I'm eating bramble berries, while below, Hubs is about to scoff down some blueberries - his favourite! 


After eating as many berries as you want can, you can take some home with you and you pay by the kilo. Here's our stash:

Hubs: "Here Wifey, I found you the biggest, juiciest berry and picked it for you."
Wifey: "Aw Hubs! You're so lovely and kind and generous! It looks delicious!" (unlike Wifey's facial expression!)

Wifey: "Thanks Hubs. I love youuuuuuu."


Wifey: "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew! Sourest berry EVER!!!! HUBS!!!! Stop taking photos of me eating the sour berry that you picked for me! You set me up!!!!"

"I don't know WHAT you're talking about. Tee hee hee hee."
Luckily, he'd also picked a super ripe, super sweet berry to make it all better. Oh, and some ice cream as well.

I have SO much more food to tell you about. Not to mention the people!

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!

A weekend walk

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hubs and I have decided to do some long walks over the weekends (by long I mean anything between 5 and 10km BTW) and last Saturday we had a great day exploring the Melbourne Botanic Gardens. The weather was sensational, and after walking into town from home, we wandered around for a few hours, enjoying the sunshine (we both got sun burnt) and each other's company.

Matching Crumplers! (I've been wanting this photo taken for AGES!)

Turkish Delight! Yum!

We checked out the local flora and fauna...

And played around a bit too!

We also checked out the Shrine of Remembrance.


We then headed to our favourite place in Chinatown, Shanghai Dumplings, and stuffed ourselves silly for $20!

Mmmmm... dumplingicious! 
(I know I look a bit spaced out, but I was sunburnt and tired from all our walking!)

And washed them down with a couple of Tsingtaos!

We then headed off to Pellegrini's (a "Melbourne Institution") for a coffee

And we finished off a big day out by seeing Sherlock Holmes at the movies, which, by the way was a great movie! It's lots of fun with a bit of mystery and mayhem. Really really enjoyed it.

All in all and amazing day with Hubs, exploring this great city we live in, and enjoying it while we can!