Tuesday, 9 December 2008

the eiffel tower

ahhh the eiffel tower...you finally get to see it...it took mike and i about 3 days to get here...not because we weren't interested...we just had other things to see...but when we finally did get here...
it was pretty great. there was alot happening in paris during the week we were there...aero exhibitions near the arc de triumph, employment expo near the eiffel tower so there were alot of tents etc set up all over the place - which doesn't always make for the best photos...but we went here on a sunday afternoon and spent the whole afternoon lounging around in the gardens and eating lunch...waiting for it to get dark so we could take some cool shots. they had it lit up in blue for some euro thing happening in paris that week - it was definitely very cool seeing it lit up like this... and just a note as to how SMALL this world really is - we were up on the first deck of the eiffel tower a few days later, when we ran into some family friends (from the hunter valley) while up there...! VERY freaky! we were both in a bit of disbelief!

the louvre

we stayed near the louvre...this had to be one of my favourite parts of paris...not necessarily going inside but just the buildings outside and the gardens across from it.

we pretty much walked past it every day and sometimes just sat on the steps eating our lunch.


montmartre was amazing - we only went there once during our 5 days and i wish we had gone there more. it's very touristy but i still loved it.

we went up inside the dome of the sacred basilica...i'm not usually scared of heights but for some reason that day i couldn't deal with it...of course my husband thought it was hilarious.

the streets were soo pretty

and the windows!

Monday, 8 December 2008


...ok so i may have overreacted...

...just so EVERYONE understands...this was a very rare commodity on my mission...so of course if you were ever in an apartment with me when I had this product...AND you didn't appreciate it, I may have overreacted!

ps. once again this applies to the minority not the majority of readers...if you wish to be a little more familiar with this post you can read back a few posts in comments posted...:)

Friday, 5 December 2008

paris - palace of versailles and surrounding grounds

i can't begin to explain how amazing this place was! my first impression upon arriving was - 'what's everyone going one about' - because the front looks somewhat gaudy had scaffolding everywhere...but then you get in side....and then when you experience the grounds...!!!!! we spent nearly 5 hours here and still didn't get to see all the grounds it was so massive!
you can hire bikes to ride around the lake and through the gardens or you can hire a boat to go out for a boat ride on the lake...this was by far our most tiring day in paris but probably the most amazing as well...the RER had been cancelled that day (sat) so we had to fight the crowds to change train lines a couple of times and then we stood in a one hour line for our tickets to get inside...i was about to give up! I was soooo glad I didn't!

I threw in a touristy shot for you...yes that's a rare shot of the husband and i!
I'm so glad we went on the saturday instead of during the week because Marie Antoinette's house, hamlet and grounds were open as well (apparently they are only open on the weekends).

apparently she didn't like the' grandeur' of the palace so decided to build her own place - a single level house/palace.
and she also had this hamlet built...it was perfect!

paris - notre dame

it's so hard to choose which paris photos i want to show - i have 5 days worth!
we went to notre dame 3 times during that 5 days...because somebody's father is an architect and he has inherited some of the fascination that comes with being in a building such as this!...and even for those who knew nothing about architecture...it was still fascinating.

i didn't manage to get here at night - i think i could do another 5 days in paris an still not see everything i want to see!

Monday, 1 December 2008

...a bit of rome...

ok so the rome pictures are finished...
rome was interesting...when you ask people if they enjoyed rome - there are always mixed opinions...i'm guessing it's because if you've been to any other city in italy - rome will probably be your least favourite.

we chose rome because we actually wanted to take a trip down to the amalfi coast and go to pompeii - but as it turned out we didn't get there. despite the disappointment in not being able to get down there, we still enjoyed ourselves.

i absolutely loved the piazza's - every alley way seemed to have quaint little places to eat. the husband had a large pizza for lunch every day...still can't believe he ate the whole thing!

we had gelato's nearly every day - our favourite little gelato place even had profitterol mousse!!!

one other thing i loved about rome was the paintings just set up on easels in the piazza's

all up rome was pretty fascinating, we enjoyed our time there. i can't wait to go back to go back and see more of italy!

Thursday, 27 November 2008


we were in Rome for 3 days, that means I have 3 days worth of photos...in case you don't know me that well, that means heaps of photos to process! So here's a little teaser for you from the first day.

Ok so I just thought I'd let you all know that I have a another blog...it's only in the beginning stages - the plan is that I'll go private on this particular blog...but I've said that before...and haven't followed through...but the husband and I have been talking more and more about it lately.....

Anyway you can check out the other blog here.

Please note that the link address has changed from what it was previously. (for those that have already been accessing this blog for a while - ok so I'm lazy - I had to shorten it!)

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

uhhhh I just changed my template....feeling a little upside down and back to front here....
I want this in my house....

This makes me want to draw again!...I come from an artistic family we can all draw...I was talking to my Aunty on Sunday and she asked if I still drew ...I mentioned that when I start drawing I get into my 'zone' and I don't like to be disturbed...it doesn't quite work with kids! Thus I haven't really drawn much since having kids. When I saw this I recognised that old familiar craving to sit down and draw something...this particular drawing by Leigh reminds me of my older sister's drawings...

I think she looks good as a bee....

Monday, 24 November 2008


love, love, love this girl!

I always seem to find the best inspiration at 'a little sussy'

It all started with Analiese...

For some of you T2 girls you may remember a night in the North Visitors Centre in one of the theatres where we were doing some kind of role playing/skits - I'm not really sure because there was only ONE skit I remember from that night...and it's left me feeling somewhat NAKED!...emotionally anyway...there are at least 3 of you that may read this that were a part of that skit...it was the MTC class....and each of you were playing yourselves...12mths - 18mths previous to this night and how you were feeling...yes...that's right you were sharing your FEELINGS! I remember Analiese standing up and saying: 'you want me to WHAT???...I ain't sharing my feelings!!' This got a huge laugh from the audience...mine included...but there was something DISTINCTLY different about my laugh to the rest of the audience that night...mine was coated with that 'nervousness' where you feel like you've totally been found out and you're not sure what your next move should be...while everyone else was sitting there laughing because it was funny and that's where it ended for them...me??? I was sitting there thinking: ' OH MY GOSH...SHE must have had the same teacher as I did in MTC...no way! I knew if that had been my MTC class up there...I would have had EXACTLY the same thing to say that night as Analiese did!
I may talk alot (yes...I AM aware of that fact), I may talk alot about surface stuff...and even things that might be personal..I'll talk about the 'facts' of that particular personal subject...but it's downright RARE for me to talk about my FEELINGS!!!

Fast Forward 10yrs:
OH MY GOSH, Analiese is SHARING!!! haaa

Me???: 'I ain't sharing my feelings!!!!!!'

Who's 'evolved' here?

ps. some of you will be sooo lost on this post....it's ok...don't feel bad...you're part of the MAJORITY not the minority!

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

New York, New York

We only had 2 days in New York...we knew that it was not long enough to see EVERYTHING...but we figured we'd still be able to see a few things and get some great pictures...um yeah...we arrived in New York late at night...early the next morning we called the kids to see how they were doing...my sister-in-law told us that our bank had been trying to get in touch with us concerning 'suspicious' activity on our account...we got on line to see what they were talking about...and our bank account had been CLEANED OUT!!! Sooooooo our first day in New York was somewhat stressful - we basically spent the day going between our hotel, calling our bank back home, calling NSW Police to file a report (which they wouldn't do over the phone), going to the Australian Embassy to get a statutory of declaration signed and stamped...etc it was ANNOYING to say the least...then we went to broadway that night to de-stress...the bank insured us and replaced our little stash of cash...so the next day was much more pleasant...BUT because of this we really only had ONE day in New York...has anyone EVER tried to see NY in one day??? We did our best and to tell the truth as I look back I'm pretty surprised at how much we ended up seeing BUT I was a little sad about the opportunities lost for some great photos...we basically had to see what we could when we could regardless of whether the time of day was going to make for a crappy photo!

We went to Broadway both nights we were there....there were soo many shows to choose from...I wish I could have stayed for a week! The first night we went to see Mary Poppins, and the second, The little Mermaid. They were both great but Mary Poppins was definitely my favourite!

We went up the Rockefellar building...didn't get to go up for my sunrise/sunset :( but it was still great...

We took a walk down Wall Street...it was on a day that the stock market had plummeted...so the place was full of CNN media etc...since 9/11 they have Wall street permanently blocked off to traffic and police with machine guns monitor the area. The New York Stock exchange building is permanently blocked off to pedestrians etc.

So I had to take some photos at the Natural History Museum for Jake...he was so excited that we went to the 'night at the museum'!! :)

Time Square - the atmosphere was great and this is the heart of broadway! But I have to admit...after fighting tour groups and crowds nearly ever place we had visited I was REALLY getting sick of battling the crowds!

Central Park

This was the only shot we got of the Statue of Liberty...we didn't go over to the island simply because there was an hour and a half wait for the ferry...it was ridiculous and we figured there was still plenty of stuff we wanted to see. The top right is Brooklyn Bridge...and the bottom left is Manhatten Bridge (taken from the Brooklyn Bridge).

So like I said...we did pretty darn good for only seeing ALL this in one day!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Nigella Lawson describes these as jewels....

For some reason completely unknown to me these beautiful things are not common here in Australia...'apparently' we have so many other fruits here that the demand for these are very minor...

While on holiday my friend introduced Mike & I to our latest indulgence...now, although I'm grateful to her, I'm not sure if my purse is...since you can't find these at the supermarket and have to go the fruit shop, they're sporting a price of $3.50 each (which is above US$5). So um...I'll say 'thanks Kim'...but my purse won't...it's struggling with resentment issues!

And to think that my in-laws who are most likely moving to the Abu Dhabi in the Middle East in the next month will be surrounded with gorgeous amounts of these since the Pomegranate is native to the Middle East...and apparently was cultivated in Egypt before the time of Moses...and was quite significant in the Jewish culture...to the point of the design of the pomegranate being woven into high priests robes, and brass representations were part of the Temple's pillars. This fruit is mentioned 8 times in the Bible...and some believe it to be the fruit on the Tree of Life...whatever the truth be...I can totally see how they might describe this fruit as 'divine'.

And just for those of you who may not be religious & need some other reason to spend ridiculous amounts of money on gourmet fruit - here are some health facts about the pomegranate...(which is how Mike & I are justifying our expensive indulgence...) :
1. High in fibre
2. High in Vitamin C
3. The juice possess's almost 3 times the total amount of antioxidents found in green tea or red wine.
4. Supposed to work like 'aspirin' in preventing blood clots
5. Recent research has shown that 8 ounces of Pomegranate juice per day for 3mths improved the amount of oxygen getting to the heart in patients with coronary heart disease (prevents plaque building up in the arteries)
6. Research suggests that Pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone
7. Inhibits the development of lung cancer
8. Slows the growth of prostrate cancer
9. May protect the neonatal brain from damage after injury
10. Assists in the prevention of Osteoarthritis
11. It may prevent and slow Alzheimers disease
12. Lowers Cholesterol
13. Lowers Blood Pressure
14. Natural way to prevent Dental Plaque
....and the list goes on....

....hmmmm maybe it really IS the fruit from the Tree of Life...???? :)

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


I'm so tired right now and all I really want to do is going to bed...so this is going to be a really boring post...I may have to add more to the post later to actually describe our experience in Egypt a little better...you know you're living on the edge when to enter your hotel driveway (which is like a mile away from the actual hotel)...your car is checked for bombs...hmm...
I just added a whole heap of photos here....sorry for the overload...I'm tired and can't make those intense kinds of decisions as to what photos to upload at the moment!

These are of the Citadel...I really loved the Citadel...it was a beautiful building...and for Cairo...extremely so...the airport (which IS NOT a new airport) still looked like it was in a construction zone...but I realised that most of Cairo looks a bit like this. It totally blew me away as to just HOW many people live there...it had to have been the hugest city I've ever been to, the population of Australia (20million) living in one city. It was sad in alot of ways. I'm sure at some time it would have been a beautiful city. The Husband loved it...he thought it reminded him of the Philipines in alot ways...he loved the chaos and the way they drive...like ANYWHERE...oh and mostly there are no traffic lights...whoever is in front...even if its by an inch...they pretty much have right of way!

We went to Khan al kalili bizarre...which is basically a touristy market where you go to get ripped off...when we went here, we were on a time limit because we had a driver coming back to pick us up at a certain time...so my plan was to go in and buy what we wanted as quickly as possible and leave...The Hsband had a very different plan...he LOVES to haggle and bargain even if it is over $1...the problem was he was finding the locals...well...the most ruthless and annoying bargainers he'd EVER come across...he was out to extract revenge...he was on a mission...so needless to say we bought one thing at these markets!

The other window photo was of a guy in Coptic Cairo. Coptic Cairo is the old part of Cairo - the Christian part...I didn't get to see as much of this part of Cairo as I would have liked...maybe next time...
Ok so I'm guessing you actually really want to see pictures of the desert and the pyramids...oh we have plenty of those...we spent 2 hot blistering hours out there in the desert....with a VERY stubborn Camel!

I've grown up riding horses...so I know how to ride one and I'm not scared of them...but this thing...this thing SCARED me! The Husband and I shared a camel ride and for some reason I let The Husband on the front to actually guide the thing...(like when he's probably ridden a horse maybe all of 3 times in his life) and having to trust that my husband isn't going to send us straight down the side of a sandhill was a little past my trust level! Oh and a camel saddle is so NOT comfortable! Mike wanted to trot or gallop off into the desert with the camel - I did not... we had a 'guide' with us riding a horse...he was supposed to take us to the 2nd pyramid and let us off and we'd walk back while I took photos etc...haaa yeah right...the guide pretty much held us hostage on the camel until we paid the tip HE wanted...and wanted it before we got back to the 'owner' so he didnt' take it off him...now this wasn't surprising at all to me (just ask 'lonely planet') but what was surprising to me was that my husband gave in so quickly...I think he'd had enough and lets face it...we were haggling over mere $2-3!!

ok so don't laugh at him for his fashion sense...we took one medium size bag between us - which meant 2 pairs of pants each ...the shoes on our feet, and a couple of shirts...The Husband and I both like to travel as light as possible...less baggage to wait for at the baggage claim belt!

The Sphinx is sooo much smaller than you imagine it's going to be.

Because of our stubborn camel and its inability to listen to instructions when given...like STOP! I found it difficult to get some of the photos that I knew would be good - I just had to try and do it from the camel and I didn't want to change lenses to get good close ups since it was slightly windy and I didn't want to get sand in my camera or worse drop my camera while our beloved camel was busy taking us for a ride!

So that's the pyramids of Giza...we didn't have enough time to go down to Luxor to the Valley of the Kings - we'll save that for another trip. We did however get to the Egyptian Museum...it was AMAZING!! I loved it! We got to see the mummies - which my husband was completely fascinated with - Hatshepsut and Ramses I, II etc- I had to come home and watch the Prince of Egypt just to make it complete :). We saw the coffin of Tutenkamen - since the actual tomb of king tut is in the valley of the kings (with his mummy) we didn't see this but the actual famous head piece and coffin is in the museum. Absolutely fascinating!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Chicago - the windy city...

I mentioned before that it was between 4-6 degrees (c) while we were in Chicago...the wind definitely made it colder...and the day that I did most of my sight seeing and photography was the day that I was also walking around in flurries of snow...nothing much but definitely enough to make me contemplate praying for some big blizzard so I could get lots of snow pictures...but then I thought of my kids back home and how if there was a blizzard our flight home would be delayed...and...um...yeah...anyway I LOVE the Autumn foliage in Chicago - it reminded me of The Avenues in Salt Lake... it was sooo beautiful!

The husband worked while we were in Chicago - so I went sight seeing by myself...after having CROWDS of people to battle with in Paris, Cairo, Rome & New York...Chicago was HEAVEN!!! It was so freezing that no sane person was really out & about...I loved it! I had Navy Pier practically to myself!

I was wishing The husband and the kids were here for these mirrors...ooohh the photos I could have gotten with them :) instead I had to settle for photos of myself which since I also had to TAKE the photos were quite limiting! haa

...Chicago Bay Lighthouse...

So I walked down Michigan Avenue...it's a really picturesque street...although you wouldn't know that because I FORGOT to take a photo of it!...but got a photo of the sign :) I was too busy looking for the Pottery Barn that was no longer there...hmmm...I settled for Crate & Barrel!

And these are three of my favourites from Chicago....

Millenium Park

Untitled Sculpture by Anish Kapoor (I think he's British) in Millenium Park- I have to admit this was pretty cool...The Husband would have loved seeing this...I now wish I'd taken a photo from the underneath too.

And this was my favourite city skyline shot...I didn't go up Sears Tower - figured I'd leave that for next time.

So there's Chicago for you - Love, Love, Loved it! Definitely want to go back.