Big Ol’ Family Trip

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So my mom, dad and brother came to visit in November. I was really excited to show them everything Australia had to offer, but as luck with have it, both mom and dad landed in Melbourne with a cold. >.>

Despite hacking coughs every hour, my parents were good sports and even went on a Sunset Tour with me to see the 12 Apostles. From being attacked by those darn Australian flies to almost missing the sunset on the sunset tour (blame the pizza place…), I had forgotten how hilarious it is to travel with each other.

After visiting Melbourne and Sydney, we all went to Hong Kong to attend my cousin’s wedding.

While we were there I took the opportunity to go back to Disneyland Hong Kong and show my brother how fun this Disneyland can be. I mean look at the fabulousness of it all.

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We also took a ferry to Macau. I had never been to Macau, but I heard it was basically the Vegas of China and it didn’t disappoint (sort of). From the outside it is pretty spectacular, but after you go in, you notice a big difference. The games were all exactly the same in EVERY casino, and there was definitely a lot less people gambling their life savings away. It was all just too new and too empty to be fun.

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I also found out that Macau has quite the split personality. On one hand, it has the glitz and glamour of Vegas in Cotai, but when you drive across the bridge in to actual Macau, you get hit with an old Chinese town with Portuguese influences! I also found out that my mom took a bus here from China when she was six (all by herself) to meet up with her grandma to live and go to school until her mom got her Hong Kong papers ready. It was really great to see how excited my mom was to see her old haunts. She took us to the exact spot where she met up with her grandma, the place they lived and where she went to school.

Macau, you hold a special place in my mom’s heart and now in mine as well. I would definitely come back to show my kids in the future.

 

The Flies and the Jam

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So last month Doran, his friend and I spent four days in Uluru (Ayers Rock) and three days in Hobart, Tasmania. Here are some of the things we learned.

Ayers Rock Resort

Uluru

  • It’s hot, like 40 degrees hot
  • Buy a fly net because you will go insane trying to swat them away from your face if you don’t have one. Apparently they think your eyes and nose are pools of water, so since we are in the outback desert, it’s like an oasis for them
  • Although you can just tilt your head up anywhere at night to see stars, the Sounds of Silence evening dinner is the best place to see the stars and the Milky Way (plus the resident astronomer who tells you about the constellations uses a laser pointer which is so strong that he had to register it as a weapon)
  • The flies go away when the sun sets
  • Be prepared to wake up at 4am every day to see the sunrise, because that’s all there really is to do

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  • All tours involve the sunrise, the sunset or both
  • THE FLIES!!!!
  • The camel rides are a super fun way to see the sunrise, some of the camels are really adorable

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  • OH LORD, THE FLIES ARE EVERYWHERE!!!
  • Oh yeah, the Uluru and Kata Tjuta rock formations are cool to see as well

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Hobart (and Bruny Island)

  • It gets cold in the winter! Apparently, it can even snow. Especially on Mount Wellington.
  • Modern art has arrived in Hobart. It comes in the form of 77 porcelain vagina casts and a fat Porsche, which can be seen at the MONA museum (see pictures below).

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  • This new and crazy art has drawn a lot more tourists to Hobart and I’m glad I came
  • If you’re ever here, we highly recommend a Bruny Island food tour.
  • Scones and raspberry jam are to die for. Seriously, that jam was something else.

Hot House Cafe Bruny Island

(Hot House Cafe, you win at life)

  • Tasmania reminds me of the Maritimes. Just look at the views!

Hotel Grand Chancellor View Hobart Cape Bruny

  • The winds at the peak of Mt. Wellington are so strong (up to 200 km/hr), we thought we would have been blown away if it weren’t for the metal railings.
  • The forest smells like the spa because of all the eucalyptus trees.

So, there you have it! Australia, you’re amazing!