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.

 

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A Hop, Skip and a Jump

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We haven’t really talked about our Australian adventure in a long time, so let’s just jump right into it.

In February we went to Melbourne’s White Night festival (in Canada we call it Nuit Blanche… it sounds so fancy in french). It’s basically an evening of art, high def projections and music. There were a tonne of really neat things to see, but the highlight of the night for us was in the State Library of Victoria. Normally it looks like this:

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However during White Night, it turned into a magical place like this:

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You can see a magical video on my Instagram post. (Amazing right?)

Skip on over to March, Doran and I went to our first “meet up” with this group that apparently loves dumplings. The group was called “Kung fu dumplings”, but the meet up was at a Thai restaurant. We met some pretty interesting people, but we didn’t eat any dumplings. Despite Jinda Thai becoming our new favourite Thai place, I was disappointed that we didn’t even have any dumplings.

We then bought tickets to see Pitch Perfect at the Moonlight Cinema, but got rained out. Bought tickets to see Birdman at the Rooftop Cinema the week after, but got rained out. So we went to see Mean Girls the next day at the Moonlight Cinema and it was great.

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The lady in the blue blanket, in the picture, kept sitting up through out the movie. Why rent a bean bag chair, if you’re not going to lay on it. Her silhouette was also accented by bats flying overhead. I had a great time, but Doran just said that he’s “over it”, so I don’t think we’ll be doing this again in the near future. Outdoor cinemas, you get a 8.5/10.

And so this brings us to this past weekend. Our friends from Canada decided to do a massive vacation that started with a week in Sydney, then a cruise from Sydney to New Zealand to a bunch of Polynesian islands (like Bora Bora) then ending in Hawaii. Doran and I hopped on over to Syndey for the weekend to see them and have a mini vacation as well. We even joined them on a day tour of the Blue Mountains, which to me, was really more like the Blue Canyon.

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It’s beautiful, isn’t it. Apparently, the oils from the eucalyptus trees in the rainforest below scatter the light waves in such away that it gives a blue hue to the mountains. Hence the name: Blue Mountains.

And that pretty much gets you to today. Thanks for reading this big update!

We are going to go for another adventure mid April, so look for another update later this month!

(Oh and if you’re wondering how my drawings are going, here’s another collage.)

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FUN & SUN DOWN UNDER

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We present you with another high koala-ty update from Oz. Here is what we got up to in week 2!

This week’s video is brought to you by Books on Tape.

A few new learnings & discoveries:

  • Nobody cares about Starbucks here. There are 9 Starbucks stores in Sydney (vs. 50 in Calgary). And for good reason – there are local coffee shops abound, and I haven’t been disappointed by a single one yet!
  • Some food & service establishments have a ‘weekend & holiday surcharge’ that gets tacked onto your bill. (It’s kind of hard to avoid going out on the weekend?)
  • Some malls here have really amazing food court choices. Lobster?! Pork dumplings? You name it, they got it.
  • Despite having some super awesome food choices, everything closes around 6pm or earlier. Yes, OR EARLIER! Even on weekends!

Lessons Learned Down Under

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It’s been about a week since Doran and I landed in Sydney, Australia.

Our journey has just begun and we have already learned a few things:

  • Thai massage is a staple here. There is a parlour on every street!
  • Asian food is more available than Western food. I feel like I’m in Hong Kong everyday.
  • Going to see a movie will cost you 20 dollars each person. TWENTY!!! And Netflix doesn’t exist here, so what ever shall we do?
  • The Australian Museum taught me to not touch ANYTHING because everything can kill you, even sea shells!