Australia Revisited

It’s been a few weeks and I’m finally getting around to posting some of my photos from my recent trip to Australia! Man time flies by when life/work/getting sick happens.

You might be asking, didn’t you JUST go to Australia? Haha…yes I did. I never thought I would be back in Australia within a year or so, but my friend and I were looking at warm destinations, and found this really good deal on airfare so we took it! It was just too good to pass up. For our trip, we decided to hit up a variety of experiences: a city, a road trip, beaches, islands, and the ocean. It was the perfect all-around getaway!

 

THE CITY

Last time I visited Sydney and it’s surrounding areas, so this time we flew into Melbourne. My neighbor told me, “Sydney is the girl you want to date, but Melbourne is the girl you want to marry.” I was excited to meet this girl and see what she had to offer. :) Thanks so much to my neighbors and my coworker who gave me a seriously awesome list of places to see in Melbourne.

 

Shopping at the Block Arcade.

 

Lots of wandering and shopping at the Queen Victoria Market.

 

The most amazing banana french toast at The Auction Rooms.

 

ROADTRIP #1

After a few days in the city we decided to take a day trip out to the Yarra Valley to taste some wine. We hired Steve (wine tour guide) to show us around, and it was definitely the best choice! He was super knowledgable, and took us to five wineries, had some amazing food, and came back “happy” with our suitcases full of wine. (Which by the way was stupid when you’re trying to fly domestically with suitcase weight limits.)

We started the day off with some bubbles at Chandon, and ended it with some rosé on the Dominique Portet patio.

 

Domaine Chandon

 

Warramunda Estate

 

Oakridge

 

Maddens Rise

 

Coombe & Stones of the Yarra Valley

 

Dominique Portet

 

ROADTRIP #2

After an awesome day checking out the valley, we rented a car and drove The Great Ocean Road along the south-eastern coast of Australia. Wow…this was amazing. Not only does the road travel through a bunch of great little beach towns, it also runs through a rain forest, and plops you out on the most amazing stretch of coast with the 12 Apostles and many other roadside views.

 

Hangin’ on Torquay Beach.

 

Checkin out the light at the Split Point Lighthouse.

 

London Bridge did come falling down back in 1990.

 

We could not get enough of this view of the 12 Apostles from the top AND at the bottom of the Gibson Steps.

 

BEACHES

After some amazing time on the road, we retreated to the beach for some R+R. We rented a little AirBnB by the beach, and spent most of our time reading, drinking wine, and walking the beach.

 

The winds were strong, but the sun was out at Mermaid Beach on the Gold Coast. 

 

For our last night at the beach, we had the most amazing dinner at Rick Shores on Burleigh Heads.

 

HAMILTON ISLAND

Our last stop was Hamilton Island. I honestly didn’t do a whole lot of research on the island but my friend did. I was blown away by the service, the amenities and just the overall feeling of the island. I would definitely go back and spend a longer time there so I could explore more parts of the island we didn’t have time to see. While we were there we took two full day excursions out to Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef. Both were absolutely worth every penny!

 

The Beach Club was the perfect getaway, had amazing service, and beautiful views.

 

Whitehaven Beach couldn’t have been anymore gorgeous.

 

THE OCEAN

We knew we had to try and go to the Great Barrier Reef while we were in the country. So for our last stop we decided to take the trek out there to see it for ourselves. It is quite an amazing piece of nature, and the realization that it’s dying was very sobering. We still got to see live parts of the reef, and even spotted a reef shark swimming right below me!

 

You can’t see much of the Great Barrier Reef from above, but what a sight to see underneath that crystal blue water.

 

OUTTAKES

What is a trip without a lot of laughs and moments you’ll never forget? This one was full of them! From spending time with lifelong friends, to getting to know new ones. :) Till next time Australia!

 

 

Sydney Australia

Visiting Australia has always been on my list, so when my friends moved there it was a perfect excuse to go visit. Not only did I get to spend some quality time with them, I got to see some amazing spots in, and just outside Sydney. I visited in November (which is their spring) and the weather was just what I needed from our Seattle gray skies. I even missed the first snowfall while I was away!

There is so much to see there, and it just makes me want to go back and see more of their amazing country. Here are just a few of the highlights of my trip.

 

Beaches

Australia is known for their gorgeous beaches, and I wasn’t about to miss them while I was there. The first weekend we headed out to Bondi Beach for the Sculpture by the Sea art walk. We walked the coastal walk to Coogee Beach and rewarded ourselves with a drink. :)

 

Blue Mountains

I spent a few nights out in Katoomba to see the Blue Mountains. What a beautiful place it is! The first day I took a short hike starting at Echo Point, looking out at the Three Sisters, then down the Giant Stairway, around Three Sisters Point, then up the Furber Steps. To finish the round trip, I walked along the Prince Henry Cliff Walk back to Echo Point. Whew!! It was close to 2,000 stairs. I must have been out of my mind. Thank goodness I had a massage scheduled afterwards. It was a real treat.

 

Jenolan Caves

The second day out at the Blue Mountains I was able to tour two caves at the Jenolan Caves, which ended up being a little over 1,000 stairs. Who knew I would be doing a stair master workout in this trip? These caves were spectacular. They were also throwback lessons from Geology 101 class from our tour guides.

 

Royal National Park

We originally had intentions to hike to the Figure Eight Pool but once we arrived at the park the big giant sign that said “Figure Eight Pool – DANGEROUS SWELLS” deterred us. We didn’t want to get swept away into the ocean.

We ended up doing the Coast Track starting at Bundeena, to the Balconies, and finally reaching the Wedding Cake Rocks. This walk was absolutely gorgeous. The variance of the rock cliffs was amazing, and the views (despite being windy and cloudy) were gorgeous.

 

Markets

While traveling I always love a good market. We went to a few while I was in Sydney. The Rocks Market, Sydney Fish Market, and the Carriageworks Farmers Market.

Carriageworks was more like a Saturday Farmers Market, whereas the Rocks Market had more art and collectibles. We had a great time checking out the vendors, slipping into some of the neighborhood shops, and breaking for tea and lammingtons. :)

 

The Melbourne Cup

My friend forewarned me about this event, so I brought a dress in advance. But once I arrived in Sydney I needed to find a fascinator to wear atop my head for this affair. We found one at the Rocks Market that was slightly pricey…but buying it from the sweetest lady who handcrafted it was well worth it. Who knew this soirée existed!

 

Palm Beach

My last weekend, we day tripped out to Palm Beach. My neighbors back home gave me some tips…and it was well worth it! We had a beautiful lunch at The Boathouse on the water, then did a short hike up to the Barrenjoy Lighthouse to see the incredible view.

 

Shopping

I didn’t do tons of shopping while I was in Sydney, but I did find three shops that were my favorite.

  • Sorry Thanks I Love You carried some of the most beautiful local artists, and grabbed my attention by their simple display and layout.
  • Uashmama makes handbags, accessories, and home goods out of washable paper. Yes…washable paper. See what I did with my Uashmama paper bags when I got home. :)
  • On our way to find a bookstore, we stopped by this cute fabric and knitting shop. I picked up some adorable fabric that I can’t wait to craft into something amazing.

I can’t wait to go back to this lovely country to explore more!

Palm Springs Girls Trip

I have been in need of a good girls trip for awhile now…and when my friend Andrea (from Salty Canary) offered up a few nights in Palm Springs at The Weekend House with the rest of the gals, I couldn’t say no. I couldn’t wait to reconnect with all of them. :)

I met all of these fine ladies through blogging. We met a few years back at the Alt Summit in Salt Lake City, and we haven’t missed a beat since. They are all amazing women in their own rights…bloggers, business women, mothers, and most of all friends. :) So we headed southwest with our swimsuits and sunnies, for a few nights together at a desert house where the rooms are named the Flamingo Room, Banana Leaf Room, and the Cactus Room. I was ready for long days at the pool, and long talks over pina coladas!

The AirBnb house was spectacular in more ways than one. The owners did such a lovely job decorating. Here are some pics from the trip.

Check out Andrea’s post about our stay, as well as follow The Weekend House on Instagram @thewkndhouse.

Till next time Palm Springs! Ciao!

Palm Springs Packing List

It is about time for a vacation!! And as much as I love traveling for work (to amazing cities) it’s time I had a trip to myself. This trip to Palm Springs can’t come soon enough, and as a matter of fact I have been day dreaming about it ever since I booked my tickets. So to satisfy my vacation-craving, here are a few essentials that will be in my bag come time to take off.

  • A pool float of course. It obviously it should have palm trees on it (duh.)
  • poolside bag. I absolutely adore the bags from Sun Jellies. So retro and beachy.
  • A classic bathing suit.
  • A pair of big framed sunglasses to sport by the pool.
  • A water bottle to keep hydrated.
  • Flip flops for treking across that poolside hot pavement! I’m not a fan of fancy flip flops. These should be comfortable and waterproof.
  • A sun hat. The older I get, the more I worry about my skin.
  • Lastly, tabloid magazines! Need some easy reading by the pool.
The BHH Float – Float Naked

Atomic Tote – Sun Jellies

Black Swimsuit – Seafolly

Cateye Sunglasses – Target

Water Bottle – Memobottle