Perth – A Reflection One Year Later

•March 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Though I haven’t been writing in this, I’ve been thinking about my Perth trip a lot lately, mainly since we went there a year ago this month. I have far too many photos to post to do them justice, so I think it’s just better if I post the link for your viewing pleasure:

Click here.

There is one photo I would like to share. Which is this one:

Sunset

It’s one of the many photos I took of the sunsets there. Really an amazing thing to witness. The sun just goes down so quickly and eventually disappears behind the horizon. Never really seen anything like it. I look back and remember the feeling of how far I had traveled and this overwhelming sense that I’m so tiny compared to what I was experiencing. It’s hard to describe in words, but if you venture to a part of the world that’s farthest away from your home before you start circling back again, you’ll get it.

Gone!

GONE

I had such a great time there. The weather was beautiful, the view indescribable and as you saw in the previous post, seeing the most happiest dogs on the planet. We were also coming to the end of our 3-month-long renovations. This trip came at a great time because we were able to just relax and not think about our apartment being torn up and dealing with the end of winter. Though the journey took us two days to get there, the reward was well worth it. I got to see the southern cross in the sky, which is only something that you can see in that part of the world. Wild parrots were everywhere and there was even a crow that cawed like a sinister villain. Oh and lets not forget about Tim Tams. For your viewing pleasure, our friend Jason is demonstrating the art of the Tim Tam Slam:

The best part of the video is my drunken self hitting the wine glass with my camera at the end πŸ™‚

In less than two months, my brother and I are embarking on another long journey β€” New Zealand. It’s my 30th birthday present from Dr. Awesome and celebrating my brother getting out of the army. We’re starting out in Christchurch (going on a Lord of the Rings tour to Edoras in the Canterbury) then heading up to Blenheim (wine country), taking a ferry to Wellington, flying north to Auckland (going to Hobbiton on a day trip from there) and then heading to Sydney for 2.5 days before we make our way back home.Β I’m a wee bit excited!

It’s crazy because I didn’t think I would be getting back to that part of the world so soon. But hey, I’m game! (And it’s only 29 hours of traveling this time!)

So that’s what has been going on recently. I still have to post our trip to Las Vegas on here and some other goodies. They’ll be coming more often than before!

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Perth: Life’s a Beach – The Adventure Continues

•December 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

It’s interesting that I decided to write this post now. I just found out that the first winery we visited, Lilac Hill Estate Winery in Caversham, WA, is closing. It’s very sad. They have the best Merlot (from 2009) I’ve ever had. Actually, probably the best wine I’ve ever had. According to Dr. Awesome’s dad, they made that wine by mistake. Best. Mistake. Ever.

Lilac Hill winery. Best 2009 Merlot ever.

I wish there was a way to get the rest of that wine here. We have one bottle left and it’s going to be hard to open. Very sad.

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This is where our friend Jason convinced us that the “Tim Tam Slam” was an actual thing. Pauline, a woman Dr. Awesome’s dad was working with at the university (and who was very nice, along with her husband, to drive us around), asked us if we’ve had Tim Tam’s yet and if we knew about the Tim Tam Slam. I started laughing because we had all thought Jason had made this whole phenomenon up. So, I told her to talk to Jason about it. He thought we put her up to it, but it was a totally natural occurrence. A great memory πŸ™‚

Next door to the winery was a great restaurant that we had lunch atΒ called The Vineyard Restaurant. It had a really pretty setting.

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Afterwards, we headed to another winery called Lamont’s. We found this amusing since that’s where Dr. Awesome, his dad and Jason work.

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Lamont's Winery

And they had wine barrels for sale! Too bad we live on the other side of the world.

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This sounded really good. We ended up buying a Tawny port from them. Haven’t opened it yet.

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The grounds.

If I remember correctly, this day was either one of Jason’s last or his actual last day with us. And he was disappointed he hadn’t seen a kangaroo in the wild. So Pauline and her husband took us to Caversham Wildlife Park. We were told that the Roos here were wild, but if you had a picnic or were just hanging out, they would come over to you and hang. So, we drove around and around (it was REALLY hot outside) and didn’t see any. On our way out, in the distance, we saw one hanging out under the shade of a tree.

The next logical activity to do in all this heat was to head down to the beach! What was cool about the area we were in was that it was a dog beach. These were the happiest dogs I have ever seen. And who could blame them?

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Cottelsoe dog beach!

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I don’t know about you guys, be here in NYC, it was over 70 degrees today. That water looks very enticing. But alas, it’s December and the weather will drop in a few days.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday! Eat, drink and be merry πŸ™‚

Perth: The Beginning

•September 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m embarrassed. There’s been so much going on and I’ve neglected posting about my Australian adventures (along with the rest of my trip to California)! I have so many photos that I’ll start where anyone would β€” the beginning.

Dr. Awesome and I woke up at the bright hour (not really) of 5:00 am. It was the start of our 40-hour journey. Yeah, you read that right: 40 HOURS. Dr. Awesome had some miles to burn and that was the route we were given. You could probably do Perth in about 29 hours normally. Our route was NYC>LAX>Japan>Singapore>Perth. We left on February 26 and were getting there on February 28. It was a bit daunting to think about.

Of course our flight leaving NYC took off a bit late and we weren’t sure when we landed at LAX if we were going to make our connecting flight. But we did. And it was Singapore Airlines, the most magical airline to ever exist. This was my first time flying to Asia, and landing Singapore Airlines on the way there made the trip so much easier to endure. Don’t believe me? Here is some photo evidence:

Singapore airlines
USB ports! (On the right.)

Singapore Airlines before take off from LA

That’s one of the flight attendants. She was beautiful, as were they all. This plane was so big that here were the seating arrangement orders: Suites (yes, SUITES), First Class, Business and Economy. We were in the last category, BUT it really didn’t feel like it. The seats were arranged in 2-4-2 and we got two to ourselves. It was so roomy.

Dr. Awesome looking at the channel guide

We had a whole extra cubby on the left side of us, which was great. We also had tons of options to watch as well. To top it all off, we got a menu booklet! The food on the airline was amazing and they pushed us to drink water the whole way. It was about a 12-hour flight to Japan. It was really the first time I was able to fall asleep on a plane for an extended amount of time. We were only in Japan for about 2 hours tops (I wish it was more) and then it was off to Singapore, another 8-hour flight. What was really cool about flying into Singapore was seeing a ton of river boats on the water all lit up. I had never seen anything like it. (Unfortunately, we landed while it was dark, both ways, so I couldn’t get a photo.)

Singapore airport

The airport was so clean and modern (and totally up on social media in that photo). In order to feel human again (we landed 2 days later), we took showers and walked around. It was about 4:00 am there and not much was open. It was also really humid.

Koi pond in Singapore airport. They were huge.

They have this amazing Koi pond. I have never seen Koi so huge! It blew my mind.

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I don’t even think these photos do the fish justice. It’s too bad we weren’t going to be there when the feeding happening. That would’ve been fun to see.

A couple of hours later, we were finally out to our destination: Perth. It was another 5-hour plane ride. It had felt like I had just dozed off when Dr. Awesome nudged me awake and told me to look out the window:

First view of Australia

My first view of Australia. It was amazing and overwhelming at the same time. Even though I had always wanted to go there, never did I think I would actually make it. Unfortunately, we also flew over this:

Bush Fire from the Plane

A huge bush fire that was happening. When we landed, it was all over the news.

Dr. Awesome and I got to his parents apartment around 3:00 pm. We stayed up as late as we could in order to get on a normal schedule. We made sure to stay up in order to see this:

First Australian Sunset

An amazing sunset from their balcony. That’s the Indian Ocean. It just goes on and on and always has those tanker ships on it which is an incredible sight.

After passing out and waking up at some weird hour, we ventured to the farmer’s market in Fremantle, a town right outside of Cottesloe, by rail. They had all sorts of produce and other shops. We were able to get local cheese and beef jerky, as well as other things to supplement our meals.

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These were amazing. We ate them every day for breakfast.

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Various cheese

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We had the Kytren Goat from WA

We had the Kytren Goat. It was amazing.

Had the Tarago Triple Cream from Victoria

We also had the Tarago Triple Cream and a cheddar from Tasmania.

Beef Jerky (basically)

Basically beef jerky.

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Huge vats of paella!

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They also carried interesting beauty products.

We then took a walk around Fremantle and headed to a famous fish and chip place to grab some lunch (as well as go to a fish monger’s to get our dinner).

Fremantle

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Fish & Chips at Cicerello

Fish and Chips at Cicerello. We also had their salt and pepper squid which was amazing. That dish was everywhere.

Jason and his Tim Tams

Jason and his proud find of Tim Tams. They’re interesting. More on that in another post.

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The fish market. They had scallops from the U.S. (um) and so many different types of snapper: red, coral, etc. I had never heard of so many.

We finished off the afternoon at Sail and Anchor. This is one of my favorite photos of the trip:

Dr. Dendro & Dr. Awesome at Sail & Anchor

I was pretty much done after that. Between the heat and the jet lag, I was a mess.

Next post: wineries and the dog beach!

Pumpkin Beer Quest 2013 Beer #1: Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale

•September 22, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Today, September 22, is the first day of fall. And to celebrate that, I begin my annual pumpkin beer quest to find the best pumpkin beer. (As a side note, Dr. Awesome just rolled his eyes at me. Whatever. He likes IPAs. Overrated!)

We start with a beer that slipped through my fingers last year: Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale. It’s a limited edition, so when I saw it in the store this year, I had to grab it up.

First #pumpkinbeer I the season. #pumpkinbeerquest

 

Being a general fan of Sam Adams brewing, I figured that they would do it right. And they do. There’s just the right amount of spices that blends with the ale so that one is not overpowering the other. A pretty solid showing. The only thing is that I don’t know if I would want to drink more than one, so maybe that means something. They actually use pumpkins in the brewing too, which is cool.

It’s really amazing to see how much pumpkin beer (and everything else pumpkin) has blown up. The market has definitely become over saturated. It used to be really exciting when this time of year came around and it was so hard to find pumpkin anything. Now, it’s everywhere you turn. I think the rareness of it all was part of the fun. But hey, I’m a pumpkin fanatic, so I really shouldn’t be complaining too much πŸ™‚

I think next year, I’m going to try brewing my own batch. I know it’ll take some time getting the recipe right, but it’ll be a fun venture. Plus, it’ll be the ultimate pumpkin beer.

There and Back Again – A Canterbury Tale by Rori Baggins

•September 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Today is September 12, 2013 and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. Why? It marks 10 years since I left to study abroad in Canterbury. I think about it and can’t believe that much time has passed by and that I’ve known my overseas friends for that long. I had turned 20 a couple of months before and also got my first (and huge) back tattoo.

Luckily I had parents that talked me into staying for a full year. I was skeptical, but when I came home for winter break, I was so happy that I was going back.

TIme has changed Canterbury a bit, as it does with every place, but a lot of it has stayed the same. My honeymoon with Dr. Awesome was the first time I had been back since I studied abroad in London for my master’s. That was seven year ago.

That experience really shaped me into the person I am today. It opened me up to a whole new culture and also introduced me to people from all over the world. I was way out of my comfort zone when I had got there (even though I had been to England before). All of a sudden, I was allowed to go into a bar and drink! And lets just say, I built up a huge tolerance with many pints of beer.

My friend had introduced me to the comic genius of Ricky Gervais by showing me The Office. On Monday, I had seen him speak at the Times Center. It made me feel like I had come full circle.

And now, I post some photos from 10 years ago. Say what you want about the quality of the photos, but that camera is still kicking!

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Record store. Never went in.

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Canterbury Cathedral. It never gets old.

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Chaucerwalkway

The buses from town would squeeze through there. (West Gate) It was cool to experience.

Ben & West Gate, Canterbury

And not so much anymore. (See the van going around it?)

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The view of the cathedral from the University of Kent at Canterbury. It was an amazing view that I got to see every day.

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West Gate gardens.

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My address was Farthings Court. And then someone took off the “h”. Hehe. And yeah, I took photos of EVERYTHING.

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The cathedral gate.

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I’m drunk. We were outside. Someone was taking a photo of us and then someone on the inside banged on the glass. Epic.

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High Street.

And now, I take you to London (for one photo) and Stone Henge. Just two of the many trips I took during my time there.

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At the Tate Modern. (London)

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It was windy. And I still make that face.

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A really cool cloud formation. We were walking back from the henge to Salisbury. We went to the cathedral which has the Magna Carta.

Here are a few photos from mine and Dr. Awesome’s trip last year.

Beginning of High Street, Canterbury

The beginning of High Street.

Best Fish & Chips

The best fish and chip shop in the town: City Fish Bar. And it still is. Dr. Awesome was impressed. We had many, many meals here. One of my friends wanted to try everything on the menu before we left. They had fried mushrooms, mars bars, etc. He never did get to try it all.

City Fish & Chip Bar

Peek of the Cathedral

Cathedral Gate

Canterbury Cathedral

Still looks the same!

Inside the Cathedral

Cloisters 1

Cloisters 3

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2003

Ale in Canterbury Pub 2

Nothing’s changed, cept my hair color, glasses and probably wrinkles πŸ™‚

High Street

More High Street. Looks almost the same.

Canterbury West Station/UKC

The sign at Canterbury West station where we caught the high speed train (new!) back to London. Took us 50 minutes. When I was at school, could take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2. Definitely nice that we could go round trip this time and not be on the train forever.

Thanks for taking this trip back in time with me. I’m glad that Dr. Awesome indulged me during our honeymoon so I could show him the place that had a huge impact in my life. I can’t wait to go back πŸ™‚

 
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