Working for an Australian company paid off this fall when I got the opportunity to go to Australia. Talk about a dream come true! The trip came with very little notice and so I am really grateful to all the people who helped me pull everything I needed together. I got to be there for 3 weeks with one week in Sydney and 2 weeks in Brisbane.
I flew through Hong Kong and arrived to stay in Sydney with some distant cousins I had never even met before. They graciously opened their homes and couches to me for a week of fun in Sydney. I was amazed Sydney. I loved the food, the ambiance, the neighbourhoods, the culture, the history. As I travelled around checking out everything there was to see I was even more grateful for my cousins cause Sydney is also very expensive! I saw Manly Beach, The opera house, the rocks, the bridge and all of the cool tourist things but also coole little places I went with my cousins. If breakfast is your favourite meal then Sydney is for you!
Then I headed up to Brisbane where I checked out the city, hugged a koala, fed a kangaroo, ate one of the best meals of my life at Tukka Restaurant, drank a lot of great Australian wine, went down to the gold coast and up the sunshine coast.
I met some nice people, saw some gorgeous views, ate amazing food and made so many memories! Thank you everyone who helped!
ps. I stopped in HK for 9 hours on the way back and got to see a really close friend which topped off my vacation perfectly!
I did it! Actually I have now done it 3 times!
While on a work trip to Australia I bit the bullet and went to a movie alone. Surprisingly it wasn’t too weird. Actually it was pretty fun. So then two nights later while still in Australia I bought tickets to go to an outdoor movie theatre. Normally I would have seen advertisements for a fun activity like that and been sad that I had nobody to go with….but I decided I could do it on my own. So, I saw Crazy, Stupid, Love while sitting in an bean bag lounge chair in sunny Australia drinking wine and eating a cheese plate. Way cool.
Once safely back in Canada I kept the momentum going and saw My Week with Marilyn on a random day off. My question is…why did I wait so long to do this?
Well, Canadian thanksgiving came and I decided to grab the turkey by its legs and cook the whole meal myself. Just over a year ago I bought this cookbook called ‘The Healthiest Meals on Earth’ on the recommendation of a close family friend who told me the black bean brownie recipe was amazing. The book is phenomonal and every recipe we tried was fantastic. In the book there is a menu for a full holiday meal that is healthy and vibrant. It is a great departure from the meal my family usually has at holidays and I decided I would one day like to take on the challenge.
Now that I have this list and the family was coming to my home for Thanksgiving the opportunity presented itself. I asked my parents if it was okay with them if I departed from our usual recipes and did this on my own for ‘my list’ and they agreed(although I think a little reluctantly, but the love me so they indulged). I must add they weren’t hesitant because I can’t cook but because they are very attached to tradition.
The menu for the evening consisted of:
Citrus Stuffed Herbed Turkey
Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus and Broccoli with Toasted Hazelnuts
Holiday Waldorf Salad
Cranberry Orange Relish
Sweet Potato Pie with Almond Oat Crust
With a little help from my sous chef (AKA my sister) at serving time everything turned out perfectly. It was a delicious meal and even my Dad raved about the vegetables. I was extremely proud of this accomplishment from the brined turkey to the homemade pie. I can’t wait to do it again!
I used up all the leftovers too! I made soup, quiche and muffins. I can’t wait to be the chef at another family gathering now!
So, I have officially obtained my first Trip Advisor Badge! I personally use Trip Advisor for planning all of my vacations and I wanted to give back to the community that I depend on for great vacation tips. I have put up a few reviews in the past and want to earn a badge as a reviewer.
I find lots of people review when they have a negative experience and I really want to give reviews of people, companies and places that deserve business especially for travellers. Hard earned vacation time and money needs to be memorable in a good way and a site like Trip Advisor makes that possible for me.
My review of the hotel we stayed at in Mexico earned me my first Trip Advisor Badge. Hopefully as the years and experiences mount I will reach the highest badge and have helped lots of people plan their dream vacations!