Picture by Nathan Barro: Lake Nagu Nagu, Queensland, Australia

Monday, 25 November 2013

Travel Tip: Take a Hanger!

Todays travel tip is pretty simple.  Take a plastic clothes hanger with you on holiday.  They cost a few dollars from the store and they can save you money in the long run.

When you holiday in hotels and on cruises it is often hard to find a way to wash and dry your clothes.  On our upcoming trip we have access to very little in the way of laundry services so I always carry one or two of these in my luggage to help me out.  I wash and hang small light items on it in a doorway or window.  They are really good for getting swimwear dry and they tend to be able to clip onto to most things.  Another bonus - they weigh very little so no need to worry about weight restrictions and they fold pretty much flat.  Also if you come to the end of your trip and you have limited space you can leave them behind because they didn't cost much.

I also always carry with me my trusted bar of Sard Wonder Soap so I can wash my clothes in the bathroom sink etc and I don't have to worry about it leaking etc. like liquids might.

With these two items laundry on the go is so much easier.

Friday, 8 November 2013

Travel Tip TIme: Travel Journals

I know I've talked about travel journals before and how much I value them and think they are a wonderful momento and resource to have so I won't go into that again.

BUT, my travel tip today is to keep a travel journal while you travel.  I always keep one and often have a nice notebook that I record several trips in although I have bought journals specific to travelling before as well and they worked just as well.  

Today I am sharing a couple of ways you can journal.

I always encourage my kids to journal at least some part of our holidays and on our last big trip overseas I made them these journals.  I bought an A5 sketchbook from Big W and covered it in fabric.  They were able to write in it as well as stick in tickets etc.  There is also room left in these books for more trips.

On another trip to Fiji I made them a simple book by buying an exercise book from the newsagent and covering it with some paper and stickers.  You can see a blog post about them here and a picture of them is below.

This trip Emma found a travel journal in Smiggle that she really liked so we have decided that she will be taking that one away.  The good thing is it has lots of sections she can tick and list and draw so the writing won't be so tedious for her.  The link to all the information is here.

I also found via Pinterest a printable page that you can use to make your own travel journal for the kids which is very tempting for Nathan because it doesn't need much writing (he really doesn't like to write much while we are away).  It looks like this and the link is here.

As for me I have a journal that is not full yet so I will continue to write in it.  It is just a A5 notebook that I picked up in Typo.  

Last trip I did have a specific journal though which was also from Typo and looked like this:

You can also read about my journal idea of collecting postcards as you travel here.

Happy Travels!

Thursday, 31 October 2013

St Michael's Mount, UK

I was reminded of a place we visited during our trip to the UK a couple of years ago while I was searching Pinterest the other day and thought it was worth a share.

It was a bit of a miserable day and it was really cold (to my standards anyway) but we weren't disappointed in visiting St Michael's Mount at all.  The official website link is here.

This is what it looks like from the mainland (the tide has come in in this photo).  It is a gorgeous old castle that is cut off from the mainland when the tide comes in.  There is a stone pathway from the mainland to the island which you walk across when the tide is out but is not accessible when the tide comes in as it covers in water.  One thing we did not know when we visited was that the tide comes in really quickly and covers the whole pathway to at least knee deep in about 10 minutes. 

Here's our story.  When we arrived it was a bit rainy so we decided to head into this gorgeous little cafe for a hot chocolate and cake while we waited for the rain to ease and to warm ourselves up.  Don't you love those skinny corner buildings?

Then we started our walk along the paved walkway to the castle.  You have to walk across some beach first like you can see in this picture.  The pathway is on the left just out of sight.

This is what the pathway looked like as we started the short walk across.

And below is a photo of the path once we had reached the other side (literally 10 minutes later).  Can you see that the tide has started coming in and covered the pathway?  Well we actually couldn't cross quick enough and ended up in the middle with very wet feet! (not good when you are already cold!). We still crossed to the other side wet feet and all.

Here is another shot of the pathway under water and can you see the people still trying to get across?  Mad I say, they were really walking in the cold water with their pants rolled up past their knees.

Once we were on the island the castle was just beautiful.  The one thing I love about England is all the history and buildings that are amazing.  I loved the stone walls that surrounded the castle and the archways and paths.

This was the little shop which of course I had to sticky beak in, really cute.

After a good look around the time came to get back to shore.  The tide was obviously still in so we had to catch this little boat back to the mainland for a small fee.

 And I thought I would finish with a picture when I was back on the mainland.  This place is totally worth a visit if you are close but I would recommend that you check the tide times first!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Photo Share: Champagne Bay

Today is a photo share here on the blog.  I was looking through the photos from our P & O Cruise of the South Pacific and thought it would be nice to share a few from our day spent during our cruise at the gorgeous Champagne Bay.

We spent the day looking at the local market stalls, relaxing on the beach and swimming.  Nathan and Emma even got to taste some local fare and get up close and personal with the wildlife.

 Local market stalls

Our view of the ship

 Amazing and beautiful turquoise water

 Fresh crabs kept alive by the waves and then cooked by the locals for lunch

 Enjoying fresh coconut

 And the wildlife

 A great place for swimming

  Amazingly friendly locals and gorgeous little people

If you go searching for a cruise or have one booked and Champagne Bay is on the itinerary you won't be disappointed.

Monday, 7 October 2013

10 Places to put on your travel list soon

I don't need any reason to travel somewhere, I am most happy when I am thinking about new adventures we're going to have or reminiscing about ones already had.  I love the whole concept of travel from the planning and anticipation leading up to the trip to actually experiencing it to remembering it later.

I found this on the internet and thought it was interesting and that I would share it.  There are so many places on this list that I would absolutely love to visit.... I better get working on them. It's also just a really interesting read.

(source: HERE)

Venice is on the top of my list.

I'll be helping Nathan pack for school camp tomorrow and I have a good travel tip relating to that so I'll be back with that when we're done and I have a photo.

*I just realised that the picture is too small to read on the blog so if you click on the source you'll be able to see it more clearly.  I can't get it to go any bigger*

Monday, 30 September 2013

A Quick Trip to Kirra - What We Got Up To

On Friday when school was out for our 2 week spring holiday I decided to do a bit of internet surfing and came across a great deal with our vacation company, Wyndham, for a few nights at Kirra Beach on the Gold Coast so I jumped right in and booked it.  The kids and I had the week free and it was the perfect short break.  The only thing was that Anthony was at work so it meant a solo trip for me and the kids which I was a bit concerned about but really was nothing to worry about at all. 

(Our resort)

Day 1
When I booked I said that we would be parking the car and spending our time between the  beach and pool.  Unfortunately when we arrived the weather was grey and windy and cold so this idea didn't seem like it was feasible.


There is a beautiful shared pathway all along the coastline so we spent the afternoon walking and checking out the area.  We had a good pie from the local bakery and the kids played in the park.  Then we headed to our unit to check in and warm up!

Day 2
Luckily when we woke the next morning the day was glorious and the view from our balcony looked like this.

Of course, as with most holidays we go on, my plans of beach and pool went out the window when the kids decided they really wanted to go to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. We have never been there before and our resort had a 50% off deal so we decided that was for us.  It only took us about 5 minutes to drive there from our resort so that was a big bonus.

Can you tell that my kids love to act out their photos?  Here they are being prepared for eating by a big python!

The animals were lovely here, it is a really great place to see Australian animals, they are plentiful.  I personally don't like kangaroos much and I'm never a fan of going to feed and pat them.  I find them a bit scatty and they often scratch and jump up at little ones etc.  BUT, this was an excellent enclosure, they had volunteers wandering around and helping tourists to do the right thing around the animals and in return they had very friendly and relaxed kangaroos.  We spent a lot of time in this enclosure.

Nathan went on the parks new attraction which is a high ropes course.  I paid $10 extra and he got fitted up and off he went.  He completed three different ropes courses all with different difficulties.  He loved it and was gone for 90 minutes or so.  The value for money was excellent and I had one very happy little boy! (if you arrive unprepared like I did you can hire closed in shoes and socks etc there)

During our animal sightings this was one of our favourites and this little echidna was super friendly too.  The kids had a little pat.

At Currumbin they have quite a big hospital unit where they help sick and injured animals.  You could walk right around it and watch them working on animals and they had some interactive stations too.  Here you can see Nathan bandaging up a koala and Emma is preparing to stitch up a snake.

We also measured our wingspan at the hospital.

Another great section of the park was Wild Island where the kids got to dig for fossils, climb and play in a great playground and ride on a flying fox.  They were very happy in here.

Luckily the day was nice and hot and sunny so when we got back to the resort we packed our bags and headed across the road to the beach.

The kids boogie boarded and played in the sand while I sat and read my magazine.  The best bit about Kirra Beach is that it is nice and quiet.  Just around the corner is Coolangatta which is super busy but here you almost have the  beach to yourself and you still are lucky enough to have life guards etc.

Day 3
On our last full day we had a lazy morning watching the skydivers landing on the beach in front of our resort.

We had quite a lot of games of putt putt which was at our resort.

And we hired some bikes from our resort (they cost $5 per hour) and rode along that beautiful coastline on the shared pathway.

We were able to ride to Coolangatta and back in 15 minutes so it shows you how close it is to there.  

We ended our last full day with some swimming in the pool until it got dark and we had to have some dinner.

Day 4
On our last morning before check out we visited the roof top viewing area of our resort to check out the view one last time. 

One really good thing about our Wyndham resorts is that check out is at 12 noon so you always have a bit of time on your last morning to do something.  The kids went to kids club too on our last day and had a great time, for $2 each they made sock puppets, played ten pin bowls and played other grass games.

Sometimes those impromptu short breaks turn out to be the best ones.  If you are thinking about a trip down to the Gold Coast, look up Kirra it is close to everything and yet still quiet and not too touristy.