Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Have fun, we are out on the boat and.have.been for a few days now, enjoying a Gold Coast NY.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A NINKERING Noel

So there is nothing like arriving home 1 week before Christmas after having just spent 3 weeks being waited on hand and foot, not having to lift a finger, doing nothing .... but get up and walk to a meal to bring you back into the reality of life.

We had not prepared anything prior to going, and there really wasn't anything to buy as pressies on the cruise or destinations we went to ..... so we were totally unprepared.

Arriving home though the girls had decided to ensure we did not forget Christmas ( I do think they thought we might say, we are going away for Christmas)  and had put all the decorations up - it was lovely to walk into your home and have all your decorations up (thank god for Facebook), apparently they looked at last years photos to ensure everything was in the right place.

For those who don't know, the only souvenirs I collect in my travels are Christmas Decorations (Derek, well he likes T Shirts), and I am very particular on where these go.  Over the years I have collected 100's of these from all parts of the world and I love to get them out of their packets (receipts etc still intact) , to remind me of all the wonderful memories of places we have been, people we have been with at the time etc and as a family we tend to reminisce of the stories of what we did in that place, talk about the people we were with at the time etc.. Its a good thing to collect as who wants a house full of this stuff all year, but Santa on a Gondola, or Frosty the Snowman holding the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the 3 Wise Men (bought in Bethlehem) etc are so lovely at Christmas and most people who come over during the Christmas period are keen to see the latest in the collection.  This year we were able to secure a new Christmas Stocking from Raffles in  Singapore, a bell from Brunei (if the place doesn't have real Christmas decorations I get a bell - every Country, City and Town seems to have these) and I Climbed the Harbour Bridge Bauble. 

So arriving home with just over a week before Christmas, 2 suit cases full of dirty clothes, a house decorated, but in need of a real clean and nothing prepared, we were for the first time in 3 months under the hammer to preform and on a deadline.  The only deadlines or dates we have had to remember for 3 months were airport times .... so this was a bit of kick in the guts and being as relaxed as what we have been at first seemed a bit daunting.

The Crossley Christmas is usually a big affair starting early on Christmas Eve and this year was not going to be an exception ..... so first things first. For the full album A Crossley Christmas Dec 12

The remains of the day - I hope you had a great Christmas
Washing - and outsource the ironing (tick)
Cleaning, house inside and out (tick)
Scroll through the cook books (about 40) to find the right things for this year (yes I like to change each year, explore new themes that meet with the traditional) which takes considerable time to write all potential items down, the book they are in, the page number and then cull from there, make shopping lists, make to do lists (to be honest I haven't had a to do list for 3 months and I haven't missed it, but its the only way to get everything done)
Shop, Shop, Shop and yes Shop again and ooh ya , more shopping

After many hours of trolling through cook books the menu was decided with some 30 receipts from 9 cook books and this did not include the basics such as Pork, Turkey, Ham, and general Christmas Yummies (White Christmas, Fruit Mince Pies, Xmas cake etc).  Shopping lists prepared and itemised into the days they would be bought, and receipts itemised on the days they would be made - but given I hate shopping Christmas Eve, everything had to finished being purchased by Saturday and cooking (some 36 real hours started Friday).
Yummie Corner

So what was on the menu you ask - well here is a taste of it

Xmas Eve Morning

Ham and Eggs for Brekky
Yummie Corner (we have a corner of the house we designate to yummies for all occasions, Christmas, Birthdays, Easter even Halloween) stage 2 - as we had some family over on the weekend so that was Stage 1.
Peach and Lemon Iced Tea (home made)

Xmas Eve Lunch - for 6 Tapas

Salmon Pinwheels
Zucchini Fajitas
Crab Tarts
Crab Stuff Tomatoes
Roast Pumpkin Dip
Basil and Cashew Pesto
Lamb Meat Balls and Taziki
Chirizo Empandas
Thai Fish Cakes
Home made marinated Fetta
Assortment of breads with assortments of oils for dipping  
Ginger Fizz (blended pineapple and lime juice mixed with Ginger beer and Mint very refreshing)




Top up Yummie Corner - Round 3

Xmas Eve Dinner Hot and very Traditional - for 8 (enough to be left over for Christmas and Boxing Day)

Roasted in the PM and immediately carved and served
Roast Pork 
Road Beef  with Yorkshire Puds
Cracking the Bon Bon & I won
Roast Apricot Seasoned Chicken 
Roast Stuffed Turkey 
Previously Made and Heated on the night
Sweet Potato Crumble
Roast Vegetable Pie
Glazed Onions with Roasted Capsicum
Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms 
Mashed Potato
Sauces (Apple, Cranberry, Horseradish)
Gravy
Assortment of wines and champagne


Plumb Pudding, Chocolate and Caramel Pudding - Custards, Cream - Hot

Xmas Day Morning

Yummie corner round 4 (all too full for any further breakfast)

Lunch for 9

All meats from Xmas Eve cold, plus ham - so platters of cold meats
Vietnamese Pork Salad
Noodle Salad
Tomato, Feta and Red Onion Salad
Bacon, Egg and Potato Salad
Heated up leftover from Christmas Eve

Maple Syrup Nectarines
Mango Mess
Chocolate Date Filo
Tiramasu 
Fruit Platters

Christmas Day 2nd Family and Left over others (another 4 people) - cold deserts from lunch, and more drinks

Boxing Day - all left overs

So as you can see no mean cook, preparation and cleaning up feat!  All was beautiful, with a good array of different tastes for each meal.

The Crazy Crossley Girls 
Overall though it was a good day and very enjoyable.  It was great to have fantastic weather as it seems like many years since it was a perfect Christmas Day, where you could sit inside in the air conditioning  but outside as well without it raining or being boiling but still hot enough to enjoy a swim in the pm to let all the food settle down.

What did I enjoy most about this Christmas was not working, Derek not working more so  we were able to enjoy doing these preparation things together with no time limits and no phones and emails going - even if I was off prior to Christmas I would have to do all of these things by myself as Derek never stopped the week before Christmas so it was great to have him around to help clean up, wash up and do taste testing.  As I mentioned in a previous blog I am loving cooking again and being able to take the time to do everything properly by the receipt - everything turned out perfectly as I prepared one thing at a time - very very relaxing and enjoyable.The other great thing was while some of us started early on Christmas Eve, Danni (Daughter 2 and Derek always worked up to at least 5pm on Christmas Eve - and even Danni got this Christmas Eve off so everyone was home on Christmas Eve morning so we had 2 great full days together which was fantastic).

As always though as much as I love Christmas I personally can't wait to get my house back to my house less decorations,pressies lying around everywhere etc so all signs of these things were down and put away again for another year by 2pm.

Finished that and headed off to try Dereks latest toy he got for Christmas - a metal detector (we have to make money somehow lol)  and  off we went to get out of the house after nearly 6 days inside cleaning and cooking - what did we find? - will let you know next blog.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and if you are like me you are looking forward to a new and exciting year with 2013!  Stay safe.

jac





Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just Crusin' - Asia - Diamond Princess


Overview:  3  smiles - Too many at sea days - got a bit boring even for me there is only so much sun baking one can do.

Cost: 3 smiles - just under $10K

Bangkok, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Darwin, Port Douglas, Sydney - 5 Countries

So about $250 per person/day for 19 days including: 


  • Flights to Bangkok
  • Accommodation in Bangkok 1 night
  • Transfers
  • 18 days on the Diamond Princess
  • Tours
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Entertainment
  • Souvenirs 
  • Shopping etc

While we got the cruise at a great price most everything else was at top dollar and of course the at sea days rack up the drinks and other costs while on the boat.  

I suppose now we have just about been everywhere in Asia so overall it was a good way to see these areas - I can now tick off this and except for Singapore I doubt any of the other places we would go back to, so from that perspective it was good value.

Favorite things:


  • Vietnam
  • Harbour Bridge Climb
  • Singapore


Check out all the links below for each blog, photos and videos!

Diamond Princess:  

Probably too big for our liking, just too many people and we were still getting lost on the last day as we had to meet in a bar we had not been before.  The boat was beautiful though. We did however learn a lot about cruising that we had not realised before 

a) check the ports - Darwin and Port Douglas were pretty uninspiring especially after so many days at sea
b) check the amount of at sea days - 4 days is pretty boring unless you want to drink all day or play silly deck games, go to shows etc
c) check the size of the boat and how many people it holds - our last cruise was 500 people but this one was full at 3000 people too many for my liking 

For all the stories, pics and videos, check out the following blogs:-

http://ninker.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/bangkok-vietnam-singapore-5-days-in.html
http://ninker.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/a-taste-of-vietnam.html
http://ninker.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/a-slice-of-singapore.html
http://ninker.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/brunei.html
http://ninker.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/darwin-day.html
http://ninker.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/port-douglas-to-sydney.html


Port Douglas to Sydney

So we said goodbye to Darwin and started another long leg at sea - 3 days and headed to Port Douglas.  Not much to say on this given we have been there many times but it was again good to get off the boat, stretch the legs.  Port Douglas was pretty rough as we had to get tendered to shore - a lot of grey faces on these tenders.  Isn't it funny that people on a cruise look at a tender and go "I don't like boats, it looks rough" funny I would have thought travelling on the sea was something you would have gotten use to.  As I said to Derek, I bet if the boat were sinking they would have pushed there way to get on first. 

Tendering back to the boat - rough as

The stop at PD was pretty uneventful, but gave us a warning of what was to be our Queensland leg of the journey for the next 2 days - wet, rough seas, windy (all coming from the cyclone off Fiji/Samoa).  Plenty of sick people as decks were closed. Welcome to Sunny Queensland - not this time.  It was such a shame as I would have suspected the trip down the coast through the Whitsundays would have been spectacular if the weather was good and seas calm, but not to be this time.

 Thursday as we headed into Sydney Harbor - it was a beautiful fine and sunny day, with slight seas - Sydney put on her best for us and it was absolutely perfect, with dolphins following us in all the way.  While we have been through Sydney Heads a million time (maybe a slight exaggeration) this was so perfect being up so high, on the decks, everyone out, deck parties, Peter Allen video playing I still call Australia Home and all good Aussie songs being streamed out it did bring a tear to the eye, unfortunately we were unable to partake in the drinking fest given we were getting off to do the Harbour Bridge Climb and breath testing for zero alcohol was needed.


Climbed the bridge - and have to say this is a fabulous exciting thing to do - and would highly recommend it, while it seems a little scary to begin with, it wasn't as hard as I had expected and the views are to die for.  Well done Bridge Climb, great commentary, great climb, great process, great experience one I know we will remember forever.  


Sydney Shots



Darwin Day

So after 4 long days at Sea we finally got into Darwin - uuuum not the most exotic port after so long but where keen to get onto terrafirma - so push and shoved our way out onto shore at 7.30am.

On the map the city looked a fair distance so though we would take the shuttle bus organised at port.  What a bloody rip off $28 for 2 people - and to be honest it took us about 500 meters (not good enough Darwin).

So we walked around the city of course all shops where closed -for a city like this you would have thought a boat in port with 3000 people on board the shops would have opened to capture some extra bucks but no oooh thats right we are back in Australia where retail complains about the lack of sales but don't take the opportunities to make money when it's available.

So a walk around the city, back down to the bay area and its am   Ooooh dear what to do, its so hot that sweat is dripping off us but really didn't want to go back on the boat yet - too soon and given we have the next 3 days at sea we definitely needed something else to do.  

Helicopter ride here we come - one of the best ways to see any place - no walking, no sweating but getting a good look at everything.  

Got picked up at 10am and went to Charles Darwin national park, where the Helicopter was parked (somewhere around here according to the pilot), he found the keys where are conveniently hidden under a rock, and off we went. If you are ever in Darwin highly recommend Coolibah Air -coolibah-air.com.au


WOW fantastic trip - great commentary, great scenery, great fun. So we got the exhilaration we were looking for, got to see probably more than most and had a great time as well.  Got back on the boat for about 1ish where we took a well earnt dip in the pool.  

Darwin at this time of year is hot there is no denying that, and as usual this is cooled down by late after noon storms - and just as we were about to leave port in it came.

Check out Darwin by Air Album


Brunei

Ummm, not my most favorite place in the world and this where a cruise is great, if you really don't like somewhere well its generally only 1 day.  Of course the day didn't start well when Derek was sent back to change from his long shorts & T Shirt (which we wore in Egypt, Turkey and Palatine last year) into long pants and long sleeved shirt (the only ones he had where those we wore to dinner) so him and a lot of men didn't start the day very happy as it was extremely hot and humid.

To be honest I thought it was a country paved in gold and expected it to be much cleaner, nicer, modern than what it ended up being.  I was shocked by the devastation of the forests which one of tours we did  to see the wild Borneo monkeys in their natural habitat - but alas the stench of the polluted water ways was over powering and of course there were hundreds of boats doing the same thing to get a small glimpse of 1 loan monkey which just made me so sad.  As people pushed each other to try and get a shot of it where only a few trees remain with industry right behind them and the junk and remains of construction all around or the giant monitor lizards on the shores climbing over rubbish was just so sad.  I was so saddened by this that I elected not to take photos.

Of course the Palace is Gold, the Mosques where Gold, the Museum  was dripping in Gold to be frank there is no hiding the wealth in these areas and yes there were some lovely streets but overall these where few and far between.

I am always gob smacked when on tours they take you to places like the local markets which just about made everyone vomit the stench was so bad.

The people though love to tell you they don't pay taxes, they get free education, free hospitals, only pay 30 cents a litre for petrol and can apply once married with a child for a free house (which takes 9 years to get) so they are truly conned even though its sprinkling gold dust and I would have thought with a population of less than 400,000 the generosity would have be further extended as most people seemed to be living in poverty, in areas not much better than Egypt.  No more sorry didn't like it, wouldn't go back but glad I saw.

The Brunei Album

To experience the water village check out our video Brunei Water Village

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Slice of Singapore

How different can two countries be that are so close - Vietnam with its bright colors, crazy bikers, and what seems like a natural culture and Singapore so modern, clean, organised.

Started the day with a breakfast at the zoo - we thought this meant seeing the animals getting fed breaky so we had already had our breakfast on the boat - but that was fine because it gave us more time to look around this incredible zoo where a lot of animals are just walking the streets or jumping over you, and really nothing enclosed as such.  

It was hot hot hot though and the sweat was poring off us, so when that trip finished (3 hours or so), we jumped into a cab to do the next most natural thing one needs to do when in Singapore - yes you guessed it go to Raffles and have a Singapore Sling (only one each though at $35 each it was pretty expensive), but hey you only live once and it was worth it - very thirst quenching, yummy and served with a smile.

Yep we will go back to Singapore in the next 12 months and experience a bit more of its shopping, beaches, and the new Bay area. 

 Here is the full Slice of Singapore Album

Check out the video of the baby Orangutan

A Taste of Vietnam

WOW what a bustling place Vietnam is!  Bright, colorful, clean and alive but unlike a lot of Asian cities clean and yet still natural as people go about their daily business.  Watch out for the motor bikes though - they are absolutely crazy!


We got to see a lot in 1 day driving nearly 6 hours throughout the day, had a fabulous time in a traditional water village, tasting all their wonderful foods and customs.  Going up the Mekong Delta as well was exciting and hectic crazy as well, but a fantastic day.  Our guide Ben was delightful with all his great stories.


For a taste of Vietnam click here Vietnam Photos




Friday, November 30, 2012

Bangkok, Vietnam, Singapore - 5 days in

How many smiles:  3 so far

Whynot my normal 5 smiles? Well like most things that involve international travel its tiring, but generally its been great so far.  So a quick update on our adventures so far, given internet is a bit like gold when your on a boat so dont have much time but will do a full update on our return.

Sunday:  Brisbane to Bangkok

Pretty good flight overall flying Thai - only 8 hours so not too long, and I actually thought the food was the best I have ever had on any flight so good work Thai, but the rest of the service was just a bit ho hum.

Arrived in Bangkok at 8.30 Bangkok time (so 11.30 for us) and after being up at 4am it was seeming like a long day - got to the Pathawana Princess around 11.30 Bangkok timeand of course when you are only staying overnight dead tired they upgrade you a beautiful suite, but hey I will take it.

Breaky was great and before you knew it we were being picked up for our 3 hour car ride to the port (yes 3 hours), grrrrrr - must say didnt really like Bangkok all that much in the light of day and a few hours having a stroll around - so not ont he return list.

Monday:  Boarding the Diamond Princess

WOW what do I say about this boat - so much bigger on anything we have ever been on and opulance plus - very nice - but it was all pretty much chaos at the port but once on all good and of course a surge of excitment was there as we spent the first few hours before sailing exploring the ship.

Met our table buddies for the cruise and it looks like it was a match made in heaven, all are just like us - ie:  happy to have a great time a dinner and not needing to be in each others pockets.

Tuesday:  At Sea

Nice to sleep in, and have a bit of rest today - spent the day around the pool, doing a bit of baking (sun baking that is), eating, getting ready for the first Formal night (getting hair done, getting Tux ordered etc) it was a bit too early for me but hey - its done and over





Wednesday:  Vietnam

Big day but had lots of fun on the Meekong Delta Cruise excursion - the drive though was 3 hours there and 3 hours back, but generally saw a great amount of the country side, the boat ride up the Meekong in the Sampans was great, we visited a small village and had a some lovely food samples - then on another little boat ride but this one wasnt quite as comfortable.

Thursday:  At Sea

Wasnt feeling great today, I guess we had had a big week and after a few hours sunbaking, we actually had a 4 hour Nanna Nap and woke up had a light dinner and sat by the pool on the special blankies and watch Movies under the stars.

Friday:  Singapore
Wow loved Singapore - started out with a Breaky at the Zoo, and had a few great hours there with the animilas then got back, jumped in a cab and went to Raffles to go and suck down a Singapore Sling ($65 for 2 drinks but you know it was really worth it).  Great day

Sum Up:  great week all in all - more on our return



Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Super Hornets Fly Over the GC

Such a fabulous feeling today to be able to go down to Main Beach and watch the Super Hornets fly over - another great thing about NINKERing, being able to partake in things that are going on around you.


Did you miss them over Brisbane and Goldy today, well don't worry here is a small video  and some pics - it was such a perfect day for this - up on the new Main Beach Jetty, water quality fantastic, skys as blue as.

For all the shots click on the link All Super Hornet Shots
video

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The endless Saturday week - Sun, Sand and Surf


As I write these blogs I often think to myself - WOW how fast has that week gone - and this week was no exception.  It seems like the week was just one endless Saturday - and I suppose that's what NINKERing is about - just one endless Saturday.  You know the feeling .....  wake up Saturday morning - perhaps after a little sleep in, take your time, no rushing, no traffic, nothing urgent needing to be done - just a day in front of you to do whatever you want.  Its hard to believe we have been NINKERing for 7 weeks now.

Summary of the week:

Relaxometer:  5 smiles - yes we are getting pretty slow now
Cost:  well just our standard grocery costs and a bit of petrol (nothing much) - 5 smiles



Sure you have to have some plans - otherwise NINKERing would get a little boring but the week of an endless Saturday is fantastic.

After a terrible weather weekend last weekend, we awoke to a beautiful Monday and got out on the boat.  Over the last few years this so annoyed me, wet weekend, and then beautiful on Monday to go back to work - now its a bonus. Originally this is what we were going to do on a regular basis, but so many other things to be done,new things to explore and places to go.  I hate to say it I am a fair weather sailor so a boatie week it was.

What do we do out on the boat - to be honest not much but it is incredible how fast the days seem to pass, but with a bit of fishing here and there, a bit of exploring in the tender, chugging to a new spot each day, finding nice beaches to go for a walk on, reading, photography and of course taking Teddy out the days seem to fly past so quickly and before you know it, you are watching another beautiful sunset or sunrise.  The water isn't quite warm enough yet for me to swim, you know that just dive in temp, but its still nice to have a paddle. It seems though that during the week there are heaps of NINKERs out there doing just the same as us - loved this boats sail - probably sums up heaps of boaties out there during the week!  Its probably a good idea to have this sort of interest if you are contemplating being a NINKER , something you can do whenever, without much planning and that has no real cost to it, but something you love to do.



We had to admit after being the camper van the boat seemed so large, spacious and luxurious we kept saying it was like a penthouse lol, we slept like babies, because there is nothing like sun, sand and surf to tire you out.  Teddy has now worked out how to get into the cabin and seems to think the pack should all sleep together - funny little thing he is check out his day on the beach below.  When D1 gave us Teddy I did think, why would we want a dog now we have retired, but this is another thing I think has been good for us - a new interest, taking him for walks (so you have to exercise), and besides that he seems to make us laugh.  



Did some experimentation with a new camera though and took a few arty farty sunset shots - I picked up a camera a few years ago and I have to admit, I love the experience and while I am a pointer and clicker, photography really does open your eyes to your surroundings, you see things in a totally different light and it does make you take notice ..... and yes I probably take too many.

Standard Sunset Shot


Using features
Heaps of visitors this weekend so have to go and do some shopping - this is another thing I really enjoying - being able to do small loads of shopping during the day and buying what you feel like today and not needing to go and shop for the week on the weekend.  I have also really enjoyed cooking again when we are home - over the years you cook to feed in between all the other things that need to be done - but it is the simple pleasure of planning and taking your time to create something nice which  I am enjoying again - I have always loved cooking but like most things it got lost in fast lane of life and became a chore instead of a joy.

A good friend gave me a weekly subscription to BRW when I retired and finally caught up on reading these which was good to get the mind into the real world for a few hours - thank you Mandi, this is such a great pressy every week I get a little present from Mandi and every week it makes me think of her and smile - so if you are ever looking for a great gift for someone a yearly subscription to something like this is great!

Read a great saying this week and will leave you with this thought for the week!

Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, helps you to grow or makes you happy.

Have a great week everyone, we will be starting to pack and get ready for our cruise next week so starting to get excited!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Teddy Vs Ducks and Gulls


Yes still continuing to video Teddy our chihuahuas adventures - check out his latest

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Our little slice of paradise

After a wet, windy weekend, we woke up to a bit of blue sky with potential, and slight south easerlies,so decided to take the chance and get out on the boat for a few days.  Originally our plan was to spend most of our time boating, but other travel adventures have come our way - afterall this is all on our doorstep to enjoy whenever we want.

Started by going to the Surfers end something we don't do often, but windy and very choppy, so have ended up at old faithful Tipplers which is fab during the week (don't like it over weekends too many people).

Must go and do some sunbaking



Saturday, November 10, 2012

Our Cruise Excursions are now booked! Check out what we will be doing!

Check out our amazing excursions now booked for our up coming cruise

 Ho Chi Minh City (Phu My), Vietnam - - November 28, 2012

The Mekong Delta

Journey to My Tho Island and the heart of the Mekong Delta on a narrated cruise and a sampan ride down tranquil canals. You'll also visit a traditional Delta home and tour a coconut candy factory. A Delta-style lunch is included on this approximately 10 1/2-hour excursion. 

Singapore - - November 30, 2012

Pay an early morning visit to the zoo for a breakfast with the orangutans. Have your photo taken with one of the shy but genial creatures. Watch the Asian elephants take their daily bath and help feed them. After a breakfast buffet, there's free time to explore on your own. 

Bangar Seri Begawan (Muara), Brunei - - December 02, 2012

Royal Regalia Museum, Kampong Ayer & Cruise

Enjoy a full-day, moderately active, narrated excursion via air-conditioned motorcoach to an exotic market. Cruise a mangrove forest in search of Proboscis monkeys. Explore a water village built on stilts and a museum featuring Brunei's Crown Jewels. View the world's largest residential palace and indulge in a delicious buffet lunch. 

Darwin, Australia - - December 07, 2012

Jumping Crocodiles Cruise

Take an adventure filled one-hour cruise along the Adelaide River for a real Outback experience. See the river's famous "jumping" crocodiles as they shoot out of the water in pursuit of their prey. Learn about the local wetlands, and enjoy stunning views of the Outback. 

Port Douglas, Australia - December 10, 2012

The Great Barrier Reef

Discover the kaleidoscope world of the Great Barrier Reef. An air-conditioned catamaran cruises to a pontoon anchored off the outer reef. Take a semi-sub boat tour, watch divers feed tropical fish, snorkel in the crystalline waters, enjoy a swim and catch some rays on the tanning deck. Lunch is included. 

Sydney, Australia - - December 13, 2012

Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb

What's the best way to experience the beauty of Sydney? Try climbing the world-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge for views that are out of this world. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Remembrance Day - Remember

I have long distributed this poem on Remembrance Day, because its soooo beautiful!

Don't forget folks!


A Poem for Remembrance Day
"The inquisitive mind of a child"
poppyWhy are they selling poppies, Mummy?
Selling poppies in town today.
The poppies, child, are flowers of love.
For the men who marched away.
But why have they chosen a poppy, Mummy?
Why not a beautiful rose?
Because my child, men fought and died
In the fields where the poppies grow.
But why are the poppies so red, Mummy?
Why are the poppies so red?
Red is the colour of blood, my child.
The blood that our soldiers shed.
poppyThe heart of the poppy is black, Mummy.
Why does it have to be black?
Black, my child, is the symbol of grief.
For the men who never came back.
But why, Mummy are you crying so?
Your tears are giving you pain.
My tears are my fears for you my child.
For the world is forgetting again.
Author Unknown



Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Lunchy Week

While we didn't have anything really planned for this week other than some catch up items, the week seemed to bolt past so quickly and its hard to think we have been home for a week now.



Knowing that the Gold Coast City Marina Boat Show was on GCCM we knew this would be on our agenda over the weekend as its a free event and every bit as good as the Sanctuary Cove one in May - the weather was fantastic and it's great to be able to walk around the marina looking and drooling over some of the best boats out there . It is a great day.  Lots of great stands, lots of great specials for all the boaties out there, but generally even if you are not into boating, boat shows are just a great day for being out and about in the fabulous sunshine.

One of the stands we just couldn't help but stop at was the Stephan Boating World stand - I have to say these are some sexy little razor cats and boats so click here for a sneak preview of whats new Stefan Boating World and pink - no not really but have to say these were my favorites.  We loved these when we were in Vanautu so thought we might price them out.


These shots were actually taken in their showroom on Wednesday when we went to get a quote on a few of their fantastic Rib Series. There's a lot of PINK isn't there!



Monday decided to do a lunch with my Mum  - this was lovely and it was nice to do something with her during the week - in the past it's been a weekend thing a when your weekends were already too short, it was one of those things we tended to do begrudgingly - but Monday we had a lovely afternoon, wine, seafood platter (hot and cold) and were able to chill out all in the comfort of home. $80.00 (fruit, bread, wine, seafood and all cooked and prepared at home with love from Julies Yummy Kitchen).
Tuesday - Melbourne Cup Day and Cup at the Cove - WOW what  a great day - check out my blog if you haven't already http://ninker.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/melbourne-cup-2012.html.  What a fantastic day it was.  Thank you Sanctuary Cove!  They always have good events on so click here to see whats on over the next month or so http://www.sanctuarycove.com/events. $220 for all 10 courses and all your wine, bubbles etc so GV (Good Value for a great days entertainment).  Oooh and don't forget I won a door prize as well (there was a cruise and other great prizes as well).

After a fantastic run of sun, sun and more sun, the weather came in a bit nasty by Wednesday- wet and windy and while we had anticipated going out on the boat for a few days - there is nothing worse than wet and windy for boating, so went and checked out the new range of boats by Stefan (see above) , had a nice Indian lunch at Randhawa's  at Hope Island on Thursday and had a nice Indian lunch (seems like forever since I had Indian and it really was nice, even though the service was a little lacking) $50.00 (2 mains, breads, rice and 2 wines so pretty good value) , checked out some 4WD's and even a few caravans over the rest of the week. Finishing in something I haven't done for at least 15 years and that was stopping at  Yatala Pies - OMG how good are these and I have to say their business model is one to be looked at - in the middle of no where these days it was full, full, full - I couldn't believe it - but have to say I never thought a Pie, Chips and Gravy would get the better of me but it did.  Need to taste good old fashion fast food, served with a smile (congratulations Yatala Pies  for having young people who serve with a smile and serve as if they care).  Even caught Dick Johnson having one while we were there.  Yatala Pies - YUMMY $23.00 - 2 pies with chips and gravy (Derek had peas as well) and 2 drinks GV.

Finishing off the week was picking up our tickets for our Cruise only 2 weeks away now, and how lovely of Harvey World Travel Hope Island - they gave me a fantastic bottle of bubbles with my tickets.  This time in 2 weeks we will be jetting over to Bangkok ready to enjoy 2 weeks of cruising around Asia and Darwin.  Thanks HWTHI!

Also started my trek into Volunteering in the NY - one of the things I really want to do is give back a bit to those in need - so many needs out there - but have started that journey by putting my name down on a few that I thought would be good as well as interesting.  

Besides slipping in a few afternoon naps, that's about a wrap from me for this week, not quite as exciting as other weeks - but you know sometimes its nice to be home, not much planned and able to just go where the wind takes you.  Have a great weekend everyone!