Sunday, November 20, 2016

Australia Part IV- Sydney

Here comes my final post on Australia trip. A bit of mixed feelings here. Not exactly still in that holiday mode because I know there's serious stuff I have to gear up on (esp. after being away for so long, certainly need to catch up with my projects), what I do miss the most is the positive vibes in Australia!

It is really amazing how people there are (almost) so healthy conscious! There are gyms at every corner of the city, health food store, not failing to mention how healthy their food choices are at the restaurants, fabulous markets, it's practically a very walkable city even though the traffics are heavy (unlike in Malaysia, walking at the side of the road = putting your life at risk!) and honestly, I haven't seen any obese person in Australia! Everyone look so fit and lean and healthy. Not even a skinny one, you can totally tell they've been working out from their appearance!

That kind of healthy lifestyle and vibes is what I really long and crave for!

If there's a chance, I wouldn't mind furthering my graduate school in Australia instead of USA (since Trump won, I dropped my idea for a bit :/)

Anyways, on our second last day in Sydney, we joined the tour to Blue Mountain, which comes along with the wildlife park visit as well as cruise ride around the habor!

This is my absolute fave tour of all from this trip!
 Steve the tour guide! He's such a great story-teller!

On top of the mountain. We were actually freezing!
Thanks, wind -.-

Baby with the famous three sisters! 

After the hiking (not exactly) session, we headed to the mid-mountain for the wildlife park. Finally get the chance to have some close up with the koala!
 But hey, open your eyes?

These babies spend 80% of their time sleeping, if not, eating leaves.
Life's good..?

Last part of the tour as mentioned, the cruise ride around the circular quay! We were stopped at the Darling Habor for dinner.

Before coming to Australia, my colleague was telling me how heavenly the Hurricane Grill's pork rib is and claiming it to be the best in the WORLD. So here I am, trying to see if its truth.

Upon arriving the restaurant, there was a bit of queue and we were told to be put on the waiting list which may take about 30mins. But we were lucky to be seated in just 10 mins!

Baby and I aren't big eater so we shared half racks of pork rib and 7oz of steak.


After the big feast, we walked along the D.H. and make our way back to Surry Hill.

Hold tight.

It was superman that night! We were lucky!

There were groups of people dancing at the harbour side and I was all excited to join but baby was shy.

It is a beautiful night..

Our last day in Sydney!

Been wanting to try this Organic Wholefood cafe at the corner of the street near where we stay, if i'm not mistaken, it's called Devonshire Street. Honestly, there were too many places we wanna try around Surry Hill but this is so fascinating and healthy that I definitely have to grab our last chance to give it a go!

 Baby and his chorizo breakfast plate.

 I ordered the Paleo set (EXACTLY MY KIND OF FOOD) consisting sauteed kale, mushrooms, roasted tomato, avocado puree, poached eggs and I added the bacon.


But I hate poached egg (runny/uncooked yolks) so I swapped mine with baby's scrambled egg which was absolutely delicious!

Never a fan of pork, bacon or chorizo dish but omg, PORK IN AUSSIE IS TOO GOOD!

I believe their environment is the key to healthy and tasty pork, as well as any other meat and dairy products. So as human beings, lol.

Back to the AirBnb, bid everyone goodbye and off we go to the airport!

It was such a wonderful time in Australia! Definitely gonna be back one day, hopefully soon!


Australia Part III - Sydney

It doesn't feel like you are in Australia till you see the iconic Sydney Opera House

After spending half of our day in Melbourne by visiting the Queen Victoria Market (which you've seen in my last post), it's now time to board the flight and move on to our next destination, Sydney!

Baby and I were super excited. To be honest, I was a little afraid I might not enjoy Sydney as I'm never a huge fan of capital cities like London, Paris.. since they are usually much congested and less chilled. However, Sydney was absolutely an exception and I would actually LOVE to stay here!

You will why as you read further!

Nothing much happened upon our arrival. Checked into AirBnb at Surry Hill, where everyone reckons it to be the BEST place in Sydney. Indeed ! The place is filled with pubs (which pretty much resembles UK) and fabulous cafes & bakeries. Our place is also near to the central station and almost walkable to all destination. Everything is in controlled, LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Dinner @ Dove & Olive. I had steak and chips while baby had fish and chips. With beer of course. Pub food is simply amazing! 

DAY 5 -
I made this sleeping baby to get up and leave the house at 8am in order to put our full day into good use! That's the point of travelling isn't it? So the plan for this day was to tour around the Sydney city center and all the iconic points. All places were travelled by feet! No tram, no bus, no taxi ! 


From Surry Hill, we walked towards the Hyde Park and arrived here..

There were also some museums close by and you could see the Sydney Tower from here as well.

Further up, you will arrived at Saint Mary's Cathedral. Another magnificent place!
If you haven't knew yet, one of my travel goal is to visit all churches around the world, which I'm definitely nailing it!

 That's why I love spring!

Next to the cathedral which is the S.M. College,
 It was the season for this purple trees and these gorgeous blooms can be seen all around the places in Sydney!

Saw this piggy as we walked along the way to the habor,
 The signage says touch the golden nose to get good luck, hence we did!

Sydney Botanic Garden

I love it so much here! Would be real lovely to have picnic here and even wedding lunch (like seriously). Look how beautifully decorated and maintained it is! I have a strong hope and faith in our JB Botanic Garden, which is under renovation at the moment. Please do not disappoint me!

Funny how we had to set up the camera, stacking up just to get the right angle, self-timed, then RUN to the position. 

Bits and pieces like this makes up the best moments in life, no?
It touches me a lot on how much we've grown through our relationship, whether its improving for both parties or own. Especially on my self-coping. Thankful how I can open up to him about almost everything and wouldn't feel any shame or uncomfortable, love how he always give me the best advices and unconditional supports, love how he always tell me how much he appreciates and love me regardless of my ugly side, & love how we have deep talks even about our kids education and where we are going to settle down later on. (i'm not pregnant nor getting married anytime at the moment but future planning is good) 

Thank you bae, you are the best!

Took our own sweet time admiring the cloudless sky and gorgeous blooms, and there we are!
Arriving at the Circular Quay!
Each time I travel, it just feels so surreal to be seeing the iconic buildings. And I'm truly thankful to God for such wonderful opportunity.
Wide angle lens is so good at capturing the full view but better resolution is needed! 

It was around lunch time already so we headed down to the Sydney Fish Market for lunch, as planned. But! I spotted the Messina ice-cream (one of the MUST TRY people have told me) so I insisted to get some ice-cream while walking our way there since it was gonna take at least 30mins as estimated by google map. 

Again, love how health-conscious and caring Australian is! They even have a chart of showing which flavour contains nut, dairy, vegan.. absolutely sweet for people who suffers from allergies!

Yums! I had macadamia crunch and berry yogurt. 

The weather was scotching hot in Sydney and i was dying of heat! So tempted to get a taxi to drive us over to the market but the baby was being a bitch and insisted walking. Pfffft. :(

After almost an hour, we finally reached and dang, this place is pretty much like a China Town, overwhelming with chinese! To my dismay, 90% of the sellers are chinese too.

The whole place was croweded and those Chinese known for their manners were like usual, pushing around and shouting loudly. Eww

The place where we eat. Overcrowded.

To be honest the oysters weren't even fresh and those food were quite pricey. HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED.

On our way back to Surry Hill, we got lucky and had a FREE bus ride! Wheeee!
Rested well before meeting up with Ning for Mexican dinner!

Had some drinks at the bar nearby since it's happy hour! ONLY $4 each, WHY NOT!!

YUMS! It's my first mexican meal and tacos were amazing! I ordered one of the secret menu and omg, it was kangaroo meat but delicious nonetheless!

Haven't seen this hot chic for years. Thank you for your positivity! xx

DAY 6 - Hunter Valley tour!

This day was certainly the baby's favourite because we are getting over-flowing of alcohol !
Class on wine tasting.

Lunch was included in this tour with a complementary huge glass of wine of your choice!
THAT steak was amazing!

Continued our journey to the next vineyard, for Vodka tasting!
Ginger was my fave!!

We visited 3 vineyard in total and dropped by some cheese and chocotier for tasting as well!
Basically non-stop drinking and eating tour.

As we got back to the city, we decided to just walk around the places to digest a little and had a very simple dinner with ingredients from Coles.

Simplest happiness! 

Seriously, cookies and bake goods from Coles are SO good you don't even need brands. And that pink sauce was caviar spread we got from Victoria Market. It is blended with Olive oil, salt and some spices btw. Gluten free. SO SO SO GOOD I can eat this everyday! xx

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Australia Part II- Melbourne-to-do

Finder street station, Melbourne's iconic building, also the oldest train station.

This post is gonna be more on my recommendation on what to do, where to eat instead of my travel journey because all we did was just chilling around like any tourist, feeling laid-back as the city is :)
BTW, this is also sorta the compilation of our day 3 & 4 in Melbourne before flying off for Sydney. We do also visit some friends at the St Kilda beach for BBQ but no pictures included here.

Australia is pretty known for its brunch culture. If you're a fussy eater like me (due to gluten intolerance and nuts allergy), you'll certainly google for the places to eat. While there's a tonne of list out there, Hardware Societe is one of the most top rated one. We picked this not just because it is situated close to the city center, which means walkable! Big thumbs up for tourist! (since most of the listed cafes are situated kinda far from CC) Secondly, because the baby is a french, H.S. does provide their menu in both English and French with a few classic French breakfast with an Aussie twist.

Famous as it is, do expect some queue before entering the cafe!

Baby had their signature baked egg with potato & chorizo. Served with baguette. Very yums!

I had some salmon dish, with of course, salmon, poached eggs, watercress salad and toast which I swapped it to gluten free toast. 

VERY VERY hearty and delicious brunch that last us all day to walk around the places! 
I give a 4/5 stars :)

Admiring those colourful flowers even with pollen allergy. *sniff*

Look! Christmas deco are up already!

Bourke street is the practically like Oxford street in London, you can find most brands and chained cafe there. Good for shopaholic to spend the afternoon. 

And if you're more of a sight-seeing person, you can walk further up the street to explore more of Melb city, 
Art work at every corner of the building.

Saint Patricks Cathedral. Situated near the theatre and few streets up from the China Town. 

There was some fossils on the rocks.

Because the name of road says so :p

Travelling in Melb is certainly convenient and tourist-friendly as free tram is provided around the city center. Be sure to board on them and check out different places!

Lucky to be able to board on one of the oldest tram!

Next up, also my fave spot in Melbourne- Queen Victoria Market !
Now I sure do understand why my friends say it is a must to visit the local market. You'll find fresh food, dairy products, meat & delis, chocotier, winery and almost everything here! They're delish by the glance of it already!

Gentle reminder: Make sure to put this in the earlier schedule of your visit as it closes at 2.30pm!
Along the way from the tram stop to the market, you'll see lotsa Malaysian cuisine restaurant which really tempts me to open a cafe there too!

After getting our groceries at the market, we headed back to our AirBnb to get ourselves prepared for a simple dinner. As well as hanging around the habor :)

Melbourne is an early city. Most shops pretty much closes around 4pm and lazing at home could be one lovely option! You can make yourself a meal and watch movies on Netflix, which is certainly cheaper yet enjoyable!

Baby enjoying his beer, with Pedro in the background. 

Touristic destination in Melbourne/ Victoria state is pretty scattered and it would be much more convenient to visit them if you have a car, such as the Great Ocean Road or Phillip Island. Of course, you can also join a day tour, choices are yours. However if you're just seeing to hang around the places, visiting friends in the city and on a budget, this post would be much suitable for you! Regardless which category you fall into, hope you enjoy it nevertheless! xx