My Life Abroad: The Adventures of Two Birds
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Dec '15

U.S. Trip 2015


This year we decided to take a trip back home to visit, and since Rae hasn’t been back since she was 4 months old, everyone could get a chance to bond with her, now at age 2-1/2. We started off our trip at Disneyland for 3 days and then continued on to Las Vegas for the duration.  Now that my family has relocated to Las Vegas, it gave us a chance to explore the suburbs of Vegas and get an idea of how the other half lives (ha-ha).

We took a week off to go up to the snow at South Lake Tahoe, visit with friends and play in the snow – Rae really loved getting into the snow! Even I have missed it!  Birdie and I took one weekend to fly up to Portland and stay for a weekend, dine, shop and visit with friends.  I hadn’t been to Portland before and I really enjoyed going to ‘food truck row’ to try all the wonderful food!  It rained every second we were in Oregon but I really enjoyed the experience. It’s somewhere I will love to continue visiting, but with the rain, I don’t think I could ever live there!  Who am I kidding, I’m never leaving Melbourne!

We finished off the trip, with a trip up and down California visiting from Sacramento to Petaluma, Escondido and then San Diego before we headed back. I don’t think we will be back again until 2018 – when we will be visiting to attend my 30-year high school reunion… 30-years, I can’t believe it!  See you then.

May '10

Wow, what a day!

Day 15 & 16 of 22

waterslides.JPGAfter a leisurely breakfast and addressing the issue of having slept the previous night on a bed harder than the floor, we headed off to the Water Park.  Man there are some cool water slides at Vinpearl, the best being the 30 foot wide tube that can take a raft for 6 people, closely followed by a twister that spits you out into a funnel where you spin and spin then drop through to the pool below; we are going back tomorrow! 

Once the adrenalin rush subsided we opted for a bit of shopping at the outdoor mall (about 20 shops) then headed back for a quick lunch before a dip in the pool. We laid by the pool and ordered some drinks then took a walk of the property to take some photos. Once we had cooled off we decided to take on the Jet Ski’s; at $52 USD per half hour it wasn’t cheap, but what the hell, ‘Life is short!’  Jet Ski’s are such fun and we took them way out (what seemed at least 500m from shore) and left a few decent waves in our wake. 

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dsc04850.JPGAt this point it was only 3pm and we realised the day was only young.  A quick shower to refresh and we hopped on the cable car across to the mainland to visit the city of Nha Trang (12 mins across open water peaking at 46m above sea level).  Our 15 min taxi ride into town cost us about $3 (amazing) and we booked a full day snorkel tour for Tuesday at a whopping cost of $15 USD per person (including lunch).  We shopped a little bit and caught 3 more taxis to explore the town and began to realise Nha Trang is actually a decent sized city spanning a large area.  After checking out what we thought looked like a tourist restaurant area we relaised we were the only westerners in sight. We dsc04881.JPGstarted to notice that Lainey was the main attraction as tattoo’s don’t seem so common in Vietnam.  People followed us to look. Another taxi ride returned us to the main strip to witness what looked like more than 100 kites fluttering together in the sea breeze (pretty cool; pictures don’t do justice).  Once it started to get dark we found a really cool local restaurant and smashed down plenty of beers and Amaretto Sours; oh and the food was good too.  By this time it was getting towards 8 and we took quick trip to A-Mart for supplies and then a taxi back to the cable car.  Not content with that we took another swim in the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest pool and then played cards with some beers (I won).

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Now I’ll take a breath.  Tomorrow is another day with loads to do, starting with a couples session at the Salon, another trip to the Water Park, more pool time and parasailing!!!


Jul '08

Southern California “SoCal” (day 13 of 35)

We finally made it to SoCal from Chico.  We had to do the drive in two days because an 11 hour drive is just too long for us old folk.  It was a tight squeeze, we drove from Chico straight to Lost Hills, California which is a truck stop just off of Interstate 5 and Route 46 (I believe).  There was a Motel 6 and that’s where we crashed after the first 5.5 hour drive (day one).  It was a very small, very cheezy, very smoke-smelling room that gave me a headache but we managed.  On day two of our drive Birdie was doing almost all the driving so far because he likes to drive on the wrong side of the car and the road, and well… he’s good at it, we went from Lost Hills down Route 46 to cut over to San Luis Obisbo on the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1).  Highway 1 (PCH) is a long and winding road that goes from the top to the bottom (or visa versa) of California on the coast.  It’s always the longest route to take but for obvious reasons the most scenic.

When we arrived in L.A. (day 12) we were met by my brother Adam, and girlfriend Kat in toe. And we were quickly (after a beer) wisked away to a Baseball Game (Angels v. Indians).  Large beers and filling food/snacks later we headed back home and crashed.  The game was nice, Birdie’s first baseball game ever… I couldn’t tell you how many were in attendance and I would ask Birdie but he is sleeping off a bad stomach.

Day 13, much more adventageous, we all four went to Knotts Berry Farms, which is a very large amusement park.  Sorta like Great America from day 5, but bigger, and better.  I’ll tell you that some of these rides want to make you crap yourself when you look at them but they are so fun!  Here are my pictures from the day at Knotts Berry Farms (click to enlarge):

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And my very favourite ride, Xcelerator:

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group-huntington.jpgAfter Knotts we went to Huntington Beach for dinner and found that the US Open of Surfing was going on, there were a lot of vendors and it looked like a lot of fun.  We had dinner and walked around and had an ice cream after to check everythingn out.  On the beach was a “tent city” which included a full two story Red Bull tent ‘Bar’ – only steps away from the stands and the beaches edge where the surfing competition was taking place during the day.  Dinner was good – we ate too much as usual. 

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Only 10 days left until the Reunion and I am so glad it’s going to be over.  I seriously don’t think some people have any idea what it takes – yearlong planning, coordination, making contacts, and setting everything up from thousands and thousands of kilometers away…  I think this will be my last year as Reunion Planner for sure, that is of course unless I am made the Reunion Queen.  Then I’ll think about it.


Mental Status: Still freaking tired, but glad to see my brother – happier than I’ve seen him in a long long time.
Favourite thing this week: The Xcelerator rollercoaster at Knotts Berry Farm, I rode it twice and have a video.
Book this week: Everybody Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger
Happy Moment today: Getting to see Jewells & Steve.
Looking forward to next week: Closure… and the beauty of Yosemite, first time for both Birdie and I.

Jul '08

San Jose California (day 5 of 35)

Great America Theme Park 

I know most of you haven’t heard of “Great America” but there is a website (click on “Great America” to check it out).  We had a great time and this was our first time at this theme park – we are still going to one in L.A. with Adam & Kat when we get down there way called Knotts Berry Farms (I haven’t been there but Birdie has).  That will be fun. 

invertigo_50.jpgMostly because it was a weekday it was empty, we walked straight onto rides and then if there wasn’t anyone in line when we pulled back in, they let us stay on for another round!  Crazy.  My favourite was the Invertigo (pictured on the right).  You sit facing both directions, so some are going backwards half the time and the other forward and visa versa.  Birdie hates going backwards, I think it’s fun!  I think I lost my voice on this ride because I was screaming the entire time, each loop and turn was insane!  There are more pictures below of the day at Great America, click on each picture to enlarge and we’ll be back with more on the weekend.  Next stop, my old stomping grounds: Chico, California!

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And here was the yummy eats 1) Chili Cheese Dog with Curly Fries, and 2) Corn Dog

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Mental Status: Tired, lots of walking and feet are killing me.
Favourite thing this week: Seeing my Gramma, cousin Lavette, and our friends Bill & Lucy (eating homemade Mexican specialties and visiting with the family)
Book this week: Everybody Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger
Happy Moment today: Having coffee with Gramma and watching CNN News
Looking forward to next week: Chico is this weekend, and can’t wait to see our friends, I miss everyone so much!