Wednesday, 24 July 2013

and here we land at 196

Days 183-196

Well the year is ticking past at what seems like a bit of a scary rate. We are most of the way through July now and a lot of the events I thought were ages away, will soon be upon me. Some of which I am not ready for just yet! 

Day 183:

It was my last French lesson for the term and I headed
 for a walk to the water before it started.

Day 184:

I struggled with heading out into the cold for kickboxing, but it paid off. 
I had my own private lesson since no one else in my grade was there.

Day 185:

Planning for Japan next year. I have been flicking through a lot of websites and books.

Day 186:

A gorgeous day for a walk in the park with the dog.
Day 187:

Home made pizza time on a busy Sunday.

Day 188:

Another day, another afternoon walk. I am trying to get as many 
walks in while the weather is still good.
Day 189:

More kickboxing. Grading is only one class away!

Day 190:

It was the first rainy day after we installed a new roof on our patio. 
Dallas loves staying dry but she isn't too happy about the noise it makes.

Day 191:

Dallas was so cold, that when she came begging for food, she brought her blanket.

Day 192:

While I went out to boxing, my plus one stayed home
and made me dinner. It was incredibly delicious.

Day 193:

Dinner with friends followed by amazing desert at San Churro.

Day 194:

I spent half the day baking, getting ready for an afternoon tea at my house.

Day 195:

Afternoon tea time prepared for a lovely group of ladies by my mum and me.

Day 196:

Well it finally happened. After all of that training I finally 
graded to my green belt. This means I can now go into both the 
beginners and seniors kickboxing classes.

Well there it is. My last fortnight. It has been a busy few weeks and my calendar is already pretty full for the upcoming weeks. I am dreaming of a relaxing weekend, but that doesn't seem likely anytime soon.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Friday, 19 July 2013

and Brisbane, Australia - Part 2

Brisbane, Australia.

Day 4: New Farm.

On the Tuesday, I woke up early again and trained it into the city with my friend for another day of exploring. I hopped back on to RiverCat and headed the other way along the river to New Farm.

Heading under Story Bridge.

New Farm Park

Power House

The fig tree was so big it needed support to hold itself up.

New Farm-Newstead Bikeway

The Colonial Sugar Refinery which is now apartments

I love the look of the old warehouses

The detail is amazing.

I walked all of the way back to Story Bridge.

Old Museum.

After my long walk, I continued back into the CBD to meet my friend again for lunch. From here I braved the trains by myself and after only getting on one wrong train (it terminated 2 stops in the right direction) I headed to the supermarket for supplies. This was a bit of a chore as well. I missed my turn off and had to head in a giant loop back to where I wanted to go and I was driving my friends manual car. I have my manual licence but I very rarely drive them. I brought supplies and then made my friends a giant batch of Raspberry, Strawberry and White choc chunk Muffins to thank them for letting me stay.

Day 5: The look outs.

On Wednesday my friends plus one had the day off work and drove me to a few places scattered around the city. After a sleep in and a short run (I had to burn off some of the mountains of food I had been eating) we headed to Mt Coot-tha.

Brisbane City from Mt Coot-tha.

Looking out towards the mountains.

While were were on the mountain we checked out Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium then we had a look around the Brisbane Botanic Gardens.

The Japenese Garden.

A cute Bonsai

A sweet little flower by the path.

From here we set off across the city again, this time to Boondall Wetlands where, during certain parts of the year, is fulled with bird watches. It was pretty quiet when we were there and we only saw a few birds.

Following the path.

Following the timber path.

The view from the bird watching hut.

After heading back to their house we changed and headed into the city to meet up with my friend for dinner and drinks. We had a short wander around Chinatown before going to Cloudland.


Cloudland is an interior designers dream. The bar is set across several levels with different themed areas. It felt a bit like a dream with little quirky features hidden around the place. One of the cutest things I found were little butterflies set in resign on the balustrade.

Cloudland off to the right.

Hanging pods.

I found my namesake cocktail so I had to order that.

Looking out from our pod.

A space age looking bar upstairs.

Peacock furniture.

The place was mostly empty when we were there. It was a little early for dinner so we just had a drink and enjoyed the view. My friend and I had a look around, exploring some of the crazy areas. It would be a marvel to see during the day where things would be more visible, but seeing it at night meant we were in the dream. We then found an amazing Thai restaurant then headed into the streets for desert.

I loved Chinatown.

And this Coy!

We finished the night with amazing gelato!!!

The week seemed to fly past and yet felt like it was taking forever! Which I loved! The next couple of days were left mostly open so I stayed up late and did some research and looked through a lot of travel sites and brochures to work out what to do next. 

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Friday, 12 July 2013

and Brisbane, Australia - Part 1

Brisbane, Australia

A few months ago I headed off on my own little holiday to visit my best friend, who had recently moved to Brisbane. I don't often fly and this was only my second time flying by myself. Because she had only recently started a job, she couldn't take any time off. Due to my own work commitments, I couldn't delay my holiday until a time when she could take days off. But I didn't mind. We made the most of it all and I, luckily, love playing the tourist and don't mind travelling alone. So in the weeks before I left, I did a fair bit of googling to find some things to do to occupy myself and to do with my friend and her boyfriend when we could.

Day 1: Fly out!
The view from my seat as we flew over Queensland.

After I arrived we went for sushi at a sushi train near there house. We got back to theirs and I unpacked. then my friend took me to her favourite restaurant, Sultans, for a little girl time and to do some catching up.

We shared a mix grill for dinner. Chicken, beef and 
Adana kebabs with salad, rice and the 
yummiest, creamiest mashed potato.

While we were eating the owner played traditional music on his keyboard and a beautiful lady belly danced around the room, picking out guests to try a little dancing with her. Next was dessert and we kept with the mixed plate to share.

Creme caramel, Turkish delight, baklava and stuffed 
dates with the best Turkish apple tea I have ever tasted.

Ceiling detail

Before heading home we went to the waters edge of Moreton Bay to have a quick look around. There was a full moon and we could hear drumming in the distance. We followed the noise and came upon some fire twirlers and other people enjoying the moon phase. The walk was a perfect way to finish the night and let our full bellies settle a little.

Fire twirler.

Me on the play equipment at Moora Park.

Moreton Bay figs.

Day 2: Mt Tamborine.

We headed off early Sunday morning for a drive through the city and out the other side. We headed in to the mountains and towards Cedar Creek Estate for morning tea.

Driving across Story Bridge.

Me eagerly awaiting the chance to dig in.

Devonshire Tea. My friend knows me to well. 

The scones where cooked to perfection and the cream had a nice little surprise. The colour of the cream had a beige tinge to it and we asked the waiter what type of cream it was. She told us that the chef mixes a little bit of raspberry into it for a little bit of oomph.

After morning tea we had a little wander around enjoying the scenery before we hopped back into the car and headed back down the mountain a little.

The lake.

A couple of ducks.

The next stop on our little outing was the Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk. It hadn't occurred to me that there were rainforests so far south in Queensland. But the view was beautiful and I wasn't scared about walking on the suspended raised path. 

View from the skywalk.

Me standing out on the cantilevered walk.
This moved a bit when people walked on it.

The skywalk.

The vines were amazing.

This tree was shaped into a spiral by a vine curling up around it.
As the tree grew the vine squeezed it into shape.

View below.

The skywalk was a beautiful place to visit. A stream runs down below and most of the trail is very easy to walk. Once you leave the skywalk, you continue on a path and loop down to meet the stream then back towards the reception area. It is here that the cantilever extends out over the side of the hill.

definitely recommend the skywalk to visitors to the area. Especially if, like me, you are unable to head north to the tropics. One day I hope to visit the Daintree Rainforest.

The next stop was Mt Tamborine (town) itself. I had no idea what Mt Tamborine would be like. Little did I know that it was set up as a major tourism draw card. Mt Tamborine is about 45mins from the Gold Coast and just over an hour from the centre of Brisbane. So it is very popular for tourists and weekenders.

Clydesdale rides down the main street in a pumpkin carriage.

Cuckoo shop.

With more cuckoo clocks then you could ever dream of.

Aimee gesturing (posing) for us to enter an adorable little 
shop full of craft supplied and gift ware.

The drive home after a long day out in and around Mt Tamborine.

That's the Southbank over there. That's where I headed the very next day.

Day 3: Southbank and the CBD.

The next day was a Monday and I woke up at a ridicuoulsy early hour, in holiday terms, to catch the train with my friend into the city. She was off to work and I was heading in to have a walk around the Southbank and the city.

After walking with my friend to her office, I headed to the RiverCat terminal to catch the boat to The Southbank. I absolutely loved the Southbank. I think it's an amazing public space full of cafes, gardens and even a beach. Later on in the week we even headed back to visit a market.

Anzac Square. Walking from the train station to the office.

The flame.

The cathedral of St Stephan.

Brisbane from the RiverCat.

Water play ground at Southbank.

Formal gardens, Southbank.

Walkway. This winds most of the way along the Southbank.

View of the CBD from Southbank.

Sculpture outside the Art Gallery.

After trekking up and down the Southbank, I hopped on the Wheel of Brisbane for a even better view of the city and the surrounding area.

The view from my gondola as I headed upwards.

The view from the top.

I was quite please with this selfie. It has that rare look about it.
The look which makes it look like someone else took it.

The reason the Southbank exists started back in 1988, when the world fair come to Brisbane. After it left they kept the area as public open space. The only reminder of the fair is the Nepalese pagoda.

The pagoda with the wheel in the background.

Time to head back to the city to meet my friend for lunch.

After lunch I headed off on the second part of my walking tour of Brisbane. This time the CBD. I am a fan of historical architecture, and I apologise in advance, there are a lot of photos of old buildings coming up. I even culled quite a few from this blog.

Brisbane Town Hall

Brisbane Treasury hotel.

Stunning red terrace houses.

Parliament House

Old commercial buildings.

I had a quick wander through St John's Anglican Cathedral. The sun was starting to set and the light flooded in through the stain glass windows and it was absolutely beautiful.

St John's Anglican Cathedral.

Old Custom's House

Me, after a long day of walking.

I met up with my friend and we headed off back to her house. My feet were a bit sore and I was a little tired from all of my exploring. I had a lot more planned for the up coming days as well as a few last minute adventuring choices, so a good rest and a sleep was in order.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.
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