Project 365 2012 – Day 321

IMG_4934

Stowaway

I was packing up my camera bag/travel bag when I noticed this little guy slip in. Now, he looks pretty damn weird, but the husband loves it. I got it for a birthday ages ago when a friend was working at Ikea. I still have no idea what it is, but the husband enjoys throwing it at me and putting it on the top of doors to fall down on me and scare me. The blue thing and I have a love/hate relationship. Unfortunately I’m trying to pack light, so it cannot come.

I’m so excited; New Zealand here we come!

Advertisements

Project 365 2012 – Day 320

Get Packing

Get Packing

We’re leaving for New Zealand tomorrow and I’m so excited! I love going away and I quite like packing. One thing I don’t like though are all of these security restrictions that don’t make a lot of sense to me, particularly since they don’t even really check it. At least for New Zealand it’s only really just carry on liquid restrictions that I have to worry about, as opposed to taking off my shoes, getting x-rayed, frisked etc. I just need to remember not to wear a hoodie because every time I fly wearing one to keep warm, I get ‘randomly’ tested for explosives.

So, what’s in my carry on? Moisturiser, lip balm, lip stick, mascara, eyeliner, hand sanitiser, and wet wipes.

Project 365 2012 – Day 279

Planning

The husband finally got a job offer! After over a year, over 600 applications, a few failed interviews, a bit of frustration and a lot of hard work he’ll finally be teaching full time next year. We were really happy about the news and I’m so proud of him. It’s been a tough year for both of us and I know he won’t start until the next school year, but it’s still good. It means we can start making plans again because for a while we just had to take things day by day, and I’m definitely a planner.

To celebrate I’ve got two weeks of annual leave booked at the end of November and we’re planning to go to New Zealand. It’s probably a bit irresponsible to go on a holidays when we’ll have to dip into our savings, when we should be saving to buy a house, when we should be planning for the future, but we’re only young once. We’ve been pretty responsible our whole lives and now it’s time to live a little.

I’m not a very organised person. I’ll be the first to admit that. However, the husband is really good at this stuff. I came home from work today and this was laid out on the floor, with drive times, possible routes we could take, what we wanted to see and what we could cut out. I’m really excited about it. Now I’ve just got to practice my landscape photography. I’m not sure if I’ll do New Zealand justice, but I’m going to try!

Queensland Roadtripping

Last November we had some free accommodation on the Gold Coast which came about when the in laws had booked a holiday but then had to cancel. We took the opportunity to go on a road trip to visit my brother in law up on the Gold Coast, the husband’s aunt and cousins, and we also stopped by Canberra on the way home to see my brother and his new girlfriend. It was also nice to get away after a sometimes stressful year.

We ended up seeing a lot of the rainforest and doing lots of walks, went to the beach, met up with a few friends and family, went to ALL the theme parks and discovered the awesomeness of sour watermelon slushies. My favourite was finding the best fish and chips and then eating them on the beach like hobos while watching a storm roll in. You couldn’t do that in Melbourne without freezing to death.

We had a great time driving through the  beautiful country and my little Astra did quite well on the trek. We also discovered when driving home from Canberra on the last leg that my car has cruise control. The Mr was not happy with this discovery as I was convinced for 6 years that it did not have such a magical function. Would have been useful to know at the start of the trip!

So many tumbleweeds in NSW. There were so many that got stuck in the car’s front grill

Pit stop in a random park in NSW

Turkey bird (well that’s what we called them) who kept pecking at a cigarette

Moss in Springbrook National Park

Steps in the rainforest at Natural Bridge

Waterfall at Natural Bridge

Waterfall at Natural Bridge

Waterfall at Natural Bridge

One of the many waterfalls you can see from Canyon Lookout. It was a great rainforest walk

Grass

Yellow flower in the sun

View from Canyon Lookout

View from Canyon Lookout

Moss

Trees in the rainforest at Springbrook National Park

Walking behind a waterfall. So pretty but had to protect the camera!

Strangler vines. They make such interesting patterns

More vines

Tall trees at the skywalk at Mt Tambourine

Vines

More vines. I love how different the plant life is in Queensland compared to down south in Victoria.

We accidentally took a wrong turn and drove into a paddock. Hello there cows

More cows

Lovely paddock. Silly GPS taking us down a road that doesn’t exist!

Not sure what this plant is but the red flowers are striking

Red flowers

Native plants look like little pom poms

White flowers. I have these in my backyard

White flowers

White flowers

Driving into the sunset

The lonely road ahead

I love driving though the countryside

Japan – Kyoto

We went to Japan in October 2010 for our honeymoon. See our Tokyo photos here. Our next stop in Japan was the beautiful city of Kyoto. We had a lot of fun here walking around and seeing the sights. We definitely got ‘shrined-out’ here. There are beautiful shrines with great architecture and tradition, but they’re absolutely everywhere. We also got to go on our first shinkansen (bullet train), which was amazing efficient, like everything in Japan.

Empty Streets

Streets

My favourite place in Kyoto was probably the Arashiyama region, which was west of Kyoto and had these beautiful bamboo forests. Wish I got better pics, but there are plenty around already. I just really enjoyed walking around this region.

Arashiyama bamboo grove

Like suckers we walked, but there were lots of rickshaws around for the less able. I like how the driver of this one doubled as photographer. So talented.

Rickshaw

Maple Leaves

Bamboo Fence

We also ventured up Mt Arashiyama to the Iwatayama Monkey park.

He’s liking those binoculars

My favourite shrine in Kyoto was the Fushimi Inari shrine. There are so many trails up the mountain that leads to the top with smaller shrines along the way. It’s famous for the torii gates that line the paths and are donated by businesses. We got there late afternoon as the sun was going down and decided to hike all the way up to the top, which was lots of fun, and just a little bit spooky on the way down.  It was particularly scary when we got completely lost, until the husband figured out that the writing on the gates led the way out.

Torii gates

Writing on the gates leading us out!

Kitsune (fox) wishes

Japan – Tokyo

One of my workmates is getting married in October and she’s decided to go to Japan for her honeymoon. We got married in October 2010 and went to Japan for our honeymoon as well. We’ve been talking about it and where my favourite places were to go and it’s brought back wonderful memories.

I’ve dug up some photos for this Japan series. It was about 6 months after I got the DSLR as my engagement present. I wished I had taken more time to get better photos, but there was just so much to do and see.  I can also see that I’ve improved so much since then, but no matter how good photos are, they’ll never replace the images I have in my memory.

Part 1 is of Tokyo. Tokyo was such a bustling city, with amazing things to see where ever I looked. The people were polite and friendly, I never felt unsafe, and the food was just amazing. My first meal in Japan was ramen noodles in Suidobashi and I swear I would fly back in an instant just to eat these noodles again. I miss Japan and would love to go back one day.

The best noodles I’ve ever eaten. So cheap as well

The cutest tea set in our hotel room. I very much enjoyed drinking green tea in the bath after a day of exploring Tokyo.

No Japan trip is complete without sushi! We ate so much and never got sick of it.

Small stone children and pinwheels at a shrine near Tokyo tower. Sad and beautiful.

Pinwheels. I love the colours

Tokyo Tower. The mini Eiffel Tower of Tokyo.

Looking up inside Tokyo Tower

View from Tokyo Tower. The city just goes on forever. It makes Melbourne feel so tiny.

Crossing in Ginza

Wandering the streets. Even though there were so many busy parts, there were lots of lovely quiet streets as well.

Gardens around the Imperial Palace

Love the well groomed trees

More trees

Not sure what these flowers were called but they were all around the Imperial Palace.

Ikebukuro

Not sure what all the suits were doing standing in the middle of the intersection. Lots of good stuff to eat around there though.

Streets of Mitaka

Residential streets. Looks like it’s straight out of manga or anime.

Cute plaques on the lamp posts outside Ghibli Museum

Wishes at the Meiji Shrine

Wedding at Meiji Shrine

I think these are sake barrels around the Meiji Shrine, but I’m not really sure. Either way they looked interesting.

Giant spider sculpture in Roppongi

Buildings at night

Last look at Tokyo Tower.