liveˈliv:v; to have a life rich in experience

a life abroad in australia & adventures along the way

Whitsundays

September 2021

Honeymoon 2018 – a brief overview

Where to begin?

We left Brisbane, on 2 September, and flew to Perth, and had 12 hours before our flight from Perth to Johannesburg. We spent a few more hours at a care waiting for the check in counter to open at 9am, before flying to Nairobi, Kenya. Once at Kenya, we were welcomed at Boma Hotel. They covered our room with beautiful roses and rose petals, and wished us a lovely honeymoon.  After all of our travels, we crashed. The next day was spent in the city visiting the Giraffe Centre (next to Giraffe Manor), an elephant orphanage, Karen Blixen coffee plantation, Kabuzi Bead Factory, and Karen Blixen Hotel for lunch.

Initially we had a 6:30pm flight to Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania  -a direct one hour flight. We arrived to Nairobi airport around 4pm, and we told at the check in that our flight was cancelled. We would not fly out until 12:50am. It would not be a direct flight. It will stop over in Zanzibar first. We would wait another 8 or so hours until we board our flight. This was the worst part of the whole trip. Everything that happened onwards, was just a little bumpy, but not the worst, because, this. was. the. worst. part. So overall, everything else would be just another part of the African experience. As they say, TIA (this is Africa).

Over the next 27 days, we had very little internet access during our travels across East Africa and Madagascar. It was a fun filled, full-on adventure! Very dusty, bumpy, and at the same time, serene. Every day I returned to the room, feeling pretty wrecked. It was the best trip. I feel so lucky to have been able to experience this kind of adventure early on in life, with the person I love most.

Favourite moments:

  • elephants in the forrest @ Ngorongoro Crater
  • elephants in Amboseli
  • trekking with the gorillas in Rwanda
  • walking through the spiny forrest to see the lemurs in Madagascar
  • resting oceanside in Manafiafy

Pictures to follow.

L + R | 2017

Halloween 2015

https://youtu.be/MZLot0w8jE0

Thanks 2014

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Camping @ Mt Mee with DB Team

 

9 August -10 August 2014

Saturday morning, we went grocery shopping then stopped by Ry’s sister’s place to borrow folding chairs before meeting at CDMC’s place at 10:30am, and LBell and Shep arrived soon after.  We loaded the two cars, and headed north to Mt Mee.

The drive was quite scenic, however we were held up where there was a motor bike and truck accident that occurred.  Once we arrived, it did not take long for us to set up.

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Shep and LBell setting up their tent.

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DMC & Ry setting up the Taj TentDSC_1035

Girl Guide’s CMC starting a bonfireDSC_1036

Quick progressDSC_1037

Almost ready!
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Now the fun begins!DSC_1065 DSC_1067 DSC_1070

Playing a couple of rounds of Box Head; Box head DMC and Rule MasterDSC_1080

Master chefs preparing brekky to drool for!DSC_1082 DSC_1085

A short walk to see the waterhole -planning our next camping tripDSC_1087 DSC_1090 DSC_1092 DSC_1102 DSC_1107 DSC_1113 DSC_1117

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These are a group of wonderful ladies I had the pleasure of meeting and knowing during my time at UQ.  Kate, who has since relocated to South Africa was in town for one night, and here is us getting together and catching up at The Burrow in West End.

2014 Highlights

I realised I have not blogged or updated or posted any new entries all. year. long…so I will first give an overall summary , and then post highlights by month. Overall Summary Ryan and I continue to play Dodgeball with a great bunch every Monday evening.  Thank you to John G. for inviting us to his team.  We started playing about a year ago, in Division 3 and worked our way up undefeated in Div 3 then undefeated Div 2, now we are in Div 1 for the second season -in total I have been playing 5 seasons with Pigs Flying. 1379410_10151714160627135_747476326_n Megan and I began meeting up for indoor rock climbing, something that we put off recently since I returned from the states early June. Ryan and I stopped going weekly and I took a break from it before starting up again with Megan. Ryan and I were house-sitting for the Thomsons in West End from November to early January. Towards the end of 2013; we adopted Penelope and got a new car, along with new phones, and for me, new job. My contract position got extended from February to now December this year.  Major plus.  I hope eventually I’ll obtain a permanent role.   (Note: I will update this post with photos along the way, but photos currently are all over the place, and so not all have been posted yet -most are on my instagram) January 2014 

  • We celebrated the new year with our friends Megan and Andrew in Hawthorne, at a house party hosted by a mutual friend.  It was a themed party -the awesome 80s.  It was last minute so we managed to put together a few things the day of the party.

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  • Ryan and I checked out an exhibit at the GOMA in South Bank, a couple, actually

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  • We celebrated Ryan’s birthday at a swanky restaurant along the river call Jellyfish -it had a lovely view of the Story Bridge.
  • Ryan’s father visited and we had a Pane semi family reunion, because Ryan’s cousins from China and Tasmania were in town as well; we celebrated on Australia Day at New Farm Park

DSC_0703 February 2014

  • We celebrated Bernice’s birthday at the Bell House on the 2nd.
  • I got to attend my first Hen’s party for Cate’s big night out -started off with a crafternoon at her house, then off we went to have Mexican dinner at Pepe’s in Nundah, then the taxi van drove us ladies out to Paddington on Caxton Street and we had a blast watching Cate complete her dares, sing karaoke and watching Thunder from down Under.  Whoo

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  • Ryan and I won a free photo shoot with Verve

March 2014

  • Our apartment was used for a friend’s film project which was cool, because we got to see the crew behind the scenes working the camera, and the actors doing retake.  It’d be interesting to see the completed work, but who knows.
  • Brad’s birthday was on the 11th.
  • We participated with Ryan’s family in “My Kitchen Rules”
  • We went scuba diving with the crew from Manta Lodge along with my work colleagues

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  • Ryan and I attended our first wedding together in Australia and in general – to Cate and Dave’s Wedding; and we had a blast.  Ryan was wooing all the ladies with his out of this world dancing skills.  I cried.  The groom and bride cried.  It was beautiful.

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  • I was invited to go to Arts and Crafts with my workmate Pete.  IT was awesome.  I wish I could do more of it.  It does get pricey.
  • We got to have a few public holidays: Good Friday Easter Monday, Anzac Day; Loved it!
  • We adopted Leela! aka Leela Left Eye, she is missing her left eye.  It took only 4 days for Penelope to accept Leela.  So they are sisters -Penelope Purz and Leela Left Eye.  We love them.  Leela is a little brave silly one, and Penelope the cool calm and collected.

10498397_10103205136392807_7121719199071801707_o May 2014 

  • I left for the USA from 9 May to 7 June 2014.  It was a stressful, and at times enjoyable.
  • From my personal perspective; I was helping my mom prepare for her death.  Getting things in order.
  • I was pretty emotional while I was there; then I bought a book The Fault in Our Stars which kept me distracted

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  • It was nice catching up with some family and friends; celebrating some birthdays and my cousin Natalie and Kevin’s wedding; though I did not get to enjoy the wedding fully bc I had to leave briefly, but overall I am glad I got to witness the majority of it; and Ryan was there in town with my participating in my kind of crazy.  He managed to fly over for 10 days.
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  • Highlights:
  • eating everything I craved for; catching up with cousins and friends

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  • watching my uncle play volleyball -a special thank you to Cau Phu, for everything.
  • Also seeing movies with my cousins and Uncle (The Other Women & Maleficent)

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  • sailing with Ryan’s family from Monterey Bay to Pacific Palisades and back; spending the day in LA

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  • The last part of my trip was difficult with mom’s surgery (it was a success, and she survived it)  I seriously considered not returning to Australia; but made the choice to leave US to continue with the good things in my life I have got going here in Brisbane
  •  It was pretty challenging to leave, and it was horrible waiting for my flight at LAX.

June 2014

  • It was a huge wave of “calm” that washed over me once I landed in Brisbane.  I can’t explain it, but it felt like I made the right decision, and I was happy to see Ryan again, to be at home in our place.
  • I arrived on the 9th June and it was a public holiday in QLD.
  • We caught up with some friends, Stephanie; Dan and Anneke who all kindly helped look after our kitties while we were away.

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  • I returned to work the following day which was a two day training on DBT.  It was a nice way to ease back into work
  • My work colleague had a “Wine Down” at her place

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  • Ryan and I shopped for a new mattress and tidied up the unit because his parent and brother were arriving at the end of the month; his brother stayed at his sister’s house and his parents with us, which was nice

July 2014

  • His parents arrived (Carole’s first time visiting since we lived here 3.5 years) on Wed 2 July, and stayed with us until Sunday morning when they began their road trip to South Australia.
  • Ryan’s family and I got to see his niece perform in the musical Cats

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  • Continue to catch up with my mom daily or almost daily
  • called Valentina for her birthday
  • and here we are.  Updated.
  • This year has gone by very quickly.

2014..to be continued.

more photos from mom’s visit to brisbane

Mom’s Visit to Brisbane

Like I said in the previous post: (*4 weeks in the states) my mom and I arrived Sunday evening where poor Ryan had to wait for our arrival due to delays.

My mom and I were terribly jet lagged the next day waking up at 4 am and starting our day at 6am, where the three of us went to Moray Cafe for brekky.  We then walked to the Sydney Ferry Stop so that my mom could see the CityCat, Story Bridge and the City in the distance.  Ryan went to work, and my mom and I started our first day together.

Our first stop was Merthyr Centre so that we could drop off Ryan’s drycleaning, and went to Coles and looked around the stores nearby.

I took my mom to Inala, so that she can see the Vietnamese community and stores out that way.   We bought our groceries there and had lunch at Tan Thanh.  My mom gave away her foreign-ness when ordering in pounds instead of kilos when buying meat at the butchery.

After Inala, we returned home, and my mom prepared food for the week, and we relaxed and had dinner when Ryan got back from work.   My mom got to see us play dodgeball, which we won 16-10.  She seemed to enjoyed it.

Today was picture day.  We went to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, and took photos with Koalas and Kangaroos.  Afterwards we spend some time at the Botanical Gardens near Mt Coot tha, and also checked out the lookout spot and had lunch there.  We shared Barramundi and Chips.

It was a good day, and now we are relaxing, then off to the dry cleaners to pick up Ry’s shirts…then wait for Ry to come home and have dinner.  Photos to follow…Mom in Inala IMG_0329 IMG_0339 IMG_0349 IMG_0354 IMG_0371 IMG_0409 IMG_0420 IMG_0431 IMG_0439 IMG_0451 IMG_0452 IMG_0454 IMG_0455 IMG_0458 IMG_0459