Always carry a Camera.. life happens all around you.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trip Downunder - Day 6

FRIDAY 20 MAY 2011
We left Knox City early on Friday morning and headed onto the Highway to visit the world 2nd most “Livable” city in the world.. i.e. Melbourne itself.
Our first view of the City was after we came out of a Long tunnel, and in front of us was the most amazing stadium with the weirdest architecture ever...

After carefully negotiating all the roads and once in the city, being very careful of all the trams, we finally made our way to the Crown Plaza which is nestled along the banks of the Yarra River.
Wow, what an amazing hotel. So nice to have your car valet take your vehicle away and park it, and the concierge every so worried about your every need. Our room overlooks the Yarra River banks and has a beautiful view of the outer side of Melbourne.

We instantly dropped our bags off in the room and after a quick drink in the Hotel Pub (have to try out the local pub), we hit the City. Melbourne City is one of the last cities that uses Trams and the reason for this is that they have very wide streets. Everyone has to give way for the intense network of trams that run up and down the city all day and all night long. There is a City Circle Tram, which is free of charge and you can just hop on / off at the stops along the way. It takes you around the outside edge of the centre of the city, so is perfect for all the local tourists. Believe me.. there are MILLIONS of tourists here, everyone is either dragging a bag behind them or taking photos or looking at maps. They are really so organised here though. I have never seen anything like it. You have maps everywhere and pamphlets with maps free all over the city, so you really cannot get lost.

There is so much to do in the city, it is mind boggling. So we headed for our first stop which was the EUREKA TOWER.. Eureka Tower has the highest SKY PLATFORM in the Southern Hemisphere (88 storeys high).. of course, being real tourist, we had to go up, walk around, go on the platform (and lie on our tummies looking down at the earth below.. WOW).. and get a photo taken ! !!! LOL Was amazing to see the views from up the top (took 2 cameras with so some photo’s I can only download later)...

You can see ALL around Melbourne.. it is really the most amazing city.. mixing old with new so easily, you don’t even notice it. The old St Peters and Pauls Cathedrals are huge and dominate the skyline, but blend in so well with the Skyscrapers around them. The city has every kind of transportation you can think of, from Trams (old and new), to a super underground subsway train system, to helicopters, gondola’s on the river, boat cruises, helicopters in the City AND horse and carriage rides.. even saw a Steam Train !
On the way back from the Sky Deck we stopped at the old St. Peters Cathedral. This is open to the public and have services daily. The stained glass windows are too beautiful and the overall calmness that surrounds the Cathedral is beautiful. Directly opposite the Cathedral, you can see the diversity of the City in the architecture of Federation Square across it and the Flinders Street Station on the other corner. What a mix of old and new.. amazing

We then headed North to the Melbourne Museum where they have the TUTHANKAMUN exhibition. We couldn’t get in immediately so took a nice stroll around the Museum itself.. which is beautiful and has dinosaur skeletons (never seen those before.. they are HUGE)... when the time came, we headed downstairs for the KING TUT exhibition. These were items taken from his Tomb and are all original items specially brought from Egypt. It was extremely busy and overcrowded (and they let us in in groups... was very expensive too), but for the experience, it was awesome.. to see the actual jewellery he wore, and the staff he used.. was amazing.

We caught the City Circle Tram back and found a local Steakhouse “RARE” to go to for dinner. Was a lovely restaurant.

On the walk back, you cannot even begin to describe the “vibe” of the city.. it pumps all the time. It is clean, tidy, well kept and everyone is busy with their own thing. It is super efficient. People everywhere. Lots of Asians around. No Africans to speak of. People from all walks of life are here and it is amazing to see such diversity. The girls here are super sexy and all were skinny jeans and UTTS (sheep skin boots) during the day, and at night EVERY Girl under 40 wears black short short mini skirts with either high heel shoes or boots.. The dresses are all very tight and very skimpy. Neville is getting more eye candy than he can handle at the moment.

PS: In between the main streets are “Lanes”.. these are like Alley Ways, but are well kept and neat. Some of these are works of art and are spraypainted by the local graffiti artists. You cannot believe how amazingly talented they are. No such thing as dingy alley ways for this city..

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trip Downunder - Day 4

Today Marietjie fetched us and we took a drive to Berick area and Narre Warren. During our drive on the highway I noticed these high walls along the sides of most of the highway. Marietjie explained that they are built for noise polution so that the houses don't hear the cars so much.. how cool is that.. !!

Both the areas we visited are really nice, although so far from all the places we have seen Berwick seems to be our favorite, now to hope we can get the kids into schools and find a house to lease here.
The average style of house in the area is made of wood with slight Victorian finishes.. some houses are much older and some are very modern. I just love that hardly any houses have walls and that there are awesome walkways and bicycle baths everywhere for the kids to walk and play ! No barb wire or electic fences.. what a change... !!!

This was Berwick Secondary College.. it is huge and has its own Arts and Culture Centre too.. aparently the Govermnent pumped a couple of million into EACH school to do with whatever they want.. so most schools we drove past were buidling on something or the other. The schools here are all so clean and neat and really have stunning fields and sports facilities..

The Primary School is about 1 Km down the road and just as nice. We will try and see if we can get interviews in the area next week.

Nev had another meeting with the bosses today to finalise negotiations and they are looking good.. although we have nothing to compare them with... hard to say yes or no... but they promise it is good..

Tomorrow Nev goes in again for the day and gets a car to drive around so I hope we get a chance to drive around a bit and see some more of Oz.. getting tired of the hotel now !

Monday, May 16, 2011

Trip Downunder - Day 3

Today we managed to wake up early enough to make breakfast.. yesterday we slept right through it...

It was freezing today.. the weather is really miserable and cold and wet...

Marietjie fetched us bright and early and we spent the morning driving around and looking at the houses in the immediate area and the schools....

There are some nice areas and some really "tacky" ones.. the houses here are all very small (the bigger ones are VERY VERY expensive..) but then so are the small ones I suppose.. I hope we manage to find a nice house in a nice area... There were two areas we saw today that have lots of potential... Rowville and Wheelers Hill...

Came back to the Hotel and rested for the afternoon and I updated my blog.

Went back to Knox City and visited an awesome PUB shop that sells lots of memorablia,... they have a huge special on ACDC stuff... also found a CD / Electronics shop with tons of metal / rock / alternative stuff... Neville almost cried ... LOL.. they had so many brilliant box sets.. he wants them all...

Went to supper at Seamus O' Grady Irish Pub... was nice.

Trip downunder - Day 2

OK today we ended up sleeping right through the alarm.. Nev was meant to be collected at 9am.. we only woke up at 10h30 when the FireAlarm Drill was activated at the hotel.. LOL.. would still be sleeping if it didnt wake us up. Brett (the other director and Nev's new boss to be) collected him from the Hotel and took him to the Plant at Keysborough for the rest of the day. They had a meeting and Nev got to meet the people there.

I spent the day walking down to the local Shopping Mall and looking at the prices of stuff. Cannot make any sense of it at the moment.. some stuff seems so expensive and some is so cheap if you compare.

The money here is so funny... weird with a piece of plastic in it and the coins are shaped funny.. I have no idea how to use it.. LOL

Got to go out for supper with Dean and his wife Marietjie at HOGBREATH CAFE in KNOX centre.. Was very nice. The wine here is extremely pricey but there was a really nice one we tried.. might have to bring back a bottle.

One thing I have found here is that there are millions of Chinese people.. not one black face anywhere, but lots of asians.. very interesting as so similar to South Africa (the set up, shops, etc..) but so different as well.

Have to try and get used to the strange accent.. keep reminding myself that I am the one with the accent here now.. LOL

Trip Downunder - Day 1

OK bags are packed and ready by the front door.. the day has finally arrived and we are on our way to Australia to check it out...

Self snapshot while we are waiting for Jenny to come and fetch us and take us to the airport...

Got to the airport with lots of time to spare.. the queues were really small as we were so early and we booked in our luggage and made our way to the Premier Lounge for an hour or so while we waited for our flight... How awesome it is there.. felt so spoiled..
Made our way through to the Gate to get ready to take our flight... Making sure our tickets were ready ! Saw Hennie and Deone at the Gates too... they ended up sitting just in front of us on the plane..Check the size of our plane.. it is huge.. asked the lady and said it takes about 400 people... Wow.. it was massive inside too..
OK, now this photo is taken after 11 hours plus of flying... a VERY TIGHT squeeze in the seats.. you couldn't even eat without turning sideways.. but at least the flight was uneventful.. which is always a good thing I suppose... The girl next to us was an ogre though... Grr...

The staff on Qantas are really nice though and we generally got spoiled on the flight.. lots of food, snackies, gifts, etc.. so was a fun experience.. albeit SOOOOOOOOOOOOO long !!! Yawn.. couldn't sleep at all.. way too uncomfortable.. Most of the flight was in the dark and when it was light we had to keep shutters closed so the people could sleep... Nev and I walked the aisles at night to keep our circulation going.. was a huge plane so you could walk far.

The final stretch... I took a photo of my TV infront of me.. this was our final stretcjh.. 28 minutes and counting... Took long enough ! WOW !! We finally arrived at Sydney, (awesome airport, fly in over the harbor..) but it took so long to get our baggage that we missed our connecting flight to Melbourne. Luckily though we went straight through Customs.. There was one man whose bag was taken apart.. ouch ! felt sorry for him.. The just led Nev and Me right through.. yay..

We booked in for our second leg of the flight and had a quick drink.. only to realise that our clocks were set wrong (1 hour behind) and we almost missed our connecting flight.. they had to call us on the intercom and we were the last people on the flight.. was bad ! Felt terrible.. LOL

Anyhow.. that flight was luckily only 1h30 so by that time, it was old hat to fly... ! Arrived about 6pm on Sunday in Melbourne and picked up by Dean (one of the Directors).. such a nice guy.. Were taken to our Hotel (Punthill Hotel and Apartments).. Crashed after that ....

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Managed to tackle another Challenge over at Let's Scrap.

NSD Challenge #2 was to create a layout, using a Let's Scrap sketch and using the word FIRST in the title.

This is the layout I created..

Over our December holiday we found a nice Putt Putt course on the beach. My son is mad about Putt Putt so we had to spend every moment we had playing Putt Putt.

Close up left and right:

Close ups:

Found some old Golf Bags that I had in my stash for ages... nice to be able to use them.

Used a tag for my journalling that I hid behind the photo.

Hugs, Mich

Mini Bags

At the Tim Holtz expo, we received cute little bags on the table with goodies in. A friend at work wanted to put something on the table (she is hosting a Mothers Day breakfast), so I suggested we make these little bags and put some sweets inside..

I took apart my other bag and cut out the template. I just used normal A4 template, stamped it with a nice black stamp that I had.

Luckily it didn't take too long to make:

Hugs, Mich


I am trying to do a few of the NSD challenges over at Lets Scrap before I leave for Oz. This is NSD challenge No. 1.

You had to use 2 photos and a scallop border PLUS a mixed title.

I pulled out my Fiskars punch and used these photos of my boys on holiday (who says you cannot scrap pink for boys).. We had a wet day and decided to look for a nice place to eat cake instead... so we found the best and most decadent cake in Jeffrey's Bay .. LOL

Close ups of the layout... I hand cut the cake freehand and used left over Kaiser paper that I had for the layout:

Also used some extra bling I had for my cake:

Had some really "sweet" rubons left over from the Expo last year that I finally managed to make use of...

Thanks for looking.

Hope to see you hop on over to Let's Scrap and join the challenges.

Hugs, Mich

Monday, May 2, 2011



Don't forget to hop on over to LETS SCRAP for a month FULL of challenges for you to partake in.

All the challenges run from 1 May to 30 May (except the 2 sketches), and you have a chance to win lots of prizes.

Hop on over and check out all the challenges !

Hope you see you there ... cannot wait to see what you girls all come up with !

Hugs, Mich