Holiday Snapshots – Singapore

My gift to Sebastian for his birthday this year was a five day trip to Singapore. Despite enduring two of the worst flights of my life, the holiday as a whole was extremely enjoyable. Highlights for me were the Gardens by The Bay and the River Safari, and Sebastian’s highlight was the tour of the Battlebox. We had both been to Singapore before, but not for many years so it was really nice to see how the city has developed since then. Singapore is such a tourist-friendly city and there is so much to do, so much so that we actually ran out of time to do all of the things we had planned. I thought five days would be more than enough, but as it turns out I was wrong so I think next time we’ll go for a full week. To be honest, I would go back just to see the otters and capybaras at the River Safari again. But I’m cool like that.

Holiday Snapshots

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We had a really wonderful time on our recent holiday interstate and I thought I’d share some snapshots from our travels with you all. We flew over to Adelaide on a Fridayn evening and drove straight to Goolwa to spend the weekend at a beach house with some of Sebastian’s friends. On the Monday morning, Sebastian and I drove to Warrnambool for the evening which was to be our halfway point before we made our way along the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne. On the Tuesday we drove up the coast, and it was a truly magical experience. The views were breathtaking. I had been there as a child when my parents and I drove across the country but to be honest I have no memory of the view (probably because I would’ve had my head stuck in a Babysitters Club Book the whole time). We made our way to Melbourne where we spent two evenings and one full day before driving back to Adelaide on the Thursday. We spent the rest of our time in Adelaide catching up with friends and celebrating Sebastian’s birthday, and then we headed home on the Sunday evening. I want to go back!

Holiday Snapshots – Pemberton (Scarlet Woods Chalets)

I booked a little getaway for us as an early celebration of Sebastian’s birthday, and it was heavenly. We both felt like we’d done the Dunsborough and Margaret River region a bit to death over the last year and a half, so I decided to branch out and find somewhere new for us to stay. After doing a bit of research online, I settled on the Scarlet Woods Chalets in Pemberton. As it turns out, staying somewhere with no internet connection and nothing to do except relax is a really wonderful thing. Granted, we did get out and about on one of the days we were there, but that time was spent hiking through a forest and exploring the small town of Pemberton. Nothing fast-paced, nothing fancy. Just good old fashioned relaxation. Our days basically went like this: sleep in, enjoy pancakes and bacon on the balcony while watching the fog roll into the valley and the kangaroos practicing their boxing out on the lawn, play monopoly while eating copious amounts of cheese and drinking scotch (or red wine), grilling on the BBQ, and enjoying freezing cold nights in the hot water of the jacuzzi on the balcony. Like I said, heavenly.

Staycation 2015

I’ve felt an incredibly strong desire for a holiday lately, but time and money constraints have made it impossible. I decided that we’d try a ‘Staycation’ and spend one night away from home somewhere in our own city. This ended up being far less expensive than heading away for the weekend, but we still felt like we’d gotten away for a bit. I did a bit of research and decided on Rendezvous Scarborough, because it’s a place we’re familiar with and the location is quite lovely. To add to the experience, I booked us both in for a Swedish Back, Neck, and Shoulder massage at Vanilla Face & Body Spa, which is located within the hotel. We both had a lovely experience at Vanilla. The service was top notch, the facilities were great, and the massage itself was wonderful. The only downside for me was that I came up in a horrible rash (which I noticed the morning after the massage) – but I do not put any of the blame on Vanilla. They gave us a form to fill out prior to the appointment, and I clearly stated that I had no allergies to nuts (which is the oil that was used during the session). Well, as it turns out I do have a kind of allergy. The more you know. After our massage we checked in and headed up to our room, and were happy to see that we had a beautiful view of the ocean from our balcony.

Now it was time for us to wind down. What I’d been waiting for all week. We kicked back, relaxed, and tuned in for some blissful uninterrupted TV time. It’s funny, if we watch TV at home I always feel like I have 100 other things I could be doing and I never really relax. Having all of that taken away from me really made it easier for me to unwind. We watched a couple of episodes of Daredevil, and then decided on dinner. I initially wanted room service, and although there were quite a few gluten free options available on the dinner menu (props to Rendezvous for that), nothing caught my eye. We decided on Grill’d, which is conveniently located at the base of the hotel. Grill’d now offer a gluten free bun option on their burger menu (although I am confused as to why there is a disclaimer that it may contain gluten, no other product that ‘may’ contain gluten that I’ve come across ever calls itself gluten free), and happily it was quite delicious. Yes, that is Seinfeld in the background. We only have one season left!

Sebastian wanted something quite specific for breakfast (a smoked salmon bagel), so we did a bit of a google search and discovered The SandBar just down the road had exactly what we were after. Sebastian ordered his bagel and I ordered poached eggs with mushrooms, bacon, and gluten free toast. I like a big breakfast. The breakfast was delicious, and the gluten free bread was so yummy I even asked the waiter which bread they use and I’ll be attempting to hunt it down sometime soon. After breakfast we went for a stroll along the foreshore and witnessed a man doing some vigorous dancing on the grassed area near the water. What a way to start the day! We headed home mid-morning, and both felt refreshed after our mini Staycation. I think it’s a great way of taking a break without traveling too far from home, or spending too much money.

Holiday Snapshots

As I mentioned in my previous ‘thoughts of the week’ post, Sebastian and I headed back down south for the weekend to attend the Gourmet Escape food and wine festival. Now, we weren’t really sure what we were in for as for once we hadn’t done a lot of research into what we were attending. So having said that, I will also say that we probably wouldn’t have gone to the event if we knew what we’d bought tickets for. Basically we had General Admission that allowed us to enter the event and do tastings etc. but also pay $7 per “gem” to be able to buy food and drinks from various stalls. If we’d planned the day better perhaps we would have had more fun, but we ended up staying for a couple of hours, spent all of our gems and then left. It was hot, there were a lot of flies, and we’re both introverts (read: large crowds can only be tolerated for so long). Despite this, we still had a nice little weekend away. We stayed in my family holiday home, and made an effort to get out and about and sample a bit of the local cuisine. We went to ‘Musters’ restaurant for the first time, and will definitely be going back again soon. Here are some snapshots from the weekend –