Melbourne Weekend

We had booked a weekend in Melbourne to watch the Australian Open looong before we knew about this New York business. It ended up falling on Alec’s last weekend in Australia, so it seemed to be a good way to see him out with a bang.

Sweltering in the tennis. Don’t be fooled, the clothes are for sun protection. It was boiling.

We also spent a day wandering around St Kilda and the CBD, just hanging out.

St Kilda boardwalk.

Luna Park!

The Victoria Art Gallery. Thumper!

We had such a lovely weekend – the perfect way (bar a weekend at the beach!) to spend our last weekend together for a while. Next time we meet, it will be in New York, baby!
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Byron Road Trip 2010

We had a fantastic road trip up to Byron Bay over the Chrissie break. After Christmas Day in Stockton, we drove to Shoal Bay for Christmas night. We found a delicious pizza shop open and gorged ourselves on sweet, sweet pizza.
The next morning we met Alec’s dad and his wife for lunch, before drive up to Port Macquarie for the night. An early start had us on the road to Byron. We spent the next five nights in Byron, walking on the beach, eating, bush walking to a waterfall, walking up to the lighthouse and reading. Exactly what we needed after a stressful end to the year.

California and NYC Trip

I haven’t felt much like blogging lately, so this is a brief account of my recent USA trip. It was mostly for work, but I managed to squeeze in a trip to NYC and Monterey. Most of the trip, when I wasn’t working, I was catching up with friends and family.

First stop, San Francisco.

Catching up with Isis, Mansi and baby Maya.

Dinner at Greens Restaurant in SF with Jamie, Lisa and Isis.

One of Mansi and Jason’s Abyssinian cats. 

Another of Mansi and Jason’s pets!

Filming an AdSense video with Victoria in Mountain View.

Drinking the Koolaid on campus.

Next destination, NYC! I stayed with Masa for a few days in Brooklyn.

View from the Brooklyn shore.

Making a new friend in the park.

One of seven bridal couples I saw having photos taken in the area.

View from the Metropolitan Art Gallery rooftoop garden.

Doing what I do best 😉

Goofing off with Masa.

Dinner with Janice and Calman.

Hello Jersey Shores!

At the Google NY office with Olah.

And Nadia …

… and Isa!

Then it was back to Mountain View…

On campus, taking in the sites.

Nom nom nom.

My friendly tour guide, Gus, and giant green Android.

Making a new friend! Meeting Zoe Pollock.

Alec met me in Mountain View. We were able to spend a long weekend in Monterey.

My favourite animals at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the jellies!

Drive down the coast to Big Sur. Amazing scenery.

Gorgeous water.

Gorgeous, jet-lagged, husband.

Beautiful!

Admiring the view.

The red woods in Big Sur.

Small husband…

Tiny wife.

Meeting the locals.

My brother and Michele drove down to nearby Carmel for the end of the weekend.

Back in Mountain View with the Ring family – Jeannette and little PJ.

Making more friends on campus! Meet Lola.

Hawaii Honeymoon: Maui Part 1

A delayed honeymoon is a great idea for several reasons. 1. It’s practical as you can save up after the wedding for your trip. 2. It extends your wedding celebrations even longer. Our honeymoon was delayed because we wanted to go to Hawaii and the rainy season extended until the end of March.

We decided to visit two islands we hadn’t been to before – Maui and Kauai, with a day on Oahu at the end for shopping.

First stop on our trip was Maui. Each hotel gave us a complimentary bottle of Champagne with a really sweet card congratulating us on our wedding and honeymoon. The funniest was the last hotel, who address the card to “Mr and Mrs Knight”. *snigger*.

Free champagne? Yes please!

Lovely bedroom in our suite.

Mai Tai? Don’t mind if I do!

Celebrating with cocktails. Yay we’re married!

We stayed just outside of the main town of Lahaina, on North Ka’anapali Beach. The town is a bit touristy, but has the most amazing Banyan tree. It’s impossible to capture how large it is in a photo – suffice to say it’s worth visiting the town just to see the massive tree.

Biggest tree ever.

We bought this pineapple for a dollar on the side of the road.
During our stay we drove the road to Hana, which stretches along the coast. We stopped off at many parks and waterfalls along the way. 

No idea what this is. Love Hawaii and the weird and wonderful things lying around in the national parks.

One of many falls on the side of the highway.

The most beautiful waterfall was right at the end, called the seven pools of Oheo. It’s basically seven waterfalls that stream into each other – amazingly beautiful.

Photo op!

Sunsets on Hawaii are just amazing. We pulled over while driving a few times to photograph the sunset on the side of the road.

Beautiful view on the side of the road!

Just another perfect day in Maui.

Singapore – Turning 30 (Aug 9th)

Turning 30 – the moment I had been dreading! It was actually lucky it occurred as it did, in Singapore and following one of my best friend’s weddings, as it put the day in perspective, as something to be enjoyed, but something small in the larger scheme of things.

My 30th began right after the wedding – midnight, which was when we arrived at a club to dance with friends after the reception.

With the love of my life and best friend.

With two of my closest girl friends, Beverly and Lisa – no better way to see in my 30th year!


On the dance floor together for the first time!


After a late night dancing, we had a great sleep in the next morning, and a late breakfast. Perfect way to spend the last day of our trip.

A birthday isn’t a birthday without gifts! Thanks Alec for this gorgeous bracelet.


Beverly, as well as organising her wedding, also managed to organise a day out for my birthday! Thanks so much Bev, I really appreciate it, and had the best birthday ever thanks to you, Lise, Chris and Alec.

About to board the Singapore Flyer and watch the Singapore Day celebrations from the air.

Hello Singapore, thanks for celebrating with me!


After the Flyer we enjoyed an amazing foot reflexology session followed by massage (total bliss), while Lise and Chris tried the fish spa

Next we head off on an epic adventure through the Singapore Day celebrations to find a restaurant I have been wanting to try – a vegetarian Mediterranean restaurant called Original Sin. We arrived quite late but thankfully they were still open. The food, as in the reviews I’ve read, was delicious, the wine lovely, and we had a really delightful evening.

Dinner party comes to an end!


My first birthday cake!


Back at the hotel, the girls had organised another birthday cake for me! A delish chocolate concoction. Best way to end a birthday – eating cake at midnight. Thank you Bev and Lise!

Happy birthday to me!

Singapore – Highlights (August 6 – 10)

The final destination – Singapore, for our dear friends Beverly and Chris’ wedding.

Arriving in Singapore was quite a shock to the system. It was so hot and humid, it was like swimming through the air to try and get anywhere. In light of the weather, I could see why the national past times are eating and shopping.

We arrived in the evening, had a relaxing night, then spent the next day with the bridal couple for their hens and bucks days.

At the joint brunch in the morning.


Brunch was followed by manicure and pedicures, and then high tea! What a gorgeous day.

The girls – all primped and polished.


The next day, Saturday the 8th, was the big wedding day. I was honored to be asked to be one of Beverly’s “sisters” for the day, which meant we arrived at Bev’s aunt’s house early in the morning to participate in the claiming of the bride ritual, as well as getting to observe the tea ceremony.

The “sisters” plus bride and bridesmaid.

The next part of the day was the church ceremony – Bev looked stunning in her white gown.

Finally married! Massive congrats guys!


The reception was fabulous fun and a great way to end the day. The evening was punctuated with touching slideshows, particularly one from Bev’s parents, which made several of us shed a few tears.

Dressed in our finery.

Bev’s last dress change – stunning in red.

With the gorgeous couple. Love you both – thank you for including us in your beautiful day.

South of France – Highlights (July 29 – Aug 5)

After an amazing week in Paris, we flew south to Montpellier, picked up another hire car, and drove to Arles for a two-day stay.

Arles is famous for two things – most recently, Van Gogh lived and painted here, but a long time before that, Arles was conquered by the Romans. The remains of the Roman civilisation are still visible in Arles, including the theatre, baths and arena. We were lucky enough to see a gladiator match being put on in the arena when we visited.

Arles is a funny place – from the outside looks quite run down and old, but the narrow streets remind me a lot of Venice – a rabbit warren of streets, revealing treasures tucked into corners. The insides of the derelict buildings have all been renovated, so it’s quite the town of surprises.

The Roman arena.


From Arles we drove to Carcassonne, where we rented an apartment for four nights. Carcassonne is quite amazing to see when you approach the city. The old city is perched on a hill top and is quite majestic!

We spent a lovely day exploring the old city.


The area is rife with castles and is rich in history, particularly from the Cathar period. Many of the castles are actually more like fortresses, designed to protect the people, and the Cathars, from the religious crusades.

The castles are just amazing. Perched on the top of mountains in terrain that is so inhospitable it’s just extraordinary imagining people climbing up and down, or laying siege to, in every-day life.

One of the castles, Montsegur.

Sunflowers – everywhere!


Lastours castles.

Matchy-match at Lastours.

Final view of Carcassonne.

We ended our France leg by driving to Toulouse, spending the night, then catching a flight to London early the next morning.

France – Paris – Highlights (July 22 – 29)

An amazing week in Paris. Too much to go into detail about, so here is a touch of my favourite city.

Saint Chapelle is my favourite church, possibly of any I’ve ever seen. It’s just so beautiful with all of the stained glass.

Arc de Triomphe – I drove around this in peak hour traffic. Scariest driving experience of my life.

Delicious tart from Laduree – snobby evil staff, tasty pastry.

Gargoyle at Notre Dame.

The Louvre – home of fabulous art. Love the sculptures in particular.

Notre Dame in the sun – beautiful church.

Our hotel was only a five minute walk from Notre Dame. Amazing location. Amazing city!

Dinner with friends – Shelley and Eric met us for the weekend. Paris with friends is even better!

Versailles bike ride – one of the best things we did in Paris.

Eiffel Tour at night – love it when it’s all lit up.

Tour de France – what an amazing vibe and day.

Napoleon’s tomb in Hotel les Invalide. Very impressive!

Sewers tour! Made Alec happy 🙂

Sacre Coeur – prettiest situated church ever, with a great view of Paris.

NYC – Highlights (July 14 – 18)

Next stop was a whirlwind tour of NYC.

Alec was keen to see the American Museum of Natural History and all of the dinosaur bones.

Central Park – gorgeous in summer.

Lunch at the gorgeous Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

Catching up with gorgeous friends like Masa and Calman.

Doing a few touristy things like the Statue of Liberty.

And, of course, shopping! Juicy Couture, Tiffany & Co, and the Tokidoki mothership.


Such a short stop, it was crazy, but gave Alec a taste of the city. Will be back – for more shopping!

Hawaii – Highlights (July 10 – 14)

First stop on our round-the-world, month-long adventure, was the big island of Hawaii.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, and was surprised at how much I loved it. It was ultra American, but has retained lots of islandy-feel to it.

Some highlights from the four-and-a-half days we spent there …

The best pizza I’ve ever tasted. Made with spelt grain. Best. Thing. Ever. So good we went there twice.

Snorkling at Kealakekua Bay, site of where Captain Cook met his end. Also a place of shallow reef with lots of colourful fish.
Watched a live volcano flow lava into the ocean.

Swam with wild dolphins, including a dolphin calf.

And the absolute highlight, swam with manta rays at night. Freaky but sensational. The look scary but are so gentle, and look like underwater butterflies performing a ballet …


I wish we had stayed longer now, there was so much more to see! We will definitely be back …