Travel Misadventures

Today I’m linking up with the ladies of Travel Tuesday to talk about the rare times that things don’t go as planned.

In the past three and a half years that Travis have been going on trips we have had pretty good luck with the actual travel part (besides last month when my sister took our passports to Scotland) but we have had a few mishaps in finding our intended location…

Seal Rock

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Seal(less) Rock

Our first trip we took together was to San Francisco. This is where I learned of Trav’s travel style of hitting the pavement early and seeing anything and everything. This day was no different, Travis woke me up at the crack of dawn to go on an hour long bus ride and mile walk to see the Seal Rock that he had seen on our trusty map. Once we finally made it to the rock we noticed not only were we the only people around but also there were no seals in sight. That is when Travis decided to do a quick google search which informed us that the seals stopped coming to the rocks in 1989. They now go to Fisherman’s Warf which was much more conveniently located. From then on you would think we would have learned to do better research…

Buckingham Palace

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This is by far our most embarrassing mistake. On our first trip to London together to see my parents we headed out and see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. After following signs and walking for a while we noticed a small crowd and some guards on horseback. We assumed that this must be it. We watched the whole ceremony that mostly consisted of guards on horseback switching places and standing around. We decided that this whole changing of the guards business was underwhelming and Buckingham Palace wasn’t all it was chalked up to be (and didn’t look anything like it did on the postcard in Cool Runnings). Imagine our surprise when we continued our walk and stumbled upon the actual Buckingham Palace and realized we had been hanging out by the stables all morning.

Playa Conchal

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1) Hanging with our new friend 2) GPS’s suck. 3) Brasilito (Playa Conchal on the other side of the rocks in the background)

On our honeymoon in Costa Rica, we rented a car and tried to explore a new beach each day. The concierge at our hotel told us the most beautiful beach was called Playa Conchal and we had to see it for ourselves. He gave us loose directions and we headed out in our trusty little Jimmy. We followed our outdated Garmin until we saw the sign for Playa Conchal. We parked and headed to the shore. When we got there we were greeted by an empty beach with brownish water. We were surprised that concierge would speak so highly of such a subpar beach but decided to enjoy having the place to ourselves and frolicked in the waves all day, only stopping to have lunch on the shore. On our way back to the car a man outside a restaurant started making small talk and asked if we were going to Playa Conchal. We were so confused (because we thought we were standing on it) until he informed we were at Playa Brasilito and Conchal was on the other side of the rocks. We walked around and saw the most beautiful beach with white sand and blue water, resort loungers and umbrellas scattered everywhere.

We decided to return the following day, following our GPS for every turn. Until we turned right onto an empty beach. And sunk in the sand. We had to walk a long way to find some locals to help push us out. After that ordeal we decided to return to what we knew- Playa Brasilito. We spent the afternoon smoking cigars (Trav not me), drinking cervezas and hanging out with the restaurant owner that first told us we were in the wrong spot. He wished us luck and made us promise to return to Brasilito in ten years with our children. We still talk about making our trip back to our special little spot in Costa Rica.

Hope you enjoyed our silly mistakes, we are lucky that those are our only misadventures so far. Sorry about the photo quality, I am away from home still so I had to save them from facebook. Plus most of them were probably taken on an iPhone version 1.

 

Just Touched Down in London Town

We finally made it home! For a second I was getting worried…

We were scheduled to fly out of London on Saturday around 8pm, putting us back in Brisbane early Monday morning just in time for Travis to go to work. Around 4pm Saturday Travis noticed our passports that had been sitting by the front door (so we wouldn’t forget them) were no longer there. We looked high and low before determining the unthinkable must have happened- my sister, Caroline, must have taken them when she left for college that morning.

We confirmed that suspicion just as Caroline was getting off her 6 hour train ride in Edinburgh, Scotland (luckily we were able to catch her before she got on to her next train). She raced across town to make the next flight back to London but unfortunately she missed it by minutes… and the next flight was cancelled. Long story short, but a shady Edinburgh airport stay and hefty airline change fee later we headed back to Australia Sunday afternoon.

Anyway- enough of that madness and back to our trip. Since this was our third time going to visit my parents and my fourth time in London we already had most of the tourist attractions ticked off but we managed to squeeze in a few new activities.

Friday we went to Kings Cross Station so my potter head husband could get a picture at the Platform 9 3/4.

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Saturday we went to go by Westminster and Big Ben at night to get some pictures of them all lit up though…

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How many London symbols can we get in one picture?

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Sunday we made a concerted effort to attend church at Westminster Cathedral but shockingly we did not make it out of the house in time. We decided to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral instead since we hadn’t been before. We missed the last service so we just walked around, took pictures and added to our nativity collection.

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Travis thinks it’s hilarious to make me awkwardly pose in front of telephone booths everywhere. I promise this is the last one (that I’m posting- there are plenty more..).

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After our wander we decided to give Gordon’s another go and try and get a table. I talked some about Gordon’s some here. It’s the oldest wine bar in London- opened in 1890. You can read more about this history (including an interactive timeline) here. Every time we have gone it has been packed and we have had to sit outside. Since Sunday afternoon, especially on a sunny day, was not prime time to sit indoors in a dark cellar we were in luck.

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Two hours, a bottle of wine, cheese plate and a roast later we finally made our back into the sunshine.

Travis wanted to go see MI6, apparently where James Bond worked? It was pretty anti-climatic and we wouldn’t even have known that we were there if it weren’t for google maps.

Sooo we took a picture and called it a day.

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I unfortunately did not get any photographs of our teams embarrassing defeat that evening at trivia night at the pub.

Next week I am sharing our road trip to Belgium! 🙂

Friday Favourites: European Edition

Happy Friday 🙂

Our whirlwind weeklong trip is coming to a close, we got back to London this afternoon and we head back to Oz tomorrow evening. It’s been a chilly but fun week of family time, exploring new places and relaxing.

When we get home I will be posting more about where we went and what we did with photographic evidence from the “big camera” but until then, here are my favorites via lovely iPhone photography.

Christmas in London

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There’s something magical about Christmas time in London. The streets are busy, everyone has shopping bags and there are Christmas decorations and lights everywhere. I felt super touristy taking this picture but whatever- my husband is wearing a backpack so I guess we’re not really fooling anyone.

Gordon’s Wine Bar

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This is the fourth time in the past year we have been to Gordon’s in hopes of sitting in the cave-like cellar. The first time it was closed, the second and third time it was so packed we had to perch on a wine barrel outside with our wine glasses. But we are nothing if not determined and apparently 2pm on a sunny Sunday afternoon is not the most popular time to sit inside a dark cave and drink wine. We got prime real estate tucked right in the back corner. We split a bottle of wine, enjoyed a cheese plate and a Sunday roast and pretty much forgot what sunlight and the outside world looked like for a while. Gordon’s is the oldest wine bar in London and possibly all of Europe- built in the 1800’s. Most of it is still in its original condition including the dining area that is lit only by candle light. If you are in London I would add this to your list- good food, cheap wine and a step back in time.

Hunter Wellies

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I got an early Christmas present from my parents- the Hunter rain boots (or Wellies) I’ve been eyeing. I was so excited when I saw rain in the forecast for Brugge so I could break them in! Now I’m just crossing my fingers for more rain in Brisbane when we get back! Someone else liked them too…

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He just had a little trouble removing them.

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Brugge

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We spent the past several days in the quaint little town of Brugge (or Bruges), Belgium. I’m not exaggerating when I say it looks like a fairytale. The city center is literally within walls, the streets are cobblestone, the houses look fake and there are as many horse drawn carriages as there are cars on the road. I can’t wait to share more on our time there.

Tomorrow we head back home- only 8 hours to Dubai and 15 hours to Australia.

Until next time, check out the other Friday Favorites on the link up…

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Friday Favorites 10/24

I’m linking up again this week with Andrea to share my weekly favorites! 🙂

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Upcoming Trips with my Favorite

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We booked two trips this week! We are going to London to visit my parents at the end of November. Since it will be our third visit (and my fourth time in London) we decided to do some traveling during our stay. We are taking a road trip to Brugge, Belgium for a few days with my parents. That is the picture my mom sent me this morning of the Christmas market and informed me they booked an apartment just three blocks from there for our visit. I’m so excited!

We also booked our flights to go to Sydney in November. The G20 Summit is taking place in Brisbane this year and we want to get out of town and escape the madness!

If anyone has any must see/do/eat for Brugge, London or Sydney, let me know!

My Favorite Lunch

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Today I made one of my very favorite recipes for lunch for the first time since we moved. It’s Avocado Chicken Salad and I think I have finally perfected the recipe. I had to make homemade pita chips since I haven’t found them in the stores here yet. Also, not photographed: HUGE pinterest fail chickpea chocolate chip cookies. You win some, you lose some.

My Favorite Morning Ritual

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I first found out about the She Reads Truth on one of my favorite blogs. It’s a bible study app for women that has lots of devotionals for you to choose from and go through day by day. The last couple weeks I have really been making an effort read a devotional each morning and it has made a big difference in how I start my day.

My Favorite Show

I finally caught up on Mindy this week. It’s just so great. That’s all I can say.

That’s it for today. We have big plans for the weekend including the farmer’s market and a G20 Kick-off event where you throw color at people. Have a great weekend 🙂