Babymooning at Crystal Creek Rainforest Retreat

Hi friends! Hope everyone had a great weekend. Ours was filled with lots of relaxing and family time, which was just what we wanted.

I am finally getting around to writing about our babymoon that we took a couple weeks ago. We didn’t really take an official “baby moon” before we had Leighton, but I feel like the previous year was one big one since we did plenty of traveling and spending time just the two of us. I feel like the second time around taking time to go somewhere just us two was much more important.

Since Leighton was born I have only been away from her one night and that was after a wedding when she was 4 months old, and my parents brought her back to me first thing in the morning. That wasn’t really intentional and I would have totally thought I would have taken some sort of trip at this point, but when you live on the other side of the world from all of your family the opportunities are pretty slim.

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Easter in the Granite Belt {Continued}

Hi friends! Today I am sharing the second half of our Easter weekend in the Granite Belt. You can catch up on the first half here.

Saturday morning we had an early wake up from our little bed partner, who decided to join us at some point during the night. This is why air BnBs with multiple rooms are so much better with kids. We ate our complimentary breakfast before heading out for that day’s adventure. Continue reading

Easter Weekend in the Granite Belt

Hi friends! I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. Here in Australia, both Friday and Monday are public holidays so it’s a nice long weekend.

We had no real plans for the weekend until a week ago when we decided to head to our favorite little country town for a couple of nights. I have written about the Granite Belt quite a few times on here, since this was my sixth (Trav’s fifth) trip to the region. It’s only a few hours from Brisbane and home to a fruit fields, dairy farms, national parks and quite a few wineries.

The first weekend Travis and I spent in the area was in April 2016 when I was pregnant with Leighton (I had gone a girls trip before) and all of the leaves were the most gorgeous autumn colors. We really wanted to make it back again during Autumn this year, before our second child arrives in May.

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Byron Bay for the Day

Last weekend was a long weekend because of the Australia Day holiday on Friday. We didn’t do much for Australia Day, so once Saturday rolled around we decided to hit the road and hang out in Byron Bay for the day.

We hit the road by 8am that morning and were in Byron by 10 (which is actually 11 their time, since we crossed the New South Wales border). This worked out well since Leighton could take a little snooze on the way. It was already so hot outside, we immediately found street parking and headed straight to the beach.

It was very sunny and hot out that day, so we made sure to set up our little beach tent for shade and lather on the sunscreen.

We played in the waves (not the sand because Leighton thinks it’s “yucky”) and walked along the beach looking for rocks. After a quick snack and smoothie break in the tent, we were back out jumping in the waves.

After we had enough, we walked around a bit through the cute town center. Byron Bay is such a unique and fun place to visit. You will never be bored people watching either, there are folks from all walks of life and someone always wanting to read your palm or tell you your fortune. It started to sprinkle a bit as we walked but the dark clouds quickly passed by.

When we couldn’t decide on a place to eat lunch, we chose to move on to the next stop on the itinerary, The Farm at Byron Bay, and eat there.

We had been hearing about The Farm for a while now, but hadn’t made it out there yet. Luckily, it was right on the way out of town so the perfect place to go before we headed home. The Farm is a working farm that also houses a restaurant, bakery, produce store and flower shop. So you get to see the animals and produce that they sell and serve. It’s supposed to be a learning experience as well as a culinary one.

Unfortunately since we were arriving a bit late for lunch (2pm) they were closing down the restaurant, Three Blue Ducks, for a private event so we couldn’t eat off of their menu. The bakery and BBQ stand were still open though, so we grabbed a sandwich and a bbq lamb wrap to share between us. The grounds are so pretty and we found a picnic table overlooking the fields to post up at. There were people all around picnicking in the grass.

After eating we strolled around and looked at the flowers and the animals. Leighton was very excited to see this sheep and ran up to him excitedly. When she did, his cow friend got a bit protective and let out the loudest moo and scared her half to death. I felt bad for her, but it was absolutely hilarious at the time.

The sun was getting a bit intense at this point and I realized I was getting a sunburn on my feet, which is never fun, so we decided to head for the shade. We scoped out the produce shop and I headed back to the bakery in hopes of getting one of their homemade donuts to take home. Unfortunately they were sold out, but I picked up a scrumptious pan au chocolat I enjoyed later.

With full tummies and sun kissed skin we headed back to Brisbane. Leighton and I both took nice long naps while Trav drove the hour and forty five minute commute. It’s safe to say we will be back, Byron.

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Weekending in the Granite Belt 

Last week was a doozy. Poor Leighton battled a double ear infection and we spent lots of time at home. When Saturday came around we were all ready to get out of the house. So at 8am when Travis suggested getting out of town and heading to the country, we were packed and on the road within an hour.

Ever since I visited the Granite Belt region back in 2015 with some girlfriends, it’s been one of my favourite places to escape to for the weekend. While we were on the way we called up the Peter Allen Motor Inn where we had stayed the last two visits and luckily they had a room available for the night. As we always do with car trips we made sure Leighton was in the car at nap time, and luckily she didn’t make a peep the entire three hour drive.

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Hiking and Wine(ing) in the Granite Belt

A few weeks ago we decided to take advantage of the three day weekend and head to one of our favorite regions, the Granite Belt, for a couple days.

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The Granite Belt is an area along the Queensland and New South Wales border known for its national parks filled with massive granite boulders and its fruit and dairy farms. We all know what comes from fruit- wine :). It’s only a few hours away from Brisbane but you feel a world away when you get into the rolling hills and fresh country air. Continue reading

Our Day at Springbrook National Park

We’re really spoiled living in Brisbane with the abundance of gorgeous national parks within a short drive. One such park we have known about for a while but hadn’t made it to was Springbrook. Last Saturday morning at breakfast we were deciding what to do with our day and decided it was finally time to cross it off our list.

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We packed up lunch (and some snacks for a certain pregnant person that gets hangry easily) and hit the road.
It was just over an hour and a half before we got to the Natural Bridge section of the park. Parking was super easy and it was a short walk down to the natural bridge. Continue reading

Hiking Bald Rock 

Last week I told you all about our mini getaway to the Granite Belt, but I only touched on our hike at Bald Rock National Park.

Just a thirty minute drive from our hotel in Tenterfield, I knew we had to check out this hike. Bald Rock National Park is just across the Queensland border, in New South Wales. On the Queensland side the park is called Girraween National Park. Both parks seemed to have awesome views and massive granite boulders, but we chose to just check out Bald Rock on this trip. Girraween, we will be coming for you next!

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After our drive through the hilly countryside, we arrived at the campground and picnic area. Given it was a holiday weekend, there were quite a few families posted up shop, as well as others going to hike the trails. Continue reading

Granite Belt Getaway

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I’m alive! Sorry for being so quiet lately, we just finally got internet in the new place this morning. Hopefully I will be back to blogging regularly now.

A few weeks ago, we had a long weekend with no plans. Friday morning Travis suggested we look up hotels or cabins in the nearby Granite Belt for Saturday night. I had visited the area with my girl friends last year and had been dying to go back with Travis. The granite belt is a few hours from Brisbane on the southern border of Queensland. Continue reading

10 Things You Don’t Know About the Sydney Opera House

Our last morning in Sydney was a gloomy, rainy one. Luckily we had booked one of the only indoor activities we knew of- The Sydney Opera House tour. Honestly, I was a little on the fence at first about whether or not it would be worth it, but I am so glad that we went ahead and bought them. We learned SO much about Sydney’s most iconic building that I wanted to share my newfound knowledge with you. 🙂 So here we go….

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1. The New South Wales government held an open-ended design competition to find the architect to design the Opera House in 1957. The winner was a Danish man named Jørn Utzon who submitted the shell shaped blueprint.

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2. Every aspect of the building was inspired by the harbor setting and influenced by the architect’s navy background, even down to the colors of the signage and carpet.

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3. In order to provide the best acoustics, the structure of the Opera hall imitates a human mouth and allows sound to carry without the need of a microphone. Even the material the seats are made of were carefully chosen to allow sound to be reflected most effectively.

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4. The original budget for the entire building was $7 million. It ended up costing $102 million (in 1973) which would be close to $900 million today.
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5. The NSW Government created the Opera House Lottery to help pay off the building in 1957 and ran until 1986.

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6. The architect quit in 1966 and never returned to Sydney to see his completed project. His son, also an architect, did visit and assist the building team with renovations in the 1990’s.

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7. Besides operas, plays, ballets and concerts the Sydney Opera House has played host to cooking shows, Oprah, Arnold’s final Mr. Olympia win and even the Game of Thrones season premiere (with music by a live symphony).
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8. The outside of the Opera House is made of over 1 million shell-like tiles imported from Sweden that are completely self-cleaning. The building has no external gutter. The titles collect the water and direct it straight back into the sea. Another one of Utzon’s genius ideas.

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9. In the Opera Theatre there isn’t enough room backstage for props and sets, so a huge, hidden elevator lowers and raises them as needed.

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10. The House hosts 3,000 events a year and is open everyday of the year except Christmas Day and Good Friday.

Now next time you see that iconic structure you know a little more about how it came to be. 🙂