??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


Power of Names

This week my name has featured largely in my life. Regular readers will be familiar my holiday plans as I tick off another on my bucket list. If not you might want to have a read here.

I do not have a current passport but need one for my travels. With flights already bought and much of my land content organised and paid for, it was time (maybe this should have been an earlier event) to organise a passport.

“How difficult could it be?” I thought…until I open our document folder. Of course just one item was missing – you guessed it- my birth certificate. I haven’t needed to use it since the kids got their passports so it’s a mystery where it is. Birth certificate copies are easy enough to get. With a few typed facts, some photocopied documents and a credit card payment for a fast processing fee of $75 I was on the way.



It arrived on my doorstep on the third working day after I had ordered it so all was progressing well.

On opening the certificate I saw my name no longer had the hyphen in it that I knew I had on the original one. I also noticed my sister’s name had been misspelled (though luckily her birth certificate has the correct spelling on it). Faced with a Saturday interview appointment for my passport I was concerned what the outcome would be. My old passport has the hyphen as does my Medicare card, drivers license and wedding certificate (all used my original birth certificate to be obtained) the three ID pieces I needed for my new passport.

The post office processed it fine so I guess I now have to wait to see if the Passport Office does too…and to see what name I have on my new passport. Fingers crossed.

Fingers crossed emoticon


Luckily my air carrier doesn’t accept non-alpha characters in their ticketing process so all should be good either way, according to their representative.


A point to ponder.

You have but to know an object by its proper name for it to lose its dangerous magic. — Elias Canetti


Have names caused you issues? Leave your story in a  comment.


È molto eccitata

I have been absent from my blog this last week. My head (and every spare second of my time) has been filled with planning my family’s trip to Italy, a hop into Germany and a wander around Austria.

italyI am following Trip Advisor closely.  I read the reports, interpreting the comments to the best I can, to make (hopefully) good judgments about places that will suit my trip. Reading so many of the comments made me a little sad about the mindset of some travelers. Too often they comment on hotel features based on their own country’s style.  Traveling should widen the experiences not be mirror images of what you have at home. If that were the case surely it would be easier to stay home and save all that saved cash for something else.

So far I have booked the accommodation in Italy. Today I’ve started researching ‘Must Do’ activities and the ‘rip your hair out’ job of finding the most suitable transport to get around.



Having said all that I must admit I actually enjoy the preparation of a trip. I’ve been impressed with prompt replies to emails from businesses. I have spent literally days sifting through information but I think I have selected places that will suit us well. I did drag out the process in Venice to find a reasonable price rate and a canal view. Can’t wait to open those shutter and call out Ciao to those walking past along the canal pathway.


But with all this planning and 92 days until we leave I realised one most important thing I hadn’t organised… a passport!  A kind of MAJOR thing!!!! Lodging that this week then it will be all systems go.

Tell me about your experiences of Italy, Germany and Austria please. I need all the advice I can get. Perhaps you know some of the more unique ‘off the main track’ attractions to see.


What’s your Hobby?

How do you fill your spare time? Do you have a hobby , or should that read ‘hobbies’?

Yesterday I found my daughter busy on her laptop. This was hardly unusual as she is in her final year at university and is always working on an assignment of some kind (or on social media – perhaps even more frequently than on assignments). I asked her what she was up to and she replied she was researching hobbies.  Of course, intrigued, I asked for what course was that an assignment. Turns out it was for a course where she has to tell the group about herself in a tutorial. She decided it would be interesting to have a hobby to share with the group. I personally would describe her hobby as being social and offered that as an idea along with tanning, walking, running, volunteering  and of course her cat. I’m not sure when she combines these with her studies and part time work she could actually fit in anything else. But, as she doesn’t feel the social or exercise are hobbies, she continued exploring the options. I too headed off on my own looking for ideas to sate my curiosity about hobbies as nominated by my good friend Google.

I even did a quiz to see which hobbies most suited to me. My result was

You are Artist

You are creative to the max!  You enjoy expressing yourself through your creative outlets and artistic talents.  Look for a hobby in sculpting, drawing, painting, theater, or music.


Looking  forward to hearing what you learn from it  🙂



Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned

Weekly Photo Challenge – WordPress

For this week’s photo challenge, show us abandoned. You can go literal, as I have, and share a photo of ruins, a desolate place, or your idea of a wasteland. Or you can interpret it in other ways, from images of overlooked things to forgotten people.

Last weekend my husband and I travelled to Catherine Hill Bay( on the northern perimeter of Central Coast NSW). It is a village built on coal mining but today the old jetty has been abandoned to coal trains . Instead its a haven of pylons for diving beneath and swimming in a shady place.Today graffiti covers the gates that once were the entry of life to this jetty.



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C is for…

CATHERINE HILL BAY NSW– Alphabetical exploration of the Central Coast NSW

As a teenager my grandfather had a nursery at Frazer Park in NSW. It was located on the Pacific Highway not far south of Swansea. From his house the views swept panorama style over Catherine Hill Bay and the adjoining beaches. Coal ships would line the horizon waiting their turn to enter (probably) Newcastle to load up. He sold the property when I was around 20 moving back to Sydney closer to us as his health was deteriorating. But this isn’t about family, that’s just a little insight into what drew me to explore Catherine Hill Bay.

Catherine Hill Bay was named after the schooner “Catherine Hill” which ran aground there on 21st June 1867.The town prospered from coal mining. Rows of 19th century miners’ cottages line the roadside near the coast. They are square shaped houses with verandahs and no fences, all built close to the street. Have a look here for some great photos.

The pub features strongly in this village and has its own Facebook page.

Catherine Hill Bay is on the State Heritage Register and one of only two entire towns so designated.

We wandered along the sand where just a few people frolicked in the water. I said to my husband, as the waves trickled over my thong clad toes, this was the first time I’d been onto the beach all summer – then I realised it was the 2nd March  (Autumn) …oops.  I’m not a sand person.


I had however frequented the beach through summer watching it from esplanade cafes and restaurants locally and balconies during my island New Year’s Eve getaway.

I made use of my camera to take a panorama shot of the abandoned jetty. Worth clicking on the photo as it looks better than it appears here 🙂


The gates closing the old coal jetty


yachtsWe headed north to Swansea before heading back home. On our return journey we had to wait while the bridge over Swansea Heads opened to allow a flotilla of yachts to enter. It was novel watching the first few but then 15 minutes later the excitement had totally faded.


Where we live is such a beautiful place with so much to explore. Do you have a favourite place to visit in your local area?