??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


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Cinderella – a modern day tale – a Zoom to Broome  

Once upon a time, Cinderella was transformed to a princess for a weekend, and flown to Broome. Her fairy godmother QANTAS cast the spell after viewing Cinderella’s competition entry video. You see, in this story, it wasn’t a prince looking for a princess but QANTAS sharing the celebration  of their 30 years of Frequent Flyers program with ordinary folk , also celebrating a special milestone in their lives. The competition involved either 25 words or less, explaining the milestone ( but as those that know this Cinderella know, this wouldn’t even see me finishing my introduction ) or a 30 second video. With a picture saying a thousand words, Cinderella saw this as her best chance. Her milestone was 30 years of marriage.

Proud of her effort she waited anxiously for the day the winners were to be announced. The day came and went and Cinderella thought the fairy godmother hadn’t chosen to be hers. But, just a day or two later, a phone call informed her she was in fact going to the ball….oops Broome. With a loud “Whacko the derrio” in the ear of the poor girl on the other end of the phone she zoomed on cloud nine before deciding just who her  lucky 3 guests were to be.  She took her own prince, and to accompany them were to be her son and daughter in law.

But fairy tales are narratives, and as such need a complication. This came in the shape of a broken ankle for her son. Surgery to place two pins and a metal plate ,  the wearing of a  moon boot and nil weight-bearing  provided  the complication. Seeking solutions she was met continually at brick walls as she searched her family for who to take now.  Her daughter and life-partner couldn’t make it logistically due to distance. Two sisters – maybe- but again one was distance challenged. Two  sets of ‘inlaws’ arghhhh….but then, one hadn’t been to Broome. And so the complication was solved. 

She started her magical adventure at Sydney Domestic Airport. After check in ( yes she needed a bag for all the clothes and accessories she would need for her 34 hour adventure) she headed off to the first ‘ballroom’ aka QANTAS lounge.  Entering the ( normally for her) forbidden doors she glided up the escalator with a grin rivalling the Cheshire Cat!! She wallowed in the fun, made herself a toastie and lined up for a barista coffee. 

Then, the flight board announced time to move to the next ‘ballroom’. Cinderella flew in the luxury of a private QANTAS flight on a 737-800. She sipped on cocktails and wine as a princess should. She ate foods that a princess should. The staff was so magical and ensured she was treated like a princess should be! On arrival in Broome a fairy godmother ( aka flight attendant) went the extra kilometre to allow Cinderella to sit in the business class seat and the flight captain let her peek in the cockpit. 


Cinderella’s bucket list already had so many ticks. Could it get any better?? Well it is a fairytale so we know anything can and does happen. Whisked away on a charter bus, she arrived at the resort to be entertained by a champagne reception. Even Mother Nature played her part with temperature ( 30C – excellent winter’s day !!)  and the bluest of clear sky. 


Entering her room at Kinberley Sands Resort, Cinderella noticed two bags of goodies.  Each contained a beautifully soft, large round beach towel, QANTAS bag tag ……and wait for it…QANTAS pyjamas- something Cinderella had only ever dreamed of, being an economy flight traveller. The room was beautiful and overlooked an azure pool, which at night was lit to a beautiful deep sea blue. 

A splash in the pool and then it was time to prepare for the dinner to be held at Cable Beach. A white dress affair, Cinderella managed to borrow suitable attire from a friend. It’s quite hard to find white summer clothing in the middle of a freezing winter. 

The sunset at Cable Beach deserves a photo. The hues change and colours deepen as the sun slinks to hide behind the ocean. As an east coast girl, sunset over the ocean thrilled Cinderella. Silhouetted against the sunset, a camel train made its way over the sand. A smoking ceremony signalled the beginning of the evening feast. And that it was, a feast for all senses!! Dinner was a night of sparkling pearl white, with a delicious menu to devour, washed down with quality wines, while listening to a melodic duet. Cinderell ate and drank like a princess should and had many laughs and interesting conversations. 

Next morning, saw Cinderella partake in a sumptuous breakfast before heading to Willie Creek Pearl farm. Here she held pearls that she could only have dreamt of ( one worth approximately $8000),  and enjoyed learning about the pearling industry, before taking a short cruise on the crystal blue waters to see the pearl farm. 

Regretfully now  for Cinderella, the hands of the clock seem to speed up. Before she knew it, she had boarded the flight home and was seeing the familiar sight of the marvellous harbour that is Sydney.  Her fairy godmothers and godfathers, in the form of QANTAS  staff, waved her a fond farewell . Cinderella doubted they could ever know the impact their actions had made on her. She did tell them, but knew they deserved more. 
On behalf of Cinderella I want to thank QANTAS for running this competition . I’ve often been a naysayer thinking these types of competitions weren’t won by real people but now I know different.  I encourage you, if you see a competition that has a prize you want, enter. You have nothing to lose and who knows, you too might be another Cinderella.

The glass slipper of memories will live forever in this Cinderella’s mind.
And someone missed us while we were gone for the weekend.

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Bruny Island -Day 1

Today we made our way to Kettering to catch the car ferry to Bruny Island. I was excited to see Kettering as a couple of months ago I had watched an intriguing TV series based in the town. I have a few of the landmarks to visit there when we return to the mainland.

Arriving for the 11am ferry we had a 40 minute wait. The dock is well set up fir this by having a cafe there. We ate our breakfast watching boats bob on their moorings and before we knew it we were back in our car ready to drive on the ferry.

The trip across takes about 20 minutes. We were on an outside lane so could watch the shoreline disappear as we crossed the still waters.


My original plan was to explore the top half of the island today and the bottom tomorrow. Our accommodation is about midway on the island. Arriving on the island however, we noticed we had just a quarter of a tank of petrol. As the only petrol was on the bottom half of the island we decided to head there and to reverse days.

With a full tank our first stop was the chocolate factory. Due to health and safety rules they are no longer able to have the public visit the chocolate making workshop, but they did have a video of it showing. We sampled lavender fudge and chocolate fudge and then purchased a large selection of fudges and chocolates. Such good customers we were the sales lady tossed on a free bag of chocolate coated honeycomb that was ‘irregular’ – like as if my taste buds will know it’s not perfectly cubed haha.


We saw where Captain Cook , Abel Tasman and William Bligh had landed at different times, then headed to Cloudy Bay and on to the lighthouse. The roads start off tarred but very quickly change to gravel. The roads aren’t very wide in parts, so as you pass traffic going the other way you need to slow a bit. The car has changed from white to brown, a visit to a car wash will be needed before we take it back at the end of the holiday.




The views from the lighthouse area were spectacular, added to by the light mist.

We checked in to our accommodation as we were passing the hotel. As if he new me , the man at the hotel reception assured me to look inside the motel room before passing judgement…it was a little square box from outside!! He said inside was new renovations, and the view amazing and he was right! It’s like a regular motel room inside. The linen is crisp and clean ( I checked as soon as I entered haha). It’s regular hotel size and we put on the room heater and the room was warm fast. It’s not luxury but it’s definitely comfortable and so reasonably priced.


The view is across the D’Entrecasteaux Channel to Satellite Island.


We ate dinner in Hotel Bruny and again were impressed , just like their hotel room.


The menu was large and the meals even larger and delicious!!! The staff were really friendly which added to the atmosphere. We were really challenged to eat all our dinnrer. We started with garlic bread , served on a wooden board with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Brian had chicken parmigiana and o had Tasmanian scallops. Neither of us could totally finish our meal !  Definitely recommend staying and eating here if you come to Bruny Island. 


We will sleep well after all the walking, concentrating on gravel roads and such full tummies. And yes, we still found room for dessert hahaha


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Dreams do come true!

With Father’s Day tomorrow in Australia, I was looking through early posts on my blog. I knew I had written one about my dad and wanted to re-read it. I found it (take a peek if you like). I also found a list of dreams I had written – not dreams as in sleep time but dreams of things I wanted to achieve. I wrote it 2 years ago so decided to see if I could tick any off the list.

The Ticked

Visit Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest

Almost ticked. The flights and accommodation are finalised and we will be there in around five weeks time. We are traveling around Cairns to Kuranda and up as far as Cape Tribulation. It will be a planes, trains and automobile style trip ( oh and throw in a cruise ship too!)file2101291129795

Visit the Blue Grotto and Pompeii

In June last year my family (husband and two grown up kids) traveled to Italy. It was an amazing holiday, made extra enjoyable by us all sharing it together. We didn’t actually get inside the Blue Grotto. Heavy seas, high tide fast approaching and a long queue of boats meant we only saw it from the outside. But, still we saw it (and a lot of other pretty grottos on our sail around Capri

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Pompeii is hard to put in words. It’s like you can still feel the lives of the people there both before the catastrophe and as they faced it. I cannot even imagine the fear that filled them as some struggled to escape (but to nowhere) nor those that curled up tightly with their family aware they could not beat this beast. And, there, looming in your vision is the all powerful Mt Vesuvius.

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Do a Sound of Music Tour

What an amazing time we had in Salzburg (July 2015) fulfilling this dream. The Mirabellplatz Gardens were opposite our accommodation. This Garden is the scene of the ‘Do-Re-Me’ steps, gnomes and trellises .Of course I sang the song as I jumped steps,tapped gnomes on the head and of course skipped ( yes skipped!!) through trellised walkways. I also did an organised SOM bus tour where I danced around a rotunda singing walked around lakes and saw the church of the marriage.

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Watch Sunrise and Kochie Live

Sunrise is an Australian morning news TV program. It is filmed at Martin place and is visible from the street.I’m a Kochie fan so was excited to make the trip to Sydney to stand outside to watch.I was extra thrilled when a few months later I actually got to be part of an inside audience, something they don’t have very often.

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Cook a three course meal

My cooking IS getting better. Maybe because I don’t do it so often now we are empty nesters. This makes the times I do it no longer the compulsory chore it used to be.

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Learn more conversational Italian

My Italian is still VERY limited but I loved listening to others using it during our travels. I was able to read the train ticket machines which was helpful.I also had a few(very simplistic) conversations-mostly transport or food related. Sadly since our return non-use means I need a HUGE refresher course.

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These on the list are YET TO BE COMPLETED but are still important to me.I’m taking Abbey Lee off the list though as I don’t watch the show much now.

*Visit USA again and see Abby Lee Dance Studio – and hopefully Abby Lee 🙂

*Visit Churchill to see the polar bears in the wild

*African wildlife safari

*Go to the Melbourne Cup

*See the Canadian Rocky Mountains by train

*Fly over Antarctica – preferable ice class 🙂

*Attend a dawn service for ANZAC DAY

*Be on Sydney Harbour for New Year’s Eve

*Write a children’s picture book

*Write a collection of short stories

Have you ticked off any of your own dreams lately? Did they live up to your expectations?


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Angular

I read the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic yesterday. It was only this morning as I took yet another walk down memory lane via my camera photos backed up to my iPad that I saw this photo. It was taken on a walk to Florence Cathedral – Santa Maria del Fiore – or more commonly known as ‘The Duomo’. The structure dominates the area in size and beauty. When up on Piazzale Michelangelo looking over Florence it was the landmark point we used as reference. I particularly like that this photo has a small yet bright circle that breaks the angles ( size isn’t what signifies power) . This shot was taken looking up. On that holiday of a lifetime my head was always turning in every direction. I didn’t want to miss a thing. One more thing ticked off my bucket list ( many more added from that trip) . To quote from the South Pacific musical “you gotta have a dream” .

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Bucket list Sunrise

This story starts maybe even as far back as eight years ago. I’m a Kochie fan. If you aren’t an Australian reader of my blog, you may be wondering who, or what, is ‘KOCHIE’. If you are an Australian reader you may be thinking ‘There are Kochie fans??’ lol. Kochie (David Koch) is in fact a male host of a morning show called Sunrise. This airs on free to air TV each weekday 6 am until 9 am.

He’s not ‘manly’ in the Australian sense of the word, he frequently relates stories about his family, has been awarded Father of the Year in 2007 and isn’t afraid to voice politically incorrect viewpoints without rudeness and has a blog based on finance. He is a product of state education, has been reported as being an average scholar and is of average appearance but has made good in a world built on appearances. I refer to him as ‘the thinking woman’s crumpet’.

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The show is broadcast from a studio in Martin Place (CBD Sydney) and I have often said I wanted to visit this but each holiday break would run away and I never achieved this bucket list item. This year however is the new me. I’m making plans and getting them done (it is only January, so I hope I’m still as enthusiastic when I revisit this in say June ha ha).

Last Monday I decided Friday would be the day that I would travel to Sydney. I even tweeted @kochie_online about my intentions (another bucket list to be retweeted by him). Instead of a retweet I received a reply!! I realised it was just a ‘polite’ reply but still the bucket list tick off happened and I decided to keep up the momentum and attend the plaza where it all happens.

My day started at 4:45 am on Friday as I needed to be on a 6 am train.

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It is a 20 minute car drive hour trip plus one hour and 45 minutes train ride to the city. I saw the real sunrise from the train carriage as the train sped over the Hawkesbury River Bridge.

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Arriving at Central station I had to ask for help as to where my next train went from. Arriving at Martin Place I faced 7 train exits so with a quick check of google maps I was off up the 20 or so steps to daylight and ‘my’ Sunrise. I walked down to the windows for a vantage point (hardly anyone was around). The blinds were drawn but they were of the type that block out sun but not view, and so through the muted black, there he stood! The view was much better through the curtain than it appear in the photos.

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Over excited I began posting photos on FaceBook and replying to friend’s comments like a silly school girl. I checked with the security guards about if/ when Kochie would be in the plaza and was it common for him to hang around long enough for photos. With a smile and a look that said, ‘Hmmm is this crazy lady a stalker??’ in his eyes (or was that my guilty interpretation) he assured me there would be ample photo time. Just the words I wanted to hear. With a hint Kochie was coming outside for a segment, I  didn’t even say ‘Excuse me, sorry’ once as I bustled my way to standing within arm’s reach of my man of the moment. There was no time for niceties in this pilgrimage. I watched him eat the succulant lamb cutlet. I just realised writing this now I should have had one myself then I could have  truthfully stated we dined together 🙂 Bad slip up on my part haha. Of he went back inside as the show ran overtime. I think it may have been relate to the breaking news about Justin Beiber but all I was worried about was would this deny me my photograph!

My patience was eventually rewarded when Kochie came into the plaza for photos, at the end of the long over due show. He displayed a humble approach to each person waiting for photos and autographs, engaging all, young and old alike, in easy conversational banter. His smile appeared to give a genuine sense of being a warm human with a caring disposition. I had the most exciting morning and it was a fantastic tick on the bucket list.

The only photoshop needed was to remove the security guard from the background. Not sure why he lingered close hahaha!

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And, a TV screen capture with a feeble attempt at pixilation to hide the identity of the strangers around me

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Six of one , half a dozen of the other

WordPress. Daily prompt challenge – Write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it in a post.

Todays dreams paint the future canvas

I’m a bucket lister. I read about the idea once and began creating a list. I tried to only include those things I could achieve for myself , that don’t rely on the actions of others.

Here’s a short version of my list. The order doesn’t reflect the importance. I’ve included some of my favourites which already have ticks. The list is dynamic and I add to it as I find new things that interest me

Travel

To visit Northern Territory – walk around Uluru, see Kata Tjuta ( or The Olgas as I always think of them ) see Aboriginal art in its environment and visit Kakadu BIG TICK

Snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef. BIG TICK

Travel to every state and territory of Australia. BIG TICK

These above canvases have certainly lived up to my dreams.

Visit Port Douglas and the Daintree Rainforest

Visit USA again and see Abby Lee Dance Studio – and hopefully Abby Lee 🙂

Visit the Blue Grotto and Pompeii

Visit Churchill to se the polar bears in the wild

African wildlife safari

Go to the Melbourne Cup

See the Canadian Rocky Mountains by train

Fly over Antarctica – preferable ice class 🙂

Do a Sound of Music Tour

Other

Cook a three course meal ( that’s tasty ,not burnt and looks like the recipes pictures)

Lean more conversational Italian

Attend a dawn service for ANZAC DAY

Be on Sydney Harbour for New Years Eve

Write a children’s picture book

Write a collection of short stories

Watch Sunrise and Kochie ( the tv show) from the glass windows at Martin Place

Do you have a list of dreams? Care to share a few with me here??