??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


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Bula!

After a few long hectic weeks full of a combination of illness ( the dreaded cough virus that hit the local area and both me and Brian) , heavy workload and consequently no sleep relaxation time has finally arrived. 

Spent the ‘night before flight’ at Rydges Sydney Airport as our flight out was an early 8:30 one. Can’t recommend this highly enough for plane enthusiasts …or those that value an extra hour of sleep before travel! Our room looked over the airport. I was well armed with my trusty binoculars, flightradar24 open on one page of my browser and the flight arrival and departures on another. This is one of the few times I don’t feel hunger – well at least not for food. Had to be dragged away from my window but must admit the food was truly worth it. Watched the planes til no more passenger flights then was up to watch the first to depart Sydney in the morning. Then it was my time to join the travelers.


Check in was easy enough, but in true fashion for me, the check-in counters and gates were always miles apart. Yes, I checked in at counter J (Virgin Australia) and departed from gate 50 …but at least not Gate 63! While waiting for the plane I had to get my teacher voice and face out. Minding our own business I get a hit to the head with a tennis ball. Two kids were playing an active game of handball amongst the crowd of passengers . The first hit got them the death stare and a suggestion to play further away. The second!!!! time saw the deaths stare and a comment that a better place to play would be outside the terminal. The third!!!! time saw them come over and ask for their ball back this time rather than just scramble around our feet. Thankfully it as boarding time then. Is it too much o teach children that there is a time and place for games? I noticed their parents enjoying a quiet coffee well away from the ‘play area’. If only I’d had their insight haha! 

Anyway our flight was to be a great one. Couldn’t believe our luck. We had seats in row 3. Yes I had to be in close proximity to the business class people but had extra leg room and 2 windows , what more can I ask for?? … welll….maybe for no crying baby or the toddler who kept opening and closing the magnetic rope that separates business class from economy. Food was a yogurt, an omelet, with 3 potato wedges and tasty chutney, and a muesli bar, washed down with apple juice . Was even able to stalk my own plane via the Virgin onboard wifi…also had an array of movies, podcasts, books and games. Broke the monotony of just water to look at below. 


Arrived at Nadi to be greater by 30C heat and a balmy breeze…just how life should be. A quick bag grab and walk through customs and in a few minutes we were being whisked away to our accommodation wearing new she’ll necklaces. We saw children on buses going home from school. Learned they have a 3 term year, with 2 sets of 3 week holidays and a 6 weeker at Christmas ( does this now qualify me to call this trip an educational activity and tax deduction??? lol) we passed through sugar cane, and houses with washing dancing on clothes lines , then the opulence of enormous homes ( apparently mostly own by overseas investors) and a well manicured golf course, before arriving at the Westin Denarau. 


We were greeted by a porter and a small band was playing in the foyer ( not purposely for me haha). Check in was a breeze and thanks to my new membership (joined last week) of the Starwood club I was told I was entitled to a 20% off dining ( except breakfasts). Better than a poke in the eye with a blind stick for sure!! 

Our room is in the second floor which means about 12 steps – you all know how much I love steps. But we do have a balcony. 


We were starving after our aeroplane food being all we had eaten , but at almost 5 pm found we needed to walk to Sheraton ( maybe 500 meters) for food or wait until 6pm. So wait we did, using the time to look around the resort . So glad I fake tanned before we left. I would have stood out more as a newbie with my milky white legs haha. 

Ate dinner at an Asian inspired restaurant while watching a fire dance . We will get more ‘up close and personal’ to this show another night when we aren’t lusting after an early dinner like we were. 

Ambled along the waterfront before retiring early. 10pm here is just 8pm at home but we were both exhausted from lack of sleep. Zzzzzzzz

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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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