Friday, 18 November 2016

48 hours in Cardiff

The first weekend in November saw the Australian Rugby Union team face off against the Welsh. We were lucky enough to secure tickets for the game so decided to make a bit of a weekend of it and headed for Cardiff early on Friday morning.

We took the cheap route of the National Express coach and ended up in Cardiff by half one. After a quick, refreshing nap, Cara and I decided to check out Cardiff Castle.

Cardiff Castle stands in the centre of the capital city and has been there since the 11th Century. The castle passed through many different families and during the early 20th century a lot of the surrounding areas had been sold off leaving little but the castle.

During World War II the castle was used as an air raid shelter which you can walk through on a self-paced tour.

We found a cute little pub near where we were staying. we met Hanna at Gassy Jacks for dinner and they also had £6 pitchers of cocktails! I was still recovering from my jet lag, but the girls managed to get through Round 8 jugs.

After a sleep in, we got ready for the game and met the rest of our group for lunch and pre's. (pre-drinking).

Once we had eaten and had our fill of cheap drinks (Cardiff is the place to go for cheap drink and eat!) we headed to the stadium and watched the Wallabies absolutely annihilate the Welsh.

spot the angry Welshman

all rugged up against the Cardiff weather

After an amazing win by the Australian team, we headed where every Aussie (and most of the Welsh) end up for a good night - The Walkabout!

I found a sheep! Must have wandered in from the countryside.

> National Express return cost us £15 return, however we did end up paying an extra £15 because we decided to go back to London earlier.

> Rugby tickets cost us £60.

> General entry tickets for Cardiff Castle are £12.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Travel Link-Up - A Perfect Sunset

The November travel link up topic is:

A Perfect...

This is quite a open ended topic, but as I have just spent some time in the US I decided to go with...
A Perfect Sunset

After a hectic 5 weeks travelling the United States, we decided to have a 'holiday from our holiday' and ended our trip in Hawaii.

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki, which boasts it's own lagoon.

This shot was snapped as we made our way back from a day on the North Shore.

How to link up your post
Just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st - 7th November), add it to the link up widget - found on either Angie's, Emma's or on our lovely co-host Jamie from Ink + Adventure's blog - from the 1st of the month.
There are no rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love. It’s a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!
The Travel Link Up is open to all bloggers as long as the post is relevant.

2 days in San Francisco

I just returned to London after a whirlwind 6 week trip in the states with 3 of my best friends.

The first part of our US holiday started with a stay in San Francisco. We stayed in the heart of the city – which also happened to be Crack Corner – at the Metropolis Hotel.

As we tried to save money anywhere we could, we quad shared. The 2 double bedded room did not give a lot of room for 4 suitcases, a carry-on case and 3 backpacks but we managed to not kill each other or trip over anything the 3 nights that we were there. This is probably because we didn’t spend much time inside.

Our first full day in San Francisco started with walking the scenic route to Fisherman's Wharf so we could catch our boat across to Alcatraz.

The tour of Alcatraz is self paced and has an audio guide within the main penitentiary building. The audio is presented by past prisoners of the island and is full of stories of their time there, including a daring escape!

After walking up and down and all over the island, we were hungry! Luckily we were able to find this gem of an American icon on the wharf.

I was quite excited when the waiter told me the ribs (including the sauce!) was gluten free.
Especially seeing as I didn't like seafood at this point. After trying Jess' 'shrimp on a stick' however I had to get my own!

Nicole and Jess
Me and Kyle

The afternoon was spent walking around the city and signing up to the great discounts that Safeway offer!

Our night was spent at AT&T Park where we watched the San Francisco Giants take on the St Louis Cardinals. Baseball is quite an interesting game to watch, goes a bit long though. We stayed warm with our new beanies and the best hot cocoa I've ever had.

The next day we had a bit of a sleep in, before making our way back to Fisherman's Wharf to do a cruise of the Bay (thanks to our Flight Centre travel agent for this freebie!)

Unfortunately it was a bit foggy so we couldn't get a clear photo of the Golden Gate Bridge, but this was one of my favourites.

A trip to San Francisco isn't complete without taking a ride on the historic cable car. We made our way back to Union Square and waited for around half an hour in line - entertained by the buskers and homeless dancers - before getting on.

The tram starts at the junction of Powell and Market Streets and makes it way through the streets to Fisherman's Wharf. Tickets are US$7 one way.

We also managed to find and begin our love affair with Ross in San Francisco.
For those not familiar with the store, it's a bit like TK Maxx. Nicole, Jess and I had fun trying on the discounted bargains and I picked up a pair of Sketchers for $35 (I love my Sketchers. Might be because I don't have a Prada backpack!)

Friday, 28 October 2016

Quick Update!

I've just spent the last 6 weeks travelling around the United States, both independently and with the tour group Contiki.

I did not have the opportunity to take my laptop so be prepared for a lot of US blog spam in the upcoming weeks!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

August Bank Weekend in Edinburgh

What to do on the long weekend in August? Cara, Cushla and I decided to headed upwards to the Athens of the North - Edinburgh!

August is Festival Month in Edinburgh with both the Fringe and the Military Tattoo being held, so we had to buy our Tattoo tickets and book our accommodation back at the end of May, early June.

Cush and I took the sleeper bus up on the Thursday night, arriving super early Friday morning. We dropped off our stuff at the hostel and found the only place that was open for breakfast so early - Wetherspoons.

Mid morning we separated, Cushla going off to explore the Castle and I headed up the Scott Monument.

View of Old Town and Edinburgh Castle from the Scott Monument

Cara's train got in just before lunchtime so after dropping her bag off the two of us headed to Viva Mexico on Cockburn Street. They had a great selection of gluten free food and had recycled their used tequila bottles for the house water.

At 1.45 we met up with Cushla on the Royal Mile for our free walking tour of Old Town. The tour took us to some interesting spots on the Mile and through Greyfriars Cemetery (for all the Harry Potter fans!).

After the two and a half hour walking tour there was enough time to fit in a 'free' comedy show (and an alcoholic beverage) before heading back to get ready for  dinner and the Tattoo.

The main reason I wanted to go to the Tattoo was because Mum really wants to go (I sent her lots of videos and snapchats!) but I really enjoyed it, much more than I thought I would. There were military bands from all over the world! Each country brought a bit of home with them, from the New Zealanders we had the Haka - quite interesting to see it in military dress uniform! - The Jordanians showed off some impressive rifle twirling skills and the Americans brought a bit of Dolly Parton!

Everyone together

Each 'routine' was accompanied by an awesome light show that lit up the walls of the castle. The evening is rounded off with a fireworks display.


Fireworks over the Castle from Grassmarket

The Saturday saw us exploring the local pub scene with Cara's aunty and uncle who had come down to meet us for lunch. (Helpful tip: don't try and outdrink a Scotsman). We followed up our drinking session with a cheeky nap before heading out to find somewhere to eat and head to our first paid-for gig.

I had seen Rhys Nicholson on YouTube and thought he was hilarious, so got tickets to see him a couple of weeks before we headed up - lucky we did! Our show was sold out!) The girls thought so too luckily!
It was still early after so we found the gig guide sheet and picked one that sounded good - Katie Brennan's Quarter Life Crisis. This was billed as a comedy, but it has a few depressing factors - obviously the 'crisis' part and it also has elements of cabaret - Katie's voice is amazing!

Sunday Cara wasn't feeling well so Cushla and I left her in bed and went on a walk. We headed deep into Old Town and somehow we managed to do a loop around the back of the castle and end up in the New Town! That wasted a few hours and we met up with Cara at a fantastic little bistro on Cockburn St called La Locanda. We flicked through the Fringe guide and one name jumped out at me - Frenchy! We secured our tickets at the box office and then went on a hunt for some free shows, mainly comedy.

We watched the Comedy Ashes - Australia won of course! We tried to find another show which was advertised, but they had packed up earlier that morning for some reason and also tried to get into another, but just missed out. On advice from someone in the street we purchased tickets to Glenn Moore, an English comedian. I think I might enjoy the Australian smut a bit too much, because he was a bit too high brow for me. That, and I didn't get some of his references either, but he was still worth seeing.

We squeezed in dinner at Cafe Andaluz in New Town (service to start with was really good and quick, slowed down for dessert and was pretty much non existent when we tried to get the bill unfortunately - food was delicious though!)
and headed back to the Mile for a quick hello to Cara's cousins who were playing in the Forth Bridges Accordion Band.

We scrambled for a taxi and made it just in time for our last show of the weekend - Frenchy!

I can't believe this guy used to be a teacher - I can believe his teaching licence (do you get a licence for teaching?) has been suspended though! Check out his Facebook for some of his vids. Anyone who has seen his World's Worst Adult show will never watch Frozen the same way again!

He was the only act who did a meet and greet after and was keen to get photos with the audience.

Photo bombed!

We had an amazing time in Edinburgh, got to see some wonderful talent and the sun shone all weekend for us!

We stayed at the Castle Rock Hostel at the top of the Mile.
The Sleeper bus through Megabus was £25 one way.
My train ticket with Virgin East Coast was £28 with a Young Persons Railcard.
Tickets for the Tattoo range in price from £25 - £75.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Food Glorious Food - September Travel Link-Up

This month the travel link up topic is all about food! Anyone who knows me knows that I love food and wont back down from unusual foods. 

Being Coeliac I do miss out on some yummy foods (no Krispy Kremes here) but last year I travelled to Cambodia and was able to try so much of the local cuisine there. From the Spider wine to the tarantulas, Cambodia was delicious!

I did want to write about the time I ate cricket - but I am not savvy enough to get the video from my Facebook onto my blog, so instead I thought I would touch on my cooking experience in Siem Reap.

At The Corner on Pub Street, 3 of us from my Intrepid tour group, were set up with our own cooking stations for our 4 course meal.

We went with the chef to the local market for some fresh ingredients and our first course we attempted was a Banana Flower Salad with chicken.

At first, the taste was a bit peculiar, but I started to enjoy it and of course ate most of it except the leaf.. and the mint. 

Our next course Sam Lor Koh Koo which is similar to a vegetarian curry poured over steamed rice.

The main course was Steamed Fish Amok in Banana Leaf. I am not a fish eater so was able to substitute the fish with chicken. Unfortunately we didn't get to try our hand and forming the banana leaf bowl as they were pre made.

To finish off, we made Banana sago in coconut milk for dessert, which was superb. 

We booked the cooking class through our Intrepid tour for around US$20. It was held at The Corner Bar and Restaurant on Pub Street in Siem Reap. 
Recipes below. 


How to link up your post:

Just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st - 7th September), add it to the link up widget - found on either Angie's, Jessi's, Emma's or on our lovely co-host Tanja at Red Phone Box Travels - from the 1st of the month.
There are no rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; make a few comments here and there and tweet a few of the posts out that you think they will love. It’s a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!
The Travel Link Up is open to all bloggers as long as the post is relevant.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

A Sense of Home - July Travel Link Up

This month's travel linkup topic is Home.

It got me thinking as to what makes a place feel like home to me.

Although a lot of people have connections with the physical place, home to me has more to do with the people and the sense of belonging you get.

I love the Adelaide sceneries, the Hills, the beaches, the wineries, the most important thing about is the people that I love and who love me. My family and most of my friends are back in Adelaide, and when I go home, they are always there to support me and share in experiences.

I can say the same for the people I meet in London. Being an Antipodean in London, a lot of us have the same values - making the most of life, visiting new places, experiencing new cultures and foods, learning history of places we've never even heard about before.

I have made a great group of friends here in London, who I have shared many new experiences with.

Home is a sense of belonging.

How to link up your post
Just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st - 7th July 2016) and add it to the link up widget found on Angie's, Jessi's or Polly's blogs.
No real rules – just check out some of the other cool bloggers; tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love and make a few comments here and there.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Royal Ascot Races - June 2016

As some may know, I have returned to the lively city that is my second home - London.

Even before I had arranged to come back on my second visa (thankyou British grandparents!) my London friends were sending me links and invitations to some great events happening in the UK this Summer.

The main event we booked was the Grand Finale Day of the Royal Ascot Races on June 18th.

We secured tickets through the tour company Fanatics which got us tickets into the Windsor Enclosure, travel to and from the race track and a bottle of bubbly to share on the way!

We had a group of 6 girls and as we had departed so early for the racetrack we arrived early enough to secure a table under a marquee. Unfortunately, the weather was a bit hit and miss, but at least it didn't rain!

Me, Tanita, Cara, Georgina, Becca and Hanna.
We got to see a couple of familiar faces, one right in our marquee and the other trotting past us in a fancy carriage.

Her Maj racing down the track
A Bride-to-Be brought this handsome devil along

While we may have been more concerned with the drinking, eating and men in suits, we did manage to put a few bets on. Cara, with help from Uncle George up in Scotland, was in charge of placing our collective bets -  GBP2 each way.

We did pretty well, coming in with 40 quid on the 3rd race - enough to get us a jug of Pimms and secure our next bet. The last 2 races had no return, but we had our Pimms so we were pretty pleased.

We finished the day off returning to London with a sing along on the bus.

The Details

Royal Ascot Races

Started in 1611 by Queen Anne, the Royal Ascot Races run over 5 days and are a major event on the British social calendar.

Ticket prices start from £27, depending on the day and enclosure you choose.
This year we paid around £60pp for our ticket through Fanatics.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Gluten Free Scones

Yesterday I decided to try my hand at baking the traditional English delight that is Scones.

After scouring the vast gluten free library that is Coeliac Disease in Australia  on Facebook, I found a simple recipe containing just 3 ingredients!

Servings 6-7
1.5 cup GF SR flour
1/5 cup cream

1/5 cup lemonade
extra flour for benchtop


Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius
Place flour, cream and lemonade into a bowl and mix with a knife until doughy
Transfer dough to a lightly floured bench and press dough out so it's about 2 - 3 cm thick.
Cut with a scone cutter and place on to a greased tray or use quality baking paper.
Bake for around 15 minutes or until golden.
Serve with jam and cream with a cup of tea :)

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Wanderlust Wishlist 2016 - January Travel Linkup

2015 saw me travelling far and wide, literally and emotionally. I spent the 14/15 New Year watching the fireworks over the Thames (and working on a party boat), spent a weekend in Brussels with my best friend, explored Cambridge, met new 'family' in Scotland, travelled to Portugal with work, saw where the Von Trapps lived in Salzburg, caught up with friends in Hanover, got lost in Berlin, made new friends in Vietnam and Cambodia and surprised family in Thailand! 

I also broke up with my boyfriend, quit my amazing job, packed up my life, moved back across a (couple of) oceans, made it back in time to be part of my best friend's wedding, saw my nieces for the first time and got to spend Christmas and New Years with family and friends for the first time in two years. 


If I have my way, 2016 will be just as big as it's predecessor.

 September will see me and a few friends soaking up the rays in LA, hunting alligators on the bayou and visiting a white house in Washington and a green lady in NY. Yup! We're going to America! And squeezing it all in by doing a 26 day Contiki tour. 
We'll be topping it off with a holiday from our holiday, relaxing on a beach in Hawaii.


Particularly, would LOVE to see the Northern Lights. And how could you not want to when you've spent to look on Instagram and come across photos like this?

photo from Christer Olsen

photo credit to Anastasia Sviridova
St Petersburg

Ever since reading The Bronze Horseman, I've been a bit obsessed with visiting Russia.

The biggest travel move I'm going to make this year (hopefully) is transporting myself back to my second home - LONDON! 

This is my first blog at the Travel Linkup, but I have been following Emma for a while now and thought it would be good to add another resolution to my ever growing list: blogging more (and with some sort of purpose!) 

How to link up your post

"Just pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st - 7th January 2016), add it to the link up widget found on Emma'sAngie's, or Jessi's blogs from the 1st.

As ever there are no real rules – basically all we ask is that you check out some of the other cool bloggers that are involved in that months travel link up; tweet a few of the posts out to your followers that you think they will love and make a few comments here and there. It really is a great way to meet some new travel bloggers and share some blogging joy!" - Emma