Australia/Fiji/New Zealand-January 2019

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Having been born and raised in the Chicagoland area, you would think I would consider that home. Nope. Brisbane is where my heart is. And apparently for good reason! It’s funny how my “family” can still surprise me. Jenny and John, my Australia parents, surprised me at the airport. Any frequent traveler will tell you it’s always a lovely surprise when you get airport meet and greet. The surprises continued when I arrived at the Hilton. It does freak me out just a bit, seeing my photo on the big screen. Ben, of course nailed it by having my favorite mocha from Noosa Chocolate Factory. And then arriving in my room to find this smorgasbard. Really makes me wonder why I left!

My dear friend Beau was getting married in Auckland, so I took advantage of escaping the brutal Chicago winter and booked in so need time in Brisbane. Days always seem to go by way to fast while in Brisbane. So Jenny and I headed out to Byron Bay with Adam from Koala Transfers for the day, to enjoy the beautiful summer weather.

Katherine and Evander flew up from Sydney to hang out and get out cake and chicken fix! Trust me, it’s the best way to spend an afternoon!

After a great few days in Brisbane, I headed to Fiji for some relaxation. My flight was delayed, so I set up shop in the lounge and attempted to get some work done. Imagine my shock, when I look up and see my dear friend Anthony from Melbourne! Turns out we both heading to Fiji! Lucky for me, I was headed to Marriott Momi Bay! What an amazing place. I know I sound like a travel ad, but there was honestly something so relaxing about this resort. The lagoon was full of fish, you could walk in and they were at your feet. It was soo peaceful. I rarely saw anyone walking out near my bure. I’ll be heading back for sure!

Next stop was Auckland for Beau and Anton’s wedding. SO beautiful to witness them exchange their vows while embracing their heritage.

I unfortunately confirmed on this trip, that I allergic to something in the air in Auckland. It only took like 10 trips to realise this. It won’t stop me from continuing to visit, but at least next time I’ll maybe will be better prepared.

I headed back to Brisbane to enjoy the sunnies days before returning to the Polar Vortex that was Chicago. I was almost a little sad to head back to Chicago, but then I remembered I was heading back in 3 weeks, so stay tuned!

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Travels- February 2019

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February found me back in Chicago for just 3 weeks. During this time I closed on the home that I had purchased back in July, 2017. As anyone who has every built a home from scratch will explain, new construction never goes as planned. 2 days after I was given the keys, I was back on a plane.

A party invite in Dallas led me to go back to Australia for a week. Have I mentioned how much I love flying Qantas?

While I was in the bathroom, the flight attendant did this to my seat.

Even though it was a quick trip, I decided to pop down to Melbourne and catch up with my Anthony and Jackson. And we caught up proper, by having some chicken! Gloves and all.

I spent 3 years in Australia, I thought I knew heat. Melbourne got me that weekend. It was HOT! 40c+ or 100F+ it was BRUTAL. Since it was so hot, I thought about going to a museum. But I could not be bothered to walk. Somehow while I was googling what to do, I found a website selling local Australian art, Bluethumb And this my friends, is how most of the walls in my house become adorned my art from Australian artists.

Here is a just a sample from a few, in order Miranda Lloyd, Belinda Nadwie, Tatiana Georgieva, Ashvin Harrison, Franko, Annette Spinks, Lisa Frances Judd and Naomi Crowther. Yes shipping from Australia requires some patience, but Australian dollar is currently low against the US dollar, so if you are looking to invest in some amazing art, don’t let the postage scare you.

Before heading home, I hit up my favorite shop in Sydney, Dux Collection. I picked up some lovely scents to fragrant my new home. If you happened to be in Sydney, you should pick some up as well. And make sure to say Hello to Arlene!

Until next time, safe travels!