Adventures in Australia-February 2018

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It was finally time for me to head back to Brisbane. It felt like I had been gone forever! I could not have planned my departure any better. There was this white stuff on the ground………

I was SO happy to see these blue skies…..

And then I walked in into the best welcome EVER at the Hilton Brisbane. aka “home”.Felt a little bit like a rockstar.


I arrived back in Brisbane to catch the last few days of the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the the Queensland Gallery of Modern Art. I stood in line for 45 minutes to see the Soul under the Moon for 30 seconds.

It was interesting. But since the exhibit was in final days, they already started taking some of it down. I did manage to see quite a bit. I am glad I braved the heat to check out.

Until next time safe travels……..

Rio de Janerio, Brazil- January 2018

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Back in 2002, I went to Santiago, Chile and I was pick-pocketed. My travel wallet was stolen, which had all money, credit cards and passport. It was experience to say the least.  Since then I’ve had no desire to return to the South American continent. Which was just ridiculous.

So when presented with the opportunity to go to Brazil for the holidays, I agreed.  It helped that I was in the States for 3 continuous weeks, so I was able to get a visa issued. And for some odd reason I was able to book saver flights with my miles. You know that’s like the traveler’s equivalent of winning the lottery.

I took a friend’s suggestions and signed up for the Eat Rio Tour on my day of arrival.  Not normally my thing, but I am SO glad I did it. I had a lot of fun, and the group that day was actually great! We started the tour at local produce market. Tom, the guide, was very informative.  (P.S. I was excited to use my new Iphone X,  hence the better quality photos).

I am not going to go into great detail of my day, because honestly, you should just stop reading this right now and book a ticket to Rio.  Once that is done use this link, Eat Rio , to sign up for the same tour.  See how easy that was…

If you are considering traveling to Brazil and have safety concerns, ask yourself why?  What is the crime like where you live? If you live in a community in middle of nowhere and it’s safe to leave your doors unlocked at night, then you may have a problem traveling to Chicago, never mind Brazil. IF you live in place, where crime is an every day occurrence, sorry to say like Chicago, then you will be fine traveling to Brazil.  At the end of the day it’s common sense.  Do not ask for trouble, and trouble will probably ignore you.  Every time I mentioned I was going to Brazil, I heard, BE CAREFUL. I should have asked those that told me to be careful, if they have ever been there? And if so did something to them? Or had something to happened to someone they actually know? Or was it, like it most cases, a friend of friend’s brother’s girlfriend’s Uncle who heard of it may happen? Common Sense is your friend. If you can’t afford to lose it, don’t bring it. And maybe leave the shiny stuff at home.  This is just my opinion. I spent 7 days in Rio de Janerio and not once did I feel unsafe.  Not to say crime does not exist just that I was lucky enough not to encounter it.

I rocked in the New Year, eating a ridiculous amount of cheese and watching the fireworks,



I did the required sites one must see while in Rio, including Christ the Redeemer, Sugar Loaf, Selaron Steps and yes the famous Copacobana and Ipanema beaches.

And of course then there with fun times with these two…..

Most of my photos moving forward involve porn, food, but still. This is a public blog. So I will only share this one taken at Gringo Cafe, a cafe with an American flair in Ipanema. Since you will already be in Rio, remember you booked your ticket earlier, stop by and say Hello to Sam!


So we stayed at the Grand Hyatt which is in Barra di Tijuca. It’s a newer area and felt quite safe. I probably wouldn’t recommend it for sightseeing in Rio, as it’s a bit a drive from the Copacabana and Ipanema.  BUT if you are Hyatt loyal, that won’t stop you.  The hotel, has great views. And an amazing staff. I can’t speak highly enough of the concierge, Felipe and Caia, dealing with my 50,000 requests. Or Ramon, making sure I have coffee for breakfast. Or Marlon that keep feeding me cheese on New Year’s. I would go back for the staff, the property could use some TLC.

Until next time, safe travels!

Maldives-August 2017

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I took a serious vacation/holiday. By serious I mean, I actually took off from work and barely touched my laptop for 5 days.  I have to be honest, it was a bit weird, but boy did I need it.  I know I travel a lot, but I usually connected and on any given day,  I am working.  I used point to fly to Singapore on Singapore Airlines. I purchased a ticket to fly Sri Lankan Airlines to Male, Maldives via Columbo, Sri Lanka. Upon arrival into Male, took a sea plane to the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island. Total and utter bliss.

I am going to let the pictures do the talking with this post. Words just can’t do it justice.


Sea Plane to Hotel

        Amazing sunsets……

Beautiful Beaches

Lots for food…….

And it would not be a proper holiday without, gut splitting laughs……

Until next time….safe travels.


Japan- April 2017

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I’ve been dreaming of seeing cherry blossoms in their full  blossom glory for years.  I could have made my life easy, by just picking a random day and flying to Washington D.C.  But no, I decided to make my life difficult and aim for Asia. My first attempt was a few years ago. I went to Seoul, South Korea, but that year they bloomed early and I missed them. So this year, I did some research and thought I had timed it better. I used to my frequent flier miles so I could cancel if necessary.  The day before I was scheduled to leave I checked one last time.  Well best laid plans blah blah.

I saw one……

Apparently, the bloom was off a bit.  They bloom showed up early in Tokyo and was late in Osaka. Oh well, you can’t win them all.

I took a trip to nearby Nara. I checked out the Deer Park and local temple

After quite a bit of walking around, I stopped to get some green tea ice cream. But man this line…..

The next day I took an organized tour to Kyoto. I was bit disappointed it was pouring rain.  The little I saw looked amazing, and definitely requires more then just a few hours. My tour stopped along with all the other tours in this little shopping area. It was pouring rain and bit chilly so I just walked around, unsuccessfully, trying to find the meeting point for the next part of the tour.  I almost missed the bus, because the rain just made everything more difficult.

With the lack of cherry blossoms and the continuing rain, and frankly I was just not feeling well, so I decided to call it a trip and head back to Brisbane early.  Since I had booked the flights with my frequent flier miles, I was easily change it.  One of my options, was to go home via Taipei, Taiwan with a 9 hour layover. A quick check of the weather showed, clear skies.  Done. Hello Taipei.


I saw very little in the 5 minutes that I was there. But from what I was able to see, it’s high on my list of places I want to visit.  It was so green, the architecture was just so interesting. One minute you see a rice paddy, next a pagoda, next a skyscraper.   Just beautiful.

Until next time, safe travels!


Portugal and Spain- December 2016

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I’ve been wanting to visit Portugal for years! It was on the top of the list of places that I wanted to visit but for some reason, it never made it into my travel plans.I had planned on being in the States for holidays, but my plans changed and I ended up coming in a week earlier then planned. I love my family, but 3 weeks, especially at the holidays was just not going to happen.

As much as I love European Christmas Markets, I was not willing to bear the cold weather. And the best ones, in my opinion,close on December 24th. I had fun trying to find a location that would not be too cold and that I could also get a decent flight. Oh and I need to fly on American Airlines or at least a One World partner because I need to the miles to keep my status. Madrid and Barcelona, ticked each box. I had been to Barcelona a few years, so I opted for Madrid. But then I realized I was so close to Portugal. I decided to just book another ticket, wise use of my British Airways Miles, and headed straight to Lisbon.

Best idea, ever!  Here is the part that I should say it was awful, that I had a horrible time and I would not recommend it at all.  I would say this so it stays amazing and does not become over run with tourists.  I just felt relaxed. Not paranoid about pickpockets like I was in Spain,  or ring scams in Paris. The skies were blue, albeit a little chilly. The streets were clean and while there were tourist there were not everywhere. They had the fun pedestrian paths in the middle of the busy streets, like in Barcelona.

I made an interesting hotel choice. I did not, gasp, stay at a Hilton or Hyatt. I stayed at a Marriott property, Fontecruz Lisboa.  It’s more boutique then large chain hotel. The location was great, located on one of the major streets. I  headed out to take in the sights. I opted for the Hop on Hop off bus. I find they are a great way to orient yourself in a new city. I tend to do the loop first and then hop off.

Lisbon is quite walk-able, if you can handle the cobble streets and some hills. Ladies, bring your sensible shoes. In fact, just bring an old ugly pair so you have an excuse to go shop. I did… at Moskkito. It was quite an adventure trying to get my stuff home.

I took sidetrips to Sintra and Fatima.  I booked the tours last minute and ended up on a big bus one. I wish I had done better research and gone with a smaller tour company.  I probably could have done them on my own. Something to redo on the next trip.

There was situation with a nutella crepe in Sintra. Let’s just say I learned my lesson about trying to eat messy street food. I am still finding nutella on stuff.

I headed back to Madrid for New Year’s Eve. I had high hopes of doing all this sightseeing, specially checking out the Prado Museum.  All those plans changed drastically when I arrived and it was freezing.  I was tired and cold and so basically I did nothing in Madrid. Well nothing that I am willing to admit doing on this public blog. There may or may not have been a potential meal at a American chain restaurant.

I really enjoyed this trip, I just wish I had more time. And I probably go back when the weather is warmer. I also think if I had to do it again, I would suggest doing Madrid first, then Lisbon. Two totally different cities with different energies.

Until next time, safe travels!


Adventures in Australia-October 2016

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For someone who loves to travel, this blog is getting a bit boring. I have been a bit lazy with my travels as of late. Part of the issue has been the fact that I’ve been back to the States practically every month.  Somehow, though I am not tired of this view.img_0146I was stateside at the end of September and headed back to Australia in early October.  I finally moved out of my “temporary” lodging, the Hilton Brisbane. After 6 months, it was time. I leased an apartment close by. Now that I am settled in, I am realizing I should have just stayed at the Hilton. It’s not like I cook!

It is nice to have a balcony and enjoy the fresh air! Especially with my view.

I did take a trip out to the Sunshine Coast to visit the famous Australia Zoo. It is interesting, especially if you are a fan of Steve Irwin.

October was pretty low key. I had planned on doing some more travels, but well life got in the way. I was booked for Thailand but the King died. So I rebooked for Vietnam.  It turned out I had few friends scheduled to be there at the same time.  But then plans changed again, so I ended up heading back the States, AGAIN.

Stayed tuned for my November/December adventures! Lots of fun stuff planned. Until next time, safe travels!