#Project365 41/52 Catch Up!

Hold on to your hats this is big one!!!!!

Week39 – 22nd September to 28th September

We flew out to Brisbane on the 22nd, it was a long, long journey! The first flight was to Dubai and we had just over 3 hours at the airport. Then it was on to Singapore for a refuel stop before the final leg to Brisbane, arriving at 11;30pm on Monday.
We spent the next few days with our son and his fiancee before moving down to the Gold Coast – Broadbeach for the wedding.

We went to see the Brisbane Festival light show – lots of lights and water jets to music held on the river.
The day before the wedding I went to the Brides Mum’s house for a ladies Morning tea, lots of fun. Games and quizzes and ending with us making a wedding outfit out of loo rolls!

They got married on Broadbeach by the Bride’s father. Lovely ceremony and at the end another pastor joined her dad to say a blessing.
When the group photos were being taken someone noticed some whales leaping in the ocean. It just couldn’t have been any better!

Week 39 part one pictures:

  • Me in Dubai airport Zen garden.
  • The view from our hotel in Gold Coast (Meriton Broadbeach)
  • Brisbane Festival lights
  • BWS Drive through – a drive through -Beer, WInes and Spirits!
  • Ladies morning at the Brides Mum’s house – dressing the bride!

brisbane, broadbeach

Week 39 part two – A selection of wedding pictures:

  • Bride and groom
  • Groom and one of the 3 best men…don’t ask….
  • Hubby and me in our outfits
  • The blessing
  • Cutting the cake
  • The cake

39-52 (2)

Week 40 – 29th September to 5th October

We hired a car on 29th and started the drive down to Sydney. The first stop was at Byron Bay, it’s a lovely town full of surfer dudes and very olde world feel, it reminded me of Newquay, Cornwall.
Our second stop was at Coffs Harbour, it was very windy and quite dull when we got there.  There’s not much of a town and to be honest Coffs was quite disappointing.
On the third day we decided to push on to Newcastle – a 4 hour drive so that we could arrive in Sydney on Thursday rather than Friday as planned. Not much in Newcastle either although the drive along the Pacific Highway was very pretty.
We arrived in Sydney on Thursday to a very heavy clouds and by the time we booked in at the hotel it had started raining. Although we had no coats or brolly we still decided we weren’t going to waste a minute of our time there. We dashed in and out of shops and when the rain stopped just after lunch we went down to the harbour. We didn’t know until we got to Sydney that the Fleet Naval Review was on. It celebrated 100 years since the navy’s arrival at Sydney Harbour. You may have seen it reported on the news.  It culminated in a HUGE fireworks display in the harbour on Saturday evening. Apparently there were over a million people at the harbour – there certainly were more people in one place than I’ve ever seen!!
Sydney is a fantastic place – so much to see and do both on land and sea. Plus you get to drive in over the Harbour Bridge and sit on the Opera House steps.
We flew back to Brisbane on Sunday 6th October to spend the last few days with our son and his bride. They had gone north to Port Douglas and Cairns for their honeymoon and were due back the same day.

Week 40 part one pictures:

  • top left – Coffs
  • bottom left – Byron Bay
  • top middle – bush fire fighting helicopter
  • top left – Byron Bay
  • bottom right – Coffs Harbour.

coffs harbour, byron bay

Week 40 part two – Sydney pictures:

sydney harbour, harbour bridge, opera house, fireworks

Week 41 6th October to 12th October

It was great meeting up with our son again and we made plans on Sunday afternoon to go to Australia Zoo on Monday. Lee found a site that did an inclusive trip which would take us almost door to door.  The zoo is owned by the Urwin family and the best known of course was Steve Urwin who was killed by a stingray 7 years ago. The zoo is huge and thankfully has water misters at regular intervals to cool you down – it was 36 degrees when we were there!!  You can get up close to most of the animals too. Some are carried about by the handlers and you can touch and get photos taken with the animals. I touched a koala and a kangaroo.. !!
They also have a great show to show off the crocs and the birds.
The only photos for the week will be of the zoo visit – I’ve been too jet-lagged to even think about taking photos!!

Week 41 – Australia zoo

koala, australia zoo

So there you have it 3 weeks in one big post.. I hope you made it down to here!!  I’ll be putting up more posts in my Travel category over the next week or so with reviews of the hotels and eateries we went to and my tips for traveling to Oz.

Have you been to Australia? Would you want to go? Have been to a wedding on the beach?  Go on leave a comment.. share your thoughts.
Check out my other Project 365 pictures so far.

If you’d like to read more about the project please click on the 365 badge

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

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Childhood Family Holiday Memories

I grew up in an extended family home.  There was Nan, Mum, my Mums 3 brothers, then there was my sister, my 2 brothers and me.

My Dad left when my sister was a baby. This meant Mum had to work to be able to provide the basics for us. I didn’t realise then how hard it must have been to provide for 4 children.  We only ever had sweets on a Saturday for a treat, Sundays were baking days and everyone was expected to their share of chores.

Holidays were rare, I can only remember three where we actually stayed away from home. Porthcawl in a caravan, Butlins Clacton and Minehead Butlins.  I only have 2 pictures from those days, one of us 4 kids with Mum and Nan at Clacton  and one of just me and Mum at Minehead.

butlins holidays

Me and my Mum

I have some good memories from the holiday at Minehead.

  • Journeys on the Monorail. This was quite new and seemed very modern and futuristic for the late 60’s!
  • Watching some men trying to drink a full ‘yard of ale’!
  • The funfair rides. The traditional Horses and there was one that went round and round then went up and around. My Nan loved it and eventually persuaded me to go on it.
  • Splashing in the fountain. The fountain was made up of tiers and we used to climb up and sit on them.
  • The boating lake.
  • The Red Coats – they were always trying to persuade you to join in with games. They made sure everyone of all ages were having a good time.

Competition sponsored by Butlins Holiday Parks, helping your family make memories

Pre-Holiday checklist

What tasks are essential to get your family packed, relaxed and ready to go on holiday? What do you do to make sure you’re welcomed home in the right way?

Well being a girl who has lists for everything I thought I’d share my list.

Travel Plans:

  • Make sure passports are still in date.
  • Print out travel documents if you’ve booked on-line or make sure the travel company have sent them.
  • Order your travel money / travellers cheques / topped up travel card.  Shop around for the best deal.
  • Get travel insurance.
  • Clear out my purse of old receipts. Take out anything not needed on holiday, like loyalty cards.
  • If taking a credit card – for emergencies or any ‘spur of the moment’ purchases make sure it’s still in date.
  • Book the airport car parking.
  • Place all important documentation into a folder / bag and make sure it’s in your handbag or hand luggage.

Personal things:

  • If you take medication make sure you have enough to last for your holiday.  Don’t pack it in your hold luggage.
  • Buy travel sizes of toothpaste, deodorants, shampoo etc it saves on weight.
  • Buy plenty of sun cream taking into account the SPF for children.
  • Get the cases out and make sure you have a travel plug,  plastic bags (to cover shoes and put small items in. Handy for the return journey to put dirtiest clothes in.
  • Make sure you know what toys, games, paper, pens, pencils, books you want to take for you and the children.
  • Don’t forget mobile phone, iPod and chargers.

Household:

  • If you have pets book them into the kennels/cattery or arrange for them to be cared for by family or neighbours.
  • Make sure the garden pots and baskets are watered. Arrange for a neighbour to pop in to keep them topped up.
  • If you are travelling by car check water, oil, lights, fuel.
  • Make sure SkyPlanner is set to record your favourite programmes. After all you can’t miss Corrie!!
  • Check the fridge and veggie box for food that may expire before you return. Use it up, it’s surprising what dishes you can up with!
  • Empty the bins.
  • Give the house a quick spruce up the night before – you don’t want to come home to a tip!!

Packing:

  • Try to pack only what you’ll need. Shorts, t-shirts, shoes, sundresses, swimwear, sun hats etc.
  • Don’t pack all your clothes in one case and all hubby’s in another (plus all children’s in another!). Mix them up, put  some changes of clothing for everyone in each case. If one case goes missing you’ll always have something to wear.

Day of travel:

  • Check all travel documents, medications, mobiles are in handbag.
  • Last minute packing done (oh you know… toothbrushes, shaver, etc)
  • Power down non-essential items in the house, turn off the hot water-clock.
  • LOCK UP!!!!
  • Make sure bags, hubby and kids are in the car!  Oh and if you’re like me check that you have passports, money, tickets again!!! OFF YOU GO!!!

Ready for return:

  • Make sure you have some bread in the freezer and some eggs in the cupboard.  At least you’ll have something quick to rustle up!
  • Buy some milk on the way home..cup of tea is essential when you return home!

Crikey this has turned out to be quite a list!!

13/366 Memories of Mexico

Hubby and I were discussing over dinner where we might go this year on holiday.  Where ever we go the cost will have to come from savings – my redundancy pay – unless I can find a job. We were soon reminiscing about our favourites and realised it’s 3 years this weekend that we went to Mexico.

We’ve been very fortunate over the past few years and have been to the Caribbean, Jamaica, Barbados and done a few cruises – albeit on the Ocean Village so not ‘Posh’. Our favourite by miles was Cancun in Mexico. I had a good year in work and completed quite a bit of overtime which saw our holiday pot expand quite nicely.
After lots of research of hotels we decided on the Royal Cancun. This is a 5* All Inclusive hotel along the Quintana Roo. This is a strip of land that has the ocean on one side and the lagoon on the other. Reviews of the hotel were good and we booked an upgraded room called a Royal Junior Suite.  The holiday was all we expected and more, service, food, drink and the rooms exceed expectations.
the only fly in the ointment was that on arrival we were given the wrong type of room and had to be moved up a couple of floors to be able to take advantage of the added luxury we had paid for. After the move we settled by the pool and relaxed. When we went back to our room later in the afternoon we had a call from the Concierge asking if we back in the room for a while, I asked why and they said they had a surprise for us. About 10 minutes later a knock on the door. A room service attendant with a bottle of bubbly compliments of First Choice as an apology for their cock-up with the room and some chocolate covered strawberries from the hotel management. They looked too good eat!
So my piccie for today is a lovely reminder of our amazing holiday 3 years ago.