Friday, March 15, 2013

Long Weekend in Perth

At the beginning of March, my dad and I took a long weekend and went to Perth, Australia. I never thought in my life I would get the chance to go there! It was an amazing weekend.

We arrived in the early evening on Friday, and just walked around the city to get our bearings. I fell in love instantly. The weather was gorgeous, the people are beautiful and the food was so yum. We found a little Chipotle-style burrito place that just made my day.

Saturday is when the real fun began.
We went on a wine tour through Swan Valley.

It was just perfect.

First stop.

Just right outside the tasting room. Everything was so pretty!

At our second stop, there were all these little oils to try with bread. Yum!

Lunch. Proper Australian food right here. This was a little sampler with kangaroo, emu, water buffalo, and crocodile. Those crab cake things were made with something like crawfish. Everything was pretty tasty, and to get to eat all that was so fun.

Somehow we got off track and ended up at a vodka distillery!
 Lemon, vanilla, and chili flavored. This girl had to say "nooo thank you."

Day 2:
We headed down to the Perth Zoo! Here are just a couple of the precious animals we saw:


Hiding Koala.

Tree Kangaroo. I didn't even know there was such a thing until then.

After the Zoo, we made our way down to Freemantle with a long beautiful boat ride.


There were hundreds of little sail boats out on the water. It looked like little races.

The view from a little old building we climbed around.

I just loved this little newspaper office.

We made our way back to the city and to the casino, and thought we were settling on dinner at a place that looked nice, but had hotdogs on the menu. :| We were not settling after all! Rockpool was an adorable place. It had a big open kitchen and was so fun. The food was amazing and we did not eat a hotdog!

Day 3:
My dad and I both love live music. Soundwave takes live music to the. next. level. The people that go are so hardcore, and I just am not.

But, I mean look how I fit in with the rockers with my Metallica shirt!

I almost got to see All Time Low a few years ago and the concert got rained out, so this was exciting!

Y'all. This crowd was so crazy. I didn't know existed until all of sudden we turned a corner and it was there. The mosh pit was the size of the whole crown at All Time Low.

It was such a fun day though. I couldn't believe I was there seeing it all!

We had such a fun weekend. I am so glad I got to spend it with my daddio!

Time For a Jungle Trek

Katelyn and I went to Kuching, Malaysia over Chinese New Year in February.

We stayed a night in a longhouse, in the jungle!


Where things like this are served.

On the first day, we had a guide that took us through the jungle.

Here he is, in a pretty chilled out part.

This was our reward! After a 3 hr hike, mostly uphill, we made it to the waterfall for some playtime and lunch.

Overall the trek was intense! Slippery mud, slippery rocks, tickling leaves, leeches, and it was so hot. We really felt like champions getting through the thing. It was pretty much a once in a lifetime experience for me. I can't say I ever want to do it again, but it was awesome.

We slept like champions that night and were ready for a tour of the village the next day.

My favorite part of the tour was seeing all the cats!

We walked around and saw how people live day to day in this village. It was crazy cool. These people live in the jungle and are so sweet and happy. The village had a crazy past like most of them do in Kuching. Head hunters and jungle gatherers.

Awesome stay. I recommend the Annah Rais Longhouse to any jungle trek seekers!

On our way back to the city we stopped at the Semonggok orangutan center.

I don't think I had ever seen these guys in real life before. So cute!

It was feeding time for them, so they were happy and playful where we could see them. That one sitting on the platform is Mr. Ritchie. :) He is the oldest in the center, and is mostly grumpy.


The next day we walked around the waterfront and saw a little bit of the city. Things were mostly closed because of the Chinese New Year holiday.

We did catch a couple cute fruit stands that were open on our last day.

The mess from CNY fireworks and festivities.

We took a little boat tour. On an old, traditional to kuching, boat. It was quiet and relaxing and it was an awesome way to see a little bit more of the city.

My favorite thing was seeing these old junky boats docked on the side.

We had intended to spend some time at the bazar at the waterfront and do some shopping. There were just a couple of little souvenir shops open so it didn't get too crazy.

Some special-to-Kuching beaded necklaces. 

It was an awesome long weekend. I hadn't thought I would ever do the jungle thing while in Malaysia, but I am so glad I did. I love that Borneo is not just "the hunk of island to the east" anymore.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's 2013?!

As I type this, we are well into March.. and I'm still freaking out that it's 2013.
But I'm pretending that I was able to upload these things in a timely manner.

So much happened in 2012, and I was sad to see it go but also relieved and excited at the same time for the new year. Like I think a lot of us were. For the first time I remember getting a little nervous for the night. I started to think about what was going to happen in 2013 and it all just got so real.

I spent the evening with my favorite people in this city.

A perfect dinner at Nero Teca.


Havanas knows how to pump us up. 

I had the best night ringing in the new year with these guys. It helped take away all my nervousness for what is to come, which is really all I needed! 

Happy New Year!

South African Safari!

During our week in SA, we took a 2 day/1 night trip out to a reserve for some animal spotting. Once again, the experience surpassed our expectations, and we had the best time. We stayed at the Aquila Game Reserve.

It was AMAZING! The whole place was a perfect mix. There was some modern luxuries, but it was all purposefully hidden in the landscape from the outside. 


This is the adorable little chalet we stayed in.

After a little lunch, we took our first safari trip out:



See what I mean about the perfect mix of luxury! Bubbles in the middle of a safari? I'll take it!


We ended the day with an amazing dinner, and this!!
The sunset was just perfect. I couldn't look at all parts of the open sky fast enough to catch all the colors. Truly an amazing sight.

We woke up super early the next day, in the so so cold morning, and headed out for another safari drive. The whole truck was bundled up in blankets. It was awesome.

We had been watching this little one almost all day. We kept seeing him walking all over the place, and finally were able to catch him in a good spot.

My pictures really don't do it justice. We saw so much and it was all spectacular. We got to see some lions, which I think were my favorite, but my pictures of them just weren't that good. 

We took a trip over to Aquila's rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary too.

Saw this baby kitty.

African safari- CHECK!

Every Wine Tells a Story

A wine tour in South Africa.
If anyone ever told me before this that I'd do that in my life I would have laughed in their face. I always imagined posh people doing this kind of thing. In Cape Town though, they make it just for young travelers and it was perfect. At the first tasting, our guide said to drink lots of water, and assured us that a big lunch would be served to keep us upright all day.. and that's when it clicked. 
This isn't fancy. We're about to party!

We went with a group of people, and an amazing guide through 5 wineries in the Stellenbosch region. Here's our day:

Our first stop of the day was the Villiera Winery. This is where we learned all the tasting techniques that us newbies needed to know. 


I just loved this bottle because of all the awards it had stuck onto it. So fun.

The weather was beautiful and the landscape blew me away. I love it when the vineyards line both sides of a street like this..

My second favorite stop was the Fairview Winery and Cheese Farm. We got to pick which wines we wanted to taste at this one. Our fav was the "The Goatfather". Haha. And then we got to taste some yummy cheese that came straight from there!


I almost died when I saw this goat outside. (I have one in Farmville, not ashamed, and I just loved seeing him in real life) ;)

The 3rd stop was the Muratie. This is when we knew it was time for lunch cause all of our techniques had gone out the window! We were just drinking for fun at this point.

This was a porte and I didn't like it. But how cool is it that we got to drink it straight from the barrel!

Our last stop of the day was the Annandale Winery. This was my favorite! 


It had the cutest family history and the guy that took us through the wines just loved them, and it so showed. They keep their wines in the barrel for 8 years and it was pretty cool to taste something that they were so proud of!

The drive back to the city was an after party as you can see..IMG_3949

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cape Town, South Africa

After the ball in Maputo, Rocky and I flew down to Cape Town. This city is AMAZING! The trip went so far beyond our expectations. There was so much to do, the weather was perfect, the people were awesome, and it was just so much fun!

We spent our first day at Tabletop Mountain. It. Was. Beautiful. Totally breathtaking.

Cape Town

Table Mountain

There are about 100 places and ways to see the sun set in this city. We decided to go to Signal Hill. We had heard that it's perfect for a picnic and a bottle of wine, so we did just that!

Signal Hill Picnic

Signal Hill Sunset
Even with the clouds, it was just perfect!

We made our way to the V&A waterfront a couple of times during the week. There were tons of restaurants, music, people, and we felt right at home! We went in the evening both times and it was so cold! Which was perfect because we were missing winter!

V&A Waterfront

We took a Peninsula Tour on our last day. We booked it at the last minute, and I'm so glad it worked out. It was amazing!

Cape Town Peninsula Tour

Cape Point

Cape Point
Cape Point

Cape of Good Hope

Cape of Good Hope
 I have wanted to see the Cape of Good Hope since I learned about it when I was like 7. 
I was bursting with excitement to finally get this picture!

Cape Town definitely goes down as my favorite city I've ever visited!