Sunday, 29 August 2010

Breathtaking Rakaia Gorge & skiing!

Tired from the countless stacks that we made from snowboarding, we decided to go up the slopes in the arvo and spent the day at Rakaia Gorge. It's absolutely gorgeous. It's probably one of the most amazing places I have ever been to! Driving down these are the things that you'll see along the way:

Mt Hutt as your backdrop

And lots and lots and lots of sheep!

Believe me, I didn't know what to expect of Rakaia Gorge - I had no clue as to what it would've looked like. When we arrived at the lookout...

This is what we saw. BEAUTIFUL!

Honestly, I've never seen water as blue as this. It's just absolutely breathtaking!!! Hahaha I can't stop raving about it because it's just so calming and serene.

We didn't stay for too long as we were running late to catch the bus to Mt Hutt and so we decided that the next day we will go down and walk along the water.

In our proper clothing & gear, thanks to Jaces Ski Hutt :-) Jace is amazing and so is his team, better get your stuff there when you do go!

This time, we went skiing. I've never gone skiing before and Walter had to teach me. He was smart - he took me to the carpet hahaha wherein I totally made a fool of myself! I was so close to giving up because I was just in so much pain from snowboarding (did I mention he crashed into me and his board hit my spine?)... Thankfully he was an absolute gentleman and was patient enough to help me all throughout... :-)


Since we were still so sore and tired, we didn't go up the slopes. We just hung back and spent the arvo drinking good coffee and playing on the snow :-)

Methven and around

As far as trying to be updated with my blog... I believe I'm not trying hard enough. :-( Sad to say I can't keep up with my tasks and I'm not as organised as I think. Oh well, such is life. I was thinking about New Zealand today and how much I miss our short holiday, and I realised I haven't finished my series of blogs on how it went.

To recap, we arrived in Christchurch, had dinner with one of my friends, then drove to Methven. We got lost on the way, but it's all good :-) We were flat out tired so we slept really early just to have a good head start for the next day. We got up at 7, keen as anything to go up to the slopes, and then caught a bus to Mt Hutt.

Mishaps really never fail to catch up with me, so halfway up to the mountain I realised every person on the bus had their gear on, whereas the bf and I were in our jumpers and trackies...

Ha ha ha.

I started to freak out a little bit, then I started freaking him out by imparting my observation. We looked at our vouchers and we realised we had to pick up the gear somewhere in town. With that thought, we still managed to convince ourselves to actually think that maybe the ski shop was up the top. Ha!

Lucky the people at Mt Hutt were so nice and accommodating. They set us up - gear, clothes and all! We were so grateful to them for helping us out :-)

Everything got sorted for no extra cost! YAY. LOOOOVE the people in Mt Hutt :-)

We were ready to snowboard all day. I must say - I haven't snowboarded in 4 years and I was really really rusty. Rusty enough to forget that I should've brought Walter (who has never snowboarded before) to the carpet first and try to teach him with my very limited skills. You can guess what happened next.

We got up to the top, all happy, but failed to realise we'd be stacking it all the way down. SMART!

Walter exhausted from stacking it

Nonetheless we had an amazing day making fun of each other! We had millions of bruises, which wasn't fun at all - it was a pain to sleep!!! All's well that ends well though, we managed to get a lot of rest and went up to the slopes again the next day... for skiing!

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

New Zealand/Nueva Zelanda/Neuseeland

A few months back I decided that I wanted to see New Zealand. I never really thought it would push through as I had so many troubles along the way. The embassy misspelled my name on my visa and so I had to wait another few weeks for them to return my passport with my visa printed on it, my travel agent really didn't do that great of a job, and so many other things.

However, it did turn out to be a surprisingly good trip.

We planned to go to so many places (which we did, but didn't fully cover our initial plan) and didn't expect to even cover as much as we did. New Zealand is absolutely stunning and is just beyond words.

On our first day it seemed pretty bad as it was raining and it was gloomy, but a lovely dinner with one of my old friends from the Philippines saved it all. We ate at Strawberry Fare and the food was just so filling and beautiful!

Chic menu!

Walter & I had a dish called Simply Salmon (Hot smoked warm Akaroa salmon, salad greens, ciabatta, caper & dill creme fraiche):

Perfection on a plate!

We then drove to Methven, to a place called Mt Hutt Bunkhouse. We had a lovely stay. It was detached from the internet (although they do provide access for a minimal fee), clean, cosy and homey. Giles (owner/manager) made sure we had everything we needed. It was so comfortable and at the same time very affordable. Would definitely stay there again when we do go back for another visit. :-)

Walter & I at Mt Hutt Bunkhouse

View from across our lodge at 8 in the morning the next day! :3

By the time we got there we were absolutely buggered and wanted to be up bright and early for our first day up the slopes. The 2 photos above were taken that morning before we caught the bus to go to Mt Hutt which was so amazingly nice, but that's for the next blog!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Adelaide's food secrets - Cocolat

I can confidently say that Cocolat has been my BEST find in Adelaide. It's a dessert cafe down in Rundle Street.

We had cakes there, and unfortunately they've been gobbled up too quickly that I ended up only having a photo of their amazing tiramisu:

It was soooooooo good. The cake was encased in milk chocolate, topped with shaved white chocolate and served with fudge and cream. I was in heaven for 5 minutes.

I bought a box of their truffles (and thought that maybe they're not as great as the Chocolateria San Churro here in Sydney), but my, to my surprise... They were even better! The truffle menu can be found here (expect to drool).

My chocolate experience in Cocolat was absolutely amazing that I had to go back to buy another 2 boxes of chocolate and indulge myself in 2 massive scoops of their gelato!!! If I'm not mistaken they've been awarded chocolatier of the year and they truly deserve it!!!

Cocolat is unique to South Australia and nowhere else so I suggest that when you go there you make sure that it's one of your stops!

Adelaide's food secrets - Rundle Spices

Before I moved to Australia I never really enjoyed Thai, mainly because I didn't know much about the cuisine. Out here people love it, and I've grown to love it too. Rundle Spices is another restaurant on Rundle Street in Adelaide's city centre.

We came in for dinner (a very late one at that) and they were just about to close shop. Their staff was so friendly that they still let us order despite them already prepping to close up! Suffice it to say the food came out from the kitchen so quickly like any other Thai restaurant.

There were five mouths to feed, and our table looked something like this (notice how the food's already been touched; we were that hungry!):

We had Red beef curry

Some pandan chicken

Some green chicken curry, and satay chicken.

The food was lovely, served very hot (as in hot hot and spicy hot, haha). It wasn't beautifully plated like you would in fine restaurants, but you really get good food for the price that you pay. What I loved about Rundle Spices was that their prices were very competitive. They're situated in the city centre, with many other restaurants that charge heaps for food. They managed to stay on the main street and still serve very affordable food. Entrees are between $5-8 and mains from $11-15.

The servings don't come tiny either. We were all stuffed by the end of our meal and still had some stuff left over. I'd have to say, Rundle Spices has really impressed me, because I've tried and tested so many eat in and takeaway Thai and they've lived up to the standard of serving fresh, delicious food for a cheap price in a beautiful setup.

Adelaide's food secrets - Brunelli

I know, I know... this is 3 months too late... but hey, I'm officially on break which means I can actually squeeze out some substantially sensible blogs! Lol. Last time I said I'd be talking about wining and dining in Adelaide, and here we are. The whole 4/5 days that I spent there, I basically just ate out for most of the time. When I arrived, I had lunch with a couple of old mates from the Philippines. I had a wonderful time catching up, and definitely a wonderful time eating! We had lunch at Brunelli, an Italian café down in Rundle Street Mall which is practically Adelaide's city centre.

My friend had this gorgeous plate of Pollo Principessa if I remember that correctly! It's basically chicken breast, with ham and white wine sauce.

My other friend has a warm chicken salad, which was generously drizzled with honey mustard and candy balsamic.

Meanwhile, I had Garlic Prawns with white wine cream sauce, rice and vegetables. It was absolutely lovely. The prawns were perfectly cooked - meat falling off the shell (in this case, the tail haha), super soft and super juicy! I loved it.

Prices range from about $20-$30 for mains, which isn't too bad considering the servings are hefty. You can either eat inside the cafe, or outdoors (which is, on a beautiful sunny day, so good) where you can people watch!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Happy 1st day of winter, Australia! ♥

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

South Australia

I realised I have been MIA like anything, having 0 entries for February and just 1 for March! That's insane! I was hoping to blog more this year given that I thought that I would have more time on my hands but I guess not. Anyway. Just before summer holidays ended, I was given the chance to set foot on South Australia for the first time ever! Imagine the excitement in my bones when I got on the plane. It was a comfortable 1.5 hour flight, and was 30 minutes behind from AEST. Thank you, dear brother for the plane ticket and thank you JetStar for cheap flights (I'm becoming a loyal patron aren't I)

Much of my time was spent eating (as you all know it's my favourite thing to do) and resting. It was a very laid back holiday and I didn't do much running around to see sights like I would usually do. Admittedly there are too few photos from my stay in Adelaide. I did see a few gorgeous places though, and I think it would be terrible not to share.

Christies Beach, which is 30-45 minutes from the CBD.

Christies Beach shoreline, on the way to O'Sullivan Beach

Close to O'Sullivan Beach (if you look closely there are a lot of tractors and other construction equipment - new developments are coming to this area! Prime property I'd say)

Glenelg's Town Hall's classic architecture maintained. LOVE IT

More of the Glenelg Bay

Very nostalgic sunset at the jetty in Glenelg

Outside the South Australian Museum - I like the blending of the old and the new structures!

Outside the Art Gallery of SA - the collections aren't that impressive compared to the NGV but it's all right. Still worth a look.

Pigs lurking about in Rundle Street Mall.You know what's coming next, Adelaide wining & dining! Cyasssss!

Monday, 1 March 2010


So long sweet summer.
(PS: Hiatus caused by moving out, work & travelling to South Australia. Expect new blogs soon! xo)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Australia Day 2010

This year's Australia Day marked my 2nd year of living in Australia. We celebrated it locally having come from a long drive down the South Coast. Just hoping everyone had a wonderful Aussie Day too!

Fireworks at The Rooty Hill

Friday, 1 January 2010

In 2009

So many things happened, and I can't believe it's (almost) over! I'm a big fan of lists, so here's one to tie the 2009 bag of craziness up!

  • Had my first New Year's eve outside of home
  • Moved to Australia
  • Learned to do house chores (or had to... lol)
  • Started my B Psych degree in UWS
  • Drove on the other side of the road
  • Learned Spanish
  • Spoke more German than I ever have
  • Went to Melbourne with friends (!)
  • TURNED 21! (Can't wait to go back to Vegas!)
  • Started paying my own bills
  • Learned to take public transport
  • Dated, dated, dated
  • Watched a play and 2 musicals
  • Got a job
  • Went to Queensland with a friend
  • Visited heaps of museums and art galleries
  • Travelled overseas by myself (back to Manila)
  • Applied and got accepted to move into my own place (though in uni) for 2010
  • Met a wonderful, wonderful boy <3
It has been a fun-f'in-tastic year with lots of ups and downs. I met heaps of different people, fell in love, got dumped, slept a lot, and spent much of my time by myself a lot. I can't say it was brilliant all throughout, but it has definitely been such a good way to finally grow up. Without further ado, I bid 2009 a big fat good bye and welcome 2010 (a new year and a new decade) with a big fat HUG!!! Cheers, prost, salud, what have you, just have a blast!

¡Prospero Año Nuevo a todos!
Ein Glückliches neues Jahr zum Alles!!!

Going local

Brisbane has been a great adventure for me, as the entire year has been. I thought that immersing myself in the local sights of Brissy was the best way to wrap things up. It's like taking myself back home, wherever that is in my heart of hearts.

The day before we left Brisbane, we went to the North Pine Dam just for some down time and some quality chit chat amongst friends. We were pretty lucky cos it was deserted that day, and it was sunny and bright.

Caloy the talented, trigger happy boy enjoying the lush greenery

The dam. Wonder if you can go for a swim here lol

Of course my blog wouldn't be complete without an old tree

We spent hours on end there, until we got hungry and got some Cold Rock ice cream at Chermside (our first choice was a Mexican fiesta at Montezuma's but it was closed, so, sad face). Then, we waited for Tippy to finish TAFE at 9 in the evening. We drove straight to Mt Coot-tha, which is Brisbane's best lookout! Going up there at night was mesmerising - we saw the entire city lit up.

Tippy took this beautiful photo :-)

Before she got all melancholic and dramatic. Jokes

After that, we randomly thought of going to Shorncliffe one last time. As I may have mentioned before, this is where some scenes in the movie Aquamarine were shot. :-) The first time I went to Shorncliffe was in Autumn 2008 at night time. Then we went on the first night of our Brisbane visit this year. We saw a shooting star then. It was magical and enchanting. Then for our last night, we hung out here again. It just brings everything together beautifully. I say Shorncliffe is some piece of magical land.

There's no better way to leave Brisbane than being at Shorncliffe.

The ebb & flow of the water, the orange lights and the cool breeze just leaves you clear-minded and ready for another adventure.

(edit: I know this has been already posted as a 2010 entry, but I meant for it as a year ender one. Sorry for the timezone change, I'm in the Philippines and it's only 11:30 here and I still have an hour 'til 2010. LOL)