29 January 2013

Yachting around

Just relaxxxx
Saturday morning we awoke early (hangovers in check) and headed to the bakery before cruising out to Whitehaven Beach for the day. Much to my disgust, the bakery didn't sell bacon and egg pies - just what I was craving.

I dozed on the top deck for most of the trip but jumped up when Capt. Mikey caught a Blue Fin Tuna off the back of the boat! Fricken Sweet! After that excitement I chilled at the front of the boat, watching the crystal clear water and gorgeous island drift by.

We moored out around Whitehaven and taxied over to the island in groups. While being attacked by giant biting flies we waited for the rest to get over and then began the climb up the hill. At least I can say I exercise sometimes! Must admit I did get super tired though and had a little whinge... all worth it though!
What an incredible view.

We had a mini photo shoot, 'everyone together, okay couples, smile!' admired the view a bit longer then made our way down. Back on the yacht, lunch had already been prepared - a yummy tuna salad.

We moved around to in front of Whitehaven, where we saw 2 giant turtles! Awesome.
I then took about 20 photos of Lisa jumping off the boat... I just couldn't get it right! Of course she got it first shot...

Back on Hamo we headed to the pool bar for cocktails. But it was closed! Seriously, who closes the only open pool bar, with the sun shining and the pool packed at 5pm?! Didn't matter though, we had the best time anyway! With the discovery of an underwater camera, we were amused for hours, I can not wait to see those pictures!! Between mermaid posing, retarded faces and dirty dancing poses, I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time. Props to Sean who actually managed to lift me in the air like the Dirty Dancing pose and props to the Swashbuckling Pirate, who managed to catch it on camera!

Brohito's (Mojitos made by the bro Mike) were served back on the yacht - the most refreshingly, delicious drink you will ever have. I want one now just thinking about it. Then there was a rush to get dinner at CoCa Chu.

We were invited to CoCa Chu by a friend to be a guest of the Chef. Roll out an 8 course tasting menu and I swear I would dine there constantly if it was in Brisbane. Amazing, delicious, inventive, mouth watering, insert additional adjectives here - I can't rave enough about this place. MUST VISIT on Hamo!!!

Blue Fin Tuna & Capt Mikey
Sean & Kat cruising

Whitehaven Beach Whitsundays

Yacht life is hard

Whitsunday Yacht jumping
Whitehaven beach lookout point

23 January 2013

Dude, where's my yacht?!

Plane ride
I've been to Hamilton Island many times before. At Uni, Club Med Lindeman Island (a 45min boat ride from Hamo) used to fly me per from NZ to work for them in my holiday breaks for a couple of weeks.
I also did this same trip last year. Hamo still never disappoints.

Every year my friends hire a yacht. It's huge, 4 big bedrooms, 2 smaller 'coffins' and 4 bathrooms. This year we even had aircon! Whoooo! Anyway they hire it and cruise around the Whitsunday Islands for 2 weeks, starting and finishing in Airlie. It works out super cheap as my mate Mike is an amazing photographer an he gives his pics to the company in return for a discount.

I can never make it for the whole 2 weeks - too busy and all that jazz. Read can't get additional time off work. So I fly in for the weekend when they moor at Hamilton Island Marina. Fly in Friday and out Sunday. It's cheap, thanks to jetstar, and I only need one day off.

So we flew in Friday 11am and that's when I realized that I hadn't heard from any of them for a few days. When nobody was at the airport to pick us up I had a fair idea that something may have happened.

Hamilton Island
So we started walking up the hill from the airport towards the resorts. My fantastic plan was to hang at the pool bar until they got there. I forgot how huge the damn hill was. 1/4 of the way up a lovely Samoan guy pulled over in his buggy and offered us a ride. He was a bit shy but we were super grateful.

I'm still trying to get a hold of all my mates and settled with message 'I'm at the pool bar where we go for happy hour. Ph dying, come get me when you arrive.' They would know exactly where I am. Shame ph was dying - story I my life. I really need a new one.

The Swashbuckling Pirate & I had a lovely arvo, cocktails in the pool bar, kayaking around the bay and more swimming and cocktails.

Hilariously the whole 'I lost my friends & my boat' thing worked on my favor. I got the kayak hire cheap as when the guy asked were I was staying I launched into my story and he threw in free locker rental. Lovely guy.

Hamilton Island - Pool Bar
Come 3.30pm I was starting to think that we should look at getting a hotel for the night- we still hadn't heard from them. Reception gave us the brilliant idea to call the yacht charter company, which we did. They knew the boat had had some issues and had sent another boat out to help it. Unfortunately they were out of signal so weren't sure of they'd make it to Hamo in time or not. They said wait an hour and see if they call in. So we waited. Still no word. Swashbuckling P decided we should wait another half an hour with a cocktail by the pool. Who am I to argue? With a cocktail in hand we waited.. And it paid off! Sean messages saying they would be arriving into marina in half an hour or so.... What he really meant was 1.5hrs but we weren't to know.

While we were waiting we walked back to the shops/marina. Me, always hungry, decided we should snack so I went and got us creamy Brie and crackers to snack on.
Hamilton Island Yacht Club
After a while we were surrounded by birds. One super curious duck and then some sea gulls. I'm not sure at what point I noticed all the cockatoo around us but there were 6 of them and they were gently taking the crackers from our fingers and then nibbling on it. They even say on our legs. Pretty damn cute. I got a bit photo happy haha.

Cue the yacht arriving and it was all go- settle in, shower, change, drink and to the Yacht Club. I'll write about that experience later, but in short - don't go there.

Back to the Yacht for some drinks then up to Bohemes for some dancing. Everyone rocked out and had an awesome time- I think we were the first to crawl into bed (after hot chips of course) about 2.30am.

20 January 2013

Sushi Tram Station

Thought I would check out the $3 sushi train night at Sushi Tram Station in Stones Corner.

Not all that impressed. Had to wait a while to be seated, then our table was quite far from the train and closer to the other tables.

Sushi was average, gyoza was below average, edamame was cold and the service wasn’t attentive.
Verdict: Won’t be back.

Sushi Railway on Urbanspoon

17 January 2013

Japan here I come!

I'm going to Japan again WAHOOOO!!!!

Soooo excited right now!!

So the plan is to head to Tokyo and just chill out. Live in their city, do what they do.
I have been before, done the touristy thing and this time I just want to hang out with my mate Seiji and his girlfriend and explore tokyo. Eat far too much. Get lost in Harajuku.

AND if I'm lucky, I will get to experience the Sakura festival! The dates can change every year by up to 2 weeks depending how cold it is and the trees only bloom for 2 weeks. So with a bit of luck I will catch the end of the festival and be frolicking in fields of baby pink blossoms.
Sakura Festival

I haven't booked my flights yet but Jetstar have a sale so that's easy! $600 return from the Gold Coast plus I can stay at my mate's apartment for free. Done deal.

Now if only I can persuade someone to come with me! It's always more fun sharing your experiences. Especially if things go wrong!

Stunning photo of Tokyo, what a view this would be from your window!
Mt Fuji & Tokyo

16 January 2013

Fat Noodle - Brisbane Treasury Casino

Heard a lot about this place, being Luke Nguygen’s newest baby and all but I wasn’t that impressed.

Interior is very casino.. it looks like it belongs there. The strands hanging from the roof with woks were interesting and my friend mentioned they looked like ‘falling noodles’ which would make sense really!

I wasn’t that impressed with my meal.. pork and prawn wanton noodle soup. Big servings, and the wantons were nice but the broth and noodles were average. Pete had the Singapore noodles which he really enjoyed.

Service was good. We had to wait to be seated but once we were they immediately bought over a steaming tea pot of green tea and were attentive.

I did love the lychee and lemon soda however – they have an interesting drinks selection with sour plum lemonade also on my list to try!

Fat Noodle on Urbanspoon

14 January 2013

My travel tips

I've travelled a bit so thought I'd share a couple of my fave travel tips..

Take a scarf - just a light pashmina. Planes are freezing these days and you can wrap yourself up in it quite nicely.

Wear a hoodie on the plane - not only does this stop your annoying neighbor chatting to you but it blocks out some noise and aids with the comfy factor to help put you to sleep.

Wear pants on the plane & closed in shoes or socks - again, it's freezing!

Bring your phone charger- If you have a decent wait time or stopover, smart phones are the best time waster invented. From playing games, to clearing out your photo albums, there's a billion things you can do on them to keep you occupied. Luckily they also have many power points scattered all over the airport so you dot have to worry about saving your battery. Plus many of the airports have free wifi now so you can check up on your social networks.

Take a bottle of water and snacks on the plane - remember if there is turbulence and delays you may be waiting some time for the food and beverage service.

Pack light -I never adhere to this although I do believe it is a good practice.

Roll your clothes - you can fit more in!

Always travel with medicinal supplies - especially when going to Asia. Gastrolyte, panadol, savlon, band aids, imodium etc. You never know when you may get ill!

Take pics of your travel documents with your phone - this way you're not always in and out of your bag digging for paper and it doesn't matter if you accidentally throw it away.

Change your watch to your local destination time as soon as you get on the plane. -Try change your sleep patterns to match theirs during the flight to help minimize jet lag and have you in the right time zone.

10 January 2013

Thursday night Gyoza fun

 Accomplished one of my New Year resolutions today. 10 days in. Boom!
Sexy Swashbuckler 'mixing', me gyoza making

I made Gyoza J

I even made the Sexy Swashbuckler and Benny come over to partake in the experience. I intended for us all to make the gyoza together but I should really have known better…

The Sexy Swashbuckler mainly spent her time playing with the mince.. she only needed to mix it up once but proceeded to squish it through her fingers the entire time. I just hope they were clean. I think she may have thought she was ‘helping.’

Ben & his butt pincher
Ben pronounced himself to be the ‘implementer of presentation.’ The translation being that he moved the dumplings I had dropped on the bench while I was making them and lined them up nicely on a chopping board ready for me to throw in the pan. In between this he managed to rummage around in my room and find a ‘butt pinching’ device (we can thank the Sexy Swashbuckler for that one, she bought it for me for my birthday. Ever considerate she is) and proceed to pick up whatever objects he could find on the bench.

Fantastic contributions – I thank you both.

Best Chefs EVER

Things I don't love about tropical Islands

- Storms  (also on things I love list) 


-You can't drink the water

-Everyone is on island time  (also on things I love list)

- There are no avocados

- You can't open your mouth while showering (I always forget this one)

-Did I mention Mosquitos??

9 January 2013

Nooo don't eat me! A gingerbread tale.

Whenever I eat gingerbread men I always have that voice in my head going 'nooo don't eat me, I need that leg!' - I think I can blame that one on the character from Shrek.

When I was at the supermarket tonight buying lychees I came across tubs of gingerbread cookie dough for only $2.20! I love baking but don't have much time at the moment so thought I'd whip em' up for my work buddies. Coz I'm nice like that. Plus I wanted to wear the cute apron my lil Bro got me for Christmas. 

Anyway - thought I would just roll the dough into a cylinder shape and cut it into round cookies. Imagine my excitement when I found a cookie cutter in there! Wahoo! Real gingerbread men cookies! Nom.

So I had a whole heap of fun rolling and cutting the cookies. While they were in the oven I even vacuumed. I'm working on my domestic goddess status you see. Baking and cleaning simultaneously. Basically any mans dream. Except I was wearing clothes under my apron. Don't want to subject my house mates to that, they put up with enough from me as it is!

Bing! And they're ready. Holy delicious gingerbread men! I wish I bought 5 buckets!!

Nom nom
Cute new apron

7 January 2013

Things I love about tropical islands

-You don't have to wear shoes

-You don't have to wear pants

-You don't have to wear a shirt (bikini attire is fine apart from in the dining areas)

- Everyone is on island time (also on things I don't like about islands list)

- Everyone is super friendly

- The water is crystal clear and sparkling

- The sand is white and soft and clean
-Storms (also on things I don't like list) 

-You can drink coconuts. Straight from the coconut. 

- The fruits are delicious 

- Everything is brightly coloured 

- Everyone is happy