G’day Sydney!

Hey there from my hometown of Sydney!

I’ve lived in this quirky little (ha, not so little at all, actually really big) city all my life but I feel like the older I get the more I can explore and the more I appreciate how blessed I am to live here.

Sydney is well-known world-wide and is a hot spot for tourists, seriously just venture into the city, they are everywhere, every season, at any time of day. So if you’re reading this from abroad or even in Australia, you’re probably most familiar with the headline tourist attractions like the Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour etc, though I’m not gonna use this post to babble about these hot shot spots, I’d like to post about my favourite hang out spots in Sydney 🙂 So here’s a low-down on the best places to chill in good ol’ Sydneytown (according to yours truly!)

1. Newtown

Newtown is an upcoming trendy area in Sydney, it’s located in Sydney’s inner-west and is always full of hustle and bustle!

How to get there?

Getting to Newtown is pretty easy, you can drive but you have to pay for street parking, alternatively there are trains and Newtown train station is placed conveniently at the start of King Street (the main strip), or there are a number of buses coming in from the city centre.

Best things to do here: 

Roaming along King Street is your best op, King Street is the main strip and is even playfully termed ‘Eat Street’ due to the abundance of cafés and restaurants.

My favourite places to eat are: Beach Burrito Company, Cafe Newtown, Twelve, Sadhana Kitchen, The Pie Tin and Moo Burgers!

Right down the road from Newtown venturing into Enmore is the suburb home to the Enmore Theatre, one of my favourite gig venues.

Here’s a pic of Jinja Safari’s gig that I went to recently. Jinja Safari are a quirky Aussie band who originated in Byron Bay, NSW.

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Other perks of Newtown include the bookshops, op shops and vintage clothing shops!

2. The Museum of Contemporary Art 

The MCA is one of my go to places if I’m feeling bored and looking for something to do. The MCA is dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists. It was recently revamped so be sure to check it out. It also features a nifty rooftop bar with world class views of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


How to get there? The MCA is located in Circular Quay. It’s right near the ferry wharf, there is also Circular Quay train station and lots of buses that head down that way. Driving is not recommended.

Here are some snaps of the MCA and the works displayed.

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3. White Rabbit Gallery

White Rabbit Gallery is a Sydney based gallery featuring contemporary Chinese art. The White Rabbit Collection is one of the world’s largest and most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art.

How to get there? 

The gallery is located in the inner-city suburb of Chippendale – it’s a breezy walk from Central Station or Broadway.

One of my favourite things about White Rabbit Gallery is the nifty teahouse! Being a lover of tea, this is my ultimate chill spot.

Here are some snaps of White Rabbit Gallery and the teahouse.

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The White Rabbit Tea House is a great place to stop before or after a wander around the gallery—or just for lunch or a quiet morning cuppa. Delicious dumplings and snacks, wine and beer, and a wide range of authentic Chinese and Taiwanese teas make it a unique resting place in the heart of the city. Open Gallery hours, Thursday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

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4. Surry Hills

I love breakfast/brunch. And the trendy inner-city suburb of Surry Hills is hands down one of the best locations for good breakfast/brunch date (or just general good food) in Sydney!

How to get there? Central Station is your best op. Crown Street is the main strip and it’s about a ten minute walk from Central Station.

Best places to eat: Four Ate Five, Chur Burger, Cowbell 808, Kawa, MoVida, Reuben Hills, Me and Art, El Loco, Bourke Street Bakery, Trinity Bar (best Schnitzel) and most importantly do not miss out on amazing gelato from Gelato Messina!

Here are some snaps of these places:

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So these are my ultimate hang out spots in Sydney off the top of my head.

Hope you venture here and enjoy them as much as I do!

Love, M. x

Visitors from all around the world!

Australia, South Africa, UAE, India, US, Singapore, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Italy, France, Israel, UK, Brazil, Japan, Norway, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, France, Spain, Phillipines, Sweden, Viet Nam – our global visitors.

Clearly the desire to travel knows no cultural boundaries! Welcome everyone! So excited to be sharing this with all of you!

x R (and the sisterhood)

Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur!

Hello, N checking in again today. I’d like to tell you all about my trip to Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia is a beautiful place with beautiful people and great food. Unlike all the other places i have been to though, in Kuala Lumpur there isn’t alot to do, other than shop and visit some museums and of course the Petronas towers. Although i do advise you to go and check it out! I went for 10 days though i would recommend no more than 1 week. Kuala Lumpur was hot, sticky and it would rain for a few minutes every afternoon. I was within the tourist ground so wherever i went the shops would surround me (lucky me :] ).

The sculpture grounds I visited enable you to create your own clay sculptures which was great fun. The museums were unusual and visually exciting. Visiting and seeing the history and culture of another country is always fun without a doubt! The Petronas towers are beauitful and SOOO TALL! They are skyscrapers 170mtres above the ground.Be sure to wake up early to visit the towers as there is always a long line. Very few people are able to din instead the towers and i was funtate enough to do so. It was remarkable and i must show you the photos 🙂

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Food wise i would recommend you visit the restaurants within the hotels or preferably in the shopping malls. However, if your a risk taking and like to try anything you see than make sure you visit the little food stalls outside and on the strips of the markets as there are heaps to see!

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Now to the shopping. The markets are HUGE! I visited the markets four times and there was still so much to see! I was directly opposite a shopping mall I also visited the shops alot. Though the markets are like nothing else i have ever experienced. There are so many beautiful and nice people there, altough there are also some individuals who try to … lets say attach you, expecially if your a female (and not in a very nice way). It is very hot, sticky and very very smelly there so be sure to say hydrated and wear a hat, and ensure you goods stay on you 24/7! Check out some of the photos of the shopping mall, unfortunately i don’t have anything to show for the markets as we were to concerned if someone would steal our camera as there is alot of stealing of peoples goods at the markets.

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One thing though that i was disappointed about was there weren’t any local beaches; it would take about 1.5-2hrs to visit the nearest beach (though I never went). But apparently there was also a water theme park; but again i never made it there.

Be sure to visit Kuala Lumpur it is very different, unique and a beautiful place to go to.

So safe travelling and enjoy Malaysia if you do visit

Love always N xx

Wish list: Lebanon!

مرحبا (ahlan-hello); ‘N’ here again, checking in with all our fellow travelers. Hope all our Australians have had a Happy long weekend 🙂
As summer continues to kick in here in Australia, my dream destination is to visit Lebanon. A country known for destruction and war- people never seek to note the beauty of the country.

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The reasons why i would LOVE to go to Lebanon is because the country has amazing views– from the country side, to the beautiful beaches, to seeing the tops of the mountains and being able to roam around in ice during winter; you are able to get a touch of every season all in one place at one time. Lebanon is believed to be the country where the cedars were planted by God’s own hands. This is why the people call the cedar tree “The Cedars Of God”, and this is why Lebanon is called “God’s Country on Earth”. The history of the country, is remarkable. I have heard and noted from many individuals they detail  that God has blessed Lebanon with many saints, for many of them are still there buried in their flesh- something i am sure i have to see and touch first hand.

The night life is stated to be unlike anything else in the world.   Sky bar, White Beirut, Pier 7, Cherry on the Rooftop, Beiruf- just to name a few; undoubtedly all of my friends and family say they head out to the clubs at around 12pm and that is when the night life begins. None heads home til the sun is beaming bright and early in the morning which tends to be around 6am. NOW that is what i call a great time. Some friends of mine have shown me these great photos of the nights clubs which make me so envious. Take a look 🙂

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There is something for everyone to love about Lebanon. The amazing food, the shopping- i have been told the central district is Lebanon’s prime location for shopping, entertainment, and dining. There are over 100 cafes, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs open in the Beirut Central District , and over 350 retail outlets distributed along its streets and quarters. Great activities include cannoning in the Jeia Grotto, dirt bike ridding- Faraya Mount Liban, swimming in the beaches- attending beach parties, legal shooting activities in the country side (something unusal). Must admit if i haven’t convience you yet to check out the great sights Lebanon has to offer, then when i do attend i will be sure to tell you all about it 🙂

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Thanks for checking out my post everyone hope you will fall in love with Lebanon as much as I have! 🙂

Lots of Love ‘N’ xx

Minnesota, US – ya!

Hello everyone! E again Today I’m going to talk about somewhere a little different. Minnesota in the United States of America. My boyfriend is from the great state of Minnesota – or so he likes to call it. That is why I have something to say about it. I have been only once at the start of this year, at the start of February. Yep you heard it – February. Not only is this the the middle of Winter, but Minnesota is on average the coldest state in the whole of America. For someone who has never even seen snow before to plunging into -20 celsius temperatures, this sure was an experience. I’m sure you at least know a little bit about the places we have discussed in this blog, however, unless you have a strange connection to Minnesota like me, I’m guessing this post will enlighten you a little bit.

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The people

So Minnesota is known by other Americans as the friendly state. They don’t know what it is, whether they have to act happy because they have no other choice (staying inside 4 months of the year does that to you) but it is true. Minnesotans are ridiculously friendly. I was shocked to have a random stranger comment on my “gorgeous” coat as soon as I set foot off the plane in Minnesota, and have multiple people comment on the ‘awesomeness’ of my accent. My boyfriend is from a small town called Hutchinson, and I can’t speak for the people of the capital city St Paul, but they were all extremely hospitable and friendly. Everyone seemed genuinely happy in this town. My boyfriend’s mum was cheery when shovelling snow off the drive-way at 6 am, and also managed to maintain a smile when a snow storm cancelled our trip up north which she was highly anticipating. All in all, I can say you will have no issues with the people here.

The Weather

I have already spoken about the weather a little bit, my goodness was it cold! Being from Sydney, Australia born and bred, I was definitely not used to having to put on a singlet, a thermal long-sleeved shirt, a normal long-sleeved shirt, a vest, a sweater, a jumper AND a huge snow-coat. It was on average around -15 celsius everyday, and the sun did not peek out once when I was there. I remember one day it got pretty warm at about -1 degrees and it felt like summer! As previously mentioned, the snow had to be shovelled every morning just so we could get the car out of the garage. The cars also had to be turned on half an hour before we left so they would actually run! Air-conditioning was a necessity. No windows were ever open, and as I’m used to always having at least one window open in Australia whilst I sleep, this was interesting. I always woke up in the morning with a sore throat and sometimes a bloody nose because of the dryness in the air due to the air-conditioning! After a week my body began to get used to it, so don’t worry it won’t last for too long. Oh and be careful of the ice on the footpaths! The amount of times I slipped over was ridiculous! If I wasn’t with my family-in-law I don’t know how I would have survived.

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Things To Do

Minnesota definitely has some great experiences! I would recommend first off going to the Minnesota Zoo, it is fantastic! Every possible animal is there. There is an outside walking bit where you can see all the animals who live in the snow. My personal favourite were the wolves. I also went to an ice-hockey game in the capital city of St Paul which was amazing. The atmosphere was so great, I would definitely recommend it. I also went snow-mobiling on a huge frozen lake in a snow blizzard. I would definitely recommend that too. I also helped push a car out of a ditch in the snow, however I don’t recommend getting your car stuck just for that.Image

Anyway, hope you learnt a bit about Minnesota.

Cheerio, E! xox

Tips to Navigate Online Booking

Hi fellow travelers,

R here, thought I’d deviate a bit off the established path of this blog to bring you a post all about the murky underworld that is online booking. With everything online these days,  it pays to be cautious – as I learned the hard way just last night.

I’ll begin with what happened to me:

My best friend is getting married in America at the end of the year, and this little lady over here has been squirelling away money to put towards a trip (working 6 hours in a preschool while doing Uni doesnt exactly pay very well). And so finally, after searching out deals, persistently checking my bank account and being incredibly anti-social (saving all the dollars i could), I finally felt ready to take that huge step and actually buy a ticket. EEEP!

So, with the resolve to part with my hard earned moolahs, I sat in front of a computer and prepared, with my father at hand, to purchase a trip in a flying metal tin can that would take me to my destiny. Or America. Whatever.

So sitting ready to go we began searching – I’d seen a really well priced ticket but then we realised that I’d have to change days to avoid the Thanksgiving rush, and so we began our search a new.

And VOILA, we found an AMAZING deal, not to be missed, OMG how could we walk passed it?? So we clicked select to find out more, put in our details (expecting at least 3 “you sure you want to pay” prompts” in order to see the final amount, and suddenly- money was taken from my account. Too much money. The Bastards.

I started getting really nervous – they hadn’t asked about special meals (which I need because I’m super special), they hadn’t confirmed baggage or anything – they’d just processed the payment and that was it. So my gut (which is usually reliable)  was yelliing “GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE” as loudly as possible and I reviewed. Which brings me to tip 1:

ALWAYS REVIEW YOUR WEBSITE BEFORE YOU PURCHASE ANYTHING: because every single review (bar one) was negative to the point of “they’re a scam” and “do not use them, they constantly deduct money” and “they don’t actually have a deal with airlines, they lie about prices and then leave you high a dry”.

Which brings me to tip 2:

ALWAYS READ UP ON THEIR REFUND POLICY: Thank goodness this website had a four hour full free refund after booking. It had only been 10 minutes, so we jumped online – finally contacted them and organised a refund.

Which brings me to tip 3:

ALWAYS PRINT OFF ALL DOCUMENTATION INCLUDING EMAILS, PRINT SCREENS OF ITINERARIES, RETURNS POLICIES: This way when they question your actions and motives, and you can be like BAM (and the dirt is gone… sorry, couldn’t resist)It keeps all your cards close at hand, and means you can notice things like even though your Itinerary Reciept says NON-REFUNDABLE in scary bold black letters, the website promised a four hour grace window that you could cancel it for full refund and no charge.

So that’s what I did. It’s going to take at least a week to process through (DAMN THEM) meaning that for the moment my travel plans are on hold – I’ve been bruised but not scarred and I am now far more savvy when it comes to booking online.

So to recap:

1. Stick to reputable websites that have good online reputations – generally Websites that are well designed and not bombarded with weird cheap advertisements (you know the ones I mean)

2. Do your research – re: prices, and what added extras might pop up once you hit select – ie a ticket that claims to be all inclusive then added another $90 due to “unexpected taxes”; airlines may charge extra for baggage and what not

3. Read up on their refund policy – always make sure you have a way out that will be relatively easy and won’t do too much damage to your bank account.

4. Print off all documentation and screen shots for future reference.

With these things in mind and a good deal of common sense (which I was clearly lacking – it’s just been one of those days), you should be ready to enjoy your trip hassle free (or as hassle free as travelling, airports, customs, visas, lost baggage, missed flights, and cancellations can be – it’s all part of the fun isn’t it?).

Bon Voyage, Safe travels and Good luck!

x R

Washington Update: Gov’t Attractions Closed

Hi everyone,

Friendly warning – my sister is in Washington at the moment, and due to the Gov’t shutdown, all major monuments and Government funded attractions are closed- this includes (but is not limited to):-

– Smithosonian

– Washington Monument

– The Capitol Building

– Lincoln Memorial

This also includes national attractions in other cities, e.g. the Statue of Liberty. We will let you know when they are reopened, but in the meantime you can stand outside and look at them, but you cannot go in. Hopefully this all blows over soon and they will be reopened quickly.

X the sisterhood team

Aloha from Hawaii!

Aloha to all my fellow travelers. I am a new blogger checking in today- please call me N. I would love to  take you all aboard the flight to Hawaii. As summer is fast approaching here in Australia, over in Hawaii it is summer and party season all year round. If your the kind of person who loves to party and enjoy the sunshine than keep on reading this blog because Hawaii is the place to be !

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The main reasowhy i love Hawaii so much is because it is a one stop shop. It has everything i love – shopping, sun, sand, beaches and great sight seeing adventures. When i visited Hawaii  i stayed on the Big island also known as the main island. I must advise you on the best places to go when in Hawaii must, these include:

– The Ala Moana shopping mall: there are over 1000 stores and i was still unable to visit them all. Might i add that i went there three consecutive days, because the place is so big. Even for a shopper holic like myself i was still unable to visit each store. The shopping mall and the factory outlets- Waikele Outlets in Hawaii are so great what makes them even better is that they are so reasonably price unlike many places here in Australia. 

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– The Wolfgang’s steak house was AMAZING if you love your meats be sure to visit. The meats are so tender; everything in Hawaii is served in such large proportions (even the ice-cream at Baskin and Robin are huge!). Ordering a salad in Hawaii; you don’t receive a normal proportion sizes are huge no matter what you order.

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– The cheesecake factory: great if you have a sweet tooth as they have over 30 different kinds of cheesecakes for you to try; though might i add make sure you book early if you ever do want to dine there as they have a huge waiting line 24/7 er one let me just tell you it could feed 5 people.

– I recommend you take a tour bus around the island; my family and i were able to see the whole island in 9 HOURS with pit stops. We visited the Buddha temple which is remarkable coming from a Catholic community and visiting the sacred temples of other religions was really beautiful.

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-Seeing the remarkable beaches where the waves reach over 9 meters high during there peak season (which is usually Jan-Mar), your able to try your surfing skills out

– Getting off the bus to visit the pineapple farms was one of my favorite pit stops; still till today i have the sweet taste in my mouth. May i just say they taste nothing like the pineapples here in Australia. Pineapple ice-cream, lollies, fried pineapple- anything pineapple they had.

– Going to one of the Gridiron games was phenomenal!! I never knew the games went for over 5 hours- reason being unlike NRL footy games here in Australia they don’t stop every time someone is tackled although in America every time someone is put to the ground they reset the game; this process takes up most of the time though as shown in the picture below it is an amazing view; felt as though i was going to fall off a cliff because the seats are so high up.

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– MUST DO snorkeling so beautiful being up close and touching the sea turtles and fish in the Hawaiian oceans was breath taking. Also, if you love the water make sure you do some great water sports as they offer great activities such as stand surfing. You could be out in the ocean as far as 10meters though there are still shallow patches and people still manage to find there way back to shore.

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Over all may i just stay make sure you take a visit to Hawaii you will be amazed by how much they have to offer. Their generosity is beautiful and the view in general is something which will take your breath away.

Until next time Mahalo
N xx