Location: Sandgate, Kent, UK
******Troy-Boy turns 30! and leaving drinks******
On Thursday 8th I had my first work leaving drinks as so many people are on holiday in August in the UK that I had to do it quite early. It was a great turn out and lots of drinks were consumed.
Troy and I stayed that night at a lovely 5 Star hotel in the city - Threadneedles who had left some lovely chocolates and a happy birthday plate in the room.
The next morning was his birthday and we had a fabulous weekend in Sandgate, Kent in a big house right on the beach.
Tracy, Pete, Willcox, Ryan, Lauren, Steve, Laura, Troy and I headed down on Friday and started Troys actual birthday with drinks and catching up.
On Saturday we spend the day swimming, playing cards, drinking and chatting before heading to dinner at Fat Larry's diner in the nearby Royal Norfolk Hotel. We played pool and had a few more drinks in the pub afterwards.
On Sunday it was a big breakfast and pack up before heading back to London to recover.
So now the real countdown begins.. I finish work on the 23rd August and we fly out on the 1st September.. scary!!!
Our final plans for the way home are done, 2 nights in Krabi, 2 nights in Kuala Lumpur, a week in Auckland, a week in Mudgee and an 8 day road trip accross the Nullabor before arrival in Perth. Adventures ahead!.
Lots of Love
Location: London, UK
******Jeni in London******
So we have been lucky to have another visitor this year, Jeni was over in France for a few weeks and came to London for a week afterwards to visit and catch up with lots of her friends.
During the week we went to the Pub Quiz at the Antelope Pub in Tooting with Willcox, Troy and Dave. Good fun - as always we never win but we did slightly better than usual.
I also went to drinks with Trish in my team as she is off on holiday when I leave work so we are trying to catch up as much as we can before then.
On the weekend the weather was quite nice so we had drinks in the Garden Bar at a pub in Tooting.
Next week it's Troys 30th Birthday!!! 9 of us are heading to a Beach house in Kent to hang out for the weekend.. can't wait!
Lots of Love
Location: Italy/Greece/Croatia/Montenegr, Greece
******Cruising on the Med - this is the life******
So since our Amsterdam trip we have been busy packing for our impending move, lots of lists determining what to sell, pack, ship or bin!.
The weather also went 'heat wave' style and so we had a picnic in the park with Steve, Laura, Bevan and Lynsey and my work had a Mini Conference and BBQ at the start of July.
Then it was off on our 7 night Med Cruise. Troy, Willcox and I headed to the airport where we stayed overnight in preperation for our flight at the crack of dawn. We flew to Venice where the ship was leaving from and even though we were there very early, we were able to board by lunch time and had a celebratory drink and lunch and sightsee around the ship.
The MSC Armonia was a 'smaller' ship in the fleet - but with around 2,000 people on board it was still decent. Willcox had an OceanView Cabin and Troy and I had a Balcony which was excellent for us all to hang out in with Sofas and a big balcon where we get cocktails at night and watch the sunsets from - one night we even saw dolphins off the side - Amazing!!!
The Cruise went through Ancona in Italy, Dubrovnik in Croatia, Corfu, Gythion and Cefalonia in Greece and Kotor in Montenegro. The weather was hot and sunny every day and we had a mix of cruise excursions and doing our own thing. Highlights include boating through 1000year old cave systems in Gythion and Cefalonia (watching our heads for stalagmites and stalagtites), the cable car and a beer at the top in Dubrovnik, Pedal boating in Corfu. Incredible sights and experiences.
Life on the boat was of course indulgent and luxurious. We made fast friends with the waitresses and bartenders, along with some young English Brothers Tristan and Hayden who we managed to drink with just about every night!. We went all inclusive whcih mean all our soft drinks, water, ice cream, spirits, wine, beer and cocktails were included and boy did we make the most of it! Hiccough!
The food was great from the Buffett to the restaurants and cafes. There was around 7 courses for every meal and you just wanted to try it all!
We had 2 Gala nights during the week which gave us a chance to get glammed up and get professional pictures taken. We also used the spa to get massages and I had hair/make up done whcih was a bit of a treat and a lot of fun. Imagine getting your hair done when sitting watching the ocean go by!.
So that was the last of the European jaunts for the forseeable future, South East Asia is our next travel playground.
Lots of Love
Location: London, UK
******More cricket and Amsterdamage******
On Tuesday 7 of us headed after work to the Oval Cricket Ground for the 20/20 match between NZ and England. The sun was finally out and Ryan, Willcox, Troy, Tracy, Tara, Kerry and I enjoyed a few beverages and the game.. including putting some side bets on with some English guys next to us (which we won!).
It was a great game and probably one of the first of the season to actually not be affected by rain!. It went down to the final ball of the final over but NZ won! We picked the right day as the Thursday match ended up being cancelled by rain.
On the weekend we headed to Amsterdam for Willcox's birthday. He'd never been before so it was a very new experience for him!. Troy, Willcox and I flew out Friday night and had some drinks at the airport and stayed in the Airport Hotel in Amsterdam before meeting his friends Dan and Tessa the next morning when they flew in.
We all headed into the city to Dam Square to an Irish bar where we watched the Australia vs Lions game which Australia won - this made Troy a few happy boy!.
From there it was on to the Heineken Experience where we spent many happy hours including getting the Bar Staff at the final bar to sing Happy Birthday and give Willcox a free drink.
From there it was a bit of a bar crawl of Amsterdam really... we met some cool Americans called Chelsy and Zach who stayed with us for most of the night, along with Robert our waiter in the bar we had dinner in. There was copious rounds of Jaeger Bombs, Skittle Bombs, Sambucca along with our normal drinks. Somewhere around 4am we made it back to our hotel and lets just say the rest of Sunday was a write off until we flew back to London. And of course there was a little sightseeing in between.
Next week we are off on a 7 day Meditterrean Cruise - our Final European jaunt and ticking off a couple more countries such as Croatia and Montenegro.. can't wait!
Location: London, UK
******Cricket, Southampton, Royal Ascot, Visitors******
So the countdown has begun and it seems only right to take advantage of any invites or events going on before we leave the UK. This week was no exception and was rather a big one.
On Monday Troy and I headed to the Oval Cricket Ground and watched Sri Lanka play Australia in the ICC Champions Trophy. Sadly Australia lost which knocked both them and NZ out of contention but it was a great afternoon and we had front row seats whcih was a bonus.
On Tuesday I headed to Southampton to meet Karen who was over from NZ with Matt and baby Alice for a month or so. We had a nice lunch and did some shopping.
On Thursday it was Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. Troy and I had been to Ascot before around 6 years previously on the Saturday so it was nice to experience another day of the racing calendar and there was a group of around 9 of us. The weather was a bit rubbish but it didn't rain and we had a great time. No big winners though apart from the Queen who's horse won!.
On the weekend Matt, Karen and Alice came to stay with us for the weekend. It was great to have them with us and catch up properly. We had Simon & Gemma, Hannah and Hillsy over for dinner and drinks as well.
Location: London, UK
******The time has come - End of an Era******
Well this is it, the decision has been made and the flights have been booked - Troy and I are Southbound!.
On Sunday 1st September Troy and I are flying out of the UK and spending a couple of nights in Kuala Lumpur, a couple in Krabi and a week each in Auckland and Mudgee before doing the great Aussie Road Trip accross the Nullarbor from NSW to WA (an 8 day trip) before setting up a new home in Perth.
It's been a huge decision but with the amount of travelling we've done in 8 1/2 years and the need to be closer to family and friends (and start doing a little more travel in the Southern Hemisphere) it was the right time!.
After dropping the bombshell at work, the rest of the week was still farily eventful. Troy and I had dinner with Tracy and Pete who somehow convinced us to go to Royal Ascot with them the following week.
We then had Chris/Welshy staying for a couple of nights which was great to catch up with him. We had a big drinking night and then headed to the Selkirk Pub in Tooting the next afternoon for hangover food, board games and more drinks.
Location: London, UK
******Catch Ups, Concerts, Bank holidays******
It's been a mixed bag of catch ups and events.
We went to Tara's place for dinner with Troy and Willcox to watch the Eurovision Song Contest and have some drinks and dinner.
The following week was the bank holiday weekend so Fleur and I had a girls day out and got Manicures/Pedicures and had some wines before heading into London for dinner at the Roadhouse in Covent Garden and then a old favourite of the Comedy Boat Show on the Tattersall Castle Boat at Victoria Embankment. Fun times!.
We had drinks with Steve and Willcox to round off a Sunday night on a Bank Holiday weekend.
The first weekend in June, Troy and I headed to the Emirates Stadium in London for the Green Day concert we had purchased tickets to nearly a year in advance. The opening acts were All Time Low and Kaiser Chiefs so it was 3 great bands for one.. Brilliant night out.
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
******Educational to South Africa******
Lucky me, I've just returned from a Fam Trip (educational work trip) to Johannesburg, South Africa. My workfriend Kit and I were lucky two chosen to go on a trip where flights and hotels were arranged for us, and we got to arrange the rest of the itinerary.
We flew overnight on Thursday night and arrived Friday morning and headed straight to the hotel. We checked into our rooms and had a showaround of the stunning 5 Star Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton - right in the heart of Mandela Square. We also visited a copule of their sister hotels across the square.
We then headed to Bedfordview to meet up with a couple of my clients who worked in Johannesburg. We had a lovely lunch with them before heading back to our hotel to get ready for dinner at the stunning Saxon Hotel. Good food, wine and company!.
On Saturday we had a day to ourselves and we booked a trip to the Pilansberg Game Reserve. It was outstanding and the quality of the animals was as good as we saw in Kenya a few years back. Within an hour of being in the reserve we saw a young Lion and a Lioness along with Elephants, Giraffes, Water Buck, Spring Boks, Warthogs, Zebras, Crocodiles etc. All this within 2 hours drive of Johannesburg. We had lunch at Bakubung Lodge which was lovely.
That evening we headed to the Maslow Hotel in Sandton for a showaround and another lovely meal and wine.
On Sunday we had brunch with the Radisson hotel after a showaround and the rest of the day was spent wandering around Mandela Square before heading back to the airport for another overnight flight and straight into work on Monday morning.
All worth it of course!.
Lots of Love
Location: Helsinki, Finland
******Long weekend in Helsinki******
Troy and I headed to Helsinki, Finland for the Bank Holiday weekend after taking advantage of some cheap flights to get to a city weve wanted to visit for a long time, and also completes all the Scandivian and Baltic countries from our to-do list.
We flew out on Saturday morning arriving mid afternoon and checked into our hotel right in the city centre. We then went out wandering to the Esplanade and the Seafront. On Sunday we did a city sightseeing tour, and also headed to the old Olympic Park and went up the sightseeing tower that was built way back in 1936! Claustrophobic to say the least!
We happened to be in Helsinki when they were hosting the Ice Hockey World Championships so we took the opportunity to see a game whilst we were there awesome fun and a great stadium!
On Monday we took a ferry to Suomenlinna which is a Sea Fortress for Finland and Helsinki. We wandered around and visited the museum and had a nice drink in a little café by the water and met up with Kerry who is my work friend who was also in Helsinki for the weekend.
A lovely city if very expensive for drinks!
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
*****A week in Scotland and 3rd Wedding Anniversary******
Not a lot to report, just plenty of movies, bowling, catch ups, drinks etc.
Tara has been staying with us for a week or so after coming to London from Edinburgh. She already has a job which is great.
Andrew and I went with Adam to the Chelsea vs Moscow match on the 4th April which was brilliant, and we also spent far too long in the pub after the game too.
This past week I was in Aberdeen, Scotland with work as we have opened a new office up there targeting Oil & Gas markets. I worked in the new office with the two new staff up there was their help line for the week. They were lovely people and I was even given a whirlwind tour of Aberdeen by Gillian in the office.
Saturday was our 3rd Wedding Anniversary time flies when you are having fun! We celebrated by heading to Fleur & Carlos to see them as it had been a while, we also went with Becs who we hadnt seen in years. It was a lovely day and catch up. That night Troy and I went and met up with Will & Dave, Will was over from Melbourne for a few days so we had some drinks in one of our old haunts in Balham.
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
******Birthday Fun in the Snow******
We are back from an amazing weekend away for my Birthday in Lithuania. Tracy, Tara, Andrew, Troy, Steve and I headed to the airport on Saturday afternoon and booked into the Lounge where we enjoyed some beverages before our flight.
On arrival at the Radisson hotel we checked in and headed to the Sky Bar in our hotel which had 360degree views of the Vilnius Skyline and also had cheap drinks, we liked it so much we spent the evening there.
On Sunday we wandered around the city, playing in the snow and some people falling over (Andrew). Then early afternoon we were picked up and taken to the woods for our adventure of Husky Dog Sledding. Ive been trying to do this in so many countries and it finally came together. It was absolutely remarkable how the dogs worked together and the scenery was stunning. We sat back and relaxed and let the dogs to the work. Amazing experience!
After that it was back to the hotel to get ready for our sightseeing visit of Vilnius and the Old Town.. in a Limo of course as thats how we roll! Yes a stretch limo chauffeured our group around, stopping at sights and photo opportunities before delivering us to the restaurant that we were having my Birthday dinner at.
From dinner it was back to our hangout of the Sky Bar in our hotel where we stayed only leaving to visit Lithuanias largest Casino conveniently also in our hotel!.
On Monday we walked around some more, went to the castle and the lookout and threw a few more snowballs then it was back to our Sky Bar for dinner and the hotel were lovely enough to give me a cake when they found out it was my birthday!. From there it was back to the airport for our flight home.
All round a Brilliant Birthday and such great company!.