Posts tagged: wine

Australia: Brisbane

By , February 9, 2011 11:50 pm
Our Friends From Brisbane

Our Friends From Brisbane

We join our good friends Uyen and Leon in Brisbane for the holidays.  We had met them when we were all living in San Francisco.  With our arrival into Queensland comes constant downpour.  This is a great excuse to remain indoors and relax during our stay.

For a short while, we forget we are still on our travels.  Helping out with their home renovations, playing with their one-year old son, and enjoying at least two bottles of wine every night makes us feel back at home.  We apologize for the lack of pictures during this stop of our trip.

MuiMui Playing With Lil' Santa

MuiMui Playing With Lil' Santa

One night, we are in the mood for singing. Not having a karaoke machine on us, we decide to get creative.  With the help of YouTube on their large television screen and using remote controls as microphones, we sing all night.  We call it ghetto karaoke, but don’t diss it until you try it.

On Christmas day, we join their families for a festive dinner.  For starters, there are unlimited trays of oysters.  Being a big fan of oysters, I enjoy this new holiday tradition.  After seafood, I continue eating large quantities of Vietnamese food.  It is all super yummy.

Wishing You All A Happy Holiday

Wishing You All A Happy Holiday

Our friends are determined to get us out of the house against our will.  When the rain seems to subside, we take a drive out to the Gold Coast.  Still having no luck with the weather, it is more like the grey coast.  What gets Boris to finally pull out his camera is the Gold Coast Meter Maids.

A Gold Coast Meter Maid Up Close

A Gold Coast Meter Maid Up Close

We do a short hike in one of the National Parks.  It feels great to be on our feet again.  There are a few times our friend, Uyen, tries to lead us off the path but with our good orientation, she is unable to fool us.

Uyen The Karaoke Superstar

Uyen The Karaoke Superstar

We Made It

We Made It

It feels really nice to have quality time to catch up with our old pals.  Thank you Uyen, Leon, and Caellum for inviting us to your home, especially for the holidays.

Shortly after leaving Brisbane, we learn about the horrific Queensland flooding. Our hearts go out to all those families that are impacted.

Cutie Pie

Cutie Pie

Good Ol' Steak

Good Ol' Steak

Everything Tastes Great With Bacon

Everything Tastes Great With Bacon

What We Paid: AUD USD Euro
– Jetstar Flight from Melbourne To Brisbane 176/pp 176.50 128

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

New Zealand North: Visiting Coromandel

By , January 24, 2011 5:00 am
The Beach @ Cathedral Cove

The Beach @ Cathedral Cove

Joining us for the North Island is Boris’ mother and her boyfriend. They greet us French style, with lots of kisses and Champagne! We make a compromise with them. From this point on, we travel their style and in return, we cook for them when feasible. Thank you Marie Hélène and Gérard for giving us the better end of the deal. :)

Beautiful Natural Christmas Tree

Beautiful Natural Christmas Tree

We go for a road trip around the North Island and it reminds me a little of Maine because there is always some place to stop for delicious seafood. We stop at Coromandel Oyster Company for lunch. It is a small shack right off the road and they have a darn good seafood chowder.

Coromandel Oyster Company

Coromandel Oyster Company

Our lodging at The Church, in Coromandel, is one of the cutest accommodations. There are a handful of designer cottages all equipped for a relaxing night stay. With the four of us, we decide to go with “The House #12”, which gives us more space and amenities than we actually need.

The House

The House

More Champagne Please

More Champagne Please

We dine at the hotel restaurant the first night and the food and wine is excellent. The next night, we grill it up on our very own porch. Every French meal includes, at least, Champagne, wine, and delicious meat. With Gerard and me around, we also like to have the American delight called chips.

Fish In NZ Is Fabulous

Fish In NZ Is Fabulous

Salmon Cooked At Perfection

Salmon Cooked At Perfection

Nearby are two popular attractions. At the Cathedral Cove, the hike in is an easy 30 minutes with wonderful views. At the end, we arrive at a great beach spot for pure relaxation. Don’t forget to bring your snorkel gear.

Magnificent Views

Magnificent Views

Not Permitted To Enter

Not Permitted To Enter

Rock Island

Rock Island

The other attraction is called Hot Water Beach. During low tide, we enjoy this underground hot spring by creating a hot water pool, which we share with the other hundred folks that are here. We borrow a shovel and dig into the sand for some time to allow the hot water to escape to the surface. While enjoying the warmth, the cold tides come in and collapse all that hard work we put in to have us rebuild all over again.

Group Hot Water Pool

Group Hot Water Pool

Stay tuned for our next post on our North Island favorites.

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

Marie Hélène and Gérard

Marie Hélène and Gérard

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

Argentina: San Carlos de Bariloche

By , January 6, 2011 6:04 am
View Of Llao Llao

View Of Llao Llao

We have been very fortunate to have friends and family join us along the way. It does take a little more planning and coordination, but it’s always wonderful to see familiar faces.

Getting to San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina was a bit of a pain as two of our flights got cancelled. While the airline did hook us up with 5-star accommodations, all expenses paid, we were just eager to get to Bariloche because our friend, Amy, from San Francisco was meeting us there. Two days later than planned, we finally arrived.

Cooking Together With Old Pal, Amy & New Buddy, Hannes

Cooking Together With Old Pal, Amy & New Buddy, Hannes

Our first reaction to Bariloche was not so positive. It is a very popular holiday spot among the fortunate Argentineans. The city has all the first world amenities and English is well understood so we felt right back at home. Because we have been accustomed to travelling in 3rd world countries, we were taken back a bit by the high prices and how easy everything was.

View From Our Bedroom At 1004 Penthouse Hostel

View From Our Bedroom At 1004 Penthouse Hostel

Boris & Hannes Enjoying A Beer And The View

Boris & Hannes Enjoying A Beer And The View

One of the great perks of traveling with holiday-goers is because of their limited time, everything is well researched before arriving. With Amy, we just took the backseat to planning. She found a great hostel, 1004 Penthouse. It was on the top floor of the tallest building in Bariloche so that meant amazing views. The vibe and the people of the hostel were awesome so we highly recommend this place.

Every night, we either cooked at the hostel or dined out. If you like meat, Bariloche is your city and parillas are a great way to try wonderful meats like bife de lomo or chorizo; we especially liked the lamb.

Dinner With New Friends

Dinner With New Friends

Lamb, Our Favorite

Lamb, Our Favorite

At the end of the night, we always did a supermarket run for wine. Wine was inexpensive and it was nice to chill out with new friends while sipping on a new kind of wine. We were most impressed with the Chilean wines and overall, Malbec was good.

To explore the popular El Circuito Chico (the Short Circuit), we rented bicycles for the day. It was just refreshing to be in the outdoors and be wowed by the picturesque landscape around Lake Nahuel Huapi. It took us about 5 hours to bike the loop. I admit it was pretty tough for me. I got so tired of pedaling that whenever we went up hill, I walked it up. Boris, however, was a super trooper and pedaled the entire way. If you have time, make a tea stop at the super luxurious hotel, Llao Llao, and say hello to Paola for us.

Me & Frenchie

Me & Frenchie

Lookout Point

Lookout Point

Mountain Ranges All Around Us

Mountain Ranges All Around Us

Along with the folks we met at the hostel, we hiked Cerro Catedral, but didn’t make it all the way to the Frey refugee because it started to snow. It was still a very nice easy hike. Thanks to Hannes for redirecting us on the way back as Boris and I started to take the difficult path into the bushes.

Hikking @ Cerro Catedral

Hikking @ Cerro Catedral

Panoramic View

Panoramic View

Cerro Catedral

Cerro Catedral

Bariloche ended up being a very relaxing spot for us. It was a great stop before heading out to the active city of Buenos Aires. Also, don’t forget to try the chocolates.

A Carancho

A Carancho

Lake View From El Circuito Chico

Lake View From El Circuito Chico

Alpine Church

Alpine Church

Lunch At Lago Perito Moreno

Lunch At Lago Perito Moreno

Beautiful Views Everywhere

Beautiful Views Everywhere

What We Paid: Argentine
Pesos
USD Euro
– Triple @ 1004 Penthouse Hostel
[shared room, shared facilities, great views, great vibe, friendly staff, highly recommend]
47/pp 11.85 9
– Public Bus
[bus 20 To Campanero For El Circuito Chico, bus 26 To Cerro Catedral, bus 72 for airport]
6/pp 1.50 1.15
– Parilla At El Boliche de Alberto [highly recommend] 51/pp 12.85 9.80
– Splurge For Dinner At Tarquino 133/pp 33.50 25.55

Flickr Photoset | Slideshow

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