Thursday, December 23, 2010


After a relaxing time in Hoi An we boarded a bus for a 4ish hour journey to Hue - one of Vietnam's former capitals. This wasn't an ordinary bus - it was a sleeper bus and was awesome!

  To be honest, nothing about Hue (pronounced Hway) really interested me to begin with but in the end was one of the best places we visited.

Why you ask? ...
The highlight was a motorbike tour throughout the areas surrounding Hue.

We visited Vietnam's answer to the colosseum where tigers and elephants were forced to dual

Had a go at making incense - the most challenging thing at this stop was saying that NO, I would not like to buy it!

went to a lookout over the perfume river

Visited a stunning palace and Tomb of Emperor Tu Duc (1847-1883), the fourth emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty. Constructed between 1864 and 1867, it was more of a pleasure garden than a tomb, and the Emperor Tu Duc used it as his second residence. The interesting thing is that it is not known if Tu Duc is actually buried here. No-one has yet discovered his burial site and the treasures that must lie within. Not as extensively damaged during the Vietnam War as Hue’s Citadel, Tu Duc's Tomb remains a significant reminder of the opulent lifestyles enjoyed by the Nguyen Dynasty emperors created by the king back in the day (blurb stolen from trip itinerary notes).
The grounds and buildings did look beautiful but we were told we were being left to our own devices for an hour here. I think our whole group grimaced. By this stage we had visited so many temples, palaces and pagodas we really didn't need that much time! I think we were done in 20 minutes but luckily our tour leader was waiting patiently so we continued on our bike tour.

We also had a quick stop at the citadel - and the most interesting thing here was local young boys playing soccer.

What was both exhilarating and a little frightening was taking on the afternoon peak hour traffic of Hue.  Unfortunately none photos that were taken could do this trip justice! Especially cos my driver was a dud and we arrived back at our hotel last. So much for an adrenalin filled ride. More like a leisurely Sunday drive (if they have those in Vietnam!)

The next day we went on a cruise up the Perfume river and visited yet another temple - the Thien Mu Pagoda.

Late that afternoon we prepared for another overnight train ride - destination Hanoi. Before getting on the train Pat and I ordered some local food. His was supposed to be chicken and rice. It CERTAINLY wasn't chicken. This plate came out with a whole bird on it - I honestly couldn't look at it. I still wonder what it was and kind of wish we had got a photo.

Anyway, till next time

Over and Out


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Par Rum Pa Pum Pum

I thought I'd join in with Sophie over at and share my Christmas tree with ya'll ...

I got it at the after Christmas sales at Target probably more than 5 years ago. I love it!


I love a good christmas carol ... my sis and I used to sit glued to the TV on the days leading up to Christmas watching the Sydney and Melbourne carols by candlelight. I was lucky enough to go to the ones in Sydney a couple of years ago with some friends from the states and I'm not sure if they thought I was crazy but i was SO excited to be there!

What is your favourite carol?
Little Drummer Boy would have to be close to the top of my list but I also love the Santa Claus is Coming song that Hi 5 do!

And on the point of Hi 5 ... the new members can never be as good as the originals - Tim, Charlie, Nathan, Kathleen and Kellie! I secretly used to love watching it with my little cousins.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Chair Crazy

Totally loving this photo AND so want these chairs for our ceremony!

photo courtesy of


Anyone know where we can get some from? I'm thinking a local hall/CWA ...

Over and Out


Monday, December 6, 2010

Hoi An

Hoi An was the place I was most excited to visit in Vietnam with promises from multiple tailor shops claiming they can make an exact copy of basically anything you want. I had pictures and pictures from magazines and the internet and was so totally excited to grab a steal.

So, what did I think of the whole process?


I had completed what felt like hours of reading to find the best information and best tailors. Maybe my expectations were too high but my expectations were not met at all. I had about 5 things made costing in excess of probably $400 and was only mildly happy with one or two of the items. I had a Karen Walker jumpsuit/romper copied and it probably turned out the best but did cost close to $100AUD and took the seamstress hours - we were there at 10pm at night, the night before we left waiting for her to finish it. I didn't even get to try the final finished product on as they were rushing us out the door and had already packaged it up! I think what I was most disappointed in was they assured me that they could make an exact copy - and silly me, I believed them. But oh well, you live and learn.
When the weather gets a bit nicer I'll take some pics of me wearing the clothes and you can tell me what you think ...

While we are in Hoi An we also did a few touristy things. One thing that SO isn't worth it is the walking tour. Basically you visit 3 or 4 local 'attractions' but really what is boils down to is visiting old houses where the nieces, nephews, sons and daughters are there to sell you all of their handi-crap.

 The boy looking oh so excited!

I'd say the highlights of our time in Hoi An were:

* cute architecture

p 271
* lunches and dinners at local and touristy restaurants and cafes

* $35 prescription glasses ready in 3 hoursp 283 
* modern engineering

p 276

* drinks and pool with some great tour buddies
* and last but not least, a hotel WITH A POOL!

Till next post, OVER and OUT



I am lucky to have a number of very special girls in my life but unfortunately I cannot have all of them in my bridal party. For a fun idea, I did a bit of printing, cutting and gluing and here is the final result.
What do you think?

DSC02344  DSC02343

One has already reached its destination and the other two will be on their way soon.

D0n't worry MC and RG, you'll be very much a part of my party ...

Over and Out


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Could I , Should I, Would I?

Damn you before-christmas sales!!!

I saw this gorgeous dress at Myer Robina the other day ... and now Leona Edmiston is having an online 40% off sale.

It would come down to $267.

 le2 le

Restrain yourself!!!