• test
    Aug
    9
    2018

    Port Douglas is about an hour's drive north of Cairns and is supposedly nicer than Cairns. We wouldn't know, as all we saw of Cairns was the airport. The first thing that struck me about this part of Australia was how tropical it was....


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     09-08-18

     Australia, Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef, Kuranda

    Categories: Australia, Travel

  • test
    Jul
    5
    2018

    When we lived in Australia, we never saw the outback. This was due to a series of circumstances but the dominating factor was that we had a car in Melbourne and didn't want to rent a second one in the Northern Territory....


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     05-07-18

     Australia, Red Centre, Uluru, outback

    Categories: Australia, travel

  • test
    Jun
    10
    2018

    I've been to Adelaide once before. When we lived in Melbourne, Dan and I adopted an Australian attitude to driving and drove 8 hours to visit my cousin Frances and her boyfriend Rob. This time, as we live in Edinburgh, it was easier to fly....


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     10-06-18

     Adelaide, Australia, travel, wedding

    Categories: Australia, travel

  • test
    Jan
    2
    2018

    Since we were only spending 2-3 days in each place, and had planned to visit 7 places over our three-week period, we thought wed end our trip with a nice relaxing beach-front hotel in Drake Bay. Two hours from Manuel Antonio is a town called Sierpe...


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     02-01-18

     Drake Bay, Costa Rica, travel, Central America

    Categories: Central America, Costa Rica, travel

  • test
    Nov
    19
    2017

    We flew from Arenal to Drake bay, via San Jose, in a Cessna Caravan. These are tiny little planes with 10 seats, no tea trolley, and about 3 jokes about the tea trolley per flight. We sat right up the front and could watch the course and weather maps...


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     19-11-17

     Manuel Antonio, beach, gecko, Costa Rica, Cessna Caravan

    Categories: Central America, Costa Rica, travel

  • test
    Nov
    13
    2017

    Defying all expectations, we made it out of Colombia alive. Our first Costa Rica stop was Arenal, an area of tropical national parks surrounding a volcano. Getting there from Cartagena was standard. Deathly early flight to Bogota, stopover,...


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     13-11-17

     Costa Rica, Arenal

    Categories: Central America, Costa Rica, travel

  • test
    Nov
    6
    2017

    Bogota, Medellin, Santa Marta, Cartagena is arguably a trip through Colombias tourist centres (a phrase I use lightly as Colombia is still far from touristy) from least to most attractive. I highly recommend this route, and not the reverse, ...


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     06-11-17

     Cartagena, Colombia, travel

    Categories: South America, Colombia, travel

  • test
    Nov
    3
    2017

    Santa Marta is easy to pronounce, which was a great start. We had booked a handy 11am Avianca flight from Medellin to Santa Marta, so wed arrive at 12. Avianca had other ideas, and booted us off our nice flight and put us ...


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     03-11-17

     Santa Marta, Tayrona, Colombia

    Categories: South America, Colombia, travel

  • test
    Nov
    1
    2017

    Medellin is pronounced Med-eh-jean, you uncultured swine. So now weve both embarrassingly learned that after pronouncing it wrong to several locals, lets continue. Edinburgh should have prepared me for all the bloody hills in Colombia....


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     01-11-17

     Medellin, Colombia, travel, Pablo Escobar

    Categories: South America, Colombia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    28
    2017

    Bogota introduced me to a new, unfamiliar friend: altitude sickness. Bogota is 2640m above sea level, which means the air is thinner and you feel like you have a permanent hangover. However the feeling is probably not dissimilar to how one might feel after having...


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     28-10-17

     Bogota, Colombia, Botero, altitude sickness

    Categories: South America, Colombia, travel

    Preparation for our Colombia and Costa Rica Trip

    Dan is a big fan of Narcos, which doesnt exactly promote Colombia as a top tourist destination, but someone once told us it was nice and didnt deserve its reputation. That was all the convincing we needed. A couple of years ago I watched a TV show...


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     01-10-17

     Colombia, Costa Rica, South America, Central America

    Categories: South America, Central America, travel

  • test
    Dec
    15
    2015

    Seven nights was the longest wed stayed in one place since leaving Australia. Wed read that a week is a good amount of time in Havana. This is true, but it probably wouldnt hurt to see more of Cuba if you could....


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     15-12-15

     Cuba, Havana, travel

    Categories: Central America, Cuba, travel

  • test
    Dec
    6
    2015

    Mexico was only ever meant as a route to Cuba, but we figured we may as well see a bit of it so we booked 4 days. Originally we were going to stay on the beach in Cancun but Dan rightly insisted Id hate that after one day so we stayed in Mexico City instead....


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     06-12-15

     Mexico, Xochimilco, Teotihuacan, travel

    Categories: Central America, Mexico, travel

  • test
    Nov
    24
    2015

    Antigua is another old, scenic city surrounded by volcanoes. This one is particularly scenic and you can watch Fuego erupt a bit every few minutes. The first time I saw it (its just puffy black smoke) I panicked, wondering why no one else was panicking....


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     24-11-15

     Antigua, Guatemala, travel, salsa

    Categories: Central America, Guatemala, travel

  • test
    Nov
    23
    2015

    Our trip from Flores to Lake Atitlan involved driving through a bit of Guatemala City. I admit to feeling a little wary when the driver stopped at a garage so we could use the toilet. It was just people paying for petrol and buying chocolate bars....


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     23-11-15

     Lake Atitlan, Santiago, San Pedro, Guatemala, travel

    Categories: Central America, Guatemala, travel

  • test
    Nov
    22
    2015

    When we told people we were going to Guatemala they reacted with shock, mingled with trying to cover their shock, followed by sadness that theyd never see us again. Thats sort of how I reacted when Dan suggested Guatemala in the first place....


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     22-11-15

     Guatemala, Flores, Tikal, travel

    Categories: Central America, Guatemala, travel

  • test
    Nov
    18
    2015

    We spent two days in Chicago after South Bend. Dan and the rest of his wedding friends lived in Chicago for a summer during college so they found everything nostalgic. Id never been there before so irritated everyone by stopping to photograph all the buildings....


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     18-11-15

     Chicago, bean, America, travel

    Categories: America, travel

  • test
    Nov
    16
    2015

    Having the USA in the middle of our tropical adventures was a little jarring. South East Asia, boiling heat, mosquitoes, no one speaking English, then suddenly cold, easy, Western Chicago. I would have much preferred to ...


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     16-11-15

     America, Indiana, Southbend

    Categories: America, travel, Indiana

  • test
    Nov
    12
    2015

    If we'd known better, we would have skipped Hue and spent the extra day in Hoi An. But the only way you get to know better is by making the mistake and going to Hue in the first place....


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     12-11-15

     Hoi An, lanterns, Vietnam, travel, An Bang

    Categories: Vietnam, Asia, travel

  • Hue

    test
    Nov
    5
    2015

    Many months ago, for reasons that now elude us, we planned one night in Hue. Its on the mid-Vietnam coastal tourist trail so that was probably a factor. But we in no way considered anything to do with timing...


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     05-11-15

     Hue, Vietnam, travel, Asia

    Categories: Vietnam, Asia, travel

  • test
    Nov
    4
    2015

    Phong Nha is a region of Vietnam known for its large caves. Unfortunately its also known as the area that has the most amount of leftover explosive ammunition from the war. Its not hugely dangerous, we were told....


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     04-11-15

     Phong Nha, Farmstay, Paradise Cave, Vietnam, travel, Asia

    Categories: Vietnam, Asia, travel

  • test
    Nov
    2
    2015

    No one in Vietnam calls it Ho Chi Minh. All the written signs still say Saigon. Saigon is a much nicer name anyway. Saigon can best be summed up by Dans thoughts at the end of our first day: How do you cross the fucking road? There are no apparent road rules...


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     02-11-15

     Vietnam, Saigon, Ho Chi Minh, Cu Chi tunnels, travel, Asia

    Categories: Vietnam, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    29
    2015

    There isnt a whole lot to see in Kampot itself, but its a good place to rent a moped and roam around on your own. Unlike the cities in Cambodia, the traffic isnt like a relentless herd of stampeding buffalo scooters....


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     29-10-15

     Cambodia, Kampot, travel, Asia, Bokor Hill

    Categories: Cambodia, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    27
    2015

    If my last post seemed a bit of a downer, we spent our only day in Phnom Penh going to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (commonly known as S21 Security Prison 21) and the Killing Fields....


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     27-10-15

     Cambodia, Phnom Penh, travel, Killing Fields, Tuol Sleng

    Categories: Cambodia, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    25
    2015

    I had no idea what to expect of Cambodia. A well-travelled friend of mine once told me it was her favourite place in Asia, but people have all sorts of crazy opinions. Im sure Bangkok is someones favourite place in Asia. I sort of ...


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     25-10-15

     Cambodia, Siem Reap, Asia, travel, Angkor Wat

    Categories: Cambodia, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    23
    2015

    Awful. All they ever seem to have is Lipton. Id even take Twinings over Lipton....


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     23-10-15

     Thailand, Asia, travel, tea

    Categories: Thailand, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    22
    2015

    My first impression of Bangkok was quite good because there was only one taxi rank at the airport. Upon landing in Phuket we were greeted with approximately ten different taxi stands, all with people shouting fare offers. What are ...


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     22-10-15

     Bangkok, Buddha, travel, Asia, Thailand

    Categories: Thailand, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    18
    2015

    Ko Yao Yai is a small island in Phang Nga Bay where we spent two scenic nights, and ate 2 immense dinner buffets. Our room had a view over the bay and we watched a spectacular sunset. But no one cares about that....


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     18-10-15

     Ko Yao Yai, Asia, Thailand, travel

    Categories: Thailand, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    15
    2015

    There is a world of difference between what you get when you Google Phuket and what you get when you go there. The airport is in the North, and we were staying in Kata, in the South so we got a colourful and expensive taxi drive ...


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     15-10-15

     Phuket, Thailand, Asia, travel

    Categories: Thailand, Asia, travel

  • test
    Oct
    12
    2015

    A few people told me not to bother with Singapore, as it was just a big city. What they didnt say was that its a big city that looks like a futuristic utopia straight out of pretty much any Sci Fi film. I pretended I was in space for much of the trip....


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     12-10-15

     Singapore, travel, Asia

    Categories: Asia, travel, Singapore

    Bye Melbourne

    It was with an overwhelming amount of organisation (and some sadness) that we finally left Melbourne. Only now do I appreciate the value of having parents to leave all your stuff with so you dont have to deal with it....


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     07-10-15

     Australia, Melbourne, travel

    Categories: Australia, Travel

  • test
    Oct
    4
    2015

    Last year we got a tour bus from Melbourne to the Twelve Apostles via the Great Ocean Road. You can read about it here, when I was a lot less verbose in my blog posts. We really wanted to drive ourselves...


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     04-10-15

     Australia, Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles, Travel

    Categories: Australia, Travel

  • test
    Sep
    22
    2015

    When I lived in Galway Id often drive across the width of Ireland to Wicklow for the weekend. It was lengthy and boring. What I didnt realise was that theres no such thing as a long drive in Ireland. Australians wouldnt think twice...


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     22-09-15

     Adelaide, Stawell, Australia, travel, koala

    Categories: Australia, Travel

  • test
    Sep
    4
    2015

    In classic Irish fashion, my friend Laura decided to come to Australia too. Her presence, combined with my rather flexible working hours AND the fact that Im leaving soon, mean I constantly drag her on sightseeing roadtrips. Shes been here about a week...


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     04-09-15

     Sovereign Hill, Australia, Melbourne, travel

    Categories: Australia, Travel

  • test
    Aug
    1
    2015

    Youll hate skiing, everyone told me. Incessantly. Why is everyone so determined that I would hate skiing? Is it my general dislike for exercise? The outdoors? Fun? Well I ignored the negativity and went skiing in Queenstown....


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     01-08-15

     Queenstown, skiing, New Zealand, travel

    Categories: New Zealand, travel

  • test
    Jul
    27
    2015

    I have some Middletons living in Moteuka, North of the South island, so naturally we decided to impose ourselves upon their hospitality, demanding food and wifi and entertainment. I hadnt seen these particular Middletons since I was about 9...


    Continue Reading...
     27-07-15

     New Zealand, Motueka, travel, seals

    Categories: New Zealand, travel

  • test
    Jul
    23
    2015

    Wellington will forever be ingrained in my mind as The city where I didnt get to try an Occulus Rift. Ive wanted to try out virtual reality ever since I was 10 and RTE used to show The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest. Wellington is a small, rather scenic city....


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     23-07-15

     New Zealand, travel, Wellington

    Categories: New Zealand, travel

  • test
    Jul
    19
    2015

    In spite of the fact that we do a lot of travelling, Dan and I never seem to learn anything. Heres my number one tip for aspiring travellers: Plan Everything. Do not assume youll recognise it when you get there. Do not assume transport will be easy....


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     19-07-15

     New Zealand, Rotorua, Hobbiton, travel

    Categories: New Zealand, travel

  • test
    Jul
    18
    2015

    Ignoring the fact that I lived in Ireland for 25 years and never visited France, which you can literally drive to, we figured it would seem ridiculous to not visit New Zealand while living in Australia. So we arrived in Auckland and added a new element of stress ...


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     18-07-15

     New Zealand, travel, Auckland

    Categories: New Zealand, travel

  • test
    Jun
    16
    2015

    Since arriving in Melbourne, Paulette, a family friend of Dans, has been wonderful to us. She feeds us, teaches us about driving with the trams, and yesterday brought us to Healesville Animal Sanctuary using two of her family passes....


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     16-06-15

     Australia, travel, wombat, Healesville

    Categories: Australia, Travel,

  • test
    Jun
    15
    2015

    Since I lived in Melbourne until I was 2, logic would dictate that I had 2 birthdays here already. On my first birthday, my parents brought me for a walk on Frankston beach where I waddled around in a small red jumper. A nice idea, we all agreed, would be that I spend my third ...


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     15-06-15

     Australia, birthday, Melbourne, Frankston

    Categories: Australia, Travel

  • test
    May
    24
    2015

    Maybe its because Australians arent really into tea, so they dont realise the merit of a top quality biscuit to dip in the tea. Whatever the cause, Australians are terrible at biscuits. And chocolate. ...


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     24-05-15

     Biscuits, Anzac biscuits, Australia, tea

    Categories: Travel, Australia

    Living in Another Country

    Ive been in Melbourne for one month now. As it turns out, moving to another country is quite different to travelling or holidaying. Before I left I pictured us driving up the Great Ocean Road in the cheapest working car we could find, ...


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     22-05-15

     Travel, Australia

    Categories: Travel, Australia

  • Eating Foreign Food

    Dan and I sat in a pizzeria in Tokyo on our last night before leaving for Indonesia. All that remained of my blandest-of-the-bland pasta in tomato sauce was lumps of aubergine and courgette, two of the many things on my list of things I hate to eat....


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     19-05-15

     travel, food, Indonesia, Asia, Japan

    Categories: Travel

  • test
    May
    18
    2015

    The jungle countryside is idyllically beautiful and extremely green. The people in Sumatra were friendly, chatty, hospitable and had excellent English. Poverty there is depressing....


    Continue Reading...
     18-05-15

     Indonesia, Redgum, Bali, food, travel

    Categories: Indonesia, travel

  • test
    May
    17
    2015

    My Dad enjoys going on motorbike trips around various European countries, and as such had some valuable advice to impart. Write notes on things you do every day, because you will definitely forget everything, and youll have no semblance of a timeline. ...


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     17-05-15

     Bali, Indonesia, travel, Redgum, Ubud

    Categories: Indonesia, travel

  • test
    May
    11
    2015

    Everything in Indonesia is really cheap compared to Ireland. Or Australia. Or the Western World. You'll hear people say this. I say it. Everyone says it. The price discrepancy allowed us to book a few nights in a beautiful ...


    Continue Reading...
     11-05-15

     Indonesia, sunburn, Lombok, Gili T, travel

    Categories: Indonesia, travel

  • test
    May
    10
    2015

    The orangutan portion of our jungle adventure took place in another village called Bukit Lawang. We pulled up to a reception building in a somewhat normal town and were greeted with Our luggage! Spirits were elevated....


    Continue Reading...
     10-05-15

     Indonesia, Bukit Lawang, orangutans, travel

    Categories: Indonesia, travel

  • test
    May
    9
    2015

    About 7 years ago, Dan got an American visa stapled into his passport. When leaving, the American customs guy ripped it out, and tore a tiny piece off the page corner. Usually this has warranted no more than glare and...


    Continue Reading...
     09-05-15

     Indonesia, travel, Tangkahan

    Categories: Indonesia, travel

  • test
    May
    8
    2015

    The people are extremely polite and have been trained in queue etiquette. A lot of people approached us offering help when we stood confused and upset in many a train station. The streets are very clean but there are no bins....


    Continue Reading...
     08-05-15

     Japan, travel, food, Osaka, Koyasan, Tokyo

    Categories: Japan, Travel

  • test
    May
    7
    2015

    The Bullet Train isnt as exciting as Id hoped. Its comfy and fast, but I had rollercoaster fast in mind. Truth be told, it didnt seem any faster than a normal train. It looks really cool from the outside and did get us to Tokyo...


    Continue Reading...
     07-05-15

     Tokyo, scramble, travel, Japan

    Categories: Japan, Travel

    Importance of Tea

    Tiredness, public transport, aeroplanes and awful food are all legitimate reasons to get a bit grumpy when travelling, so this is what I put it down to. About 4 days into Japan I realised I was completely wrong. We went into the first cafe...


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     06-05-15

     Tea, travel, peril

    Categories: Tea, travel, Japan

  • test
    May
    5
    2015

    All the advice on the Internet said to visit Kyoto when in Japan as it is full of beautiful temples and scenery. What we didnt know when we booked, was that it was cherry blossom season, when all those classic Japan pictures...


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     05-05-15

     Kyoto, Cherry blossoms, travel, Japan

    Categories: Japan, Travel

  • test
    Apr
    21
    2015

    As with much of our Japan journey, Koyasan featured a generous amount of public transport and confusion. Koyasan is a mountain-top Buddhist temple village, which is every bit as epic as it sounds...


    Continue Reading...
     21-04-15

     Koyasan, temple, buddha, Japan, travel

    Categories: Japan, Travel

  • test
    Apr
    14
    2015

    We got off the plane to Osaka at about midnight and joined an hour-long queue of absolute mayhem for passport control. We realised there were going to be no more trains and were filled with immense sadness...


    Continue Reading...
     14-04-15

     Japan, travel, Osaka

    Categories: Japan, Travel

  • test
    Apr
    12
    2015

    The train and metro system is easy to navigate. There is some really beautiful scenery, especially the Great Wall. You can get cheap electronics, but only if you know what youre doing. We didnt....


    Continue Reading...
     12-04-15

     China, travel, Chengdu, Shanghai, Beijing

    Categories: China, Travel

  • test
    Apr
    11
    2015

    Shanghai is big, shiny and modern and its very easy to eat Western food. Its almost TOO easy to eat Western food. Impossible, you might think. But what if I told you Shanghai has a Tesco and a Marks and Spencer?...


    Continue Reading...
     11-04-15

     China, travel, Shanghai

    Categories: China, Shanghai, Travel

  • test
    Apr
    9
    2015

    Chengdu is the place to go for pandas in China, according to Google (and hopefully Bing, otherwise no one in China will know). We booked three nights there with our only aim being to go to the panda sanctuary...


    Continue Reading...
     09-04-15

     pandas, China, travel

    Categories: China, Chengdu, Travel

  • test
    Apr
    6
    2015

    Beijing isnt a particularly pretty city but it has character. Initially I was rather overwhelmed with its bad points and oppressive smog. After four days it grew on me a bit and the really good stuff left me with a more positive view....


    Continue Reading...
     06-04-15

     Beijing, Great Wall, China, travel

    Categories: Beijing, China, Travel

  • test
    Mar
    25
    2015

    At Christmas I made a snap judgement to quit my job and go travelling around Asia and Australia for the year, funding myself as I went working as a web designer (Dan conveniently already works from home)...


    Continue Reading...
     25-03-15

     China travel, jetlag, Beijing

    Categories: China, Travel, Beijing

  • test
    Mar
    7
    2015

    Dan and I went to New York for a week. I'm not very well acquainted with America, having only been to Vegas before now. I was assured Vegas was not representative of America as a whole, which is good because its the most loud, obnoxious and tacky place I've been....


    Continue Reading...
     07-03-15

     Travel, America, New York, Statue of Liberty

    Categories: Travel, America

  • test
    Jul
    7
    2014

    Australia was good because my cousin Frances and friend Marty both live there and know how to work the tram system....


    Continue Reading...
     07-07-14

     Australia, Hobart, Melbourne, Sydney

    Categories: Travel

  • test
    Jul
    3
    2014

    I went to Malaysia and Australia for about a month in April. I didnt have a blog then, but I did write about it. So Im cheating and putting up the interesting bits now....


    Continue Reading...
     03-07-14

     travel, monkeys, buda caves

    Categories: Malaysia, Travel

Sometimes I Tweet

Mostly I retweet @thoughtsofdog though, so you could just follow them.