#AliAnaFamille ~ Tasmania Part 2

In the midst of finishing up these Tasmania trip entries, i am trying to juggle planning Ayden’s birthday party, his DIY cake smash photo session and of course our finances all in one go. And at the same time all these blog entry ideas like me trying to go on the #projectpan with all my skincare and make up items and also all these crazy motherhood entries is flowing through again!

Please bear with me.

AND… We set off the next morning exploring the surrounding areas of Bicheno and got some groceries at the local IGA store as well for our stay. First stop was Pasini’s Cafe to fill our tummies with the delicious array of food eastern Tasmania got to offer! Of course, i had to order the Seafood Chowder and the Scallop Pie! Indeed, it was delish!

Then we set off to St Helens and the Bay of Fires! So we drove 45minutes to Scamander then another 20minutes to St Helens, which is the gateway to Binalong Bay and the Bay of fires. On the way to Scamander, we stopped by the four mile creek. It was such a beautiful, serene beach! It was just amazing!

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After a lung full of fresh air, an ankle dip in the waters, Ayden ecstatic fun with the sand and of course full of family snaps; we continued our road trip to St Helens. We were almost famished then as we drove past Captain’s Catch Seafood Restaurant! So we ended up going back to the restaurant after stopping by at the St Helens Information Centre to grab the maps and places to visit around the area. Unfortunately it was 3pm then and the restaurant will only be serving dinner from 4pm onwards. So we decided to book a table and off we go to Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires.

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Binalong Bay


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Bay of Fires (Well one of them!)

The views were just amazing, very surreal. I wish i could upload videos on my blog without me signing up for premium (thanks WordPress! not!). The drive was just full of ooohs, ahhhs and wows! Such tranquility. We hurried back to Captain’s catch for our late lunch and early dinner. Fresh seafood and amazing views. What else can you ask for? The photo below was our view from where we were sitting.

 

After dinner, we drove back to the cabin and have a rest before heading out to find Penguins in Bicheno. Yes! Free Penguins viewing instead of paying for those tours. So everyone layered up and once the sunsets we set off with two infants in tow braving the cold sea breeze! Unfortunately, since my previous phone was flushed down the toilet bowl. Every photo and videos in the phone are now gone. And sadly i did not back up any of them which has been such a deep regret! If you need to know the exact location, just email me i will be able to draw you a map! 🙂

So the last and final part of our trip will be in the next entry! Till then…

xoxo

ana

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#AliAnaFamille ~ Tasmania Part 1

Tasmania. An underrated destination but full of fresh goodness and sceneries. Although its just an hour flight from Melbourne, we never had plans to visit until recently, a group of friends went as a getaway and could not stop raving about how beautiful Tasmania (to be specific Hobart is!) This will be our first time traveling with another young family (which happens to be my cousin, Khai; his wife Ana and lil 5 month old K). We didn’t know what to expect and although we have travelled with Ayden earlier in the year to Singapore and Malaysia, he’s 3 months young then. An interesting road trip adventure we hoped it would be!

After weeks of researching, we decided to embark on the Great Eastern Drive – 4 hours road trip on the East of Hobart. Stretches of beaches, great seafood and a good road trip all around! With two infants in tow, we decided to base ourselves in the middle of the Great Eastern Drive; Bicheno! Which is roughly about 2-2.5 hours from Hobart Airport. Hence we would be about 2hours apart to the both ends of the great eastern drive and back down to the start.

It was a long anticipated trip for us. On the day we met at the departure lounge of Melbourne Airport since the cousin flew in from Singapore to Gold Coast, while transiting in Melbourne to Hobart.So it was a coincidence that we were on the same flight to Hobart. The flight was good for Ayden as it was his nap time, hence, he slept while i fed him in the plane. Once we arrived, Cramped with 4 adults, 2 infants and heaps of luggages in our white Mitsubishi Pajero that we rented from Thrifty; we set out on our drive.

I must say through experiences, most of our guests who comes from Malaysia or Singapore where their children were not used to being restraint in car seats have quite a hard time adapting to the Australian Road Safety laws whereby infants and children needs to be in a car seat at all times. But i completely understand since they are just not used to it. No-one likes to be restraint when they never had to previously.

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Back to our drive. We reached Hobart about 6:30pm, got our luggages and crammed everything and everyone into the rental vehicle, and by the time we left the airport it was almost 7:30pm! I must say i didn’t realised how small Hobart Airport was! As we set on our 2.5 hour drive,i must admit it was quite a scenic drive as the sunsets and through the lushes green. Yes 2.5hours with two infants can be a horror especially towards the end. Thank god K was asleep since its her nap time while Ayden was enjoying the ride until the last half an hour when he start to get restless and since i wasn’t sitting next to him, it was hard to calm him down. Thank god his snacks and nursery rhymes work a treat with Ayden.

Finally, (with a sore butt and cramped body!)we reached our lodging, Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park. As most of the Airbnbs were all taken up, i was actually very happy that we got to book this accomodation as it was very much affordable and conveniently located. We’ve got the two bedroom cabin. I never expected the cabin to be as clean, modern and nice as it is. Definitely, recommend this place to anyone who are traveling to Bicheno and looking for affordable lodging.

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Next posts will be more of our road trips to the surrounding areas!

xoxo

ana

Trippin it with a Baby MEL – KL


At 18weeks, Ayden took his first flight out! A 7.5hours flight to KL was the start of our vacation! Indeed it was quite nerve wrecking for us both not knowing how he’ll be on the flight. We’ve got a corner two seater seat with a bassinet on our Emirates flight. Slightly after take off, we fed him and luckily he dozed straight after! Well indeed it was a 2:40am flight which coincides with his bedtime.


Thinking that it would be a breeze with the use of a bassinet, we were so wrong. Flying across the Timor and Java sea, where the turbulence were a regular occurrence, we had to keep carrying, unbuckling Ayden out of his bassinet and strapped him on my lap during each episode. After the 4th, we were exhausted and end up having Ayden on our laps throughout the flight!

As we were about to descend, Ayden woke up. Tried to feed him but he was restless and fidgeting! He was a bit fussy but that didn’t last very long! Thank god! Of course the weather in KL was very hot and humid! It bothered us more than Ayden did. He was happily sleeping in his Ergobaby carrier through the heat and noise! The Ergobaby was indeed a saviour and a must for our future travels. Highly recommended!

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It was a weekend of a beautiful wedding of Yanna & Amir at the Royale Chulan where we stayed during our trip and savoured heaps of awesome food! 

Thank you guys for inviting us to your beautiful wedding! Definitely an honour and we miss you heaps Yanna! Hope to catch up when you’re down under! Will definitely blog more on this wedding soon!

We did celebrate my first Mother’s Day that weekend too with Teppanyaki lunch! It was a great start to the homecoming vacation. Even though Pavillion was our go to place that whole weekend since it’s nice and close and we just want to relax without venturing too far out!

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Then, it was time for Singapore. Meaning constant meet ups, stuffing our faces with food 24/7, endless family time, shopping and being tourists ourselves! Of course no matter how much time we have, there’s bound to be people we just didn’t have the time to meet, places to see and food to eat! There’s just not enough time! But this trip is all about Ayden bonding with his grandparents and spending as much quality time with the family!

A + A ~ Sydney

Finally i am on Maternity Leave and trying to sort out all the chores before bub arrives. So we had been toying for ideas to do for our Anniversary and most possibly our last trip before i pop. We had staycations in mind randomly. And then bam, Hubs got a memo that he had to go to Sydney for work!

Perfect.

So there i was tagging along! Got the Gynae letter signed which Virgin Airlines didnt even check! We were there from Thursday to Sunday. Hubs had to work on Thursday and Friday and we end up exploring on the weekend!

 Out and about at Hyde Park!


Walked everywhere with this bump of mine exploring what Sydney has to offer! Queen Victoria Building was my favorite in terms of Architecture!

 On weeknights after hubs finish work, we kickback at Darling Harbour. Soaking up the nice cool scenery and good food.

Quite surprised that they have Laduree in Australia. Remeniscing our times in Paris.


Of course we can’t leave Sydney, without heading to Bondi! Ribs & Burgers.. Ben & Jerrys!



  

  Happy Advanced Anniversary to us!

Travel Bug.

The past year we have been traveling extensively from our US trip to Euro trip! It has been amazing! All those research, numbers, headaches and late night thoughts; no never regret any of it! I just love planning!

But i guess the aftermath of it all! I miss traveling heaps! I miss hopping on the plane and land in an airport I haven’t been before; discover something new, new places, new food, new sights and new vibes!

One thing for sure, i will never trade my travel experiences; the good and the bad and definitely i will always choose YOU to do it all over again! The best of all is when you are able to hold hands with your bestfriend, the love of your life and explore the world! For that i am so blessed to be able to experience it…

Soon, we will have a little one in tow! Ive always dreamt of exploring the world with my little family and always foresee the husband pulling the little one on his lil trunki through the airport..  InsyaAllah.. We shall continue to explore the future together! 😘

A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ Rome

Finally the last leg of our journey! Got early bird first class seats on our journey from Pisa to Rome. It took about 2.5 hours as our train departs at 9.30am and we got to Roma termini about 12pm. With our luggages we took the subway to Vatican where our Airbnb was. It was so cosy and nice! The weather was a tad too hot but it was great!

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We rested for awhile before heading out to Vatican Museum as we pre purchased/pre booked the tickets. Highly recommended for you to purchase prior and book the timing of your visit online before you get there. It was so crowded and we are so relieved that we have purchased it online. Its such a good experience, the wall murals and the architecture.  The Sistine chapel cannot be photographed but it was so surreal for us to be there.

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The sun was about to set, we didn’t want to queue just to enter the Chapel so we just walked around and take photos! We were so hungry as we only had Breakfast in the morning. So we decided to venture out to grab early dinner and the famous Gelato at Vatican! It was awesome! The Nutella gelato was super good! It was a highlight of our day! We decided to have an early night rest before another big long day the next day at the Colosseum and the Outlet Centre!

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Woke up early and made our way to the Colosseum via Subway! A bonus when your Airbnb is only about 3 minutes from the Vatican train Station! We wanted to cash out for the day and decided that we shall wait till we get to the Colosseum to do so. When everyone advise you to take care in Rome especially Pickpockets, you have to be alert at all times! We had the same advice in Paris too and thank god nothing happen! So it was so crowded in the train, and we are like a stop away when a group of local teenagers suddenly jumped into our carriage and crowded the entrance. I knew they are up to something as they were moving from one carriage to another. And i try to get Ali’s attention but he was blocked by another lady behind me.

So our stop came and i told myself, I’m just gonna hold on tight to my bag and phone in hand and just push my way out! I’m glad i did, as soon as i got out, i was relieved and continue walking as Ali is usually behind me. So i turned around and he wasn’t there so i walked back quickly to the carriage and he was struggling to get out of the train! i was so pissed that i can see all these teenagers we blocking him intentionally and finally he pushed his way out and carried this girl by the waist to get out of his way. So as he got out i said what happened (by this time, the train already left!) He said that the group of teenagers were blocking him and he stopped and looked down and found his bag that was on his chest the whole time was opened. A kind Italian man came to us and said the kids took Ali’s Wallet! Omg that one time he switched off! It was just so incredible and fast how they did it. He had his wallet at the bottom of his pouch and heaps of items like sunglasses, cases, camera at the top of the pouch. This thieves grab his wallet! We gasped. I was more angry than ever but thank god there was no cash in the wallet but a pain as all his id and bank cards are in there.

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We had to go from one cop to another to report with none knowing how to speak English and at last we are at the Police Station! It took as an hour to report the case, even though we are the only one in there. With the language barrier and all, it was frustrating and at the end of it all, the policeman gave us a report to write! like seriously after all that questions and explanations! We didn’t have the mood to do anything at all, we even missed our Colosseum tour with the 3rd ring underground pass! I was quite devastated and pissed. but things happen! We try to be positive again and continue with our plans to the Colosseum we go!

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The colosseum was amazing! Such a shame that we didn’t get to go on the tour! But oh wells it was a good experience to be there and learning about heaps of amazing things! Even when the sun is scorching hot!

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The Palatine Hill is one of the seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands above the Roman Forum. We did a quick sightseeing as it was getting too hot and sweaty! Since we weren’t in the best of moods, we decided to have a perk me up shopping session so we head down to Roma Termini clutching our bags of course as we are just still shaken by the ordeal, We got bus shuttle tickets (15 Euros return) to Castel Romano Designer Outlet! They say Florence is the place to go for Prada and Ferragamo Outlets! The outlet in Roma was okay but they don’t have Prada. So i finally got myself a pair of Ferragamo Varinas! Been dreaming of owning it for years! It wasn’t the best outlet we have ever been to but it can do as it was the only outlet in Italy we are able to visit! Ali tried to get out of taking subways after that but i managed to convince him otherwise! we hold on to each other tight and made sure theres no teenagers, we did saw a group at the platform as we are about to board but we quickly change carriages instead! What a day!

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Finally the finale, to be honest, we can’t wait to go home. Period. Our flight doesn’t leave until 10pm that night so we head down to Roma Termini with our luggage using Uber! It was such a fancy ride, we were surprised! Just like we did in Venice, we dropped off our bags at the Baggage Storage at Roma Termini for 6 hours. I must remind you, please set aside about 45mins to an hour for the whole process as the queue can be really really long! Once our baggages are settled, we went up to Terravision to get Airport Shuttle tickets which costs us 4 Euros one way from Rome Termini to Fiumicino Airport. This place is quite hard to find so you do need to ask around as Rome Termini is HUGE!

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Our first stop was Trevi Fountain! And to our disappointment, it was undergoing renovations! So upsetting we walked all the way only to see all these scaffoldings! What a day! Oh wells, we did had lunch at this amazing place along the Alley! Still can’t beat the pasta we had in Venice!

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Our next stop was the Spanish Steps! I’ve seen it in Postcards and always in awe! But….. it was just too crowded and people dipping their feet in the fountain! So disappointed again, so unlike the photos in the postcards! We end up sitting at an overpriced cafe having Gelato! 😦

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Spanish Steps

We decided to walked back to Roma Termini and of course we try to buy souvenirs along the way. We decided to shop around Roma Termini waiting for time before we depart as our Shuttle leaves at 7pm. Rome was great despite the disappointments and incidents! A journey for once in our life! Yes we love Rome so much we checked in 4 hours before! LOL Omg Tax Refund was so confusing, we were going from one terminal to another, it was just too tiring! We just felt so relieved to be on the way back to Melbourne. It is definitely going to be one hell of a long flight! So long Europe, thank you for the memories!

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A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ Pisa

After a great morning discovering Ferrari world, we caught a cab back to Modena Train station before we got on to 2 sets of train rides to Pisa. It wasn’t that bad, we only had an hour to wait in between the train rides from Florence to Pisa. So here we go Modena → Bologna → Florence → Pisa 🙂 The journey takes us altogether about 2.5-3 hours. We caught the train at 3:30pm and got to Pisa at 6pm! It was indeed an experience and a good journey! DSCN5602

Got a cab from Pisa to our hotel; Hotel Pisa Tower. We chose this location due to the proximity of this hotel to the Tower of Pisa! The room was clean and amazing! With 2 large luggages in tow we were very delighted to have been allocated room in the main building and on the first level! Thank god! After a long day on the trains! We can’t be bothered to go up anymore staircases and what nots! The staff are friendly and very helpful too!
DSCN55781 thing to take note was that we discovered, taking a cab to the hotel from Pisa Centrale station is €7.75 and the shuttle that the hotel provided to the station is €5 per person. So you work out the math if you’re traveling more than 2 persons 🙂 Ever since we reached Italy, i was just addicted with fresh bread dipped in Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar! Its just awesome! Of course after the day we had, we are just famished! We got awesome shots before the Sunsets and off we set foot to have our dinner!

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Pisa was indeed awesome you know one of those places you just want to strike off your bucket list of travel places! And Alhamdulillah i am glad we did it. We had an early night before we set off another train ride the next morning to Rome!

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