#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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Insurance ✓ SIM Card ✓ Tickets ✓

So we packed our bags yesterday. Was quite surprise that I did not overpack this time like how I usually do! Was quite surprise myself! And finally my Ripcurl softcase luggage got to retire! The Ripcurl luggage did lasts me for 8 years! It was just the time to replace. Alhamdulillah, American Tourister was on sale so got the Large Suitcase (75cm) for $160! Really wanted the white one! But I chose practicality over fashion and got the black one instead!

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And how great that the Global Gig Sim Card arrives in the mail on time! It’s awesome, so far our research goes, we hardly use text or call credits when we are overseas as we mostly use Skype to call, Whatsapp to text and Social Media. So after comparing a couple of the global sims (which are ridiculously expensive!) We decided to go with GlobalGig! 3Gb for $50/Mth or 5Gb for $70/Mth for anywhere in Europe and USA. I remembered I paid for 3Gb for $40 with AT&T when I went to the US. I purchases the AT&T new sim card from Ebay and just top it up online before I leave! That was great and very convenient! Cuz we needed a US number as soon as we touch down to call our AirBnB Host! Overall the best thing about Global Gig and AT&T you can even use it as a hotspot and share the data with your partner! So you don’t have to get 2 sim cards! Well at least that’s what I did!

I usually use and recommend comparethemarket.com.au for my insurance needs. Be it health or travel insurance. Indeed they are great and suits every traveller’s budget! So we got the Travel Insuranz Premiere for $136 for us, couple!  I can’t default it. It did save us a lot of money.  

It was a nightmare exchanging money in Melbourne. Wanted to head down to KVB as they are trusted to have good rates, however, they ran out of Euros! Booo so I headed to my next trusted and best rates United Currency Exchange! And they ran out of Euros too! Nonetheless, I manage to haggle and negotiate with one of the Stores and got my Euros! So lesson learnt, exchange your money to Euros at least a week before you depart! Guess it was just my luck but Alhamdulillah!

It is definitely going to be a long day at work today. And we are finally leaving tonight! Too excited 🙂

A+A EuroTrip 2015

The husband was half hearted when i mentioned that we should carry forward our EuroTrip to April instead of September. But Alhamdulillah we did! Since we missed the Europe Travel Expo last November, we were lucky that the Global Travel Expo was on in February. We did thorough research on the prices of flights prior to the Expo and had our minds made up on a budget.

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This was our second flight purchase from the Travel expos that were organised by Flight Centre Group. You do need to look around and know where your budget is. So far the prices were cheaper than what we expected. Europe is by far the trip that scares us the most, the expenses, the people, the language barrier, we just don’t know what to expect!

We got Emirates flight going from Mel ✈️ Madrid 🚆 Barcelona ✈️ Manchester 🚌 London 🚆 Paris ✈️ Venice 🚆 Maranello 🚆 Pisa 🚆 Rome ✈️ Mel. This is definitely going to be interesting! We booked our Trains in Spain (Renfe) and Italy (Trenitalia) in January/February and got really cheap early bird fares! They usually open 120 days prior to your travel dates. However Virgin Trains and EuroStar opens 90 days in advance! We missed out on Virgin Trains as Manchester – London earlybird train fares was sold out pretty quickly. I guess it was due to the soccer match that weekend! Of course everyone will be rushing to get £15 tickets as compared to £80.60! Oh wells!

I highly recommend the app/website GoEuro to get the cheapest transportation fares in UK and Europe! And what i did was to go on the train/airline/bus website and book it directly. If you book it from GoEuro, you couldn’t choose your seats. We learnt it the hard way! Let’s see if we can negotiate with the train conductor if we can swap seats! lol

Seat 61 will be another website you would want to bookmark! A guide to travelling around Europe/UK (worldwide actually!) by train, including how to buy cheap train tickets! A site worth to visit! Another site worth looking at is Mozio it helps you with Airport transfers! Going to and from Airports is a breeze with Mozio, I’ve got quotes from quite a number of Operators (Cheapest, €65) for my transport from Kyriad Disneyland Hotel to Paris Orly Airport early morning. So far Mozio has been the cheapest (€51). The same for our Madrid Airport to AirBNB apartment in Madrid City. Taxi Fares are €30. At Mozio, I am paying about €21. Well, we shall see how reliable they are in a few days!

Once we got the transportation settled, we started looking at hotels/airbnb! Our budget for accommodations are $100 a day maximum! Alhamdulillah we manage to keep it all under budget! Besides AirBNB, We looked at Hotels combined, Trivago and Expedia. If you found any accommodations listed cheaper (on the sites) as compared to Expedia, they will be able to price match and in return put $50 forward to your next hotel booking! I did that for a couple hotels and its worth it! For hotels in Spain and Italy, you are better off booking directly through the hotel as they do more discounts/freebies as compared to the websites above! Usually, you’ll pay for the rooms upon checkout! So its pretty great! I reckon!

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Los Angeles Part 4

We went to the Universal Studios Los Angeles on a Sunday morning after a hectic crowded Disneyland the day before and was greeted by Mario Lopez and a couple of ladies from Extra while they were filming an episode right in front of Universal Studios. It was amazing! He is quite charming and crack a few jokes with the crowd~

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We bought tickets online; http://arestravel.com/77_attraction-tickets_a10.html-  Buy A Day, Get 2nd Day Free! General Admission – Universal Studios Ticket – $84.85

Don’t bother wasting your money on VIP tickets, not worth it!

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It wasn’t packed when we were there. We waited not more than 15minutes for any rides except the Studio Tour and the Mummy ride which we did them first and last activity of the day respectively and was only waiting for 25 mins! Definitely Don’t miss out on The Studio Tour which includes the King Kong Ride!, try to do it first and get it out of the way! We especially love the Simpsons Ride, The Minions Ride, Transformers Ride, Shrek 4-D and Special Effects Stage.

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You can easily finish everything within a day! We entered the attraction at 11AM and didn’t leave till 9PM! This is inclusive of a lunch break in between at Gru’s Lab Café! Love minions! Love them to bits!

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Los Angeles Part 3

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We are Disney fans! Indeed our bucket list was to strike out all the Disneylands in the world! We did quite a research for our trip, so if you’re looking for authentic cheap Disneyland tickets and character dining vouchers, these are the websites to buy the Disneyland and Character dining tickets,

http://www.parksavers.com/ProductSpecific/Index/101?infoID=5

and get 2-DAY 1 PARK PER DAY BONUS TICKET – $171 (Cheapest I found!)

http://arestravel.com/77_attraction-tickets_a18.html – Character Dining – $33

We booked for breakfast with Minnie and friends at the Plaza Inn. Definitely a wonderful experience and never regret it! We booked it at 10.10AM but when we arrive there was still a queue to get in even when you’ve already booked. We were worried that the characters will be gone but they stayed and take photos with everyone from tables to tables! Try to get a table outside or where they could easily pass you and not some inner tables! Their round tummies (Winnie especially!) couldn’t get through!  Although we should have done dinner too! As we heard wonderful stuff about their dinner menu!

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We got heaps of photos from the characters! Winnie the Pooh, Mickey & Minnie, Eeyore, Chipmunks, Goofy, Donald Duck and more! It was an indeed a memorable experience!

We love Disneyland for what it is, so we don’t really fancy the Christmas thingy! And they closed the entrance to the Castle as they were doing a filming for ABC Christmas’s special!!!!!!! VERY DISAPPOINTING!  If you’re not into Winter theme November – January may not be the best time to go! We were so gutted! We couldn’t even take a nice photo of the castle! We overlooked and thought that we were smart heading to Disneyland on a Monday and didn’t check that it was a public holiday! It was super duper crowded! So definitely check if there’s long weekends or possible holidays before you plan the day to go for your trip~

I don’t think we ever learn from our mistakes after booking for our Euro Trip (which is going to be end of this month!) we realised it was France’s Victory day during the time we are in Disneyland Paris! Oh wells!

It wasn’t crowded when we went to Disney California Adventure Park. This was on a Wednesday as Monday and Tuesday was public holidays! So we escaped to Universal Studios on Tuesday knowing that the Disney Parks will be packed too.

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The rides was super awesome! We especially love the Aladdin Musical! It was spectacular and a must SEE! Definitely catch these rides; Radiator Springs Racers, Soarin’ Over California, Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and Toy Story Mania to name a few! I am a scaredy cat when it comes to Rides trust me! but these ones are great for people like me and are the best ones too!

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Once you get in through the turnstile, 2 things you definitely must to do first! MUST DO! Grab the Fast Pass for Radiator Springs Racers and World of Colors! It’s a must!

Once that settled, you can have fun and make your way through the park but remember to set an alarm 30 mins before Radiator Springs Racers last Fast Pass Timing so you won’t missed it, the queue usually goes for hours and the fast pass finished real quick! And an hour alarm set for World of Colors! Although you have a fast pas for World of Colors, it is a first come first serve basis! You wouldn’t want to be standing behind a Dad that has his daughter on his shoulders now would you? (We learnt it the hard way!)

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Also, not forgetting the Pixar Play Parade! It’s a 20 minute parade of your favourite Pixar Characters that you wouldn’t want to miss! We sat at the side of the “road” of the Hollywood Land! Great views and close to characters! We were there about 45mins before they start while grabbing a bite and rest! So put the parade in your alarm too!

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Definitely great to get your hands on the Disneyland/California Adventure Park Map. So you know where are the attractions with priority to get the fastpass is! So you can save time and not running around like a wild goose!

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