Archive for July, 2009

Retrospective Entry #2

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

From our Travel Journal written Sunday, July 5, 2009:

Today is Sunday, July 5th and we’re sitting at the Brisbane Domestic Airport trying to kill four hours before our flight to the Whitsundays.  We’ve spent the past five days split between Brisbane and Noosa.  Brisbane, to me based solely on our short two day stint, was a similar riverside metropolitan city not unlike Bangkok.  In fact, sitting at some of the riverside bar/restaurants and riding the river ferry, reminded us very much of Bangkok.  One unique Australian activity we got to do was go to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.  We were able to see bats, dingoes, Australian birds of prey, kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, and koalas.  Miriam even got to hold a Koala.  There were massive mobs of kangaroo, many of them just lounging around and laying on the grassy field.  All in all, it was a worthwhile trip out to the sanctuary, as we got to see Australia’s indigenous animals and check that off our list of things to see.

For dinner that night, after being surrounded all day by animal-life, we decided to go to a steakhouse in the city, Cha Cha Char.  Being our honeymoon, we decided to splurge and get an order of the Wagyu rump and Wagyu filet.  Before our trip, I remember seeing something on the Wagyu beef in Australia and how it was prepared/cared for in the similar manner as Japanese Kobe Wagyu.  And sure enough the Wagyu was quite tasty.  Miriam didn’t like the Wagyu rump as much as it was a bit sinewy.  But the filet was outstanding.  It was a juicy steak but with a tender consistency of foie gras.  This was the second time we’ve had real Wagyu, and it was just as good as the first.  (In fact, we actually got almost two orders for the price of one.  Not because of our “honeymoon discount” but rather because my initial order had a little piece of plastic wrap remnant still on a small portion of the “side wall” of the cut.  Since it didn’t interfere with the part I was eating, I continued to eat half of it, and then afterwards told the manager of the plastic wrap…and he brought us out a new order.  Miriam ate the new one and I finished off her rump.  Wagyu rump.

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To view more pictures from Brisbane, visit the Photos.

Retrospective Entry #1

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

From our Travel Journal written Friday, July 3, 2009:

After 20+ hours of travel, we finally checked into our hotel, Quay West, in Brisbane on Tuesday, June 30th at 1:30pm local time.  Our travels began Sunday, June 28th, on an Air New Zealand flight departing LAX at 10:30pm, and included a 13.5 hour flight to Auckland, a 2 hour layover, 3.5 hour flight into Brisbane, and finally a couple hours through customs/baggage claim/cab ride into the city.

Our honeymoon possibly may not have even happened since somebody forgot to check if visas were required to Australia (they are).  But fortunately when we checked in for our flight we were able to purchase visas on the spot.  Whew!

Back at our hotel in Brisbane, we washed up and set out to explore the city.  We took in the city Centre, including City Hall, King George Square and the Treasury Building.  And soon enough Miriam complained she was cold, since she had packed for warmer weather and omitted packing a warm jacket.  For some reason, I find we always spend our first day on a trip shopping for omitted goods — Oahu was swimming trunks that fit; Maui was sunglasses; Singapore was camera; Brisbane is jacket.  Miriam says that’s the fun of traveling — to go shopping!  I suppose.  But I thought the fun of traveling is sightseeing.  Oh well, I guess this is what I married into, better enjoy shopping.

Walking across the Victoria Bridge we made our way to the West End to have an authentic Australian meal at Tukka.  Our meal consisted of crocodile and emu.  Surprisingly, the crocodile was a white meat with consistency of chicken but tougher, while the emu (though in the bird family) was a red meat with a consistency closer to venison.  Both were tasty and quite edible.  Although we found this Australian cuisine restaurant, we noticed they were few and far in between.  The majority of restaurants were of other fare, mostly international.

Having had our fill of Australian cuisine, we made our way back to our hotel to enjoy our complimentary bottle of champagne, courtesy of our hotel, since we mentioned we were traveling on our honeymoon.  Everywhere we went, I was sure to mention this in hopes to conjure free items or upgrades.  In fact, I think for the next year, anywhere we travel, I’m still going to mention we’re traveling for our honeymoon.  Let’s see how long I can keep this racket up before guilt sets in…

As for this honeymoon, I’ll keep a running tally of complimentary goods/services, but so far: 1 bottle of champagne.

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To view more pictures from Brisbane, visit the Photos.

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

We’re back.  After a hectic week and a crazy 24 hours leading up to the big day, then three weeks gallivanting around Australia and the South Pacific, we’re finally back.  It’s weird being away for a month and coming back home.  In some ways, you expect things to be different — progress, any kind of progress, to have been made;  places/people to have changed or altered — but of course, in a month they are not.  Everything is more or less the same as when we left it some 30 days ago.  Although, opening the door to our place we were pleasantly greeted by stacks and stacks of boxes courtesy of our registry.  That was nice.

At any rate, there’s lots to update, lots to catch-up on.  Among other things, tons of pictures to sift through, organize and catalog.  Several travel journal entries to edit and parse, and eventually upload onto this site as a retrospective account on our daily events during our days away.

In the meantime, as we catch up on these matters, let me whet your appetites by posting online the family and friends slideshow we played during the wedding reception.  For worry of making the slideshow too long, but also wanting to include the many pictures we had, I feel that the pictures in the slideshow went by too fast.  So here now, you can play/pause at your leisure.

Frank & Miriam Slideshow

p.s.  The image above links to the slideshow via the photo section of our website, which you’ll have to register/log-in to view.