Tag Archives: Australia

Melbourne Foodie

I am glad to be walking every day as this great food city means only one thing:  additional kilos! The food capital of Australia (and one of the best in the world) has been cause for splurging and thankfully so. Tag on some delicious pizza tonight and you will  be jealous of our culinary delights that include Indian, Vietnamese, Turkish, Chinese, French, Italian, Thai, Mexican, American and Australian food; not to mention the few nights we ate at our beautiful “moonstruck” apartment that we found through sabbaticalhomes.com.  It also helps that our neighborhood of St. Kilda is one of the best foodie areas of Melbourne.


New favorite drink


Thai Burger = Thaiger








It has certainly been an urban hip week for us. A highlight has been Melbourne Bike Shares, as we realized taking trams would be more expensive than exercising our legs through town. The kids loved it! We are an hour walk to CBD so biking is certainly an easy way to get to town.


Melbourne Bike Share

The National Gallery of Victoria has outstanding exhibits including “The Fashion World of Jean-Paul Gaultier.” I had always thought his clothes were a bit eccentric but getting to know his art and attention to detail was eye-opening for me. I especially liked the Madonna (remember the elaborate corsets?) and Amy Winehouse association with his costumes, his passion for Paris and London, and his desire to showcase non-traditional models (think androgynous, curvy models). A fashion genius!


Gaultier exhibit


National Gallery of Victoria – ceiling


Express Yourself exhibit


Express Yourself exhibit
















Our favorite holiday Thanksgiving is just 2 days away! While we are not going to have our traditional Thanksgiving dinner with our Houchin family cousins in Florida, we are THANKFUL to be together as a family to experience this fantastic adventure around the world. Life has been pretty good to us, thank you!

Bossa Noosa LIVE!

The tunes of BossaNoosa (we reserve right to copyright this!) played and this is an absolutely totally awesome place in the world! My dad, who claims NorCal as God’s country, may even agree that Noosa matches up. Ok, so there is no Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco but there is a fantastic beach with great ocean water for swim and surf. The hills roll and it feels like a mellow California beach town. There are some great hikes on your doorstep that take you into a koala preservation park as well as along the cliffs and beaches of the coast. Then, for a bit of shopping/dining, just over the hill is Noosa Heads, a small time South Beach (without the trash and chaos). Can you hear the bossa beat playing now?

We spent one afternoon hiking trails and beach head; Leti and the kids spotted a nice snake in the trees but no koalas! We lunched at a local spot in Noosa Heads and ate some scrumptious sandwiches with acai smoothie. One night we hit our grill for some steaks while Sebastian mastered his bellyflop in the pool – see the pain below. We were so content in our BossaNoosa life that we could easily stay there a long while and it gives pause to reconsider that there may be more than one God’s country or at least more Gods. Thank you Noosa!

Da Splash - notice the form has not changed. Clean, full spread, nice splash! YOHA!

Da Splash – notice the form has not changed. Clean, full spread, nice splash! YOHA!

Beautiful entry: arms wide, face looking into future, still water awaits!

Beautiful entry: arms wide, face looking into future, still water awaits!







The following photos are bonus GoPro shots from Great Barrier Reef:

Louisa & Leticia walking along 10 meters deep!

Louisa & Leticia walking along 10 meters deep!

Hanging Ten Down Under!

Hanging Ten Down Under!







Corals colors are diverse and amazing!

Coral colors: diverse and AMAZING!

Who needs a tank when you can simply dive under and hold your breath? "Nobody!" says Sebastian

Who needs a tank when you can hold your breath? “NOBODY!” says Sebastian


Sebastian & Louisa in front of Oz colors

Sebastian & Louisa with the colors of Oz

Captain Cook’s Discovery

We were warned that the Port Douglas to Brisbane drive would be long and tortuous including roadside signs like ‘Mom, are we there yet?’ or ‘Free coffee in 5km to keep you awake!’ But did we listen? Nahhhh! And quite frankly, I’m glad we didn’t because we would have missed the Billabong Sanctuary (see Leticia post) and the cute sister towns of Agnes Water & Town of 1770 {the latter after Cook’s initial landing in Australia}.

Nearly 250 years later, this continues to be a great escape with beautiful sun rises and sunsets – both over the water. Our plan to stay just one night turned into 3 as we quickly fell in love with the area. Leti and I took a few walks and drives to explore the area and we discovered hidden beaches and a sweet sunset beer spot.

But it’s not like we had it easy either; how often have you had to switch hotels in the same city? I doubt you’ve done that 3 nights in a row! A slight inconvenience thanks to Brisbaners escaping the G20 Leaders meeting but we are glad that we were able to find a place each evening. Our 1st night at an eco-farm, La La Land, was cool and close to town. The 2nd night won best location (100 meters from beach) but I draw the line when having to sleep next door to chain smoking families. Best for last was our final night at Cool Bananas hostel: a full dinner with fellow world travelers and sleeping in a shared bunkroom, a first for Leticia and the kids.

One Norwegian group of 4 women are traveling the world in 6 weeks! Ouch! They organized their trip through a travel agency back home that put them together and they only met at the Oslo airport upon departure! Can you imagine doing that? I love the different perspective with various cultures.

Most definitely the highlight was watching Sebastian & Louisa surf; they were hanging ten, riding da waves like it was nothing! Totally amazing how quickly kids pick it up. The surf instructors were impressed of the youngest in the group and they were also the only ones with their own rashies (swim shirts). Born to surf baby!!

This wonderful little place obviously impacted us and we all gave it a big Yoha! I was talking with Sebastian about our trip the other night and asked him about “change.” More specifically, whether he felt like he has changed since we started this journey 2 months ago. The cool thing was that his response had nothing to do with the actual things we’ve done (bungy jumping, surfing, etc.) but everything to do with perspective on life. In other words, his vision of the world has changed. I know this is true for each of us and will continue to change even more as the journey continues. New experiences + new perspectives = Awesome!