Singapore (April 2015)

Posted Posted in Trips

Between 11 April and 21 April we stayed at the Singapore Atrium Holiday Inn and enjoyed 10 days in Singapore.

Changi Airport

On arriving in Singapore around 4.00pm on Saturday we went to the Singapore Airlines service desk to obtain our three day Singapore Explorer Pass. Once we had collected our passes we took a shuttle bus to our motel.

Singapore Atrium Holiday Inn

The Singapore Atrium Holiday Inn has been one of the best Holiday Inn’s that we have stayed in. The motel has 26 floors and all rooms are on the outside of the building with a huge atrium inside with 6 or 7 lifts. Each lift looks like a salt’n’pepper shaker and can be viewed going up and down between floors. The lift is enclosed in glass and you can see the ground level as you go up or down between the floors.

Food markets and the Great World Shopping Centre were in close proximity to the motel.

Singtel

Having done some research prior to leaving Australia, we inquired where we could buy a Tourist SIM card which would provide unlimited phone calls, unlimited SMS’s, 90 minutes internal calls and 7Gb data over 10 days for $30. The only “problem” was that they needed to be bought at a Singtel store, and not at a Singtel re seller store!

First priority on the Sunday after we arrived was to find the nearest Singtel store. With our Boarding Pass we bought a day pass for $8.00 for the SIA Hop On – Hop Off Bus. The bus drove down Orchard Road which was the nearest road to the Singtel store. Having bought our SIM cards, the next task was to buy our Singapore Tourist Plus card.

Singapore Tourist Plus Pass

From the Singtel store it was quite a walk to the top of Orchard Road which was were we could buy a 3 day public transport pass for $30. We used this pass for the first three days of our stay in Singapore.

Day 1 – we used the pass to visit the Changi War Museum.

Day 2 – we used the pass to visit Little India and the Mustafa Centre.

Day 3 – we used the pas to take the FunVeee bus ride and the bumboat ride.

Singapore Explorer Pass

The Singapore Explorer Pass included entry to numerous attractions around Singapore. Far to many to attempt to see every attraction. However, we believe we received good value from the pass which cost us $91 per person.

Day 1 – we used the pass at the Jurong Bird Park and Singapore Zoo and bought tickets to the Night Safari.

Day 2 – we used the pass at the Singapore Flyer, Singapore Flyer Foodmarket and the Gardens by the Bay.

Day 3 – we used the pass at Madame Tussauds’s on Sentosa Island and the Singapore Cable ride.

Roger (our Taxi Driver)

On Saturday whilst at the Singapore Flyer we bumped into a guy who we didn’t know whilst we were eating lunch.  Whilst waiting for our hop on/hop off bus to arrive the following day, the same guy drove pass in his taxi. He circled around and asked if we would like him to take us around Singapore for an hour for $12.

The hour turned into 4 hours and Roger took us to some interesting places; a Chinese jewelers market, a vendor of imitation watches and bags, and a shoe market. It was a highlight of our holiday.

Gardens By the Bay
Photo Album

Tina & Adrian’s Wedding

Posted Posted in Ramblin' On

Tina and Adrian invited us to celebrate their wedding which was held at the Wilpena Pound Resort on Saturday, November 23, 2013.

November 22

We left home at 8.30am for the 500 kilometre drive to Wilpena Pound. The drive was mostly uneventful and we had rest stops in Burra, Jamestown and Hawker. We finally arrived at 4.30pm.

Following a lot of “meeting and greeting” we all enjoyed a BBQ and a drink before turning in for the night.

November 23

We decided to take a drive through Wilpena Pound and keep out of the way of those preparing for the wedding. At 4.00pm Tina and Adrian exchanged their wedding vows.

The wedding was in a natural bush setting and the bride was radiant and the groom scrubbed up well, as did their children.

Following the nuptials, the reception was held in the resort’s restaurant.

November 24

We were up bright and early, leaving Wilpena Pound at 6.15am. A quick stop in Jamestown to fuel up on diesel and then non-stop back home, arriving home just on 1.00pm.

Photo Albums

Wedding Photos

Flinders Ranges Photos

Honolulu (October 2013)

Posted Posted in Trips

This is the sixth and final leg of our four week holiday in the United States and Canada.

October 12

Farewell to the Yukon

We were up early packing our bags in readiness for the final leg of our holiday, a four day stay in Hawaii. We returned to LAX and parted with our Yukon hire car. Please GMC can this car be imported for sale in Australia?

Honolulu

We arrived in Honolulu late in the afternoon and picked up our hire car for our Hawaiian stay, a Chevrolet Suburban. This car was almost identical to the Yukon. Having picked up our hire car we drove the short distance to our accommodation.

Aqua Waikiki Pearl

Our accommodation for the next four days was the Aqua Waikiki Pearl. Whilst the website makes it seem that the accommodation is modern and fresh, the reality was much different as the accommodation looked tired and somewhat messy.

October 13

Island Circle

We purchased an app from GyPSy Guide for a few dollars with no great expectations. Bang for buck, it turned out that this was the best investment we made for the holiday.

We used the app’s “Island Circle” tour which took us all around Oahu. In between the points of interest the commentary provided insights into Hawaiian culture.

October 14

Boom Boom Sportsfishing

We had pre-booked a six hour fishing charter with Boom Boom Sportsfishing. On the drive to Waianae Harbour we experienced some serious inclement weather with weather warnings issued to residents to stay inside. We were apprehensive whether we should go on the charter or not.

The boat’s captain, Tony, assured us that all would be fine and that the weather at sea wouldn’t be an issue, so off we set. For 4 hours we didn’t hook a fish, then within an hour we’d caught three yellowfin tuna which weighed 110 pounds, 153 pounds and 154 pounds.

We stayed out way past our 6 hours, returning to the Waianae Harbour after almost 9 hours at sea. It was an amazing experience.

October 15

Beaches & Volcanoes

We used our GyPSy Guide app’s “Beaches &Volcanoes” tour and experienced points of interest which we not included in the “Island Circle” tour we went on a few days earlier.

October 16

Hawaii Gun Club

This was another “only in America” experience. The Hawaii Gun Club offers “specials” where you can fire a number of guns. We took the Super Course which allowed us to fire 7 guns.

October 17

Mahalo!

Mahalo” is a Hawaiian word meaning thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, or respects. This pretty well sums up our Hawaiian experiences.

Before we knew it, we had returned the hire car and were on our way home, our four week holiday was over.

 

Los Angeles (October 2013)

Posted Posted in Trips

This is the fifth leg of our four week holiday in the United States and Canada.

October 9

We bade farewell to San Diego and made the relatively short drive to Los Angeles and our accommodation for the next three days, The Beverly Garland Holiday Inn in North Hollywood.

Universal Studio’s Citywalk

Having settled into our accommodation, we took courtesy trolley bus to Universal Studio’s Citywalk and spent a leisurely few hours shopping before taking the courtesy trolley bus back to our accommodation.

October 10

American Riviera Tours

We had booked a private tour operated by American Riviera Tours for less than the cost of a bus tour.

Yuri, our guide, picked us up at 12 noon and visited all the “must see” locations in Los Angeles, returning us to our accommodation at 9.00pm.

Yuri was very knowledgeable in all thing “la-la” taking us to:

  • The Hollywood sign
  • Mullholland Drive
  • Griffith Park (and the Observatory)
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Grumman’s Chinese Theatre
  • The Dolby Theatre – home of the Oscars
  • Farmers Market – for a late lunch
  • Rodeo Drive
  • Beverley Hills
  • Malibu
  • Santa Monica Pier
  • Venice Beach

October 11

Warner Brothers Studios

We hadn’t planned anything for today following our long day yesterday, but on a whim we decided to visit Warner Brothers Studios.

We took the VIP Studio Tour. We were able to enter the studios where they film and produce The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Conan O’Brien Show , only because neither show films on a Friday.

San Diego (October 2013)

Posted Posted in Trips

This is the fourth leg of our four week holiday in the United States and Canada.

October 5

Road Trip

Today we drove 500 miles from Las Vegas to San Diego. We left Las Vegas driving on a five lane each way highway and arrived in San Diego also driving in on a five lane each way highway.

In between  the “narrowest” the highway became was two lanes each way. No where along the way was the road empty, and for most of the drive it was like driving continuously in peak hour traffic.

Barstow

We stopped for lunch in Barstow and tried our luck at the “skill” machine and were lucky to nab a Beats by Dr Dre headphone set.

San Diego

We arrived in San Diego at 4.00pm. Our accommodation for the next four nights was the Handlery Resort in Mission Valley. It was a surprise to find that we had a ground floor room.

October 6

Fashion Valley Mall

Today was somewhat of a rest day. We visited Fashion Valley Mall and had our first experience in an Apple Store and a Microsoft Shop.

Old Town San Diego

Late in the afternoon we visited Old Town San Diego. We bought what seemed like half  of the 16 different fudges available from Cousin’s Old Town Candy Shop. We enjoyed eating each one of them.

October 7

San Diego Waterfront

Today we went on the San Diego SEAL tour, a boat with wheels.

We spent over an hour on the water and half an hour on land.

USS Midway Museum

It isn’t until you get on board the USS Midway Museum that you get a real appreciation of the size of this ship, seeing all the various aircraft stored on board.

October 8

San Diego Zoo

Today we visited the San Diego Zoo. Who would have thought we would come all this way to see Giant Pandas when we could have seen them in Adelaide.

The zoo lives up to its hype. The enclosures are well presented and the viewing platforms are more than adequate. The cable car ride from the bottom to the top of the zoo provides a great view of the surrounding areas.

This would be our last day in San Diego.