Sunday, June 17, 2018

Clare and Gaga's Adventure Day

OK I've decided to get back into my Adventure Days in my hometown. This week it happened to be a day where I shared it with my eldest grandchild Clare. We just happened to park the car next to a skate park and enjoyed watching the kids and adults practice their skills.

After lunch at Southbank it was time for what has become our little ritual, we headed to Walker Donuts for a little bit of decadence. 
Mmmmmm Walkers Donuts
We decided we would head to a couple of the laneways that are well known for the street art or graffiti in Melbourne CBD. As we walked up Flinders street we decided to go into St. Paul's Cathedral and view the magnificence of this beautiful building. This cathedral's design is English Gothic and was completed in 1891 although the spires were built to a different design between 1926 and 1932. 
St Paul's Cathedral
Next stop was Hosier Lane where we were entertained by a few artists creating their art. Clare loves looking at any art and was totally intrigued watching a couple of young adults create some ordinary and some amazing pieces of work. One young artist asked Clare what her name was and proceeded to climb up high and sprayed her name on the wall. Clare felt very happy that her name was on the wall and up high so it wasn't going to be painted over straights away.

Clare's been graffitied

Oh how sweet

Our last stop on our long day was ACDC Lane, named after the world famous Aussie band. The laneway is well known for some amazing pieces of art such as Jimmy Hendrix and a spectacular escaping sculpture of the late AC/DC lead singer Bon Scott. 

Jimi Hendrix

Bon Scott
Even though we were both pretty tired after our big day we certainly did have fun. 

After a big day they view back on the city was nice

Friday, June 15, 2018

Colourful La Boca, Empanadas and Tango

While on our tour of Buenos Aires city area I was excited to visit another of my bucket list items, the vibrant neighbourhood or barrio of La Boca. Situated on the Matanza-Riachuelo River La Boca is known for its colourful houses and zinc shacks, it's tango and of course, because we're in Argentina, it's football/soccer team, Boca Juniors. The actual touristy area is only a few blocks long, but outside this area it is a fairly poor working class area that has a fairly high crime rate.
I was mighty happy to check La Boca off my bucket list

Vibrant walls of Conventillo Historico de 1881

The vibrant colourful buildings were amazing
Since 2016 La Boca citizens has been threatened by the pollution of the Matanza-Riachuelo River as it said to contain high levels of arsenic and lead due to centuries of unstopped pollution. But as I stood looking out over the river I was comforted to see cleaning of any litter in the water being cleaned up.
The La Boca dock area of the Matanza-Riachuelo River
On the front of one of the colourful La Boca buildings is a quirky piece of art in honour of three well loved people by the Argentinians. Maradona for his football skills, Eva Peron for her gift to the people and Carlos Gardel a singer, songwriter and prominent figure in the history of Tango.

A quirky piece of art as a tribute to Maradona, Eva Peron and Carlos Gardel

After an afternoon recuperation nap, I was all set to head out to dinner and a Tango Show at El Querandi. Wow Wow Wow, what a great night it was. The Tango Show was fantastic. The band, the dancers and singers were absolutely amazing. There is so much emotion in the Tango - Love, Violence, Anger, Sensuality, Pain and so much more.

Tango is a partner dance which originated in the 1800's along the River Plate (Rio de Plata), the natural border between Argentina and Uruguay. The El Querandi Tango Show was a depiction of the history and evolvement of Tango. .

Sunday, June 10, 2018

My South America Adventure - La Recoleta Cemetery

I cannot believe I haven't posted on my blog since January 30th!! It's not as if I've been quiet, I just haven't got around to it. I have recently returned home to Australia from my holiday of a lifetime to South America. I was away for three and a half weeks and I went to Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Chile. I did a tour with  Chimu Adventures /Viva Expeditions and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. Our group consisted of eight people and we all got on really well. Our guide, Mel, who was amazing, was an Aussie but she lives in Ecuador, so it was very helpful with her speaking fluent Spanish, then in each location we had a local guide. From Australia I flew to Santiago for about a 4 hour layover then it was across the Andes to Buenos Aires. Flying over the Andes was mighty spectacular.
Flying over the Andes was certainly a special experience
I've started working on a photobook of my adventure - it could end up quite a big book. So as I come across various locations, I thought I would share them with you. One of our first attractions to visit was La Recoleta Cemetery, which is situated in the heart of Buenos Aires. I must say I do love heading to old cemeteries, but for some reason I wasn't that excited to go to La Recoleta. That was until I got there - WoW it was totally amazing. Built in the early 1800's the cemetery houses mostly the wealthy such as Presidents and Nobel Prize winners but is probably most famous for housing the body of Eva Peron, the First Lady of Argentina. Loved and respected for her fight for women and improving the lives of the poor. Eva Peron was born in 1919 and she died in 1952, so it is a mystery to me why the plaques on her grave all say different later dates. I guess I wasn't listening to our guide Pepe while he was telling us.
There are several plaques for Eva Peron, but all have different dates. 

If only I could read Spanish
An interesting fact is that the bodies are not actually buried, they are put into coffins and literally stacked on shelves, below and above ground level, with no dirt surrounding them. A lot of the coffins are put inside a second coffin to prevent smell and hygiene I guess. So whole families can be buried in the same structure. It was quite fascinating walking through what could have been a small city with it's tree lined streets and laneways.
As we entered La Recoleta Cemetery we were instantly greeting by
hundreds of elaborate marble mausoleums
It was intriguing wandering down the tiny laneways

Hopefully you can make out how the coffins are stacked behind my reflection
As we came out of the cemetery we were greeted by the biggest Rubber Tree or Ficus elastica, I have ever or am ever likely to see in my life. Said to be over 200 years old it spreads some 50 metres across.
One enormous Rubber tree

A piece of quirky are of a man holding one of the enormous branches
 that spread out over the plaza 

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Perfect January

My January has consisted of a lot of wonderful family ADVENTURES.

My first adventure was to spend some very special time with my granddaughters Clare and Mikayla. I wanted to have a special day which each girl, totally on their own. It was their choice what we did, what we ate and where we went. First up it was 6 year old Clare to have an adventure.
First up it was Clare and Gaga's adventure day
For dinner her request was for Mexican. Easy done seeing that my favourite food too.
Clare loves Mexican and loved decorating the table for dinner -
NO that's not her beer!!
The following morning we travelled into the city as she wanted to go to an art gallery. At the moment she wants to be an artist when she grows up.
Clare was pretty excited about seeing the water wall at the gallery's entrance.

I was pretty excited about seeing this amazing 14 metre long reclining Buddha.
Clare was a bit surprised about all the naked figures surrounding the Buddha,
 me too actually. 

Mmmmm a room full of skulls, 100 skulls actually- very interesting
After our inspirational time at the National Gallery of Victoria we headed into the city for lunch and and a stroll through the Graffiti filled Melbourne laneways. But first it was time to stop for a yummy donut.
Seeing Clares surname is Walker we just had to get a donut from Walkers Donuts!
The next day it was 4 year old Mikayla's turn to have an adventure day with me. Her choice for dinner was Spaghetti Bolognese, with is also up with my favourites.
Time for Mikayla and Gaga to have their adventure
At first she couldn't decide how she wanted to spend her day but finally it was the beach she wanted to visit.Our first stop for the day was Luna Park, we both had fun checking everything out, we especially got a lot of laughs out of the mirrors that made us look funny.
She was pretty excited
The crazy mirrors certainly had us laughing
After lunch it was time for the beach and a playground. Mikayla was pretty happy to finally be at the beach.
One excited little girl
The playground we went to was right on the beach so we didn't have far to go.

The playground was a great place to have fun and stay out of the sun a bit
We finished our adventure off with an ice cream and it was time to head home.

Mmmm Ice-cream time
Next up was my week long adventure with my son Shane, his wife Stacey and my three gorgeous grandsons (O'Shea, Finn and Louis) visiting for a week.
First up we had a day at Brickvention, a Lego fan convention. We travelled into the city by train which was a bit of excitement for the O'Shea and Finn.
It's great experiencing a train journey through kids eyes
Louis didn't mind having a train trip either
The Lego Convention was held at the beautiful Old Exhibition Buildings in Melbourne.

The stunning Old Exhibition Buildings

This shot was taken as we walked in the door.
Within seconds of turning around the boys were overwhelmed by the amazingness 
 Some of the exhibits that had been made were huge and absolutely amazing.
Just one of the amazing Lego structures, totally amazing
Oh and a day's adventure just has to be topped off with popcorn and fairy floss!!
We had our second Christmas Day with both my children (Shane and Rachel) their spouses (Luke and Stacey) and my six adorable grandchildren.
Oh what a cherished moment this was.
I am the luckiest person alive.

Stacey and Rachel were kept busy most of the day.

Next was Papa's turn. The tiny people are starting to get restless. 
The week was full of mini adventures, among them was a day at the beach.
A fun family day at the beach
Clare, O'Shea, Finn and Mikayla also participated in a basketball clinic, although it seemed more like a relay of who could have a bit of a sook. But by the end of the session they all said they had fun.
At last they were all having fun - it took a while!
Little Louis and Lily didn't participate in much, they just layer around and looked adorable.

Oooh aren't our two new family members adorable
Then to finish of the week Clare and O'Shea lost their first baby tooth on the same day. They certainly were pretty excited about having the tooth fairy visit.
First one out Clare.....

......closely followed by O'Shea
I finished my month of with a couple of hours with beautiful Lily and I have also started a Detox in preparation for my trip of a lifetime to South America in May this year.

What a cutie Lily is.
Louis and his Lulla doll sleeping peacefully
Oh and what do you eat the night before you start your Detox? That would be Mexican of course!!

Yumm Nachos and a good old Cascade

Yes a very tasty meal indeed

Detox here I come !!
What an exhausting but totally satisfying and FUN month of ADVENTURES I have had. Thank January you were just perfect. I wonder what February will bring me.