Cane Toad Racing

Cane Toad Racing in Port Douglas, Australia…

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Australia Part 1:Port Douglas

Happy Thanksgiving! We will be celebrating Thanksgiving this coming weekend with friends coming over for a feast. I’ll share more on that this weekend!

We spent last week in Australia and had the most amazing time. It was a dream come true to take this vacation.  In the coming weeks I will be sharing about all of our vacation as we spent some time in different places. This post will be about our first three days in Port Douglas. I will share what we did on each day and at the bottom of  the post will be details about where we stayed, ate, etc. Just a warning, these will be pretty long posts!

Here is a map of where Port Douglas is located.

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Leaving Friday after Taylor finished working, we took an overnight flight from Singapore to Cairns(layover in Sydney.) Then rented a car for an hour drive north to Port Douglas on Saturday afternoon. The drive was beautiful and reminded us of Hawaii in many ways.

The Drive

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The first day we got there we had lunch, explored and spent some time relaxing on the beach. It was stinger season, so you could only safely swim in the netted off portion of the water.

Four Mile Beach

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On Sunday we woke early and quickly headed to breakfast to get our day started. We wanted to get to the weekend market that was put on in town. It was HUGE! Vendors sold many different things from food, candles, soap and jewelry. I purchased some jewelry, a wooden bowl, and a table runner.

Port Douglas Market

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IMG_4564After the market we drove about 30 minutes north to the Daintree rainforest. It is one of the oldest surving rainforest and is also a  world heritage site. We visited the Mossman Gorge area and hiked around for about two hours. We saw some amazing wildlife, interesting plants and trees, and many waterways.

Daintree Rainforest-Mossman Gorge

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Sunday afternoon was spent  relaxing on the beach.

We had a very entertaining dinner at  Iron Bar that evening. After our meal the restaurant/bar held toad races. Lucky audience members were picked to join the frogs. Guess who was a lucky audience member and called first? This girl. I had to hold the frog for a really long time, it felt gross, was wiggly and may have escaped a few times while I was waiting for the event. The whole race was pretty silly as we had to release the frogs and they jumped for a bit then we had to catch them and put them in the bucket. Needless to say I didn’t win, but I wasn’t last. It was an interesting experience!

Iron Bar-Toad Races

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Monday was by far one the days that we were truly looking forward to on this vacation. We went scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.  We boarded the boat Calypso for the day. We have not had scuba diving experience before, but were still able to dive as introductory divers. Since we were introductory divers we could only dive to 12 meters, but that was plenty.  It is an experience that I can not even put into words. We participated in two dives near the Chinaman Reef and at the third we just snorkeled. The reef was amazing and our pictures do not do the beauty of what we saw justice. We were using an underwater camera, most of our pictures have a blue hue. We took over 200 pictures, I’ll only be sharing a few now, but if you’d like to see more I can share later.  The reef was so colorful and full of life. If you ever have the opportunity to dive or snorkel at the Great Barrier Reef, please do it!

The Great Barrier Reef

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The rest of our Monday, we spent relaxing and having a nice dinner.

We stayed at the Martinique on the Macrossan in a little apartment. It was a super convenient location as we were close to the beach and to the town.

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In case your ever visiting Port Douglas here are the details of restaurants we ate at along the way!

Port Douglas:Rattle and Rum(Lunch and Dinner),Iron Bar(Dinner),High Tide(Breakfast), Wrapped Up(Lunch),Java(Breakfast),Zinc(Dinner)

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Lastly, there was a little pond at the place we stayed. I had fun taking pictures of a little friend I found there.

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Next week I’ll post about our adventure in Hunter Valley!

Singapore Signs: Part One

This is going to be an on going post of signs that we see around Singapore. Some are interesting, some are funny, some I have no idea what they mean, some have grammatical issues, but hopefully they will be entertaining to you!

Don’t Feed the Monkeys!

IMG_9632 No Durians on the Bus!2013-10-07 17.08.27Durians are the smelliest fruit that I have ever smelled. I haven’t tried to taste it yet, but people do eat them. The jury is still out if I give it a try.  I relate the smell to a boys locker room during football season. So gross! I’m pretty sure there is a fine if you bring them on public transportation. Yikes!

From the  MRT

photo (68)Clearly, 2% of the population doesn’t want to wait inline or in the “cue”! Also, penguins in Singapore?

Handlebars

IMG_0012We both laughed when we saw this sign when we were driving to dinner.

Beware!

photo (67)This is a sign posted outside at Taylor’s office!

Bathroom

imagePosted at Taylor’s work!

 

A Visit to the Istana

Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Istana here in Singapore. The Istana is the official residence and office of the Singapore President and the office of the Prime Minister. It’s also a white house and a resemblance to the architecture of our White House. The British sure did have some influence! The Istana is only open for tours on public holidays. Last weekend was Deepavali, so I took the opportunity to explore with a  friend. We were able to take the tour of the grounds for an entry fee of $1 and then decided to splurge for the $10 tour of the Istana for some more in-depth information. Unfortunately pictures were not allowed inside the Istana. It was very formal and many of the interesting “gifts” from other countries were displayed. Most of this weeks’s pictures are from the lovely outdoor gardens. Enjoy!

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Pond PicturesIMG_4376IMG_4377 IMG_4381 IMG_4383 IMG_4387 Statue of the QueenIMG_4374 IMG_4373 Garden PicturesIMG_4368 IMG_4367 IMG_4366 IMG_4365

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Tiong Bahru Photography Tour

 

With my goals of becoming a better photographer and experiencing as as I can while living in Singapore I have found a perfect group to help me meet these goal, the AWA Photography group. Each month the group sponsors a walking tour some place around the city to practice your photography skills. This was my first time attending as I missed out on previous outing because of travel. It was a great experience and way to connect with other ladies. I will be attending more events in the future!

This tour was to the neighborhood of Tiong Bahru. It is one of the oldest housing estates in Singapore and has some interesting architectural pieces in its buildings. The neighborhood was designed with some modern elements(art deco), but also keeping with the straits design with the shop houses. The Tiong Bahru is a very recognized area in Singapore. It has the wonderful wet market, many restaurants, and new bakeries. Enjoy the pictures!

A View of Tiong Bahru from the 32nd floor of a HBD

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Low Rise Buildings

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The Busy MarketIMG_4244

IMG_4261 IMG_4277 IMG_4279 IMG_4282 Qi Tian Gong Temple, Dedicated to the Monkey GodIMG_4298IMG_4293IMG_4300