"The most important covenant we prepare for is being sealed in the temple"

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Travel Tuesday: Australia Part 3

When I started off Travel Tuesday with Australia I didn't realize I was going to need to separate it into so many parts! That's okay though, keeps ya coming back ;) 

If you missed Part 2 Click Here

We had such a fun and adventurous 3rd day. We were invited to go Camel riding on the beach with the Finch family. The Beach we rode camels at was called Nelsons Bay, it was about an hour and a half from where we were staying!
We took a stop at this big open field next to this hospital called the Morisset Hospital which is actually a psychiatric hospital which is kind of creepy!
The Finches had to stop somewhere else so we went to this place on our own and apparently found the back way in, so we had some trouble finding it and I really had to go to the bathroom so we followed this sign that said bathroom and when we got there, there were chains and locks on the doors, and it was a creepy abandoned building. Not to mention there were all kinds of flys around it!
I felt pretty uneasy about being around there. We drove around the property a little bit more and finally found the place! There were only a few kangaroos, so we stayed for a short time and then decided we would come back on our way from the beach!

We ate lunch at a place close to Anna's Bay called LJS Cafe
Eric had fish and chips and I had chicken tenders or something of the sort! It wasn't too bad but we did wait a pretty long time for our food, they were busy during the lunch hour!

We got to the beach and immediately got on the Camels! It was pretty fun! The beach we were at was so hot though and when you walked on the sand you thought your feet were going to fall off!

We played at the beach for a little while and then started heading back and of course stopped at the kangaroos again! 

Aren't they adorable??? I am pretty sure the Kangaroos were my favorite part! They were so docile and chill! The babies were also super cute! 

When we got back to the house we changed and then decided to out to eat. The Finch family had a big mall next to their house that had tons of food, and we found this cute little Thai place called Thai Splendid (we were really feeling thai this trip apparently!) that we got to go and went back to the house and played some games with the kids. 
It was a fun filled exhausting but adventurous day! 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Travel Tuesday: Australia Part 2

If you missed Australia Part 1 click Here

The night we stayed in the hotel was pretty rough because we had extremely loud neighbors and the walls were so thin that we could hear everything they were saying and doing, pretty much word for word. I suppose that it what you get when you pick an inexpensive hotel! 
We were a lot more tired on Day 2 but we had things we wanted to do and so many things to see. 

The rental car company told us that our car wasn't going to be ready for pick up until later in the afternoon, but we made arrangements with them to let us pick it up earlier. 

It wasn't until we were on our way to pick up the rental car that we realized we were going to be there for two extra days! The reason we were going to be there for 2 extra days was because our good friends gave us buddy passes to fly there and back and the day we were originally going to fly back on was full!  When we asked the rental car company if we could extend the car 2 extra days they said it would be around $200 more, so we decided against it. 

TIP #3:Rental Car- We decided to rent a car with Jucy because it was by far the least expensive place we could find. It was only about $200 for 10 days! Which was a super great deal because if you are under 25 they typically will charge you a young drivers fee of about double what someone whose older then 25 would have to pay! If you are under 25, go with Jucy! 

 The only downside was that they were about 40 minutes away if you took the bus. However, we actually took an Uber (another reason to get a data sim)  from our hotel to the car rental place and it only took about 10 minutes. 
Our Uber driver was super nice! Much better then the Taxi experience and he gave us some good suggestions of where to go and what the locals like to do. 

When we arrived at Jucy the employee who took care of us was pretty annoyed that we had showed up early to get our car, even though we had previously talked to someone on the phone. He gave us our car anyway and we were off for our first adventure of the day! 

We parked somewhere downtown and we walked to ChinaTown! 
Eric used to go to ChinaTown on his p-days and they would go to this place called the dixie house which was a cute little food court of about 6-8 restaurants. They also has this little soda/treat shack and so we got these delicious smoothie/slushy type things! 
Eric got a strawberry mango flavor and I got a lychee flavor! 

The straws were so perfect!! They were super fat and you could drink the slushy with out it getting stuck in the straw! I wish I knew where to find big fat straws like this! 

For our lunch I got some kind of noodle plate and Eric got this sizzling plate that was steaming and of course sizzling when they brought it out! It was pretty fun! 

After lunch we were walking and saw this huge line of people at a little shack called Cream Puffs (or something of the sort!). The line was long so we thought it must be good and we got in line. When we got to the front you could see them hand making the puffs and they gave them to your fresh. I do have to admit they were pretty good! They were super sweet and tasted more like a mini cream filled donut. 

These were just some  funny statues outside a Karaoke party house! 

We did some more walking and we saw these bird EVERYWHERE! These are like the pigeons of Sydney! 

As we were walking we ran into a museum called The Maritime Museum and we went in! It turns out that a majority of the museum was FREE! So whoop whoop! We went and enjoyed the museum!

After the Museum we started to head back to our car. We walked through this cute little park that had water features. 

In the park they also had these bikes where you could plug your phone in and if you wanted to charge it you had to pedal to create electricity, it was pretty cool!

There was also a Santa Clause, cause Remember? It's christmas time! 
It is so trippy to see everyone wearing shorts, tshirts, and swimsuits at the end of December! 

They had pretty cool Drinking Fountains

We got to our car and as we were leaving the parking garage we had to pay $50!
$50?!?! We were only in downtown for about 3 hours... WHAT?!?! 

TIP #3: Parking- Don't ever park in downtown, it is much less expensive to go to a park and ride and ride the train into town! Parking in downtown is that much no matter where you park

We headed to Rouse Hill which was one of Eric's areas on his mission and we stayed with this sweet family the Finch's. They had dinner for us which was super nice, and the current missionaries in the area came for dinner as well! The Finches were in charge of their local EFY so they were really busy with meetings and other things, so it was extra sweet that they let us stay with them. 

They had a costco in Sydney, so we went to costco to see what kind of activity deals they had. They had quite a bit of packaged deals but what we really wanted to do was walk across the top of the harbor bridge which they didn't have. However we did get a huge box of chocolates that we could bring back and share with everyone! Cadbury Favorites to be exact, which you can't get in the U.S.

After Costco we headed to the Sydney LDS Temple to see the Christmas lights, which were ending the next day! There are only a select few temples worldwide that do Christmas lights so it was super great that we were able to go to the ones in Sydney! 

And that concludes Day 2 in Australia! 

Click Here for part 3! 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weekend Wednesday: 04/28 - 04/30

Things to Do in Arizona this weekend:
This information is also available here

  • Friday (04/28) Show and Shine Car Show @MCC Red Mountain Campus 3pm-8pm
  • Saturday (04/29) Superstition Concert Series @Superstition springs mall amphitheater. This week featuring Chuck E. Baby - Rock classics   
  • Saturday (04/29) Farm Stand at True Garden 9am-1pm produce available for purchase
  • Saturday (04/29) Mesa Festival Food Trucks @Pioneer Park 5:30pm-9pm
  • Sunday (04/30) International Jazz Day @Mesa Arts Center 4pm-9pm

For the Family
  • Family Friday (04/28) at the i.d.e.a Museum intended for kids 0-8 , special event for Child development week. 9am-3pm, Admission is $8 per person or free if you are  a member there. 
  • Friday (04/28) Saguaro Blossom Walk @Usary Pass 9am-10:30am $6 per car 
  • Saturday (04/29) Broadway Bound @ Mesa Community College. Admission: $10
  • Saturday&Sunday Zap Con @ Mesa Convention Center starts at 9am. Admission $20-40
  • Sunday (04/30) Dia del Nino @phoenix zoo family event featuring DJs, mariachi bands, folkloric dancers, clowns, face painting, crafts and activities - all with a festive Latin flare! 9am-4pm. Admission $14-20
  • Sunday (04/30) Caped Crusader and Everyday Heros @i.d.e.a. Museum. 9am-4pm Admission $8

For Adults
  • Friday (04/28) Music in the Garden @ Desert Botanical Garden door open 5:30pm concert starts at 7pm. Admission $25-30 This weeks performance by: J. White & the Collective 
  • Roars and Pours at the Phoenix Zoo (Sunday 04/30)-  Guests 21 and older can sip and stroll select Zoo trails while enjoying craft brews, wine and food. Plus, animal encounters, yard games, live music, entertainment and more! Admission is $10. Event hours are 5:30pm-8:30p,
  • Take Flight in a Historic Plane @Commemorative Air Force Airbase Arizona (Friday 04/28- Saturday 04/29) for more information click here
  • Of Mice and Men Play @Mesa Community College (Friday 04/28) to purchase tickets click here

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Travel Tuesday: Australia part 1

Welcome to the new addition to my blog, Travel Tuesday! Eric and I love traveling so you can check back every tuesday for traveling adventures! I will do a walk through of our vacations of things we did and things we wish we would have done!
I know a lot of you have been waiting for this post for a really long time, but because we had so much fun and there are so many things to write about, I will have to break it into parts!

Our More recent adventure took us to The Land down Under... Where you feel the ocean breeze, the sand between your toes, you see wild kangaroos, all different walks of life, and you immediately wish you had planned to stay for a whole month!

It was really important to us that one of the first places we went to out of the country was Australia because Sydney is where Eric served his mission from 2011-2013 and we wanted to make sure that we went back in enough time that all the people he taught would still remember him, and they certainly did!

We had everything ready to go, we had places to stay, a rental car, and we had been planning this trip for a long while, so we felt confident in our preparations!

We left late in the evening on Christmas day, with a long nonstop flight of 18 hours from L.A. We finally made it! The sights coming in to the Sydney airport were amazing!

As you can see from the picture, we were able to see the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge! 

The Pilot came on once we landed and announced:
"Welcome to Sydney Australia, the date is December 27th and the time is 8:47am"
 Eric looked at me and said.. "Is it only the 27th???" 
(trying to plan a vacation with the time difference thing is so confusing!) 
I laughed and said "Whats wrong??"
He gave a look that said this is going to be funny but not funny! 
"We are here a day earlier then I thought!"
Long story short, our rental car wasn't ready to be picked up till the next day and we didn't have a place to stay so we found a cheap hotel that we could stay in for the night! 
We were already so exhausted from the long night of travel that all this wasn't very funny at the time but we made the most out of it and it is a good story to tell! 
One of the other things we did when we got to the airport was get a temporary sim card so we could call people while we were in Australia, and also so that we had Data so we could look up directions and places to go! 

TIP #1:SAVINGS- It is worth it to buy a sim card with data on it if you are renting a car or anything else like that! We paid $30ASD which ended up being about $22USD because the exchange rate 
was about $0.76 on the $1 (amazing!). If you rent a car you can get a GPS but they charge you $8 a day and we were there for about 12 days so it was significantly less expensive to get a sim card with data! Before coming to Australia you need to call your phone company to unlock your phone so that they will accept an international sim card

We got in a taxi from the airport and we got this middle eastern man. He asked us where we were going and when we told him he gruffed and puffed because he had already circled that way 3 times that morning. It was a great first experience with the people in Australia! 

Once we got ourselves situated in a hotel we called some families that Eric taught while he was there and one of them invited us to go to the beach! We were so tired from all the travel but we couldn't turn down an adventure. After All this was Austrilia, no time for sleeping! 

Remember how we didn't have a rental car though?? How were we going to get there??
No problem!!  Public Transportation! 

The public transportation system in new south wales is AMAZING! 
You could probably get away without a rental car because it is so good.

In order to use the public transportation system you have to have something called an Opal Card! You can get an Opal card at most gas stations, which they call "Petrol Stations".
To use the Opal card you have to load it with a minimum of $10 and half that price for kids! Children Under 4 ride free!
For more information regarding the Opal Card click Here

We made it all the way to the beach from where we were in about 25 min! Which was super good! 
The Beach we went to on the first day was called Bronte! It was a super gorgeous beach( lets be real! non of the beaches in Australia are ugly or bad!) It has a pool along side it which is super nice if you have kids because they can play in the water and enjoy their time without you worrying about them getting dragged off into the ocean! Here are some pictures of the beach and a picture of us with one of the families! (no I am not pregnant) and yes that is grass on the upper part of the beach! 

Here is the first Australian Drink I tried while we were at the beach! This particular flavor tastes like cotton candy which is not something I prefer to drink so it wasn't my favorite but this brand of soda has a lot of other flavors that I really enjoyed! 

One of the first places in Australia that we ate was this place called Naji's Charcoal Chicken & Kebabs. We ate there because it was in walking distance of our hotel and Eric couldn't stop talking about the chicken and gravy fry's because he ate a lot of that on his mission! 
Oh and I can't forget the chicken salt they use! Chicken Salt is actually pretty tasty! 

After the beach we looked up things that were going on in downtown Sydney and we saw that there was a circus going on so we hurried on the train to get down there. We unfortunately missed the circus by just a few minutes but we were in downtown already so we decided to just walk around. Downtown Sydney is a great place for walking around because it is so beautiful and you can pretty much see the ocean from wherever you stand! 

We also walked around the Royal Botanical Gardens and they are absolutely gorgeous! 
The Garden is about 72 acres so we weren't able to see a big portion of it, but I would recommend renting bikes for the day so you can get around quicker and see more! 
We at one point during our trip tried to rent bikes but we couldn't find a place that would do it same day so make sure you plan that out before you go! 
We didn't take any pictures of the garden but here are some I found from google!

When it was about dinner time we took the train back to Arncliff which was where our Hotel was and we got dinner at place called Thai Fire Wok  and took it back to our hotel! Their Pad Thai was delicious! We then called it a night!