This year has gone past so quickly. And it’s all because of a small piece of paper I signed in January to buy a little apartment in Berlin. It all seemed so simple at the time. But later there was months of finding someone to renovate the apartment, working through the legal and tax issues, finally renovating and furnishing the apartment. Someday in the future I hope to spend more time there. But in the meantime I’m going to find a nice tenant to move in and pay some rent for a while. I just returned from spending a month there finalising the renovation. The place looks great and it’s in a really nice area close to all the shopping in west Berlin. I also bought a bike so I can scoot all over the city. It really is a fun city for cycling in.
At last I can almost realise my dream of never having to leave my city block. Fitness first is opening a massive new gym right on my block. I was up early this morning when I noticed that the workers were already inside getting the gym floors ready. I can’t wait to check it out. Also, I love the long hours they will open for. 5am on weekdays and also late nights. There won’t be any excuse not to go for a work out now.
So how to I write about the whole year in a single post? Well let’s see how far I get.
2013 was pretty much full of travels. And mostly in Europe and North America. 2013 started in the basement of a nightclub in Bucharest, Romania. It was the tail end of our trip to Hungary, Germany and Romania over the Christmas and New Year period. I’d like to say that Bucharest was a pretty place, but it wasn’t. Thought you didn’t have to travel too far away to see some beautiful sites. Hence our morning at the train station picking a train to take us up to Brasov.
The Bucharest Christmas markets were no where nearly as lavish as those in Hungary and Germany, but they still put on a lot of good food and entertainment.
The real surprise of that trip came during a long layover in Vienna. We took the opportunity to run in to town and take a look around. Even though there is not a lot of distance between Romania and Austria…. the level of wealth if quite obvious. The picture above is us standing in the old square in Vienna. Definitely a Must Visit Again place.
It was really nice to have a stop on the way home in Frankfurt to see our mates Ralf and Andi. Frankfurt is another beautiful city I could spend more time in. It feels a little more laid back than some of the other big cities I’ve been to.
So that trip ended in January 2013. I then worked and worked until the next vacation started in April. I took some weeks off to visit Palm Springs, Las Vegas and San Francisco. The exciting part of this trip was that James and James from New York and London were going to join us there, and we were going to drive from PS up to Vegas. It turned out to be a really fun trip.
The following photos are all taken in Palm Springs. Now one of my top 5 favourite places for a vacation. But you have to pick the time of year to go as the heat gets unbareable around July and August. Palm Springs this year seemed to be about swimming, driving, eating and shopping. This is the tiny plane flying us out to Palm Springs from LA.
I loved the road trip through the Mohave Desert to Las Vegas. I would like to do a lot more driving through the US. You never have to drive far before you see something interesting. And the towns are never spaced far apart.
But Vegas itself I could have bypassed. I wasn’t so interested in gambling or the giant hotels. I could have kept driving up to San Francisco. I’m probably not the target audience for the businesses in Las Vegas.
The last week was spent in San Francisco which was a real lot of fun. We were showing James around our favourite city. This was also the first time I’d stayed right down on Union Square.
Okay, so I’m going to have to do this in parts right? There’s just too much that happened this year to collect all in one post. I’m using the photos from the various trips to remind me of what happened.
I’m still here. I’ve just been busy… eating cheesecake.
Well it’s been a pretty busy year so far. I’ve been to Europe, spent Christmas in Berlin and NYE in Bucharest. And then in April I took off to Palm Springs, Las Vegas and San Francisco. I also spent 3 months in a limbo state where I thought I was getting laid off. But that didn’t eventuate and I’m still trundling off to work. There’s still so much I want to do on MelbourneLoft so I want to keep it alive for some projects I have coming up. It also serves as a nice place to go and look back at some of the crazy times we’ve had in Lofts 1 and 2. BTW…. can you believe it is 10 years this year since I moved here to Loft 2?
So I promise more updates. Even if it’s just photos of me getting fat on cheesecake.
I’m waiting on Tyson to build the new WordPress theme for MelbourneLoft. Then I can start posting the same format photos that I post on Facebook. Facebook has been killing MelbourneLoft a little for the past couple of years as I usually post all my pictures there for friends and family to see. But I’d like to continue posting update here as well. The site needs a good makeover. No more webcam image and no more tag board. It needs to be simplified… a lot!
Okay it’s been a while (2 months) since the trip to Thailand. I’ve been so busy since getting back to Australia that I haven’t had a chance to post much about it. The trip started on the Gold Coast with my family. We planned a long time ago to fly on the new carrier Scoot Airlines to Singapore and on ward to Bangkok. We were going to meet the rest of our family at Bangkok airport. Here my little brother and my dad are checking out the plane as it lands at Gold Coast airport.
Everyone enjoyed the trip, but agreed that they would rather take a direct flight in future on a full service carrier. Scoot was okay, but the service wasn’t as good as some other airlines. Here we all are sitting in the back rows after paying extra for forward row seats.
Singapore airport… Bangkok airport… my fellow travellers are getting very tired. We still have a 2 hour road trip ahead at the end of this to get down to Pattaya.
In Pattaya we stayed at the very glam Hilton hotel. The hotel actually seems a bit out of place in this beachside town. But we all enjoyed the beautiful rooms, the club lounge, the pool, the cocktails etc etc.
Pattaya itself is a bit of a fun and wild town. It’s not really the place to bring your parents, but mine seemed to have a good time. They really liked walking around the markets and hanging out around the hotel. My brothers and sisters liked going out to the bars and seeing the night life. I got a chance to head around the headland to see Jomtien Beach. I much preferred it over there where there were some nice resorts and it was much quieter.
One thing that I always enjoy in Thailand is the amazing food. There just aren’t enough meals in the day to get to try everything. The food, the cocktails, the juices, everything is delicious! I could go to Thailand just to eat!
Even my dad liked to try out new places.
I can tell that this is going to be a long post about the trip to Thailand so I think I will break it up over several posts.
When am I not planning for an overseas trip? To round off the year with my 4th overseas trip (I think it was 4), I’m heading to Europe in search of a white Christmas (again). Last year we only saw light snow flurries in Budapest. So this year the the plan is to hit up Budapest – Berlin – Bucharest. And hopefully we’ll see some good dumps of snow while we are away. On this trip I have booked apartments instead of hotel rooms for most of our stays. It will be nice to be able to cook our own food and wash clothes as we travel. I’m VERY excited about going back to Budapest. That city is beautiful! And we will be in Berlin for Christmas again where we will meet up with some of our other friends from Melbourne. I’m not looking forward to the 31 hours of flights to get to Budapest though. That’s a killer!
My Oneworld plane collection so far…
I’m finally back from Thailand! Okay, so I ended up staying on an extra 2 weeks after the family left. It gave me a chance to spend more time in Bangkok and try out working remotely from overseas. I’ve got tonnes of photos and stories. So I’ll just make this post short and sweet. Here’s a shot of the Scoot Airlines plane parked at the Gold Coast airport in Queensland. It’s the latest low cost carrier airline to fly between Australia and Asia. All 6 of us travelled to Bangkok and back for around $1200. Pretty good huh!
I’m in the middle of organising my family’s trip to Thailand next week. The small troupe of 4 people has now grown to 9. It seems that no one wants to miss out on this one after we all had such a fun time there last year. This year we are visiting the wild town of Pattaya followed by a few days in Bangkok, one of my top 5 cities in the world. There’s a strange serenity that I like in the big crazy city of Bangkok. It’s always a nice experience visiting there. Here’s are my mum and sisters squeezing in to the back of a taxi cab during last year’s visit.
We’ve had a little makeover this weekend to improve the office space in the loft. The place had become really messy since we brought in all the furniture from the other apartment. So during the week the old blue couches were donated to one of the charity shops to make some more space. And on Saturday we went and bought some new chairs and desks. The new space looks great! Here’s a few pics.