Archive for June, 2010

The Olsen Hotel – South Yarra

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I treated myself to a stay in the beautiful Olsen Hotel on Chapel Street in South Yarra this weekend.   It is a part of the Art Series of hotels.   The artist in this case being John Olsen.   His works are on the walls everywhere throughout the hotel, even on the glass box that encases the bathrooms in the rooms.    This really is a cool hotel.  I have just finished writing a review for it on TripAdvisor (hence all these photos).   My room actually had a 5 person hot jacuzzi on the private terrace outside my room.  Pity it was so cold and rainy during my stay.  I didn’t get a chance to hop into it.   I also liked the fact that the hotel rents Smart Cars ($10 an hour or $55 a day) and borrows bikes to it’s guests.   The hotel also has a very nice gym, glass bottomed lap pool and a sun deck which would make you think you were in Miami…  in summer.

The lap pool with a partial glass bottom overlooking the recption area.

My private jacuzzi.   Covered over to keep it nice and hot.

My room.  A standard sized suite.

I love the LED lighting in the shower.

The hotel gym.  Mostly cardio equipment.   Very functional.

The sun deck.  This place is gonna be rocking on summer weekends.

Push bikes for guests to borrow.

The larger deluxe suite.  This is the room Chris stayed in.

The floor plan of level one.  The square boxes are the jacuzzis.

Ride to Work Day

Monday, June 14th, 2010

So my scooter finally got it’s first ride to work.   I waited till casual day (Friday) so I could ride my scooter to work in jeans.   I wouldn’t like to ride my scooter in my flimsy suit pants in case I come off.   Funnily enough that it took almost longer than the tram ride to get to the office.   I’m going to try riding it each Friday to the office…   save on tram fares etc.   And it’s nice to be getting out on the bike a bit more regularly.

Melbourne Bike Share

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I love that the RACV has gotten together with the Melbourne City Council to introduce our very own bike share arrangement around the city.   This is fantastic!   Soon there will be 50 stations around the city where you will be able to pick up and drop off bikes.  You can take a bike for up to 30 minutes before you are charged extra.  You play either $2.50 a day, $8 a week or $50 a year for the privelege.   I first spotted the idea in Barcelona last year.   In Barcelona there must be thousands of the bikes because everyone is riding them!    There will only be 600 initially in Melbourne.    It has been reported that the take up here has not been that great,  but this could be blamed on the fact that it is winter, we have had a lot of rain, and you must had a bike helmet with you to be able to ride the bikes….   or face a fine.   Well done Melbourne!   Another reason why I love this city!

Missing New York

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

It was a very quick and rushed trip to New York.  It seems that I never have enough time there to do everything that I would like to do.   I had a great time hanging out with my mate Jim there and running around Manhattan.   I included New York in this trip for what some would say was a bit of a silly reason.  I wanted one last ride on the Qantas 747 before they stop it’s service between LAX and JFK airports in July.   It will be replaced with a smaller A330 plane (a continuation service from New Zealand).   These 747s are getting quite old now and I would imagine that Qantas will start getting rid of them soon.   This was the last 747 service from LA to New York.   Sadly the crew operating this service were not a happy bunch.

Now that I am at home and back at work I am trying to work out how I can getting another long break to travel the world.   I have very few holidays left at work, so I may have to be a little creative.

The A380 Conclusion

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

After talking about it so much over the past year I thought I had better at least give you my thoughts after my first ride on the Qantas A380 Airbus from LAX to Melbourne (a 15 hour flight).   Forgive my greasy look above…  I had just flown over 5 hours from New York and was about to take on another 15 hours of flying to Australia.

I was on the newest A380 plane added to the Qantas fleet so it was very shiney and new.   And I’ve gotta say…  that thing is enormous inside!   I am actually sitting against the window in economy in the pic above and there is more space between the window and your shoulder.  So even though I had 2 people sitting alongside me I did not feel crowded.   The seats are quite comfy and the new large TV screens are great, clear and full of movies and TV shows to keep you entertained for many hours.

In the middle of the flight I staggered to the back of the plane looking for the toilets.   I asked the flight attendant if there were toilets at the back, and she said yes, just go past the curtain.   I lifted the curtain aside to find that there was even more plane back there!!!   I was only part way down the plane.   And this big beast takes 45 minutes to load.   About 15 minutes longer than the Boeing 747.

Overall it was nice ride.   It is a lot smoother taking off and landing, and definitely a lot quieter.   I would take the A380 anytime…  but make sure you get a window or aisle seat so you are not stuck in the middle.   The last shot below is a the view from the tail camera on my TV screen as we pulled back into Melbourne airport.   Home sweet home!

Working my Butt Off

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

Since getting back to work after the big trip back from New York I’ve started doing two jobs in the same company.   Initially I was going to be working half time on each job, but it now turns out that I am doing 1 and a half jobs.   So sadly I’m pretty busy at the moment and working very long hours.   I’m hoping to rectify this in the coming month.

So I’m still here.   I’m working in the Loft today so I’ll switch the camera on later so you can see me busy at work.  Not very exciting to watch…   but it will prove that I’m still alive!