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Santa Monica & The California Coast

Where an amusement park meets the ocean, Santa Monica is simply paradise. With wide beaches, extending as far as you can see, waves breaking on the shore and an amusement park on the edge of the pier, what's not to love! We rented bikes for our day at the beach and rode from Santa Monica Pier down to Venice Beach and back again. It's such a good ride, and a really good way to experience life in Santa Monica! It was one of our last days in America before we made the 20 hour journey back home to Australia, and it was the perfect way to relax, unwind, and appreciate the great adventure we had just been on! 

The VIP Tour Of Warner Bros. Studios

One of the reasons I was the most excited to visit LA was to take a tour of Warner Bros. Studios. Home to many of my favourite TV shows, as well as countless hit movies, I couldn't wait to see where the magic happened! We took a VIP Tour of the studios which included: a walk through two different TV show soundstages (we got to walk through The Mentalist and Conan), driving through the backlots and exterior sets, a tour of the WB prop department, access to The Archive - which includes two floors of memorabilia including authentic props and costumes from the Batman and Harry Potter films, a tour of the Picture Car Vault - currently transformed in the Batcave, you can see all the incredible Batmobiles, and finally a visit to the infamous Friends set of Central Perk. 

A Very Unofficial Guide To Disneyland

The happiest place on Earth does not disappoint. Disneyland is truly one of the happiest places I have ever spent the day, with laughing kids, happy characters and smiling faces everywhere you look. We spent the whole day at the Disneyland complex, hopping back and forth between Disneyland Park and Disney's California Adventure Park. I think we arrived at about 9am and didn't leave until about 11pm! It was a massive full on day, and I can completely understand now why people buy a two or three day pass to see everything Disneyland has to offer! 

Here is my very unofficial guide to spending the day at Disneyland - purely based on how we spent our day. I honestly think every single person that spends the day at Disneyland would have a different experience, based on how many different attractions, worlds, rides and dining options exist in the park! If you're heading to Disneyland make sure you check out their website first to make a list of things you don't want to miss!

The Home of Melbourne Street Art

It's no secret that Melbourne is known for it's unique, quirky street art. You can find it all over the city, really interesting dynamic graphics all over the place. Hosier Lane is definitely one of the best places in Melbourne to really get a feel for Melbourne's street art culture. Located off Flinders Street between Swanston and Russell Street, the bluestone cobbled laneway has become a celebrated landmark in Melbourne due to it's sophisticated urban art. 

A Winters Day In Melbourne

Melbourne can be particularly cold in winter. Okay, I'm being nice. I positively freeze in winter. I am not really a massive fan of the cold, wind and rain, and often Melbourne's winters can feel like they go f o r e v e r. Especially compared to the rest of our beautiful warm country who don't suffer nearly as much of a cold spell. However, it often likes to surprise us! And in the same way we can go through four seasons in one day, we do sometimes get some absolutely beautiful winter days. A few weekends ago the sun decided to show her beautiful face in Melbourne, so I thought I would take advantage of the weather and take a stroll around the city! It was still freezing, but such a lovely day to enjoy my home city!

Flying Over The Grand Canyon

Las Vegas was my first time in a helicopter. I was so excited, not only was it my first time in a helicopter, but we were also going to fly over the Grand Canyon. There is endless beautiful scenery from a helicopter. The Grand Canyon stretches for miles and is nothing short of amazing. Next time I'm in USA I'm definitely renting a car and spending a few days in this beautiful area! 

We were picked up from our hotel and driven out to Boulder City Airport where our flight would depart. Flying with Papillon was a breeze, they made the whole situation so easy and exciting. We had a great pilot, who knew a lot about the Grand Canyon and the surrounding areas as well as Las Vegas. He had some fantastic stories to share about his flying experiences. The only thing getting in my way on this adventure was that I was still unwell. And unfortunately, the extremely small cabin of the helicopter, paired with my middle seat, really exaggerated my claustrophobia and motion sickness. So I spent most of the flight concentrating on being okay, and not concentrating on taking photos which I really regret. Although there aren't nearly enough, here is just a snapshot of the views of The Grand Canyon from the sky.

How To Choose Your Travel Destination

The first decision is already made - you're going to travel. The next decision can often be much harder, where should you go? There is literally an endless amount of possibilities! You can road trip around Australia, wine taste through countries across Europe, safari through the plains of Africa, backpack through South America or eat your way across Asia. You can go wherever your heart desires. If you're struggling to decide though, here is my only advice... 


Ideas For Day Activities In Las Vegas

There is always so much going on in Vegas. While the Strip may look nice and peaceful, there are countless shows, parties and exhibits happening deep in those hotels! I really liked walking around Vegas because it let us stumble upon things we wouldn't have found otherwise. We came across a silent disco in a side alley, an amazing Japanese restaurant in the Venetian Hotel called Sushi Samba,and more showgirls than I could count. Las Vegas isn't just about the nightlife (although that is the main idea). Here are some ideas of day activities around the Strip.

A Guide To Las Vegas Hotels

The Las Vegas Strip. Three and a half miles long with endless entertainment, dining and adventure opportunities. Every hotel along the strip has something different to offer, and each hotel is almost like it's own little village. You could easily get lost just exploring your own hotel! But what fun is that, let's get out and explore all the hotels! There's a hotel on the strip for every type of budget. Here is a quick guide to some of the main hotels along the Las Vegas Strip (and my favourites) in no particular order. Above image by James Brandon.

The Secret Garden of Siegfried & Roy

Every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has it's secrets and in my opinion, The Mirage Hotel's is the best of them all! Deep in the hotel you can find Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat! A beautiful little oasis focused on scientific research, conservation and education. 

The Secret Garden includes a whole range of big cats  including white tigers, white lions, golden tigers, leopards, black panthers and regular lions. While we were in Vegas the Secret Garden also had a new family of baby white lions! They were so beautiful and playful, jumping around with each other and their trainer, who they seemed to absolutely love! As with all animal sanctuaries, different animals are display at different times of the day to give them a rest, so we didn't get to see them all. Good to keep in mind too that they're all big cats - which means they also sleep for most of the day!

MGM Grand Las Vegas Review

The only way to describe the MGM Grand is exceptional. Boasting a massive 5,044 guest rooms the MGM Grand is the largest hotel resort complex in the United States, and the second largest hotel in the world. WOW. No wonder it took us 10 minutes to walk from our hotel room to the street every morning! I mean, the MGM Grand is 30 floors high and includes five outdoor pools, rivers and waterfalls that cover 6.6 acres. WHAT? That is just crazy.

6 Ways To Pass Time On A Layover

Let's all be honest, most of the time layovers just aren't that fun! You're probably in the middle of two long haul flights, you might be tired and jet lagged, you've already checked all your luggage and for some reason your flight has been hit with an extra three hour delay. It makes you want to pull your hair out, right?! This was our situation flying from Cancun to Orlando. We had an three hour layover in Dallas that got pushed out to almost eight hours. Even though these weren't long haul flights, we were on a tight schedule, only spending a few nights in each city, which meant we had potentially lost a whole day that we could have spent exploring! If you're stuck at an airport here are some ways to pass the time.. 

The Balearia Bahamas Express

When I found the Balearia Bahamas Express I felt like all my Christmas' had come at once. For only about $110 each we could day trip to the Bahamas from Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Yes please! Advertised as a two hour boat ride from Fort Lauderdale to Grand Bahama Island, I couldn't grab tickets fast enough!  Unfortunately, in my excitement to visit the Bahamas I had neglected to factor in the travel time correctly. Due to the Bahamas technically being international from Miami, it required the same amount of 'processing' and customs time that it does to travel internationally by air. Which meant a lot of our time this particular day was spent on the boat and in customs, and not enough time was spent in the Bahamas - only about 6 hours actually. 

Life in The Bahamas

We only had about 6 hours in the Bahamas. Just a quick day trip to drop by and see some of the Caribbean's beautiful island life. We arrived via the Balearia Bahamas Express and jumped straight onto a transfer bus who took us to Port Lucaya. Port Lucaya was a beautiful colourful little town, whose shops and buildings were pink, blue, yellow and green, and had vibrant market scenes. The marketplace at Port Lucaya includes about 70 boutique shops, lots of traditional and western dining options and even a massive refurbished casino. 

How To Survive Being Sick While Travelling

It's the worst feeling isn't it. You've been struck down by some kind of illness while you're overseas. Whether it's a bad cold or a 24-hour type bug, it's never fun being sick when you're travelling! Thom and I got really sick while we were in Miami and it continued all the way through our time in Vegas as well! It was some kind of horrible cold that left us with high temperatures, no appetite, completely exhausted and a horrible dizzy feeling if we did too much too fast. But as I'm sure you can guess, I did not want to take it easy when we had such a short time to explore! Here are some of my survival tips if you get sick overseas.

Drink plenty of water 

So basic, but detrimental to your recovery. Drinking water helps to flush out all the bad toxins and rehydrate your body. Drink as much water as you can, and very little of anything else to be honest, to make sure your body has enough fluids to recover quickly. Drinking water has been proven to help headaches, muscle pain, upset stomachs and heatstroke among other things, and lets be honest - drinking a few extra litres of water is definitely not going to be bad for you! 

Listen to your body 

It's important to listen to what your body is telling you in order to recover quickly. If you have a high temperature try not to be out in the sun making your body warmer. If you're incredibly dizzy, maybe don't do any activities that include heights. If you refuse to actually stop and rest, try and listen to what your body is telling you and at least take it easy! 

Go to bed a little earlier and sleep whenever you can 

Getting a good night's sleep is always good for you. Going to bed just a couple of hours earlier than normal while you're sick can result in you getting better a lot faster! Another good option is letting yourself have little naps whenever you can. If you're going on a day trip why not sleep on the bus! I was really sick in Vegas, and due to the desert heat and my temperature I needed a nap every afternoon. I was just exhausted! Those naps definitely gave me a little bit more energy to do something in the afternoons and evenings so that I didn't completely lose the whole day. 


If you're in a relaxing location and you're not as crazy as me, take advantage of your surroundings and relax! Give your body a break from moving all the time and a chance to heal itself by spending a few days relaxing and going to a slower pace. 

See a doctor 

If you still feel horrible after a few days and you're not getting better you should probably go and see a doctor. This is where travel insurance comes in really handy. Get your symptoms checked out by a professional, just to make sure that you don't need antibiotics or some more serious medications!

Image from tumblr.

SBH Hotel Review, Miami Beach

South Beach Hotel (SBH) was in the perfect location for our time in Miami. It was only one block away from South Beach and a short walking distance from the main strip of restaurants, cafes and shops. In all honesty, my budget for Miami accommodation was quite low. We were only here for a few nights and didn't want to blow all our money on a place just to sleep. At $179 a night, SBH provided us a cheaper alternative to the beach front hotels, while still being in an awesome location!

We stayed in a Standard King room, which included one of the biggest beds I have ever slept in, as well as a massive flat screen TV, beautifully modern bathroom and more amenities than I could even think of! The room was so chic and modern, it was like we were sleeping in a work of art! I am quite disappointed now that I didn't take a photo of inside the room. it was honestly beautiful. 

The hotel had complimentary wifi which was so helpful and so speedy. Our room also included free local calls, which came in super handy as we kept extending our car hire! The staff were lovely and helpful, offering us tips on parking and driving around Miami and helping out when I accidentally deactivated our room key! We hadn't expected to have a car in Miami, so we hadn't booked accommodation with parking in mind. SBH does have valet parking, but like anywhere, valet is quite expensive. As an alternative, there is street parking right out the front of the hotel and in the surrounding streets which was handy. However it does have time restrictions and as the hotel staff warned us, there are parking inspectors around all the time! We ended up with two fines (one at 4am, who would have thought parking inspectors would be around at that time!), but luckily they were super cheap compared to Australian parking fines - only about $23 each. 

The only thing to keep in mind is that the complimentary breakfast and the pool are not located on the property - with breakfast being offered at a local cafe and pool access located on a sister property of SBH. Overall though, we were really happy with our stay at SBH. By far the most modern hotel I have ever stayed in! 

SBH South Beach Hotel
236 21st Street, Miami Beach 
Florida, 33139