Sunday 18 August 2013

Holiday Snaps........

Hi Bloggers.

My blogging friends may have noticed it's been a bit quiet around here but the boss and I escaped for a few weeks to visit family in the UK.   Although we try to travel back every couple of years it's been 3 years this time,because of our move from Sydney just over a year ago.

So this was our first 'long' trip since we left Sydney, which meant an extra 'positioning' flight from our local regional airport.  As we plan a bit of overseas travel (in the not too distant future) we were keen to see how things would play out.  Do we just connect through or do we make a visit to Sydney to break the journey, as part of our trip.......that kind of thing.   

Once we arrived at Sydney Domestic we had to transfer to the International terminal, do a little duty free shopping, (we bought an ipad) and have something to eat.  We were there a couple of hours before boarding our flight to London via Singapore (for fuel).  In London we changed terminals and boarded a flight to Amsterdam! 

I think all up it took us just over 30 hours before we met up with Ian's sister and her husband and checked into our hotel.  Too long......I think we both agreed, next time we would break the journey. Even having better seating for the long flight, it's too much in one go, especially when you have just 3 days to enjoy all that Amsterdam has to offer.

You can't visit Amsterdam without a Canal cruise to enjoy both the city and the boats people call home. Boats of all shapes and sizes with their pretty potted gardens, deck chairs etc.  such an interesting part of the city.
 Cafes brimming with people, locals and tourists alike.......but beware of the bicycles..........I've never seen so many, or such clever ones with seats for the kids and big boxes for carrying the weeks groceries or a small piece of furniture!

The tall slender houses with their pretty gables built along the canals with foundations on 'piles' metres below each one.   I took so many pictures of these pretty dwellings.....What would it be like to live in one I wonder.  We also saw the other side of Amsterdam with the red light area and 'smoking' cafes.....To each his own.

Back to London where we pick up a hire car and drive to my Mum's place in Evesham, on the edge of the beautiful Cotswold's.  The countryside looks a bit dry after the long hot spell but still beautiful with it's patchwork of fields and pretty villages with Cotswold stone buildings and hanging baskets full of flowers..........beautiful!.  We enjoyed day trips out and about the area, Cheltenham, Stratford, Oxford. 
Pub lunches, shopping in some of our old favourites.  Three of my brothers came up to visit with a couple of our Nephews and we also caught up with other family in the area which is always nice.

The Almonry, Evesham 

We took so many pictures during our time in England, these next were in Oxford.

 The Oxford Bridge of Sighs.

The Bodleian Library.

Fabulous buildings, pretty gardens and so much to take in, we're going back next time......I want to take a punt out on the river :)

Time to leave which is always hard......but we managed to sort out a few things for Mum and left knowing she was happy and probably, if truth be known, glad to be able to get back into her routine without two extras around :)

Next, we fly to Tokyo breaking the journey home for a couple of nights.  England was warm but Tokyo was HOT and HUMID!  No time to worry about that though, we jumped on a bus and toured the city!  It's a big city, the Emperors Palace was close to where we stayed on The Ginza.  Nighttime was my favourite.....after the heat of the day exploring the streets and taking in the FABULOUS shops in this area.

Tokyo Tower.

The City at night.

So much to take in here, everyone was so polite......the smallest things are so well presented and you would not believe the variety of goodies available for us paper crafters!!!!

Just around the corner from our Hotel were the most amazing Stationary Stores 'ITOYA' .....yes there were two of them with floors of the best cards, embellishments, papers, colouring tools, fountain pens, the list goes on.  A must visit store if you ever go to Japan.  Take a look for yourself start HERE

It was in this store that I stumbled on Copic Markers......ooh and I just happened to have my list with me :)

Not very PC in Japan, but the boss took a quick (not very flattering) photo of me checking my list!!!
I added 12 new colours to my collection as well as a 'few' other bits and bobs :)

All too soon it was time to get back to the Airport for our 9+ hours Qantas flight back to Sydney.  Cases checked in, we had time to sit and look at some of the pictures we'd downloaded to the ipad before boarding the plane. An Aussie accent welcomed us aboard and directed us through the galley and turn left.........what! 
H E A V E N......... we'd been upgraded to Business!  Thank you Qantas.  Our seats reclined within the capsule so we could sleep stretched out flat......and we did for a few hours on and off.  Oh this is the way to travel long distances.........hehe poor Ian......nothing less boyfriend!!!!!

So now we're back.......jet lagged (like you wouldn't believe), though starting to get back to normal. Unpacked, laundry done, house clean and tidy and would you believe thinking about the next trip......
September in the Barossa........ we've booked :)

See you soon............



CathyC said...

oooh! love seeing your pics - thanks for sharing! Barossa in September - usually perfect - not too hot, not too cold ;-)

Deborah Frings said...

Welcome home. Love the photos you shared of your trip. Amsterdam is one of my favourite places - we spent our delayed honeymoon there. Japan certainly looks like a good place to visit - which is good as Kathryn (dear daughter) really would like to go there.

And lucky you getting upgraded!!! I dream of flying Detroit to the UK in business - oh to sleep out flat!!!

Take care, Deborah xxx

Anonymous said...

Sounds amazing. So glad you shared (I don't have a passport!). Maybe one day I will get to travel to such lovely places and the shopping sounds great too.

Karen (TLgirl353) said...

Sue--what a exciting trip! My hubby is from Rotterdam and we honeymooned in Holland back in 2001. Awesome pics and so fun to see Amsterdam again, through your eyes. He has two brothers and their families, that still live in Rotterdam.

Andrea said...

The pictures are amazing Sue, thank you for sharing!! Lucky you being upgraded, it must have been your gorgeous accent lol!
Love the pic of you in front of all those Copics......and with a list to boot!

Robynh said...

Hi Sue!I recognise those canals and houses!Those bikes in Amsterdam were amazing- nearly got knocked over by several! Glad you had a good time..but I am feeling a bit guilty that I STILL haven't posted any photos of our adventure!

Kylie said...

Sue it looks like you had an amazing time, your photos are Awesome and by reading your blog post, It felt like I was there!
Thanks so much for sharing and it's great to have you back!

Kylie X

Lorraine said...

What a fantastic trip and welcome back. How lovely to see your family I love Oxford. Tokyo on my list of places to visit. You seemed to fit in such a lot, good for you. Feet up and rest or play with your new craft goodies and Copics. xx

Pauline said...

Fab pics Sue, I've not made it to Amsterdam yet, and I loved those pics from Oxford, its not far from us here in Berkshire, one of my favourite places to visit.
Hope your jet lag goes soon, I know its hell!

Janelle said...

Your trip sounds marvelous. Your photos brought back heaps of memories of a trip I did before I met my husband - so much fun! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and memories from your trip.

Kathyk said...

Looks like a fabulous trip and lots of sights - thanks for sharing your photos. Hope you get over the jet lag soon.


Unknown said...

These are amazing shots Sue!! I am SO jealous... Maybe one day I will get there, it looks like you had an amazing time. BTW, we are going to the Barossa in September too! Xx

Selma said...

Hi Sue. Looks like you had a fabulous trip. It is great you got to go back to see your family. Love all the pictures and especially you with all the Copics.

Beverley said...

Nice to see you back on your blog:) looks like you had a fabulous time :) Hugs Bev x

lostinpaper said...

How exciting, your holiday looks amazing Sue. Love the canal pics of Amsterdam, it reminds me of a holiday we did where our accommodation was one of those long boats, it was fabulous. Good luck with the Jet lag, it's always bad coming this way, but so worth it lol.

Marion said...

Your holiday looked and sounded awesome. Thanks for sharing. That shop in Japan looks amazing. I love how you happened to have your Copic chart with that is great holiday planning!