We had booked a weekend in Melbourne to watch the Australian Open looong before we knew about this New York business. It ended up falling on Alec’s last weekend in Australia, so it seemed to be a good way to see him out with a bang.
Sweltering in the tennis. Don’t be fooled, the clothes are for sun protection. It was boiling.
We also spent a day wandering around St Kilda and the CBD, just hanging out.
St Kilda boardwalk.
The Victoria Art Gallery. Thumper!
We had such a lovely weekend – the perfect way (bar a weekend at the beach!) to spend our last weekend together for a while. Next time we meet, it will be in New York, baby!
We had a fantastic road trip up to Byron Bay over the Chrissie break. After Christmas Day in Stockton, we drove to Shoal Bay for Christmas night. We found a delicious pizza shop open and gorged ourselves on sweet, sweet pizza.
The next morning we met Alec’s dad and his wife for lunch, before drive up to Port Macquarie for the night. An early start had us on the road to Byron. We spent the next five nights in Byron, walking on the beach, eating, bush walking to a waterfall, walking up to the lighthouse and reading. Exactly what we needed after a stressful end to the year.
A delayed honeymoon is a great idea for several reasons. 1. It’s practical as you can save up after the wedding for your trip. 2. It extends your wedding celebrations even longer. Our honeymoon was delayed because we wanted to go to Hawaii and the rainy season extended until the end of March.
We decided to visit two islands we hadn’t been to before – Maui and Kauai, with a day on Oahu at the end for shopping.
First stop on our trip was Maui. Each hotel gave us a complimentary bottle of Champagne with a really sweet card congratulating us on our wedding and honeymoon. The funniest was the last hotel, who address the card to “Mr and Mrs Knight”. *snigger*.
Free champagne? Yes please!
Lovely bedroom in our suite.
Mai Tai? Don’t mind if I do!
Celebrating with cocktails. Yay we’re married!
We stayed just outside of the main town of Lahaina, on North Ka’anapali Beach. The town is a bit touristy, but has the most amazing Banyan tree. It’s impossible to capture how large it is in a photo – suffice to say it’s worth visiting the town just to see the massive tree.
Biggest tree ever.
We bought this pineapple for a dollar on the side of the road.
During our stay we drove the road to Hana, which stretches along the coast. We stopped off at many parks and waterfalls along the way.
No idea what this is. Love Hawaii and the weird and wonderful things lying around in the national parks.
One of many falls on the side of the highway.
The most beautiful waterfall was right at the end, called the seven pools of Oheo. It’s basically seven waterfalls that stream into each other – amazingly beautiful.
Sunsets on Hawaii are just amazing. We pulled over while driving a few times to photograph the sunset on the side of the road.
After an amazing week in Paris, we flew south to Montpellier, picked up another hire car, and drove to Arles for a two-day stay.
Arles is famous for two things – most recently, Van Gogh lived and painted here, but a long time before that, Arles was conquered by the Romans. The remains of the Roman civilisation are still visible in Arles, including the theatre, baths and arena. We were lucky enough to see a gladiator match being put on in the arena when we visited.
Arles is a funny place – from the outside looks quite run down and old, but the narrow streets remind me a lot of Venice – a rabbit warren of streets, revealing treasures tucked into corners. The insides of the derelict buildings have all been renovated, so it’s quite the town of surprises.
The Roman arena.
From Arles we drove to Carcassonne, where we rented an apartment for four nights. Carcassonne is quite amazing to see when you approach the city. The old city is perched on a hill top and is quite majestic!
We spent a lovely day exploring the old city.
The area is rife with castles and is rich in history, particularly from the Cathar period. Many of the castles are actually more like fortresses, designed to protect the people, and the Cathars, from the religious crusades.
The castles are just amazing. Perched on the top of mountains in terrain that is so inhospitable it’s just extraordinary imagining people climbing up and down, or laying siege to, in every-day life.
One of the castles, Montsegur.
Sunflowers – everywhere!
Matchy-match at Lastours.
Final view of Carcassonne.
We ended our France leg by driving to Toulouse, spending the night, then catching a flight to London early the next morning.
For our first Easter weekend for just the two of us, we decided to drive the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. We flew down to Avalon Airport after work on Thursday night and spent Good Friday checking out Geelong (what’s with the weird peg people?) and then driving along the coast.
We had a quick stop at Torquay, then drove on to Bells Beach, where the Rip Curl Surf Pro was being held. We stopped off for a while and watched the grommet competition that was being run at the time. Next stop was Anglesea for lunch and a play on the beach, followed by a stop off at Airley Inlet lighthouse, which was used in the TV series “Round The Twist”.
It was then a windy drive to out evening accommodation in Apollo Bay. The road hugs the coast line so the whole drive is amazingly picturesque. Somewhere along one of the endless stretches of road we saw a few people had pulled their cars over and we standing around pointing their cameras into the bush. Being the stickybeak I am and always after a good photo, I pulled over also, and found that they were photographing koalas in the wild – right by the side of the road!
The koalas were sooo cute. Sleepy, grumpy little people. and they were really close to is – so close I could have reached our and given one a little pat if I didn’t think it might have gouged my eyes out for waking it from its eucalyptus-induced coma.
We spent tonight and the following night at a cute little BnB called Captain’s On The Bay – highly recommend.
Our last day on the tropical island. I hadn’t even had a swim yet so the order of the day was water play.
After asking around we found out that there was some snorkeling to be done off the pier at low tide, so we filled in the morning with other water activities.
Canoeing around the island. We wanted to paddle to the island in the distance but were only allowed to go in a certain area. Staff members on speedboats were at the ready to stop any wanders trying to step foot in the island. That’s one of the annoying things about Club Med, so many rules!
Giving my waterproof camera case a workout.
In the pool practicing for netball. Shot!
The view back from the pier of the resort.
Under water. It was very cloudy with very poof visibility. I got freaked out by not being able to see anything and had to swim back to shore. I’m such a wimp!
The forbidden island.
We spent the afternoon reading and chilling out, then head off to the eighth hole on the golf course to watch the sunset.
The most beautifully situated golf course in the world?
Romance was in the air.
Nothing to do but watch the sun going down over tropical islands. Ahhh bliss.
Alec participates in a game where the object was to hit the ball close to the hole in the far distance. Nice swing Alec!
With no obligations today, we were free to relaaaax.
The view from our window.
I thought it would be a great idea for another bush walk – this time up to the top of the mountain on the island to admire the amazing view. It was about a 9km round trip, so it was a decent effort at exercise on another super steamy day.
Well worth the trek for the view.
And chilling out.
Little fellow who hitched a ride on Alec’s arm.
Drinking cocktails in the bar after our arduous climb.
The day started hot and humid, so we decided to go on a bush walk through the national park lands to see Coconut Beach. When we asked staff for directions, they looked at us with some puzzlement … which we later realised to be because they were wondering why we would want to trek though the bush on a day so humid most people didn’t leave the pool?!
The walk was beautiful. Extremely hot though, so we were sweating profusely after about five minutes of walking.
Cute bird – we saw them all over the island. They had cute little tail feathers that flicked up and down when they ran.
Lake with water lilies.
Finally, Coconut Beach!
It looks a lot more overcast here than it actually was.
Our walk was a bit longer than expected and we indulged a little too much at lunch – making us almost miss the wedding. A stressful half hour ensued where we washed sea salt out of our hair, threw on clothes, and ran up several hills in our party clothes to make the ceremony. We were on time, but were sweating a lot! On the plus side, if gave me a chance to try out my strategy with my new silver slingbacks that refuse to stay on. I bought some ribbon and tied them around the shoe – and they stayed on like a dream, even running – uphill!
The ceremony. Candice looking radiant with her new husband, Matt.
In front of the golf course following the ceremony, in a fit of romance.
After the 2pm ceremony there was a gap of three hours before the reception, so we went back to the room, showered again to remove the sweat, and relaxed. If felt much better getting dressed again in the cool early evening with plenty of time to spare.
The reception set up – all white candles and lace. Very pretty and elegant.
Cute little cupcakes.
Entry of the bridal couple.
Alec looking happy and relaxed.
Dessert tasting platter.
Us with Kat, one of Candice’s oldest friends, and Sarla, a friend from ACP.
No explanation needed. I can’t help myself.
Alec wonders why it took so long for the flash to go off.
My dear friend Candice decided to get married on Lindeman Island in the Whitsundays, Queensland.
Candice and I have been friends for almost eight years. We met in a Latin hip-hop class at the beginning of 2001 and have been close ever since. When the call came in that Candice was getting married, on a tropical island, at first we thought it would be way out of our price range. Luckily, Candice’s family managed to get us amazing deals to stay, so we were able to go to the wedding.
Hello tropical islands!
We had a stop over on Hamilton Island for a few hours before our ferry left for Lindeman. Not much to do when you’re just stopping over, so we had some ice-cream and vegged.
Happy day! Love going on holidays.
Sun setting as we leave the bay.
Purty! Bye Hamilton.
On Lindeman, dressed for our first night out – the group dinner before the wedding the next day. Alec looked very handsome.