Australian Ambitions – A Guide to Getting the True Down Under Experience

 

 

It only takes travelling abroad to understand that most non-Australians? Don’t have much of a clue what the deal is Down Under. But it’s not totally uncommon to meet people from another state who have no idea of the wonder and excitement to be found in your state. If you’re weighing up which country to hop to this holidays, pause those plans and look in your backyard for inspiration. Here’s our guide on what the true Down Under experience should be.

Road trips

Australia is a huge country, which means it takes a while to discover it all on the road. This presents a great opportunity to take out a few weeks driving to all destinations and checking out each unique Australian state. There are many roads and recommended paths you can take, but many start in South Australia by visiting the wineries and enjoying the high life in serviced apartments in Adelaide CBD. From there you can take Nullabor Plain and head to Western Australia, and then on to the rest of this Great Southern Land.

Diving

Diving in Australia needs to be seen to be believed, and Finding Nemo was only a hint of what is waiting out there. Cairns (Queensland) is the logical place to dive in Australia, but you may be surprised to learn that other pockets in Australia also have great clarity and unique sea life beneath the water. Byron Bay (New South Wales) is another great place to explore on the diving front. If you wanted to make a trip of it, you can hire a charter boat and visit a few hot spots in a weekend or week. If you are unqualified, you may need to have a dive master on board to make sure the dive is safe and above board.

Beach hopping

So many people think all Australians spend their weekends surfing, like something out of Summer Bay. For many this is true, and it can be for you if you spend a couple of weeks beach hopping along the coastal line. Each state in Australia will claim they have the most pristine beaches, and the truth? They are all unique and perfect in their own way. Perth (Western Australia) is quite renowned for their beaches, and Melbourne and Sydney have beaches that are built into the city hotspots (Bondi and St Kilda).

Landmarks

It wouldn’t be a true Down Under experience without a visit to those quintessential Aussies landmarks. If you think they are too touristy for you, remember that they are famous for a reason, and quite breathtaking when you are standing in front of them. To name just a few, the obvious callouts have to be:

Adelaide: Adelaide Central Market, Glenelg and Adelaide Botanic Gardens

Sydney: Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach

Melbourne: Queen Victoria Markets, the Laneways, Federation Square and the MCG

Brisbane: South Bank and  GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art)

National and animal parks

The wildlife and natural beauty of Australia makes up the full picture of Down Under. Whether you live in Australia or not, chances are you have not visited and seen all the famous Aussie animals. We’re not just talking about koalas and kangaroos either. There is also Quokkas (Western Australia) and Tasmanian Devils (Tasmania) to be seen. If an active holiday sounds right up your alley, you’ll find a stunning collection of National Parks like Kakadu, Uluru and Litchfield (Northern Territory).

There is so much to be discovered in the Great Southern Land, and can be accessed and enjoyed all year around. Adelaide is a great destination to kick off your adventures, before setting off to see it all.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Looking for a Condo in Thailand? Go to Hua Hin

Thailand is known for lovely beaches and amazing food. You can find everything amazing in Thailand in in one spot: Hua Hin.

If you’re looking for a place to get away in Thailand, look no more. Hua Hin will leave you stunned with its beautiful blue water and delectable food. It’s no wonder people want to purchase property here, and the beach house you’ve always dreamed of could finally be yours in this paradise town.

Why Hua Hin?

Hua Hin attracts tourists but also folks who want to settle down. It’s a nice place for family life, having a second home, or retirement.

Hua Hin offers condominiums with modern amenities for many budgets. Whether it’s a family getaway or a friend escape, it’s one of the most striking places on the planet to purchase property. You won’t be able to resist the magnificent sunrise and sunsets. They’ll simply take your breath away.

There’s really nowhere else like this for the affordability. You’ll have to rent a condo here and experience it yourself to agree.

Where is Hua Hin?

Hua Hin is just about two hours away from Bangkok, and its known for its calm atmosphere away from the city hustle. Because of its mostly quiet reputation, families and expats head there for weekend getaways. Many end up living there because of its proximity to both Bangkok and the amazing blue beach waters.

In this town, you’ll get the full “Thai” experience, meaning the beaches, hospitality, food and fun. Because many of the locals are Thai, you’ll be immersed in the culture, language, and lifestyle.

What Are Some of the Modern Amenities in Hua Hin?  

Depending on the condo you choose, some of the modern amenities are:

  • WiFi
  • Beach-front balconies
  • Air conditioning
  • Parking
  • Pool
  • Modern kitchen
  • Fully furnished

You can rent condos for a certain amount of time in Hua Hin, or purchase property. Either way, you’ll find something for every budget in this city.

Things to Do in Hua Hin

People in Hua Hin often enjoy:

  • Visiting the Tamarind Market
  • Going to the beach
  • Kite surfing
  • Golfing
  • Visiting various nearby monasteries
  • Dining at various (amazing) restaurants
  • Visiting museums

If this is your first time in Thailand, know that the locals are nice to foreigners and although they keep to themselves, they’re happy to help you settle and find things to do.

What Is the Weather Like in Hua Hin?

The weather is a bit drier than in other parts of Thailand. This is great especially during the monsoon season, as the season tends to bring rain and humidity all around. Because of this drier climate, tourists and locals can enjoy the outdoors more. Less humidity and precipitation equal more outdoor activities.

What Nationalities are Represented in Hua Hin?

In Hua Hin, you’ll find people from North America, Europe, and Australia among other nationalities. Because the Thai Baht is less expensive than the exchange of the coin from the places above, people from around the world have chosen Thailand as their home away from home.

Why Do Expats Purchase Property in Hua Hin?

Precisely because of all the reasons mentioned above. The story goes something like this:

  1. They visited for a couple of days, or maybe they were here for work and wanted to stay longer.
  2. Then they tasted the food, which they couldn’t get enough of.
  3. At the same time, they realized their dollar went way farther in Hua Hin than at home.
  4. All while appreciating the locals, who are kind and helpful.
  5. All leading to their decision to buy property and live here.

The combination of these factors continues to make Hua Hin an ideal destination for expats looking for a little bit of heaven on Earth.

See Hua Hin For Yourself

So, go ahead. Give yourself a gift. Thailand is amazing and inexpensive. Rent a condo in and experience the thriving mix of local hospitality and tourism.

Just be aware: You may want to stay there for longer than you planned. It’s that good.

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Top 7 Cities In Mexico For Families On Vacation To Visit

Mexico as a country features some of the world’s premier vacation destinations. The first thing that comes to mind might be Cancun and spring breakers or a honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas. Yet many of Mexico’s cities are also great for family vacations. When you are planning to travel abroad to Mexico, consider these top 7 cities to visit with your family.

Cancun

Cancun isn’t just for spring breakers. In fact, you don’t even have to plan your trip over spring break. While there, you can swim with the whale sharks, visit an underwater museum, snorkel a shipwreck site and coral reef and much more. The top-ranked place of interest in Cancun is Parroquia de Cristo Resucitado. This church is great to visit on vacation to enjoy a service with your family.

Tres Rios Ecopark, Playa Delfines and Zcacel Beach are the next three places of interest that are on many people’s vacation itineraries. What would you and your family be looking to do in Cancun? The Mayan Museum of Cancun would be an interesting place to explore. You can find The Mayan Museum on Quintana Roo Boulevard, and you get to take a nature walk among the ruins. Now that’s a museum experience, wouldn’t you say?

Cabo San Lucas

Just like Cancun isn’t just for spring breakers, Cabo San Lucas isn’t just for honeymooners. It can also make for a nice family vacation destination. The #1 thing to do in Cabo San Lucas is to enjoy what’s known as Lands End or el Arco de Cabo San Lucas. There is a landmark rock formation to mark the spot, and it’s said to be a very popular place for both snorkeling and whale watching. The scene there at Lands End in general is said to be quite breathtaking, too.

As for beaches in Cabo San Lucas, one of the best to visit is Chileno Beach. It’s also a great place to go snorkeling, and people enjoy swimming there as well. There is no shortage of beaches and natural attractions to visit in Cabo San Lucas. Another popular destination is a natural landmark formation known as Pelican Rock. This is another are like Lands End that is known for being great for both snorkeling and whale watching. Socorro Island and Puerto Paraiso Mall are two other places of interest.

Mexico City

What would a list of cities in Mexico for families to visit be without Mexico City? Mexico City is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and it is of course the capital city. The top attraction to consider visiting there is the National Museum of Anthropology. The museum is enormous and features quite the comprehensive collection. Are museums your cup of tea? Let’s look at what else you can do in Mexico City.

You can visit Chapultepec Castle, go shopping at Coyoacan, check out the National Palace and more. Mexico City has a rich history, so you’re going to find many landmark sites there, too. These historical places of interest would be great to visit to get to know more about the city’s culture. Some of them you want might to visit include Palacio Postal, Cineteca Nacional and the Paseo de la Reforma.

Cozumel

The next popular family vacation destination in Mexico to explore is Cozumel. The #1 attraction in Cozumel is the Pearl Farm. The Cozumel Pearl Farm is in a protected area, and you access this attraction by boat. A visit there is said to be unique, educational and relaxing. Snorkeling is one of the popular activities to enjoy in Cozumel in general, and some other places you might want to check out include Santa Rosa Wall, Palancar Reef and Columbia Reef.

That’s not all either, so if you have even more time, check out San Francisco reef, El Paso del Cedral Reef and Playa El Cielo. Now this next place of interest is really going to be the icing on the cake. How does a visit to The Mayan Cacao Company sound? This interactive experience is educational, fun and of course going to result in getting to eat some delicious chocolates. In fact, the place has 13 chocolate flavors and features other cacao products for sale, too.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is the next top family vacation destination to discuss. Its #1 ranked attraction is the El Malecon Boardwalk. You will find places to shop and great restaurants there, as well as entertainment. El Malecon Boardwalk is also said to be a great place to simply enjoy taking a walk and looking out at the ocean.

Galleria Dante is a great art gallery to check out. You have the opportunity to purchase art there as well, so it’s not just an art museum type of gallery to browse. While in Puerto Vallarta, you might also want to check out Old Vallarts, Caballito, Act II Entertainment Stages and more.

Acapulco

Acapulco Mexico is up next, and just like Cancun, the city’s top-ranked place of interest is a church. Capilla de la Paz, which translates to Chapel of Peace is on a seaside cliff. There is also a 130 foot cross in front of the chapel, which is a sight to see for sure. People don’t talk about enjoying services there, so it’s about the tour and the views. Other great places of interest in Acapulco include El Fuerte de San Diego, Punta Diamente, Barra Vieja Beach and Costera.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is known for its beautiful Playa Norte, and there is a sea turtle sanctuary there, too. Check out Punta Sur, Captain Dulche’s Museum, take a dolphin discovery tour, stop by El Farito and more. Isla Mujeres would make for a nice relaxing family vacation that is a little different from some of the other places mentioned.

Where are you and your family going to be headed? There are quite a few more top family vacation destinations in Mexico that you might want to consider. These are some of the more popular cities, however, and they would certainly make for some great adventures.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Five Tasty German Foods Your Family Will Love

 

 

Are you anxious to spice up your kitchen with new dishes for your family but are getting a lot of backlash?

 

Wanting to create diverse meals while still pleasing picky kids is a challenge for any parent, especially when it comes to food they might not be used to like sauerkraut or schnitzel.

 

If you want to try out German recipes, here are a few that are familiar to kids already and guaranteed to satisfy even the most difficult-to-please eater.

 

1) German Pancake Bites

 

Not many children know that many of the delicious American foods they’re so used to enjoying can be served with a European twist.

 

These pancakes are petite and deliciously covered in fruit. They’re very easy to make and include all the same ingredients as homemade buttermilk pancakes: eggs, milk, flour, and butter. What makes German pancakes unique is the use of an Air Fryer.

Interested in this recipe but don’t have an air fryer of your own? There are several models that are very popular in Germany and not too expensive. If these pancake bites are a hit with your kids, an air fryer might just be a worthwhile addition to your kitchen.

 

2) Kasespatzle

This rich and creamy dish is Germany’s version of macaroni and cheese. Made with soft egg noodles and covered in melted cheese (this dish gets its name from the German word for cheese), Kasespatzle is a very popular German meal and considered a German specialty. It’s a great side that pairs well with meats, but could also be served on its own if your kid is a strict mac n’ cheese eater.

 

3) Rote grutze

 

This is a refreshing dessert that’s considered to be a pudding and popular in north Germany. This pudding is popularly made with black and red currants, raspberries and, depending on the season, strawberries and cherries. To mellow out the tartness of the berries, the dish is served with a later of cream, a glass of milk, or vanilla ice cream. It’s the perfect treat for a summer’s day and simple to put together.

 

4) Eintopf

 

This dish is perfect for any meat eater that’s looking for a hearty stew, or on a cold winter’s day after playing in the snow. This dish is a German stew that means “one pot,” because of the way the stew is cooked. Ingredients sit in a large pot for several hours, including meat, vegetables, and a thick broth. Eintopf is delicious, flavorful, and will warm up any child on a cold day.

 

5) Brezel

 

Your kids are already used to the famous German pretzel at a carnival or fair, so it’s a perfect dish to make from scratch because they’ll already be interested in eating it.

 

Made from flour, water and yeast with a dash of salt, Brezels are perfect for a light snack or on the go. In Germany you’ll never see a street corner without a Brezel carrier or a bakery that specializes in their buttery goodness. You might also want to try pairing cheese or cold meats with this dish for a well-rounded lunch.

 

Even if your kids are content eating their favorite foods, it never hurts to take them slightly out of their comfort zone to get them interested in a new menu. German food hosts many accessible substitutes for American foods, so there’s bound to be a few your kids will like.

 

Try getting your kids to cook these dishes with you as a way for them to see what they’re going to eat and realize it doesn’t look so foreign after all. It’s also an opportunity to spend time with your kids and teach them about the fundamentals of cooking if they don’t normally step into your kitchen unless it’s to eat. If you try to incorporate these foods into your cookbook, perhaps your kids will become fond of new and exciting European dishes.

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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East Is East, And It’s The Best Place To Vacation

Living in Florida means one can’t go any further east. The next destination is the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s slightly chilly this time of year! Head north and there is plenty to see, from the Deep South to New York City and Massachusetts and Maine. But, these places aren’t any more east than the Sunshine State. And, you will want to head in the direction of the Wicked Witch when you realize what it has to offer. There is a whole expanse of land to cover, of course, yet there is even more than meets the eye. Check out the reasons below to find out why east is east and the best place for a vacation.

The Islands

Miami has some pretty special places to visit, but nothing quite compares to the Caribbean. With its turquoise oceans, golden sandy beaches and rugged coastline, it’s the perfect place for a holiday. Just off the eastern coast of southeast America, for example, is the Bahamas. Now, plenty of Caribbean islands get good press, but these are the jewel in the crown, mainly because the resort isn’t as commercialized. Even less commercial is the British colony of Bermuda. Oh, and these places all speak English, too, so there’s no need to learn pigeon French or Spanish.

The Cost

Head a couple of thousand miles east and you’ll hit the European mainland. Plenty of people will wonder why this is cheap, and it’s worth noting that the likes of Italy and France are expensive. However, these tourist traps aren’t worth seeing on a budget so there’s no reason to stop. Instead, continue until you get to the eastern bloc. For one thing, the Ukraine, Belarus, and Slovenia are incredibly cheap. Plus, there is a relative luxury. The Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic hotel in Russia is elegant without breaking the bank. Communism has had its pros over the years, and this is one of them for US tourists.

The Once-In-A-Lifetime Sights

There’s no doubt that America has a whole has plenty of unmissable attractions, the Grand Canyon for one. Then, there is Machu Picchu in South America as well as Chichen Itza in Mexico. However, go east from and the whole world is at your feet. As soon as you hit Africa, for instance, you basically arrive in the Sahara Desert. People speak about this place, yet very few people get the chance to experience it in the flesh. The same goes for the Nepalese Himalayas and Halong Bay in Vietnam.

It’s Not Home

The US is the place you will always come back to, which is an amazing thought. Still, it means we should get out more when we get the chance! It’s like working from home – you have to leave the house after a while, or you will go stir crazy. And, there is a lot to see when you factor in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia. Experiencing new cultures and ways of life is spectacular and something to promote on vacation.

Where is your favorite location for a holiday in the whole world?

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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