Friday, November 30, 2012

Eastern Europe - 30 Hours Later ... We Have Arrived


You heard right ... 30 hours of travel, we were actually up in the air for 26 hours ... and I realise I didn't have to travel through Heathrow but airlines make things very difficult if you want to fly into one destination and out of another. If we did not go in and out of one place (in this instance) Heathrow, our flights would have cost an additional $2,300 per person!!!

However, really once you have been on one airline you really know exactly what you are in for .... so I will move onto the fun stuff! We arrived in Heathrow at 6.30am and raced across terminals to make our  connection ... battled customs lines and security .... used transfer trains, buses, endless walking long boring terminals ... oh the joy to finally get onto our final flight even if we did have to wait for what seemed like hours to get de-iced!


However, the landing was a rather interesting event that left me in my aviation cluelessness laughing and my hubby who actually knows these things shaking in his boots.

Obviously the weather in Moscow is quite cold ... however the clouds were everywhere! As we started decending for landing I had my nose glued to the window searching for my first glimpse of Russia! 

When we hit 1000 meters I expected to start glimpsing trees, buildings ... something - nope just white.

When we hit 800 meters I started looking nervously at hubby "see anything yet?" he asks - nope just white.

When we hit 600 meters I must say the whole cabin started buzzing, surely we are going to pull up soon since visibility is practically nil - nope we keep descending.

The scary bit is when I only see the runway seconds before we skid down along the ice - wind screaming around the wings! 


The even scarier bit - when everyone on the plane starts clapping and cheering!

Oh yes .... a rather eventful landing in Moscow. Also it takes almost 2 hours to get into Moscow - apparently traffic in Moscow is rather dismal and it is common for you to sit in a traffic jam for hours on end for a 20 minute journey. Also it appears there are no lanes and its perfectly acceptable to zoom around on snow and ice at over 100km per hour! 

Its just like the plane ... as long as you don't crash you are ok!

So there you have it - the travel is over and the holiday begins! I look forward to sharing this journey with you - I can assure you, if what we have already seen is a preview ... this should be a very interesting trip!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I Am Happy to Report ... We Are Checked In


I can safely say my friends ... the crisis is over. My poor husband has just completed a 6 hour domestic flight and is about to embark on another 24 hours of flying. Poor dear ;-)

However, we are here, have survived customs, security and the dreaded duty free shopping so now its just the painful wait to board. 

I am thankful that everything went smoothly ... eventually and am looking forward to you live from Moscow next time I log in!

May everyone left in Australia survive the heat waves, gale force winds and lightening storms!


It Just Keeps Going!


I am hoping that the drama's we are having at the beginning of the holiday are not going to be continued when we actually do get on the plane!

So it was agreed that Mr V would get on a flight back to Perth this morning and meet me at the international terminal as he should arrive around the same time I do. Now this wouldn't be a good story unless there was drama ... and here it is ... hubby is sitting at the airport waiting for his flight in Darwin, I'm doing my last packing down here in Perth ....

Darwin airport is grounded due to lightening storms we are desperately waiting to clear and in Perth ... 125km per hour winds have not stopped in 2 days!

Ha - this is so very funny! It has hit this point where you really do have to laugh .... or start drinking perhaps?


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Quick Update .... Helicopter Dilemma

It appear Mr V has definitely missed his flight today to Perth. Its quite a tight schedule and any little delay .... e.g. chopper returning to base because of gyro issues will mean he wont make his connecting fixed wing plane to Darwin and from there the Qantas plane to Perth.

So I did say I had backup options and we are currently exploring both of those ....

1) He meets me in Singapore directly from Darwin - only problem is I will have to take mine and his luggage.... oh joy.
2) He tries to get to Perth before out flight to Singapore and just meets me at the airport. I think this is our preferred option - no additional costs and as the flights are all linked we are covered if one of them is for any reason delayed.


he he he - must remember to add underwear or else I will have a rather unhappy Mr V!

Not Like a Movie - Helicopter Drama's


Obviously its not like in the movie ... the boy gets to the airport just in time - runs to the gate just in time.

Obviously by the title you can guess this is not like in the movies. A long sleepless night I received the expected call from Mr V where I fully expected him to say 

"honey, I'm getting on the chopper - see you tonight!"

Instead in a dark voice he advises me the chopper had turned around halfway out to the facility. 

If you can imagine this is the moment your stomach drops. Obviously I said all the right things - we have a contingency - he will meet me in Singapore! It's ok ... everything is fine.

The minute I got off the phone however all that changed. I sat on the floor and started laughing uncontrollably! Yup you got it - I couldn't stop the uncontrollable laughter. Tears running down my cheeks I think to myself - it can only happen to me. Seriously, I know I should have booked the flight later but .... really. Seriously!!!

So now I'm sitting on tenterhooks .... waiting for hubby to call with an estimated ETA on a new chopper! 

Personally I think im handling things fairly well - Im now sitting here planning on how to repack so I can carry everything myself! 

Speaking of repacking ... look at the brilliance of my toiletries bag and carry on liquids .... at least one thing is going right! Everything fits!




Monday, November 26, 2012

The Countdown Continues ...


I am so close to getting on that plane I can almost taste the champagne. 

There is one little stress left before we can get on that little plane and if I'm totally honest it might be my fault. Hubby fly in tomorrow, Wednesday 28th November at 6.30 pm, we fly out to Europe Thursday 29th November 12 noon. 

My problem, chopper, helicopters, flying bricks .... are notoriously unreliable. Last year hubby flight was delayed at least 3 out of the 7 trips ..... problem, right now - tomorrow we really can afford the delay. (picture me laughing nervously right now!)

I am totally prepared to admit I booked the flights, I knew the risks but thought ... what the hell, I don't want to waste one day on the off chance the chopper is delayed. Now thinking back ... perhaps, maybe, it might have been wise .... to wait that extra day, but I didn't so now I am waiting and frantically scanning the bureau of meteorology for good weather!


So I am counting down not only until we step foot onto the plane but more importantly .... until hubby steps foot onto WA soil!

Cross your fingers with me my friends, its going to be a stressful 24 hours!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Route ... Eastern Europe Holiday


Well hello and happy Monday to all. It was, of course a busy last weekend in Australia for the year, last minute running around, catch ups ... I could just go on and on - however instead I thought I would give you a short overview on my trip and the amazing destinations I will be telling you all about over the next few weeks.

So we fly into Moscow .... Beautiful ...cold Moscow -5 degrees today. Oh the joy!

From there we take the train to St Petersburg .... so much to see and do, again more cold!

We then fly to Kiev ... Hubby's choice where we visit a Soviet Missile Silo and Chernobyl

From Kiev we travel to Romania where we meet a university history professor who will show us around

We then travel to Frankfurt where we meet my mother and start on our Christmas tour of the black forrest

We end the tour in Lucern where we have elected to stay a few more days exploring Switzerland

Finally we travel to Prague where we will be celebrating new years before making the long trek home!

There you have it - 7 sentences summing up our trip .... may it be as easy as writing this was!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Storm Before The Calm


Ha - the title really says it all. Obviously in today's fast paced time poor culture we have all become experts at multi tasking, we have lists, we have multiple lists based on subject, we have reminders on iphones, pop-ups from outlook and nothing becomes more important than striking a line through a task ....DONE! Oh the satisfaction.

Going on holidays only seems to exacerbate this craziness. Not only do you have your normal stuff but have to cram everything you should be doing over the next 5 - 6 weeks into your last few days at home. 

Its silly things that you need to think of that just blow you away when you look back ...

Sticky notes on your bin - DO NOT USE. NO RECYCLING THIS WEEK!


Sticky notes on your front door (you ignore) - TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBOUR ABOUT THE MAIL

"How To" guides are posted on your security system

The truly worst .... Work Handover Notes. Oh the pain of handing over your perfectly organised work to someone you just know is going to mess it up. (picture me shaking my head in frustration)

So yes, these last .... 5 DAYS, 4 HOURS, 36 MINUTES AND 52 SECONDS are a special type of crazy you just have to get through so you can fully appreciate the amazingness that will come the minute you pass through airport security.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Me the Luxury of Air Travel ... Past!


Sometimes it's very easy to organise your trip to be as comfortable as possible, airport transfers, good luggage, prearranged tickets ect but the one thing I struggle with time and time again is the flying. See we can't afford to travel business, very few can at $8,000 a return airfare to London. Personally I just can't justify that type of spend. I would much rather put it towards the house, however the idea of sitting in such a small cramped space totally freaks me out!

Please don't get me wrong, short flight (5 hours or under) I find quite easy but the one thing that is bound to send shivers up and down my spine is that long haul flight .... uggh.

I don't know if I have told you this but the idea of sitting in that small seat trapped between rows of people totally freaks me out. Lucky for me, the last few trips I have been travelling business (thank you work) and even that little bit of extra room makes the trip a breeze.


I do realise as I write this I'm going to come across sounding like a spoilt princess, in my head I know its 16 hours, I have done it before and I will do it again but still my stomach lurches and I break out into a cold sweat at the thought.

I have tried everything to get used to this particular form of travel, sleeping tablets, copious amounts of alcohol (not together) and a bunch of natural remedies meant to help you get through anything but has anything helped .... I'm afraid not.

This time I thought I had it covered, because of all the business travel we have stacks of frequent flyer points.  Upgrading seemed to be the answer, only now .... under a week to go I call up Qantas and discover the flight over is filling up and a business upgrade is looking unlikely. 

Sorry what??? .... Unlikely. This cant be happening!

So im back to the drawing board .... do I go with sleeping tablets, maybe see a doctor to drug me out, anything to help me get through the 16 hours of hell.


How do others get through this? Am I alone in my panic? How do you cope with the lack of personal space?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Watching the Weight ....


Let me start by saying this is not a diet or weight loss related post.

Its all about luggage and being smart about my packing. I have read plenty of websites claiming its possible to travel for weeks at a time out of your carry on luggage. I don't doubt that for a minute, I am sure its possible, however in my head is a little voice saying .... why would you want to? Why wouldn't you want to look glamorous and chic when travelling in a lovely new country? 

So the challenge has begun, putting everything I wanted in my bag and then slowly reducing it until I am under the max weight restrictions on the small domestic flights.

I try to stick under 20 kgs if I can ... this is not as easy as you think when you take into account toiletries, ice skates (my husband assures me this is a necessity) and ski coats etc.

Last night was attempt number one of packing ... surprise surprise I came in under 20kg's! Not only is this quite a shocking (in a good way) but also a moment that well and truly deserved a happy dance. After I sat down I realised I haven't actually completed packing with a few smaller items still to fit. But I will get there I'm sure - I have a good starting place and will now spend the next week agonising over what item I can afford to leave behind!


Monday, November 19, 2012

The Bible is Back!


My travel bible that is...

The problem with booking a holiday yourself is capturing all those little details you have agonised over for months. I tend to be slightly pedantic about getting the itinerary perfect, transfers, hotels, tours & guides .... trains, planes and automobiles! he he he

How does one carry around all this information in a way that is organised and confusion free???

Answer ... a travel bible!

As you can see mine is quite large however that is expected .... we are away for nearly six (6) weeks!!! 


I am getting quite excited ... things are getting organised ... currency exchange, copies of passport etc.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Happy Monday To All ...


My apologies for being MIA the last few days .... the holiday planning is hotting up with only 9 days, 7 hours, 15 minutes and .... 8 seconds until I am free and clear of work and on my way to a new and exciting adventure.


I apologies to all those who are as house crazy as I am ... the house will be on the back burner until January however don't go anywhere, I do have one or two little surprises remaining and will be showing you those before I go. Over the next few months will be focusing on our little journey across the world and I am going to start giving you the run down over the next ... 9 days, 7 hours, 12 minutes and 28 seconds.


Today however is all about you ... well for me its ... me but really this is more global than that. This is about recognising what makes you happy and making it a priority.


The three things that really make me happy .... colour, flowers and scent. So I always have candles burning in my house - the brighter the stronger smelling the better, that hint of Jasmine as you walk past a room really gives me the warm and fuzzies.

Now Colour and Flowers - I always try have flowers in my house, I love seeing them sitting there purely for my pleasure. And it doesn't have to be expensive ... it really doesn't. These little babies cost me $15 and in my head it was money well spent.  


During a time of the year where everyone goes out of their way to please everyone else ... don't you think you should take 10 minutes out of your day to make you happy?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Breaking The Bad News...


I have just found out a piece of rather disturbing news that is going to bring Mr V's dreams of the Moscow part of the holiday crashing down....

See the thing he is most looking forward to on this particular holiday is skating in all the outdoor ice rinks around Eastern Europe .... 

Here is the problem, We are actually visiting Gorky Park in Moscow (the one he is most looking forward to visiting - as seen in the pictures below) the very beginning of December ... way to early for them to have set up the outdoor ice rinks.

So to put it plainly - there will be no outdoor skating set up in Russia!

This is my Oh Dear Moment ... how do I break it to the guy, he has been goggling and You-tubing this park for months and now for me to crush his hopes and dream in just one sentence just seems unfair...

Poor Mr V - I now just have to work out how to break this heartbreaking piece of news!

Maybe I will wait till we are on the plane!



Monday, November 12, 2012

Venice is Flooding .... Wish I Was There!


Bit of an odd title I know but at this very moment Venice is flooded. Not wet your feet type of flooded but you are much better off just walking around in bathers type of flooded.

The funny thing is ... at this very moment my parents are in Venice. In 140 years there has never been flooding in Venice this bad and my parents are there to witness it.

God I wish I was there, can you imagine .... obviously you would look and feel like a wet cat however you are seeing Venice in a way no one has seen in the flesh in a very long time. 

In honour of my lovely mum and dad witnessing this I thought I would share my favourite media pics I found of this occasion!

PS. If Mr V was there I can almost guarantee he would be jumping off buildings and basically running a muck!






Sunday, November 11, 2012

Organisation - Jewellery


While I will admit I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to jewellery even I didn't realise the extent of my problem until yesterday I dumped every single bit I own on the bedroom floor and spent the next 5 hours sorting out the mess!


I do own alot of pretty sparkly things but now I own a very well organised lot of pretty sparkly things.

Howards Storage eat your heart out!!!






Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Big Show Piece - Entry Lighting

It appears I'm swinging back and forth with regards to my entry light. 

Originally I fell in love with a African company called Willowlamp. They were edgy, beautiful and very much a one off type piece. This is what I wanted for my entry ... beautiful ... sorted.

Then I saw Foucult's Orb on the restoration hardware site (here) and just fell in love. So decision made ... this was going to be my new entry light fitting.



Until now ... Willowlamp (here) have just brought out their new collection and it is Phenomenal  Their lighting is heavenly and I really just wanted to share with you some of the beautiful options they have available.




So yes ... I now have no idea which direction I am going to turn when it comes to entry lighting but one things for sure .... I'm certainly not going to struggle to find something!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Shocking Discoveries ... About Mr V


He loves it so very much when I blog about darling Mr V however the other day I learned something shocking and new that I just had to share with my dedicated and all very lovely readers.

Please bare in mind hubby and I have been together for nearly 10 years, married for 4 now and yet this is something that up until now I didn't know....  Trust Me - I am amazed as you no doubt are! Here we go .....

My Husband ... Mr V ..... Is a Tupperware Nazi!

During a glass of wine and washing up, it was revealed he didn't appreciate my lack of respect towards the Tupperware cupboard in the house. He felt ... rightly or wrongly that a kitchen item as important as Tupperware should be given a more prominent and spacious position in our rather tiny kitchen.

Obviously this differing view of the importance of Tupperware made me rethink ... you see Tupperware isn't pretty, it doesn't make your eyes light up like a perfectly space set of wine glasses will, Tupperware is practical obviously but to me its a consumable, use it until it no longer closes properly and replace.

This got me thinking ... am I a minority ... who truly respects their Tupperware  What is your Tupperware cupboard like? Do you give it the space my husband feels it deserves? 

Disclaimer - Obviously I use the term Tupperware very loosely ... my plastic storage devices are not Tupperware, apparently I don't respect it enough to actually be able to buy Tupperware so this is my cheap but still brilliant alternative. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lotto Fever

There is so much hype today, Melbourne Cup, The US election and of course ... the biggest lotto draw of all time. 

One Hundred Million Dollars!

Now for me that is a scary lot of money .... but it does get you thinking, if I had that amount of money what would I do with it and to be honest my wants started small.

An insane pair of shoes 


A baby Range Rover


A holiday to Egypt


and then things started spiralling .... hey 100,000,000 is an aweful lot of money, I could do anything so right about now I took it up a notch ....

A boat


A library to die for 


A small country property ... he he he


This is the moment I realised I would probably lock the money up into an account for a year until we actually can figure out what we would do with it because looking at what I wanted, I cant be trusted with that type of money.

What about you?