explore. dream. discover.

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." This site will take over from my previous blog: http://dayumnicebridge.tumblr.com

Postcard from Padua

The best thing I ever did was eat gelato in Padua. Pistachio and Bachi in a seemingly infinite waffle cone, to prevent the creamy goodness escaping down the sides.

Padua, the town in which Shakespeare set “The Taming of the Shrew”, is a quaint Italian town void of too many tourists. About an hours drive from the outskirts of Venice (where the cruise company set us up for the night), Padua’s main square is surrounded by sorbet coloured terrace houses adorned with intricate metal balconies and pots of red flowers. In one corner is the bascillica of Saint Giustina which rivals St Peter’s bascillica in Rome. Flanking the central pillar of the church are the tombs of several saints, and above each tomb is a painting depicting how each saint died.

Outside the temperature soars to almost 40 degrees celcius, made worse by the almost white concrete of the square. We turn down a side street, past a couple of vendors selling tourist wares, and come across the glorious basicllica of Saint Anthony. Inside is the tomb of the famous saint, beautifully decorated with sculptures of gold and white marble.

On the opposite side of the church is a priest in long white robes. A small group of us gathers around him and he prays with us and offers a blessing before sprinkling us with holy water.

Once back at the hotel a few of us return to the same family restaurant where we had lunch. This time we feast on the tastiest woodfire pizza I’ve ever experienced – even better than Grimaldi’s in New York. With full bellies and satisfied taste buds we head back to the hotel for a good night of sleep. Tomorrow we board the cruise ship in Venice to sail off into the Adriatic.

Until next time,
Jess x

IMG_2312

Advertisements

The ultimate first world problem.

You’d think that with a three week
European holiday looming I would be dreaming of the beach and planning what tourist sites I want to visit. Instead, mum has decided that it is much more important to plan exactly what I’ll be wearing for each leg of our 20ish hour journey.

As one who normally travels in old leggings (often with holes) and an oversized jumper, I’m finding the concept of having multiple, socially acceptable outfits for the flight a little hard to get my head around.

An important thing to realise is that there are a few factors that must be considered when choosing inflight attire. You must look “smart”, you must be comfortable, you must choose something that isn’t easily stained and if all else fails you must have one outfit to get on the plane in and an entirely different one in which to endure the long hail flight. You must also have a different, sometimes pair, of outfits for each port you’re due to stop off in. It’s also important to look comfortable but classy during the flight in the rare event that an attractive male is in your vicinity. Last but not least there is the climate you will be arriving in.

You now see my dilemma.

I have my first outfit down pat. Simple Capri pants with a smart jumper and flats for the QANTAS lounge and benefit of customs officers in Sydney. This is combined with a pair of comfy leggings and a t-shirt to switch into and watch inflight movies and possibly drool on in a Valium induced nap. But, what do I wear once I get to Dubai? And then again on the flight from Dubai to Malta. Finally, what do I change into once I arrive in Malta so that my Nanna, whom I haven’t seen in 2 years, won’t think I’m some husband-less slob! At least I’m getting my hair styled beforehand, translated to, at least it won’t be in a sweaty bun.

All in all, I’m sorry for the three people reading this but I have no conclusion to offer on this matter. It is a first world problem that I am yet to solve. I guess you’ll have to stay tuned for the clichéd “departure sign” photos that are a staple of gen y travellers to find out what I finally decided on.

Until next time,
Jess

20140707-204917-74957180.jpg

The Countdown

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while since I posted anything on here, mostly because I haven’t been anywhere in quite some time, however, the excitement is mounting as I prepare to take my next adventure, to Europe. Nowadays, so many Australians travel to Europe it’s become a cliched holiday destination which is a real shame. I’ll admit that I have visited my fair share of times, alone and with family, but every time is different due to the large offering of cultures.

This time I am going for a giant family reunion. Normally I am unable to attend due to study, work or lack of funds, but this time I have my leave approved and my pennies saved for what I’m sure will be one of the richest experiences of my life. We have the itinerary mapped out, the dresses bought, the meals dreamed of and planned and the excitement is mounting. Having my entire extended family together in one place, on one cruise ship, is going to be an adventure…a very loud adventure. Mum and I have been dieting and exercising like mad to be bikini ready in time!

At the moment, all I want is a life filled with adventures. The places I have traveled don’t stack up against all the places I still wish to see, taste and feel. There are cities I want to live in and people I can’t even imagine, that I want to meet. For now, on this grey day in Sydney, I’ll save my pennies, plan my escape and bury my nose in the only adventure currently available to me…a book.

Until next time friends.

Jess

 

 

Find your happy place.

What do you think of when someone says “find your happy place”?

Personally, I am instantly transported back to America. The obvious choice would be New York because it is, without a doubt, my favourite place on earth, however, sometimes I find myself picturing other places just for fun. There is Aspen, another obvious choice I suppose, with the snow capping the mountains and the fairy lights twinkling, making everything look heavenly. In Aspen, like in many other ski resorts, there is an air of luxury that blankets the area much like the snow. It goes hand in hand, or glove in glove, depending on the temperature.

I don’t think that a “happy place” has to be a particular place in the world, it could just be a simple memory of a place that is easy enough to be transported back to. For instance, there was one day in November 2011, in Michigan (believe it or not) where most of the campus was deserted. I took my book to the common room which had these floor to ceiling windows. I remember, sitting alone on the giant blue couch, reading, when it suddenly started to snow. I think I ended up staring out that window for an hour because it was so effortlessly beautiful. It is one of my happiest memories to date.

Until next time,

Jess x

Image

Image

Dumplings of the gods

On a Saturday afternoon, starving after a hard morning of manis and pedis, my aunty Anna and I approach the little Asian restaurant on the ground floor of high point shopping centre. Lucky for us there is a rare lack of people trying to get a table and we line up behind one other group. Most people have chosen the take away line instead as the restaurant is already packed with people.

After choosing and paying for what we want to eat we wait patiently for the host to find us two seats. We aren’t waiting long when were ushered to two spare stools at the end of a long table, the food comes almost instantly. A bamboo bowl is place in front of us with the flawless dumplings inside, little blessings filled with pork and about to be dipped in chilli oil. I believe that if gods shopped at high point, this is where they would stop for lunch. We have ordered only 6 yet I could have eaten 60 in the name of true happiness.

As more people begin to flood in the masses of people only add to the atmosphere. You would be easily forgiven for believing you were in New York City at the latest Zagat hotspot. There is an endless interchange of people, eating and leaving. I’m assuming hundreds come through here every day. What a little gold mine dumplings have proven to be.

As we leave a ginormous man is looking for a seat and I finally understand how it is people get to be so large. It is seemingly a mixture of impeccable dumplings and as a result being too full to bother exercising.

Until next time,
Jess xx

20140315-204630.jpg

20140315-204642.jpg

Melbourne – part dos

Last time I left you, avid readers, mum and I were on the plane with a casual thirty firemen. Spoiler alert: that’s not all that happened on my weekend away, it’s not even everything that happened on the flight!

So I’m sitting in my allocated seat, reading The Economist (broadening my horizons and such) when the lovely flight attendant comes by offering tea or coffee. “So what are you going to Melbourne for? Work? Travel?” The gentleman asks “a funeral” I reply. “Oh man, trust that the first person I stop and speak to, I put my foot in it” the poor man goes on. “Tea or coffee?” Asks his colleague. “Wine? Would you like wine? I’ll get you some wine” he urges me, to the surprise of myself and his female partner on the cart.

After the exchange I went back to reading my magazine, mum is trying to get to the next level in candy crush and before we know it two bottles of French champagne are being thrust at us. “Celebrate the life” he says, smiles and leaves.

I truly believe that some people in this world are here to make us realise that not everyone is a below par human being.

Apart from the flight, our weekend in Melbourne consisted of a very sad funeral and some great fun with my relatives. To see everyone, drink with everyone and most importantly, eat with everyone got me all excited for the cruise. I spent Saturday with my aunty flicking through the cruise brochure, looking at the boat online and deciding when we would take the train to Milan (before or after the cruise, obviously not during). We then went to get manicures and pedicures before looking around the shops and inevitably heading downstairs for dumplings.

Now, I don’t want to oversell this, but these dumplings were freaking awesome!! The best I’ve ever had…ever. For lack of a better way to describe them, they looked like boobs…sweet sweet boobs filled with delicious pork. The lady behind us had ordered 10 just for herself and to be honest I was oddly impressed but a little perturbed because well, come on lady I was struggling with three!! She must really like boobs…or dumplings… Maybe both?

I will now leave you salivating over the amazing boob dumplings and go to check whether I’ve set a record for saying boob the most times ever in a blog post.

Until next time,
Jess xx

A trip to Melbourne – Be cool Mum.

The trip all started with a 5:30am wake up call, an exhausting boot camp session and a train ride with half of the year 7s in Sydney to the airport. We arrive at terminal three, check in, drop mum’s bag off and make our way to the Qantas Club for breakfast, coffee and a quick scan over the morning papers. Inside the lounge, morning heaven ensues. There are newspapers hanging around for everyone to read, a station where you can get a free coffee made and a little breakfast buffet with all the classy basics (no tubs of scrambled eggs here!). Mum and I find a comfortable seat and sit, reading and relaxing, waiting for our flight to be called. Ten minutes before departure time, flight 421 to Melbourne is finally called and we make out way down to gate 5. We arrive to what, on first glance, looks like a police hold up of the flight, but, on closer inspection, it seems we are flying to melbourne with about 30 firefighters. What a pleasant way to start a Thursday.

I give them my best “I’ll be in 31J” smile and join Mum at the front of the queue. We take our seats in the very empty middle section of the aircraft and I settle in just in time to have a front row view of the firefighters boarding the plane. I turn to Mum and quickly remind her to “be cool, it’s just another flight” to which she responds “where is the wee-hole?”. Mum! It’s called a toilet and thank you for giving me a taste of what dying of embarrassment could actually feel like!!! Luckily none of the hunky firemen heard her and I managed to scope out the babes from a safe distance, weighing up whether or not it would be a good idea to set the seat in front of me on fire.

To be continued…

Forster.

The weekend began, two girls driving off into the sunset towards the “paradise” that is Forster. We crawled up the highway towards the freeway entrance and when we got there, we flew.

Our classic road trip stop was at the gourmet F3 cafe stop where we destroyed some quality maccas cuisine and counted how many people we could see in footy shorts… Too many… But then again, we were on the F3.

Our drive took us well into the evening and upon the last turn into Forster we were confronted by what appeared to be a beaches whale trying to get a ride back to the beach… I’m kidding of course, it was just a slightly chubby hitchhiker. Turning the corner before she realised we didn’t have automatically locking doors, we drove on into the estate and settled at becs place.

I have to say a couple of bottle of wine and a quality chick flick between friends is a recipe for a great evening. Thanks to our new mates Alec and Meryl we laughed drunkenly through an evening of wine and ice cream. It was like a perfect first date, except I was with bec.

The weekend was spent at the beach where we debated why children are so fat and by the pool where I fell asleep and woke up being eaten alive by ants. Apart from now missing a toe it was a pretty enjoyable nap. That was sarcasm I still have all my toes.

Forster is a great place to watch people. The whole town has about one set of teeth between them and a serious lack of full length pants. We did have a nice chat with an elderly man after we did our food shop and I had a wander by the real estate office to have a look at future investments… Not actually…not after seeing my future neighbours.

Over all the weekend was relaxing and I needed it like nothing else. I’ve got a sweet tan and am completely revitalised. How ideal.

Where is my snow?

Image

 

It appears that almost everyone I am friends with on Facebook has decided to head off to the snow. In theory, this sounds pretty ok to me since I don’t see any of them that often anyways. The real problem started when they started posting pictures of the snow-capped mountains, outdoor spas and ski gear all over Instagram.

I was sitting at my desk, looking at these phenomenal pictures thinking “well you may be in (aspen, france, japan) but I have a pretty tasty-looking turkey and lettuce sandwich on my desk…so take that”

how. freaking. depressing.

It has come to my attention now that I would like to go on a skiing holiday. It’s been a good two years since I was shredding the powder on Aspen mountain and it feels a lot like a great injustice. I felt bad for myself for a few minutes until I realised that yes, all these friends of mine are falling on their asses into metres of snow, but I on the other hand, have my turkey sandwich and nothing can beat that…except that the turkey sandwich ended up being bad so I had to buy some sushi which was equally as terrible.

Luckily my parents bought us a snowcone maker a few christmases ago. I hope they won’t get mad if I turn the house into an indoor ski field. visitors welcome, bring your own hand warmers.

Until next time,

Jess x

 

Image

Photoshop

Everyone needs to get over the fact that magazines use photoshop. The latest mag to cop the heat has been Vogue for their (amazing) Lena Dunham shoot and cover. The photos are seriously incredible shot by the undoubtedly talented Annie Liebovitz, and all most people are talking about it whether or not they’re photoshopped.

Are you kidding me?? Of course they are! They always have been and probably always will be. People need to get it through their thick heads, magazines are photoshopped, so are movies and most of the ads you see everywhere. I’m not saying Lena is not beautiful without it, I’m just saying it’s expected and if you’re silly enough to think what you see in magazines is real, that’s your bad luck. Have some common sense people.

To be honest, I do think people are beautiful just as they are, but the more attention we give the photoshopping the more it affects us. Just accept that images are made to look like an unrealistic ideal and get over it, I’m sure you’ll all be a lot happier.

Well, that’s my rant finished.

Until next time,
Jess x