North America, Asia, Australia and Oceania · 14 Days · 38 Moments · December 2016

Sam and Riana's Winter Wonderventure!

6 January 2017

On our way home with a stop in L.A. It's no fun to end a trip, but at least it's a comfortable airplane ride home 😀

5 January 2017

Sydney was amazing, but it's time to pack for the airport... until next time mates!
Enjoying our last day in Sydney at Luna Park, a "Coney Island" style park ride along the shore of the Sydney Harbor! I even won a large stuffed die from a basketball game!
Once-in-a-lifetime sunrise hot air ballon ride with Balloons Aloft! Incredible views from up to 3,000 feet above Hunter Valley followed by a champagne breakfast!

4 January 2017

One last Hunter Valley dinner! Sam and Riana's appetizer and dinner dishes for the past two days consisted of the following: lobster, yellowfin tuna, kangaroo, duck, quail, crab, deer, and cow... in other words, not ideal for vegetarians! And this didn't even include dessert!
Chocolate and cheese tastings after lunch in the Hunter Valley! Thanks to Chris at Wine Country Limousines for an excellent tasting tour!
A beautiful wine tour of Hunter Valley. We visited four local boutique vineyards not including a delicious lunch meal on the patio. I vow to only drink wine alone or with others 😀🍷

3 January 2017

A delicious dinner at the beautiful Circa 1876... a foodie heaven in the Hunter Valley set to a design straight out of, well, 1876! One of our best meals of the trip!
After a scary driving experience renting a car in downtown Sydney, we drove 2 hours north to the beautiful Spicers Vineyards Estate in The Hunter Valley region (Australia wine country 🍷!!!)
An early morning visit to the tallest building in Sydney: the Sydney Tower! We got super lucky with the weather!

2 January 2017

Continuing our crazy Sydney tourist day, we hopped a ferry to Manly Beach (an incredibly cute Aussie beach town), walked around, rented bikes, checked out the beach, and visited a local brewery! Time for a nap before the Sydney Opera House tonight!
After a busy early morning of bridge climbing and breakfast, we headed out for the world famous Taronga Zoo! Giraffes and Sydney skyline in the same image--unreal! We also climbed two ropes courses because if you're going to wear multiple harnesses in the same day you might as well make it count!
A local pub on Darling Harbor for dinner... a beautiful evening in Sydney!
We were fortunate enough to obtain tickets to a Beatles Rock Orchestra performance tonight at the iconic Sydney Opera House! Both the venue and the show were unforgettable!
Arguably the highlight of our trip: our Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb at dawn. We woke up at 2:55am and climbed one of the worlds most iconic bridges (more photos to come when we arrive back home). We followed up our bridge climb with a delicious breakfast in The Rocks neighborhood at the aptly named The Rocks Cafe.

1 January 2017

We started our Sydney adventures by taking a 30-minute turbo jet ride throughout Sydney Harbor (go pro photos to come soon), but we also squeezed in a visit to the Sydney aquarium in our first afternoon!
For those who know me, you understand that there is no better place for me to ring in the new year than aboard a Boeing 747... going anywhere! Enjoying the first morning of 2017 at the airport in Melbourne!

31 December 2016

After 4 amazing days in Hong Kong, time to enjoy some airport lounges before our flight to Australia! Happy new year to everyone!

30 December 2016

After 3/4 day at the theme park, we took no break in hopping on a ferry to Macau! We visited a few casinos and saw the show "The House of Dancing Fountains"... we arrived back at our hotel in Hong Kong at about 3am!
Very interesting here: a choir of Chinese kids singing Christmas songs at a theme park... they don't even celebrate the holiday... and someone forgot to tell everyone that Christmas was 6 days ago. But at least we saw pandas!!! 🐼
Ocean Park Theme Park on Hong Kong Island! Even though it's straight out of the 1980's, the park was a blast. Also, the park is beautifully set on a mountain top overlooking the South China Sea!

29 December 2016

A beautiful evening atop The Peak in Hong Kong! Perhaps the best skyline in the world!
Sam and Riana having a blast at the Hong Kong 3D Trick Eye Museum on top of Victoria Peak! Check out our outrageous acrobatic skills (or photography skills)!
A rare afternoon treat: high tea (literally) on the 103rd floor at the Ritz Carlton.
One of the coolest experiences we've ever had... Dialogue in the Dark featured a 75 min exhibit in the pitch black led by a completely blind Hong Kong local guide! Humbling, educational, and inspiring way to experience travel!

28 December 2016

A beautiful night on the Hong Kong Observation Wheel overlooking the skyline!
An exhausting, but amazing afternoon of walking around on our Hong Kong Foodie Walking Tour. We walked throughout central Hong Kong for 4 hours and made stops for six local meals! We highly recommend for anyone visiting--so long as you have the stomach to handle it!
Our incredible tea tasting workshop today at MingCha tea! We tried 5 different teas and learned all about the significance of the Asian tea culture! Thank you to our tea expert educator, Tomoko!

27 December 2016

Delicious dessert at Kai Kai Dessert near the night market in Kowloon! Check out the almond and walnut syrup (like a soup) with sesame rice balls... It's way better than it reads!
Hitting the ground running like we usually do after a 16-hour flight! Hitting up the famous Temple Street Night Market via public transportation!
Business class on Cathay Pacific 😊 #happywifehappylife
Pre-flight mimosas in the Chicago airport lounge!
Last meal in the U.S. for 2016! Yummy Elly's breakfast!

24 December 2016

Christmas Eve at Grandma & Grandpa's!
Very lucky with the weather today! Bonus: Great game!
Redskins are winning!
Breakfast at Nookies in Old Town before the Redskins/Bears game!

23 December 2016

Kicking off our two-week Winter Wonderventure! Off to Chicago for a Christmas weekend with family!