Me with some of the guys from work - out of work *glug glug glug*

Creme Brulee!

One of my favourite desserts is the creme brulee. It's a bit fiddly to make because you have to bake them in a tray of water in the oven but it's such a fun dessert to eat!!

I usually google a recipe each time I want to make it. You make the custard, bake it in a pan of hot water in the oven, let them set in the fridge, then when you serve you sprinkle some brown sugar over it and melt it with a blow torch.
I made a berry brulee and a coffee brulee. It's a great recipe if you have lots of egg yolks left over from making friandes!
I took one to work for dessert the other night and I did feel rather silly sitting in the pathologist's office with my blow torch, melting the sugar haha.

October So Far...

And more exploits...

Tuesday 2nd October '07
After working the long weekend, I thought it was time I spoiled myself at the start of my days off from work. I had lobster with garlic butter and some vegetables roasted in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary. Accompanied by a glass of wine of course!

Saturday 6th October '07

Went out for dinner with Ben, Sarah, Noel, Jeff, Thuan & Hua at Viet Hoa. Afterwards, Noel and I headed back to Ben and Sarah's for some dessert. I made a 'muesli crunch' by layering mixed berries, natural yoghurt and muesli. Did someone say 'healthy'?

Wednesday 10th October '07

I stayed home tonight and made myself dinner. It consisted of roasted vegies with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and rosemary; rosemary, thyme & chilli crumbed lamb chop; and an entree of fresh natural oysters with a dollop of salmon roe caviar and lemon. Yes...I do spoil myself. Well someone has to! =)

Friday 12th October '07

It all started when Kong, Ling, Shallen and I were out having dinner at In Contro in South Perth. Ling ordered an awesome lamb shank pie and the light bulb popped up above my head and I suggested we have a PIE NIGHT. Soo...we did!!

Ling & Shallen - Chicken & Vegetable Pies in the ramikins
Yen Chen - 'Upside-Down Pie' with Tuna and Vegies
Saz - Lamb Shepherds Pie
Kong - Applie Pie for dessert

I also experimented with some vanilla ice cream the night before. I lined some ramikins with baking paper (ran out of gladwrap) and filled them with the ice cream. I crumbed some chocolate biscuits and put a layer of this over the ice cream and put the ramikins into the freezer overnight. When everyone was over, I tipped out the ice creams (so that the chocolate biscuit becomes a base) and made some mixed berry coulis to drizzle over them. We enjoyed them with Kong's apple pies. My mum liked them so much, Kong made more the next evening and brought them over for her =)

We have our IRON CHEF night approaching this weekend. Stay tuned!!

September Says It All

More of my food exploits...
Saturday 22nd September '07

Marissa, Teresa and I went to Charlie's in Morley and bought a supply of Italian cold meats and cheese; then went to the Burswood seafood store to get some fresh cooked prawns and we went back to the Pelle's place for lunch.

Sunday 23rd September '07

Ben, Sarah and I spent the day driving around picking up seafood from various stores and coming back to my place to cook it for lunch. We had oysters (natural and kilpatrick), sweet chilli squid, garlic prawns, chilli mussels, rosemary and thyme roasted potatoes, and a fresh rocket salad.

Later that night we went to Ben and Sarah's place to hang out. Sarah cooked us a delicious Chicken Fricasee with mashed potatoes =P~~

Friday 28th September '07

I voyaged to Marissa's place with some friands I had made to enjoy with a coffee after dinner. We loved them so much that Marissa jumped into the kitchen and made more using the recipe I had googled. We made them with fresh strawberries on top and dusted them with icing sugar.

Pictured is Marissa looking ecstatic about friand baking.

Saturday 29th September '07

Ben and Sarah came over and joined my sister and I for some 'sweet deee-light' (I'm saying it the way Andy and Hamish do). Christina cut all the kiwi and strawberries up, I melted some chocolate and dished up some marscapone and bagulettes. This would be fantastic to enjoy on a nice warm afternoon with a bottle of wine.

All About August

Okay...I've arrived home from work (made a quick drop-in to have some cheese and crackers with a few pots of tea with Ben) and uploaded my latest lot of photos onto my computer. As i was going through them, I became inspired (and hungry) and just couldn't resist posting some of my latest FOOD SAFARI's on my blog immediately.

These are the main highlights of August:

Saturday August 11th '07

Marissa, Teresa and I decided that instead of heading out for high tea, we'd make our own. With enough food for about twenty people, our delicious spread included homemade savoury scones; homemade cake; finger sandwiches; mini quiches and pies; pikelets with jam and cream; toasted foccaccias; and strawberries dipped in chocolate.

Wednesday August 22nd '07
Tonight Marissa, Teresa and I decided on having a Turkish themed dinner. We got our inspiration from watching the Food Safari dvds the night before and in a short time after work managed to whip up a potato, tomato, onion and rosemary bake; lamb kofta; carrot dip; beetroot dip; a fennel salad; and some sort of dish that resembles couscous that I can't remember the name of.

Friday August 31st '07

Marissa, Teresa and I - AGAIN - making our own flavoured ice cream this time! We cheated by buying vanilla ice cream and just adding things in to create the flavours we wanted. We made the following flavours:
Mango & Coconut ~ Green Tea & Coconut ~ Cardamom & Rose

Saturday August 1st '07

My mum came with me to Marissa's house to make dinner for us. We had a whole steamed Red Emperor fish the Asian way (i.e. the fish is steamed with ginger, soy sauce, fresh tomato etc). We finished dinner off with the ice cream we had made the night before!

Ok...that's it for the month of August. It's 3:30am and I am happy with what I've managed to do tonight =)

*waddles off to bed*

Noel & Fleurette's Wedding: Aug 25th 2007

Tonight was the long awaited wedding of my friends Noel and Fleurette. I have known Noel since high school and he is truly one of the very few gentlemen left in this world. I met Fleurette for the first time several years ago and she is such a beautiful person. I was very happy, excited and honoured to be invited to attend their wedding.

Teresa designed and made me my dress for the wedding and we were both amused to see the Myer fashion collection on the news a few weeks later. I'm a trend setter! muahaha

Singapore: 21st Nov - 27th Nov 2006

I stopped over in Singapore on my way back from Egypt and had Marissa and my sister, Christina, meet up with us to spend a week there together. It was a wonderful week of food, shopping, food, day spa treatments, food, fun and food!

Wednesday 22nd November
Having arrived at the airport the night before and meeting up with Marissa and Christina, we settled into my Aunty's apartment that we were staying at. In the morning we got up early and headed out for the day. We decided to go to Sentosa, thinking we'd spend the day there at the water parks etc. Unfortunately, the last time I had been to Sentosa was over ten years ago so when we got to the ticket booth, we found out that the water park had actually been closed many years haha. We went to Sentosa anyways. We went by cable car and chose a 'glass cable car' which has a transparent glass base. Marissa and Christina are afraid of heights, while I love the exhilaration of being up high. We ended up spending most of the day at the Sentosa Spa Botanica. Absolute exotic heaven!!

Thursday 23rd November
Today we went to the famous Raffles Hotel and enjoyed a delicious high tea in the Tiffin room. We then had a Singapore Sling in the bar afterwards. Later in the evening we headed to Chimes and had cocktails. For dinner we went to the Marina Quay to indulge in a huge seafood dinner...we three spent $450!! Needless to say everyone sitting near us were looking on in disbelief as we got the VIP treatment haha.

Marissa feeling content after eating our big meal....Marissa realising just how much she ate...heehee

Friday 24th November
We spent the morning shopping, where Marissa got her Tagheur (however you spell it!) watch. For lunch we went to a hawker centre nearby for food, then did more shopping. We went for a reflexology massage in the afternoon and then to Newton Circus (a 24 hour seafood hawker centre) for dinner. We partied at a pub called 'One Night Stand' at Marina Quay late into the night.

Saturday 25th November
We walked through the Bugis Markets in the morning to get to the Bugis Hawker Centre where I was salivating to have beef noodles. Marissa and Christina were stopping to try nearly everything edible in the markets so I got hungry and had a bah-ku-teh egg. BIG MISTAKE...but we'll get into that later.

We did some more shopping and headed to Orchard Road. By the time we got back to the apartment in the afternoon, I was feeling really really sick. When I couldn't stop throwing up, I soon realised that I must have contracted food poisoning. My money is on that egg! At my insistence, Marissa and Christina went out to dinner in the evening with my cousins to see his new apartment while I stayed home with a cold damp towel on my forehead, puking my guts out.

Sunday 26th November
Feeling much better today, we went out and fit in some visits with family in between our shopping and eating. We decided to check into a hotel for our last night so that we could enjoy a bit of indulgence. My cousin took us out to dinner at Marina Quay but I could hardly keep anything down as I was still feeling queasy. Marissa was ecstatic at her fresh coconut juice she ordered!

David (my cousin) then took us for a boat ride down the Marina Quay and we had some high tea at a little gorgeous victorian tea place. We later retired to the hotel and I couldn't sleep, as what I assumed was gastroenteritis, got worse. We ended up calling the doctor out to give me an ass injection (haha). Lucky I got travel insurance!!

Monday 27th November
Our last day! We took all our luggage back to the Spa Botanica on Sentosa and spend the day getting spa treatments. When it was time for us to head to the airport, it started pouring! We got to the airport where a few of my cousins came to see us off. All in all it was a great holiday and I'm heading back again in February with Marissa and her sister, Teresa. We'll also be meeting Christina and her friend there. YUM!

Egypt: Nov 5th - Nov 20th 2006 PART TWO

...Monday 13th November continued
When our hot air balloon ride tumbled to an end, we went to the Valley of the Queens where we could not see much as most of the tombs are closed to the public. We drove on to an alabaster workshop and spent some time there to make some purchases. I bought a set of four small canopic jars. We then pressed on to the Al-Deir Al-Bahari Temple (the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut).

The Valley of the Kings was next! We were allowed to enter three tombs here but I cannot remember which ones they were. I also bought a separate ticket to enter King Tutankhamun's tomb. They were all awesome. No words can describe the feeling you get when you shuffle along the small passageways and take in all the inscriptions and carvings that cover every surface inside. You can even see the colour they used that have been preserved all these thousands of years. I had to hold back tears so often at just the beauty of it all.

After emerging from Tutankhamun's tomb, it took us a few moments to shake off the past and we headed to see the remains of the giant statues of Amenhotep at the Colossi of Memnon.

After a really big day out on the sites, we headed back to Luxor and took horse carriage rides around the city. We requested that we see the real local markets and not the touristy ones.

Amongst all the sightseeing, we did manage to fit in our lectures...the whole point of going to Egypt in the first place right!? For the Haematology Morphology Workshop. Yes...*nods*

After dinner on the cruise ship, Gayle and I were the only ones up for a bit of fun and so we headed to the lounge and ordered a cocktail at the bar. We were horrified at the way the bar tender poured our drinks, so we just had to get behind the bar and show them how a real cocktail was made haha. Alot of fun was had and we ended up stealing the aprons from the staff and wearing them. Good times =P

Tuesday 14th November
We all had a 'free day' today but came together in the evening for dinner in the ship's restaurant. We were then ushered into the lounge where they had set up for 'casino night'. I got peckish and the staff were great to bring me some snacks!

Wednesday 15th November
Our ship cruised back into Aswan today and we disembarked to visit the temple at Kom Ombo. I was impressed (if a little creeped out) by the huge mummified crocodile/alligator we saw. We strolled past the market stalls set up outside the temple and then headed back to the ship for dinner.

Thursday 16th November
In the morning we went sailing on a felucca. When we got to our destination, the girls and I headed to a hotel (that some Agatha Christie novel was based on) and had a snack when we finally managed to find a cafe/restaurant. We later went to the train station to catch a sleeping train back to Cairo overnight.

Friday 17th November
We arrived in Cairo in the early morning and checked into the Ramses Hilton Hotel once again. Unfortunately, I did not get a room with the same views as I had before. We had a free day to exlore Cairo. Later at night we all met up for dinner at the Maharaja restaurant and tried a shishah downstairs in the hotel lobby afterwards. Being against smoking as I am, I didn't inhale but managed to taste a subtle apple flavour in our 'apple tobacco'.

Saturday 18th November
As an optional part of the tour, we travelled to Alexandria today. We visited the Roman theatre and the Kom El-Shuqafa monuments, where we were able to climb down a winding circular staircase to an underground tomb/catacombe. It was extremely creepy shuffling along the makeshift planks of wood and hoping that nothing would leap out of all the dark tombs that lined the walls. We then went to see the new Alexandria library and drove around the city. I saw a KFC on the beachside and could not resist getting some for lunch! I sat with Liz on the ocean wall to enjoy my indulgence that tasted as good as if I were back home. We asked to go to a beach so Abdou took us to this little tiny cove of sand and I rolled my jeans up and trudged into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Then it was home time.

We returned to Cairo by train. Everyone was tired but I was full of energy, as usual! Gillian decided she would come out and have dinner with me and we tried this lovely restaurant in the hotel.

The next day, Hussein came to take me to the airport.

On reflection...
Egypt has always been one of those destinations in the world that I have wanted to go and see for myself. All the pictures and museum exhibits that travel the world just do not do it justice. The ancient history is beautiful and there really are no words to describe it once you are there. I am so so very fortunate to have had the opportunity to go. Looking back at my time there, it will be one of the most memorable moments of my life.


Egypt: Nov 5th - Nov 20th 2006 PART ONE

Monday 6th November
I landed in Egypt and was driven to the Ramses Hilton hotel right on the Nile River. I went up to my room with the bell boy who took me to the balcony of my room (I managed to get a presidential suite because all the regular rooms were booked) and asked if I could see the pyramids. I looked out at the city covered with a thick cloud of haze and though 'you've got to be kidding me...', but after a few looks, I squealed in delight when I spotted silhuettes of the pyramids in the distance.

I met up with the rest of the group and we decided to spend our first day exploring ourselves. I went with Elizabeth (Liz) to the Cairo Museum and spent a few hours there. We met with everyone else in the evening and went to see the Pyramids Sound & Light show. It was absolutely freezing out in the desert! Afterwards we all warmed up over delicious Egyptian cuisine at a nearby restaurant.

Tuesday 7th November
We set out today to see the pyramids of Giza: Kefren, Cheops (largest), and Mykerinus. We visited the Sphinx nearby and I went on a camel ride! It was a bit bumpy and I felt like the camel was lurching about but soon got the hang of it.

We visited a carpet school where there were young children learning how to craft carpets. Then onto Saqqara where we saw the step pyramid of Zoser. In the above collage you can see me standing next to a little pile of stones...I name that the 'miniature pyramid of Saz'.

Back at the hotel that night, Liz, Gillian and I had dinner at the Maharaja Restaurant. Delicious Indian cuisine =)

Wednesday 8th November
We went to the Cairo Museum and only had a few hours to browse. Luckily, Liz and I had covered alot when we went on our first day during our free time. We were unfortunately rushing through alot of the exhibits but we made sure we took our time in some of the more popular ones ie Tutankhamun.

We also visited the palace of Mohamed Ali (??) and the citadel of Salah-al-Din. Beautiful mosque. Afterwards, we ventured through some of the markets in Cairo where we were hassled at as tourists often are. It must have been amusing for the locals to see a group of foreign women wandering around on their own.

That evening we took the sleeping train to Aswan.

Thursday 9th November
Arriving in Aswan, we went directly to the jetty and hired a boat to take us down the river to the magnificent Philae Temple. We then headed back and reached our cruise ship - the Mirage 1. We had most meals onboard the ship and it was buffet style. For breakfasts I would enjoy the cold meats, cheese, bread and fruits. For lunch and dinner I would always start with a bowl of soup (the chef made the most fantastic soups!!!) and then have a few serves of the hot foods, then finish off with one or two more bowls of soup while everyone else had dessert. Liz and I always had a bottle of red wine waiting for us in the bar and the waiters learned quickly that we enjoyed a glass (or two) with every meal.

That night we enjoyed dinner in one of the local Egyptian's homes. Their family was so welcoming to us and their daughters shy and inquisitive. We headed back to the boat very content.

Friday 10th November
We had to get up at 4am to catch a plane to see the temple of Abu Simbel in Nubia. The temple of Hathor was next. We drove to see the Nile Dam and then flew back to Aswan. After lunch we went sailing on a felucca to visit a Nubian village down the Nile River.

Saturday 11th November
We rode in horse carriages to visit the temple of Edfu. We then returned to our cruise ship and spent the afternoon waiting to pass through the loch at Esna before we went to our cabins to get ready for 'Egyptian Night'. We rocked up to dinner wearing our traditional Egyptian cotton galabyas. The buffet consisted of traditional Egyptian dishes and all the cruise staff were dressed in their comfy attire that they normally wear at home. Festivities continued into the bar and lounge area upstairs where we were entertained with some traditional Egyptian music and dancing.

Sunday 12th November
We arrived in Luxor overnight on our cruise ship and in the morning we visited the Karnak temple and spent most of our day there because it is such a huge temple. There is the Giant Scarab Beetle here and the legend is that if you want children, you walk around it a certain number of times and make your wish.

At night we saw the Luxor Temple bathed in lights. If you looked up at the columns bathed in the warm red/orange glow from the lights, you could almost imagine yourself back in the past, standing in the open courtyard and looking up at the stars.

After dinner Liz and I headed to the bar for a night cap =P

Monday 13th November
We got up early (yet again) and sailed across the Nile in a boat named 'Golden Boat' to where we would embark our hot air balloon ride. The views were magnificent as we rose into the air just while the sun was rising in the distance. Absolutely breathtaking views. It was also heartbreaking to see the locals living in poverty when our balloon flew low enough for us to wave to the children.

to be continued...

Santa Monica (Los Angeles): Sep 4th - Sep 12th

The weather in Santa Monica was absolutely beautiful!!! The hostel I was staying at was just a street away from the beach so the walk was only about five minutes. I managed to catch a bus on a chartered tour in the morning and spent the day at Universal Studios.

A few days into my stay I was getting a bit anxious that I hadn't met anyone to hang out with yet. While the other hostels I stayed at had activities to do to help you meet other people, the hostel in Santa Monica seemed happy to just leave you to your own devices. But I managed to find a group of Kiwis and Aussies one evening and we headed down to the Santa Monica pier for a night of fun. I also bumped into Kristy, whom I had met while in New York on her last night there so she joined us.

Santa Monica was a really cruisy week. I dined with the new friends I had made as well as on my own. The oysters there are just unbelievably delicious!!! I now know why I didn't like oysters served 'naturale' all these years. It's because all the ones I've had in the past were not fresh. I now know the difference between a good oyster and a bad one and I love them!!

On one night I enjoyed a lobster at a restaurant situated right at the beginning of the Santa Monica pier. I sure do spoil myself =)

Another night I dined at a seafood restaurant on the road facing the beach and as the sun was setting, I couldn't help but stop to think about how I was on the other side of the world to all my friends and family and I was alone. A surge of loneliness hit me but at the same time I felt really proud of myself for having the courage and determination to go through with travelling alone (after Shaune had ditched me to go to Europe!).

On my last day in Santa Monica, I went to a day spa next door to the hostel and pampered myself with the whole spa package. I rushed through my pedicure to spend some time with a few of the remaining friends that hadn't yet left. Jackie and I bought those touristy red life guard jumpers and at my suggestion, we headed to the beach to shoot our Baywatch glamour shots. We saw an actual coast guard in the distance down the beach as we were doing our 'Baywatch run' and I waved at them to see if I could get their attention. They turned around and headed towards us in their ute.

It turned out that he was the Captain of the Life Guards and he was so great to let us use him as a prop =P. Check out our cool shots:

I dragged the girls along to Governor Arnie's restaurant called 'Shatzi' on Main St. Unfortunately, we were told Arnie had been there a few days ago to do some paperwork but we got to meet Helmut, Arnie's best friend from Austria, who helps him manage the restaurant.

New York: Aug 28th - Sep 4th

New York, New York! My plane was delayed because it was raining in New York (just great!) and when I did land, it was peak hour traffic and it took me three and a half hours to get to my hostel by the shuttle bus, having to make a few stops on the way to drop off other people. I was not happy, Jan.

I got some Japanese (unagi with rice =P~) from downstairs and then decided to do some laundry after getting settled into the room. I met a few girls in my dorm who were leaving the next day to return to sunny California. We went out to a bar down the street and hung out there for the night.

New York was so different to Chicago. The area I was staying in was to the north of Manhattan and it looked like a slum area from 'Law & Order' haha. I didn't feel that safe going out at night by myself, which worried me because I had several broadway shows to go to in the evenings. Luckily the subway station was just across the road so it was just a quick scuttle to get there.

I went on a Greenwich Village tour and met several terrific people and hung with them during the rest of my stay. We bought tickets last minute to see the musical 'Rent'.

The next day I took the gang to Chinatown to find somewhere to eat dim sum heehee. We found a huge two storey restaurant and it was packed out with Asians. I had with me Kelsey - a fellow Aussie from Geraldton, Anj - an Indian from Canada, and Bryan - a redhead from somewhere in the US - haha. Our table stood out like a sore thumb.

Afterwards, Bryan had his own plans so left. Kelsey and I went to the Museum of Sex. We got some really interesting photos =P~. It was a bit creepy because there were a few old men there by themselves watching the historical pornography a bit too intently.

I swear this is a scene from that book Charlotte's Web - "Oh Wilbur, Wilbur!"

Heehee =)

I had purchased tickets online months in advance before my trip to see Mamma Mia. I absolutely LOVED THE SHOW!! I was sitting right in the middle, fifth row from the stage. I had been looking for a Stella in all the bars in the US but couldn't find it. They served it at the theatre bar. I bought a pint and skulled it in the five minutes before the show started. BIG MISTAKE. Within ten minutes into the first half, I was busting to go *wah* Just as well though, because I ducked out during the last song before the intermission and avoided all the lines haha. With my bladder emptied out, I enjoyed the rest of the show in comfort and couldn't help but sing and bop along to the music.

I also saw Phantom of the Opera. Beautiful piece of broadway. I also found out from Bryan that Monty Python's Spamalot was indeed showing in New York right at that moment so I rushed out to buy a ticket and I am soooo glad I saw it. It was hilarious!!! Throughout the whole show, I kept thinking how much some of the guys back home in Perth would enjoy the show too. I decided right then and there and I would see it if the show came to Australia.

We went to the site of Ground Zero from September 11th. It was close to the anniversary and flowers and tributes were already arriving. We all stood in silence just overlooking the site for a few minutes just reflecting on what had happened there. It's hard to imagine that there once stood two of the world's tallest skyscrapers there and the chaos that would have ensued their demise.

Kelsey, Anj and I also took the ferry to Ellis Island, going past the Statue of Liberty. I dunno...I also imagined she was a bit bigger than she actually is haha. We got to Ellis Island thinking we would do some shopping there but it turned out it would take an hour's trip on a bus to get to the nearest shopping mall. Screw that! We headed back, but not before we were exposed to the sight of an elderly man peeing on the road nearby haha.

My time in New York was rather lazy. The weather was gloomy and it rained most of the time so we were trudging through the rain most days. We wanted to go to the observation deck in the Rockerfeller Centre but it was closed off to the public because they were setting up for the MTV awards. I definitely missed out on the night scene because of the weather.

My last day in New York was spent walking around and just window shopping. I went into a salon and got a manicure and pedicure =). My very first one EVER! After getting pampered, I found a tiny little seafood restaurant that I had passed earlier and had my very first lobster for dinner. It was a day for firsts for me =).

I would definitely love to return to New York again one day. The Broadway shows are enough alone to attract me back. But I would also like to be able to experience the nightlife without the miserable weather.

Chicago: Aug 21st - Aug 28th

Chicago...the windy city. Took a shuttle bus from the airport to the hostel I was staying at and along the way I could see how beautiful the architecture of the buildings are. The hostel I stayed at was right smack bang in the middle of everything so I could easily walk to wherever I needed to go or take the L train.

It felt weird being in a huge city by myself. I was also tired from the previous night I had spent drinking at Quarks in Vegas. I think I made the mistake of mixing my Romulan Ales with my Borg Spheres and I had a massive hangover when I went to the Vegas airport. Luckily it cleared up before I boarded my plane to Chicago.

One of the first things I did in Chicago was go shopping for a loaf of bread, ham and TEA BAGS. There was a huge communal kitchen and I kept my stash there for when I got back from outings hungry. I ate quite a bit of's half as expensive as it was in Vegas.

I wandered the 'Magnificent Mile' which is like a 'mile' stretch of road lined with boutiques and stores. Nothing special because they were all the expensive designer stores like Guess, Louis Vitton, Hugo Boss, etc. However, I discovered LEGOLAND in one of the malls heehee. There was a giant solid YODA made from lego and you could go into a competition to guess how many lego pieces went into building it.

One night I headed out intending to have dinner in 'Little Italy' but I must have taken the wrong turn when I got off the 'L' and ended up in Little Greek! I dined in a wonderfully warm and inviting restaurant that was designed with several layers of dining space to recreate a little Greek village.

I signed up to go with some other travellers at the hostel to an 'improv' comedy night in Wrigley, which is the sports area of Chicago as it's where their baseball stadium is. Megan (a volunteer Chicago resident who takes hostel travellers out on group outings to see Chicago) took us bar hopping afterwards and we had an awesome time. I ended the night by going to Tacobells with a few of the stragglers before heading back to the hostel. MMm tacos...

Thursday I went to Chinatown and had dim sum. US$10 for four dishes and including a tip. I must admit their chicken feet had nothing on the chicken feet I get in Northbridge, but it was still yummy overall. Later at night I went to a seafood restaurant and had a really delicious whole fish in a really really delicious lemon herb butter.

After dinner I met up with some of my new friends in Millenium Park and we splashed around in the fountain there for a bit. The really enjoyed the nightlife in Chicago. It wasn't buzzing at a frantic pace but was more laid back so you could enjoy it.

One of Megan's friends, Henry, invited us back to his place one night after we'd partied ourselves out at the clubs. He really looked after us and was extremely worried when Megan passed out while he was cooking us something to eat and we called the paramedics to check her when she hit her head on the way down. Talk about some excitement while on holidays!!

I also attended the Stargate Convention at a hotel outside the main city of Chicago. I got off the train and got onto a bus thinking it would take me to the hotel but I ended up being dropped off in the middle of nowhere beside a highway. I went into some nearby buildings but no one could help me find where I was supposed to go. I was nearly in tears thinking I was lost in the middle of nowhere until I found a taxi who was waiting for someone but he was kind enough to take me to the hotel (about five minutes away). *phew*

I got befriended by a fellow Stargate fan by the name of Milo when I was waiting in the hotel lounge. We chatted for a bit but I got alarm bells when he started telling me owned a porsche that was 'amazon green' and he had the frame of his glasses tinted that same colour to match his car. Needless to say I quickly made an excuse to leave when he offered to take me for a drive haha. He seemed harmless...just a bit too geeky for me =P

I bumped into Don S. Davis in the corridor on the way to the auditorium for the convention on my second day there. I was speechless...all I could do was ask him have a photo taken with me and I felt soooo terrible that in my awe I could not remember his name!! I also managed to catch Cliff Simon (that sexy sexy Ba'al) for a photo later on. I got signed photos from Michael Shanks and Jason Mamoa. *drool*

Me with Don S. Davis a.k.a 'Hammond of Texas'

Me with Cliff Simon a.k.a Ba'al

Star Trek 40th Anniversay Convention: Aug 17th - Aug 20th

The Star Trek convention was phenomenal!! Although Patrick Stewart did not turn up, I still saw other stars like Connor Trineer, Dominic Keating (he sooo was drunk when he came on stage!!), Kate Mulgrew, Robert Picardo and the guy who plays Neelix (I never can remember his name!!).

I hung out at Quarks bar several days. The convention was on Thurs-Sunday. By Saturday I was too tired to do anything so we spent the day doing laundry and just bumming. Big mistake. Saturday night was the costume competition at the convention and I MISSED IT *wah*.

On Sunday (our last night in Vegas) I went to the Hilton (where the convention was being held) and waited till the Star Trek Experience opened to go on the two rides there...then I headed to Quarks bar to meet up with a guy I had met at the bar earlier. I ended up making friends with several other blokes there and having a great time. I also befriended five Klingons and asked them to come join us. The day turned out to be AWESOME!!!

Later that night I finally had enough and was ready to pass I reluctantly said goodbye to everyone and stumbled down the block to my hotel. Needless to say I had a hangover at the airport the next day. Very bad. I had one of the large drinks...'the Borg Sphere' and tried all the beers. Romulan ale, Cardassian ale, Klingon blood wine...etc. But that was one night I will never forget. I got some fantastic photos =)

One of these things is not like the other...

I a borg. Resistance is futile.


A Star Trek Collage

Caution: Do not grab a female klingon's breast. It may anger her.

Las Vegas: Aug 10th - Aug 21st 2006

The weather was hot hot hot! I seriously reckon I lost a few inches off my waist walking around in that heat!! I bought a pair of jeans that fit nicely at the beginning of the week but towards the end of the week were feeling loose (not me - the jeans =P). We did alot of walking everywhere - was so weird adjusting to being able to drink anywhere anytime! By 9am the next day Markus and I had a beer in our hands and were heading down the strip to see what trouble we could get up to. Had to keep reminding myself that I didn't have to quickly skull the rest of my beer before heading outside or to the next place. Sweeeet. We must have spent more money on bottled water than on alcohol most days though.

Markus and I visited Madame Tussauds and I'll have to find where I put my CD of pics to upload them.

We did a bit of exploring our first day there before Shaune arrived. He wasn't very happy when we met up with him...the airline had lost his luggage. Anyhow, we didn't let that stop us from having a good time. We headed out that night and eventually found a nightclub that wasn't charging a ridiculous price for guys to get into. Girls get in free mostly heehee. One night I went clubbing on my own while the guys gambled outside. It was crazy inside! As soon as I hit the bar, one of the bar chicks leapt up onto the bar and started pouring vodka down our throats. vodka. I think that's mostly what I drank there. Vodka. It's true what they let us think about really do go there to hook up. Guys were coming at me from every angle and seirously...within five minutes of being on the dance floor, I turned around and realised I was pretty much alone out there. Everyone had paired up and left. As I was dancing alone, it started to feel like I was putting on a free show for all the guys who didn't manage to hook I left.

Another night, we all headed out to another club. Markus disappeared on us, which left Shaune and I stumbling around trying to make our way back to the hotel. This was no easy task - we were both totally shitfaced. We spent about an hour trying to find our way OUT of the hotel we were in. Everyone was giving us wrong directions!! Or perhaps we were simply too drunk to know our left from our right haha. We eventually made it outside and Shaune doesn't remember me hailing a taxi and getting back. He fell asleep in the shower while I fell asleep waiting for him to get out. I think he was in there for about an hour haha. Markus rocked up to our hotel room about 6am with Krispy Creams, bananas and water. He thought he had won some money in the casinos until he checked his bank statements muahaha.

I was really fortunate that the timing of my holiday coincided with really good shows. We got tickets to see 'O' and 'Ka' by Cirque de Soleil (however you spell it). I had my tickets to see Celine Dion *drool*. The show was so beautiful. We also found out that Drew Carey was in town doing an improv all stars show and we immediately bought tickets to that. Was hilarious!!!!

I did alot of fine dining alone...teppan yaki, Italian, steak houses, sushi. Anything to get away from all the fast food that was everywhere. THE BUFFETS IN VEGAS ARE AWESOME!! They have buffets that are like gigantic eating halls. I found a fantastic all you can eat seafood and sushi buffet...=P~~

Ok... in this collage there are some pics of/at various casino/hotels in Vegas. Shaune's showing off his winnings and oh it's such hard work gambling *wipes sweat from brow*. There's a sign that looked like it said '99c MEN' outside our hotel but if you lean over to the left, it actually says '99c MENU'. Woohoo!! 99c corndogs! I took Shaune and Markus to an all you can seafood and sushi buffet for lunch one day and I must have eaten at least as much as both of what they ate combined!! I've shown you all the empty jelly cups. MMm...jelly.

Shaune and I standing at the edge of the Grand Canyon. That's right! We hired a car and drove there. On the way we passed through the Hoover Dam, I had the best ever Chipolato (!??) Hot Dog at a self service petrol station with mustard and lots of jalepenos *drool*.

The Canyon was magnificent. It stretches so far in every direction...with the haze it looked like we were just standing infront of a big billboard sign and any minute some guys would come along and take it away.


Las Vegas is definitely a place I would love to visit again. They're always demolishing and rebuilding larger and more extravagant casinos/hotels that it never becomes a stale holiday destination. Awesome fun for a girls trip away. I don't understand why people spend their hens nights or bucks nights there though. There's too much temptation =P