Take time to live. Make time for things that make you whole. Doing so will only inspire you to work and create even more.
Have a great week!
(Photo from Pinterest.com)
“To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen
The best way to experience a new place is to immerse yourself in it…its lifestyle…its speed…to breathe, smell, and taste the city for everything that it is. It is never enough to just see a place and say that you’ve already experienced it. Do what the locals do. Eat where they eat. Move as they do. That is the only way to be changed by it.
One of the things I love the most about Melbourne is their cafe culture. A coffee lover at heart, the possibility of running into a small, charming, and impeccable coffee shop is endless in Melbourne.
My search for the perfect cup of Flat White started at Twenty & Six Espresso. (http://www.twentyandsix.com.au)
(Tote by Joan & Klaire @https://www.facebook.com/joanandklaire)
Their flat white was comforting. It had the right amount of creaminess and the coffee wasn’t overpowered. Their Fried polenta with braised mushrooms, asparagus, ricotta, salsa verde, and slow poached egg was refreshing and hearty.
Next stop – Manchester Press and I must say it didn’t disappoint. This was by far the best coffee I have ever tried. The atmosphere was perfect. It’s an old warehouse converted to a coffee shop. It was my ideal place – a casual, no-frills coffee shop. I loved their artistry and how organic it was.
The best Flat White ever! Perfect ratio of creaminess, bitterness, and sweetness. I took my first sip, closed my eyes and said to myself, “Oh this is a beautiful life!”
For a rather indulgent snack, we tried their Fruit bagel with mixed berries in mascarpone and pistachio.
|Blue Chiffon top: Forever 21| Floral Pencil Skirt: Stradivarius| Tote: Joan & Klaire| Stardust Silver Flat: Suelas|
Sunday mornings will not be complete without a trip to the famous Queen Victoria Market where fresh flowers…
and charming souvenirs are readily available. It was also great for food tripping because of the overwhelming choices of artisanal cheese, sandwiches, pastries, and wine.
When I travel I love to look for one of a kind items and stores and the iconic The Block Arcade was the perfect place to visit.
Its mosaic-tile flooring, carved stones, paintings, and boutique shops took me back to the 19th century.
One of the busiest streets in Melbourne is Swanson St. Aside from holding most of the major landmarks, it showcased how Melbourne expresses freedom and beauty through art. This is also one of the reasons why the city spoke so much to me.
One of the best ways to see the area is to start your route at the Degraves area. Grab lunch or coffee here and make your way to the National Gallery of Victoria. It may be a long walk but it’s well worth it.
As we strolled along, we saw the Australian Centre of Moving Image, a popular venue for local artists to feature their work – from paintings, songs, and even unique food concessionaires.
Even the cement flooring expressed so much creativity.
St. Paul’s Cathedral.
After an afternoon of shopping (or window shopping) and sightseeing, it was great to relax by the Yarra River. Its serene path definitely felt like small piece of heaven in the middle of the city.
And to better appreciate the view, we had a couple of drinks at the famous Riverland Bar & Cafe. It truly was the perfect afternoon!
One golden rule of mine is to watch the sunrise or sunset of every new place I visit and the perfect spot in Melbourne was the The Docklands.
My favorite area in the city is Lygon, otherwise known as Little Italy. Its energy is just so vibrant and stirring that it could very well be my second home. The quaint shops, cafes, and restaurants never failed to awaken my senses. A must try in this area is the D.O.C. Espresso. (http://www.docgroup.net) Their pistachio muffin was perfect with coffee.
Thirty minutes away from the city is St. Kilda. It is the perfect getaway from the hustle & bustle of the city.
It is a very picturesque area and I felt like a child being surrounded by swans, birds, and fairy penguins.
One valuable lesson I learned from my partner is to be more adventurous and eat where your nose takes you. Il Fornaio was definitely a gem we were so happy to find.
Their “From San Sebastian to St. Kilda” dish which has house made corn bread, vine tomatoes, pineapple glazed otway bacon, paprika crunch, and fried scallion was just AMAZING!
Pair it with their local brew and you just got the perfect meal after an hour of strolling around the city!
|Jeans: American Eagle| Nude Ballet Flats: DexFlex Payless| Accessories: personal gifts|
Walking around different parks in Melbourne, I loved how there’s so much space and greenery to indulge oneself in….how anyone can just pick a tree and read a book under the shade…how couples can just lie on the grass and soak the sun and the moment in….how children can just play carefully…
We truly fell in love with Melbourne and we will definitely be back.
Was it the company? Was it the sights? Perhaps both. Today, I am lost for words. I am simply at awe of how amazing The Great Ocean Road is.
Endangered birds take flight at Port Road Knight
Traveling with my sister is like seeing things through my own eyes but with more wisdom surrounding my every judgement.
Teddy’s Lookout offers one of the best views of The Great Ocean Road
We spotted 12 Koalas in the rainforest and this one graced us with its playful nature…
and charming smile.
Our tour guide, Outback Billy allowed us to feed some beautiful birds which was a great experience.
The most awaited part of the tour is the awe-inspiring 12 Apostles.
but there are only 8 Apostles left now.
A personal favorite of mine is our stop at the Loch Ard Gorge – a beautiful gorge with steps down the beach so you can enjoy a swim or a picnic. As Outback Billy described it, “it’s a place where you feel almost insignificant. You stare at the gorge and you marvel at the water. It is nature at its best.”
You get lost in the moment. You get lost in nature.
Find someone whose love sets you free and see the world together.
***For those of you who want to see The Great Ocean Road, I highly recommend taking The Great Ocean Road Tour with Outback Billy. http://greatoceanroadtoursmelbourne.com.au/index.html
I found this song through a friend and it stuck with me.
“There are years that ask questions, there are years that answer.”
2014 started with many questions and the uncertainties can somehow be overwhelming but faith always leads us back to the right path and to faith, I hold on.
So as the song goes,
Follow, follow the sun
and which way the wind blows
when this day is done.
Breathe, breathe in the air.
Set your intentions.
Dream with care.
Tomorrow is a new day for everyone,
Brand new moon, brand new sun.
So follow, follow the sun,
the direction of the bird,
the direction of love.
Most people ask me why I still work out, the truth is I don’t do it to lose weight or to impress anyone. I do it for myself. I do it because I love feeling strong and energized. Having that kind of discipline requires knowing your self-worth. Fitting in nice clothes and looking good are just an aftermath for me.
We owe it to ourselves to stay fit and healthy so do it now. Get on that treadmill or start running. Find your rhythm and continue to push yourself. Do it for your future. Do it for yourself.
Strong is the new sexy.