Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Gaffa

Today's post is very special. 

Not only is it Gaffa's 32nd Birthday, it is also our 100th post! YAY.

Gaffa darling, I hope today is as special for you as you are to me. I can't imagine my life without you. Wishing you lots of love and happiness (with me hehehe).... eat, drink and be merry! Sorry we couldn't go for a dive on your birthday.... 

Love always and forever, 

Win xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 32 x's for 32 birthday boy! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mexico, Part 1

The start of our Central American adventures!

During our 3 month stop over in the USA, Gaffa and I had booked flights to Cancun in Mexico to explore Central America; by chillaxin', enjoying the beach and sun, and to do some more scuba diving. Our two friends Maverick and Quiche decided to join us as well. We were very excited to be travelling with them as we'd unfortunately missed their wedding (we were in Egypt) and it was great to see some familiar Aussie faces! 

Eating out at our fav Mexican joint

This part of the trip was a bit different for Gaffa and I. For our European adventure we  had planned every day, booked every night's accommodation, knew exactly where we'd be going... but this time we'd only booked 3 night's accommodation in Playa del Carmen at Hostel Che (about an hour south of Cancun), and that was it. We had some ideas of what we wanted to do and where we wanted to go, but no solid plans, total spontaneity! For me personally, it was a new feeling; I like to be very organised and know exactly what I'm doing. But as I'm writing this post and we near the end of our Central America trip, I think it was a good experience to have and I learnt a lot from it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Rodeo Drive....

One movie pops into my head when I think of Rodeo Drive, and that's Pretty Woman. I love that movie!! So we took a short trip to Rodeo Drive to experience what it's like to shop where the rich and famous shop. We didn't go into any shops on Rodeo Drive. Visions of our experience in Milan came flooding back into my mind. We didn't have the money, nor did we want security guards stalking us around the shops.

We did do some window shopping though. We even got to witness how being rich and having a fancy car can get you anything you want, including a car parking space right on Rodeo Drive. We were waiting for a car to reverse out so we could park in, we had the indicator lights on and were waited patiently... As soon as the car pulled away, a flashy BMW driver- a woman, from the outside lane cut across us and took our car parking space!! Ridiculous!! No care in the world for us or the potential for her car to get scratched. All she wanted was that spot on Rodeo Drive! Unbelievable.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Disneyland, Los Angeles, CA, USA

The happiest place on earth....

And where all your dreams come true! 

I absolutely love Disneyland! It's the place where you can visit, become a kid again and let your worries go for the day, plus go on a few rides and see your favourite Disney characters.

The first Disneyland I ever went to was the Tokyo Disneyland in January 2009 with a group of uni friends and Gaffa. We only bought a half day night pass and missed the parade as it was raining. Then in May 2009 I was in San Francisco visiting my mum and we went to Disneyland in Los Angeles. So this visit with Gaffa was my second visit to the LA Disneyland. It doesn't get old though, I still get excited seeing all the Disney characters and going on all the rides. I would be the person that has an annual pass if I lived near a Disneyland and I'd definitely get my monies worth by visiting regularly.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Yoga & Scuba Diving

Healthy Divers = Happy Divers!

The Health Benefits of Yoga & Scuba Diving

As you may or may not know, Winnie and I are both keen practitioners of Bikram Yoga (for more info on what Bikram is, click here to see Winnie’s description) and we are clearly nuts about scuba diving.  
Standing Separate Leg Bow Posture

Whilst both of these activities promote a healthier lifestyle, I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at the health benefits of practicing Yoga if you are a scuba diver.  But remember, I’m not a Yoga Professional, just a regular Joe and I’m applying it to my profession – SCUBA DIVING!

Research suggests that one of the most noticeable benefits is the emotional and mental therapy that scuba diving provides us.  When a diver is experiencing neutral buoyancy, gliding through the water in an effortless way, weightless they begin to feel relaxed and soothed by this activity.  They can often feel their nerves calming as they dive beneath the surface.  Excitement and curiosity can often lead to positive mental therapy.  The feeling a diver gets when they see the various colours, textures, that the sub aquatic world offers can help to take the diver away from the rigours of living on the surface, of seeing the same cars, buildings and people.  The underwater world offers a new experience, a chance to explore.  This can really help divers who suffer from stress.  These are all positive psychological affects of scuba diving.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

San Francisco, USA - Part 1

Californian Fun!

Lots of eating with a little bit of sightseeing in between!


Gaffa and I are on the last leg of our worldly travels, leaving the cold and gloomy England bound for Australia - home, but not straight away... We are enjoying a 3 month stop over in USA! I have loads of family (on my mums side) in the San Francisco area, so we decided to visit and get to know them a bit better- since I haven't spent much time in my life with my relatives since they live so far away :(

Welcome to San Francisco!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Home Made 8 Course Degustation

Good Food and Great Company!

Delicious food complete with cocktails!

Yes you read it right, it's not a typo. Eight courses cooked by Gaffa and me, cocktails supplied by Mouldie and Kimbo!!

During our time in the UK, I can't remember whose idea it was but somehow the 4 of us decided that we would cook dinner and try and make 8 different courses. Initially no one was really up for the challenge, so we made a competition out of it.

First up was mini golf/putt putt/crazy golf as the Brit's call it. 9 holes at Clarence Pier at Southsea. It was a nice sunny day out and we started off with a friendly game... which soon became a bit competitive, as we decided that the winner and loser would help each other cook. So, we had to
strategise here. We couldn't play our best in the hope of winning, but we had to at least try so we wouldn't come last!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finding Zen

Wreck Dives to Remember…

The Zenobia Wreck

The Zenobia ship wreck lies on the sand just off of the coastline of Larnaca in Cyprus.  It has been one of those wrecks that keep cropping up in the many diving publications, forums; and thanks the The Times newspaper, it has been listed as being one of the top ten wreck diving sites in the world.  It is now my objective to give you a dive by dive account of the best of what this amazing shipwreck has to offer.  Since we did 10 dives on her, I will give you a glimpse of my favorites and the most memorable!

The Zenobia is a dive that interests almost all wreck divers, but since it is classified as a deep dive, comes as a bit of a challenge to the inexperienced diver.  The Zenobia, Zen to her friends, has also had its fair share of negative press too.   The stigma which surrounds any wreck that sits in deep water is understandable.  Divers who venture deeper, or for longer than they are trained or experienced to do so risk injury and even death.  Since its sinking in 1980, four divers have died on the wreck.  Earlier this year, in an attempt to prevent any accidents within the limits of port waters that come under its jurisdiction, the Cyprus Port Authority were reported to have  attempted to ban all diving in these areas – which includes the Zen.  The news broke on this in April 2012, thanks to UK diving magazine Diver, who reported also that there was no ban in place after all.  This plus a heap of local publicity surrounding the proposed ban, nothing eventuated from this and local dive centres continued to take divers out to the Zenobia wreck. 

Phew!  Great news!!

This was good news for myself and Winnie as we booked to travel there in early April for a week of Zen diving!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

France Road Trip

Final leg of the WINGAZ Euro trip!

Across France and back in 3 days!


This was the last part of our European adventure; we’d been travelling for almost 2 months and the end was almost near. In the morning we left San Sebastian on a train and travelled to Hendaye, a small French town just on the boarder between Spain and France. We then took another train to Bordeaux on the west side of France. At Hendaye we bought a road map of France, as we were going to hire a car in Bordeaux and drive around France for 3 days. When we arrived in Bordeaux we took the bus to the airport, as we were staying in a hotel close by and picking up our car from the airport the next morning.  

Staying in a hotel was like luxury to us, since we’d spent the good part of 2 months in hostels, large dorm rooms and single beds. The private room, fluffy pillows, queen size bed with its soft mattress and private bathroom were well deserved after roughing it for so long.

Yay, I was navigating!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

San Sebastian, Spain

Basque Country!

Last stop in Spain


Our final destination in Spain was San Sebastian, aka Donostia. San Sebastian is located in northern Spain in the Basque region. We spent 2 nights there enjoying the culinary experience that it has to offer and relaxing on the beach.


We were staying in a hostel in San Sebastian, very close to the beach. The hostel was not really a hostel, but a student home – so the place didn’t have to pay fees for being a ‘real’ hostel. The owner was a bit weird and overly friendly (we'll explain why later), and didn’t speak any English. Thankfully there were a group of American-Mexicans staying there to help us translate.  


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