Monday, July 23, 2012

G'Day! And a Giveaway!

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Now, you totally know where I went, right?

My company sent me to Brisbane, Australia to lead some software training, and I'm almost recovered from the 14-hour time difference and two stints of 24-hour travel to get there and back.  Whew!  But it was a fantastic experience, especially because I spent my one day off taking a river boat tour out to the Lone Pine Koala Preserve to see some furry natives.  It was such a fun - and beautiful day - that it made my whole trip worth it.

I thought I'd come back with tales of how different the food is in Australia, but honestly, it wasn't really that crazy.  It's definitely got British influences, but other than some funny names for things (Bay Bugs = shrimp!), and a grilled half Roma tomato served with every meal (especially breakfast), it wasn't too crazy.  There were a lot of steak restaurants, and a lot of curry and food with Asian influences.  Basically, it was just a lot of eating out and feeling like I was going to develop scurvy from lack of fruits and vegetables.

It amazing to be able to go.  And I'm excited to share a tiny bit of that with you - giveaway below...... :)


On the river boat ride out to the Koala Preserve.  It was gray and rainy all week, but absolutely gorgeous on the one day I had to play.  Talk about luck!

Of course I cuddled a koala.

Her name was Crumpet :)

This guy followed me for a bit, asking for more of the food in my pocket.

On the boat ride back to Brisbane.
Moscato on the river, ahhhhh... So perfect....

After the river boat tour, I spent the last of my Australian money - $7.50

On a crepe, at the French festival going on at the riverfront park.

But, enough of that -

It's Giveaway Time!!

I brought back some treats all the way from the Land Down Under to share with a lucky one of you!

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below describing either your favorite vacation or the one place on your dream vacation list.

Comments will close on Sunday, July 29 at 5pm EST.  I'll announce the winner next Monday!

Fine Print:  One entry per person, please!  Because it's fairly hot for most of the country, I reserve the right to hold off shipping your winnings until there's a break in the heat.  I didn't haul this chocolate all the way from another continent just to have it melt in the mail! :)

The winnings!

If you've never had a Tim Tam, I'm dreadfully sorry.  They're milk chocolate cookies, double-dipped in milk chocolate, with a soft chocolate filling in between.  They're basically the Oreo of Australia, with a bunch of flavor varieties.  I brought back the best one for you - Double Coat.

You can make a Vegemite sandwich.  Or not.
It smells exactly like a Guinness beer, but that's not what it tastes like.

Australians seem to drink either espressos (Long Black = espresso diluted with hot water) or instant coffee.  Even the work break rooms have instant coffee.  I know that generally, instant coffee is rubbish, but I actually liked this!

I grabbed this just because it sounded so awful.
Milk chocolate with what looks like jelly beans and Pop Rocks.

I asked a guy in the grocery store which candy bar was good, and this is what he was picking out for himself.  And the girl I sat next to on the plane was eating a bar that was very similar.
Cherries, chocolate, and coconut sounds like it could be ok?

I actually had these years ago, and they're really yummy.
They have a "honeycomb" filling that's crunchy and messy and just really tasty. 

Leave your comment entry below!


  1. I initially saw the words "giveaway" and "Koala Preserve" and thought that you were giving away koala preserves. Who would make preserves out of poor little koalas? That seems terrible.

    My dream vacation is to take Alycia to Australia and New Zealand for like a month. With her needing to eat gluten free we're restricted to either English speaking countries or places where we know the language really, really well to make sure nobody gets gluten-bombed. It'd be great to tour the Lord of the Rings places in New Zealand, go wine tasting, adventuring, and exploring. Maybe next summer....

  2. Italy has been on my list for a long time...sigh
    I'd love to try that Violet Crumble ;)
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    Loved the photos, btw

  3. We just went to Italy, Switzerland, and Germany in May and it was spectacular.

    fmstill@gmail (dot) com

  4. My dream vacation is to Tasmania. I have some friends there.

  5. My husband and I went to Turkey seven years ago and I absolutely loved it and would like to go back.

  6. I would love to go to Australia! I have an online friend who lives there. I call her "upside down me". Sometimes when she posts things on facebook I have to google the word to see what the heck she is talking about LOL.
    Since obviously me going to Australia is not going to happen anytime soon, if ever, I'd be happy with getting to go to New Mexico sometime soon to meet my granddaughter who is due in 2 weeks.

  7. Mmmmm I live in Australia (and of course not entering to win) and let me tell you every one of those things is delicious!!! :)

  8. Kerry Varner7/27/12, 4:07 PM

    Greece, Italy, France, Ireland and somewhere that the water is clear blue, the beaches are white sand and they have no problems letting a pale big girl prance around in a swimsuit!!!

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