Photo #171: First Ekka Strawberry Sundae

August 18, 2012

Took my family to visit the Ekka, Queensland’s largest annual agricultural show.

Of course, had to make everyone try the iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundae:

Approximately 13 tonnes of strawberries are used to make the Ekka Strawberry Sundaes each year. The Ekka Strawberry Sundae is mouth-watering top to bottom, from the crunchy wafer cone to the smooth vanilla ice-cream, sweet chopped strawberries, delicious gourmet ice-cream, swirls of fresh cream and topped off with a tasty fresh Queensland strawberry.

 

FADU: Happy 50th Birthday Mommy!

August 20, 2012

Very lucky to not only be able to celebrate my 25th birthday this year with my family in Australia, but also my mom’s 50th!

Mike and I took my family down to visit the Gold Coast and have lunch at the Four Winds Revolving Restaurant. Although the food was quite lacking (I rate this restaurant 3.5/5), the view was amazing and definitely worth the visit.

Waiting for the train to Gold Coast!

Taking pictures at Surfers Paradise πŸ™‚

Fourwinds Revolving Restaurant at the top of Crowne Plaza Hotel

In the lobby of Crowne Plaza

The restaurant, lovely views!

Elevator shots! πŸ˜›

Cake, cards and presents at home!

Chocolate lime cupcakes – I’m sorry your cake isn’t as extravagant as it deserves to be mommy!

So sad… our last activity together! 😦 My mom and siblings are now somewhere across the Pacific Ocean back to Canada… miss them already!

FADU: Short Stay in Sydney

The five of us went down to Sydney on Friday, August 03 for a short visit… $45/person each way – woo hoo!

Mike and I had to head back on the 6th because of class but my family stayed until the 9th before heading to Perth.

Here’s a sorta-long summary of what we did!

Day 1 – Aug 3

Landed around 3:30pm and was picked up by Chet Muoi and his wife!

Went right away to check into our residence at Oaks Hyde Park Plaza. A great price for the location but the apartment we had was definitely too small for 5 people. Sleeping 3 nights on a dinky sofabed did terrible wonders on my back!

Immediately headed out. We walked down to Darling Harbour and up to visit the Sydney Aquarium. Very lively with beautiful views by the harbour.

The aquarium was well worth the visit! Lots of fun πŸ™‚

About to head in…

All manta rays have such cute faces!

The fish, they cry crystal tears!

Fluorescent jelly fish and enormous crab

Shark attack!

Nemo! Dory! I’ve found you!

We finished the map and got our gold coins! Chocolate, who could resist?

We headed back down to Chinatown for a visit and ended the night with a late Korean dinner – yum yum!

Day 2 – Aug 4

Woke up early to check out the rooftop facilities – heated pool, jacuzzi and a great view – what more do you need?

By 10:30am, we were on the train and headed to Cabramatta to meet my dad’s family.

A great dim sum lunch where we got to meet some family members for the first time and catch up with many others.

Lunch was followed by a walk around Viettown and then ‘the rounds’ What does that mean? Going from one person’s house to another for a few reasons: to check out their home, to talk some more, and to eat of course πŸ˜‰

We visited a total of 5 homes and soon it was time for dinner! Amazing food at a Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant that left us completely stuffed.

We ended the night at The Star Casino. I cannot understand the appeal of losing money but lots of people looked like they were having fun πŸ˜›

Day 3 – Aug 5

A day to ourselves, yay! My mom came down with a migraine so didn’t join us for the first part. The four of us headed out to see more of the city. We decided the first stop would be Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park.

Onwards to the Sydney Fish Market, but on the way there, we got distracted by a lovely cafe and tasty treats.

When we finally got there, I wanted to leave immediately, haha. I really don’t like crowds… and it was SO crowded. Asians everywhere, haha. We did pick up a bottle of wine and some sashimi to share, very tasty!

Headed back going through Darling Harbour again to check it out during the day. Then we walked over to see… (you guessed it!) the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

Then hopped on the free bus (love the free bus) back to our residence to pick up my mom for the evening activities – luckily she was feeling better!

First up, Mme Tussaud’s! Had a great time ‘meeting’ all the famous people!

Then over to the Sydney Tower Eye to check out Sydney at night – so pretty!

Then back to Opera House to see it again but against a black sky!

Finally ended the night with a super late but amazing Japanese dinner!

Day 4 – Aug 6

Wake up, pack up, go home! 😦 No time to do anything but haul ourselves to the airport, eat breakfast and head back to Brisbane! Luckily… our flights weren’t delayed! πŸ™‚

FULL SYDNEY ALBUM HERE!

FADU: Dim Sum and Beer

July 22, 2012

Mike and I took my siblings to visit the Brisbane Powerhouse today, which, taken from their website, is

Nestled on the beautiful banks of Brisbane River (beside New Farm Park)Β the former power station has become a distinct landmark, both as a stunning industrial creation and as a hub for everything creative, including theatre, music, comedy, film, visual arts, festivals and ideas.

What some people don’t know, is that there are free music and comedy shows every Sunday! It is a hit or miss depending on your tastes, but if you’re in Brisbane, make sure to check it out!

The music show (Live Spark) starts at 3:30pm and consists of 2x45min sets featuring 2 different artists. Then there’s a break before the comedy show (Livewired) starts at 6:30pm. Great way to spend the day – bring some friends and have a picnic in the beautiful New Farm Park, then head indoors in the afternoon to enjoy the shows!

We then stopped for a late dim sum dinner at King of Kings in Chinatown – yum!

July 24, 2012

We were finally able to book a tour at the XXXX Brewery in Milton after a couple failed attempts! $25/person for the tour and 4x285ml beer tastings!

The XXXX Ale House and Brewery Tours provide an unbeatable way to experience an Australian icon up close and discover its proud legend.

The Castlemaine Perkins Brewery was established at Milton, just west of Brisbane city, way back in 1878.

Overall a good time, although I was a little disappointed that many of the machines weren’t running that day – how unlucky! Also, because it was a functional brewery, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures during the tour. We did, however, take a few afterwards while enjoying our beers and fries! Tried: XXXX Summer Bright Lager, Gold and Bitter as well as James Squire Porter and Pale Ale. Not a fan of: Porter haha

FADU: Climbing Mt Ngungun

July 21, 2012

Tan, Christine and Yoni joined us for a hike up Mt Ngungun (Glasshouse Mountains). Great weather! I’m glad it was nice and cool because I was still sweating like a cow πŸ˜› Beautiful view up top and definitely worth the trip.

Finally there and ready to head up!

Slowly heading up!

Amazing view!

Noooo!

Family picture… hahahaha!

Made it back down safely! πŸ˜‰

FADU: Botanic Garden and The Dark Knight Rises

In case you don’t know, FADU = Family Adventures Down Under = here’s what our family is up to while they’re visiting me in Australia!

You may also be wondering why I’m skipping days. Don’t worry, it’s not because I can’t read a calendar! It’s simply because we didn’t do anything exciting enough to take pictures or share with you πŸ™‚

July 20, 2012

Visited the Brisbane Botanic Garden with Yoni. There we saw pretty flowers, climbed funky trees, took pictures in front of a my beautiful building house and petted super smooth bamboo. We then proceeded to South Bank to watch the much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises. Our group left the cinema with mixed reviews but I thought it was a great movie! Although I do think Batman should not be allowed to qualify as a superhero – he clearly does not have any superpowers. Ended the night with sushi train dinner at Ginga – satisfaction!

FULL ALBUM HERE!

FADU: Korean Food and Emergency Shelters

July 17, 2012

Spent a few hours at Westfield Chermside Shopping Centre, then headed into the city for Korean dinner at our favourite – Madtongsan II. My brother treated us all to $0.30 ice cream cones from McDonald’s for dessert… bless his soul! On the way home, we stopped at King George Square where the Emergency Shelter Exhibition was being displayed. More info on that HERE.

Β 

Family picture at King George bus station on the way home!

Working off the calories, badminton in the garage!

FADU: Rugby Union and Park Playing

Gosh, I’m nearly a month behind… how embarrassing. I now have to base my memories on pictures we’ve taken, thank goodness I have those!

July 14, 2012

Checked out our first Rubgy Union game – St George Queensland Reds v New South Wales Waratahs! And we won! Dinner? Chicken tacos and drinks – yum.

July 15, 2012

Hit the Windsor Park close to home with Tan and Christine for lunch and some fun in the sun! Too windy for badminton but soccer certainly had us panting for air! Such a gorgeous day! In other news, my brothers toe nails are blue courtesy of my mom and sister.

Dinner at home: Gnocchi with garlic bread and eggplant tempura – mmm!

FADU: Eating Foods!

July 10, 2012

My mom made my first food request: Bun Rieu! I absolutely love this Viet dish but have never dared to make it – was delicious!

Our bowls are too small for man-servings, so pots and mixing bowls it is!

July 12, 2012

Our family’s first time trying Roo burgers! Quite delicious!

FADU: South Bank and Yumminess!

July 8, 2012

Woke up to the wonderful smell of pan fried dumplings – thank you mommy for your jet lag and waking up at 4am to make us food!

Family breakfast complete with pyjamas and bed hair

We headed down to the CBD (downtown) for a stroll and to visit souvenir shops. A bed of furries – woo hoo!

My mom really liked the trees on Adelaide St

Trying not to laugh wearing a hat from the souvenir shop. Then getting a work out pushing big metallic spheres around.

We then walked over the bridge to visit South Bank

Exact tool my brother needs to work on his bike at home is available at the Community Bike Repair Station. He wishes there was one in our neighbourhood back home! And mom holding up the Wheel of Brisbane

Mom and sister being silly and posing

The man made beach in South Bank

Can’t visit South Bank with a stop at Max Brenner! Yum yum yum

Could not pass up the photo opportunity with Pedobear! Haha

Sun going down… time to go home and eat leftovers for dinner!

FADU: Family Adventures Down Under

I’m starting up a new category of blog posts! This one’s called Family Adventures Down Under or FADU for short.

These entries will be written to share the fun times Mike and I have with my mommy (Khanh), my sister (Jenni) and my brother (Andy) as they visit Australia from July 6 to August 21, 2012.

I’m already 2 weeks behind so let’s get started!

July 6, 2012

No pictures! 😦

My mom and siblings arrived in Brisbane around 1:30pm. Customs was a breeze for them – lucky! We took the taxi home (only $40!) and chilled out the rest of the day catching up and dealing with jet lag. For dinner, I made rice with vegetarian bulgogi (made with firm tofu) and stir fried veggies.

July 7, 2012

Eggs and bruschetta for breakfast – yum! Then off to Davies Park Market in West End to check out the local produce. On the way back, we visited Chinatown where mommy stalked up on Asian necessities to make Bun Rieu – my first food request, haha. Of course, knowing my mom – she also stocked up on enough things to make 3 other dishes. Had sushi, crepes and bubbletea while out and Domino’s Pizza for dinner!

Stole these pictures from my mom’s camera:

Waiting for the bus to the market!

For whatever reason… my mom was super fascinated by this building

Fam pic in front of Chinatown gate

Andy sashaying in public… πŸ˜›

Now to find room for all the groceries!