Dubai or Don’t I – Day Five

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On the Hotel Shuttle

Our last day in Dubai!

We were lucky today because as we were walking out of the hotel, the Hotel Shuttle was about to leave for Kite Beach. We hadn’t planned on going there but what a great opportunity!

Our driver is a lovely, friendly man but he drives like a maniac!! Or maybe everyone drives like a maniac here.

We didn’t know what to expect from Kite Beach except I remember seeing lots and lots of kites in the YouTube videos I’d watched before we came to Dubai.

 


First thought was, “where are the kites?” I expected to see at least some! If you’re lucky, you can see ONE kite in the pic bottom right. I realised as I got closed, that it was just fixed, marking this place as Kite Beach

There were plenty of places to get drinks and snacks in the main area.

 


And there is also a really nice board walk! There were distance markers every 100 metres.

 


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We saw the Burj Al Arab in the distance and decided to follow the boardwalk towards it.

It didn’t look that far but the further we went along the boardwalk, the further the Burj Al Arab seemed to get as well.

The Burj Al Arab is a seven star hotel built to look like a sailing boat.

We saw some interesting signs along the boardwalk

 


Not sure if you can read the writing. There were plenty of scantily clad men and women on this beach. I hear that it’s supposed to be OK in the tourist areas but we’ve seen lots of skin exposure even in the malls. I didn’t ever see anyone getting picked up on how they were dressed.

We stopped at an area just before the boardwalk ended, to get a cool drink. That hotel was not getting any closer!

 


That smoothie on the top right corner was super delicious and the man who made it was just so lovely. It was just cute old fashioned service. Everyone here calls me ma’am. Every one is either sir or ma’am.
This smoothie was so thick and refreshing. It was only 19 Dirham (about $7 AUD)

We kept walking toward the Burj Al Arab but when the boardwalk ended and it still seemed kilometres away, we decided to turn back.

IMG_9753Because we still had an hour or so to kill, I got a smoothie at another place.

This place was cute to look at but that smoothie was the biggest disappointment.

I can’t believe I’m on holiday in Dubai and talking about the quality of smoothies.

Seriously though, it was just like drinking a fruit juice.

What a let down.

Said goodbye to Kite Beach. It would be a really good place for families to go to and if you like to walk or run, that boardwalk is great. Can’t imagine what it would be like when the temps go over 40 degrees though.

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We hopped back on the Shuttle bus and as his next stop was the Dubai Mall, we thought we’d stay on it as we wanted to see the fountain dance. We missed out the last few times we were at the mall.

But first lunch, and after walking around for freak’n ages, careful consideration, went to The Cheesecake Factory.

 


I really made a mess of that first pic. Hubby ordered nachos (left) and I ordered a vegetarian pasta.
OMG we were both in heaven!! The food was soooooo good. It’s a bit strange to not have alcohol on the menu though.

After lunch we went outside towards the fountain and kept walking around the outside of the Mall. There’s lots to see around there.

 


Hubby was absolutely enthralled with Burj Khalifa (who wouldn’t be),
The Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper in Dubai. It has a total height of 829.8 m and a roof height (excluding antenna) of 828 m. The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009 (Thanks Wikipedia)

We walked all around the outside of the Mall, then entered through the “rich” area. The area where all the high end brands are AND where this lovely orchid is that doesn’t remind anyone of anything at all.

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Finally it was time for the fountain show!! We went outside with hundreds of others and then it started!!! I grabbed my phone to start recording. Hubby grabbed it from me as he’d get a better view with his height. I was so excited to have this wonderful experience on video. The water moves with the music as if doing a synchronised dance. It only went for a few minutes and I was sad when it was over.

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I was sadder still when I realised that for some reason, my phone stopped recording about 10 seconds in. That was even before the show started. So I recorded nothing (Cry)

All I have is that photo above which was taken by accident before the show started.

It was almost time for our Shuttle bus to take us back so we went to sit outside and took a few pics against the Burj Khalifa and the crescent moon.

 


So now I’m sitting in our hotel room. We’re waiting for our driver to come and take us to the airport.

I’m sad to be leaving but looking forward to being back on familiar ground.

Dubai you’ve been great and I’m certain we’ll be back.

Thanks for reading!

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Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Thirteen

Well today was extra special because it was hubby’s birthday!
I had a special day planned in Kyoto for him.

IMG_4047Last time we were in Japan we really messed up because when we went to Kyoto, we didn’t have any idea what we were going to see. We just hopped on a train and got here and really saw nothing.
Everyone raves about how beautiful Kyoto is so I really wanted to make sure we saw something in the small amount of time we had.
I researched self guided walks in Kyoto and came across a site that had 11 points of interest in the Higashiyama area. Click on the link to read more
http://www.gpsmycity.com/tours/higashiyama-area-walking-tour-2454.html

So I’ll just name the site we were at and add a couple of photos I took there.

1) Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art

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Just outside this museum there was a market happening.

So many people!!!

And so many really interesting goods and foods on sale.

We couldn’t even get to what we wanted to look at because there were just too many people.

2) Shoren-in

 

3) Chion-in Temple

4) Gion District

We went here during the day – It comes alive at night!!! Very interesting place though.

5) Yasaka Shrine

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6) Kodai-ji Temple


We then walked up hill for quite some time passing glorious shops and women/girls dressed as geisha’s. This was the best part of the walk for me!

7) Kiyomizu-dera Temple

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8) Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Gallery

This looked closed so I only took a photo of the front.

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9) Kyoto National Museum

Saw this sign in front of the museum… and there really has been a LOT of police about these last few days.

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10) Sanjusangen-do

11) Kyoto Tower

And just before we got to the Kyoto Tower, we passed the side of Kyoto we saw last time we were here… and you may understand why our impression was not so good..

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After that we explored Kyoto Station which is quite an interesting building. So much to see!! And there is a peaceful garden on top. This is really really high!! High for a building you don’t expect to be high. You can get to the top mostly by escalators and I think if you have a fear of heights it might unnerve you a bit.

 

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And seeing as I write about food, here are pictures of what we ate today!!

First a “sandwich” at Tully’s. It was a bit disappointing. Three slices of bread with a bit of stuff inside. It was nice and fresh though, I think I just wanted more.

For hubby’s birthday dinner we went to Hard Rock Cafe and got some nacho’s to share a couple of burgers and more Sangria!


While this has been our most pricey meal, it was really good!! And the service was pretty amazing too!!
We had been sitting there a little while and one glass of Sangria had already been drunk. I said to hubby “Honey it’s your birthday, you can have whatever you want!”
“Oh now you tell me” he replied, “We’ve already ordered!”
Whoops

On the way back we had to stop at Hommachi station. I was busy trying to work out the ticket machine and trying to work out how much it was going to cost us to get from Osaka to Hommachi. Hubby was still trying to work out what our route was going to be. He came up to me and said “Hommachi”? I said “180 yen”
I thought he’d said “How much?”
And as he normally does make that kind of joke, I really thought he was being clever but he was genuinely just confirming what station we were getting off at…

And to finish off this entry, have a look at the cute little socks I bought here!
I feel adorable with these on!


Tomorrow, we’ll eat local, I promise!

The Glynde Hotel

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Good “what you’d expect” pub menu
Great family atmosphere and
Fifty cent Wings!!!

OIC_glynde_hotel.jpgDiners today we were at the Glynde Hotel which is on the corner of Payneham/Glynburn and Lower North East rd.

I don’t know if we could have had a more “typical” local pub experience! We walked in and the staff were super friendly. It had a fantastic relaxed atmosphere. While there weren’t a lot of people in the bistro,  (we were there about 2.30pm) they have all day dining which I just LOVE as my own hours can be quite erratic.

Like any good local pub they have different specials on different days of the week enticing newbies to come along. You can get all those details from their website www.glyndehotel.com.au

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Hubby and I chose a table  that had a bit of sun coming in from the windows. It also gave us a view of the busy intersection which was a little interesting.

The dining room itself was clean and reasonable enough. This would be a great place for families because of the relaxed atmosphere and the reasonable menu prices.

We grabbed a couple of menus and honestly I had a hard time choosing what I wanted. I felt like something “naughty” today so against my better judgement, chose the Beef Schnitzel with a Mexicana topping! Honestly I probably was enticed by the word “corn chips” in the Mexicana topping description.

Following my lead, hubby went for a couple of the entree’s. First the nachos – Corn chips topped with melted mozzarella, spicy tomato sauce, jalapeños, Mexican salsa, sour cream and guacamole. Secondly, as were in a place that heavily advertises wings, we had to try some of them right? So hubby ordered twenty wings as well.

We were indulging ourselves today in every variety of fat that there was!

I was a bit relieved that my Beef Schnitzel didn’t look as big as it could have when it came out.

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Oh and look, there’s a salad there as well!
The salad was dressed nicely and if I had a bit in between the schnitzel and chips, I didn’t feel like I was eating so badly (that’s called denial)

I’ve got to say I enjoyed this meal. The beef was cooked well and there was just such a generous amount of topping on there!!! Sour cream, guacamole and those wonderful corn chips!
I tried to estimate the amount of calories that was in the dish but soon thought better of it.
It’s kind of hard to rate a schnitzel. I mean how bad can a bad one be? The cut of meat was good, and that’s the main thing and I just loved everything else about it. It was a decent meal at a decent price. Nothing stood out as amazingly good or terribly bad. It was just good honest pub fare.

Hubby’s meals looked equally good when they came out.
The wings were first.

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I normally don’t eat wings because the thought of eating chicken skin makes me want to gag but I did actually try one. It was surprisingly good! I tried the sauces too. I don’t have a high tolerance for hot spicy foods so the red sauce wasn’t for me but hubby just LOVED it and said that’s exactly how he makes his hot sauce!
I was glad for him.
I think he said the white sauce was a blue cheese sauce. It was pretty tasty! I had some of them with my chips.

His nachos looked equally good.
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Lots of cream toppings on a great sized plate. You just can’t go wrong!

The Glynde Hotel had easy listening soft pop rock playing in the background while we ate and it seemed to suit. After a while “Hungry Eyes” came on and and I told hubby that Patrick Swayze was singing it.
Turns out I was wrong, it was Eric Carmen BUT  it was featured in the classic movie “Dirty Dancing” and Patrick Swayze sang “She’s like that Wind” which is also from that movie…
Just a little fun fact for you!!

All in all, I would have no hesitation in returning to the Glynde Hotel. It really had a nice friendly atmosphere and the food was generous and not bad!

Have you been to the Glynde Hotel?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!!

Till next we chow…

Darwin – Day 1

Diners I hope you’ll enjoy these next couple of entries where I share hubby and I’s first visit to Darwin.
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Seeing as we were only going to spend a couple of days, we just wanted to get a feel of the food and culture of the CBD area and didn’t get a car. Next time, we’ll definitely get a car and really go exploring!

Our trip began with a business class ticket on our Qantas flight. It was hubby’s birthday treat to me!
I’ve never traveled anything but economy class so this was a big treat!

Apart from the extra leg space, we were treated really well and offered some tasty food! As we were on a morning flight, our meal was breakfast and we had a choice of bircher muesli, or bacon and poached egg with mushrooms. Hubby wasn’t quite sure which one he wanted and was told he could have one of each if he wanted. Wow. He just took the eggs. Apart from that though, we had whatever we wanted to drink, fruit salad, zucchini and walnut muffin and probably lots more things that I’m forgetting. They do make you feel very special!

I really loved my bircher muesli. At one point hubby brought his spoon over to taste some.
“NO, NO!!!” I exclaimed in horror.
“But you have to share” he replied while dipping into my muesli
“But it’s my birthday!” I protested weakly.
I only mention this as this conversation was clearly heard by the other business class passengers….
Later I did try to taste one of the mushrooms on his plate but he just growled so I backed away slowly.

We got to Darwin and were immediately engulfed by humidity. People seem very nice here. Laid back and friendly. I’d always heard that and got to experience it for myself.

Walked Mitchell st because everyone says everything is in Mitchell st and started looking at the different cafes, restaurants and bars along that road, trying to figure out which one we were going to go to.
Up to now, although it had been humid, it hadn’t rained.We decided to go into the Ducks Nuts for a drink and while we were there, a huge torrential rain occurred. It was over ten minutes later though and you wouldn’t have known it had happened!
Unfortunately we never got to go back to the Ducks Nuts for a meal. I really would have loved to as it seems like a really cool place.

Kept on walking along the esplanade and eventually found the wharf area. Had to stop for a Sangria at the Hot Tamale

Food prices seem slightly cheaper than Adelaide. Although I haven’t seen the size of the serves yet but that’s my first impression.

img_8162We went back and to our hotel and checked in. I wanted to check out the gym and pool area as I was hoping to utilise at least the gym area.

What you’re seeing in the pic on the left is a look of pure joy as I discovered that the hotel gym, really was a pretty good gym!

Not only that, but no one was in it so I decided to go a few K’s on the treadmill and build up my calorie bank in preparation for dinner tonight.

After resting and freshening up in our room, we ventured out into the humidity once more to see where we were going to go for dinner.

We were told the streets were quite empty because it’s “off” season right now. We knew we would be visiting in the Wet Season but we still wanted to have a look. There were still plenty of people around, enjoying their surroundings and doing whatever they like to do.

We found ourselves back on the Waterfront and I just couldn’t go past another Sangria so we went back to Hot Tamale, this time for dinner as well as a drink….


I commented to hubby that the people you think are going to be friendly and nice haven’t really been, and those you don’t expect it, go out of their way to be nice and friendly to you.If it was hubby’s choice, we wouldn’t have come back here but I’m just a sucker for Mexican food and it was my birthday after all so he obliged.

I decided to go for a Chili con carne. Hubby was pretty undecided. When we had been here earlier in the day he’d wanted to split some nacho’s but I didn’t want to waste calories at that point. Now, for dinner, I told him if that’s what he felt like, he should get them for dinner.
We asked the waiter if it was enough for a main and he said they were even too much for him. He was not a slender bloke so we trusted him and ordered the nacho’s for hubby’s main.

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I think they make the corn chips themselves. They were ok. They had a strong oil taste to them and felt a little like prawn crackers that you get from chinese takeaway stores.
They weren’t bad, just not what I was used to.

I don’t think it’s a serve that’s big enough for a main meal though.

What I did love about this place was that they had Latin music playing the whole time. You just can’t be sad when Latin music is playing!

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My Chili con carne was pretty good.

It was not a huge serve but as I wasn’t running as much as I normally do when I’m home, that was ok.

At one point I looked at my dish and I looked at hubby’s dish and noticed there wasn’t a great deal of difference between them.

We both had braised beef and homemade nacho’s as the main elements on our plates.

After dinner we strolled back to Mitchell st and joined other locals enjoying some live music as “Wisdom”

These guys party like there’s no work tomorrow!

We arrived back to our room with a few naughty snacks and fell asleep while watching some movie playing.

It was a good first day!

Stay tuned for “Day 2” out tomorrow!

The Office

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We walked in with low expectations and were pleasantly surprised,
Christmas lights/decorations pretty up the dining area and
Who needs a band for entertainment when you can people watch..

f2027b20a2769a270d0f692a091ffa98Diners today we were at The Office on Pirie St in Adelaide’s CBD.

It was another one of those days where we couldn’t agree on where we wanted to go for dinner and as the clock continued to tick over on this particular Saturday evening, our options were being limited even further.

Finally we settled for The Office. I called at about 5pm to make sure they weren’t booked and was told I couldn’t have a 6pm or 6.30pm booking unless I was ordering the seafood platter. The next available time they had to reserve a table was 7pm.
Honestly it didn’t really make sense to me, perhaps he misunderstood what I’d said?
When we got there, there was a work group having their Christmas break-up party downstairs, and upstairs in the dining area, there was a table of about ten people.
So my guess is they wouldn’t have had the staff to cater for us if we’d come earlier. That’s the only thing I could think of because there were many tables available.

fullsizerender3Now the staff were very friendly and lovely and a girl brought us some menus. I do like the dining area which is like a balcony overlooking the bar. It was also prettied up with lights. I don’t know if this is how it always is, or if they’ve just put these up for Christmas but it looked nice.

The menu seemed to have your usual pub fare with a good amount of pizza options on there too.

I saw some plates coming out and they looked really good. That’s always a positive sign.
Oh and I should add that I thought the prices on the menu were very reasonable too!

We decided to start off with some nachos. My greedy little eyes were quite excited when we saw these being delivered to our table.

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This was quite a generous serve for the price. Not only for the size of the serve, but for the amount of cheese and salsa that was not only on the top, but actually through the nacho’s as well. The salsa was a little too sweet for my liking but that is only personal preference. It’s been a while since we’ve enjoyed good nachos so I’m glad we’ve found a new place where we can satiate our nacho cravings!

When it came to mains, although there were a few things I could have gone for on the menu, I went with the mushroom risotto. I’ve wanted to have one for a while but usually, if there is a risotto on the menu it’s a Seafood one and I don’t like to eat things with tentacles…

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I really don’t know how this mushroom risotto could have been better. The rice was perfectly cooked and the risotto had a lovely creamy but firm consistency. The cheese on top was a perfect addition and I’m sure if I’d had the chance to add the cheese myself I would have ‘Over cheeseed’
If you love mushrooms or are a vegetarian I would highly recommend this dish. Risotto is not an easy dish to make so the fact that the chef  produced one of this quality says a lot about him.

Hubby went for one of his staples, the Salt and Pepper Squid.
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As soon as he started eating it I heard sounds of gastronomic pleasure so I knew he was enjoying it.
He said the Squid was tender and not chewy and it all looked really good on the plate. There was also plenty of dressing on the salad, and a good amount of tartare sauce.

I found myself thinking that it was a shame that there weren’t more people dining here. I guess The Office is known more as a bar than a restaurant, but perhaps that needs to change.

While we were dining a work group were having their Christmas function and that was really interesting to watch.You can perhaps imagine the type of things we were seeing as this group of people continued to drink more than eat.
There was a live band starting about the time we were finishing up but we had been thoroughly entertained by the Christmas party revelers!

All in all, kudos to the chef (and yes I did tell the wait staff we had really enjoyed our meals here)

If you are thinking about dropping into The Office for a meal I would recommend you do so. Great food at great prices!

Have you been to The Office?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…