#47 | A Grateful Easter Weekend List

In keeping with the Lenten Season, I choose to be grateful today for my many blessings in life. Big or small, mundane or essential.

It’s 5:11am on a Black Saturday morning. Today is a big day in my running journey. The hubby and I are going to Sydney CBD and I will attempt to run a section of the SMH Half Marathon course. I am so excited, I woke up too soon. The house is quiet. My brain is clear and alert. Let’s do something productive. Here we go.

1/ I am Thankful for my Instagram community. I find my inspiration and motivation from like minded souls there. Food, photography, art, sketching, creativity, biking, humor, fitness, travel, clean eating… I have IG “friends” from all walks of life. We are all in it for self-expression and self-love. It is not noisy in there. I am intimate with strangers. (Ha! An oxymoron) We share all we want, to our hearts’ content!

2/ I am Thankful for this long 4-day weekend staycation. A chance to take stock, to de-clutter and to spend some downtime with the kiddos at home.

3/ I am Thankful for songs I discover and fall in love with. There was Imagine Dragons, then there was Lorde. Now I have Happy and Pharrell Williams on endless loop. Next song and album please!

4/ I am Thankful for the many learnings on running. For the numerous bloggers, internet resources and Runner’s World online and print magazine. I learned about rotating pairs of shoes, of running different routes or different sides of the same road. I learned to breathe from my belly and to exhale on alternating foot strikes. It’s so darn beautiful!

5/ I am Thankful for my friends. They who understand what I am doing. I am grateful for their quiet cheers. For their patience and forbearance. After all, it must be quite boring to hear my endless chats and messages about my day!

6/ I am Thankful for my positivity and infinite drive (It would seem). I don’t really know where this adventure will take me. I suppose I am enjoying the journey. There is no destination in running, anyway. I am thankful to feel so alive.

7/ I am Thankful for the conversation I have with you. Isn’t it amazing how we are able to connect at the drop of a hat? Not too long ago, I need to pick up a heavy phone or write a snail mail or meet you in person before I can connect. These days, I have multiple short bursts and long narratives with friends around the world. You know who you are. I Love YOU! Ang corny ko talaga!

8/ I am Thankful for an inspiring movie called Chariots of Fire. It’s the Best Picture from 1981 that I never saw, until last night. The story tells about the journey of England’s 1924 Athletics Team into their Olympic gold medal glory. I had to stop myself from putting on my running shoes and do a 100 meter dash after watching. A quote from Eric Liddell who runs with God. “Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within

Jesus said, “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me.” If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race.” – Eric Liddell, Chariots of Fire

9/ I am Thankful for my life partner. He is my number one cheerer and supporter. I can never do any of my writing and running without him taking up some of my slack!

10/ I am Thankful for Writing. Writing multiplies my voice and compounds my experiences.

11/ I am Thankful for running. Pure Love. Simple and raw. Organic. All truly my own!

God. I am grateful. I humbly run with you in my heart.

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An inspired 14Km run.

#46 | Lessons Learned from “30 Days of Gratitude”

In the 30 days of sharing the simple everyday things that make me happy, I learned:

1. To be very keen. To be very aware of those small details that I take for granted. A kiss from my two boys. A simple message from a distant friend that perks me up. After all, we are all very busy. I am sure we are grateful of the little things…But if we don’t stop and pause and acknowledge? We just lose it. We lose the magic.

2. My senses were looking for magic. And I see it everywhere. The key is to catch the magic!

3. How to translate the magic into pictures? That’s the challenge. For how can I convey the happiness of listening to birds chirping, or of hearing my mum’s voice over a long distance telephone call? This is when imagination and creativity kicks in.

So yes I enjoyed this exercise very much indeed. And yes I want to continue my #mgb_dailythanks and call it ~ Rediscovering Joy Habit.

Here’s the album link to my first “30 Days of Joy“.

A painting I found in one of our road trips. Isn't it pretty?

A painting I found in one of our road trips. Isn’t it pretty?

#45 | My Life is Changing

I read Leo’s post “What the exercise habit did for me”. His last line was: “It’ll change your life.”

And I am floored.

My life has changed big time in the last 36 months. And it’s not just due to exercise. It’s because of everything. I made so many changes, I think I am a different person. I am still M.E with the same personality, but with new and renewed habits!

What changed? My way of thinking, my way of living, my way of breathing.

Let me count the ways.

1. Regular Running. I started running back in 2009, or maybe it was 2010. It was 10 minutes once a week. I slowly built it up. Then to get me in a straight line, I made a vow to join the City2Surf 14K funrun annually. An annual event will drive me to keep going. But then I fell in love with running in the meantime. And so I kept upping my goals. In 2014, I found myself signing up for my very first half marathon scheduled in May. My running journal can be found here.

2. Daily Writing. Without writing, my running will not be as sweet. Because I delved, analysed, and dissected my experiences with my daily practice wruddy writing. My emotions are magnified and relived. “Bleeding” in my daily writing has proven to be the key in waking me up. I have never been so awake and so seeing in my entire life.

3. Expressing myself unguardedly. I found friends who get me; who connected with my new habits. Friends who share intimate stories with me. I realised that we are all in the same boat, everybody is just ‘winging it‘. The key is to open up and share bravely. Oh how beautiful and vulnerable we all are. How perfectly imperfect! {A must read!}

4. Daily exercise. Yoga, Pilates, Running, Lifting. They all contribute to my health and mental wellbeing. I am a more confident person. I smile a whole lot. I take pictures of myself a whole lot. I like how I look, I like how I feel.

I like to enjoy my moments. Life Is Good. I Feel Complete.

Are you on a journey too?

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Bloom!

Falling In Love with “Before Sunrise”

This is not an original post. It is simply a collection of the most beautiful lines from one of the best movies I have ever seen. This is my Top 3 movie. I would have liked to post the whole transcript of the movie; I will, once I find it in the web. In the meantime, this will be a reminder for me to re-visit “Before Sunrise” time and time again.

Jesse: I feel like this is, uh, some dream world we’re in, y’know.
Celine: Yeah, it’s so weird. It’s like our time together is just ours. It’s our own creation. It must be like I’m in your dream, and you in mine, or something.
Jesse: And what’s so cool is that this whole evening, all our time together, shouldn’t officially be happening.
Celine: Yeah, I know. Maybe that’s why this feels so otherworldly.

Jesse: Let’s say that you and I were together all the time, then you’d start to hate a lot of my mannerisms. The way every time we would have people over, uh, I’d be insecure, and I’d get a little too drunk. Or, uh, the way I’d tell the same stupid pseudo-intellectual story again, and again. Y’see, I’ve heard all those stories. So of course I’m sick of myself. But being with you, uh, it’s made me feel like I’m somebody else.

Celine: When you talked earlier about after a few years how a couple would begin to hate each other by anticipating their reactions or getting tired of their mannerisms-I think it would be the opposite for me. I think I can really fall in love when I know everything about someone-the way he’s going to part his hair, which shirt he’s going to wear that day, knowing the exact story he’d tell in a given situation. I’m sure that’s when I know I’m really in love.

Celine: I believe if there’s any kind of God it wouldn’t be in any of us, not you or me but just this little space in between. If there’s any kind of magic in this world it must be in the attempt of understanding someone sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed but who cares really? The answer must be in the attempt.

Celine: Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?

Image Source: http://lyriquediscorde.com

Image Source: http://lyriquediscorde.com

#44 | The Graveyard Book and Neil Gaiman

2014 Book #1: The Graveyard Book – Shelf It.

Many years ago, before I stumbled onto Instagram, I dived headlong into Tumblr. I like Tumblr. I like that it allows you to have multiple blogs. One can hide behind different pseudonyms, and each one can have different “streams of consciousness“. Oh, and to think that I have neglected it for many years now. Perhaps I should go back to it and blog there anonymously…

I followed a few young ones in Tumblr who were Neil Gaiman fans. I wasn’t. Who is he anyway? Why does he have rock star status to his adoring female fans? I, ever so curious of new things, looked up this male author. I have not met a male fan yet! (Let me know if you are) So anyway, in one of our Kinokuniya Bookstore excursions, the hubby and I bought a couple of hardcover Neil Gaiman books.

‘Face your life
Its pain, its pleasure,
Leave no path untaken’ – Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

If you are a fan of Stephen King, you will think this novel to be a little childish. Well, it should be, it is categorised as a “children’s fantasy novel”. The large letters and the huge amount of white space in each page (read: spacing) will unhinge you. It certainly did me. Although unhinge may be too dramatic a word. Let’s use…off-putting instead!

Then I started enjoying the random illustrations which were dark and sombre. The story is about a boy whose family was brutally killed in their own home while sleeping. The little toddler managed to crawl away from the house not because there was an intruder but simply because he wanted to crawl his way into an adventure. As most toddlers do. They lived in a house right beside a graveyard. The baby crawled his way into the safety of the graveyard ghosts, where the killer could not find him.

So the story goes that this boy who was named Nobody Owens or Bod grew up living with the dead and was allowed the “Freedom of the Graveyard”.

I quite enjoyed each dead character who were all alive in Bod’s world. My favourite was Silas, Bod’s guardian, neither dead nor alive. A vampire perhaps. It was fascinating how Gaiman transported me into a cemetery. There was a whole new world of characters from different eras ranging from The Emperor of China to Victor Hugo!

There was passport in his bag, money in his pocket. There was a smile dancing on his lips, although it was a wary smile, for the world is a bigger place than a little graveyard in the hill; and there would be dangers in it and mysteries, new friends to make, and old friends to rediscover, mistakes to be made and many paths to be walked before he would, finally, return to the graveyard or ride with the Lady on the broad back of her great grey stallion. But between now and then, there was Life; and Bod walked into it with his eyes and his heart wide open. – The End of the Book where Bod finally ventured into the world of the living.

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Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book ~ Shelf It!

#43 | Yoga Lessons ~ A Shedding

Tania, our yoga teacher, grouped us in 3s and made each girl do a handstand. One girl holds the legs of the girl doing the handstand, and the second girl supports the hips.

Ohmygoodness. It was so exciting. I went first and I did it. Funny thing though, I couldn’t really tell if my legs were straight up pointing into the ceiling. The two girls assured me they were…

I think I will try to do a daily practice handstand every morning. I will get up at 5.45am, use the wall for support, and spend 15 minutes making a fool of myself! (Update: Since this resolve, I’ve only practiced once. The biggest obstacle was my fear. I had to overcome the fear first before I could even walk my feet up the wall! Did I do it? Of course not! Yet. But practice makes perfect… I will keep you posted!)

This week’s yoga lesson ~ A Shedding.

“Have you noticed how the trees are starting to turn?”, asked Tania.

Tania is of course referring to the changing colours of autumn leaves from green to fiery oranges, reds and browns.

A tree needs to shed its old leaves (=old ways) and get ready to bloom into spring!

What a beautiful metaphor! It’s a shedding of old habits to give way to new ways, new interests, new hobbies, new friendships, new beginnings and a new way of thinking. It’s a chance to shed things that do not make us happy and healthy.

Autumn is a chance to let go. Let us surrender to the changing of seasons.

Make way for a new LOVE; a new JOURNEY; a new YOU.

tania1

Grabbed from ~ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nourish-with-Tania/413728598703759

#42 | Schrodinger’s Cat

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His shirt.

One of the things I learned from TBBT (The Big Bang Theory) was about Schrodinger’s Cat. I will assume that you have not heard of it. It’s from an old episode that we may have seen…hmmm…3-4 times over. But still I don’t get it. Ariel loved this theory so much he bought a shirt about it! Who does that? My husband does!

Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a cat that may be both alive and dead, depending on an earlier random event. – Wikipedia

Wikipedia goes on and on and oh-so-very esoteric with a multitude of jargon. Tonight, that episode was shown again. AND I FINALLY GOT IT!

Sheldon explained. It means that a cat is put in a box, with some kind of poison in a vial. The poison is released inside the box at a random time. So WE do not know if the cat is alive or dead inside the box. The only way we will know is by OPENING IT.

The metaphor.

When we are on the verge of something, and we do not know if we will fail or succeed……We just have to open the box to know! We just have to jump into our fear TO KNOW!

ENJOY Penny and Sheldon.

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The Schrodinger’s Cat shirt.

 

#41 | Yoga Lessons ~ Find comfort

“Get comfortable with your dis-comfort zone.” 

Our Yoga teacher, Tania, is a calming force. Maybe most yoga teachers are like her ~ someone who flows, inspiring and ohmygoodness so very soothing! Simply listening to her washes my cares away in gentle caressing waves… I am imagining sitting on a beach with the sea water teasing my toes…

She uttered the “Get Comfortable” mantra that stayed with me all day long. The discomfort zone is where we achieve our best learning, growth and “living dangerously”.

Then this….

“Are you sore? Stop picking your pain. (Read: Stop fighting the pain. Let it be. Nature will heal itself ~ knee pain, back pain and even “heart pains!”)”

The above quote was made by a popular yogi whose name I didn’t catch as I was at the back of the large room.

It’s short but hopefully sweet today. Just a very important learning I want to share. I used to shirk away from yoga thinking that it’s all too hohum. I made a huge turnaround. Once again, Never Stop Exploring AND Try Something New At Least Once. You might just find your next passion when you do!

Disrupt Yourself <<< That came from me, and so worth it’s own blog. See you next time!

PS: If you have time, you can hang around a bit and watch my latest obsession ~ Imagine Dragons

On Top of the World

If you, love somebody
Better tell them while they’re here cause
They just may run away from you
You’ll never know quite when, well
Then again it just depends on
How long of time is left for you

‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
I’m on top of the world, ‘ay
Waiting on this for a while now
Paying my dues to the dirt
I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ay
Been holding it in for a while, ‘ay
Take you with me if I can
Been dreaming of this since a child
I’m on top of the world.

Get comfortable with your dis-comfort zone.

Get comfortable with your dis-comfort zone. Source: http://www.pinterest.com/taniaburgess

#40 | The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, my very own take



Incredibly, it was the little people in the movie that captured my imagination.

Walter’s workmate, Hernando.
The drunken helicopter pilot in Iceland.
The Afghan trail guides.
The eHarmony dude.
The trawler ship sailors.
Sean O’Connell also popularly known as Sean Penn <3

To see the world, things dangerous to come to, to see behind walls, draw closer, to find each other, and to feel. That is the purpose of life. – LIFE Magazine

Secondly, I fell in love with the real rawness of the scenes. The awkward shuffling of boxes in the lift between Walter and his workmate, Hernando. The cinnabon share between Walter and eHarmony dude at the airport.

Thirdly, I loved the incredibly impossible scenes just to drive home a point. We don’t have to skateboard across Iceland like Walter did. Nor trek the himalayas mountain range in order to pursue Sean O’Connell. That was just to exaggerate and to drive home a point that we must chase after our dream and be delighted while we are at it. To have FUN while living!

1525127_758093927536058_1671110785_nAnd OMG bad boy Sean Penn appeared towards the latter part of the movie as Sean O’Connell.  He with the unkempt hair and craggy face to depict endless hours outdoors. Never mind if this was makeup. Sean’s acting was so understated and his look so wild that I wanted more more MORE. Sean, the photographer, who does not take a shot when the picture moment is perfect. The one who simply savors the right here, right now.

On (not) photographing a snow leopard, a ghost cat!

Walter: When are you going to take it?

Sean: Sometimes I don’t. If I like a moment, for me, personally, I don’t like to have the distraction of the camera. I just want to stay in it.

Walter: Stay in it?

Sean: Yeah. Right there. Right here.

Walter Mitty reminds us to reconnect with our inner child. To rediscover the things that delighted us. Let me be silly, from time to time! Rediscover Joy<<< I love that phrase! We don’t have to travel. That’s just a figure of speech. We can be happy where we are. We can bloom where we are.

Enough of the striving. We have all arrived. We just don’t realise it.  I am telling you, we all have arrived.

This is Major Tom to Ground Control
I’m stepping through the door
And I’m floating
in a most peculiar way
And the stars look very different today

SPACE ODDITY With a real astronaut, Chris Hadfield. Let’s enjoy this moment, shall we?

SPACE ODDITY With David Bowie and Kristen Wiig from the movie, Walter Mitty. I like how Kristen weaved in and out of David’s original song.

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#39 | Yoga Lessons ~ What About LUV?



Towards the end of 2013, I signed up at my work’s onsite gym. It took me almost two years to take this big step. In my mind, I have this aversion to gym culture. I have changed my mind since then. Surprisingly, all my reservations vanished. Gym junkies went about their programs quietly, hardly chatting to each other, apart from obvious gym buddies. More importantly, gym membership can be salary sacrificed (read: pay before taxes). Happy Days!

A beloved workmate, let’s call her Venus, invited me to attend a weekly Yoga class. Up to that point, yoga classes had no appeal to me. I didn’t think I would enjoy the… stillness. If you know me, I simply don’t do stillness well.  I crave motion and movement. But like I always say, try things at least once. So I tried. And I have been attending Yoga classes every single week since then.

One of the biggest pull for me is Tania. Tania always begins our 45 minute sessions with a story, a life lesson, that hits a very sweet spot in me, every time! Her soothing and calm manner draws me in and onto peaceful la-la-land…This Valentine’s Week, Tania shares her thoughts about L.O.V.E.

In the next lines, I will paraphrase last Tuesday’s yoga lesson session.

“Soften your gaze. 
Lengthen into your fingertips. 
Strengthen your belly button into your core. 
Stretch to your scalp. 
Lift into the heavens. 
Hold that position and smile. 
Inhale to your right.
Exhale to your left.
Lower into your lunge.
Straight into warrior pose.
Relax your shoulders.
Drop into downward facing dog.
Melt into child’s pose…”

Most of what Tania says boggles my mind. Especially the one about softening my gaze! I keep smiling inside…down to my liver.

“Today’s lesson. Is about LOVE. As we grow older, we move away from romantic love and into familiar love. The comfortable kind of love…

But what is it that we love in the other person?
Isn’t it that part of them that mirrors us?
We love that part or parts of them that connects to and with us?

But what if we take that away? Will you love them less?
Do we love how the other person talks to us, writes to us, responds to us, do things for us? Do we love how they make us feel?

But what if we take all that away?
Because that, ladies and gentlemen, requires effort and energy and personality and character…

Strip that away and what is left?
Is it a scared, vulnerable, and lonely person?
And will you love that person less or even not at all?

Find that unconditional Love. A love that does not require anything! It’s not what they do, but what they are! Love their very being! That’s the self-less, unconditional kind of LOVE.”

The End.

I thank you for reading, my loves!

You are Beautiful!

You are Beautiful!

 

#38 | The Great Ocean Road (Part 3 of 3)

I keep asking myself “Why has it taken us 13 years to get here?” Well. At least, this magnificence is here and will be here for thousands of years, yet.

This trip started off on the wrong foot, weather-wise. Read Part 1. But it has gone from strength to strength because The Great Ocean Road and its Twelve Apostles are nothing short of spectacular!

The best thing is, it is all natural. Not man made at all, unlike the Eiffel Tower or the Sydney Harbour Bridge or the Opera House. The Twelve Apostles has the added backdrop of sunrise and sunset. The sky, sea and sand colours will be different depending on the time of your visit. Total eye candy for the photographer and nature lover in you.

There are numerous hiking trails for the boot. This blog is not so much to share our experience, but more of a reminder for me to go back and do a proper 4 to 7 days of the Great Ocean WalkOrganised Tours are available.

The sign post read “366 Steps” to Wreck Beach.

“Start counting, Gabo!”

“Mum, there are so many flies down here.” 

Gabo abhors flies. Sobra. They’re his “spiders”. He spent the whole time complaining about the flies during our walks. Ariel asked if we could consider this as part of our planned “6 Walks for 2014″. I said yes, but this is equivalent to one walk only. Gosh, I love it when I tick off a goal!

The 366 steps climb up was tough. I burned some serious calories for sure. I think I shall just let the pictures do the talking, er… describing.

366 steps to Wreck Beach

366 steps to Wreck Beach

Almost there...

Almost there…

Having a moment!

Having a moment!

The hike to Gables Lookout

The hike to Gables Lookout

Our reward for finishing, because we almost headed back thinking we were lost!

Our reward for finishing, because we almost headed back thinking we were lost!

The Loch Ard Gorge

The Loch Ard Gorge

is too stunning to miss!

is too stunning to miss!

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Gibson Steps

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One final look…at my Rock Stars

Part 1 - The Sydney-Adelaide-Melbourne roadtrip via The Great Ocean Road
Part 2 – Dining Finds

My 2014 #TwelveBooks

 

NOTE TO SELF: I have yet to list and rate my 2013 Twelve Books in one post. I’ll get to that when I get to it…:) I owe you one, my dear readers.

Unlike the previous two years when I just picked books gungho-style, I’m going to do it differently this year. I am big on organizing and planning. And you know what? Because I am sharing this with you, I am holding myself accountable to truly reading and finishing else i embarass myself online. Ha. So, I will be courageous and announce what 2014′s TwelveBooks are.

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2014′s Twelve Books. Not all books are in this image.

1 – Wild by Cheryl Strayed
2 – Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacs
3 – Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
4 – Hunger Games Book 2
5 – Hunger Games Book 3
6 – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
7 – 11/22/63 by Stephen King
8 – Friends, Lovers, Chocolates – by Alexander Graham Smith
9 –  The Signature of All Things – Elizabeth Gilbert
10 – Game of Thrones Book 4 ~ I need to bump this up the list in time for the HBO new season
11 – Love In The Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
12 – Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals

If you notice I have light reading mixed in (4,5) to give myself a chance of some breathing space. Oh boy, these books are thick. My disclaimer is ~ I will allow myself to change my mind in any way, for as long as I do twelve. Audio books, short stories and non-fictions are allowed. There are no rules!

What do you think of my choices? Have you read any of them? What will you be reading this year? Start with just one…let’s do this together!

#37 | The Sydney-Adelaide-Melbourne Roadtrip ~ The Dining Finds (Part 2 of 3)

For me, travel is all about the people I meet and the dining places I find. Sure, we go to places for the stunning landscapes and seascapes and that popular shot with Mount Fuji as a backdrop. But what makes travel more intense are the sounds, smells, and flavours. Here are our dining finds during this 9 day roadtrip. Here’s hoping that you find them too, if you decide to go this way….

1. Seven Seeds, Melbourne - The obscure entrance belies the throbbing and vibrant interior of this cafe. To my eye, the patrons look like they were entrepreneurs of start-up internet companies, or musicians, or writers. Or simply people who love great food and even greater coffee. Seven seeds make their own coffee on the premises. “They have a coffee laboratory, mum”, observed my 14 year old. Prices are reasonable. My two slices sourdough bread with two poached eggs cost $11. The brioche french toast with poached peaches is a must! The total brekky experience? I would say it’s one of this trip’s Top 5 highlights next to the 12 Apostles. The experience was that memorable, or maybe that’s just me.

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Seven Seeds, Melbourne

2. 12 Rocks Cafe and Beach Bar, Port Campbell - This pub is busy and waterfront. Port Campbell is the closest town to the 12 Apostles and it’s where you should stay, I reckon. At 12 Rocks, there is a long queue to order. Simply because the lady at the counter manually takes your order down and manually adds them up before ringing the total at the register. Why this is so is beyond me. The wait for our meal was about 15 mins. It was all worth it. While away the time with their in-house brewed beer. My Thai salad with crispy wontons was delightful. I have never seen wontons presented this way. Ariel’s baked salmon and vegies with caesar dressing was delicate in its perfection. Yes. We swap plates midway in every meal, don’t you?

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12 Rocks, Port Campbell

3. Ocean Corner Cafe, Anglesea (along the Great Ocean Road) - Anglesea was our lunch stop on the drive from Port Campbell to Melbourne. What a find, this one. From the outside, it looked like your regular fish and chips shop. But it’s not. Their specialties are homemade cakes and meat pies. The boys’ $5 bacon pies tasted like grandma’s. Ariel and I had a bacon and potato soup. I tell you, it was most hearty. My tired body was soothed and my heart swelled. I had to eat the soft bread that came with it, dipping it into the soup felt just right. It was like having soup by a fireplace. A simple meal that was full of homemade love.

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Ocean Corner, Port Campbell

4. Hahndorf Kaffeehaus, Adelaide - For the first time, I ordered something that was not in the menu. Being on the go meant eating fast food fare. So I try to find whole food as much as I can. I asked if this cafe had a salad. “Yes, we can make a garden salad for you. Would you like to have chicken or smoked salmon with it?” I smiled inside. It felt good to be given a choice. I’d like it with smoked salmon, thank you!  Ariel thought that his Reuben sandwich was underwhelming. But since I was happy with my choice, Kaffeehaus deserves a callout indeed.

Hahndorf Kaffeehaus, Adelaide

Hahndorf Kaffeehaus, Adelaide

5. Robertson’s Bakery, Hay - It was 7.30am on a Friday and we ventured out to the one main strip in town looking for this Tripadvisor find. Despite my misgivings of any shop to be open in the middle of a 45°C heatwave, this bakery opened as advertised at 7am. There were plenty of bread and cake choices that looked like what your grandma would make. I devoured them all with my eyes. The pleasant surprise was the coffee serving that came in a mug. Generous in portion, the coffee itself was sublime. Don’t miss this place when you make for Hay!

Robertson's Bakery, Hay

Robertson’s Bakery, Hay

6. Joe’s Kiosk, Henley Beach, Adelaide – We make it a point to have breakfast where the locals go. This brekky find is right on the beach where the local bikers converge for good ol’ big brekky. I was mildly surprised that their big brekky price was the same as in Sydney. The boys’ bacon and eggs came in generous portions. Ariel and I ordered eggs on toast with coffee. I easily paid $60 for 4 plates. The nicest thing about this place is you can idly watch people on their morning walks/jogs along the beach. Most of whom have dogs in tow.

Do leave me a comment and tell me about your experience if you manage your way to any of the above dining finds.

This post is second of 3 parts. Part 1 is here. Part 3 is here.