Okay, so it turns out it is going to be a lot harder to share the key things I have learnt while away purely because of the volume of new information my brain has taken in and processed. I am fairly ashamed of how little history I actually knew before starting this trip. I had always thought of myself as pretty knowledgeable and well versed culturally, just strategically hidden in a fairly thick occa accent (I am not sure if that’s how you spell occa… I am pretty sure it isn’t, but if you know the correct way, let me know…). So instead, you’ll probably just get some good old fashioned reflection and highlights. So here we go…


Happy New year! This year as I mentioned in my last blog we have started the year in beautiful Venice. Last night we headed to a masquerade party at bar just outside of the Venice you see in the postcards… on I guess what would be considered the ‘mainland’.  Because we joined the tour group in Rome, we didn’t have quite as long to find masks for the party and thanks to a jam packed day of touristing, we didn’t want to waste time hunting one down or pay the prices down town Rome offered, especially seeing as though everyone else paid a fraction of those prices back in Florence or Milan before we got there. Thankfully some of our new friends had upgraded their masks and so, had a second mask they were happy for us to have… so both of us, yep, even Davo, masked up for the night.  New Year’s was actually a great night, even though neither of us were expecting it… it’s hard to party with 50 people you’ve never met before they pop the masks on, let alone when you can’t tell who is who and two more tour groups were added to the mix.  But it turns out that the night really helped us get to know the group and become part of the tour group which was a relief. We were a little worried that we would be the newbie outsiders for the whole tour despite the fact that we were already making friends, but we didn’t to worry… Anyway… that’s how we brought in the new year.

January 1 we headed into Venice, Venice and it was just as I imagined. In the walking tour we looked at St Mark’s Square, St Mark’s Basilica, The Bridge of Sighs and had a chat about the history and culture of the town. Venice is unbelievable and although I had heard rumours that it smelt… due to the mostly stagnant water making up the canals that divide the 100+ islands… the advantage of going in the middle of winter… is that it doesn’t.  It’s just pretty.  The little streets and pokey houses were picturesque and every corner I turned I felt the need to take more pictures.

Venice SceneIMG_4261jpg

I think the highlight of the day was checking out the local transport, the gondola. We did ask our gondolier to sing, but he informed us he only did this after a lot of alcohol. We also went for quite an adventure back on the mainland to find a restaurant that was open for dinner on New Year’s Day and stumbled upon a town square complete with ice skating rink… For our one day in Venice… I think we spent it pretty perfectly. Oh and numbers 1, 59 and 74 all were crossed off the list… Possibly the most successful list day 1 in list history.

Venice SceneVenicejpg

Hello 2016… Here is your List!

Happy New Year From Beautiful Venice!

It’s 2016… a new year means a new list… 100 little goals of all shapes and sizes, big, small, hard, fun, silly, serious and some just very random, but all things that at some stage this year I wrote down as things I wanted to achieve or do.  This is my 8th list… and they are all quite different so if you want to check out the back story you can by clicking the year you want to read about…  2006, 20072010, 2012, 2013, 2014 or 2015.

In case you haven’t noticed, but I am pretty passionate about my list… and even though last years list was a cracker, I think this years is even better.  Last year I loaded some NZ adventures into the list, which at the time I felt a little guilty about doing as I like the list to be as spontaneous as it can be, in that I never know how I might achieve most of the list..  However, looking back at it, I love the fact that because lots of things we did also made it onto the list I have documented the events with more detail than I probably would have without a reason to.  So this year, given that we are starting the year in Europe, I have loaded the list again… but not just with things we are hoping/planning to do on this trip, also with things from a few other trips we have planned for the year.  But don’t fret, there are still plenty of home based activities to make sure that list is around for every day of the year.  I have tried to mix it all in together, and like all the other lists there are a mixture of new items and old things, some from previous years that I wanted to do again or things that I didn’t quite achieve last time they were on the list.  As always it’s a combination of everything from the mundane to the strange and everything in between… and if you see things on the list that you think you might be able to help me achieve, let me know, because list crossing is always more fun when there is other involved.

I am also hoping (like every other year) that I am better at blogging it when it happens… I like having it here to look back at and reflect on.  But enough chit chat from me… here is the 2016 list:

  1. Start 2016 somewhere outside of Australia
  2. Make a summer fruit platter in a watermelon
  3. Send 12 hand written cards/letters
  4. Make a lolly cake
  5. Rearrange a space
  6. Play my flute
  7. Go to Disneyland
  8. Find out is our house has a legit hidden fireplace
  9. Visit something older than colonised Australia
  10. Have tea in London… Queen optional
  11. Do a ridiculously cheesy tourist photo with a famous tourist attraction
  12. Go to a country I have never been to before
  13. Find a geocache
  14. Hide a geocache
  15. Watch the Prince of Egypt
  16. Go in the 2016 Melbourne Marathon festival somehow… 5, 10, half or full
  17. Be a Victorian tourist and go somewhere all the tourists go
  18. See my bestie face to face
  19. Get back in the pool and swim at least 5 times
  20. Go to the Zoo
  21. Make some kind of festive seasonal dish
  22. Use the fire pit
  23. Go skiing or snowboarding or tobogganing
  24. Do you want to build a snowman? I do
  25. Go Camping
  26. See some Northern Hemisphere stars
  27. Run with at least 3 different people
  28. Make a photo book or our Europe Adventures
  29. Save money each pocket money
  30. Go on a bush walk
  31. Go to a farmers market
  32. Make some meringues
  33. Learn how to spell meringues without having to check it every time
  34. Keep my photo storage under control – no extreme amounts of notifications on my phone
  35. Get and keep my photo storage under control
  36. Sew something
  37. Do some trivia
  38. Bake some snacks
  39. See a musical
  40. Read 16 books
  41. Do a water aerobics class
  42. Do a spin class
  43. Have a BBQ Wednesday
  44. Go to a state of Australia that I haven’t been to before
  45. Touch my feet to some red dirt
  46. Clean up my iTunes playlists
  47. Visit another international thermal pool
  48. Clean my car more regularly
  49. Sort out my 2014 and 2015 scrap books
  50. Try at least 2 new park runs
  51. keep my apple things updated properly
  52. Go to Inverloch at least 5 times
  53. Swim in the Ocean
  54. Have high tea
  55. Walk to the end of a pier
  56. Get some Fro-yo
  57. Go roller skating
  58. Ride a bike
  59. Have some pasta/ pizza/gelato in Italy
  60. Have some processed meat in Germany
  61. See the Myer windows
  62. Go to a place I can’t pronounce
  63. Do some more work as a teacher
  64. Take a photo with an English Guard
  65. Take the Eurostar
  66. See an Emu
  67. Experience the outback
  68. Follow through on the date box again
  69. Go to Sherbrook forest
  70. Be on time… it’s time
  71. Have another Star Trek Movie Marathon
  72. Make my own dumplings
  73. Be confronted by WWII
  74. Go on a Gondola ride
  75. Visit a real life old time castle…. like one that would inspire disney
  76. Visit at least 4 museums
  77. See the Berlin Wall
  78. Taste some dutch cheese
  79. Have a Shakespeare moment
  80. Do a 3D jigsaw
  81. Ride a Camel… or at least see one in Uluru
  82. Have one of those epic milkshakes
  83. Have a Random Acts of Kindness week
  84. Go on  a Road Trip
  85. Have a wardrobe purge
  86. Do another pinterest project
  87. Help change something at home
  88. See some carols by candle light
  89. Get a massage
  90. Keep getting closer again
  91. Make the most of my gym membership
  92. Get my menu planning and home cooking game on
  93. Spend some time in the Old testament (Study at least 2 OT books)
  94. Eat something from out veggie garden
  95. Play some badminton
  96. Make sure I remember my secret list
  97. Run 5km without walking
  98. Have the parentals over for dinner… all of them… separately
  99. Be more domestic
  100. Take Dex on a Doggy Adventure

And there you have it… 2016 here we come!