Hawaii Trip 2016 – Day One

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Obligatory shoe shot at the airport.  I might have been feeding a hungry baby and sitting on the dirty airport floor but I didn’t care cause we were going to HAWAII!!

After months of planning and checking expedia every second day for sight seeing ideas we were off.  Were we crazy for taking a 5 year old and a 5 month old half way around the world for 8 days?  Only time would tell………….Ha!  We were SO excited!

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All I can say is thank goodness we had a lovely lady give up her seat in her row so we could have a bit of stretch out room.  The boys were awesome pants and slept most of the way and if they weren’t sleeping or eating they were watching movies.  Check out the concentration on H’s face 🙂

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Hours in and still smiling!
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We made it!! We were tired and Hot, oh so Hot.  We dropped our bags off at our hotel and went a wandering.  Only took us about an hour to find the largest outdoor mall in the world.  How very Culbert of us!
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The breeze on that rooftop bus was AMAZING, as was our first day in Hawaii! It was how I always imagined it and more.  Lots of palm trees, sunshine, blue skies and clear ocean.  and an ABC store on every corner.  We really grew to love those.

After an early dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen we all fell into bed.  Tired, Sunkissed and happy.

Day Two coming soon,

Love Lil xx

 

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TRAVELLING BETWEEN NEW YORK AND WASHINGTON

Getting from New York to Washington took the best part of 2 days with stopovers in Philadelphia and Lancaster.  We hopped on a train at Penn station. (handy tip if you are ever traveling regionally in the US, find a red cap man.  They will take you straight down to the train, handle all your luggage, get you a great seat before any of the other passengers board, and all for a small tip.  So great)  The trip took about an hour and a half. It was cool to see the countryside (the bits that weren’t covered in snow) and the towns and cities in-between New York and Philly.   It was straight into a cab after getting to Philly(wind chill was -10) and up to our hotel room.  We used this night where we were stuck in the hotel to have dinner and do Laundry.  So much laundry guys.  How do 3 people make so much dirty washing? 

 Anyhoo…………. Gus and I used this time to take very serious selfies and super hero poses in front of the dryer.

We were in Philly till about 4pm the next day.  I have never been so cold in my life.  It got so bad at one stage that we had to take a screaming Gus into the Macy’s entry just so we could warm him up and calm him down.  Surfeit to say we didn’t see much of Philly at all but were able to brave the Arctic winds long enough to see where the Declaration of Independence was signed in Independence Hall.  We were 3 happy Culberts when we signed for our rental car and were enjoying the heater on our way to Lancaster PA.

Lancaster is the most idyllic town.  I would love to see it during Spring or Summer but it was still absolutely beautiful under the layers of snow and ice.  We stayed at Amish View Inns just outside Lancaster and our views in the morning were White Amish Farmhouses and ploughed fields.  The hotel room was INSANE! Four poster bed, huge lounge room area and a SPA, which I indulged in as soon as I could.  We were treated to a farm style Amish buffet breakfast next to the fire in the Main room before we headed off on our way to DC. (behind an Amish Horse and Buggy for a few kms!) I really wish that we had spent more time in Lancaster but we were in a race with the Arctic Winds to get to Washington before the snow storm set in.  The last photo is snow being blown every which way on the highway.
We arrived in DC about 7pm, safe and sound.  It’s been freezing, but also AMAZING!
I’ll share more tomorrow.  

Love Lil xx



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DAY 4. EXPLORING CENTRAL PARK.

 Central Park.  We heart you.  What a special and magical place you are.  These are a few hours we will never forget.  The Park really is a sanctuary within the sirens, and the honks.  
As soon as you walk in, all becomes quiet and everything slows down a little bit.

We strolled around, sipped hot coffee, took way too many photos of the friendly squirrels that scampered around the hot nut carts that are scattered around the park. (seriously they are not afraid of people at all)  We had been in the park for about 15 minutes when it started to snow. Slow little flakes at first and then faster and fatter and fluffier.  The wind died down and it was just the snow, falling and settling on our gloves and beanies, Gus even had some in his eyelashes!  It was really a catch your breath kind of moment.  I just stood there, arms outstretched, staring up at the sky, watching it fall down.  Seriously Top 5 Life Moment right there.

I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking, I hope they convey just how amazing this Park is. So so so lucky to be able to experience it with my loves.


Love Lil xx

P.S – If anyone ever asks if going to New York in Winter is worth it,  I would say yes.  Yes Just to experience THIS!

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DAY 3. PART 2. EMPIRE STATE BUILDING.

This building lives up to the hype!!  From it’s art deco lobby to the 86th floor it is pure magic.  I think that we went just at the right time too about 5.30pm so we got to witness the sun setting over the New York Skyline.  It is great to see how far the city spreads because down on the ground you feel like you are in your own little world.
Can’t wait to explore more!

Love Lil xx

P.S – my hands have never been so cold in my life as they were up on the 86th floor.
P.P.S – This might just be my new favourite picture of the three of us.  Lucky, Lucky ducks!

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DAY 3. PART ONE. LADY LIBERTY AND THE STATEN ISLAND FERRY

Sorry about the break in posts but jet lag reared it’s ugly head again last night.  We were all in bed by 9.30pm and didn’t think about getting up until after 10.  Starting to get into the swing of things as a New Yorker (ha!) though.  If you want a decent size cup of coffee but don’t want to drink a gallon ask for a Grande.  Tipping is scaled by service so if it’s awesome it’s 20% if it’s average 10%.  It is always warmer when it is snowing. Why?
No wind.  Anyway, I digress.  Yesterday was our big touristy day.    After grabbing a Coffee and Chocolate croissant we jumped on the subway Line 1 down to South Ferry.  The Subway was efficient and quick but a little dirty and hard to navigate especially with a stroller.  Still a better way than driving.  I can’t imagine anything worse than driving through the main streets of the city.  Digressing again blah blah.

As soon as you step out at South Ferry you are bombarded with Hecklers trying to sell you trips on boats to see the statue.  I kid you not we were asked about 20 times .  Once you get past the swarm it’s straight onto the Staten Island Ferry.  Free as a bird.  It is regimented.  You all stand in front of two big doors and then shuffle through onto the ferry like cattle.  We got really great seats on the top level and before we knew it we were on our way to see the prettiest green lady in all the land.  Gus slept through the entire thing, waking up just as we were about to dock.  I have to say I had exactly the same feeling as when I first saw the Manhattan skyline, a gulp in my throat and a tear in my eye.  
Lady Liberty really is a beauty!  Smaller than what you think (I think it’s all the movies we watch) but still stops you in your tracks.  You can’t take your eyes off her.

After ticking off a bucket list item we headed up past Wall Street and onto the Freedom Tower and the 911 Memorial Museum.  It was sombre, in your face and conveyed just how real that day was and how it still effects the NY community.

What a great day!  One of the best!  I feel like I need to continually be pinched to remind me that what we are experiencing, seeing, smelling, tasting is real!

Photo dump below if you want to check it out.

Part 2 coming tomorrow.  Another Bucket Item List ticked off!

Love Lil xx

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#CULBERTSTAKETHESTATES DAY 2. TIMES SQUARE BABY!

So……………………………………………………That’s us, in Times Square!

After falling in into bed at 2.30 this morning we all got to sleep.  And I mean sleep.  We woke up today at 2pm.  I’m hoping that we have now kicked jet lag in the arse and the rest of the trip will be on U.S time.
We stepped out of the hotel at about 3.30 and headed straight on down to Times Square guided by the neon.  So much neon and flash guys, and noise and steam coming out of the potholes.  We felt like we were on a movie set.  Today was all about exploring the neighbourhood we are staying in,  Midtown.  Times Square is a 4 minute walk from our Hotel.  First stop was Starbucks.  I haven’t had a lot of coffee in the U.S yet but Starbucks is the best by far.  Every other cup I have had is bitter and not the best.  So U.S tip No. 1 tip so far is just go to Starbucks if you are a coffee lover like we are.

Made some of our shopping dreams come true!  H+M.   There are no words.  And Forever 21.  We made Gus’s dreams come true by going to Toys R Us.  A Whole aisle of Imaginex toys!  He was in heaven and wanted every, single, one.  

We had such a great first day!  It was freezing, a bit confusing and overwhelming but every second we were in awe of this Amazing City.  Tomorrow is our big touristy day.  Empire State Building I’m looking at you.

A few photos below if you would like to see how our first day as temporary New Yorkers went.      

Love Lil xx

P.S – totally cried like a baby when we drove over a hill and saw the Manhattan skyline last night.   We are just the luckiest three right now.

P.P.S – That ‘Russ’ coffee cup slays me.  ‘Did you say Russ Ma’am ?’ Hahaha


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#CULBERTS TAKE THE STATES

I’m currently sitting on the floor of our hotel room, in pyjamas, drinking a very nice glass of moscato contemplating what we are about to do tomorrow.  Months of planning and dreaming have come to an end.  Our trip is finally here.  We fly out from Melbourne tomorrow at 11 and then it’s 21 hours of flying, movies, plane food crossing LAX terminal at 2.30 in the morning with a three year old and then stepping out into -6 degree weather.  
I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!  

I’m so excited to use this little space of mine to share our trip with you all.  We will also have a visual journey that we can look back on and show Gus when he is older.

Feeling lucky and a little nervous

Love Lil xx

P.S – if you want to follow our adventure on instagram @thesplendidthings or @_iamross & #culbertstakethestates

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The Port Arthur Ghost Tour.

The photos speak for themselves.  It was cold, it was wet, It was spooky.  But by gosh it was A LOT of fun!  Especially since Ross was the lantern bearer who’s job was to stay at the back of the group and make sure every one was ok.  

Did I have a ghostly encounter?  Well that’s for me to know……….

If you are ever in Tassie.  Please Go.  You will love it!

Love Lil xx

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Tassie Adventure Part 2

Our second day in Tassie was awesome.  We spent the night before in the hotel, having drinks at the bar and then an AMAZING dinner by the warmth of an open fire.


   // I got to sleep in till 10am.  That’s right 10am.  ( I know, unheard of).
      Got a few quick snaps of the view from our hotel room and then it was off to Richmond
       for coffee and thrifty browsing.//

                                             
    // Our transport for the weekend 🙂 //

 // The oldest bridge in all of Oz.  1823.  They really don’t build things like they used to.//

    // The gorgeous little village of Richmond.  It is very ‘English’. //


     // Us xx //


// We visited the miniature village of 1820’s Hobart.  I thought it would be lame, but it was surprisingly fun and informative.  And I thought this romp in the haystack was hilarious! //


          // Sometimes the best lunch is Pumpkin Soup and crusty bread at the local Pub! //

The view of Pirates Bay on the way to Port Arthur.  

It was such a wonderful day.  It was so great to just meander and potter around the antique and home ware shops, coffee in one hand, your loves hand in the other.

Mini Breaks are kind of the best aren’t they?

Sharing some eerie photos from the ghost tour tomorrow.

Love Lil xx

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Tassie Adventures Part 1

 Last weekend Ross and I were lucky enough to escape down to Tasmania for a few days.
 Gus got to spend some quality time with my parents up in Bathurst.  It was the first time that Ross and I have spent more than one night away from our Bug, but we got to spend a few much needed days together, relaxing, eating and SLEEPING IN!

We flew into Hobart quite early, picked up the rental car and headed to our Hotel (The Rydges Hobart) ran around the hotel room like excited kids and then headed down to the Hobart institution ‘The Salamanca Markets’.  I have been looking forward to trawling the stalls for some time.  Handmade, fresh produce and vintage all in one place!

It was FREEZING! it was wet, and did I mention freezing.  We popped into a warm, toasty pub to have lunch way earlier than we normally would just to get out of the rain.  The markets were still really good to wander through.  I bought the cutest vintage felt hat to cover my frozen ears and a personalised puzzle for Gus.

                // The stalls between downpours.  So pretty under all the autumn leaves //

               // A quick walk up to Myer to buy beanies and gloves and scarves, Oh my! //

And because we weren’t quite cold enough we decided to drive up to Mt Wellington.  We wound up the road watching the temp fall from 11 to 7 to 3.  At about 2 degrees and 5 kms from the summit we noticed it was starting to rain.  But the rain wasn’t wet, it was icy, it was snow!!  This was kind of excited because my husband has never seen snow, never.
I have never seen him jump out of the car so quick, taking photos and trying to catch the snow in his hands.  When he got back in the car his cheeks were frozen, but his smile was awesome!

      // The temp outside just before we got out at the summit. Us two smiling like idiots. //

                     // The SNOW!!! //

                                   // More snow. //

                  // Have you ever seen such happiness when your absolutely freezing?  //

 // I grew up in Bathurst, where the normal winter temp is about 4 degrees, and I have never
     been as cold as I was standing right there.  Maybe leather leggings weren’t the best idea    
     for Tassie? //

Our views on the way back down the mountain.  Rainbows always make me smile.

Thank God that our Hotel room had a spa, where we spent the next hour defrosting.

Part 2 tomorrow. (I felt like I was scrolling and scrolling with all the pics in one post)

Love Lil xx

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