At the end of each month I am going to send out a summary of the highlights of the month. I will tell you about any travel bargains I’ve found and update you on our plans for upcoming trips and activities. Here is the summary for January.

Welcome to 2017

January is usually a quiet month here. School holidays always means not only does school stop, but also the kids sports take a break too. So lot less running around for me! We rarely go on holidays in January because here it is peak summer holiday times so of course everything is more expensive. Getting approval for leave from work is harder too.

We instead spent the month playing tourist in our own backyard. I have been testing our attractions in Port Adelaide which I will blog about soon. One of the places we visited was the National Railway Museum. You can read what we thought over on OurWorldinReview.

National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum

Port Adelaide Dolphin Cruise

Port Adelaide dolphin cruise

My only trip in January was a quick weekend over in Melbourne. I took my daughter MacKenzie over for a shopping trip on her 18th birthday. Here in Australia 18 is the drinking age, so I couldn’t let the occasion pass without taking her out for a legal alcoholic drink! Below MacKenzie inspects my red wine to decide if she wants to try it. She had already sipped then passed on the first drink I bought her – an espresso martini.

Red wine

Maybe red wine is my drink!

In Melbourne we went down to Brighton to see the cute beach huts for the first time. I looked up Brighton Beach, and saw there was a train stop called just that, so jumped on the train. Half an hour later, we disembarked to the smell and sounds of the sea, and followed the crowd across the road to the beach. Our faces were priceless as we stood at the top of the steps to the beach, looked left and right, and couldn’t see any beach huts. Now what? Which way to go? I followed the crowds! More people went to the right, so we did too.

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach – but where are the beach huts?

Brighton Beach Huts

There they are! Now how do I get there?

Down the beach, around a corner, up a hill – and there they were! We could see the beach huts in the distance. Now we just had to work out how to get there. It looked like access along the beach was blocked, but as we got a little closer we could see a path through. The beach huts are the cutest things, and we spent too much time wandering along taking photos.

Brighton Beach Huts

Brighton Beach Huts

We weren’t keen on heading back to the train station we had come from, so a quick search showed we were nearer to Middle Brighton station. It was a 1.2km walk from the beach, but through leafy streets and a trendy shopping strip.

That Saturday night in Melbourne was Chinese New Year. As we walked around on Sunday, there were celebrations happening on the streets in front of restaurants. The Chinese dragons danced to drums and then the crowds gathered around to watch. Suddenly a whole pile of firecrackers were let off. I almost had a heart attack the first time they went off! It was so loud! By the third time we saw the spectacle, we recognised the trolley holding the firecrackers, and as it arrived, we moved away. It was all good fun, and I am really looking forward to spending Chinese New Year somewhere in Asia in 2018.

Chinese New Year

Chinese dragons, drums and fire crackers!

A Melbourne trip is not complete unless we take a quick wander down Hosier Lane to see the latest street art, and here are some of my favourites from this trip.

Melbourne street art

Hosier Lane street art

Melbourne Street Art

Street artist at work on Hosier Lane

street art

Mushrooms anyone?

street art

A very colourful dog. Or wolf?

Coming Up

January 6th was a huge milestone for me – the last day of my 9-5 job! After over eight years of working full time, I’m now not! Now I am busy working on this blog. I’ve also been planning our trip. I have the itinerary for the first month with the kids set in stone. It’s going to be a crazy month as we go Oslo / Amsterdam / Paris / Berlin / Krakow / Budapest / Rome. It will only be a taste of each city, but that’s kinda the idea. We can all then decide where we like and don’t like for the future.

I have started to book accommodation now that the itinerary is in place. The first place I always check is AirBnB. We have had some fantastic experiences with them, but I haven’t had a lot of luck this time. I tried four different places in Oslo and one in Amsterdam, and all of them were turned down for various reasons.  Booking.com ended up with my reservations.

I still had a complimentary return flight to use that comes with my Amex Platinum Edge credit card so Simon and I have booked a few days in Canberra in March. Again, I went straight to AirBnB for my accomodation. The host was looking for longer bookings (ours was four nights!) and we miss out again, so off to Booking.com.

In February we also plan to do some travelling around South Australia. We will be heading over to Yorke Peninsula next weekend, and I am hoping towards the end of the month to get up to the Flinders Ranges for a couple of days. We will be getting in the car and going, with no plans in place. This will be hard for the planner in me to deal with, but I need to practice for our upcoming trip. It will be interesting to see where we go what we get up to, since even I don’t know.

Catching Up

In case you missed them, here are my January blog posts
December 2016 Summary
Things to do on a Visit to Adelaide
How Bookcrossing Influences my Travel
I’ve Been Nominated for the Liebster Award
Street Art of Port Adelaide
My Favourite Things About Turkey

Don’t forget to follow along on social media where you will see some content that does not make it onto my blog.
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/josiewanders
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/josiewanders
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/josiewanders
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/josiewanders

Do you have any travel plans in February? I need to live vicariously through you so tell me where you are going in the comments below.