This year of 2016 and a wee part of 2015 has been a most interesting time. Possibly one of the most varied years of our life so far. We went to The United States for a month and fell in love with the country and the politest folk we have ever come across. There was a lot of walking around Newport Rhode Island and that was excellent as it ment we had a good close look at all that was interesting to us. Gardens and amazing homes mainly.
There was swimming on a beach in the Bahamas included as well, the benefits of a surprise cruise taken on the spur of the moment. Now there was proof it pays not to overplan too much and let serendipity take its course with a little help from the internet. God bless those last minute cruise sites. Who knew a small girl would be the best traveling companion one could wish for as she danced and twirled around the cruise ship.
Of all the holidays we have enjoyed the cruise always holds special memory’s and this was number three of the wonderful times.
In between these great experiences was the house sitting which to be honest made it possible to enjoy the travel by enabling us to save a bit on the cost of our beloved caravanning.
The trip to the mainland and the cruise went by so fast and before long we were off to Hawaii for a bit of sun and swimming cause above all else that’s our favorite happy place in the world. Time after time Hawaii hits the spot and even though it was a shock to see how busy the island has become and see its highways choked with traffic we still love it.
The way the flights worked out created a few days in Los Angeles much to my delight and once again so easily seduced I felt a whole lot of affection for this huge city. We guess what ended up going for long walks along the beachfront of the rather seedy Venice Beach and ended up in Santa Monica deeply mourning the fact the glorious shopping was not for us. Darn it hurts not to be a gorgeous teenager anymore.
Along the walks we discovered the most beautiful place to live and it’s still out there to the gods of Housesitting wherever they are. I am totally up for a few months feeding a treasured cat and gardening if required on the Venice Canals. The only concern would be carrying all the little bits one needs to housesit in comfort. Whilst we have enjoyed some lovely places and loved the pets it’s interesting to find not everybody keeps a fully equipped kitchen. One or two of our lovely homeowners had a kitchen to love and sadly a few did not. A sharp knife and often a working oven are harder to find than you could ever imagine. In fact it stuns me one could live and eat without good equipment on hand. It raises the question are some of us just spoilt or do some just have no enjoyment of the art of food so consequently do not care. To avoid horrid surprises in the kitchen I am developing a list of handy things to keep on hand. Imagine the horror of a home with no oven, no sharp knives, not even a cheese grater and this is what I found at my latest sit.
To avoid such horrors it would be a good idea for the keen house sitter to invest in a suitable container to be taken along on every housesit containing the following.
- A pair of good sharp knives.
- A cheese grater of your choice. I prefer the modern flat ones
- A small Webber BBQ
- Salt and Pepper
- A small blender of some sort for drinks and smoothies.
- A good cast iron frying pan, a good saucepan or two as well.
- Nice soap and shampoo if they are important to you.
- A Scented Candle or two not necessarily expensive ones.
- Your own pillow.
- We also carry our dog leads and car harnesses in case we want to go out with pets to a park or beach.
A cozy rug if you are going to a cool area for your bed.
That may sound over the top but if you are in it for a long term commitment believe me there will be many things more you will find make life a little more comfy. My husband includes a deck chair for outside comfort to read in as well. Lucky for us we drive a large Ute with plenty of room in it.
It has been a busy time and so far we have just about covered the eastern seaboard of Australia and had some gorgeous pets to look after. Some stand out for all sorts of reasons mainly personality including the big brown boy we met last month. Wonder Dog we called him for his intelligence and lovely nature.
Just throw the stick will you!
The latter part of the year was pretty dam amazing as well, it included another wonder trip to Asia. Singapore, Bali and Malaysia who could complain. We revisited the food courts of Singapore and renewed our vow of love for the city. Once again we were stunned at the rate of renewal and amazing buildings and gardens they had developed. Ooh How I Love You Singapore and all the things you offer.
So there we were four days of bliss in Singapore and could have made it eight. The food and the amazing city along with the incredible gardens just make it another go to for a fantastic break. For a large city we were thrilled to find once again the locals were really friendly and we both were amused to meet a most charming young doctor who directed us to the best nightclub in town. That would have been a sight to see and flattered as we were to believe we may be cool enough for nightclubs the night spent watching the crowds was enough for us.
Dear Old Bali
What we would do without the kindness of friends I do not know. Viv sharing her housesit with us as she looked after the little rescue dogs of Bali .
Our dear friends who offered us their beautiful Gypsy Villa in the heart of Seminyak all came together to make it a memorable few weeks.
There is no denying Bali can test your patience and it seems so sad it has been loved to the point of destruction of all that once made it so beautiful but still it grabs you . We were enchanted to find all the gorgeousness in the local stores and guess what our new place will be full of . Yep even though I swore we would not succumb to the temptations of the design shops of Seminyak the bags were packed to maximum capacity and we still had Malaysia to get through.
The First Bus Tour We Ever Did
Oh my goodness we did enjoy this part of the trip. The most excellent Majestic Hotel where we thought we were royalty for a bit. The bus tour was very good and we travelled up hill and down dale through the tea plantations along the highways to places we had only read of. The fellow passengers turned out to be all good sorts of all ages which was not a bad thing. Will do it again in another country for sure and we were very pleased with ourselves for choosing to take a chance on it.
It was all thanks to the wonderful people who entrusted us with there homes and pets and we are grateful for the year more than we can say.
It did not end there either as on arrival back in Oz we have travelled to Cooktown (far north) to Melbourne in the south a huge journey. Everyday I thank the travel gods and bless the company that made me redundant because if not one would still be at work and who would want that instead of travel. Not Me!
.The sweetness of kids wherever you go.