Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wat Chai Wattanaram

..In Ayutthaya, Thailand...
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Monday, November 30, 2009

Wat Rong Khun

Amazing temple near Chiang Rai don't do it justice. Its really amazing...a must see in Northern Thailand...

The artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, has spent his own money to build this and never solicits contributions from anyone.

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Trip to Burma

Ok..ok...Myanmar...Burma...quite an experience none the less.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thailand's Rubber Triangle

Quick stop on the way to Chiang Rai...learned about the "rubber triangle" and the great sex education program in Thailand called Cabbages and to buy some funny stuff and support the local community...good stuff!

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Friday, November 27, 2009

First Tuk Tuk

Kind of like a ride at the county way to get around Chiang Mai...
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

14 hour flight ends

Ahhh...LAX to on to Bangkok...then Chang Mai...then Sleep!!

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

American to Thailand

Waiting at LAX for my long flight to Chang Mai via Taipei then Bangkok...a good 20 hours of travel...the journey begins...
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Monday, November 16, 2009

New Travel Books: I gotta look into these

New Travel Books: 100, 300, 500 and 1000 Ideas - ABC News: "Looking for inspiration for your next trip?

Five new travel books offer ideas in multiples of 100.

The 2010 edition of Travel + Leisure's '100 Greatest Trips' shows the upscale magazine's editors suggesting some surprisingly down-to-earth destinations, such as the Jersey Shore, Niagara Falls, and Milford, Pa., mixed in with more exotic locales like the Brazilian beach town of Trancoso, and Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands off Malaysia's northwest coast"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet-Month

TPP: "November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month, a time to educate the world about how wonderful older animals are, and to encourage the adoption of senior pets. Older dogs are among the hardest pets to adopt out. Sadly, many of them live out their 'golden years' behind cage bars."

So often, those who visit rescues and shelters in search of a new dog are immediately drawn to puppies. Sure, they are adorable, but you don't really know what you will end up with. Unfortunately, after puppies grow up, some owners decide they are bigger than desired or not the right kind of personality. Other owners no longer wish to care for a senior pet, and these dogs can end up homeless.

People are often hesitant to adopt a senior for fear of ending up with a sickly pet, but most senior animals in shelters and rescue groups are quite healthy. Another reason is that they do not want to think of bonding with a pet that might not live long. Dogs are technically considered "seniors" at age seven, but most live until 12-15 years of age (or longer). So, adopting a senior dog does not necessarily mean that your days together are numbered. Potential adopters also worry that their new pet will be set in his ways and might not behave appropriately. However, this is not the case. So many homeless senior pets once lived in a home and are often housebroken and somewhat trained. They are also likely to be less hyperactive and better socialized than young dogs

Adopting a senior pet is a kind action and a rewarding experience, but it is still important to understand that senior dogs do have special needs. Fortunately, the extra care is usually minimal - it is often just about prevention and awareness. Older dogs may become a little less active in time and some develop arthritis, but these are things that are often simple to handle. So, next time you decide to adopt a dog, consider making it a senior dog. It will change your life forever.


THAILAND CONTINUES HIGH IN THE HOLIDAY RATINGS : Pattaya Daily News: "Lonely Planet‘s ‘Best in Travel 2010‘ guide has just announced that Thailand is the world‘s second best-value destination, remaining 'perennially good value' and the tourism epicentre of Southeast Asia. This apparently is especially true for European tourists for whom Thailand represents one of the least expensive long-haul holiday destinations."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Funny email I got...


The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats:

The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this.

Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort, however.. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. I must exit through the same door I entered.

Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine/feline attendance is not required.The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat's butt. I cannot stress this enough.

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don't.

(2) If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That's why they call it 'fur'-niture.

(3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

(4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don't speak clearly.

Remember, dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

(1) eat less,

(2) don't ask for money all the time,

(3) are easier to train,

(4) normally come when called,

(5) never ask to drive the car,

(6) don't smoke or drink,

(7) don't want to wear your clothes,

(8) don't have to buy the latest fashions,

(9) don't need a gazillion dollars for college and

(10) if they get pregnant, you can sell their children ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Safety for Dogs - Keep Your Dog Safe for Halloween

Halloween Safety for Dogs - Keep Your Dog Safe for Halloween: "Halloween can be a fun time of year for the whole family - even your dog. However, there are also many potential dangers and sources of stress for your dog. Just remember to keep your dog safe from these Halloween hazards."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Foster a Friend

Give a Dog a Second Chance by Fostering
Helping pets in need doesn’t always mean adopting a dog or even donating money (although these are always good too). Fostering a dog is wonderful way to support overcrowded shelters and rescue organizations and get a pup ready for finding his forever home. It’s the perfect opportunity for you to help dogs in need without taking on the commitment of a lifelong pet adoption or to see if another dog is just what you need. And did we mention the unconditional doggie love?

How Fostering Works. Shelters often have dogs that need a little extra socialization before they’re ready for adoption, or those that need time away from a crowded shelter for personalized care after a medical procedure. Or in the case of rescue organizations, which typically do not have a facility to house the dogs they rescue, there’s simply a need for foster homes while permanent homes are found for the dogs through adoption efforts.
What Foster Parents Do. You’ll be responsible for the basic daily care for your friend in your home. In other words, your job is to shower him with the love and attention he needs to prepare him for adoption into a permanent home. The shelter picks up the cost of any medical expenses and in some cases, all costs for food. You’ll be asked to bring your foster dog to adoption events, medical appointments, and training classes if his manners need work.

Who Can Foster. Like any parenting situation, quantity and quality time are essential, so shelters and rescues prefer foster arrangements where at least one adult is home during the day. Also, the shelter will consider other pets and your lifestyle to make sure the match is the right for everyone involved. In most cases, it's fine if you already have a dog, as long as your dog and the foster dog are both healthy and well behaved around other dogs.
How long does a foster dog stay? Based on the individual needs of the pup, the time can range from days to months. Upon initial placement, you’ll likely get an idea of the probable length of the stay. But be prepared – your foster just may need you for awhile.

Foster it Forward. Like anything worth doing in life, fostering will require patience, dedication and tender loving care. The dogs you welcome into your home may need to be housetrained or learn their manners. They may be rambunctious or very shy. But these issues are far outweighed by the benefits and rewards of fostering – the honor to save little lives one pup at a time.

The Scoop:
Learn more about foster care for dogs.
Use Petfinder’s search tool to find your local humane society, animal shelter or rescue organization and see about fostering opportunities.
Woof Report’s list of Bay Area and ‘Beyond the Bay’ shelter and rescue organizations. If your favorite one is missing, contact us through the site and we’ll add it to our list.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Facebook | Save a Dog

I am loving this Facebook application...

Facebook Save a Dog: "If you are crazy about dogs and want to support animal rescue efforts by helping to keep real dogs out of shelters and in good homes, now you can.

Simply browse our photos of real-life adoptable dogs, and choose one to virtually “foster.” Invite your friends to co-foster your dog, or send them a different dog to foster, and you’ll draw much-needed attention to thousands of dogs living in shelters and with rescue groups all across the country. The more you spread the word, the greater the chances these dogs will find happy and loving homes."

My current "virtual" fosters are Sophie and Murphy (Eli isn't too jealous as he isn't too Facebook savvy)...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rain Heads for California

Uh ohh...rain in L.A...get ready

KNX - Rain Heads for California: "The first significant rain of the season is heading toward wildfire-scarred California.

The National Weather Service says a storm approaching the West Coast will bring rain by Monday, mostly in the northern and central portions of the state. It's not clear how much will reach Southern California.

The U.S. Geological Survey has warned that this season's rains could unleash debris flows into Los Angeles' foothill suburbs below slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains stripped by a 250-square-mile wildfire this summer."

Friday, October 9, 2009

Celebrate Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month

Great article from Jenna on Dogs...

Celebrate Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month: "October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog month and I could not be happier. Adoption is something very near and dear to my heart all year round. No doubt you have heard plenty about the millions of homeless pets in shelters, many of which are euthanized for lack of space or forever homes. Did you know that black animals are among the hardest to adopt out? All of this is heartbreaking, but we can help. If you are ready for a dog, why not try your local shelter first?"
Photo © Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Travel Solo for Less - Travel -

How to Travel Solo for Less - Travel - "As a solo traveler your money-saving strategy need not involve sleeping with a stranger."

What I mean, of course, is that if you want to curb your lodging costs when you hit the road alone, your options aren’t limited to permitting your tour company or cruise line to match you with a roommate.

If for you traveling solo means always having a private room as well as partaking of your destination’s best food and other offerings, you can save some dough despite being on your own, and because of it.

Avoid the single supplement.

Most tour companies, cruise lines, resorts, and hotels price their rooms based on per person, double occupancy (PPDO). This means that if you want to sleep in a double-occupancy room solo, as you know from staying in most U.S. hotels, you’ll pay the same rate as couples do. And in many cases where your room fee is built into the cost of a package you might be expected to pay your own per-person cost as well as a “single supplement.” (Read on...)

Ebay: Frank Sinatra Pop Art

OK, I know I'm a bit late to the game, but I'm hooked on eBay...

"If you’re a fan of Ol’ Blue Eyes…you must add this to your collection. A rare Italian cover of TV Guide made into this one-of-a-kind piece of pop art…the piece truly speaks for itself…"
Ahh the much will it go for?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hello Blue Skies...

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Hometown: Micanopy, FL

The main street of my hometown, Micanopy, FL...the oldest inland town in FL...second oldest town in the state next to St. Augustine, FL. Perhaps it looks familiar from such films as Cross Creek and Doc Hollywood (of which I appeared as a blur in the parade scene...a star was born).

Visit if your looking for a slice of Florida history...
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Eli at the park

I wish a tennis ball made me this happy...
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24 LA and OC Museums Free-For-All this Weekend News: "MUSEUMS FREE-FOR-ALL
24 Los Angeles and Orange County Museums
Free Admission Days October 3 and/or 4, 2009

In a joint effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse and myriad communities in Southern California, the Museum Marketing Roundtable announces the fifth annual 'Museums Free-For-All' Saturday-Sunday, October 3 and 4, 2009. The following museums - presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science - will open their doors wide and invite visitors free of charge.

Im going to check out CAFAM....

Friday, October 2, 2009

Can I be Anonymous if I Win the Lottery?

Bummer...guess if I win big I could hire some security...

Frequently Asked Questions: "Can I be anonymous when I win?
California state law requires that the California State Lottery to release the following information: your name, and the name and location of the retailer where you bought your ticket. You may request no media coverage aside from that."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Establishing a Dog Park in your Community

Good info...I'm going to try and get a dog park in Miracle Mile (Los Angeles) very soon!

American Kennel Club - Establishing a Dog Park in your Community: "With cities becoming more and more crowded and leash laws becoming more restrictive, many concerned dog owners are looking to the creation of dog parks as a solution to their need for a place to spend quality time with their pets. But just what is a 'dog park' and what benefits can one bring to your city or town?"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

TARFEST | Festival of Film, Music and Art | Los Angeles

I missed it this year...hope to check it out next year....

TARFEST Festival of Film, Music and Art Los Angeles: "TarFest is the premiere arts and culture event of the Miracle Mile District, produced by the Miracle Mile Players, September 25th - 27th, 2009. This three-day event turns the one-mile historic stretch of Wilshire Boulevard into a site of cultural dynamism and energy. Dozens of the nation's finest emerging artists, performers, and cultural innovators come together to showcase their talents and ideas at historic and notable venues on the historic Miracle Mile (Wilshire Blvd. Between Sycamore Ave. and Fairfax Ave.) Annually, over 150 artists and performers display their talents for over 5,000 diverse Angelenos of all ages."

Home Sweet Home: The Miracle Mile

About The Miracle Mile: "In the 1920's, A.W. Ross developed a shopping area designed to accommodate cars by providing wider streets and parking behind retail stores. This strip of Wilshire Boulevard, between Sycamore Avenue to the east and Fairfax Avenue to the west, is strategically placed within Los Angeles."

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Endangered Ugandan gorillas join Facebook, MySpace

The Associated Press: Endangered Ugandan gorillas join Facebook, MySpace: "KAMPALA, Uganda — He's hairy, his table manners are atrocious, and he wants to be your friend on Facebook.

No, it's not the ex-boyfriend. It's Muhozi, an endangered Ugandan mountain gorilla, who's appearing online as part of a fundraising program the Ugandan Wildlife Authority launched Saturday to help save the species.

Around 340 mountain gorillas — nearly half of the 740 remaining worldwide — live in Uganda's lush Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and 40 more live in another Ugandan reserve. The rest live in the Virunga mountain range, which stretches from Uganda into Rwanda and the war-ravaged Congo."

Film actress Kristy Wu, poses for a photograph with a artificial gorilla at the launch of the Friend a Gorilla campaign in Uganda's capital city Kampala on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thailand: which beach paradise? - travel tips and articles - Lonely Planet

Thailand: which beach paradise? - travel tips and articles - Lonely Planet: "It isn’t fair really – there are over 200 countries around the globe and Thailand has managed to snag a disproportionate amount of the world’s top beaches. These aren’t your average stretches of sand; you’re about to uncover perfect powder-soft dunes and dramatic limestone crags that pop straight out of the impossibly clear waters. Robinson Crusoe, eat your heart out!"

Ao Bang Thao, Phuket
With 8km of white sand, expect calm seas in the high season and surfable waves during the low season. Don’t let the posh Laguna Complex scare you; this laid-back yet lively beach has something for everyone.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Randy and Evi Quaid Arrested After Struggle

YIKES...Randy, say it ain't so...sounds like a movie he would be in...maybe a spin-off from his "Vacation" character...good ol cousin Eddie...

Randy and Evi Quaid Arrested After Struggle

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rainy Day Activities for You and Your Dog - Bond With Your Dog Indoors

Rainy Day Activities for You and Your Dog - Bond With Your Dog Indoors: "Don't you just hate it when bad weather spoils your day? Rainy days, snowstorms or extremes in temperature can ruin your plans to go outside with your dog and play fetch, run in the park or just spend time together outdoors. To make matters worse, your dog can become restless or bored and begin to act out for attention. Fortunately, there are some indoor activities that can strengthen the bond between you and your dog, stimulate your dog's mind and sometimes even provide some light exercise. It might take some creativity, but the end result with make it worth your time."

(Photo © krossbow on flickr)

Welcome to Manly...Baby

I get a kick out of the name of this place. Manly is a northern suburb of Sydney, Australia…a nice beachy town. How it got its name is what cracks me up. Picture it…Australia, 1787, Captain Arthur Phillip of the Royal Navy left England with a fleet of ships to establish a colony in New South Wales as its first Governor.

As they explored north Port Jackson (named my Captain James Cool in 1770), Captain Phillips and his crew encountered a group of aborigines in the northern reaches of the harbor. Phillips was so impressed by the "confidence and manly behavior" of the tribe, he called the place "Manly Cove". I guess the name stuck.

These men were of the Kay-ye-my clan (of the Guringai people). While scouting for fresh water in the area, Phillip first encountered members of the clan and had a misunderstanding, resulting in him being speared in the shoulder by one of the clan. Apparently he was fairly progressive, as he ordered his men not to retaliate.

Their confidence and manly behavior made me give the name of Manly Cove to this

Today there is lots to here as Manly has Sydney Harbour on its western side with calm water, ferry wharf, swimming area, Oceanworld Manly aquarium, sailing and yacht clubs. To the east is the Pacific Ocean and Manly Beach.

What's the most remote spot on Earth?

HowStuffWorks "What's the most remote spot on Earth?": "We live in a technologically advanced and interconnected world. Places that were once almost impossible to reach are now accessible by road systems, waterways and airplane rides. Despite the ease with which we can contact people on the other side of the globe -- whether it be through the click of a mouse or a letter in the post -- about 10 percent of the Earth is more than 48 hours away, by way of land travel, from the nearest city [source: O'Neill]. While in recent years it definitely has become easier to reach far away lands, there are many places in the world that remain inaccessible, uninhabited and secluded -- in other words, the most remote spots on Earth."
What's the most remote inhabited location on Earth? A place called Tristan da Cunha. The approximately 270 residents of this archipelago see a mail ship only once a year [source: Weaver]. Tristan da Cunha is located at 37 South and 12 West, 1,242 miles (2,000 kilometers) from St. Helena and 1,739.8 miles (2,800 kilometers) from the nearest mainland, the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Tristan is circular in shape and is about 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) in diameter with a total area of only about 30 square miles (78 square kilometers). The summer season falls between December and March. During the winter months, the central volcanic peak of Tristan, which rises to a height of 6,594 feet (2,010 meters), is covered in snow. Tristan da Cunha, the main island, is the only inhabited island in the chain.

Great Pet Sites From Woof Report

Favorite Pet Sites to Browse & Bookmark

When the Woof Reporters aren’t at the dog park, they’re online of course. Pet-centric websites are the first stop for the latest and greatest doggie news we share with you. And don’t you know it, we have our favorites. You already know some of the Links We Love for dog care, pet travel, senior pet resources, adoption and more, but the list keeps on growing. Here are some new ones we adore, and they’ve just been added to our Woof Report site too. Get those bookmarks ready.

Funny Video...Especially if you Like Bears...

Check it good buddy Stoney wrote and directed this funny funny funny sketch and it's on the Funny or Die featured homepage list. I hope you enjoy and laugh!

Heads up: May not be appropriate for work...

Sex with a bear!

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Sydney dust storm; flight chaos, health worries - Yahoo! News

Sydney dust storm; flight chaos, health worries - Yahoo! News: "SYDNEY – Australia's worst dust storm in 70 years blanketed the heavily populated east coast Wednesday in a cloud of red Outback grit, nearly closed the country's largest airport and left millions of people coughing and sputtering in the streets."

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sydney Opera House

It’s hard NOT to see the Sydney Opera House if you visit Sydney. It’s a beautiful site. I didn’t take an in-depth tour, but I did learn some interesting things about it.

In 1956, the Australian government decided to to hold a design competition for a new performing arts complex. More than 230 entries from around the world poured in. One entry was from an unknown 38-year-old Danish architect named Jørn Utzon. The irony is that he was first rejected as being “too ambitious”. But in the end the decided to name him the winner and gave him a $7 million budget, and thus the building of a world icon began.

Fifty years and $102 million later…Utzon’s dream icon has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status (this is the only building ever to achieve this with the architect still alive).

The Construction and Drama

The design and construction of the sails took eight years in total, made up of 2,190 pre-cast sections, some weighing up to 15 tons. The total weight of the 10 roof sails is estimated at 27,230 tons.

And it predated green technology by 40 years by installing an air-conditioning system that uses Sydney Harbour to cool the building’s interior spaces. The self-cleaning ceramic tiles (over 1 million of them) that make the sails glisten in the sun were stuck onto plates and hoisted to coat the landmark exterior.

By late 1965, the Opera House was looking good on the outside and Utzon was being a perfectionist and holding up interior work. The government was not impressed and demanded more seats and fast (and on budget). Things hit a head around February 1966 when the newly appointed minister for public works, Davis Hughes, reportedly had words with Utzon causing him to resign and leave the country (wow, dramatic). He has never returned. A new team of architects worked for another seven years to complete the building and we all know how it turned out. The Opera House opened on October 20, 1973, inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1999, Utzon was reunited with his baby and reappointed as Sydney Opera House architect, designing many of the recent changes and renovations including the refurbishment of the Reception Hall which has been renamed the Utzon Room in his honor.

Today the Sydney Opera House stages more than 3,000 events for the benefit of two million art and music lovers every year. In terms of engineering, architecture, culture and iconic status, there is nothing like it in the world.

In 2003, famous architect Frank Gehry said the following poignant statement:

"Utzon made a building well ahead of its time, far ahead of available
technology, and he persevered ... to build a building that changed the image of an entire country."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Great place to stay in Sydney: Darling Harbour

Planning a trip to Sydney, Australia and wondering where you should stay? If you want to be central to pretty much everything in Sydney, I suggest Darling Harbour, touted as one of the world's leading waterfront leisure and entertainment destinations. The area is very safe (as most of the city is) and I will admit a bit touristy, no doubt. But for a first timer to Sydney, you can’t beat it just based on the convenience alone. I stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (great service and prices, thumbs up).

Darling Harbour has quite an interesting history as well. Its journey from ‘derelict docklands to sparkling international playground' has been described as 'a miracle of inner urban rebirth'. Over the past 10 years, the area has won numerous construction industry and tourism awards.

What’s in a name?

Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the original inhabitants of the area around Sydney Cove (the Cadigal people), called Darling Harbour Tumbalong, which literally means ‘place where seafood is found’. Simple enough.

Then 1826 rolled around and the bay was renamed Darling Harbour in honor of Governor Ralph Darling, Sydney's Governor at the time (snooze, I like the old name better).

Development time...Apparently by the mid 1970s, Darling Harbour was not ‘the place to be’ as it was ton of empty warehouses and rarely used train tracks, showing signs of its 150 years of industrial use.

A series of redevelopment projects began, the largest and most impressive was when more than $1.5 billion worth of private and public investment funds were spent to prepare Darling Harbour for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. This renovation is what made it the premium waterfront destination it is today.

Darling Harbour just about has it all... Darling Harbour is home to the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Aquarium, IMAX Theatre, Sydney Wildlife World and Powerhouse Museum, it offers some of the finest museums and attractions in Australia. They also host a yearlong calendar of outdoor events including New Year's Eve, Australia Day celebrations in January, the Hoopla Acrobatics and Street Theatre Festival in April, the Darling Harbour Jazz & Blues Festival in June and Fiesta in October.

The area offers a diverse selection of Australian and international cuisine from fine dining to cheap eats and positioned along the spectacular waterfront promenades of Harbourside, Cockle Bay Wharf (where I tried kangaroo, which tasted like steak) and King Street Wharf. One cool thing about bars in Sydney is that they have to serve food in order to serve alcohol, so they have really great food for cheap prices.

Another item to check out at Darling Harbour is the Chinese Garden of Friendship - a ‘haven of peace and tranquility’ in the heart of Sydney.