Dumplings, margaritas and the big trip begins


Thanks to Easter and its extra long weekend, Christina and I were nowhere near ready when we boarded our flight to San Francisco. But after a hasty packing session and a worryingly traffic-jammed taxi ride to the airport, we made it.

We’re now at our friends’ place in the beautiful Marina District of San Fran enjoying their best tips for cocktails, dinner and sports fun… but let’s back track a bit.

This week’s IG Edition is all about our last few days in Sydney, Easter, and some fun at Sydney Airport. We’ve got some cool tips for Australia’s busiest airport coming up too by the way.

We hope you enjoy this week’s IG Edition. Cheers

Jim & Christina xx

Easter Sunday lunch with Christina’s family is a lot of fun. Especially when these delicious Easter themed cupcakes come out. But it’s Christina’s sister Mary’s potato bake that I’ve come for. I don’t know how she does it, but that potato bake is so good.

I’ll try and steal the recipe to share with you at some point.

You might recognise this little cutey. This is Raven, our nephew’s pet lab. We first showed her to you in this post back around Christmas last year. It’s amazing how much she’s grown.

Thankfully she’s still as lovely now as when she was little.

This afternoon, we’ve put the computers and travel planning away for a while. We’ve gone for a walk around Balmain, which is always a pleasure. But even more so when it includes a margarita stop!

The drinks and food at Cantina Bar always stands up. This margarita is making both of us smile. I wonder how much longer our walk will last after this one.

This morning finds us in Chatswood. Christina has a meeting here, so I’ve come along for the ride. While she’s busy I’ve set up office in a cafe down the street.

When she’s done, it’s dumpling time! We love going to the New Shanghai in Chatswood Chase – the food’s always good and we’ve never left the place feeling hungry.

But we’ve timed it all wrong. It turns out we wanted dumplings too soon for the New Shanghai. They weren’t open! So instead, we’ve headed back into the city and are now in the Palace Chinese Restaurant on Pitt Street.

They definitely are open and the stacks of dumplings light up my life. The Palace has a reputation in Sydney for doing one of the best yum cha services in town. If you’re not sure what yum cha is, or if you want to see our list of favourite places in Sydney, click here.

Christina and I get stuck in. We figure this will probably be the last time we get to eat dumplings like this for a while, so we make the most of our early lunch. This is only round one by the way.

Christina’s back at Stevie English’s salon again today. And this time she’s going pink. She’s had pink hair before – in fact she had pink hair when we first met – but this time I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be even pinker than ever!

And here’s the finished result. Pretty in pink, huh? Christina is in a photoshoot today for an exciting new release of one of her favourite hair product. She’s thrilled to be part of this campaign but you’ll have to go over to Hair Romance to find out what the fuss is all about.

Our last sunrise in Sydney is here. Today is the day we head to the airport and fly across the Pacific to California and the start of our epic trip.

It’s going to be strange not to have this view for a while, but I’m sure we’ll have plenty of other things to look at over the next 3 months.

Our friend Clare sent us this photo we just had to share with you. This is Ruby and Flo, Clare’s two dogs. We can’t wait to see these guys soon. They’re crazy but awesome. Count down indeed.

And why the stones? Flo the Springer Spaniel loves them. Loves them. She’ll fetch you stones from the garden all day long, which drives Clare and Dave mad. Not only because it means there are stones in the house, but Flo cracks her teeth on them or just swallows them by accident. Which means vet bills.

Plus Clare broke her back carting barrowloads of stones into the garden to fill in the borders. Now Flo’s bringing them all indoors.

It’s a solemn moment here in Sydney International Airport. This is probably the last good coffee that we’ll have for the next little while. Sydney Airport is actually a great place to come for coffee these days.

Did you know there are 50 different coffee brands available in the three terminals? Pretty impressive, right?

We’ve been working with Sydney Airport recently and have a whole load more facts to share with you about Australia’s busiest travel hub. Watch this space for our insider’s guide to Sydney Airport in the next week or so.

All aboard. We’re finally loaded onto our plane ready to make for the USA. We were initially a bit disappointed with our seats, which were D and F of the row – as in the two aisle seats in the middle section of the plane. However, it’s worked out very well.

If you’ve read our other posts on flying (like How to tackle long-haul flights like a pro and 37 tips for flying in style), you’ll know one of our favourite travel tips is to book an aisle and window seat. Very rarely will someone want to book that middle seat so you get three seats to yourself and your partner. And I generally always like a window seat.


Booking the 2 aisle seats in the middle section – presuming no one would want that middle seat – means we get that seat to ourselves plus we both have access to the aisle. We don’t have to disturb each other when we’re getting out of our seats to stretch or use the bathroom.

It’s always good to start a long-haul flight with a drink. On the cart they have a surprisingly good selection of craft beers. This West Coast style pale ale from Atlanta from SweetWater Brewery is delicious. I’m looking forward to getting stateside to hunt out more of this 420 Extra Pale Ale and see what else this brewery does.

Take care, Sydney. We hope you don’t miss us too much!


Jim & Christina xx


  • Reply April 11, 2018


    Safe travel and I’ll wait patiently for the potato bake recipe…. 🙂

    • Reply April 11, 2018

      Mr Romance

      Thank you, Holly! Yes, I’ll squeeze that recipe out of my sister-in-law. She’ll have to give it up in the end! Jx

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