China Trip Photos

A selfie with Ping Ping

A selfie with Ping Ping in Shanghai

Joan & Lyn on a blustery day in Zu Zha Zhou

Joan & Lynette on a blustery day in Zhujiajiao

























Now that's smart!

Now that’s smart!

An old London Cab in Nanjing

An old London Cab


Coming into Nanjing Station on a cloudy evening

I guess that's why it's called the Bullet Train?

I guess that’s why it’s called the Bullet Train?

Spectacular scenes abound in the beautiful gardens

Spectacular scenes abound in the beautiful gardens


Mr Lee enjoys the Chinese Opera at the Tea House


A trishaw – still a good way to get around town

The view from the 25th floor

The view from the 25th floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Shanghai.

After a great dinner at Lost Heaven Restaurant, we were treated to a spectacular view of the city on our first night in Shanghai.



The trip included a spectacular show featuring acrobatic acts on a very wet night. The level of fitness and precision involved in the acts was unbelievable. The highlight was eight motorbikes zipping around the inside of a cylindrical wire frame, at great speed, in synchronised precision. The worst part was I couldn’t take any photos so you’ll just have to believe how impressive it was. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I’d say it was impossible.

The dinner before the show was just as special; a Hot Pot at a restaurant in the shopping centre next to the hotel.

The following photos are from a model of the campus. To say it is huge certainly wouldn’t do it justice. I have so many photos and stories to share it will take me a while to catch up, but I’ll certainly try


Aveo China Campus – model


China Immersion Trip – Planning

Suzy Cornelius outlines the travel opportunity for Australian Aveo residents to visit the Aveo campus in Shanghai

Suzy Cornelius outlines the travel opportunity for Australian Aveo residents to visit the Aveo campus in Shanghai. It sounded good, but got even better when I found out there was a Starbucks right next door. I signed up immediately!

From the first brochure in July – to our departure tomorrow, there have been emails, meet-ups, and lots of planning happening. We’ve come through it all, and we’re about to set off on a seriously exciting adventure. For my travel buddy and I here at Murwillumbah, the trip starts an hour earlier than everyone else – at 5am. With the time difference between each side of the border, there’s a lot to work out to get the timing right.  We were scheduled to leave at 6, but we’re just a little bit nervous about possible heavy traffic on the highway – so we’ve decided to start out a bit earlier. Most people know I don’t do mornings – so just getting to the airport is going to be more than a bit of a challenge.

Alan talks to Christina, with Nicola from Freedom Travel, at the meet-and-greet morning tea in Newstead, Brisbane.

Joan, Lynette and Maureen buddied up to discuss the finer details, like, ‘what to pack’.










Luckily for us, the Murwillumbah bus is going to be our transport to the airport. At the unlikely hour of 5am (I didn’t even know that time existed!), Alan and I will board the bus, being very capably driven by Bev, and make our way to the Gold Coast. All Gold Coasters will have made their way to the designated spot, where we’ll meet them. From there, it’s on to Brisbane airport. I wonder if we could fit the bus through the drive-through coffee shop on the way? I know there’s a warning about the low-hanging beam at one of them, so I’m guessing we wouldn’t fit. I’ve always wanted to go through a drive-through in a bus and watch the worried look on the face of the attendant as they try to calculate serving 20 people in one hit. Maybe it won’t happen tomorrow though. Anyway, it’s okay because I stocked up on some coffee lollies today, just in case. I need my coffee! My eyes don’t even open until I’ve had my caffeine hit for the day.

What I’m still in denial about is the fact that, to be on the bus at 5am, I have to be up about an hour earlier. Now that’s going to be worth witnessing, when I figure out that my eyes will need to open just before 4am and I actually have to make the exit from my comfy warm bed a few minutes later. And the sun won’t even be up then!

And as the clock ticks slowly on, the realisation of how little sleep I’ll actually get tonight is starting to register, so it’s off to bed now, and I’ll report in sometime over the next two days, hopefully.

Registration Open

The mighty Tweed River

The mighty Tweed River

I’ve finally worked out how to put the Register and Login pages on the site so you can now register. Just click on the ‘Register’ tab in the menu at the top of the page, and complete the details on the form. Your details are kept safe and secure and are never shared without your consent. By registering and then logging in, you’ll be able to share in the conversations online.

Sailing Solo

Travelling the Lonely Planet – Alone…

Not everyone has a travel-buddy to share the journey with. There are some who make their way alone, for a variety of reasons and it seems unfair that they have to pay more. Ships usually charge per person in cabins, and it makes sense for them to do this, but not all of us have access to a compatible travel companion to share the journey with. By sharing our stories and travel plans, we might be able to find someone who is compatible enough to share our travels with. This could mean a more enjoyable trip, without it costing double. If not, then we might just find some tips that help us get the best ‘single’ deal out there.

If you have any favourite tips, let us know by registering for the site, and posting your ideas here.

Creamy Cauliflower and Garlic Rice

Creamy Cauliflower and Garlic Rice

White rice has a much higher glycemic index (GI) than brown rice. GI is a measure of how fast a food raises your blood glucose levels, which is particularly important for anyone at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Healthy, but quick and easy…

Serves: Three
Time: 45 minutes


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3-4 cups cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese for topping


Cook the rice according to usual package directions and set aside. In a large pot, bring vegetable broth and water to a boil. Add in cauliflower and cook for about ten minutes until tender. Transfer cauliflower pieces to a blender or food processor (but don’t drain the liquid) and add in the milk. Puree the contents until smooth, adding leftover vegetable broth as needed to achieve a creamy consistency. Pour cauliflower mixture over the cooked rice, stirring to combine. Melt butter in a large frypan. Sauté garlic over low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant, being careful not to burn. Add your rice mixture to the pan and stir through the garlic butter. Stir in cheese until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Changing the Doona Cover

Without The Frustration

Do you dread having to wash your Doona cover because it is so hard to put back on the Doona? Well there are a few tricks that will make the job a lot easier.

The ‘Turn It Inside Out‘ Method:

  1. Place the Doona on the bed.
  2. Turn the cover inside out, then put your arms right inside the cover until you locate each of the top corners – left hand on left corner – right hand on right corner.
  3. Hold onto each corner, then, while still holding the corners, line the corners up with the bottom corners of the Doona.
  4. The next step involves a bit of practice, but once you master it, the job becomes much easier. While still holding each of the top corners, take hold of the two bottom corners of the Doona. You’ll now be holding both the top corners of the cover, and the bottom corners of the Doona.
  5. Now you need to start pulling the Doona back into the cover; you can use a shaking motion if it helps, but don’t let go of those corners – you’ll need to keep holding them until you get right to the top of the Doona.
  6. Once you get to the top, just button the cover on, and it’s all done. You start with the cover inside out, but it ends up the right way once you reach the top.

The ‘Roll It Up Method’:

This method is the really easy way.

  1. Start by laying the Doona cover, inside out,  on top of the bed, with the fastening at the foot of the bed.
  2. Lay the doona on top of the cover.
  3. Starting rolling the doona and cover from the top of the bed towards the bottom of the bed, trying to keep it as even as possible as you roll.
  4. When you get to the bottom, fold the ends of the cover over the ends of the doona. This isn’t as hard as it sounds; this video will help – click here for video.
  5. Then you only have to roll it back up towards the top of the bed, fasten, and you’re done.


Where Will We Meet?

There are so many options within the village: the lake, the pool, the hall, the gazebo, the library; they’re all there for us to use, so let’s make it happen.

With the weather starting to turn on its spring warmth it’s time to get out and about and enjoy the sunshine – oh – and smell the coffee, and what better place to meet than the lake, with coffee in hand.

Why not make a coffee, gather a few friends, or all of us if you want, and we’ll catch up.

Hints & Tips

Ideas On How To Make Life Easier – And Who Doesn’t Need That?

We’ve all got a few quick tips for doing the mundane jobs in life, and this is where we’ll share them.

Let us know what works for you? I guarantee if you need it, so do we, so post your ideas here, and browse through the ones we’ve added. Who knows, if we’re all able to get through the everyday tasks faster, or easier, it might just leave us more time for socialising. With summer approaching I’m sure we’d all rather be sitting by the pool than working on those very ordinary tasks at home.

Organising The Linen Cupboard

No matter how big the linen cupboard is, we all wish we had more room or could be more organised. One way of packing a little more in, and making it seem like it’s more organised, is to pack our sheet sets inside one of the pillowcases that match the set. By folding the fitted and top sheet, and one of the pillowcases inside the other pillowcase, the whole set is contained inside the one, easy to access place. When it’s time to change the sheets on your bed, the task is made a lot easier. You simply take out the pillowcase, and everything you need is neatly folded inside it. This not only keeps things together, it also means one flat item, taking up less room. Now everything is stored together, and when it’s time to put the sheets on the bed, you’re not searching all over the cupboard for the pillowcases that match the sheets.

What tips do you have for organising the linen cupboard?