Author: katiemayor

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Kauai from the Skies – a Hawaii Helicopter Tour

The sweet icing on our Hawaiian honeymoon adventure was flying above the waterfalls, canyons and jagged cliffs of Kauai. Putting aside my slightly claustrophobic tendencies to strap into a wee little flying craft and soar over this luscious, ‘Garden Isle’ was proof that some of the best things in life come from taking your fear by the short and curlies. Despite said apprehension, I had originally wanted to take a helicopter trip with the doors off (for best photos of o’course!), but as is often my fly-by-seat (soz about that) way, they were all booked out when. So we reserved first class tickets (means you sit up front with the pilot) at Sunshine Helicopters instead. Leaving it a little late had its benefits though, as Kauai is the green isle for a reason – it rains here a lot and flights were cancelled on our first couple of days on the island. Despite a mild bit of spitting on the windscreen at one point, we had clear skies and low wind, allowing us to reach …

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel, Norway

Fjærland Fjordstove Hotel – one of my faves of all the hotels over all the years – features 15 cute, white rooms, an on-site restaurant serving up appetising Nordic cuisine, and a welcoming owner who really is living out his picket-fenced dream – and inviting you to be a part of it. Do people still harbour the ‘white, picket-fence house’ dream from the 1950s or whenever? Pretty sure for my friends (in Sydney at least), it has been downsized to the ‘owning real estate at all’ dream. Either way, if you’re not there yet, you should consider finding a homely, white hotel in which to live out these fantasies – even if for a little while. Like, perhaps one that hangs over the water in the fjords of Western Norway, that has a bright, window-encased sitting room with little book stacks on the sills. Charming Communal Spaces I couldn’t stop gushing at the front sitting room, with it’s large windows that keep the fjord in view, cosy chairs and scattered stacks of books – this …

Wild Spin of the Web {4}

In our little lap of the web galaxy this week, we discover Ottolenghi’s tips on the best pastries in Paris, see what a year in Portugal looks like, find out how to do festivals in style, take a tour of Copenhagen, get off-grid inspo for a NSW adventure, and see what is certainly the world’s coolest new library! LISTEN/STAY – The music festival season is almost back, but why not think about experiencing it with a little more comfort, a little more flair and a little more smarts? This awesome post Don’t camp ugly this festival season from Homecamp is exactly what you need as an antidote to those inevitable port-a-loos. To the advice about not packing an umbrella or a raincoat I would only say this: at Roskilde in Denmark it rained A LOT, but I was able to pick up the cutest Scandi raincoat and umbrella ever, so know that not taking them usually doesn’t mean you can’t get one if needed. Festival stalls are always full of industrial folk who will see …

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Fjærland – Norway’s Book Town Deep in the Fjords

Often the most magical places are a little tricky to reach. But if you make that extra connection, wind a little deeper into lesser-known terrain, the rewards can be significant: the feeling of discovery, a comforting dose of tranquility, and in the case of Fjærland, more books and pine trees that people – and the people are mighty nice. Fjærland is a village in the Norwegian fjords, and this particular fjord is called the Sognefjord. It can be reached by two ferries from Bergen (or a long bus from Oslo, which was our onward journey – there is a big, modern info centre down at Bergen Harbour which will point you there and sell tickets). This charming town is a drawcard for two reasons – one is that it is the gateway to the vast Jostedalsbreen glacier – the largest glacier in continental Europe that spans a staggering 487 square kilometers! The arm that people come to see is called Bøyabreen. The other, which had my heart aflutter and was my main purpose for the …

Love is the Ultimate Outlaw – Our Kiama Wedding

One month ago I got hitched to my long haired lover from Liverpool. The big day was a goddamn joyful explosion of love, colour, wine and tunes on a property on the edge of Kiama on the South Coast. As anyone who has been married would know, there are a mind-boggling amount of decisions that go into tying the knot. I will never underestimate that the single best one is obviously saying ‘YES’ in the first place (love you millions babe!). I’m also over the moon that Australia said YES to marriage equality this week! Everyone deserves the right to marry whoever they wish! Another was the choice of my bangin’ bridesmaids that were there through all the other steps and I couldn’t have made this wedding such a hit without my beloved bombshells.  Also, how hot do they look in these jewel-toned dresses?! Putting the spunky artist groom Phillip Marsden in charge of all things stationary and signage will be making couples jealous AF for years to come (unfortunately not pictured – will post …

Tigerlillys, Nusa Lembongan, Bali

Floating in a pool-side, suspended swing chair, surrounded by lush greenery and thatched-roof cabanas – a menu of tasty food at the ready – is a pretty good recipe for a relaxed holiday stay. When checking in to Tigerlillys, on the southeastern Balinese island of Nusa Lembongan, you are handed a watermelon juice, and then welcomed in to this little island oasis. It’s tempting to pull up a cabana chair, order a fresh coconut, and not leave the premises. In addition to being a pretty hip lodging, Tigerlillys is also a restaurant and bar, and probs one of the best ones around. Craving some tasty Indonesian and Asian cuisine? You’re in luck, friend. We especially dug the Vegetarian San Choy Bau with tempe (chicken one also available), the yummy juices like the dairy free ‘Green Machine’, with spinach, avocado, cucumber, papaya and banana topped with chia seeds, and I find it a real challenge to order beyond a banana pancake for brekky when I’m in Bali – they are sooo good, with the slices cooked …

Surf Jack Hotel, Waikiki best hotels honolulu hawaii

Wild Spin of the Web {3}

A sneak peek into one of the fab hotels I’ve booked into for my upcoming honeymoon, some natural spas to get you planning your next relaxation break, a charming author’s guest cabin, and a retreat in Tasmania to truly get away from it all (but in rustic style), welcome to the next installment of Wild Spin of the Web. STAY: Surf Jack, Waikiki – I’m endlessly on the lookout for unique, boutique hotels to add some style and comfort to my trips, and this was especially the case when planning my upcoming honeymoon to Hawaii. Sure, Hawaii seems like a cliched choice, but I’ve been itching to get there to experience the natural beauty of Kaua’i, otherwise known as the Garden Isle. But flying in and out of Oahu means a few days in Honolulu, so I was on the lookout for somewhere exciting to stay that doesn’t break the budget (the wedding has already done that, people!). Enter Surf Jack, complete with a pool that is blazoned with Wish You Were Here (also a …