Alaska: Ketchikan


Alastair and I are going on holiday tonight, yay! It’s great but it reminds me that I never got around to blogging the rest of our Alaskan / Rockies trip from last year.

But you know what! It’s never too late! Because, beyond anything, this blog is a good, self-indulgent, memory bank for me of food we’ve eaten and holidays we’ve taken over the past eight years.


NZ: Nelson – Jester House Cafe


Back in January when we went to Nelson, one of the places Annette and Terry took us to was Jester House cafe. They won an award for top cafe in NZ in 2013/14.

You know how Melbourne cafes have a certain ~~thing~~ in common – the coffee, the food, a certain kind of aesthetic with the decor? Jester House Cafe is nothing like that. No blond wood, exposed bricks, or single origin coffee here.

They have a cafe cat – but more impressively and much more quirky – they also have tame eels! How many cafes do you know that can claim that?


Alaska: Skagway + Davidson Glacier


Throwback to our Alaskan cruise holiday last year.

The second port was Skagway – a small town of about 900 people. The population doubles during the summer tourist season as it’s a popular stop for cruise ships, with almost a million visitors going through the town.

In 1898, due to the Klondike Gold Rush, Skagway was the largest city in Alaska with a population of ~10,000, but the gold rush only lasted for three years.


NZ: Nelson – Harbour Light Bistro

Restaurant view

Hello! We return to sunny, lovely, Nelson where on one of the evenings Annette and Terry took Alastair and I out to dinner.

This was our view during the night.

Oh Nelson, stop it.

We were at Harbour Lights Bistro, located on the waterfront (as you can probably tell from that photo) and it used to be a dairy (milkbar for the non-kiwis) before being converted into a restaurant. That view is wasted on a dairy, so I dare say it was a good change.


Alaska: the Inside Passage

Tracey Arm

In late August, Alastair and I went on holiday. Huzzah.

Along with the parentals, plus Bro and gf, we flew to Vancouver and hopped on a cruise ship to Alaska. Yes, family holiday ahoy.

It was a 7 day cruise to the inside passage. If you’ve ever looked at a map of that part of the world, you’ll see that there is a thin segment of land on Canada’s far west that belongs to Alaska. That’s the part that we visited.


Malaysia / Borneo: Kuching – Orangutans

Orangutan with baby

Warning warning: not a food post. There’s only orangutans within. Really, really cute orangutans though. :)

We had to see orangutans when we went to Borneo, since they’re native to Borneo and Sumatra.

There’s actually two species: the Bornean orangutan and the Sumatran orangutan. We saw the Bornean orangutan on two occasions – once at a wildlife centre called Matang Ai (which, I wouldn’t recommend, it’s a bit of a sad place – cages and concrete enclosures) and the second time at Semenggoh Nature Reserve.


Malaysia / Borneo: Kuching – Bumbu Cooking Class


One thing I really wanted to do on our holiday was a cooking class.

Before we left Melbourne, I did a search online and found Bumbu Cooking School. After a couple of emails back and forth, I had booked Alastair and myself into a morning class. Alastair and I wandered down to Carpenter Street early one morning and met Joseph, and our teachers for the day, Bernadene and her mother Elise. We also met the other couple participating that day (who were from South Australia).

As posted previously, part 1 of the class involved a market tour, during which we picked up a couple of items for the class: midin, freshly grated coconut and curry paste.


Malaysia / Borneo: Kuching – Bumbu Cooking Class – Market Tour


Hey, remember when we went to Borneo? Yeah, I hardly remember it either because it was in July/August 2013. Tsk tsk! This is what happens when you don’t immediately edit holiday photos, they sit on your hard drive for months and months and months, with a little gentle nagging reminder popping up in your head every now and again.


Anyway. While in Kuching we did a cooking class, and it was one thing I really wanted to write up because it was FUN. During the class we cooked two dishes for lunch – a chicken curry and a vegetable dish. We also made a very easy dessert.

As well as the cooking class, there was also an option (at a small additional charge) for a market tour. We all know how I feel about markets, so it should be no surprise that we headed to the market.