S: SABBATICAL 2011 HONG KONG, KUALA LUMPUR, SINGAPORE, BALI & AUSTRALIA
BC: DEPARTED | AUSTRALIA | 5 JULY 2011
1: SABBATICAL | SABBATICAL | DEPARTED 30 MAY 2011 | Curtis' first sabbatical with Maverick sent us on a month long, business class adventure around the world! Stops included Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bali and eastern Australia
2: Our first stop on the adventure was Hong Kong. We flew Cathay Pacific business class from LAX and it was awesome! We ended up being in Hong Kong at the same time as our friends Christ and Stephanie Berry and had a drink together at the highest bar in the world! | HONG KONG
4: THE PEAK Located at the top of a mountain, The Peak overlooks all of Hong Kong and gave us a bird's eye view of this wonderful city. We took the very steep train up to the top to snap some of our favorite pics from the trip!
6: HONG KONG AT NIGHT This city lights up at night, literally! We watched a light show across the entire skyline when this happy accident of a shot took place.
8: TIAN TAN BUDDHA | Tian Tan Buddha is one of the largest outdoor bronze statues in the world and can be seen from Macau on a clear day! 240 steps took us right to it as the clouds swept past us. Serene and humbled, we spent a few hours enjoying the beautiful day and appreciating one of Hong Kong's treasured statues!
10: OZONE BAR | hong kong | 5 JUNE 2011
11: OZONE BAR is located at the top of the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Hong Kong and was the tallest bar in the world when we were there. Chris and Stephanie met up with us and we toasted to friendship, 118 stories up!
13: hong kong markets | WITH LESS THAN 6 MONTHS OF MARRIAGE under our belts, we found ourselves wandering the markets of Hong Kong, only to stumble upon an incredible and discouraging street of orchids. Orchids are easy to come by in Asia and stems of Phaleonopsis orchids were selling for $1 each; a solid $30 less than in the US! Because it was the first stop on our trip, and due to customs laws, we were unable to buy any but we definitely enjoyed looking! Each plant in this photo was around $5-10 USD.
14: sights around | HONG KONG
15: SHOPPING Shopping in Asia is a way of life. Locals shop multiple times a day for groceries or items needed.
17: A quick flight led us to our next stop, Kuala Lumpur. Famous for the Petronas Towers, we were thrust in the middle of a city run on motorbikes and Islam, forcing us, once again, out of comfort zones and into more clothes than we should have been wearing for 100 degree days! | kuala lumpur
18: Curtis, being a bit of risk taker when it comes to photography, began shooting one of hundreds of monkeys eating around us. This picture is when Frances' heart stopped for a moment when the monkey thought he got too close. Luckily, the monkey fell into the trash bin and saving us from a rough hospital trip in Malaysia!
19: batu caves
20: MONKEYS OF KL Monkeys are very common in Malaysia and they have learned how to thrive in a human world. We watched multiple people lose their drinks and snacks. including a child with her ice cream, as the monkeys grabbed whatever they could to eat.
22: MILES TO GO this trip was our first major redemption of airline miles and hotel points over an extended period of time and it was so worth it! From unlimited Champagne on flights to upgrades at SPG properties. we took advantage of all of our hard work earning those miles!
27: SINGAPORE ZOO | singapore | 9 JUNE 2011
28: SINGAPORE BOTANICAL GARDENS were the biggest surprise to us. What was meant to be a 2 hour stop ended up being a full day visit! We have never been so impressed the amount of flowers and orchids at a garden before. This was one of our favorite stops!
30: marina bay sands | SINGAPORE
33: holiday inn | THE HOLIDAY INN ORCHID CITY CENTRE Wow, what a hotel this was! Who knew a Holiday Inn could look like this? Inspired by a hotel in Shanghai, this was a very nice, well located hotel in the center of Singapore.
34: SIGHTS AROUND THE CITY We absolutely love this city! From Clark Quay to Marina Bay Sands and everywhere in between, this is a country centered around local business and things to do!
37: In the land of temples and motorbikes, we stayed and ate like kings! Bali was the cheapest stop on our trip where a surf and turf dinner set us back a whopping $9. A beautiful county with beautiful people! | BALI
38: TANNAH LOT is a temple located on a small island and only accessible during low tide. High tide leaves off the coast and due to the harsh waves, is impossible to get off of until low tide again. Heather met us in Bali to enjoy these beautiful sights!
41: BALI | indonesia | 16 JUNE 2011
42: DIVING IN BALI was an eye-opening for us as we encountered very rare sea life and lots of trash! We spent half of our dives cleaning up plastic bags and bottles from the ocean floor.
44: TULUMBEN DIVE SITE A sunken US ship off the western coast of Bali provided for one of the best dives we've ever done! We dove in and out of the ship, encountering giant Grouper, Garden Eels and a few spotted rays!
47: Our first Liveaboard! We boarded the Spirit of Freedom for a 6 day diving adventure that we will always remember. The crew was first class and the diving was incredible on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia!
51: GREAT BARRIER REEF JUNE 2011
53: sydney harbor bridge | THE SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE is one of the most recognizable symbols of Australia. The Bridge provides a frame for one of the most beautiful harbors in the world and holds a special place in the city's heart. The Sydney Harbor Bridge has connected the Sydney CBD with the North Shore of the harbor since it opened in 1932. It is the worlds largest (but not longest) steel-arch Bridge. It was beaten in length, by New York’s Bayonne Bridge, which is 25 feet longer and opened just four months earlier. On major celebrations in Sydney history, like New Year’s Eve or the announcement of the Sydney Olympic Games, the Bridge has always been the focal point.
56: THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE is a multi-venue performing arts centre in the Australian city of Sydney. It was conceived and largely built by Danish architect Jrn Utzon, finally opening in 1973 after a long gestation starting with his competition-winning design in 1957.
58: Farewell Australia... until next time....