Sydney, Australia: 33.8688° S, 151.2093° E

Sydney Harbour

A glimpse of St Mary's Cathedral from Hyde Park

State Library of New South Wales

State Library of New South Wales

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Harbour

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Aboriginal Art at the Gallery of New South Wales

Aboriginal Art at the Gallery of New South Wales

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Aboriginal rock engraving- male kangaroo

"Eeeeek it's cold up here! "

Blue Mountains National Park

Wentworth Falls and a very brave bride

Hello there or should I say G'day mates!  We here at otc have returned from the great Down Under and it was an epic trip.  I try to go to at least one new place a year. I thought this was going to be the year I went to Morocco but the universe had other plans so Oz it was. Sydney to be exact.

First thing you should know about the island continent is that its seasons are the opposite of all of the countries in the Northern Hemisphere. So, my trip coincided with the end of their winter and early spring. The temperature in Fahrenheit ranged from the middle 50s to the high 60s which was downright frigid for me. I was wearing at least two layers every time I ventured out.

The second thing you should know is that most travelers will cross the International Date Line on the way to Australia. That meant I lost an entire day while traveling.  For example if I left my neck of the woods for a trip to Australia on the 8th of the month I would arrive on the 10th.  The 9th... poof gone.  I was about a day and a half ahead of all my friends and family back home while I was there.

The third thing you should know is that an Australian Travel visa is required to visit Australia. Interested readers can determine which type of travel visa they would need here.

The fourth thing I think you should know is that Australia is a fairly expensive destination. See this interesting article here about the cities with the most expensive taxi fare in the world. Australia makes the list three times.  I found another interesting but long article here about the price of food in Australia compared to the rest of the world.

So enough of the things you should know.  I had a great time in Sydney! The opera house was a sight to behold up close. I would recommend checking it out in the day and then coming back at night for a totally different experience.  I was able to make it to the mountains and to the beach. I saw some great exhibits at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and got my entire life at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  

I found the Aussies to be friendly. They are an extremely fit bunch. I tell you every where I went I saw them running,  jumping, strength training or engaging in some type of sweat inducing activity.  Every where. Those buggers are in shape.  They really inspired me to step my fitness game up. I figured if they can have what seemed to be lunch time rugby meetings I should really drive to the gym after work.

I think this post is long enough so if you are interested in anything I didn't mention let me know in the comments.  I hope you have all been well.


L'Occitane - A L'Immortelle Biologique Skincare

Divine Eye Contour

Divine Eye Contour

Divine Lotion

I've always loved L'Occitane lotions and shower gels. They added a skincare line to their arsenal that I tried for the first time about three months ago.

Pictured above are the Immortelle Precious Cleansing Foam($30/5.1oz), Divine Creme($110/1.7oz), Divine Eye Contour($80/.5fl oz) and Divine Lotion(1.7fl oz). My purchase was made as a gift set which seems to have been discontinued. The most similar set I could find on their website is this one  which substitutes the Divine Mist for the lotion.

I love the Divine Cleansing Foam and the Divine Creme. The cleansing foam feels so light and refreshing when applied. The foam like all the products has a slightly herbal scent. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped.  It's one of the best cleansers I have ever tried.

The Divine Creme is moisturizing without being sticky and greasy. The Eye Contour Cream has a similar texture to the Divine creme and was not irritating. Unfortunately for me I was born with creases under my eyes so there's not much that any eye cream can do for me. This one keeps the dryness at bay without that goopy feeling.

The jury is still out for me on the Divine Lotion. It's described as a toner/lotion but you apply it with your fingers. The texture is a little strange to me. You can see from the pictures above that it's a little watery and not as rich as the Divine Creme which I think is my hang up. I guess I'm just used to astringent type toners that you apply with a cotton pad. Right now I don't think I would purchase the Divine Lotion once I've finished the set but I'll try to finish the bottle before I make a final decision.

Overall I'd give this line 2.5 out of 3 stars. The Divine Cleanser and the Creme truly live up to their name. My sister visited me a few weeks back and fell in love with the cleanser and the creme as well. The set would be a good way to try the line but if you are not interested in that type of investment I would recommend you start with the cleanser.

Have you tried anything from L'Occitane lately?