This week’s travel theme from Ailsa’s blog “Where’s my backpack?” is Sweet. Our household has a pretty strong sweet tooth, and I think it runs through both sides of our families. If I was to be honest our son, AKA The Pok, just has a food tooth where sweet is just part of it. But when we travel we also often find ourselves savouring the local sweets, though we are too busy eating them than taking photos of them – Japanese mochi anyone? As usual, the images link to my larger photos on Flickr.

We love going to the Hunter Valley (NSW, Australia) to visit the vineyards and discover new wines. I especially like the “stickies” and ports in addition to many of the white wines that are specialities of the region. One of the first photos I took using my first digital camera, a Canon PowerShot G2, was this closeup of the grapes. They were not far off from being picked and I love the deep colour.

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Still in Australia, quite often when we travel to Melbourne, Australia to visit my brother and his wife we end up at the Prahran Markets. I took this photo of one of my favourite types of sweets – macarons. Apparently these ones are gluten free (does that make them any less sweet?).

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On our honeymoon, our first stop was Shanghai, China where we spent time in the old French Quarter. On our first day after checking in we decided to go out for a walk and get “lost”. It is a thing we often do where we forget about the map and walk the local area to discover it. It started raining and to find shelter we found a market that the locals were busily shopping at. It was the first time that we had been in a market in China (not Hong Kong – different). This fruit vendor had all her wares on display and we didn’t recognise many of the fruits, though my wife was making her best attempts.

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We have been to Singapore several times, and we often indulge for a few nights by staying in many of Singapore’s top hotels (two or three nights is often all we can afford for a splash of holiday luxury). One of the best hotels we have stayed at on the island nation was the Pan Pacific near Marina Bay. In the lead up to Christmas they adorned the foyer with many decorations including a HUGE gingerbread house. We we tempted to sample its walls, but didn’t for fear of bringing on a collapse.

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This is not technically a travel photo, but it is sweet in many ways. My grandmother (on my Dad’s side) turned 100 before she passed away. We, along with my large family, got to celebrate the century with our Grandmare in a huge party. She lived a tough life through her youth and in a tumultuous century that saw two world wars. Her country of birth went from being a British Colony to achieving independence, but not before a civil war that went along religious lines. She also raised six kids, and had the unfortunate life experience of having two other children die as infants soon after birth. Relocating to Australia when she was in her sixties must have been quite unnerving, particularly as French was her first and primary language – but she managed it all in her stride. She was a mean and competitive card player and loved her soap operas. All through her life she was very active, breaking her hip not once but twice – and that still didn’t stop her. And if you ever got in her way to a bottle of cherry you would come off second best. The party was grand, and it is the first and only birthday cake that I have seen with three numbers on it.

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Finally, back to our son – The Pok. He is a champion eater of anything but he has very much discovered the delights of chocolate, ice cream, and cake. The challenge for us as parents is to moderate his delight in food, which is becoming even more challenging now that he knows how to open the fridge door and grab the stool to reach for things. At least for us he loves eating his vegetables as well. We very much enjoy watching him make a mess and grin while eating, and he now assists my wife in baking too.

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Check out some of the other bloggers posts at Ailsa’s site in the comments with their postings, as always there are some really good photographs couple with some interesting stories.