Place 72 – Day 9: Vancouver, BC – Our New Home City!

As some of you may be aware, we have chosen Vancouver to be our next home, for a year or so.

Beacon Drive-In, Again

We went for breakfast at the Beacon Drive-In again today.

We opted for something different and both went for 2 eggs, sausages and hash browns. It wasn’t as good as what we each usually order, so that was a bit of a shame.

Flowers

We left the drive in and walked into the city to get some flowers for Linda, both as a thank you for having us and also for mother’s day (which it is here in Canada). She really liked them too, which is great.

Packing

Kim spent a while doing some ninja packing today. As we had to pack 5 bags, it meant unpacking everything and re-packing, but better.

Kim got it all packed up perfectly and we were able to comfortably fit everything in our bags.

Whilst Kim packed, Curtis watched Great Britain get demolished 8-0 by Canada in ice hockey, which really could’ve been much worse!

Walk, Chocolate Poutine & Coffee

We went for a walk after we were sat inside for most of the day, just to get some fresh air. We got a bit peckish, so we went to a chocolate place we had been before, Chocolats Favoris and we got chocolate poutine to share (fried doughnut style sticks covered in chocolate, marshmallows and ice cream).

We ate this and then went to Starbucks to get a coffee. We wanted to sit inside but it was full so we say outside for a brief moment but it was too cold so we walked back to Linda’s.

Chatting

We chatted with Linda for a few more hours up until we had to leave.

Once we had to head down to the bus station, we packed the last few things, said goodbye to Linda and walked down to the bus station, looking like pack mules!

Bus > Ferry > Bus > Taxi

We got the bus which took us onti the ferry.

When we got on the ferry we were hungry, so we queued to grab some food.

Kim decided on chicken strips and a ceasar salad and Curtis had a chicken pot pie with sweet potato fries.

We eventually left the ferry and got back onto the bus.

The bus company said that if we get off st the bus station, it is the first stop and we can catch the train to where we need to go from there.

We were informed wrong…

We were actually the last stop and didn’t get into the bus station until 22:10, which is much later than we expected.

The people we are staying with were waiting up for us, so to save time, we got a taxi to them.

Our Temporary Place

We were lucky enough to be contacted by a couple which offered us to rent a room of theirs whilst we look for apartments here in Vancouver. We aren’t looking to share long term, so are looking for our own apartment and preferably in the downtown area, which is exciting!

These next few days are jam packed full of apartment viewings and job phone interviews, so it’ll be a busy few days!

It’s been a long day and we’re glad to be getting some sleep.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 70 – Day 26: Victoria,BC – New Phone Numbers, Haircut & More Steak

Accidental Early Wake Up

We were up for what we thought was a respectable 10:00, but in fact it was 08:00! The iPod, which we use for the alarm, had its time at the New Orleans time so we were up earlier, but we felt alright.

Curtis watched the last 2 periods of the Great Britain vs Germany ice hockey game and Kim got ready for the day.

Curtis got ready once the game was done and then we went out for breakfast.

Breakfast

We went to the Beacon Drive-In which has become a staple for us when visiting Victoria.

Kim had a muffin and Curtis head a standard breakfast. Kim had an ice cream after, too.

Haircut

Curtis had a haircut booked for 13:00 so we went there and he got it done very fast. He didn’t need much done but it is better now. He also got some hair product too.

Timmies

We left here and wasted some time by sitting down for a coffee and doughnut at tim Hortons.

New Phone Numbers

We planned to use the company Curtis previously used to get a phone number each, but their systems were down and so when we looked around, we found another company that we decided to go with.

We spent over an hour getting these sorted, but luckily we both now have phone numbers!

More Steak

We cooked steak at Linda’s place for dinner.

We had a baked potato, ceasar salad and mushrooms with it too. The steak was delicious and we all ate pretty quick.

Before we knew it, it was 21:30 and that was bed time enough for us.

Tomorrow is more of a travel evening, where we will be traveling to our new home city (at least for a year or so)!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 25: Victoria,BC – We Can Live In Canada!

Leaving New Orleans

We were up at 04:00 to get to the airport.

We got a Lyft to the airport and we thought we were there with more than enough time.

We had to go to the desk as we had two separate flights booked and we wanted to get our bags automatically transferred.

We were at the desk for a while and then once were done, we walked around the side to see the incredible size of the security queue…

We were in the queue for an hour which ended up meaning we were unable to get any breakfast as we were boarding.

The flight was 5 hours or so but felt quite long, especially as we were hungry.

We landed in Seattle and it was finally breakfast time, after 8 hours.

Seattle > Victoria

We had 3 hours to kill at Seattle airport before our flight to Victoria, so it was breakfast time.

We got breakfast from McDonald’s, ate that up and relaxed.

We then got a coffee to kill more time and to wake us up before we got onto the second flight, on a small plane.

Work Permits

We arrived in Victoria and knew we needed to get our work permit from the border guards.

We mentioned we wanted a work permit due to our working holiday visa and we were ushered into another room.

We waited for a bit and then were presented with our permits! This was nice and quick and we are now considered residents of Canada and we can work here also.

We left here shortly after and got the bus to directly outside Linda’s place.

Dinner

We went inside and saw Linda before we all went out for some food.

We went to the steamship which we went to previously and both of us had the new york strip with whiskey peppercorn sauce and vegetables. Linda had fish and chips.

Bed Time

We got back and all had a conversation for an hour or two before we all got too tired and headed to bed. We have been up for around 20 hours at this point, so we are exhausted!

We aren’t staying here in Victoria but we are just seeing Linda briefly.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 84 – Day 6: New Orleans,LA – Swamp Tour

Final Bus Ride

We had to take our final bus ride before 11:00 this morning, so we got up, got ready and went out for breakfast.

Breakfast

We found a place near where we were getting picked up called Two Chicks Cafe.

Curtis had a breakfast from there and Kim had a (huge) omelette.


Two Chicks Cafe | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 8/10


We ate our food, paid and then left. We had a couple of hours to kill before we were getting picked up, so we walked around for a bit and then decided to go for a coffee.

Coffee Stop

We found a place called Mammoth Espresso.

Curtis had a cappucino and Kim had an iced vanilla latte.


Mammoth Espresso | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 8/10


Pickup

We wasted a bit more time and then went to the hotel to get picked up.

We waited for about 10 minutes and then the bus arrived. It was a decent sized bus and the driver had the same name as Kim!

We waited for a while and picked up a few people én route before heading on the way.

The Journey

It took about 45 minutes or so to drive up to where we were doing the swamp tour.

Our driver was very knowledgable and was telling us information about everything we passed and the difference between different places within New Orleans.

Swamp Tour

We got to the swamp tour area with the tour company (Cajun Encounters Tour Co.) and waited for a while whilst they organised.

We were finally called by the captain and off we went. There were 20 people on our boat and shortly after boarding we were off.

The first stop was to look at how they catch crawfish and we saw some in the trap also. They’re basically small lobsters.

We then moved on to our first alligator of the tour. This one was a decent size, around 10ft and the guide we were with fed it some sausage. It was happy with this and we got to see it jumping for the food.

We left this area and had a bit of stroll around the water. It was quite peaceful, until we turned on the engine and went pretty fast to get to the next area.

In the next area, we went through a bayou which was quite thin. After that, we stopped and waited for a long while to see if we could see any wild boars, but none appeared. We did see a baby alligator though.

We left this area and started heading out. As we did so, the storm started to roll in and then eventually, so did the rain, thunder and lightning.

We saw some houses which have no road access. They do have electricity and well water, but to get to and from the land they must use a boat.

We did a bit more fast boating and then headed back to the dock as the storm was getting worse.

We got back and got absolutely drenched…

We waited for a while for the bus to arrive and, once it did, everyone boarded whilst very wet.

All-in-all, the tour wasn’t that great. We were only out on the water for around an hour or so and only saw some trees and 2 alligators, and we got wet. But, of course, it is nature so you can never guarantee what you’ll see.

Dinner

When we eventually got back to the centre, it was still raining but a little less bad then it was before.

We found a place called Oceana for dinner. They sell pretty much anything you’d want as well as traditional New Orleans food.


Oceana | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 8/10


Curtis got crawfish fettuccine and Kim got blackened chicken fettuccine. Both meals were actually great and then Kim had a banana and strawberry ice cream cake.

Home Time & Packing

We will be flying out of New Orleans tomorrow, after a fun filled and busy 6 days.

We got an Uber home from the restaurant and then packed up our things to leave early tomorrow morning.

This is the final stop on our US trip as we head elsewhere for our next adventure!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 84 – Day 5: New Orleans,LA – Longue Vue House & Gardens

Printing Attempt #1

After getting up and having breakfast, we had a goal which was to get oir visa information printed so we are able to work in our next location.

We got to the library, which is just a block up from our house, but their printer was under maintenance so we couldn’t print then, but they said it would be available later in the day.

With that, we went back home and did some washing.

Coffee

To waste more time before trying to print again, and for our laundry to complete, we walked for 25 minutes to get a coffee.

We found a place that our Airbnb host had recommended called Bearcat Cafe.

This place was very busy and loud. Curtis ordered a cappucino which was terrific. A little small but more than strong enough.

Kim had an iced mocha that, to start with, tasted only like milk, so she got more chocolate added, which then made it too strong of a chocolate flavour.


Bearcat cafe | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 6.5/10


Printing Attempt #2

We walked past the library on the way back and the printers were still out of action, so we went right home and got ready to go out.

We caught a bus in a different direction to usual.

Longue Vue House & Gardens

We got off the bus after 10 minutes or so and walked for 20 minutes to get to Longue Vue.

Long view is a large estate which has a beautiful gardens with a stunning house.

Due to the time we arrived, we had 45 minutes to see the gardens and then a guided house tour after.

It was starting to rain a little, but we still walked around, pleased with the beautiful gardens and even the golf course in the back of the house!

After we saw the gardens, we ended up bumping into the facilities manager of the house who we had a chat with before the tour. Our tour guide then came over also and we began our tour.

The tour started with some information about who owned the house and why it was there. We won’t spoil too much, but a couple had the house and then decided that they wanted to change the house. Instead of destroying it, they moved the house down the street and built one in its place. This happened around 1942.

The New House

The house was based on English houses they had seen and it is tremendous inside!

Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any photos inside, but we do have some facts.

This house was only the 2nd in the US to get air conditioning, just after the while house!

The house, being built in 1942, is very rare in that as it was during the war time, not many houses were built then.

Everything in the house is original and it is amazing. There are wide hallways and many domed and curved rooms.

Many famous and important people of the time visited the house, such as the president at the time’s wife (Elenor Roosevelt).

We were told about the family history also. The wife’s father owned Sears department store and also did a lot of charitable things, such as funding the building of over 5000 African American schools! The eldest some created the first TV channel in the south of the US also.


Longue Vue House & Gardens | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 10/10


This tour was incredibly informative and our guide was wonderful. She was knowledgable but also very kind and was interested in us and our travels. She took us through to the playhouse which wasn’t used for plays but was used for parties and gatherings. This was a beautiful room and this is also where our tour ended, after we had some more conversation.

We began our walk back to the bus stop when a car pulled up and it was our guide, offering to give us a lift to the bus stop! This was incredibly kind of her and we jumped in and were dropped off at the bus stop.

The bus arrived shortly after and we made our way home.

Printing Success

We finally got to print our documents, which ended up taking about an hour to do and that is one less thing to worry about.

We the looked for somewhere to eat and got a bus into the French Quarter.

Dinner

We found a place which we had seen a few times but never gone in called Pierre Masperos. An interesting fact about this place is that it used to be a slave trading building, where slaves would be sold. Not exactly a nice thing, but an interesting fact non the less.


Pierre Masperos | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 9/10


Our server was fantastic and very attentive. She recommended things and suggested things that were spot on!

Kim had chicken and waffles, which you’re meant to have in New Orleans. This had a honey and tobasco sauce which was odd, but the server suggested just maple syrup which was much better.

Curtis had crab cakes which were amazing! Again, our server brought us another sauce to try with it as she prefers that. Both sauces were great, as were the crab cakes.

Dessert

We saw a place just down the road which looked fancy but when going in it had cheap prices! Kim got a ‘brownie sundae’ which was actually just a big brownie with ice cream on. The guy making it had a great time!

Heading Home

We took some of the brownie with us and got a tram back to our bus stop.

We thought the bus was going to take 30 minutes, but the previous bus must have been late so we got on that one which was only a 5 minute wait.

We got home in record time and relaxed with some TV. We had another 8/9 hour day today, and tomorrow won’t be any less!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 84 – Day 4: New Orleans,LA – Pharmacy Museum, Gumbo & Food Trucks

Pharmacy Museum

We decided on visiting the pharmacy museum today. We heard someone mention it the voodoo museum the other day that they’d been to the pharmacy museum, so we thought we would have a look.

We got the bus to the city and then walked from there. It was warmer today, but there was a breeze which helped.

We got to the museum and when we walked in, we were instantly struck with the smell of ‘old stuff’.

We later found out that the building was occupied from the 1700s by a pharmacist and then later was taken over by another pharmacist, before it was not used for a while and then bought and restored by the local council.

There was two floors of artifacts, namely tools and medicines which were used in the 19th century.

Something interesting was that all the liquids or solids within the bottles and jars are the actual substances that they say they are. This is particularly harrowing when the majority are alcohol or narcotics based, including opium and heroine! Some are even poisons.

We toured around by ourselves for a bit and then had a guided tour by the curator for around 45 minutes.

During this time, he explained about the history, what was used, why, side effects and all kinds of gross things, but also incredibly informative and interesting.

An old soda machine, used to make medicine taste better. This is why we have soda today!


Pharmacy Museum | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 10/10


Towards the end of the tour, Curtis got incredibly warm and ended up fainting, which was dramatic for everyone around us! He was all ok though, Kim managed to catch him and he wasn’t any worse for ware. All part of the fun and games!

Cafe Beignet, Again!

We wanted a coffee and a bit of food, so we went to Cafe Beignet again, but a different one. This one was much older and had a great look about it. There was also a man singing there, which helped with the ambience.

We shared some Gumbo, which is traditional soup made with chicken, rice and sausage…absolutely delicious!

Curtis had a key lime pie and we got some coffee too.

It doesn’t look great, but tastes amazing!

Admin Time

We headed home after here, once we had a short walk around. It was too hot and we didn’t really fancy doing anything more.

We got back home in record time, catching the transport perfectly! It took us just 15 minutes or so.

We got back and both had some admin to complete, so it was good to get that done.

We ate the remainder of yesterday’s pasta and were still hungry.

Luckily, we’d been told by our host about a few food trucks which were congregating by the library, just a block away.

Food Trucks

We got to the food trucks and there were just a couple there, so nothing much to choose from.

We each got a crepe in the end. Curtis got a cinnamon one and Kim got a cookie butter one. They were actually great and from the crepe truck called Crépes á la cart

After this, we came home, chilled out and also planned what we will be doing tomorrow.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 84 – Day 3: New Orleans,LA – St. Louis Cemetery, Beignets & Mardi Gras World

Coffee

First thing was first for the day…coffee! We got down to the French Quarter on the bus, where there was almost a fight between two men!

We walked for a short time and came to a coffee shop that our host had recommended. When we were just a couple of minutes away from the coffee shop, we saw 2 people rent scooters.

Unfortunately, the lady didn’t know how to ride one and, upon leaving the shop, crashed into the curb and flipped up onto the grass. It didn’t seem like she was hurt, but it had already been a dramatic and eventful day for us!

We got to the coffee shop and it looked great in there. No snacks for us with our coffee today as we had already had breakfast just before.

Curtis got a cappucino and Kim got a caramel iced coffee. Kim’s coffee was good, but Curtis’ wasn’t too great.


Backatown Coffee Parlour | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 7.5/10


St. Louis Cemetery #2

We walked for a little bit to find the two St. Louis cemeteries.

The #1 cemetery is only accessible with a guide as it has been defaced too much, but the second is open to the public.

We entered the 2nd and it was much more interesting than the cemetery we went to previously.

There were a lot of older plots there, some people died in the early/mid 1800s. We even saw an open tomb, presumably this could no longer be used as it was falling apart.

We left here and continued on with our day, walking back towards the French Quarter.

Frenchman Street & French Market

We had read that Frenchman street was a street to visit, so we popped into there.

There wasn’t a huge amount going on and it didn’t seem to interesting, so we left and walked further down the road.

As we did so, we stumbled across the French market, which is in its own little quaint building.

We walked around here looking at the wares for sale and then continued on.

Jackson Square & Cathedral

We stopped briefly, next to the Mississippi river, to overlook Jackson square and St. Louis Cathedral. This looks like a princess castle.

Mississippi River

We admired the Mississippi river briefly, which was quite high! We saw the steamboat again and it scared us a little with its loud horn.

Cafe Beignet

We had seen about Cafe Beignet and that it was meant to be good, so we stopped in to try some beignet and a lemonade.

A beignet, to us, seems more like bread than like a doughnut, covered in powdered sugar.

Beignet…Done That!


Cafe Beignet | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 8/10


The beignets were delicious, but we had no time to waste and made a plan to go somewhere, but we found something interesting on the way.

Antique Weapon Shop

We saw an antique weapon & money shop, so we had to have a brief look around. We saw all kinds of 1700-1800 weapons and money from the same era and different countries.

Mardi Gras World

We got to Mardi Gras World after a long, hot, 45 minute walk.

We got there and managed to jump in on the 16:00 tour!

We sat through a video which was good, telling us all about Mardi Gras, the company we were visiting and what they do.

A guide introduced himself and was very funny. He explained some more facts and then gave everyone a slice of ‘king’ cake, which is a traditional Mardi Gras cake, essentially just sugar.

We then had a brief tour of the warehouse, which is a working warehouse so we had to be respectful. This is where we were shown about the process, which is largely started with styrofoam and then to papiér maché followed by painting.

Step 1 – Made In Styrofoam

Step 2 – Papiér Maché

Step 3 – Paint

We then got to the floats themselves. We were told all about them as well as some official rules and laws regarding Mardi Gras.

The final area was regarding the new $2m robot they had recently purchased. There are only about 10 artists working at the warehouse, so they are very busy, but they got a robot to help with the external client work they complete. The robot does all the cutting for them!


Mardi Gras World | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 8.5/10


We got to stay in the warehouse after the guide had gone, so we wandered around and saw a lot of incredible things.

Home & Dinner

We got a free shuttle down to where our tram stop was and the tram arrived at the perfect time, so we got on that.

We sat on it for a while and then got off a stop prior to our usual so we could get some dinner.

We bought a meatball marinara pasta from Whole Foods and then went to the bus stop.

The bus arrived shortly after and we got home nice and safely.

We had our food and then chilled out, along with getting an earlier night than we have been.

We’ve had busy, long days, but New Orleans has been fun so far.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale