Place 72 – Day 26: Vancouver,BC – What A View

Curtis’ Day

Curtis got on the train and it turned out to be a bit less busy.

It felt like Curtis got to work pretty quickly today!

Once he got in, he grabbed himself a coffee and began working. He had some things to finish off from yesterday, as well as a bit more to learn.

As well as work, Curtis had some admin to get sorted, mostly new starter related items.

Meetings

Curtis had a couple of meetings, the first being a video call with all the IT team so they all met eachother and the second was another IT meeting but this time it was project related.

What A View

Curtis was able to get a photo of the view, which he has right behind him when he is sat at his desk…it shows Canada place and any boats that are there, as well as the seaplanes!

Purchasing

Curtis then got to work and the afternoon was pretty busy. Curtis picked up quite a few tickets and got to work on them, as well as figuring out what to do.

Curtis was then shown how purchasing works and had to get some stuff purchased for the office.

The end of the day came quickly and then Curtis headed to get on the train.

Train

The train wasn’t too packed on the way home, so that made the trip a little less stressful.

Kim’s Day

Kim did a bit less today, but didn’t get a lay in.

Kim took the dog out for a walk and then after the walk she took the train to the shopping mall to look for a work top.

Eventually, Kim was able to find just 1 top and then went to the supermarket.

Our Evening

Kim met Curtis from the train and we walked to the bank to get some banking sorted.

We came home and had a ceasar salad for dinner.

We watched some TV and did a bit of money admin before we went to sleep.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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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 74 – Day 4: San Francisco,CA – Alcatraz & Cable Car

Alcatraz

We took the tram to the city this morning and then had to take another tram to get down to where we needed to be.

We got there at exactly the time we needed to be and then had to stand in line for a while.

We eventually started to board the boat to Alcatraz Island (which means Pelican, by the way!).

The Arrival

We arrived at the island fairly quickly and there were a lot of people!

We first had to stop at the entrance and get a brief talk from a park ranger as Alcatraz is a national park.

The first building itself is quite daunting as thst isn’t even the prison! There is a cool sign at the entrance, too;

Theatre

We made our way up to the theatre and got a seat whilst waiting for the introductory film to play.

The film was about 15 minutes long and just explained the history of Alcatraz.

Workshop

We moved on from here to one of the workshops which was only open for a brief time today.

Along the way, we saw the power station, remains of the officer recreation hall and the former firing range.

The Power Station

Recreation Hall For Officers

We entered the workshop and it was pretty damaged. Most glass was smashed and there were sinks and toilets leftover, as well a sign, for some reason!

There was an art exhibition in another room in here, but it was pretty unrelated to the workshop.

This is the place in which prisoners would work, making things, sometimes for the military but also worked in the laundry area.

There were some incredible views from this island, especially with the weather we had for the start of the day!

The Prison

We walked up to the prison, getting some awesome photos on the way.

The Cell Block

The First Lighthouse In Western America

We got to the start of the audio tour, which was in the shower block of the prison, where there was also clothes from the prison times.

We went from here up some stairs and into the main prison block.

The audio guide told us multiple stories and information about different cells and locations around the prison, including solitary confinement, attempted escapes, living conditions and more.

A Prison Cell Which Someone Escaped From

Solitary Confinement

A Solitary Confinement Cell – Nicer, But The Prisoner Spends 24/7 Here

The Main Hallway

We moved through the library and we were then told about a part of the prison that has marks on the floor from grenade blasts which were thrown in during an attempted escape, via a hole in the roof.

We saw the visitation station, followed by the officer area and then the officer’s control room.

The final area was the most dangerous – The dining hall. This was where everyone ate and therefore had cutlery. A lot of the kitchen equipment is still there, along with a board of the menu for breakfast.

The food was the best here out of all the prisons, so much so that the guards ate the same as the prisoners.

Former Inmate

There was a former inmate, now in his 80’s, who was signing books. He has written a book about being in Alcatraz. His name is William Baker.


Here Is A Link To William Baker’s Book

– Amazon


The Trip Back To San Francisco

We took the boat back and, by this time, having spent a while on the island, the weather had got more overcast, more windy, and much colder!

We got back to the city safe and sound and went for a coffee to warm up.

In And Out Burger

We had seen that In And Out burgers were meant to be great, so we lined up to get ours!

The menu hasn’t changed since 1948, so there weren’t many options, but we had to get the ‘double-double’ which was double beef and double cheese.


In And Out Burger History


The ingredients are fresh and made to order, so it’s fast food, but fresh!

The burgers and the fries were terrific. The fries don’t look great, but they were fresh and delicious!

Cable Car

We were well filled, so we left here and planned to head home, but then saw the old cable car and had to jump on! Our transport passes got us on, too, so that’s a win!

These cable cars were 146 years old and the only city to have them was San Francisco.

We eventually got a chance to ride it hanging off the edge, which was awesome!

New Shoes

We got off the cable car in the shopping district and got Curtis a cheap pair of shoes for summer.

Curtis’ current shoes have lasted well, but they’ve hit the end of their life, so new shoes it is for Curtis. He got some nice Levi’s shoes, weirdly. Just $20 though!

Rammed Tram

We took the tram home, but this was at around 19:00 so it was absolutely rammed for a while.

We got home and were incredibly tired…we have been on our feet for over 9 hours, so laying down and watching TV was great.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 72 – Day 2: Vancouver, BC – Granville Island

Amazing Sleep

Interestingly, we chose to sleep on a double mattress on the floor as it seemed more comfortable than a sofa bed and boy, were we right!

We had a terrific night of sleep and woke up pretty fresh this morning.

We had some cereal, watched a YouTube video and then got started with the day.

We decided we would check out a place called Granville Island.

Getting To Granville Island

We walked, almost directly straight, to a ferry port which had a ferry leaving every 5 minutes to go to the island.

We jumped on the boat to the island and paid our $5.50 return before jetting off.

Our Boat

The Island

We got to the island and firstly thought how awesome it looked! Compared to the city, everything was so small and hip-looking.

We went for a wander around and first entered a market in which there were shops from local artists that have made all different things from jewellery to clothing.

We walked out of this area and into the general public market. This place had a lot of different things, including food, fruit & vegetables, meats, cheeses & coffee.

We walked around this for a while and then went outside and looked at the backstreets.

These streets didn’t have too much, but there was a blacksmith which was cool to see!

Kim got to see a couple of dogs, too. A malamute and two Australian shepherds.

The Malamute

Australian Shepherds

We grabbed a slice of pizza and a coffee and just watched the world go by.


Granville Island | Vancouver, BC


Ride Back

We took the ferry back and it had really become a beautiful day, so when we got back to the mainland we had a bit of a walk.

Waterside Walk

We walked down beside the water and just watched…

There was an odd circular piece of metal, which we took a photo through as we thought it looked cool. You can see the ships in the background.

We started walking back to the apartment and came across the aquatics centre, which we popped into just to take a look.

We got back to the apartment and relaxed a little before going out to get food.

Dinner

Using the remainder of the sauce from yesterday, we had ravioli for dinner.

After we had that, we had some mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Get Out

We watched the film ‘Get Out’ (finally!) and we quite enjoyed it, though wasn’t really what we expected.

Exciting News

In other exciting news, Kim has been accepted for her Canada work visa!

We are hoping Curtis will be accepted soon, too…but we have more traveling to do first, anyway!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 1: Victoria,BC 🇨🇦 – Crazy Time Travel

Just before the flight, whilst waiting, we found a whisky tasting station in duty free, so we thought why not!

We got a few shots of whisky to try, mostly expensive whisky, one of which tasted like bacon which we do not recommend.

We eventually got on the flight, which was actually a pretty good and easy flight, though we didn’t sleep we much as we wanted, or really at all!

We watched the film Night School and Kim watched a couple of films whilst Curtis tried to sleep.

We had 2 meals whilst on board. Curtis had chicken tagine with couscous and Kim had pasta bolognese.

We then had breakfast. Curtis had the safe option of museli and Kim had the scrambled eggs which were not good at all.

Once we landed in Vancouver, we had to wait a while whilst other planes got out of the way and then we were able to exit.

We got through customs and immigration pretty quickly, collected our bags and then had to figure out what to do next.

We found the right bus but had to buy a ticket, so we went inside the terminal to get them and then back out onto the bus.

We got the bus to the ferry port and once we got there we changed buses to get into the ferry and across the other side.

We got onto the ferry and grabbed a much deserved cappucino each and relaxed as we sailed across the water.

Once we arrived, we got back on the bus and that took us to Victoria!

Along the way, we saw a car crash happen which is not good!

We got to the Victoria bus station and figured out how we get to where we are staying, which we luckily did.

We are staying with Kim’s great aunty Linda, who we stayed with here on a holiday before. We haven’t been here in winter so we saw excited to see what is on offer!

We had a delicious chicken dinner and chatted with Linda for a while before hopping in the shower after our long journey.

We got into bed which was lovely and comfy and got a couple of outstanding admin tasks completed before heading to bed.

We don’t have much planned just yet, other than getting some sleep!

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 62 – Day 3: Bland Bay – Secret Cave!

We left the hotel nice and early, around 07:30 and then drove to McDonald’s to get a spot of breakfast.

After breakfast, we drove a car park over to the supermarket where we got some meat for the BBQ.

We left the supermarket and made the drive down to Bland Bay. A lot of the roads were gravel, but it was good fun! It was a straight road for 100km, so it was at least easy.

We got out to Bland Bay and just chilled out for a few hours in the blazing sun. It was delightful!

We were then told about a cave that we had to see in person as it was beautiful! With that, we all hopped on the boat and headed out there. The waves were causing our boat to bounce all over the place which waa great fun!

We arrived at the small, secluded beach and it was stunning!

We then had a look at the stream leading to the cave, which was also filled with rocks and seaweed, and it was quite choppy, with big waves rushing in.

That being said, we eventually started making our way out into the water, consistently getting stabbed by the sharp rocks. Josh then said he saw a stingray, which froze us both and we decided we weren’t moving!

We waited a while and saw nothing, so all got moving again. We swam the last part into the cave and it was well worth it! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any good photos of it, but there was a deep pool of water with light perfectly shining onto it from above. Beautiful!

We got in the water and chilled a little, before we got back out and had to make the treacherous swim back.

The swim was actually ok, but we did get stabbed by multiple rocks again.

We got back on the boat and headed back to the house.

We then got the BBQ going and Josh cooked up a storm! Once we ate our food, we had some games of Cards Against Humanity and Josh sent out the Contiki to catch some fish.

As they were bringing it back in, there must’ve been a shark on it, or two, as the power pulled the whole whinch down the bank and the contiki went underwater! There was a made dash to pull it in and it eventually relaxed, but most of the hooks were gone from the line! Another eventful weekend here so far!

We packedup the outside after this and then went inside for some sleep, after we got some great night photos!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 68 – Day 7: Kerikeri – Paihia & Russell

We weren’t doing any work today, so we decided to had it out the house.

We had breakfast and got ready, then we got in the car and drove 30 minutes to Paihia.

Paihia had been recommended to us multiple times by many people, so we thought we had to check it out.

Once we got a parking spot, we wandered around the very small place. There wasn’t really anything of note, but we did get hungry so we stopped at a rib place for some lunch.

We got loaded wedges to share, which had bacon, cheese and pepper on.

We finished lunch, had more of a look around and then got on the ferry for the 10 minute journey to another small town called Russell.

A photo from the boat of Paihia

We got to Russell and explored around a little bit. This is only a small place, so there wasn’t much to see again. It is quite old and French in places, so it was worth a look.

We then stopped in at a cafe for a coffee and relax.

We walked a little bit more after our coffee and then re-boarded the boat to go back to Paihia.

We got back and got in the car to go back to the house.

We got back and got some admin done and chilled. The family returned home and we then all helped make homemade pizza! We had a pizza each which was delicious. We all sat and had a chat at dinner and then after the washing up was done, Kim got to have the pet budgie on her finger briefly, until she was pecked!

We went to bed shortly after, along with a delicious whisky each.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale