Place 78 – Day 2: Hurricane,UT – Zion National Park Emerald Pool Trail

Alarm Fail

We had set an alarm, but incorrectly, so we didn’t wake up at the time we wanted.

We had breakfast and had a conversation with our host and then had showers getting ready to go out.

Finding Parking

We made our way to Zion National Park to go for a hike, but on the way the was a sign stating that the main carpark was full so we had to park in the town just before.

We were unsure where to park, so we stopped at the visitor centre and they said we can park there for $15.

We parked up and took the free shuttle to the park.

Emerald Pool Trail

We didn’t want to do a crazy hike today, and the weather wasn’t great either, so we found a short one called three Emerald Pool Trail.

We had to take the bus from the National Park entrance (where we had to pay $35 for entry in total, lasting us 7 days) up to stop 5 which was where our required trail was.

We began walking the trail and we noticed that the path wasn’t really wode enough for the amount of people, but we made it work.

We got up to the emerald pool section, which was a small waterfall and that was it. The higher section was closed, unfortunately.

We turned around and walked back to the area we got dropped off.

Horses

We saw a paddock full of horses, so we went to see them and say hello.

Walking Part Way Back

We didn’t want to take the bus back from this point as we wanted to explore more, so we asked the lodge nearby how we can walk to the next bus stop down the road and they told us.

We walked on a sand track which is used for the horse riding and this took us quite a bit of time but it was nice as there weren’t many people there, other than the horses we came across.

That being said, we did see some deer too!

We walked on and on and saw some tremendous mountains and rocks.

Arriving at the bridge we needed to cross, we has to get some photos as the were no people around.

We wanted to take the bus from this stop, but it was full on 2 attempts but on there 3rd the driver said she could fit 2 people on, so we squeezed in and rode the bus to the end of the park.

We decided against taking the bus from here to the car as it was set to be absolutely full again, so we walked for 30 minutes to get there instead.

Drive Back

We got the car and drove back home. On the way, the mountains looked crazy, with the contrast of the clouds, snow topped mountains and desert.

We got some more beautiful scenery and then arrived home.

We got home and relaxed for a while. Curtis watched hockey and Kim had a nap.

We went to the supermarket to get something for dinner and decided upon hot dogs with a side of caesar salad.

We are up early tomorrow to get parking at the park itself and to hike some more!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

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Place 74 – Day 6: San Francisco,CA – Ocean Beach, Sutro Baths & Trail Walk

Breakfast

We woke late today, which was excellent.

We waited to have breakfast until we got outside, mostly because we had no cereal left!

We went out with a plan to go to the beach but first had to get breakfast. The first couple of places we looked at were near us, but couldn’t find anything good, so we jumped on a tram and went out to the Beanery, where we got a coffee a few days ago.

We got a coffee from there but went for breakfast at a place called the crepevine.

Kim got a crepe and Curtis got eggs and bacon.


Crepevine | San Francisco,CA

Rating:- 8.5/10


Ocean Beach

We took a tram from here down to the beach, which is where we wanted to explore.

The weather was lovely, but it was a little chilly by the water, and the water itself was freezing!

Sutro Baths

We walked up from the beach to Sutro Baths.

These baths were previously used as public seawater pools, but now they are ruins, but they look really cool!

Trail Walk

From here, we walked along a trail for a very long time, but there were excellent views, including out to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Long Walk & Bus Home, Briefly

We decided to go home from here, but we had to walk to the other side of the Golden Gate Park to catch a bus, so we made the 40 minute walk the and got to the bus stop perfectly on time.

Once we got home, we got changed into jeans from shorts and went right back out for dinner.

Dinner

We took a bus to the shopping mall where we got dinner yesterday.

We weren’t too hungry yet, so we had a walk around the shops until we got hungry.

We went up a place called Blaze Pizza for dinner as we smelled it yesterday and it smelled incredible so went to check it out.

This place was basically Subway but for pizza. We got a BBQ chicken pizza and a ceasar salad to share…it was terrific! We also got a lemonade, which we refilled twice.


Blaze Pizza | San Francisco,CA

Rating:- 9/10


Packing

We took the bus home and had to pack for tomorrow.

We got all packed and then relaxed whilst watching more of the Madeleine McCann documentary.

Tomorrow

We fly at a fairly early time tomorrow and will need to leave the house around 06:00, so an early night tonight for us, hopefully.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 73 – Day 5: Seattle,WA – Amazon Spheres, Tacos & Giant Water Tower

Visa

First thing’s first – something we forgot to mention yesterday – Curtis now also has his Canadian work visa, so we can confirm that we plan to work in Canada in the near future!

Now – onward to today;

Off Into The City

We took the bus to the city this morning, but only had a $5 note. Kim was given a ticket which still had time on it, so only Curtis needed a ticket.

Curtis put the $5 note in the machine, expecting change, but the driver informed him that change is not given on buses in Seattle! This didn’t really bother us too much, but now we know.

When we got off the bus, the driver called us over and gave us 2 tickets to be used any time up to 18:00 as he felt bad that we put too much money in. He didn’t have to do that, but it was incredibly kind that he did!

SIM Shopping

We need to get a US SIM as we will be in the country for a bit of time, so we walked around places trying to find one.

We had seen the perfect thing at the supermarket yesterday, but didn’t want to just take the first thing we saw, so decided to browse.

Whilst we looked, we found nothing better, so decided we’d head to the supermarket later and get the one we saw.

Victrola Coffee

We had seen a coffee shop named Victrola a few times and it was full each time, so it must have been good! We decided we would check it out.

The coffees were mostly one size, which wasn’t a great start for us, so much so that Curtis panicked a little and ordered the house coffee instead of espresso.

The house coffee wasn’t great, but Kim had a mocha which seemed to get better over time.

We found some of the staff a little standoff-ish too, which wasn’t pleasant.

Interestingly there was also an Amazon office within the same building as this coffee shop.


Victrola Coffee | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 5/10


Amazon Spheres

Kim’s surprise was planned to be a tour of the Amazon headquarters. Unfortunately, it’s a very full tour and is usually booked for months in advance, so Kim had put us both onto the waiting list.

We walked to the Amazon HQ and asked the question as to if we had been accepted or not.

Unfortunately, we were not accepted and it is still full, so we were unable to do the tour. That being said, we have signed up for Thursday’s waiting list, so fingers crossed!

Spheres

We were still able to go into the Amazon Spheres, which were built fairly recently primarily as an alternative workspace for Amazon employees, but also as a living plant biome.

We could only explore the bottom floor, which explains all about how it was built, why it was built, the challenges and the people within. It was pretty cool to see!

Tacos

We left here and walked about 25 minutes to get tacos! Our host told us last night about a great, cheap, taco place so we grabbed some as a snack.

We each got a house taco (pork, salsa & pineapple) and we shared a steak taco.

The pork were by far the best. absolutely delicious, and the steak was just ok.


Taco Chukis | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 7.5/10


Volunteer Park

We went for a walk around volunteer park, which is a large park of woodlands. There isn’t much there, but it was a nice walk to relax. We saw a lot of squirrels and some were daring enough to come close. Kim tried to hand one a pinecone and freaked out!

We walked around for a bit more and then stumbled across a giant former water tower.

Water Tower

This water tower is huge and is now an observation deck.

We were able to climb the stairs to the top and get a 360° view of the city (and all the rain clouds!).

Different Bus

We took a different bus home after stopping by at something we will be doing tomorrow to ensure we are booked in.

We walked to a bus stop and caught a different bus number so we could go a bit off course and get directly to the supermarket near our apartment, rather than having to walk from home.

We got the SIM and other things we needed from the store and walked back home.

Stir Fry

We got home and Kim whipped up a pork stir fry, which was incredible.

We ate a lot, but it was worth the fullness!

We watched some TV and then went to bed. Got to be up early tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 73 – Day 2: Seattle,WA – Wrong Starbucks,Public Market & Wine Tasting

Free Bus Tickets

We went down to the city for a walk around, as well as some things we had planned.

Firstly, we left the house and waited at the bus stop for the bus to arrive. Whilst waiting for the bus, a lovely lady gave us a box of Sugar Babies, an American candy, as she said we have to try them. We can confirm, they are delicious!

The bus was late and, when we got on, we had our $2.75 each ready.

The bus driver was kind enough to give us tickets for free!

Wrong Starbucks

We first went to Starbucks as the first Starbucks was opened in Seattle!

We didn’t think it was much different, other than the logo.

Curtis had a nitro cold brew, which he’s been wanting to try for a while. Kim had a cloud caramel macchiato.

The nitro cold brew looked like a Guinness, but tasted just like coffee that has gone cold. Kim’s caramel macchiato was good, though!

We later realised we had gone to the WRONG Starbucks and the first one was actually down the street, right where all the people were queuing. Guess we’l be heading there tomorrow.

Gum Wall

We walked down a side street and saw a wall completely covered in chewing gum. This wall is world famous and, for some odd and disgusting reason, people stick their chewing gum on the wall and people come along and take photos of it. That being said, here is a photo;


History & Information Of Gum Wall | Seattle,WA

– Wikipedia.org


Public Market

We walked to the public market for a wander around. Being Saturday, it was absolutely rammed but great fun!

There are all sorts of things at the market.

There are food stalls, drink stalls, people selling homemade items, a bakery or two, wine tastings, model car shops & BBQ areas!

Fish Stalls

Seafood Restaurants

Wine Tasting

We found a wine tasting place and thought ‘why not?’.

For just $5, we each got to try 6 wines of different types. White, red and Rosé wine.

The man serving us was very knowledgeable, funny and helpful. We sat and played connect 4 with an incredible view whilst we drank some wine.


Northwest Tastings | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 10/10


Home Time

We wandered around a bit more and then found a bus stop to catch a bus home.

Our ticket was valid still so we were still able to ride for free!

We got back to the apartment and Curtis watched the Leafs game whilst Kim did some laundry.

Food Run

After the game, we went to get something for the next few dinners from the supermarket. We met some really nice people at the store, too, which was lovely.

Thai Green Curry

We decided on Thai green curry for dinner, so we made that when we arrived home.

Dinner was delicious! We then watched some TV before heading to bed as we have another fun filled day tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 73 – Day 1: Seattle,WA 🇺🇸 – Crossing The Border & Beautiful Room

Early Wake Up

We were up early to get ready, pack up and eat breakfast.

We bought cinnamon buns from the supermarket yesterday to have for breakfast along with the remainder of our orange juice.

Once we got packed up and showered, we checked out of our apartment and walked to the bus station.

Awesome Building

The bus/train station is Pacific Central Station. This is an amazing old building, with beautiful ceilings and the architecture is incredible, both inside and out.

Subway & Coffee

We had time to kill, so we were resourceful and went to Subway to get a sandwich for our bus ride and Curtis went to Starbucks for a coffee.

We got back to the bus station and stopped there for a while whilst we waited for the bus.

The bus arrived and on we got, ready for our 5.5 hour journey!

The Border

About 2 hours in to our trip, we stopped at the US border and went through customs.

We got our bags searched, randomly, which is always nerve wracking, even though you know you have nothing!

We jumped back onto the bus and continued on through some really awesone towns.

Arrival in Seattle

We arrived in Seattle and had to figure out our route to our apartment.

We walked a, less desirable, way and it felt a little intimidating, but we were all good!

We eventually got there and it was actually in a great neighbourhood and was very lovely.

We got ourselves in and we have a beautiful room as well as a shared bathroom, but that is lovely too! It’s in a 3 storey apartment and we are currently just sharing with the people that live here, so this bathroom is just ours for now.

Walking Around

We wanted a walk so walked for 20 minutes or so to get to the supermarket, where we saw McDonald’s so we knew what we were eating!

We got what we needed from the supermarket and then grabbed our food.

We strolled back to the apartment and were really ready to chill out.

We have some fun stuff planned for the next week here in Seattle!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 72 – Day 1: Vancouver, BC 🇨🇦 – Small Studio

Morning Travel

We were up earlier then we have been this morning, around 07:30, so we could get showered and grab some breakfast before we had to leave.

Once we ate, we checked out of the wonderful hotel, which We have loved being in, and walked down to the bus station.

Bus Journey #1 – Victoria > Ferry

We got on our bus and had a 40 minute journey to the ferry port.

We waited for about 10 minutes and then got onto the boat.

Ferry Journey

We got off the bus and grabbed some seats for the short ferry ride and relaxed before we had to hop back onto the bus.

Bus Journey #2 – Ferry > Vancouver

We got off the ferry and onto the bus for a 50 minute drive to downtown Vancouver.

City View From The Bus

We eventually arrived and walked the 10 minutes to the apartment where we met the host.

Our Studio

We got the keys to the apartment and went to take a look. It is very small, but it is pretty good for what we need it for.

View From The Studio

We got hungry so we went out to get a Subway for lunch.

Lunch

We ate our subway and got aquainted with our apartment as well as watched some YouTube videos.

Afternoon

We watched the Leafs game and once that was done, we went out to the supermarket to get some supplies for dinner.

Evening

We got back and started making a delicious spaghetti bolognese.

The apartment owner came by with a few requested items and then we sat and watched TV whilst we ate and then next thing we knew, it was 23:30!

Tomorrow should be more adventurous!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 14: Victoria, BC – New Shoes & Annoying News

We were up early today and ready to go by 10:00.

We walked up to Fort St where we caught a bus up to Saanich as Kim had a doctors appointment up there.

We got to the appointment early and Kim was seen early, which was a result!

We left the doctors and walked around the corner to a bus stop and caught a bus to Uptown mall.

We were on the hunt for some new winter shoes again.

After looking at uptown, Kim put aside some Timberlands and Curtis found nothing.

We walked down to Mayfair, the other mall, to look for shoes some more.

We went somewhere Linda suggested which is a big warehouse of shoes.

Curtis, after trying many pairs of shoes, was able to find some really nice dark brown timberland boots, too!

We succeeded! We celebrated by having a KFC, which was similar to the ones we get in the UK, which was great!

Unfortunately, whilst we ate, we found out that our travel plans have changed slightly. We had planned to go to another city to a concert, but the dates have now been moved to October, just 10 days before the show! We only just booked the flights to go and that was around £500.

We are going to make the most of it and go to this city for 4 days as planned, but it doesn’t seem that there is much to do. It is a real shame and we are both disappointed as we were really looking forward to the concert!

We made our way back to the shoe shop for Kim to collect her shoes and we both changed into our new kicks before we headed home on the bus.

Once we got back, we chilled out and did some admin regarding us having to change our plans and then we had dinner. Linda made crispy chicken thighs with vegetables and some delicious bread.

Once we ate, we watched some TV but all started to fall asleep, so we headed to bed.

Odd day today, having a great success with the shoes and then having the bad news about the concert….but that’s traveling for you!

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale