Place 72 – Day 5: Vancouver, BC – Gastown & Steam Clock

Gastown

We walked down to Gastown today.

Gastown is an old town area with Victorian-style buildings.

This area was just a 30 minute walk from our apartment.

Unfortunately, we had to walk again as the elevators are still not working!

There isn’t really anything to do, as such, but it’s a great place to wamder around and peruse the architecture.

‘Gassy Jack’ – The founder of Gastown – From Hull, England

Coffee

In Gastown, there are many ‘hipster’ coffee shops to visit, so we had to give one a go.

The first we went to didn’t do a normal sized cappucino, only a small (again, for some reason!), so we moved on.

We almost didn’t bother, but then find a place called Buro.

The service wasn’t great, but when our drinks were presented to us, they looked phenomenal!

Unfortunely, that was where the amazement stopped.

Curtis’ cappuccino had an odd taste and Kim’s hot chocolate even more so.

We were not impressed, and it was expensive!


Buro | Vancouver, BC

Rating:- 3.5/10


Steam Clock

The main attraction of this area is the steam clock.

One of just 3 in the world, this clock is ran by steam, but also had a special feature;

As seen in the video (ignore the man), the clock strikes and puffs out steam, making it make chime sounds! A prettu awesome invention. More people should have these in their homes.

Pizza!

We came home and watched some TV and then Curtis had hockey to watch.

We ordered pizza after the 2nd intermission, from Domino’s, and Kim went to collect it.

Whilst she was out, Curtis greeted the host of our apartment who was dropping off some spare bed sheets and a towel for our special guest on Wednesday!

We ate our pizza – Curtis’ was tasty but Kim’s wasn’t great – and watched more TV.

Black Mirror

We ended the night with some more black mirror. We still aren’t sure what’s going on, but it’s good.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 72 – Day 4: Vancouver, BC – Downtown Vancouver & Broken Elevator

Exploring Downtown

We got ready in the morning, watched a YouTube video as per usual, had some breakfast and got showered.

After that, we headed out to downtown Vancouver to see what it’s all about.

We got downtown and really just walked. The mountains can even be seen from the city centre, which is really cool!

We looked at a few shops, went into some, but mostly just walked for a couple of hours, figuring out where things are, what shops there are etc.

Kim went into Lush to browse around and then we stopped for a coffee.

Blenz Coffee

We saw a Blenz Coffee, which is a chain we have been meaning to try for a while.

Firstly, when we went in, we saw the price which was much more expensive than other coffee shops.

Secondly, the staff were not very attentive and weren’t really listening during the order.

Kim got a hot chocolate and Curtis a cappucino and we sat and people-watched whilst we drank them.

Unfortunely, the cappucino didn’t really have any flavour and the hot chocolate was ‘just ok’.

Not sure we’ll be eager to visit any time soon.


Blenz Coffee | Vancouver, BC

Rating:- 4/10


Evening

We walked back to the apartment via the supermarket. For dinner, we had chicken strips with smiley face potatoes and a side of ceasar salad…a very odd dinner but a childhood favourite!

We got back, did some laundry and relaxed before we had dinner.

Broken Elevator

Before we got back to the room, though, we had to wait a while as all elevators weren’t working and we didn’t have an extra key to be able to walk up the stairs to our floor!

We had to call the host to come and bring us the key and let us in…all fun times!

We watched some YouTube videos whilst we ate and then for the rest of the evening, we started watching Black Mirror which is odd but interesting.


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 23: Victoria, BC – Last Day In Victoria

Breakfast Additions

Curtis really wanted to have fried eggs with breakfast, so he ordered some as soon as he got downstairs. He then got some sausages and bacon as well as fruit and a cinnamon swirl.

After breakfast, we got showered and then Kim spoke with her dad as it was his birthday.

Good Deed

We went out for a walk and when we went we took the (heated up) sweet & sour pork that we didn’t eat. We took that as well as a for and napkins and found a homeless person to give it to. It was only going to go to waste so had to make sure it found a good home.

The Empress Hotel

We went for a walk around The Empress hotel.

This hotel was built a long time ago and neither of us had ever gone inside it, so it was worth a look.

We went in and saw the reception dog and then walked around the various shops and dining areas.

The Staircase
The Entrance

We left via the conference centre and back onto the street in search of coffee.

An Old Royal Mail Post Box

Victoria Conference Centre

Victoria Conference Centre

More Information About The Empress Hotel


Good Coffee

We had seen a nice looking coffee shop a few times so we decided we had to give it a go.

We each got a cappuccino and they had a lot of foam and good flavoured espresso, too!

The coffees were delicious and we would highly recommend the place.


Milano Coffee | Victoria, BC

Rating:- 9.5/10


TV & Hockey

We got back and warmed up a bit whilst watching some TV.

we ate the rest of the Korean fried chicken whilst watching, too.

Curtis watched hockey at 16:00 and then Kim walked to get Linda.

Kim and Linda came back to our hotel for a bit and then we went for dinner.

Dinner

We only went across the road to a place named Browns Social House.

This place is like a sports bar and a restaurant.

Curtis had chicken pasta and Kim had a pizza. Both were equally as good as each other.


Browns Social House | Victoria, BC

Rating:- 8/10


Packing

We walked Linda back and then came back to the hotel to pack as we leave here tomorrow on a bus and then a ferry!

Chocolate Poutine

We rewarded ourselves for packing with chocolate poutine. We had it with brownie bits, too, as well as a hot chocolate.

Late Evening

We watched more TV and then went to bed. We are up early tomorrow for a morning of travel!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 71 – Day 4: Portland, OR – Riverside Walk, Beer And Spirits Festival & Arcade Bar

Riverside Walk

We had our breakfast with our new found friends and had plans to go to the Saturday morning market.

It just so happened that the market is not on until March, so we couldn’t do that.

We all walked towards the river, stopping for a coffee on the way.

We started walking down beside the river, until we were getting hit by rain and hailstones, so we changed our plan of action and walked towards downtown.

We went into a few quirky shops and looked around a bit before we all decided we were tired and wanted to go back to the hostel.

The people we were with went for a trip quite far away to a waterfall but we relaxed for a bit as we didn’t sleep great last night.

We did go out briefly to grab a slice of pizza, which we got from somewhere called ‘Escape From New York’.


Escape From New York | Portland, OR

Rating:- 8/10


Beer & Spirits Festival

In the evening, we went to a beer and spirits festival.

We got an Uber to a brewery which had tents full of ‘parings’ of a beer and a spirit. We were given 10 tickets for our $25 every fee. This got us different drinks depending on what we chose.

We had a pairing to start, but the beer wasn’t great so we just went around and had a few different spirits. There was a cool band playing and making it a pretty good atmosphere

We left after not too long and being a little tipsy, we got back in an Uber and went back to the hostel.

Dinner

We got back and saw some people from our hostel but then we needed dinner so we walked to a place called August Moon for some Chinese food.

The food wasn’t tremendous and neither was the service, but it did do the job.


August Moon | Portland, OR

Rating:- 3.5/10


Arcade Bar

Later in the evening, after dinner, we went with one other person to an arcade bar called Ground Kontrol.

This place is a bar in which there are a lot of oldschool arcade machines and pinball machines.

We paid $3 entry each and then each machine was between 25c – 75c.

We played for an hour or two but didn’t need any drinks so didn’t buy any of those.

Kim Playing Pinball

Curtis Playing Pinball

The place was pretty cool and unique, a little busy and warm and all the good games are always taken, but it was worth it!


Ground Kontrol | Portland, OR

Rating:- 7.5/10


We got back and it was pretty late so therefore bedtime.

We leave Portland at 19:00 tomorrow.

We’ve had a really great time here and met some great people, so we’re really happy we’ve done this trip.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 19: Victoria, BC – Packing Again

Back To Packing, Again

We were up at 10:00 and we had some breakfast.

When Curtis showered, Kim started to pack. We need to pack one of our bags to take with us on one trip and another bag to leave here during that time.

We spent a couple of hours packing and getting it all sorted.

A Brief Walk

We went for a brief walk so we could get some air.

We went to the supermarket, but before that we went for a drink in Starbucks.

Curtis had a flat white to try it and see if he can get a coffee he likes from Starbucks. Kim had a hot chocolate, as usual.

Surprisingly, the flat white was great! We sat around for a bit and then left Starbucks.

Pizza!

We saw the pizza place when we walked out of Starbucks, so we just HAD to have it!

We had a large slice each, of just a cheese pizza, which hit the spot perfectly.

We left here and went to get orange juice from the supermarket.

We walked back to the apartment and just relaxed in front of the TV with Linda until dinner.

Dinner

We had leftovers for dinner from the roast chicken the other night, which was excellent, just what we needed.

Another Brief Walk

We walked downtown again, planning to get a bit of dessert.

The chocolate shop we went to for dessert wasn’t providing the dessert we wanted, so we left and just walked back. It was nice to have an evening walk.

We watched some more TV and then went to sleep! We only have 1 more full day here.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 18: Victoria, BC – World’s Tallest Free Standing Totum Pole

World’s Tallest Free Standing Totum Pole

We started the day as usual – eating breakfast and drinking coffee.

We were up pretty early for us so we were out of the door at a good time, too.

We walked to Beacon Hill Park, past Ogden Point, to go and see the world’s tallest free standing totum pole.

Possible Seals?

It took us a bit of time to get there and, on the way, we saw something flopping around in the water! It was either a whale or seals, but more likely to be seals.

The Totum Poll

We got to a large flag pole with the Canadian flag flying and then had to walk through some light forest to get to it. Unfortunately, this meant accidentally walking past a creepy man living in the woods, but we got past all fine and arrived at the totum pole.

The 39 metre tall totum pole!

This pole was built in 1956 and restored in 2011 as it was showing its age. It was cool to see, but we weren’t there for long.


World’s Tallest Free Standing Totum Pole | Beacon Hill Park


Beacon Hill Park

We walked around the park for a bit and saw a gathering of people around a tall tree, taking photos. We were unsure what they were taking a photo of, which turned out to be a peacock in the tree.

The Killer Peacock

Curtis is not a big fan of peacocks as he was attacked when he was a child, so of course, as we were walking past the big tree, the peacock flew past us and scared him!

Beacon Drive In

We stopped at the Beacon Drive In and curtis got a coffee whilst Kim got an award winning chocolate swirl ice cream.

Kim looking pleased with her ice cream

Beacon Drive In | Victoria, BC


Authentic Italian

We went out just down the road with Linda as well as 2 people from Linda’s family.

We went to an authentic Italian restaurant, which was authentic indeed and delicious! The waiting staff were also all Italian which added to the feel.

Kim had the lasagne which was tremendous and Curtis had the canelloni which was crab and lobster filled.

Both dishes were great.

For dessert, Curtis had a tiramisu and Kim had profiteroles.

Our food was excellent as well as the atmosphere at Il Covo Trattoria.


Il Covo Trattoria | Victoria, BC


The Evening

We all went back to Linda’s and chatted for a couple of hours and then, when everyone left, we all sat and relaxed for about 30 minutes before going to bed.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale