Place 73 – Day 4: Seattle,WA – UPS Waterfall, Waterfront & Starbucks Reserve Roastery

Walking To The City

We were going to take a bus to the city, but we only had a $100 note, so we decided to walk instead. It wasn’t very warm today, but it also wasn’t cold or raining so we didn’t mind the 40 minute walk.

International Centre

We walked through the international centre, which is Chinatown, Japantown & the Vietnamese area. This was great and there also seemed to be a lot of great looking restaurants!

UPS waterfall

Our first stop was brief, but was fairly interesting.

This was a waterfall which was used to commemorate and celebrate the UPS staff and founder.

This is a Japanese style garden and is also the original office of the UPS.

Pioneer Square

Right by the waterfall was Poineer Square which we accidentally stumbled across.

This area has games, like table tennis, and also a memorial to all firefighters from Seattle that have lost their lives.

Ye Olde Curiosity shop

We went from here towards the waterfront and then stopped at Ye Olde Curiosity shop. This is a shop which has been around since 1899 but has moved several times.

This is a gift shop, but also has a lot of interesting, rare, items in, such as (apparently) real preserved dead bodies and more like that.

Kim Tried On Some Really…Interesting…Glasses

Walked along waterfront

We walked along the waterfront some more, just to see what was there. There was a lot of seafood restaurants but it was an interesting walk.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery

We walked from the waterfront up to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery.

This is where coffee beans are roasted, as well as a self guided tour, coffee only available at this location is served as well aa mixologists and staff that know a lot about coffee!

We started by being given a map and going to the first area where they roast coffee. Just 9 feet away, we watched the coffee get roasted and then it all poared out and smelled incredible!

We were given some freshly roasted beans to smell and taste!

These smelled incredible, but didn’t taste to good like this!

We got a flight ofcoffee to try, which was 8oz of 3 different coffees.

We had one from Kenya, one Columbian coffee and one which is only roasted at this location from Guatemala.

Kim isn’t a big coffee drinker, so Curtis drank most of it!

The Kenyan coffee had a great flavour but was fairly bitter. The Columbian was the easiest to drink and the Guatemalan coffee had a crazy flavour of black cherry and plum, which it really did, and was a little overpowering.

Curtis didn’t feel great after drinking so much rich coffee at once, but it was an awesome experience!


Starbucks Reserve Roastery | Seattle,WA


Steak

We got back to the apartment and Curtis watched hockey.

After hockey, we went to the supermarket to get a few things we needed as well as dinner for the next few days.

We got back and had steak ready to cook, which we purchased a couple of days ago.

This was a new york strip steak and it was large and incredible.

Curtis seasoned the steak very well and Kim cooked it perfectly, with the help of meat thermometers. The meat was incredibly tender and the accompaniment of the expertly cooked potatoes and delicious onion and mushroom gravy made it a heavenly meal!

Host Chat

We sat and had a chat with our host for a while as he came in whilst we were cooking.

Once we were done with the chatting, we washed up and then went to bed to watch a bit of TV.

Tomorrow…

Kim has a surprise for Curtis tomorrow, so he doesn’t know what’s going to be happening!


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 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 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

Place 66 – Day 1: Napier 🇳🇿 – Lack Of Sleep & Cold Sea

We got onto the boat and got right into bed in our cabin, planning to get to sleep as quick as possible.

Some of us slept well but Curtis only got about 30 minutes!

We were woken at 05:30 and had to grt up and ready to leave the ferry.

We got into the car and down the ramp into Wellington fairly quickly. Curtis wanted to take everyone to a cafe he went to in Wellington whilst there for work as they had humongous coffees and excellent food.

We arrived at the cafe and it looked a bit different, so it was already odd! We got XXL coffees, which are rightfully huge, and then looked at the menu, which was again different.

The XXL coffee (with a pepper shaker for size comparison)

We got some fairly adequate food from here and ate it, but it was no where near as good as Curtis remembered and had clearly been taken over by new owners.

We left here and got on the road towards Napier, where we are spending one night.

Once we eventually got to the AirBnB, noone was home and we couldn’t get hold of them, so we had to go out.

We went down to the beach where Kim had a swim in the very cold see and we took in the incredibly hot 35° sun.

We went back to the house and our host was in, so we met him and got aquainted with the house.

Curtis fell asleep for an hour or so, and so did Tom.

Kim and Tom went to the shop to get a little bit of food for dinner and then we sat out on the balcony looking at the tremendous views.

We plan to sleep early as noone really slept too much last night.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 65 – Day 1: Nelson 🇳🇿 – Antiques, Friend Meetup & Large Beach Stroll

We were up around 08:00 and got ready to leave Christchurch.

Once we left, in the incredible heat again, we drove on towards Murchison.

We had visited Murchison on our previous road trip so we knew how awesome it was and that we had to visit again!

The drive there was beautiful. Very hilly & scenic. This drive took around 3.5 hours.

We arrived in murchison and were a little confused at the amount of people as when we were previously there, it was almost empty!

The temperature was over 30°C, so it was certainly very hot. We were all rather peckish, so we found a place to eat. We all had a large coffee and a bite to eat. Kim had pancakes and Curtis had an eggs benedict.

We walked to the Antiques store which was just around the corner. There was an old car, type writers, old cash machines and lot of other items, all for sale!

We left the antique store and got back into the car.

We drove down to the campsite we stayed at last time to show Kim’s parents as it was a really nice area. We then drove onward to Nelson.

The drive to Nelson only took us a short amount of time. In Nelson, we visited Kim’s friend Matt. We met at his house, where we met Hannah, his partner.

We sat and chatted with them at their house for a little and then Tom and Matt did some mountain biking whilst we went with Maggie down to a beach.

The beach was very, very long and beautiful! The sand was perfect and the water was the perfect temperature.

We strolled along the beach, in the water, for a while and then went to get an ice cream. we got the standard ‘Mr Whippy’ ice creams, which didn’t last too long!

We walked back on the beach again, for a long while, eventually reaching the dog beach and petting all the dogs.

We left the beach eventually and walked over to a pub where we booked earlier in the day and sat down for some food.

We had to wait a while for Tom, Matt & Hannah to arrive, but once they did we were all very hungry and couldn’t wait for our meals.

We ordered but the food took over an hour to arrive! We shared a meat platter which was just OK.

We left here around 22:15 and said goodbye to Matt and Hannah. They were lovely and we’d love to keep in touch!

We then drove all the way to Picton, where we are catching a ferry at 02:15. We stopped én route to Picton and looked at the stars which were stunning.

We got to the ferry port and we will be boarding the ferry. Once we get onto the ferry, we will have a cabin to sleep in for 4 hours or so, and then we will be up around 06:30 to head off the ferry.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 376: Auckland – 2 Hour Massage, Ferry Trip & Afternoon Tea!

Kim had a massage booked for herself and her mum this morning, meaning Curtis and Kim’s dad (Tom) had nothing to do.

To combat having nothing to do, Curtis and Tom took a walk to a ferry port, about 35 minute walk away. The sun was beating down but there was a bit of wind so the walk was actually quite nice.

Once they got to the port, they had to wait for 30 minutes or so for the boat, so they sat and watched the world go by. They were right next to the harbour bridge so had a great view!

City_of_auckland_bridge_skytower_water

Once on the ferry, it only took about 10 minutes before arriving in the city.

Curtis took Tom the wrong way to the city, so they had a 30 minute diversion but it was nice! There was a hill to walk up followed by a park called Albert Park right by the university which had a gargantuan tree!

Big_tree_albert_park

They eventually got to the city centre and went to McDonald’s for a coffee whilst waiting for Kim & her mum.

Kim and Maggie had a terrific time with their massage! It was 2 hours of vigorous massage, but it helped them both greatly!

Feet_slippers_thai_massage

Massage_table

We met up again in the city and went for afternoon tea at a 5 star hotel!

We had an assortment of savory items, some scones and some sweet treats. There were sandwiches, curry pasties, macaroons, mini pavlova and more! We also had unlimited tea and coffee. This was very tasty and actually filled us up! Curtis gives it a 4.5/10 as nothing really blew him away. Kim gives it an 8/10.

Afternoon_tea

After we finished this, we waddled back to the car and drove home to relax for a bit, which didn’t happen!

Someone wanted to buy our bed, so we had to take that downstairs. Once we took it downstairs, we packed everything up and got it ready, both for our roadtrip and for leaving Auckland!

We got the room completely empty and tidy so that it could be shown to potential new tenants when we aren’t here.

We went out again in the evening to see Danielle and Josh and introduce them to Kim’s parents.

We went out to a BBQ place and the food was pretty good. Curtis had a 200G sirloin steak with bernaise sauce, chips & coleslaw. Meanwhile, Kim had a burger which had no bun but had fried mac & cheese as a replacement! Curtis gives his food a 6.7/10 and Kim gives hers a 8/10.

It was great to catch up with Josh and Danielle after such a long time and to introduce them to Kim’s parents.

Once we got home, we watched some YouTube videos and had dessert and then went to bed as we all need to be up early tomorrow.

We haven’t got a bed, so we are setup on the sofa/floor for tonight!

We are all flying together tomorrow! Should be fun but also tiring.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale