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 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 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