United Kingdom

Place 92 – May 23 2022 to May 27 2022: United Kingdom – The Last few Days

Day 1

We had a slow start to the day after our travel time last night. Kim went out for a dog walk and then we both went and took the train to Basingstoke, like old times!


We saw Curtis’ cousin and his wife and child for the first time! We had some Nandos, lots of conversations and just a really fun time overall!


We took the train back to Kim’s parent’s place and continued to sort out remaining items to keep/not keep.


We had veggie meatballs for dinner and then after dinner Curtis watched the final Great Britain hockey game.


Day 2

We went out for breakfast and then Kim went out to Thorpe Park (the theme park) with Abbie! Curtis had a chill day and did very little.

When she got back, Kim walked the dog again and then Curtis met his friends Ben & Josh for dinner! They went to a Nepalese place in the town, which Curtis didn’t know even existed.


Day 3


This day was another relaxed one, with a baguette being purchased and eaten from the same place as before, of course.

We visited Curtis’ family and when the kids got home from school, we went to the shop with Curtis’ sister, Evie, to buy a few supplies and just hang out a bit.


We went to visit Kim’s family friend Debbie at her house and there were quite a few people there to say hi to us! Kim got to see a lot of people she hadn’t gotten to see yet, which was lovely, and we had some drinks and snacks too.


Day 4


This day was spent packing and getting everyting sorted out, as well as a few remaining items left to sort from when we lived there.


We took the dog out for one final walk and then had a really lovely final dinner with the family at Wagamama, our favourite Japanese food chain in the UK. This was great as a lot of our family were there so we had a great little last time!

We had a drink or two at a pub down the road after and then headed back home to sleep before having to fly the next day.


Day 5


We got a lift to the airport and said our goodbyes, with a few tears from Kim.


We had breakfast at a bakery in the airport which was surprisingly nice and then we went to get a coffee and relax.


We decided to book extra legroom seats for the way home and that was much better! This flight was super easy and we were able to be more comfortable and get a bit of sleep on the 9 hour flight, too.

When we got home, the airport took FOREVER but we finally got through it and onto the train home.

We arrived back home and did very little. It was great to be back at home but we did miss everyone back in the UK!


United Kingdom

Place 92 – May 3 2022 to May 9 2022: United Kingdom 🇬🇧 – A Visit Home (Part 1)

Day 1 – Andover, UK

We came back to visit family in the UK!

It’s been 5 years or so since we’ve been in the UK so we thought it was time to visit the family and friends in our home land.

We arrived around 11:00, got picked up from the airport by Kim’s dad and then we went back to Kim’s parents’ place to stay.

We showered and went right out to get our first food item that we’ve been wanting to get for a while…A baguette!

There’s a baguette shop in our hometown (Andover) that sells terrific baguettes, so we walked down to get that and have some lunch.

We relaxed for a bit but stopping ourselves from sleeping after the long travel.

We went to see Curtis’ mum and then we both went with her to meet Curtis’ siblings from school and surprise them! They were surprised, as expected, and they both cried!

After picking up the kids from school, we stayed at Curtis’ family’s house for a bit and hung out with them until we got picked up by Kim’s sister, Abbie, and driven back to Kim’s parents’ for some Chinese food!

That was the end of the first day, which was mostly just getting acquainted with the timezone again and eating food.

Day 2 – Andover, UK

We finally got to take the dog out for a walk with Kim’s family. It was nice to see the doggo again too and be able to take a walk around places we used to walk around a lot.

We needed to go to the bank to get some boring admin stuff sorted but it was good to get that done. We had to visit 2 banks in total but we did it all in a day!

There was a bunch of stuff that we had left in the UK that we really needed to sort out. There was a large pile at each of our parents’ houses so we each had a bunch of stuff to sort. We spent a lot of this day sorting Kim’s items and deciding what to keep (which wasn’t much!).

We had some leftover Chinese for dinner and watched a movie.

Day 3 – Andover, UK

It was time for another dog walk! We took the dog out for another nice long walk and had some decent weather too.

We then went out for brunch with Curtis’ parents at a ‘new’ garden centre, which was really tasty and nice to hang out with them.

Before heading out, we stopped in at our first UK shop on our trip so we had a great time walking around there finding all the great snacks and seeing how cheap everything is!

We had to get ourselves a UK SIM card for whilst we’re visiting which we can also use in other countries, so we went into the town to buy one of those.

Curtis then went back to his family home and cleared out his items that he left 5 years ago and mostly just got rid of everything!

In the evening, there was a really lovely family BBQ at Curtis’ family’s house with a lot of his family as well as Kim’s family so it was a really great gathering with great weather.

Day 4 – Andover, UK

We went out for breakfast with Kim’s family down at a local pub and then went out to Basingstoke for some shopping and wandering around! We used to love going there for shopping and a few other things so it was good to see what was there and Kim was able to take a look at a few shoe shops, too, to see if she could find something she needed.

Once the evening came, we met with a bunch of friends and had some drinks and pizza! We hadn’t seen most of them for many, many years so it was a lot of catching up, chatting and having a really good time!

We found it easier to stay in Basingstoke, so we booked in to a Premier Inn, which is one of our favourite chain hotel brands in the UK so we wanted to stay there too!

Day 5 – Andover, UK

We had breakfast out at the pub again on this morning and then we went over to visit Kim’s sister at her house and see the house for the first time which was amazing to see!

We then had a really nice picnic in the garden as it was Kim’s mum’s birthday! This one was of our more relaxed days which was really nice to have.

Day 6 – Andover, UK

This was a day of meeting with our friends!

Kim met with 2 friends separately, Ashleigh & Eloise, and she had a bunch of really great conversations with them!

Whilst Kim did that, Curtis met with Shane, who was his best man at his wedding. He had lunch with him, and some drinks which was great to catch up. There was a lot to talk about.

We went out to Curtis’ auntie’s house to see her and her family and it was very, very nice to see them.

Dinner was at Curtis’ family’s house which was really nice to get some time with them and Curtis got some home cooking from mum!

Day 7 – London, UK

We took the train to London in the morning which was exciting! We love taking the train and it was super easy from where we used to live.

We did some walking around/shopping, as you do in London, before we went to meet Kim’s cousin, Bethany, in Camden!

Kim used to love going to Camden so we went there to go to the food market with her cousin, who is super lovely and we had a great time chatting and wandering around with her.

Once we finished up with Bethany, we took a train to a place we’d never been to before called Kingston. We met with a friend who lives there and had some dinner with her as well as a nice walk along the river.

We had to take a couple of trains to get back to Andover but we were close to the final train so we had to get a move on and do that! It took a while but we were able to get back home for some sleep after a really busy but amazing day!


We were away for a long time, so this is just part one, but it’s been a while since there were any blogs, but enjoy!


Las Vegas,NV

Place 77 – Day 13: Las Vegas, NV – Famous Pawn Shop

Breakfast

We went for breakfast downstairs at the hotel as it was meant to be pretty good.

We all thought it was ‘fine’ but nothing to rave about.

We flew out today, but didn’t have to be at the airport for a while, so we decided to go for a walk.

Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop

We watched the TV show Pawn Stars last night and noticed that that is based in Vegas!

It was only 18 mins away by foot for us, so we took a walk out there.

We got there and had a look around…there were some very expensive things in there, so no chance we were buying anything, but it was fun and something to do.

To The Airport

We got an Uber to the airport and Tom came with us, even though his flight to the UK wasn’t for another 9 hours!

We got through security, which took a while, and then pretty much did nothing! We just sat in the airport and waited.

Back To Vancouver

We got on our flight just after saying goodbye to Tom, and flew back home to Vancouver!

The flight was uneventful, and so was the train home.

We got back and unpacked everything. Kim went off to training and Curtis went to the shop to get a few things for lunch.

We are back to work tomorrow after an amazing week trip!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Portland,OR

Place 71 – Day 7: Portland, OR – Patisserie Breakfast

Patisserie Breakfast

We woke up and were pretty hungry, so we got ready, packed up and checked out of the hotel.

We walked to Pioneer Square, which is a main part of the city and found a patisserie.

We got a pain au chocolat each and then went across to a place called Public Domain for coffee, where Curtis got a (very small) cappucino.

We sat in Pioneer Square and ate our breakfast, which was also the perfect location to catch our train to the airport.

Airport

We got the train to the airport, which was hassle free, and then we arrived at the airport.

We got through security, which did take a bit of time, but then we wet quite a bit of time to kill.

We went for a walk around and decided we should probably find some food.

We were told about an app where we can get food delivered to us from other areas of the airport, so we gave that a go, but we had to use a phone number, so we couldn’t do that.

Instead, we went to a Vietnamese place where Curtis got a beef pho and Kim got a rice box with chicken and vegetables.

We sat and ate this whilst waiting to board the plane.

We eventually boarded and away we went! Left Portland just as quick as we arrived, but it was an really nice break.

New Call of Duty

We got back home and Kim went right to training! She was excited to be back.

Curtis played the new Call of Duty, which has just come out, and he has been very excited!

One Kim was back home, we had some scrambled eggs, which was a great decision.

One more day of work and then its already the weekend…odd to be going back into work on a Friday, but it’s just the one day!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 170: Vancouver, BC – Short Trip Away!

Curtis’ Day

Curtis did a bit of work as soon as he woke up.

He had to check the migrations he started overnight and, unsurprisingly, some of it had not worked.

Curtis got to work and had to figure out what the problem was and how to prevent it happening again. Curtis spent all day answering questions post migration as well as trying to get the migration for one team’s folder in particular to work, but it did not.

As he couldn’t get it to work, he investigated the issue and figured out the problem, which should be mitigated by completing the transfer on Friday instead.

A second set of migrations had to take place today as well, but they went very smoothly, which was excellent!

Curtis had to help with desk moves at his office and then headed out at 16:30 to walk up and meet Kim.

Kim’s Day

When Kim got in she started on her reconciliations straight away. This was only for 30 minutes as she and a colleague agreed to run to the liquor store to place a larger order to deliver for Friday for the function on Monday.

After this they caught up on some time to go over a few things like a stationary order and what to change the catering from and to.

They also went over a stationary order where Kim order stuff for all of the upcoming events, pencils and water colours for Diwali, a flip chart for the meeting next week and some other office items.

As one of Kim’s teammates is due to go on maternity leave soon the team arranged a group manicure or pedicure followed by lunch.

It was so nice to relax and talk about everything not work related. It was extra funny because in the nail place they had Jack Whitehalls TV show where he holidays with his dad on and everyone found it hilarious!

After lunch Kim got straight back into reconciliations to try and sort all of that out, but once she finished one card that required a few phone calls, she realised she had to sort a few other things out before she left.

Kim then ordered all the upcoming food for this week including the weekly Thursday pizzas and the monthly social talks pizzas.

She then wrote up a few emails and sent them off before she leaves for 2 days! She met Curtis downstairs to start their holidays!

Flying To Portland!

We met at Kim’s work and then walked to the train station.

Kim was able to get a seat, which was a win on such a busy train!

The train took 45 minutes to get us to the airport, but that gave us perfect time to chat about our day.

We got to the airport and found the correct check-in area, but luckily we had already checked in, so we just went right to security.

The terminal was absolutely empty, so security was fast, but then we got to US immigration, which was also fast, luckily!

There weren’t many people in the departures either, so we just wandered around.

There wasn’t much to see or do, so we just sat at the game and chilled, waiting for the flight.

We got 2 trams to get from the airport to our hotel, which is in downtown Portland.

We got checked in and went and got some quick food as we were quite hungry and then we went back to the hotel to chill!

We’re in Portland for a concert, which is tomorrow, so we have most of the day to do stuff tomorrow and then a bit of time on Thursday morning before we fly back home.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Vancouver, BC

Place 72 – Day 132: Vancouver, BC – Whiskey Flights & Fancy French Meal!

Shopping & Coffee

As with every weekend, we did some shopping and grabbed a coffee before anything else!

We had breakfast, got ready and then went out to get something from London Drugs. Then, after that, we went to Homesense to find some perfect whiskey glasses to have for home, which we did! We had to queue for a while but eventually got them purchased and then went to Starbucks to get a coffee.

We had our coffee in Starbucks for a bit, but then went back home so others could sit down. The weather was bad, so coffee shops were busy!

We got back home and Kim took her shoes to the cobbler to get the. Heals re done. Whilst out, she saw a few dogs, one of which was a collie mixed with a German shepherd which was very cute! She then had a hug with a kitten before going back to pickup her shoes.

Whiskey Flights!

Once Kim got back, we started getting ready to go out.

We took the train down to the city and walked for 10 minutes up to a pub which has a whiskey bar out back!

We got in and got our flights of whiskey. Kim went for the Scottish, where as Curtis went for the recommended one from the barman which was the cherry aged whiskeys.

Along with our whiskey, we had a meat and cheese board, which was phenominal!


Shebeen Bar | Vancouver, BC

Our Rating:- 10/10


We had some great chats with the bar staff but then had to leave so we could make it to our dinner reservation, but we had a Jameson Mule before we left!

Fancy French Meal

Kim booked in a French meal, which we were very excited for! We each got a glass of wine and then some free bread, just before our mains arrived!


Jules Bistro | Vancouver, BC

Our Rating:- 9/10


Kim got a tenderloin steak with scallion potatoes as well and ratatouille, and Curtis had a terrific rack of lamb which came with potatoes and corn.

For dessert, Kim had a chocolate & caramel pudding and Curtis had a cappucino, which was the best he has had in a while!

We finished our food, paid up and walked back home.

Once we got back home, a little tipsy, we got some admin done and then watched the latest Suits episode before going to sleep.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

New Orleans,LA

Place 84 – Day 1: New Orleans,LA 🇺🇸 – Voodoo Museum, Bourbon St, Louis Armstrong Park & Po-Boys

Flight

We had a flight at 07:35, so it was an early start.

We got to the airport around 05:30, checked our bags and headed right to the gate.

We got a little bored so we walked around and Curtis got a coffee.

Soon enough, we boarded the plane (which was to New Orleans, Kansas & Chicago!) And managed to get seats together.

The flight was just 1 hour 36 minutes and then we were in New Orleans!

Breakfast

The weather was terrible for our arrival! We got dropped at our Airbnb but couldn’t check in yet. We left our bags and walked to a bakery for breakfast.

We found Laurel Street Bakery which is fairly close to us. We were very hungry, so ordered a lot of food. We were tired too, so got a big coffee each.


Laurel Street Bakery | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 8/10


Curtis had scrambled eggs, toast and bacon with fruit whilst Kim also had fruit but with french toast and bacon.

The food was pretty good and the coffee was perfect!

Bus Ticket Adventure

We decided we would get a bus ticket for 5 days, so we had to first pay for a single bus ticket ($1.25 each) and get about 10 minutes down the street to a ticket machine. Unfortunately, as we stepped off the bus, the rain came down and we got drenched!

It then turned out we needed exact cash for the machine and our card didn’t work in the machine, so we went to McDonald’s to get change. They said they wouldn’t be able to change it, so we had to go to the gas station next door who gladly changed it for us.

We got our tickets and were able to travel, but by this point we were drenched, it was still raining and we were very tired. Luckily, our room was ready so we went back to the Airbnb to shower and change out of our wet clothes.

Once this was done, Curtis fell asleep for a couple of hours and Kim did some admin. By the time Curtis awoke, it had stopped raining and the weather had cleared up.

Very Kind Host

We went out to the bus stop just by our house and as we were waiting, our Airbnb host arrived back home and offered us a lift down to the French Quarter, which was very nice of her to do!

We had a plan to go to the voodoo museum, so we walked that way, accidentally coming into contact with the famous Bourbon Street, which was fun.

Voodoo Museum

The voodoo museum was just $5 each and pretty small, but it had tid bits of information around the place, real artifacts from the history of voodoo and a lot of interesting things. We spent much longer than anticipated in there, considering it was just 2 rooms.


Voodoo Museum | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 7/10


Louis Armstrong Park

We briefly visited the Louis Armstrong park, which seemed to just be full of abandoned buildings. That being said, the buildings were cool and the main one an old auditorium.

We walked all around the park and saw some cool buildings and even cooler bridges.

Po-Boys

We got hungry so it was food time.

Our host had told us about Po-Boys which are a traditional Louisiana sandwich, so we found the place she recommended which was called Mahony’s.

Curtis had the traditional fried shrimp sandwich and Kim had an angus beef sandwich.

They were pretty good, but the beef was much better than the shrimp.

We got a cocktail each too with Curtis getting an old fashioned and Kim having a coconut mojito.


Mahony’s | New Orleans,LA

Rating:- 8/10


Bourbon Street

We went for a drink on Bourbon street, after finding the cheapest place we could.

We also wandered around to see what was there and also watched a group of children playing the drums. The atmosphere was pretty good but we were also very tired.

Canal

We walked down to the canal for a quick look and saw that they have a steamboat that goes from there, which was awesome to watch!

*Ugh*, Public Transport

We were almost asleep by this point, so went to take the tram and then bus home.

We waited for the tram for a while and nothing showed…we ended up waiting way too long but finally got on the tram in the right direction.

We then waited 10 minutes for a bus to take us home and once got back we were pretty done.

We watched a bit of TV, did some more admin and went to bed.

Long, long day.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Orlando,FL

Place 81 – Orlando,FL 🇺🇸 – 6 Hour Airport Wait & Reunited

Early Start

We were up at 05:00 but luckily everything was packed and ready to go already, so we didn’t have to worry about that.

We got to the airport with more then enough time and we checked our bags and got to security.

Security took a bit of time but no longer than 15 minutes. We did have to take food out of our bags, though.

Once we got through, Curtis got a coffee and we waited to board the plane.

Austin > Orlando

We boarded the plane and were in the B section this time, so we were hoping we would get to sit together.

Luckily, we did get to sit together, which was a bonus.

The flight was just 2.5 hours, but neither of us felt too great.

We landed and got our bags before finding some seats to chill on.

6 Hour Wait

We waited for 6 hours for Kim’s family to arrive!

We got coffee, Kim napped a bit and we scrolled the internet aimlessly.

Reunion

Kim finally got to reunite with her family and see her sister Abbie for the first time in over 2 years!

We all got to the car rental area and got the car and then off we went.

Florida Home

We have rented an Airbnb for all of us and it is about 1 hour from the airport in the area near Cocoa Beach.

We arrived and were quite tired, but had to go and do a shop. Before we did that, Curtis had a phone interview for a possible job, which only took 10 minutes.

We went for a shop and got enough food for a week or so and then headed back for some dinner.

Dinner

Kim made pulled pork sliders and we had some mac and cheese to go with it, too.

We all finished dinner, cleared up and that was time for bed.

Kim’s family had been up for a while and it was technically 02:00 for them and we had been up since 05:00 with little sleep before that, so bed time it was.

We’ve come to Florida to chill, so we’ll try and do that.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Austin,TX

Place 79 – Day 1: Austin,TX 🇺🇸 – Stupid Heat & Downtown Austin

The Flight

You may remember, if you read yesterday’s blog, that we were flying from Vegas to Austin.

Well, that flight was odd.

Firstly, it was not assigned seating, but everyone was in boarding sections and were boarded that way.

We were in the last section, so we had to wait until the end, which meant we were left with middle seats.

The takeoff and start of the flight was incredibly bumpy but after that was ok. We got free drinks and snacks, which was good, but the flight way just around 2 hours.

Austin!

We landed, got through and got our bags and got an Uber to our Airbnb.

We are in a very comfy room in a house. So much so we came in and went right to sleep.

Car Pickup

We picked the car up this morning, so had to be up at a relatively good time.

We got down to the airport via an Uber and went to pickup the car.

It turns out, we weren’t meant to get it until tomorrow! Luckily, a car was available and we paid the extra to get it today, so that was a win.

We were able to go to the lot and just pick our car and we chose a Ford Focus because why not.

We left the lot and headed to the supermarket to get some things.

Downtown Austin

We headed to downtown Austin and found some free parking just across the river where there was also a really nice park.

We walked around the park and then took the 30 minute walk across to the city. There was a great skyline, though! It reminded us of Brisbane.

Once we got into the centre, we just walked around in the unbearable 35°C heat.

We got to the State Capitol, which is actually taller than the US Capitol and a very cool building.

We left here and noticed our parking was almost up and it was too far to walk, so we got scooters and scooted to the car.

We got caught in traffic on the way back home, but got home at a good time.

We cooled off and then went to a shopping mall for Kim to find some clothes she was looking for.

Shopping & Panda Express

We went shopping and Kim got exactly what she needed which was great.

We then headed to Panda Express to eat. We got orange chicken as always with chow mein and Beijing beef which was terrific.

Chill

We got home and chilled. Tomorrow is more of a fun packed day, we hope, and have a few plans. It’s warm again tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Las Vegas,NV

Place 77 – Day 9: Las Vegas,NV – Shazam! & Off To Texas!

Checkout

We had to checkout for 11:00 but accidentally missed out alarm and woke up at 10:00.

We got up, showered and had breakfast whilst also packing.

We were out of the room in time and relaxed for a bit whilst we ate breakfast.

We then took all of our things outside and waited for our Uber.

Shazam!

We got an Uber out to Mandalay Bay and check our bags in there.

We took off from here and walked across to Town Square, which is a shopping centre.

We got tickets to see Shazam! In IMAX for a really good price.

The film was really, really good! We weren’t sure what to expect but it was quite funny and a little different to most superhero films.


Shazam!

Rating:- 9/10


Shopping

We did a bit of shopping and Kim was able to get some shorts to replace her current ones.

We then got an Uber back to Mandalay Bay to get our bags and head to the airport.

Flying to Austin!

We are off to Austin!

We got to the airport, did all the usual things and then once through security, it was imperative we got food.

We went to Popeyes to give it another go and were pleasantly surprised!

Kim had chicken tenders with fries and Curtis had 3 chicken pieces with mac & cheese.

It was way better than it was previously.

We are now waiting to board the flight and will arrive late tonight, so if anything of interest happens on the flight or after, you’ll see about it here tomorrow!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale