Place 74 – Day 2: San Francisco,CA – Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

Former Work Friends

We were up at a good time to meet up with a former work colleague of Kim’s. He lives here in San Francisco and we arranged to have some lunch with him.

He picked us up in his car and said he wanted to show us some places before we had lunch.

Golden Gate Park

We drove through Golden Gate park whilst we chatted about our travels and some other things.

We drove through the park, which is incredibly huge and even houses Bison and sometimes does concerts.

Waterfront & Lunch

We got to the waterfront and found somewhere to park before strolling around a little bit.

We stopped for lunch at a diner called Louis’ which has been open since 1937 and still only takes cash, which is quite cool.

Kim had a turkey BLT and Curtis had eggs benedict with ham.


Louis’ Restaurant | San Francisco, CA

Rating:- 8/10


We finished up our lunch and hopped back into the car.

Golden Gate Bridge

We drove to the golden gate bridge to get photos of it as well as photos of Alcatraz. The weather was amazing and apparently it is rare to see everything so clearly.

Downtown Tour

We were driven to downtown and shown around various places. There were some St. Patrick’s day festivities going on so it was quite busy, but we were shown a few different places which was great!

We said goodbye to our friend and were very thankful for him showing us around.

We stayed downtown and went to buy a card to use on the bus. We got a 7 day pass each and we can use this as much as we want on both that and on the ferries and metro, which is perfect! That was just $40 each.

Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39

We had a stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, which were absolutely rammed, but somewhere to walk around.

Part Of Pier 39

There were a lot of random shops and restaurants as well as, randomly, some sea lions!

Sea Lions!

Bay Bridge

We sat and watched the sea lions for a bit. We thought they were fighting but then it was apparent they were doing something else, so we abruptly left them to it.

We walked around the fisherman’s wharf some more and that area, just wandering around and seeing what’s about.

We eventually figured out which bus we needed to take and walked up to the required bus stop, with almost perfect timing!

We got on the bus and sat on it for 45 minutes before getting off the bus a couple of blocks from where we are staying.

KFC

We decided KFC was easy for dinner, so we walked for 15 minutes to get it.

We got way too much food, as the sides are so big here, but it was pretty good. We got some chicken, sweetcorn, coleslaw & some ‘biscuits’. We also got a huge chocolate cake for free with our food, for some reason!

We sat and watched TV whilst in a food coma.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 72 – Day 7: Vancouver, BC – First NHL Game!

Haircut

We left pretty early in the morning and walked for about 25 minutes to the hairdresser which Kim was getting her haircut at.

Kim had her hair cut, which took about 45 minutes.

Curtis had a free coffee whilst he waited, too!

Home Time

We walked back home to the apartment and chilled out whilst we waited for our friend to arrive!

A Bar

Our friend arrived and we walked for 20 minutes down to a bar to get some food and drinks.

The bar had free wings, providing you purchase a beer.

We had sweet and spicy wings as well as Guinness BBQ wings.

We sat there until 17:00 and then walked to the ice rink.

Leafs Game!

We got to the area and walked in. When we got in, we just walked around and checked out what they had.

We got to our seats and watched the warm up and then waited for the game to start.

We watched the light show, which was pretty good!

The Leafs went up by 2, after the 2nd period, but lost in overtime. The game was great fun! We had an amazing time and loved the atmosphere. There was about 70/30 Leafs fans, considering we were in Vancouver.

Post Game

We went for a drink at a bar about 15 minutes walk from the area, and it was snowing!

We got a drink here and then we met some of Brodie’s friends and they had a drink.

We walked back to the apartment via the supermarket and got some garlic bread.

We got back and chatted whilst we ate potato smilies, chicken and garlic bread, then it was time to sleep.


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 71 – Day 3: Portland, OR – Chinatown, Downtown & Food Trucks

Admin Morning

We were up early and were ready to go!

We went down for our breakfast and were reunited with some of our crew from yesterday.

We then went upstairs, got showered and planned to start the day.

We did a bit of admin and before we knew it, it was 14:00!

We decided we should go out for a bit, so we walked down to Chinatown for something to eat.

Very Stylish Looking Buildings Near Our Hostel

Chinatown

We had thought that Chinatown would be awesome, as it is in most places, but it was very disappointing.

There was very little to eat and it was very run down.

A Bit Of Wall Art In Chinatown

Downtown

We left Chinatown and went to the downtown area, which was very built up and actually looked really nice.

We walked around a bit and around some malls, but before that we stopped at a Vietnamese street food place called ‘cuòn‘.

This place had really good (but not perfect) Banh Mi & incredible Vietnamese iced coffee.


Cuòn | Portland, OR

Rating:- 8.5/10


Beer Tasting & Uno

We got back and chilled out for a bit before we did the free hostel beer tasting.

The hostel has beer on tap and we were able to get 6 to try and then a pint for $2 discount after, so we got the group from yesterday all back together and had some drinks.

2 girls, one from France and another from Denmark were playing Uno next to us and so we all joined in and had a few games of Uno, which was great fun!

Food Trucks

We planned to got to a comedy show at 22:30, so we all headed to town to get food first.

We were informed of some food trucks, so we went to find those and see what there was.

There was a lot of greek/turkish, so we decided on kebabs!

Kim had a chicken kebab and Curtis had a pork one. They were just what we needed. We all stood around and ate our food before going towards the comedy show.

The Gang!

The Comedy Show

We got to the venue and were unable to get a seat at the comedy show, so we sat up in the bar area instead.

We had a drink and chatted between us, as well as speaking with some other people in the bar.

It got pretty late so everyone headed out, but we had another awesome day!

We have fun planned for tomorrow so should be an interesting one.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 71 – Day 2: Portland, OR – Nob Hill & Brewery Tour

Free Breakfast

We didn’t pay for free breakfast, but we got it! There was only cinnamon & raisin bagels left, but that was perfect for us! We smothered them in butter and Kim had an orange juice whilst Curtis had some of the ‘Portland hostel blend’ coffee.

We got ready and then went out to have a walk around. We walked to Nob hill which is a ‘hipster’area of Portland. This is the top place to visit on tripadvisor so we thought we should take a look.

There were a lot of quaint shops here and it felt like a really nice, chill, neighbourhood.

We were walked back down the road and saw a ramen place and instantly wanted you have a ramen.

We shared a ramen as we knew it would be too big, but we got the most traditional which was pork broth, pork belly, noodles and an egg.

We ate our pretty good ramen and followed it up with some joto nigori sake, which we thought had a flavour between whisky and white wine.


Boxer Ramen | Portland, OR

Rating:- 7.5/10


Washington Park

We left and walked to Washington Park, which includes a few gardens. As it is cold, there were no roses blooming and all the gardens were pretty dull, unfortunately, but the park was nice to walk though. There was also a holocaust memorial there.

Mochi Ice Cream

We went to the supermarket and had a look around. Kim then found some mochi ice cream to buy.

Kim ate these once we got back to the hostel and she wasn’t too enthralled.

Brewery Tour

We saw a sign at the hostel for a free brewery tour, up the road at Kells.

We met our group at the reception of our hostel and we all then walked to the pub.

Once we got to Kells, we were met by the head brewer who was very passionate.

We started by tasting their lager which, for a lager, was tasty!

We moved onto their stout which Curtis though was better than Guinness.

We walked around the brewery whist the head brewer told us about the process. We even ate malt directly from the bag!

We got to look inside the vats and ask as many questions as we wanted.

We tasted some lager from the tap and then we all sat around with the brewer and had a pint whilst chatting about everything and anything.

All Packaged In House And Distributed

A Lot Of Spirits

Kells Brewery | Portland, OR

TourRating:- 10/10


Dinner

We were suggested a placed called North 45 for dinner, so our whole group went for some food.

There was us, another person from the UK, 2 Americans, 1 Brazilian, 1 Australian & A Japanese man.

Kim ate steak and Curtis had a burger.

The food was pretty good, but nothing too special.


North 45 | Portland, OR

Rating:- 6/10


Hostel Chat

We stayed up for a bit when we got back to the hostel and chatted with everyone we had met today and then it was time for bed.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 5: Victoria,BC – Frozen Fountain & A Great Evening

We went up to a bar/restaurant we had been told about my Mark and Jill as their daughter works there, so we made the 40 minute walk, in the -3°C (feels like -9°C) weather.

There was a bit of snow on the ground but nothing really.

As we were walking, we saw that the fountain outside parliament was frozen, which looked awesome, so we had to check it out.

We then headed back to our destination. When we arrived, firstly, it was nice and warm. Secondly, Kim asked to see the person we had come to see and and she had finished her shift for the day, so we were unable to see her, which was a shame.

We did get a got choclate though, which was a result and it was tasty too.

We then braved the cold again to head back towards the apartment with a stop at the supermarket.

We got some items for dinner as Kim was cooking tonight!

We got back and Curtis watched two periods of the Leafs game whilst Kim made hunter’s chicken for dinner.

We ate our dinner and then it was time too brace for the cold again and go down to the city to see our friend Brody, who is Canadian but we met him in New Zealand.

On the way, the fountain was frozen but it now had a light around it which made it look even more awesome!

Once we found the bar, we also found Brody, got a drink and just chatted and chatted and chatted. We had an amazing evening, even planning to do something really awesome within the next month, hopefully.

Brody kindly gave us a lift back and then it was very late and very much bedtime.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 4: Victoria,BC – A Dash of Snow

We, again, failed to wake at a decent time, but it was much colder this morning along with high winds, making it hard to get out of bed.

We had some breakfast, got ready, wrapped up warm and braced the cold. The forecast said it was 2°C but feels like -4°C, so nice and chilly.

Couple_Cold_Canada

We checked some shops for jeans for the both of us, but we were unable to find any we liked. We got tired of looking at shops so headed for Starbucks for a coffee.

Curtis got a cappucino and Kim got a mocha, but both were not great. That being said, we did some research and some people watching for a while before heading out for a bit more of a walk.

We found a subway and grabbed one as a snack, and to get out of the cold!

We walked back to the apartment and got ready as some family friends of Kim’s, Mark & Jill, were picking us up for dinner at their house!

Just before we were picked up, it started to snow a bit, which, once we got picked up, got a lot heavier and started laying.

You can see a little snow

We got to their house and sat and chatted in the kitchen whilst they created a delicious roast pork dinner with mashed potato, green beans & honey parsnips.

We sat and chatted for hours about all kinds of things and then we headed back home around 22:15, getting back at 22:30.

When we got back, the temperature was -4°C but feels like -11°C! Tomorrow is meant to be cold, too.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale