Place 73 – Day 3: Seattle,WA – First Starbucks Store & MOPOP

The Actual First Starbucks

We had to pay for the bus this morning, which was a change from yesterday!

We got into the centre and went straight to the actual first ever Starbucks.

We waited in line to get into the store and before long, we got in!

It is a little tight and crowded and you cannot sit inside, but we got our coffee and headed back outside.

We sat and had our coffee on a bench with a great view of the mountains!

Museum Of Pop Culture

We next planned to go to the Space Needle, so we walked towards it.

Once we got there, we got some good photos of the space needle and then realised we didn’t have enough money on us to go in, so we’ll have to do it another day, but we did have other plans anyway!

The Space Needle

Instead, we went to the MOPOP (Museum Of Pop Culture).

This has all things from video games to movies of different genres to TV shows and also music.

There were a few different sections within the museum and the first we came to was the Sci-Fi section, with a brief stop off at the video game area!

Video Games

We played a few indie games and it felt like we were right back in the UK at EGX!

Sci-Fi

The science fiction section had mostly costumes that had been worn for science fiction characters, such as enemies from Doctor Who, the hoverboards from Back To The Future as well as Star Wars and Star Trek items.

Star Trek Weapons

Horror

We accidentally went through to the next area which was the horror section.

It was similar to the Sci-Fi section, but with horror. There were a lot of props as well as things like the costume from Friday 13th.

There was an area which had fake dead people wrapped in sheets and hanging, which was quite creepy!

Fantasy

We moved on upstairs to the fantasy area. This spoke about movies and games based in the fantasy genre, the big two it mentioned being Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings.

There were more items on display from both of these films, as well as other items.

Pearl Jam

There was a whole floor on the band Pearl Jam, from Seattle.

We had not heard of them, but we enjoyed reading about them as well as looking at their memorabilia.


MOPOP | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 7/10


Lunch

We left the museum after this and found somewhere delicious for lunch.

Just before we left for lunch, we found the International Fountain, which is just a big fountain which is synchronised with music.

We went to a place named Michou.

This place was fairly busy when we arrived but it was an Italian style deli with a lot of, large, sandwich options.

Curtis got a roast chicken & chipotle sandwich and Kim got a beef and cheese sandwich. Both sandwiches were delicious, so we ate those up and then got out the way.


Michou Deli | Seattle,WA

Rating:- 9/10


Cinema

We walked down to the cinema to watch the film Fighting With My Family.

Neither of us realised this was based on a true story and then when Curtis realised who it was about, it all made sense!

We really enjoyed the film, actually. We aren’t sure how anyone from any other country would understand it as it has a lot of British humour and slang, but it was good for us!


Fighting With My Family

Rating:- 9/10


Dinner

We got back home via an Uber and had leftover Thai green curry, which was, as last night, delicious!

We watched some TV and did some research for tomorrow and future travels before hitting the hay.


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 71 – Day 5: Portland, OR – Terrific Lunch

Finally, Some Sleep

We both slept great last night, so much so that we had 10 hours sleep and woke up a bit later.

Our flight out of Portland wasn’t until 19:00, so we had to find something to do for the day.

We sat and ate breakfast then we got ready, packed and checked out of our room.

We looked for some things to do, but we only had 3-4 hours so we couldn’t go too far.

Eventually, we bit the bullet and went to watch a film.

Isn’t It Romantic

We took the short walk to the cinema and bought our tickets for a film called isn’t it romantic.


Isn’t It Romantic

Our Rating:- 5.5/10


We hadn’t seen much about this film, so it was more just to kill time.

It was alright, but nothing to write about (literally!).

Amazing Lunch

We still had about an hour to kill before getting the train, so we went for some lunch.

We heard about a place nearby which is meant to be fantastic, but when we got there it was busy and they only had the bar area for food, which was a little cramped.

Luckily, they told us about another place just down the road which is where we went.

This place was called Cheryl’s and they had a lot of options.

Curtis ate an eggs benedict and Kim had a croque madam.

This food came with a side of a cheesy/oniony/potato combination, which tasted just like a cheese and onion pasty. Weirdly, this was topped with cornflakes.


Cheryl’s On 12th | Portland, OR

Rating:- 9/10


The food was great and the staff were great also. We couldn’t have had a better last day in Portland!

Airport

We got a train to the airport which took about 40 minutes, and it was a quiet train, too.

We got to the airport and used the machine to check in. This printed something saying we would get our seat assigned at the gate, which worried us a little.

We were flying with Delta, so we went to their desk to ask about this, but they said that is normal for the cheap ticket we have purchased.

We sat and relaxed by the gate for an hour or two and then just before boarding we got our seats which were, luckily, next to each other.

Flight #1 – Portland > Seattle

Our flight was easy and fast once we got on it.

We were sat right at the back and had some good leg room.

Airport Antics

We landed in Seattle and had to take the plane train to the S gates.

We got to the correct gate and realised there was nothing nearby, so we went back on the train to B gates so we could grab a drink from Starbucks.

We got our drink and went back to S so we could go to our gate.

We got to our gate and then it said it was now in an A gate, so we got back onto the train and got to the A gate.

As soon as we got comfortable, we realisedthe gate has moved again, so back on the train we went and this time to a B gate.

We got to the B gate and finally boarded the flight!

Flight #2 – Seattle > Victoria

We realised we had comfort plus seats, which was great! We got to board first, had a charging port at our chairs, more leg room and a comfortable chair.

We had a fun time listening to a couple of passengers debate behind us, which helped pass the time!

Victoria

We landed in Victoria and once getting through immigration, we got the transfer bus we booked to the city. Our driver was very funny, cracking multiple jokes and funny lines.

We walked from the bus stop to a hotel which Linda kindly booked for us to stay at for a few nights!

We got in and then went to get a bit of McDonald’s as we were feeling a little hungry.

We got back to the room, exhausted, and went to bed.


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 11: Victoria, BC – Big Group Lunch

We were up earlier then we have been, around 08:00, as we had guests coming over late morning so we had to prepare.

There was to be 9 of us for lunch, so it was a morning of setting up, peeling potatoes and setting the table.

We went to the shop to get some wine and orange juice and it wasn’t too cold outside.

Linda started cooking the food and then we waited until 11:30 when guests started arriving.

These people were friends and family from of Kim, some of which Curtis had met previously.

We sat and had a drink whilst the food finished cooking. Once the food was ready, we all sat down and tucked in. We had roast pork, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, brussel sprouts and sweetcorn. The gravy was delicious too!

We all ate and were quite full, but had a gap for some tasty cheesecake.

All the guests left and then we washed up, cleaned up and put everything back to how it was.

Shortly after everyone left, it started to snow which got heavier and heavier, along with the wind.

At 16:00, Curtis watched the Leafs game and Kim sat in front of the fire and caught up reading the blog posts she had missed.

We had some chicken wings and sausage rolls as mid evening snacks as we got a bit hungry.

We sat and watched a variety of TV shows and then it was bed time, we were very tired!

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 383: Auckland – Admin Success & Old Friend Meetup

We started the day far too early at 08:00.

We had a quick breakfast and got out the door for about 08:20.

First stop was the visa application centre which Kim had to go to for her biometrics. That being said, she had accidentally deleted her appointment the other day, so she was hoping they would be able to reinstate it, which they were! Result! Kim’s appointment wasn’t until 11:15, though, and she got there for 09:00.

Curtis waited to pick Kim up until he found out about the fact she would be there for a couple of hours, so instead he drove all the way to Henderson to get the car serviced.

Once he dropped the car off, Curtis had at least a couple of hours to kill, so he found a McDonald’s to get a coffee. The McDonald’s was about a 25 minute walk away, but Curtis had nothing else to do so he walked there in the scorching heat.

Curtis got to McDonald’s and got his coffee and it was perfect, as always.

Curtis chilled for a while before making the walk back to the garage to get the car. Curtis had to wait a bit longer for the car when he got there, but eventually it was done and Curtis then went to collect Kim from the city.

Once he got Kim, we headed up north to get the car cleaned, but first, a pitstop! we went to Honey Cafe and Curtis got a fruit juice and kim got some french toast.

We found a self service car wash and got that done, not that it made much difference!

Woooo carwash!

We had a lot of time to kill before the next thing we needed to do, so we went to Birkenhead for no reason at all!

Once it got to 14:30, we left Birkenhead and drove back to our old apartment. We were selling someone a sofa who was to meet us there before 15:00.

The delivery driver arrived to us, but the person buying it did not! We waited with the driver for a while but the person never arrived and then said they were running late, so the driver left!

Eventually, the lady arrived and paid us, but with no driver she had to organise a pickup.

We left here and wanted a final coffee from Little Things, so we drove up to Glenfield to get one. Along with coffee, we got a sponge to clean parts of the car as well as steak for our dinner.

Once we got back, we had a chat with our host and then Curtis drove Kim to see a friend from the UK, Rebecca, down in the city. Kim had a really great time catching up.

Once we got back home, Kim cooked up a delicious steak meal and then we went to bed, as we ate dinner at 22:30!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 60 & 67 – Day 6 & 1: Rotorua & Taupo 🇳🇿 – 15000ft Skydive!

We were up early to get a bit of breakfast in us before driving to Taupo. The drive from here in Rotorua to Taupo is around 1 hour, so we left with plenty of time.

We needed to be at the location for 12:00, but we got there around 11:30.

We were doing a skydive at Skydive Taupo! We decided on the 15000ft skydive and Kim booked the handheld camera for herself.

We arrived and were greeted with a very happy set of employees which made everyone calm. That being said, neither of us were really nervous.

It was us two and Tom doing the skydive today!

We all sat and went through the information and safety videos and then went and got all suited up. We had a jumpsuit and harness on, an old school pilot hat and some thin plastic goggles.

We waited for around 5/10 minutes and then it was our turn! We met our tandem masters who introduced themselves. Kim had a kiwi guy and Tom & Curtis had Germans.

We all crammed into the plane and off we went.

The climb took about 20 minutes and during that time, we had to use oxygen masks as we got too high to breath!

Eventually, it was time.

Kim was the first of the three of us to go, followed by Tom and then Curtis as he was stuck at the back of the plane.

What an amazing experience! The first fall is a shock and takes your breath away, but it was an incredible view and a surreal feeling.

We had 75 seconds of freefall followed by 4 to 5 minutes of crusing with the parachute, and we got to control the parachute too!

Once we landed, we were all super happy and super glad we did it.

We went out for a spot of lunch after. We went to a place called Dixies at which Curtis had a Cuban Sandwich and Kim had potato wedges with multiple toppings including sour cream and chilli sauce.

We then drove the 1 hour trip backto the house and just completely chilled out. Tom went for a bike ride so we waited for him to come back and then we had a similar dinner as yesterday.

Tomorrow is a chilled day, we think!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 60 – Day 5: Rotorua – Mountain Lunch, Impromptu Luge-Ing & Blue Lake

We had to be up at a pretty good time so we could get to the gondola for 12:30.

We met some friends of Kim’s parents there as they had booked a lunch in the restaurant at the top of the mountain.

Once we all arrived, we went on the cable car to the top and entered the restaurant. The food was a big buffet, with multiple areas including salads, curries, roast meat and vegetables and dessert.

We sat and chatted for a long while whilst ensuring we ate as much as we could!

Once we left the restaurant we eventually decided we wanted to do a quick luge run, so we did so. It was great fun and us two had a great battle in which Curtis came out on top .

We left there and drove to blue lake. Unsurprisingly by the name, this is a lake of which is blue. We walked in the water a little and then sat and chatted for a while in the very warm heat!

We said goodbye and drove back home. We were so warm, but we went to the supermarket just to get suncream as we were running out.

We chilled for the evening and had bacon, eggs, beans and toast for dinner.

Pretty early start tomorrow, with a very fun and scary day!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale