Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barrhead, Alberta

Another stop for the Alberta Icons Roadtrip

The Great Blue Heron is a prominent figure in local lore. The elegant, long-legged bird, often spotted along the shores of local lakes, is the Town's official mascot. A statue of the bird is situated at the corner of 50th & 49 street, next to the community gazebo that marks the town centre.

The Blue Heron, also known as "Aaron the Blue Heron" was built in 1984 by its creator, Trygve Seland. It's constructed of rebar, wire mesh and concrete; is 8' high and is situated on a pedestal that is 4' high.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

New Years with Contiki

tired of being in a hole for New Years, doing the same thing each year with the same friends? Why not spice things up a bit, get out and experience the true meaning of New Years! Not sure how to do so - Allow Contiki Holidays to help!

Contiki New Year Tours.... are, well their a lot of fun.

@Contikiniki said.
#Contiki packages that are perfect for people with limited time but want to get away... perhaps for NYE celebrations. http://ow.ly/53Fc5
I responded: @Aykate Their a lot of fun!
@Contikiniki said. And you would know better than most!! :)

1. San Francisco New Year - It was a blast. I would do it again! There is so much to love in this particular city. The people you meet to your Tour Manager, who knows where the best places to see and do. Be prepared not to sleep for days. Now i know all of you are wondering what do we do for New Years.... It wouldn't be Contiki Holidays without something, oh i dont know say........ on a Dinner Cruise in the Harbor of San Francisco Bay! After watching fireworks share some Happy New Year Hugs with the rest of the Group, and Dance the night away. unfortunately Contiki does not offer this tour anymore at the moment.

2. Amsterdam New Year - guided walking tour. Sightseeing with the Tour and then some Free time to explore on your own and shop. Head to a local bar for some included drinks and snacks. See a different angle of the city. Welcome the New Year by taking it easy with a free day to explore. Then keep the New Year celebrations alive at one of the city's great clubs.

Word from a fellow traveller: It was awesome. I loved every minute of it I want to do it again! For the price its so cheap. I met people over there and now they moved to canada and we are good friends now. I highly suggest it : ) - Jordan Alexandria Belke

3. Paris New Year - Meet in London. Soak up the stylish Parisian atmosphere on an evening 'City of Lights' Tour. You'll see all the icons like the Arc de Triomphe and the unforgettable Eiffel Tower. Enjoy some free time to explore the city on your own. Walk down the Champs Elysees and visit one of the city's many museums. Take a seat in a typical Parisian cafe and people watch before kicking off the New Year celebrations. See a different angle to the city from the River Seine.

4. Sydney New Year - one of the most spectacular in the world. The summer celebration centres around the city's famous harbour. With the Harbour Bridge as the backdrop you will see some of the most breathtaking fireworks ever. The Streets are filled with a young colorful crowds. The bars, clubs, lounges and pubs are absolutely pumping. Include in your sights of its iconic eastern beaches like Bondi. Venture to the beach to soap up some sun and climb the harbor bridge.

5. Las Vegas New Year - Cruise the strip and Fremont Street, end the night on top of the stratosphere with a rock start view of the city. Free to experience the Sin City or enjoy an option to get out of town on a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon, or act like a high roller at one of the many casinos, shop at great factory outlets. Later join the party and ring in the New Year at a hip Vegas club.

6. New York New Year - Cruise the lady liberty. Free day to explore the city that never sleeps. Shop at trendy 5th avenue or wander through NYC's vibrant neighbourhoods. Catch a Broadway matinee, ice skate at Rockefeller Centre. Empire state building of a remarkable view of Manhattan at night (It is truely an amazing site). Have dinner and celebrate New Years Eve in Times Square.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mayorthrope, Alberta, Canada

Fallen Four Memorial Park....

The Town of Mayerthorpe invites you to the Fallen Four Memorial Park which was officially opened in July, 2008. The memorial was built as a tribute to all  peace officers, and in particular to RCMP constables Peter Schiemann, Leo Johnston, Anthony Gordon and Brock Myrol, who have made the ultimate sacrificein defence of peace, safety and security.

Picture of the Week

Awaiting to board my flight to San Francisco for my First Contiki... December 28, 2010

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sangudo, Alberta, Canada

Discover Alberta - Journey through Alberta's Icons. There are 32 + Unique Alberta Icons. Stay tuned and you will see them here...

This unique work of art is the only known sundial to take its shape from the historical country grain elevator, which is fast becoming obsolete. The name on a grain elevator has traditionally identified small towns and villages since the days of settlement. The Sangudo Sundial is one of the biggest in existence - a height of 21'. It is located along the main entrance to Sangudo, near the "log cabin" tourist booth. It's also visible on the south side of Hwy #43.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Aarhus, Denmark

Yesterday was Germany and Today is.... Aarhus, Denmark

Aarhus is a city of growth with a population of more than 300,000, Aarhus is Denmark's second largest city. It is at heart and also Denmark's youngest city when you consider the average age of its habitants which is far lower than anywhere else in the country.

Of the population of Aarhus, 65,000 are under 18 years of age. The population of Aarhus is both younger and better-educated than the national average. It draws students from large area, especially from the western and southern parts of the peninsula.

Some of the main sights to see while here are:

Arhus Domkirke - the tallest and longest cathedral in Denmark

Den Permanente - a popular closed beach area, also providing views of Helgenaes and Samso across Arhus Bay

Marselisborg Slot - (Marselisborg Palace) the summer retreat of the Danish royal family.

The Minor sport in Denmark is - Basketball.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Warnemunde, Germany

Next Stop after being seabound for a day...

Warnemunde founded aproximately in the 1200, was for centuries a mere fishing village with minor importance for the economic and cultural development of the region.
Once the village was dependent on the fishing industry, Warnemunde's economic alignment had shifted inevitably from the primary to the secondary and tertiary sector. Besides the Aker Warnow Werfy ship yard, the economy largely depended on tourism.

As it was the centre of maritime traffic, the district of Warnemunde comprised numerous navigational aids such as, the oldest lighthouse which is currently still in use today from being built in 1897. In the summer, the about 37 metres high tower allowed visitors to enjoy the impressive view over the Baltic Sea and The Northern districts of Rostock.

As for the low current and good sailing conditions, Warnemunde is one of the best sailing grounds in Germany. The beach is especially good for kitesurfing, windsurfing, underwater diving, swimming and nordic walking. In the summertime there are alot of international competitions. Many people flock to witness these competitions.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Contiki Love

They are too good to me...

 Jenni sent me the T-shirt :) xox 
and there's me showing off the Contiki Pride *thumbs up*

And today I got my South America brochure in the mail and look what fell out 
- a quick note from Josie :) xox

May 26, 2011 - Showed the Love back. Tuesday i sent a package with cookies inside... to none other than Contiki in Toronto! <3

Vegan Style Spaghetti

Now that i have food in the house and i can actually cook me a proper dinner. I decided to put a spin on spaghetti. Vegan Style. 30 minutes or less.

  • whole wheat spaghetti
  • can of cream of mushroom
  • Tofu
Of course boil some water, pinch of salt (and a pinch of salt over your shoulder for luck). And then cook the cream of mushroom next door to the spaghetti. you'll need a frying pan, EVOO, cut up the tofu in blocks of squares and throw them into the frying pan till they start showing the shade of golden brown. Be sure not to leave their side. Then as the cream of mushroom has had a chance to heat up, mix it together with the tofu. Drain the spaghetti. And Voila you have dinner made, Vegan Style.

I had this last night and it was very good.

I like to experiment and try new things in the kitchen, Rachel Ray has inspired me to be more adventurous in the kitchen.

Only in Roma

You do not get to see this that often, Well in North America you probably do but last place you would think of this happening would be in Italy, Rome.

As my mother, aunt, brother and I were leaving. My mother and I were downstairs waiting. And during that time, a polizia stopped suddenly stopped along with another where in that car, the guy threw the drugs underneath the car before he got a hold of from the polizia.The Polizia officer moved the guys car backwards and there he found the drugs, and that is when he wanted to pop the guy one but stopped himself.

There you have it, one of my many memories from Rome, Italy.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Talinn, Estonia

The capital and largest city of Estona. It is located on the northern coast of the country on the banks of the Gulf of Finland. Talinn is ranked as a global city and has been listed as one of the top 10 digital cities of the world.

Origin of the name is certain to be Estonian, although the original meaning of the name can be debated. It was thought to be brought from "Taani-linn" meaning Danish castle/town after the Danes built the castle in place of the Estonian stronghold at Lindanisse.

A limestone cliff runs through the city and it can be seen at Toompea, Lasnamae and Astangu. But, Toompea is not apart of the cliff, it is a separate hill.

Registered population of Tallinn is 412,341.

One of Tallinn's sister cities is the Silicon Valley town of Los Gatos, California.

Skype is one of the best known of several Estonian start-ups originating from Tallinn.

Kadriorg - 2 kilometres east of the centre and is served by buses and trams. Kadriorg Palace the once former palace of Peter the Great which was built just after the Great Northern War and now Houses (part of) the Art Museum of Estonia, Presidential residence and the surrounding grounds include formal gardens and woodland. Restored in 2001-2004 with a large donation from the Swedish Government.

Pirates life for me, Savy!

So I went to the Pre-Screening of Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides last night after winning two tickets.... It was extraordinary - Rob Marshall only director i may say that can create a FOURTH sequel and make it outstanding, extraordinary, brilliant storyline - keeping the story line exciting, uplifting is a tough job to do especially for a fourth sequel but Rob Marshall pulled it off.

(example: Shrek has four movies out and after the second sequel the plot got uninterested) Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides was very much so very intriguing, made you keep on watching to see if they were getting to the fountain of youth. And yes Jack Sparrow you will live on forever.

The things Jack Sparrow says - you can't help but smile and laugh... They couldn't have found a better actor Johnny Depp to play the role and have the films being this much of a success.. It just wouldn't be the same without him. he is a like a Chameleon in all his roles he plays, he is unpredictable but outstanding in all of his roles - that is what makes him a great actor.

But it does help to have an excellent cast in the film.. Johnny Depp (who loves playing the role of Jack Sparrow and could keep on playing it for many years to come if he could), Penelope Cruz, Keith Richards, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Astrid Berges-Frisbey....

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1298650/ - 7.7 stars out of 10 so far which I think it deserves a 10.

At the pre-screening last night there was a Jack Sparrow look alike - serious if it was the real one, i would be jumping over all those seats in front of me just get into his arms instead of taking the picture. Yes i am a Huge Johnny Depp fan, Who isn't?

It was a great opportunity and would like to thank Virgin Mobile for having their contest and picking me to have won the tickets to the advance screening.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Australia...they do drive on the wrong side!

Australia... I just always thought they drove on the opposite side of the car but never had an idea they drove on the "wrong" side of the road also. Thought that was just England. 

I am so used to shifting my manual car with my right hand, i would have to switch over to the left brain thinking when i move to Australia for a year with my work visa. So i think if i ever drove there, it would be strange at first remembering to shift with my left hand, not my right. But i would get used to it quick - i hope!

Seeing my friends pictures from her Brisbane trip - just confirmed all this confusion... Thank you!

It was weird seeing the driver in the passenger seat driving... and i have to drive later on today! Hope i do not get to confused and start driving on the "wrong" side of the road.

But seeing the pictures did not help - i want to go... NOW! don't you just enjoy seeing someone elses pictures from some where and you then get the urge of wanting to go that second... It's tough but I suppose healthy because it motivates us to Travel!! Which i think Everyone should get out and do once in their life time. There is a WHOLE world of possibilities out there to open and broaden our horizons! Get out and Enjoy it. Live it. Experience it!!

Pic of the Week: Party Contiki Style

This is how you party Contiki Style for New Years Eve....  in San Francisco! 

In the San Francisco Bay... Sailing by the Golden Gate Bridge - around Alcatraz - then watch the fireworks at the Pier from the water on the boat. It is a sight! - No one does fireworks as well as Americans, if it is July 4th or New Years, Americans go ALL out - lots of drinking - lots of dancing - lots of fun with your new friends and Tour Manager - Watch the fireworks from anywhere aboard the boat, upstairs, at the back of the boat, or right outside on the balcony from your table.

It will be a Party you will never forget... Contiki New Years Tours!

Tour New York City's Central Park With a Celebrity

According to an article i had read this morning that was placed in the New York Times there is a new program brought forward by the Central Park Conservancy that allows visitors to see the park through the eyes of some of the city's most famous locals.

It is simple, just by calling a number (646-862-0997) which is posted at 40 different sites throughout the Central Park of New York City and then entering the appropriate code, visitors will be "toured" by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld, and Yoko Ono. Anne Hathaway, currently starring in Twelfth Night as part as the Shakespeare in the Park series, gives a tour of Delacorte Theatre. John McEnroe takes visitors to center court at the New York City's Central Park Tennis Center.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Greatest Monday I've ever had


MONDAY  MAY 16, 2011

Something has always happened once a month to me this year, so far... January was Contiki San Francisco, February was VIP Euro Bash Contiki, March was Travis Tritt Concert, April was Contiki Suitcase Party... and now THIS!

And this is why i check my email every morning... and why i switched to Virgin Mobile. (well to be honest I did not know virgin mobile does these contests) but i am glad i switched and ditched Bell Canada.. So if you are with Telus or Bell, SWITCH to Virgin Mobile.

This is what I won:

Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides
May 18, 2011
**Movie comes open to the public May 20, 2011.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Years in Paris

Last year was San Francisco New Year 2011...

8 months away until my next, next adventure... Starting in London for Christmas and then Paris for New Years. And yes i am going with... Contiki Holidays! There is no better way to travel but with Contiki ;)

Either i am flying on Christmas Eve which will allow me to arrive into London on Christmas Day or Fly Dec 23 and arrive Christmas Eve. I still have 8 months to keep an eye on flights before i actually have to book. Expedia will only be used as a comparison site, never booking through them again. Always book directly with the airline so if anything happens to your flights, it would be easier for them to take care of you because you booked with them and not with tripadvisor or expedia. Just a helpful Hint from a previous mess that happened to me through expedia.

Will defiantely have to go check out the London Contiki Basement.

Already been searching for a hostel in London, and i have found one http://www.piccadillyhotel.net/ Piccadilly Hotel. What helps me find a hostel is first i check the rate on when i will be staying there, then i check the activities list. Because most hostels will have activities set up and planned to take travellers to the best local spots on the town, day and night.

Paris i am covered with accommodations because of wonderful ol' Contiki.

Last year i overheard that Paris had no fireworks because of the recession, and no one knew so about it. As they were still outside awaiting fireworks to ring in the new year but midnight stroke and nothing happened. I do hope they have fireworks this year. I hear that Paris is one of the most colorful and exciting places to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Next Adventure.... Los Angeles

Being 61 days left till i jet off on my next adventure with Contiki Holidays, back to Los Angeles. I did not spend enough time there the first time after i took the bus down from San Francisco, So I need to see more than Santa Monica this time. This time i will not be hungover from a EPIC new years eve.

And i will be wearing my NEW contiki shirt while on tour. ;) Have to show off the pride.
Arriving into Los Angeles a day before the tour begins... I plan on heading over to the tattoo parlour and getting my second tattoo, tattoo'd on my left wrist reading: 'Enjoy it. Live it. Experience it.' Some of you you may recognize it from reading my philosophy. I just sent off the design to the Tattoo artist this morning to get a quote on how much it shall cost. cross fingers it will not be too expensive and reasonable price. I am looking forward to getting my second tattoo, i have been writing it on my wrist for the past month, seeing how much i will like it permanent written there and yes I will love it. I recommend doing that so when planning on getting a tattoo for youself, even if it is a first one or second, third or fourth. Seeing it on your body in Pen Ink before permanent tattoo ink.

Plan is to get a weekly bus pass so i can hop on and off any city bus while i am there, easy access to see the city. I was already informed to stay far away from Compton and i will just do that so! Booked my extra night in the Kyoto Hotel with Contiki. Looks like a beautiful hotel, i can not wait till i get there and see in person. Also booked my Hostel in Santa Monica for after the Contiki Tour. Same Hostel i stayed at before, so at least i know something that is familiar. And i will not make the same mistake on going into the store entrance instead of the hostel entrance. Long Funny story when i arrived in Los Angeles after dark, arriving to the hostel by taxi because my bus never showed up.

I have already met five tour mates, via www.contiki.com / Facebook. They are all australians so far i am the only canadian to speak of. So I will meet up with them before the pre-departure meeting.

Things doing during my tour in Los Angeles:
  • Hollywood Pub Crawl
  • Universal Studios
  • Disneyland*
  • Grammy Museum**
  • Starline hop-on/hop-off**
  • Tour stars Home**
  • drive along sunset strip
  • Venice Beach
  • Santa Monica Beach and Pier
  • Mann's Chinese Theatre & Hollywood's walk of fame (picture with Johnny Depp)
  • Redeo Drive and Melrose Avenue
**on the fence thinking

Things I want to do and see after my tour in Los Angeles:
  • surf lessons
  • see pasadena tunnels
  • dodgers game
  • Beverly Hills
  • Visit Brooke (Friend from first Contiki Tour)
  • Have many beach days, just to RELAX
(if you have any suggestions on what i should be doing and seeing that i have missed out on my list, please inform me...I want to see it all!)

Stockholm, Sweden

After being sea bound for a day...

If you ask anyone who have visited Stockholm, Sweden the first would they would use to describe it would have to be 'beautiful'.

Stockholm is a major international city with great shopping, quality eateries in abundance, fabulous standard hotels, an internationally renowned club and music scene and a vibrant cultural life.

Stockholm is over 700 years old and spreads across 14 islands as it faces proudly out to the Baltic Sea. You can get to just about all of Stockholm's many wondrous sites on foot, which is a perfect way to see the city. You can also take a boat trip that will give you a different facet of Scandinavia's largest and probably most beautiful city.

To qualify the natural 'beauty' of Stockholm, try a summer morning stroll in Djurgarden, a dip in Lake Malaren from Norrmalarstrand, or a quiet moment to yourself in Hagaparken. We think you'll know what we mean.

The 'Three Palace Tour'
For admirers of Sweden's Royal Family, it gives a glimpse into how the Royal Family lives, works and spends its leisure time.

Food & Drink
Stockholm is now widely recognised as one of Europe's most dynamic and exciting gastronomic metropolises. In Stockholm you find restaruants serving food with all different kinds of themes.

The 'shopholm' of Stockholm
Stockholm is known as a leading design centre, and it is an important part of the city's shopping scene.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dover, UK

Next Stop...

Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home country of Kent, South East England. It faces France across the narrowest point of the English channel and lies south-east of Canterbury. 

Dover's name originated with its river - the River Dour. 

Dover has one hospital, Buckland Hospital located in a former Victorian workhouse on Coombe Valley Road. The town once had four hospitals, Buckland, Royal Victoria, Isolation and the Eye Hospitals located at various points across the town.
There are three museums; the main Dover Museum, the Dover transport Museum, and the Roman Painted House. 

Dover also has three Twin Towns:
Calais, France
Huber Heights, Ohio, USA
Split, Croatia

Monday, May 09, 2011

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Next stop is......

Rotterdam, Netherlands....

The second city that was bombed flat during World War II and spent many following decades rebuilding.

Second largest city in Netherlands and the largest port in Europe. As it started as a dam on the Rotte river it soon grew into a major international commerical centre.

Located in the province of South Holland and Rotterdam is west of the Netherlands and South of Randstad.

Rotterdam is one of Europe's most vibrant and multicultural cities.  It is known for it's university (Erasmus), its cutting edge architecture, its lively cultural life, its striking riverside setting, its maritime heritage and the Rotterdam Blitz.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Le Havre, France

Stop two there was no clear shot of the UK from the cam so was unable to have taken a screenshot. But stop three, here i go...

Le Havre is situated in the southwest of the Pays de Caux region...

Second busiest Port in France, after that of Marseille. Le Havre was originally named Franciscopolis after Kind Frances I. who had founded the city in 1517.

A chapel known as Nore-Dame-de-Grace (our lady of Grace) had existed at the site before the city was established. The denomination lent its name to the port to be called Le Havre ("the harbor of grace").
The shortened name Le Havre as used in modern times simply can translate to "the port" or "the harbor".

The port city of Le Havre suffered catastrophic damage during the Second World War.

Le Havre, France's second largest port had experienced the worst damage of any city in the country. As over 90% of the city was left in rubble. All major public buildings in the administrative centre including the stock exchange, city hall and post office were destroyed, along with churches, two hospitals, schools, shops and housing.

The port rendered unusable due to the scattered wrecks blocking the channels and access docks.

By the end of the war, a total of 5,000 civilians had been killed, 12,500 buildings destroyed and 80,000 people left homeless.


As Le Havre was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Many historic buildings were lost as a result.

Le Havre Cathedral - the first stone of the building was laid in 1536. It is the seat of the Bishop of Le Havre.

*can't name all of the main sights as that would be a lot

Friday, May 06, 2011

Pic of the Week

San Francisco, California

Eight Sided House.


Did you know that you can watch where your friends or family go when they are on a cruise?

After four days of being at sea in the Atlantic Ocean Emerald Princess Cruise Ship made it to their first destination.... Cobh, Ireland

Queenstown it was before it reverted back to it's old Irish name in 1922....the Cobh (cove) of Cork.

Cobh is situated on Great Island, one of the three large islands in the Cork Harbour which are now joined together by roads and bridges. Little Island and Fota are the other Islands. The Harbour is one of the largest and safest anywhere.

It is a pleasant town where the streets climb the steep slope of a hill and at the top of which is crowned by the very fine St. Coleman's Cathedral.... which has a carillon of 47 bells.