Thursday, September 06, 2012

Living Leduc .... Take two

Sipping tea and plane spotting is the recipe for stress relieving and quite calming. The green tea soaring down your throat, having your mind escape that present state while air Canadá or westjet flying over your head into Edmonton international airport. Thinking in just one hundred and twelve days you will be on a plane towards your next destination.

One wouldnt Think Edmonton is a very busy airport but even myself I am surprised how many fly in and out of airport, mainly air Canadá and westjet homes the airport though because those are the planes you will see more frequently.

Since living in Leduc i have found the best plane spotting locations, which is perfect for that morning / afternoon coffee or tea on ones day off to sit back sip and watch the planes arriving and leaving. Very soothing and calming.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One day in Newport Beach


You know the reason why I wanted to go visit Newport Beach was because I was and am still such a fan of the TV series, The OC. It is such a great well done TV series – great for being able to get your drama fixes when you do not have drama in your life because you avoid such. And then I ended up loving Newport Beach, even though driving through Newport during the summer was a little tough because it was quite hard to find a parking stall. It is a very happening part of Orange County and yet expensive as Brooke and I wandering around browsing the housing market. Trying to find her and her new husband of, just little over a year now a house, Ha! Just kidding – just because it is something to do and the houses there are fabulous I would not mind owning a house if I had a couple million dollars.

It is defiantly a happening part of the county for sailing there were a ton of sailboats there - and to be honest felt a little jealous I did not book my time on one so i could say i sailed on the Gold Coast of California. Now that would have been fabulous sweet. Next time! 

We would have been in Newport Beach earlier on in the morning but I had to make a stop in Anaheim at a very special place that they all know me - Now some of you probably could guess already where I stopped and it would not be a surprise at all knowing me. So should I wait and let you all guess and make it a fun little game or should I just tell you? oh what the heck I will tell you - I can't do that, it is like word vomit and it will come out later on anyways. I stopped by the Offices of Contiki Holidays USA. Oh my, you would surprised and did not expect that i Bet haha! 

Okay now that the word vomit came out lets back to the most fabulous Orange County in California, my day in Newport. 

Visiting Balboa Pier - Yes i had to take a picture of the name plate because to be honest I would not have remembered it else wise and that is just what we Travel bloggers do, take pictures of everything so we can share and give you the ideas on where to go on your next getaway. 

At lunch I probably ate like the "Hollywood" actors, not much. But again they in Newport Beach fill your plate unlike some other places I went to downtown Los Angeles at LA Live by the Staples Center. 

I do not even know where to begin about Newport because I love it - I could move there tomorrow or in that case drive down tomorrow and revisit the fabulous Orange County. Actually to be honest why all of a sudden I am thinking about Newport because I am watching The OC season two again, on a wednesday night when I should be out with friends or spreading the Contiki word to new adventure seekers. I am here in my room in Leduc listening to the Planes fly in and out of the International Airport watching The OC and blogging to you all - so you all have something to read. So your welcome, and I am getting off topic once again.

How long do you have? 1 hour or 72 hours? 

Never actually seen docks painted on them with time limits on how long you can park your boat for. But clever idea, especially in a County of California where Sailing is very common and everyone owns a boat. Maybe I should implement it here in Canada at our Lake - do you think they would go for that! Nah! We Canadians do not park in unnecessary spots for that long anyways and if we do, then the peace officer is on our butts to make us move.

So lastly, Visit Newport Beach.. Rent that car in California that you wanted to rent and drive to Newport - it will be well worth the gas. And do not worry about the gas because renting a car in California is cheap, I would do it again! xo

Friday, August 24, 2012

Funny Photo Friday

So on my way home from work I had to stop by Wal-Mart and funny thing, is this for real?? Why oh why Wal-Mart - what are you trying to accomplish! Special Parking for their shining star and their 4 star cashier??

I do not know what else to say! except... say what!?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Living Leduc

I am trying not to Explore my new city all at once Bécause if I do then I will just grow really bored with it in less than a year and if I do by the time that the year rolls around, you would see this gypsy packing up her suitcase and moving again. Actually want to hear something, I am still living out of my suitcase - talk about gypsy living or what eh!!!

So this morning, gloomy Thursday morning you would Think there is not much happening in a small city Especially during the week but to be honest if you look really closely you will be able to find something to do always. Like this morning 10am to 1pm - the Farmers market Where you can but your daily garden vegetables or home made crafts that people make themselves and sell them. Where ever you are, what ever Type of Farmers market going on go ahead and check it out Bécause it will give you something to do for that extra hour and fill in the void, and you never know who you will meet. You can meet some pretty Nice people at the Farmers market. Go ahead and try it and experience your local Farmers market - you will like it.


Five Colors, Five Destinations.

I was tagged a month ago in another travel blogger's post to do this and I just got super busy with work and forgot - so before I forget to do this again. Produce a blog post with photographs that capture five colors. Blue, Green, Yellow, White and Red.

Capture the world in colors and not by passport stamps.... Open your mind and let your eyes do the wandering and your feet do the walking - and who knows what you will see!

Blue: London, England- Queens guard. Got to give these guys props for being able to stand still for as long as they do without moving a muscle or talking. I just hope they get paid good money to stand there all day.

Green: Santa Monica, California in the summer time. What are the odds i would return back to Santa Monica twice in the same here. Last visit was in January 2011 and I Returned for the summer of 2011 and it is defiantly a different atmosphere, city in the summer let me tell you.

Yellow: Now where can you only get beer at Mcdonalds? In Europe... Correct. But in this case I was in Paris, France and when in Paris... I do not normally eat at Mcdonalds but I had to make a exception just for the beer.

White: When London calls.... Gordon Ramsey comes answering so I listened, made reservations six months ahead of time to guarantee my spot at his fabulous restaurant in London, England. How can i describe his restaurant.... Fabulous, Magnificent! The food was to die for....

Red: Last destination on the blog post... Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. You can not go to San Francisco without seeing this massive landmark let alone walk or ride across the bridge. And here is a true story for you; group of kids one night drove a Volkswagen beetle to the middle of the bridge and decided to bungee cord it off the bridge so when people woke up the following morning, they woke up to the news that a VW beetle was hanging from the Golden Gate Bridge and from today onwards, that VW Beetle still lays on the bottom of the San Francisco Bay underneath the Bridge.
 
So there you have it, Five destinations with five colors. Blue for London, Green for Santa Monica, Yellow for Paris, White for Gordon Ramsey Restaurant in London and Red for Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Now it is my turn to pass the challenge of this fabulous blog post to capture five colors to some more bloggers..... @Jisforjoelle, @OneDayInACity, @YouSomeWherelse, and @PckYourPassport

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guru Edmonton

Guru Fine Indian Cuisine is located in West Edmonton and it is a unique fine dine restaurant serving quality Indian cuisine, either if it is a express lunch, private dining, catering or Take out - Guru has your fine Indian Cuisine.
My folks asked me to pick somewhere to go for a birthday dinner and since I have always driven by this Fine restaurant, I always needed to try it so therefore I had got my chance. I love trying new things, keeps the mind wide open for new opportunities.

Very exclusive times that the restaurant is open at - but well worth the experience if you are not worried about money. Because this is not a cheap restaurant, you will have to pay beyond your normal restaurant bill to experience Guru's Fine Indian Cuisine. But as I say, you only live once and when the opportunities arise can't shy away, you have to jump aboard with two feet and enjoy the ride.

There is so many yummy new exciting meals to try on their menu, as it may look a little overwhelming because you have not been there before and you are not to sure what to try first - but do not let that overwhelm you. Especially if you go with a group of friends, an idea is that each one orders something different and that way you can sample more than one dish.

Appetizers - Guru butter Chicken Samosa, Chicken Pakora, Shrimp Pakora, Pepper Calamari and Chilly Chicken.

All you Vegetarian's out there do not worry you can still enjoy this Fine Indian cuisine because they do have vegetarian selections along with soups and salads. So therefore you can choose from their Indian Entrees or vegetarian Entrees.

The meals do not come with rice, you have to order that separate - Coconut rice was my favorite.  

17021 100 Ave
Edmonton, AB T5S 1T9
P: 780 484 4300
Web: gururestaurant.ca

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Life begins AT THE END of your Comfort Zone...

Nothing is more boring than living your life day by day and not taking that life risk, of stepping outside of the box out of your comfort zone. Life is meant to be lived - so why not live it and Enjoy it and Experience it? although many of us do not know where we are headed at times and may cause us to stay within the walls of our comfort zone but don't - get out people, and best thing to do is Travel the world. You have no idea how much Europe will change you as a person. I know it has changed me many times and I couldn't be happier living outside of my comfort zone, not knowing what each day will bring.

As long as you start off the day with a smile then nothing else matters. And here is a tip i will share with you that a wise lady shared with me during my college years at Lethbridge College, place a pencil on your bed stand and when you wake up in the morning place the pencil in between your teeth and look at yourself in the mirror. Do not worry about your hair being a mess or having no make up on yet because you will see your self smile automatically and it will automatically put you in a better mood to start the day.


Anything can happen in a day, as long as you smile and Enjoy it, Live it and Experience it. And if you do that then good things will come to you when you least expect it. Now i wasn't all like this before, i know that is hard to believe me not being the person I am today but i am thankful of that because Traveling the world has given me so many opportunities that i wouldn't have any other way, and I know it all to Contiki Holidays so showing me the light at the end of the Tunnel. I now know what I live towards every day when i wake up - So Thank you <3

So therefore if I could pass on any wisdom and/or advice from my experience, do not sweat the small things or bad days. Deal with it and move on to the next. And travel to Europe even if you can only go once in your life, go to Europe because it will change you. You will come back a better person, See the world, experience it - that is why we are here.....

Monday, August 13, 2012

Hullo from Leduc

Yes! Leduc is a city but you wouldn't guess so because it is a city that shuts down on Sundays. Literally downtown Leduc all the shops are closed, only main store that is open is guess who.... Wal-Mart! now why would they close down when they could make money that would be insane, so therefore Wal-Mart stays open.

Finished my article yesterday, wonders what having a desk does for a writer - it just makes the words flow and if you are sitting properly at the desk too, which i got a nice tall stool to match the height of the desk.

So after the writing i decided to go out and explore Leduc some more, one landmark at a time so that way i do not get tired of living here so that way if i discover something new each day off or afternoon It can be just like i am traveling to a new destination and finding something new. Plus it keeps things new and fresh.

Telford Lake, located east of City of Leduc and 3.2 km in length and this weekend it will be the home of the Dragonboat Races. I got to watch a few boats practice this past weekend. It looks like it is hard work but you sure get a good work out.They have to row the entire length of the lake and back.

Also found another spot that is great for plane spotting. Although Air Canada does like to fly over my head a lot so i am not to sure about that - i think they are taunting me or something until my next big trip in Four months. Nah probably not but it is fun to joke with them.

Here you can check out a video clip I had posted on my facebook wall of a Dragonboat practicing, so you can see how they do things in action. https://www.facebook.com/AyKate I can not wait till this weekend and watch a full motion race.

So that is what I did this past weekend, what did you do?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gypsy Traveling

Hello my fellow readers, sorry i have been such a absent from writing - but i have been working on a article for another site which I will share with you when it becomes public so i will not say too much about it. Except i will say this, this gypsy has a new home in Leduc, Alberta Canada. The main reason I moved was to make the commute to work easier and it was time for a new adventure.

Leduc is a charming little city as i am still discovering little bits of the place each day i have off work because that is what and who i am. I explore and blog about it, but nowadays I am starting to vlog! Which you can check out on my very own youtube channel - no laughing. Okay you can laugh but only if you laugh with me because it is a little funny - when i start talking about Contiki. I'll let you watch! http://www.youtube.com/user/AyKate5?feature=mhee

Located minutes, no wait seconds from the International Airport so every second and hour from my bedroom window I am hearing planes arriving and leaving. Wish it was me leaving but very soon, soon I will be on another plane on another Contiki adventure. Also located 21 miles south from the Alberta Capital, Edmonton.

Oil and gas industry has been a long time provider for Leduc's economy.

Some places i will be exploring and showing you during my stay here in Leduc..... The wide variety of parks and amenities that the 24,000 other residents in Leduc know about; Alexandra park Ponds, Coady Lake, Leduc Reservoir, Telford Lake and West Point Lake. 






Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two places at once...

It is a confusing place to be, in two places at once. But it is amazing none the less!

#1 you do not know where you are
#2 you do not know what time it is because you are stuck in a time loop.

Kind of cool though going through the time loop from Calasis to Dover and vice versa.

And there I had it crossed #92 off my Bucket List...... Be in two places at once!




The Greatest outdoor show on earth!

What a weekend it was, how do you say it again. Oh yes Howdy y'all and thank you again for reading my blog and welcome back. It was Calgary's 100th centennial for the greatest outdoor show on earth, Stampede. And I now see why they call it the greatest outdoor show on earth because it is, ten days full of fun and events happening each and every day with some quite famous faces Carly Rae Jepsen, Garth Brooks and Paul Brandt to name a few.

July 14, 2012

Arrived into Calgary at lunch time and it couldn't have been better timing because that is when Cameron arrived into the city from Banff so we met for lunch outside the Calgary Tower and went to original joes. It was fabulous to see him.
Departed ways for a couple hours and i went to check into my hostel (HI - Calgary City Centre) Oh my nicest hostel i have yet stayed in during my gypsy/ Traveling life.
Refreshed up and got my Cowboy hat and out i went to the Stampede grounds. There was a little bit of line up but not to bad, after i made into the ground - made my way to the Grandstand to grab my ticket for the Chuckwagon races. Now that is a great show to see if you are ever at the Stampede.

Crossed #65 off my Bucket List...... Zip lining!

 

Just walking up, all the way up to the Zipline was a workout. Just don't look down if you are afraid of heights and look across the horizons. Count 1, 2, 3 into your head and Zip....

Tried my very first deep fried oeros, oh my word they are so yummy.

Stampede is not all about the rides, it's just as fun watching the Bands playing in the sidewalks - while little kids dance to them, and the Kids Tractor Pull was fun to watch.

Watched Recyle Percussion at the Bell Stage, Now that is a amazing, very good, talented group. And turned out they were American's Got Talent Finalists. I know right, Calgary the Greatest show on Earth got AGT's Las Vegas Finalist to come play. Amazing! Calgary knows how to go all out. Love it! Just found a new city I love, haha! Cameron met up with me at the Bell Stage and we walked the grounds and Inside browsing the stores, finding Cameron a belt buckle.

Went to the Grandstand for 7pm for the Chuckwagon Races - Cameron and I were seperated. But tht is okay I got to see the whole track. That moment must have been the moment i stopped being a city girl and became a country girl! Paul Brandt was in town and was there at the Grandstand - Yes the famous and local country star, Paul Brandt. At the end of the races he performed and also at that moment listening to Paul Brandt i became a country girl.

Fireworks were amazing, they beat Canada day but i am not to sure if they beat July fourth's but they are for sure up there with how amazing they are. But again remember it was their 100th centennial so of course they went all out but seriously them going all out was amazing. And I had not seen fireworks since last Canada Day, as i had not had watched any for New Years because Paris, France does not do fireworks on NYE.

Shhh don't tell anyone but I had some trouble finding my car at night - it was horrible. First i am not from the city and I couldn't find a parking lot right near the entrance. That was not fun because it was not the greatest area of calgary - just nice thing i had Cameron with me.

July 15, 2012

Have i said how nice the Hostel was in calgary. So nice! one of the nicest and it was a six bedroom shared dorm mixed. Last hostel i stayed in was in London, England and it was a 24 shared mixed dorm. Yeah do not get those rooms - it is too many and crowded and splurge the extra cash for less beds in a room.

Today it was much better for parking as i got right in front and no line up - Thank you to the dude outside the entrance giving out free adminsions to the park.

Tried to get tickets to the Rodeo but there was a huge line up and sold out, so i did not bother to stand in line to see if they had any. But that is okay at least I got to see the Chuckwagon Races the day before. Stood in line to try my next deep fried treat, deep fried twinkie. Not as good as the deep fried oeros that is for sure. Walked inside through the stores and found a booth they were doing Henna so i got a henna tattoo of a cowboy hat with the words ' Calgary Stampede ' and still today (July 25) it's still on my arm. I have been stamped!


Went to the coca cola stage to watch some entertainment. The hypnotist was hilerous, why are they so good! I loved it. Laughed so hard I even cried.

Walking around the game section of the stampede, i felt like i was back in Klondike Days (Edmonton's festival) it was a little weird.

It started to pour around 1pm and it was letting up so i decided to head home, grabbed my things from the hostel - checked out and Cheers Calgary for a great time. I arrived as a city girl and left a country girl!!


And just like that Crossed #84 off my Bucket List... Attend the Stampede 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Can't go home again!

So this morning I had many flashbacks while i was walking down, and driving around Fort Saskatchewan. I just had to come back one last time and learned that I am content and the happiest I have ever been in years - this city is only a memory!

Walking down the streets I was seeing the businesses but i was not recognizing a single one, this was not the place i grew up - there had to be something more.... But there was not!! There is still that open lot where that bookstore once was but burnt down years ago, or that hotel that caught flame but a new business in it's place, or that once was chinese restaurant that is now a ballet studio, or that park that made me more of a girl and made me a young lady from my first kiss.

I am seeing but I do not recognize, that house that built me....

You leave home and you move on and you do the best you can, and when you get lost in this old world and forget who you are you can not return home and after today I only found a memory from the house that built me, not a home! ...and you know what I am happy that I only did find a memory.

I get a little bit stronger each day waking up with a smile on my face and waiting for that something more....


There got to be something more... and there is! Take that jump and go for it. You will not know until you have tried! #haveYOUdoneit?

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Canada Day 2012

It's that time of year again. 145 years of being a Country for Canada - Happy Birthday Canada. Wave that flag and be proud to be a Canadian, we are something special in this world! Everyone loves us. We eat beaver tails for snacks, live in igloos and drive dog sleds in the winter and we are the only ones who can look sexy with 10 layers of clothes on during the winter. haha! All those things above are just a few things that make us Canadians special! Feel free to add your own, to why you you are proud to be Canadian......

Even though that I had to work this long weekend, 'which i do not mind because it is after all time and a half' I was still able to enjoy the long weekend and the goregous rays of sunshine. Wearing my sunnies at 5am is something real, enjoy it while it lasts that is for sure. Even though driving home from work wearing my blank pants were a pain because by the time i got home I would be jolting into the house and putting on that mini skirt and going back outside to catch some rays of sunshine and tanning my skin up so i am not so damn pale.

Originally "O Canada" was a patriotic poem by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier, a Quebec judge:
"O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love thou dost in us command.
We see thee rising fair, dear land,
The True North, strong and free;
And stand on guard, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! O Canada!
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! We stand on guard for thee.
O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea,
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!

O Canada! O Canada! etc.
O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western Sea,
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!
 O Canada! O Canada! etc.
Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in thee
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day,
We ever stand on guard.
O Canada! O Canada! etc."
My Overview of my Long Weekend Joys!!
 
Beginning of the long weekend, and what do I do.... damn straight I show my Contiki Canada Pride. And if you read the picture just right you can catch on what I did ;) *wink* i will give you a hint..... Contiki Can...ada!!!

Then played a game of Bones with some people at the Yacht club after a fill full rib dinner and announced the winners of the 'down the lake' race.... first, second and third prizes!!!

Every day after work i ended up with either a beer in my hand or a Gin and Mountain dew... Yup the Canadian way to unwind after work on a Long weekend at the Beach 'Seba Beach'!!! That is how tough it is to work on a Stat Holiday - Long weekend ;)!!

Old Canadian tradition on Canada Day, Hot dogs and hamburgers for dinner with friends and family!!!

Watched fireworks in Wabamun, since I sort of did not get my firework fix for New Years but again who needs fireworks when your in Paris so therefore I am not complaining....  HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Alberta's Heaven.... Banff

There are two sides of Alberta, there are prairies which aren't too exciting but then there are also the rocky mountains which are heaven. You can't help but sink inside when you see the Mountain view, it is just so goregous.
Leaving the Prairies behind, and Entering Heaven.
Now I have been to three of the national parks in Alberta. Waterton National Park, Jasper National Park and Banff National Park that i can cross off my bucket list officially.

Started out my journey at 7:30am - typed in the address of the Hotel i was suppose to go to for my interview and not long after my drive my GPS decided to go Flat on me. Stupid car's cigarette lighter had no power to it which would have been lovely to know before hand so i could have charged it the night before. But I was fine and actually knew where i was going without a map or somewhere telling me where to go. Good thing I am a born Albertan. But just in case i did purchase a Paper map, Yup i went back to those good old days where all you needed for a road trip was a map to see where and which way you were headed. I can't believe paper maps are still some what expensive, i thought they would have decreased in price due to the technical generation we are in now. $6 - do you think that is expensive or priced right for a paper map?

Also i had foursquare so I also used that as my Travel Journal to keep track of where I have been, wonderful tool foursquare is. - Rocky Mountain House - Caroline - Sundre - Cochrane - Ghost lake Village, Morley - Kananaskis County - Dead man's Flats, Banff - Canmore - Banff National Park Gate - Banff - BeaverTails - Banff Park Lodge - Nordegg.

I almost made it to banff on a one tank of gas but then i had to stop at a gas station on the side of Highway 1 from Morley the Ghost Lake Village turn off - which by the way it was the sketchiest gas station I have ever been to. Hold your purses ladies!

By then i was in the mountains and I keeping my eyes peeled for that Contiki coach - to be honest every coach that drove by i was looking. You get such a Rush of excitement that leaves you smiling for hours once you have spotted that Contiki Coach. Yes we have already established i am a contiki nut, I heart Contiki, but who doesn't.
Couldn't take a fast enough picture. Contiki!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Look what else I have spotted. Trafalgar :)
Now that I am in Banff, Which by the way it costs 9.80 for a day pass and that is good for all the national parks so if you plan on driving to all the national parks in one day but i recommend not to because there is a lot to see in just one national park. It was VERY busy little town and it is defiantly a tourist town, trying to find parking on the street which by the way is 2 hours max is very difficult. They also have paid parking garage but I wasn't there for that long so 2 hour parking was plenty. As i was making my second loop looking for a parking spot, guess what i spotted... Yupp Beaver Tails!!!!!!!!!! Oh my God i was ecstatic, My friends in ottawa was raving about them and i was not to lie getting a little jealous, i wanted to try a beaver tail. By then i had found a parking stall, and walked straight for those Beaver tails. 
I am Officially A Canadian, Eh! Haha
When you see a whole bunch of vehicles on both sides of the road that generally means tourists have spotted wildlife that they haven't seen before, so just slow down. And remember you are in Bear country. Black Bears are common to spot on the side of the highways and Mule Deer or Whitetail Deer. You may be able to spot a Elk or a Moose but it is not common on the side of the highways, but really in the National Parks there are a 50/50 chance of seeing every kind of animal if you keep your eyes peeled.
Where's the Black Beer?
 Where to Find:
Whitetail Deer  Mostly valley Bottoms.
Mule Deer Mostly valley Bottoms
Elk valley bottoms and open areas. Commonly sen around townsites.
Bighorn Sheep Near steep rocky terrain.
Mountain Goat Near steep rocky Terrain.
Moose Wet and marshy areas.
Wolf Mainly valley bottoms
Coyote Valley bottoms, well adapted to humans
Caribou Alpine and subalpine meadows. Threatened species. Only exist in Jasper and Mt. Revelstoke.
Red Squirrel Coniferous forests, scampering up trees.
Columbia Ground Squirrel meadows, roadsides and townsites in ground colonies.
Marmot Alpine and subalpine meadows, rock piles and scree slopes.

In the mountains the weather can be anything. It can be sunny and cloudy in one spot and Rain in another complete different spot. And there is no radio station reception so make sure you have that ipod or CDs or just enjoy the quiet and take in the scenery. The further deep you get into the mountains you will feel a chill in the temperature, no wonder these mountains can have snow on them all year around.
Mountain Top zoomed in.
What a great way to spend your Friday!!
Many more visits to come....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Discovering Los Angeles with Contiki Holidays

1. Scenic Drive through the City.
  • Mann's Chinese Theater done See.... Johnny Depp and I are a match, I got to touch his Hands :) *stars in eyes* ... sigh!! haha!!!
  • the "Walk of Fame" done There is so many stars on the walk.....
  • Drive along famous Sunset Strip done
  • Visit Santa Monica & Venice Beach done  You either love or hate Venice Beach and be aware you will see people dealing drugs or smoking them. As soon as my Tour Manager mentioned that and I got off the bus, guess what i saw.... yup someone just smoking joint down the sidewalk. I wouldn't say I hate Venice beach because Hate is a strong word but I did not find that I loved it. It was dirty and it was a different atmosphere compared to the rest of the city. 
  • See Rodeo Drive and Melrose Avenue done
 2. Scenic walk through downtown.

Get an insiders look into what makes Los Angeles, well LA on a walking tour of downtown with "Mike the Poet." Very in depth walk of the historic of downtown Los Angeles and great way to see it and learn, hear what you are looking at. Afterwards the day is yours to explore. Either check out the new "L.A. Live" entertainment venue, visit the Grammy Museum or see more on an optional 'hop on hop off' tour of Los Angeles. 

  • Grammy Museum (Next Time)
  • Hop on Hop off Nice way to get around Los Angeles, besides the fact you have to wait for the bus and it can be while if you are there to catch the last bus of the day. Tip: Taxis are expensive and their hard to grab!!
  • Hollywood Behind the Scenes Tour (Next Time, but I do not remember this being an option on my Tour)
  • Movie Star's Homes tour Not worth the money. Only home we were able to see visibly was Courtney Cox & David Arquette's Home. Other than that the home's weren't that fabulous on the outside - I am sure they are much more glamorous inside. They should run tours that go insides their homes, now that would be better. Instead of just seeing Beckham's Chimney and Jennifer Aniston's. Beverly Hill's is just another neighbourhood in the city of Los Angeles. Oh and do not get me started on Orlando Bloom's house. Oh my word - those people are paranoid!!! But again I can see why they would be and i probably would be to, to keep the public from prying into my life.
  • Universal Studios 1Day/1Park Tip: Get to the park as soon as it opens and make your way to the ticket line to purchase a 'Front of the Line' pass - it is well worth the money because once that park gets busy in the afternoon you'd be waiting in the rides line up's for a very long time. Jurassic Park ride was the best - probably because you got soaked at the end of the ride and that helped being a HOT summer day in Los Angeles. My favorite part was the Universal Studio Lot Tour. Oh man that Lot is huge!!! They film everything there. Got to go on the Desperate Housewife set :), that was cool!!! Only place where you can go from New York City to the Wild West in matter of seconds!!! 
  • Disneyland Transfer with Park Hopper Tip: do not miss the shuttle back to the hotel. Or you will be spending $100 for a taxi to get you back.
  • Disneyland Transfer with Pick a Park
  • Hollywood Pub Crawl The most fun you will ever have on your Contiki Tour is on this Pub Crawl that is included. There are four bar stops, where the last stop is the most fabulous nightclub you will ever go to in your life. I felt like a Hollywood star that night on my Birthday being at this club - 'Drai's Hollywood.' The view from the rooftop club is glamorous and the Pool... There is so much to say so lets just say its definitely Hollywood's Hotspot!!  
Extra Tidbits to do in Los Angeles: 

  • Tonight show with Jay Leno Greatest birthday present to myself, free tickets to the taping of Jay Leno. July 29, 2011 taping with Emma Stone. We were sitting right across from the band. It's a small studio - looks bigger on TV, but again what doesn't look bigger on TV, Everything!!!
  • Rent a Car Easiest cheapest way to get around the City of Los Angeles. Even though you make think buying gas is not cheap - it is well worth it. Compared to taking taxis and the hop on hop off tour bus. This way you can the flexibility to go and come where ever you please.
  • Newport Beach Oh.... I could live there!!! Fabulous. That is all I have to say!!!
  • Pasadena Tunnels (Next time)
  • Beer Pong in Glendora with Friends <3 - drinking all that beer at the end of your Contiki tour is a lot, i was exhausted after my tour and that beer did not help. It just made me crash and sleep like a rock!! But i still found time to go to the Contiki offices in Anaheim!!!
  • Griffith Observatory If you are into space science then this is a must stop for you, Pretty cool!!! And great views of Los Angeles. They have telescopes out that allow you to see specific plants, etc depending on the night.
  • Hollywood Sign Not as fabulous as i thought it would be. It is just a sign that reads Hollywood on a mountain, where it used to read 'Hollywood Land.'
I was not sure why I did another four day tour because it is never long enough but i am glad i did this tour because it really showed me the city of Los Angeles. To be honest, I do not see the big deal, big hype over this city. Yes, it is where all the "Hollywood Stars" live but really that is all the hype the city has. I wouldn't rush back to see Los Angeles now that I have had a in depth visit with Contiki Holidays. Time to see what the hype is about in other parts of the world ;)!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Discovering San Francisco with Contiki Holidays

Ever imagined what the Gold coast was like without the craziness, busyness of Los Angeles? December is cold in San Francisco at this time of year so make sure you bring warm clothes and also it is very busy during the holiday season so please be aware that you may have to be flexible if need to juggle/change the itinerary schedule. 

I, being from Canada did not find it that cold - it was nice 'sweater weather'! walking down the street i have had a few questions like "arent you cold." Nope you should live where i live then you would know what cold is haha. San Francisco is a fabulous city! highly recommend visiting.


Day One: Meet up with your Tour Manager in the Hotel Lobby and sign in. Climb onto the bus and tour the City of San Francisco. Drive by Ocean beach through Central Park of San Francisco, Golden Gate Park. Ever watched the TV Series Full House? You'll love the next stop. The Seven famous houses in San Francisco, and no you will not find the Tanner's house - sorry to disappoint some of you. Walk the very long bridge, The Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County. Drive the rolling hills of San Francisco through to Little Italy where you will stop for lunch. Afterwards it will be your free time to wander the streets of San Francisco. Walk to Pier 39, Shop, Coit Tower, Lombard Street and Fishermans Wharf.

Day Two: Start your day early with a Tour of Alcatraz, front of line passes. Take the walking guided tour through Alcatraz with your headset and wander the prison walls and see how the other half lived. Could you imagine being locked away on an island with knowing the City of San Francisco was right there? It would be tough. Make sure you do not miss the boat back to the mainland or you will be spending the night on Alcatraz island. After you make your way back to the mainland - grab a quick bite to eat before the "San Francisco Workout" Bike and Roll. Either enjoy a meal at IN N' OUT Burger or Subway that is located minutes from Bike and Roll. Start off with a small hill then go big. Yeah half of us walked the Big hill half way up, then Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge which is a lot of work with that wind blowing. On the other side you can either take the Ferry back or you can be adventurous and Bike back.


Then Later in the Evening watch fireworks explode over the spectacular "City by the Bay" & Ring in the New Year on the included Dinner party cruise with an open bar and dance the night away. 

Day Three: Go out for breakfast with the group and then either ride on a historic cable car, shopping in trendy Union Square, feeling the hippie vibe in Haight-Ashbury or chill out with great views from Golden Gate Park. It is your day to explore the City.

Day Four: Say farewell to your new friends.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Trevi Fountain - coin or no coin?

It has been said that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain you are bound to return.

I had an opportunity to go back to Italy with contiki but i was persuaded into doing Spanish spree because I have already seen and been to Italy and the other stops on the particular tour I originally picked.

And plus I like to explore different countries, places instead of going back to the same old place over and over again. Keep that mind wide open for new opportunities and possibilities. But that does not mean I will never return, when the time is right I will return but it will not because I did not throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain.


Scams to watch out for when in Rome The String scam, where they come up to you and place a bracelet around your wrist and leaving a string of the bracelet still attached to them so you can’t walk away so you are more obligated to pay for it. My one tip with this, carry small euro change with you in the pocket so you can pretend this is all that you have on you.

Gelato only the best ice cream in the entire world and you think you already have a tough decision on which ice cream to buy at the grocery store, you have not yet been to Rome because it is 10x tougher., there is so many more choices. Oh and a little fun fact, did you know you can get gelato at early in the morning? Not a lie it is true.

Do not sleep with your room window open It was quite warm and we had left the window open for allowing breeze to flow through. Yeah there is only an hour maybe two break in traffic. It is similar to New York City; you know that city that never sleeps.

Italian DVDs You might want to pick up some Italian movies to bring back home so you can watch movies in Italian on those rainy evenings. Think twice before doing so, they have a completely different region code and unless you plan on watching the movies on your computer do not stock up with too many.


Pasta, Pasta and Pasta you will eat a lot of pasta so I hope you love it. I have ate Pasta at restaurants which was delicious and then some more Pasta at the Family’s, which was more delicious than the restaurants.

Pizza they literally put EVERYTHING on their pizzas and I mean everything. Ever seen French fries and hotdogs on pizza? You will in Italy.

Hours of Operation If you are arriving into Rome at 4 o’clock, it is best to go to the local grocery store down from your accommodations for a bite to eat because you will not find any restaurants open for dinner at that hour, Not until about 8 o’clock.

Crossing the street CAUTION defiantly look both ways before crossing and best to cross when there is a big crowd that way the vehicles have to stop. It will be hard to cross with just the two of you, but it can be done it will just be a little tougher. Rome drivers are insane!

~

When in Rome why not witness a drug bust. Well that is actually what I did get to see across from my accommodations. My mother and I were waiting for my Brother and Aunt when this whole shindig unfolded. The gentleman came to a screeching stop and threw the drugs underneath the car so when the Police got a hold of him he did not have it on him. The officer moved his vehicle and found it laying on the ground, by the looks of it he wanted to punch the guy and yelled something in Italian, but not speaking the language I did not understand and only went off emotions. What a way to end my visit to Rome, Right?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Domingo de aventura

Exploring in your backyard and still learning a little piece of history is the fun part.You'll never know what you will find or see, you may think you know the area but be careful it might shock you with what you find. Explore with an open mind.

Can you believe it and this is only an hour outside the capital of Alberta and yet you can not feel the city atmosphere at all. It is like two different worlds.

I just felt like going for a little hike on this partly cloudy Sunday after running errands. As everyone was packing up their trailer and heading back home for the day, my adventures and fun was just beginning.

First it started with driving down a road the way i always go towards Evansburg and i was like what is over there down that road, so i followed it. I passed a golf course, yet another one if i may add. And after that it was only peoples acreage after acreage and then,

Well I better turn around or @TravelJenB might see me in Dawson City lol! #CuriousSunday 

Just right inside the provincial park of Pembina there are four concrete pillars and they are the remains of which there was a railway bridge back in the 1913 by the Canadian Northern Railway. Where the settlement of the Pembina river area coincided with the extension of two railways - The Grand Trunk Pacific and Canadian North.

Both companies decided to build railways from Edmonton to the pacific coast via the yellowhead trail. the Grand Trunk Pacific reached the Pembina first in 1910 and chose the easiest route across the river, and then Canadian Northern Railway reached the river in 1913 and spent one year building a bridge across the Pembina River.

The Duplications of the two railways along the river proved inefficient and forced both companies to default in 1917. Where Later in 1922 the bridge built by the Canadian Northern Railway was dismantled but only to leave the four concrete pillars as a historical remainder of the railway race.

Walked as far as i could along side the river - boy the water level has gone up. Tubing on this river in the summer time would be so fun. 






Smile*

No matter how far one is from one another there is always a reason to smile!! Like when I smile every time he sends me a email. We'll call him Chuck for this blog. 

That is an issue of doing a very short Contiki tour - you feel rushed to see everything the city has to offer and you do not get the time to visit and hang out with many people from the Tour Group before one leaves to go back home or onwards to another tour. It wasn't until the end of the tour when we got back to London when Chuck and I hit it off. The remaining Tour who came back to London went for end of tour drinks at the London Pub outside the Royal National.


We started playing drinking games. But before that Chuck and I just sat in the corner by ourselves just having a conversation. Then one of our Tour Friend came over okay you guys have been over here talking a lot, it is time to kiss.

That was the first warning. 

After we played two or three different drinking games. The bar was closing so we had to move over to the hotel bar where we continued having our conversation, Chuck and I. And then she came back over and wouldn't leave until we did kiss this time.




Friday, June 08, 2012

What life could have been

Arrived at work this afternoon and I was asked "Did you get Married?" I was like uh I hope not, I am not done traveling and living my life to settle down.

There used to be another Katelyn working at the Front Desk before I and many guests get me confused for her, as i always have to tell them uh nope that was not me, another Katelyn.

But, now that made me think on how much my life would have been if I had said Yes to my guy friend who at the time lived in Spain when i was twenty years old, now he lives in Amsterdam. Parts of me wanted to say yes at the time but even now I couldn't have imaged where I would be or how I would be If i had moved to Spain and eloped with him. I guess it will be one of those life's secrets in ones past that one will never know......

Questions we will never know the answer too....
  • Would i be living in Europe or would he have moved to Canada?
  • Would I have traveled Contiki earlier? 
  • Would I have been Happy?
  • Would I have finished my Marketing Diploma? 
  • Would I have been better off?
  • Why didn't I say yes?
  • Would I have been fluent in Spanish?
  • Would I have become a different person?
You can't read much into something in your past too much, you can dwell upon it for a day and just ponder.. What if! but then tomorrow you have to move on or you might miss out on something great in your present or possibly your future.

I know back then i was still much of a child back then when he asked me... but I do not know, maybe it would have helped me grow up faster?! I know this far, that I never saw the light at the end of the tunnel back then, until now. It wasn't until I started traveling with Contiki that i started seeing that light at the end of the tunnel and life became that much more clearer and I knew what i wanted! ..... Australia!

Funny how that much time what it had done and where i was, to where and whom i have become. amazing! And yet i am still moving forward to who knows where......

Cheers Xo

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Today I added some Bounce into my Life!

Today as i was driving into Stony Plain running errands before work, 102.3 Now Radio was playing odd ball of songs that they do not normally play. It was way scattered and was making my head spin and to be honest not enjoyable to listen to because they were jumping all around the place. It was like the Radio Station has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).

It was too much for me to handle so I switched to 91.7 The Bounce for some more upbeat music, for being such a gloomy Tuesday afternoon. And I found myself dancing in the car again, as I once was when i was listening to 102.3 Now Radio but the past few weeks I have not found myself dancing in the car to Now's music. They have lost their Wow factor.

As of 2 o'clock 102.3 Now Radio had lost a Now Family member and 91.7 The Bounce had gained a listener. I ended up being in a better mood after listening to 91.7 The Bounce for just a couple hours. They put the Bounce back into my life, That Now Radio had taken away.

The Bounce's music is more upbeat and actually has a rotation to play through, not like 102.3 Now Radio how they, I have noticed have been playing a lot of the same songs over and over again because the Now family listeners are requesting the same songs over and over again. I may be wrong but that is just what I have been hearing. And it was getting tiresome so I did something about it, once i turned that channel on the radio I felt refreshed and smiling again!

I need a break from the Now Family, and I need some Bounce in my life! "Put some Bounce into your Life and Listen to 91.7 The Bounce today"

Monday, June 04, 2012

Hollywood Rooftop, Drais


Everyone loves to party in style right? Not only are you partying at one of the hottest clubs with a swimming pool and pole dancing but you also get a magnificent view of Hollywood, Los Angeles and you just might see a celeb spotting.

Upscale fashionable required where all ages are welcome before 10pm nightly. After 10pm Enjoy a drink inside sitting at a booth mingling with your friends while watching pole dancing or dancing with your friends.

Or chill outside on the pool deck and without having to walk back inside to grab a drink, there is a bar outside on the pool deck. So Enjoy! 

Then grab that drink and over look the magnificent view of Hollywood - it's marvelous! I really felt like a VIP that night. Contiki Holidays have your hookups.

Where is this Fabulous nightclub you ask?  
6250 Hollywood Blvd
12th Fl

Los Angeles, CA 90028
Neighbourhood: Hollywood


And for more Information: http://hollywood.drais.net/www_information/

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Why I Didnt Fall In Love With Paris

Driving into Paris on the contiki coach was magnificent, seeing the Eiffel tower defiantly not in Kansas anymore. I am not saying I do not like Paris but i did not feel what people are suppose to feel when they visit Paris, it was a different experience that is hard to explain but never the less has defiantly have taken into consideration of how I live my life, always moving forward. As I say every time I visit Europe it changes me, I do not know how but it changes my outlook, perspective and i am more sure of who i am after each visit from Europe.


Safety. I did not feel comfortable walking around the city always cautious on how i was carrying my bag. As the first night we were touring around the city, and the bus dropped us off to have dinner and whoever wanted to go back to the hotel was to meet at a specific spot to get back onto the coach or continue exploring Paris and take a taxi back to the Hotel. Some of us went back onto the bus and as we were driving onwards back to the Hotel, we happened to see a mugging or fight. Not to sure what it was but by the looks of something, one guy was trying to take another gentlemen fanny pouch of some sort and he was getting mad, and the third guy was trying to hold him back.


Weather. Do not go to Paris in December/January it is rainy and cold and nothing is open New Years Day so not much for you to do except for walking the hallways of the Louvre, which is not a bad thing because that place you can take two days and still not see everything - it is defiantly the place of art :), or walk the streets of Paris or do people watching at a local cafe.


Time. The length of time i was in Paris was short. Arrived December 29 and left January 2. I am sure if i have been in Paris longer and actually got to see and spend some time I would have enjoyed Paris much more, Not saying that I did not enjoy Paris. Just the fact that it was too short. Although I feel i saw more of London then i did of Paris and i was in London for shorter if not the same amount of time. You defiantly need 5+ days in any destination you travel to.


Getting around. Especially from the Contiki hotel we stayed at, to get into Paris. It just seemed quite far. Until you get into Paris, for example we exited the Louvre and planned on finding the Metro to take us to Notre Dame but instead it turned out to be a few blocks north, which was nice that it was semi close by. The Metro was a little bit harder to figure out, which track to take to get us to this destination and so forth. I do not know why but I did not feel safe riding the Metro in Paris.



Language barrier. I had forgotten my translation, lonely planet french book at home so I did not have that with me. Which if i did have so i would have felt more comfortable communicating and be more willing to try. I had not taken a French lesson since elementary school, even I had burrowed some french discs from the library and listened to them each and every day was still not the right approach to learning a new language.


Beggars. Especially watch out for the deaf people that try and come up to you to ask for money. Oh my gosh, i have not seen that many Vendors in Paris since my trip to Italy and still then I think Paris has Italy beaten for how many vendors they have. And most of the Vendors are ripping you off. Best bet is to buy your souvenirs in a store on the streets of Paris - that is how i bought my Key Chain Eiffel Tower, for 0.25 Euros. Watch out for the Gold Ring & String Ring Scam... especially on Montmatre & Champs de Mars.

Gold Ring Scam: a quick and simple summary; A Girl drops a fake gold ring in front of a tourist and tries to persuade him/her to buy it for far more than it is worth. 


Alone. Would have been nice to have someone to share New years in Paris with. Although it did help having Doug, a previous Contiki friend from a previous tour there. It is tough traveling alone and I give myself a lot of props traveling around the globe by myself meeting strangers that soon become friends, Thanks Contiki Holidays for making it easier to travel by one self.


Groups were separated. There were two buses with 50 people on each bus and there were a few people that i had met few months prior on facebook that i have only got to meet one day prior to the tour in London. It would have been nice to have been in the same hotel at least or close to.Just would have been more fun to have more people to share the experience of Paris with and get lost walking the streets with.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

4 - 7 Days Contiki Packing List

The hardest part of traveling is the packing, what to pack, how much to pack and when should I start packing? 

Let's start with the easy stuff: Toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush, hair elastics, make up. I suggest not taking your hair straightener with you and just go to the local drug store and buy one there that way you do not end up frying your straightener and leaving you without one during your week away. (speaking from experience). 

Next step is choosing the right size of luggage to take, You do not want it to be too small that you can't fit enough clothes in nor do you want to be too big that you are oversize for the airlines/tour. This is where researching comes in handy. Which airline do you plan on flying with? Every airline has a restriction, luggage size not just for weight issues for the plane but also for their staff that have to load and unload from the plane. Here is what I did, i went on the airline's website and found the measurements of what their restrictions were and then i went to a luggage store with a tape measure and started measuring different luggage's until i found the one i liked and the one that was big enough to hold all my belongings.

Now this is just for you to initially pack because of course you will be shopping, if not daily.


There is a lot of walking involved and just simply changing your shoes daily can make you walk longer even though your feet may be sore. Having different shoes I have found helps. When i was walking ALL OVER Central London, my feet were killing me but because I changed my shoes and did not wear the same shoes back to back, my feet felt relaxed enough to keep on walking the next day ALL OVER central London.


Expect to go out every night on a Contiki. Now you do not have to but there will be some people on your tour that will. And what I mean by Formal is club wear, just exactly what you would wear to the bar.

You never know what the weather will be like where ever in the world you are traveling to, it could be the hottest place in the middle of summer and all of a sudden you get a freak rainstorm making the days chilly. So just in case pack those bottoms and sweaters! Tip: Do not wear Jeans in Los Angeles during the months of July and August 

Non clothing items to pack:  


Especially if you carry your cell phone, Ipod with you, you will need those European plugs. A cell phone isn't just good for texting, calling with an international Sim card of course but cell phone cameras make excellent cameras. My Blackberry Camera takes wonders of pictures - some of my better pictures were taken on my blackberry than my camera it self.

Might want a book to read during the Coach ride between destinations, or a phrasebook so you can practice phrases between destinations - quiz one another on the coach. Whatever passes the time right?
Or you might fill up that void with writing in your travel journal so you do not forget what you did last night in, oh say Amsterdam or London, etc. Writing it down right away will keep the memories alive! 

what are some your must haves when traveling? Feel free to share them and Leave a reply below...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Domestic Travel - who says you can't travel in your backyard

Some of the fun moments are getting in your car and going for that weekend road trip or grab the summer activities program list for your local city, even just staying home and enjoying what your city has to offer on weekends can be fun as well, as long as it gets you out of your houses and takes your mind away from the day to day life chores (Bills, house work, work, etc). Just go to your city's homepage on the web and click on Events and there will be a list of all the events taken place on the day within your city. There are a ton of stuff happening in and around your city especially in the summer. Get out and enjoy, our summer months in Canada are so short already.

Sometimes I just get into my vehicle and drive, and if i am not going to work then rest of the time I am not sure where I am headed but guarantee it takes me to some pretty picturesque places. Try it some time!

In and Around Edmonton -
  • Weekend road trip to Jasper or Banff
  • Take an adventure into the Valley Zoo
  • Roll a ball in the lion's mouth for luck at the Chinatown Gate
  • Walk along the North Saskatchewan River on one of our numerous parks trails, and take in natures finest.  
  • Sleep in an igloo at the Fantasyland hotel. 
  • Grab a latte and walk down trendy Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona
  • Take your family to the Telus World of Science to experience the fun science
  • Take your picture with the Wayne Gretzky monument. 
  • Check out Leduc #1, the oil that started it all
  • Watch a dragon blow fire at you in the Scotiabank Theatre in West Edmonton Mall
  • Stay at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald overlooking the beautiful North Saskatchewan River Valley
  • Wing it at the Alberta Aviation Museum
  • Study unique pieces of art at the Stony Plain and Legal murals.
  • for more 100 things to see and do in Edmonon http://www.edmonton.com/for-visitors/1051.aspx 
 In and Around Toronto - 
  • Walk the underground PATH
  • Take a helicopter tour of Toronto
  • Eat your way through Toronto’s delicious ethnic neighbourhoods -
  • Browse the St. Lawrence Market.
  • Visit Kensington Market, a shopper’s dream
  • Visit the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
  • Hike Toronto Island
  • Walk down Toronto’s widest street
  • See the lake that’s like an ocean, but not. Lake Ontario is one of the Great Lakes that separates the US from Canada and is famous for its size and massive storms
  • Walk Toronto’s famous Yonge Street
  • Learn about boat making at the Pier
  • for more 100 things to see and do in Toronto http://www.showmetoronto.com/blog/toronto-bucket-list-100-things-to-see-and-do-in-toronto-before-you-die.html
In and Around Vancouver - 
  • Zip Trek or Bungee jump whistler
  • Watch the sunset from Burnaby mountain or Cypress lookout
  • Check out the Richmond Night Market  
  • Visit one of the many Farmers Markets around town
  • take a walking tour through Chinatown, eat at Kent’s Kitchen and have
    dessert at New Town Bakery
  • Take the [very fast] elevator up to the top floor in the Marine
    Building, Vancouver’s oldest skyscraper
  • Take in some almost always excellent live music at the Railway Club.
  • Go kayaking at Deep Cove and enjoy the scenery along Indian Arm
  • Grouse Mountain
  • Seawall
  • Granville Island
  • Vancouver aquarium
  • Capilano suspension bridge and regional park

Travel Protection Plan

Someone might ask, Why do I need Travel Insurance? I was one of those people and I know this because I was the one traveling to Europe this past December and early January without Travel Insurance. I know right probably not the smartest decision but I was young and it was only a short trip, 10 days! I did not want to bother the extra money when I could use that extra money for shopping!

Here is my opinion on buying Insurance or extended warranty. Its like when you buy extended warranty for your I pod, I phone, Laptop - Is it really necessary? I think to myself because if anything would happen it would happen within the year of buying that I pod and that one year warranty is already covered so why the extra warranty.

But I know that is getting off topic because Travel Insurance is nothing like extended warranty for electronics you purchase. You are spending a lot more money for your trips, and time. I should have bought Travel Insurance right. Although traveling within Canada and the United States I would not bother because if it is totally out of your control and if you booked directly with the airline then the airline will do what they can, well they are more inclined to help. Like put you up in a hotel, free of cost for the night until you can get a flight home.

For example, my parents went down to the united states to visit my mothers folks, and when they were flying home they were late taking off in Baton Rouge, Louisiana so by the time they got to Houston, Texas they had missed their connection - But since they booked through a third party the airline is not obligated to help. The only reason the airline put them up for the night because they kept getting bumped back and forth from each ticket counter. Continental ticket counter said oh we can't help you because you have United Airline Tickets so they would go back and forth - Even though everyone knew they were one company. They could see they were getting bumped back and forth so the airline put them up in a hotel for the night free of cost. But that is very rare that the Airline will do such thing to help out stranded passengers - the circumstances has to be extreme for them to do anything.

Summaries of some travel protection plans that I have researched - It helps to get three quotes of a similar product to make a educated, best decision. That way you are not taken advantage of and you know for yourself what you are getting and not just relying on your Travel Agent to get the best deal. Be invested in your Travel plans as well and do not leave it all to a Travel Agent to handle, work with you Travel Agent. At the end of the day they are only there to make money and it is up to you to look after you!

What made me change my mind about Travel Insurance - well the fact that i will be traveling to the middle east. Yes, Egypt! not the place the you want to go to if you are an american or without Travel Insurance. Traveling teaches you to be aware of global political situations, opens your mind to new possibilities and gains your self confidence and courage. Especially if you are traveling across the Atlantic ocean to meet up friends you have yet to meet, Contiki Holidays bringing the world together one friend at a time.

AMA - Premium Package Plan $219.00 + Tax
  • Emergency hospital and/or medical services - (up to 5,000,000)
  • Flight Accident - (up to 100,000)
  • Other Travel Accident - (up to 50,000)
  • Baggage and personal effects - (up to 1,500)
  • Trip Cancellation - Sum insured
  • Trip Interruption, prepared Travel arrangements - (unlimited)
  • Trip Interruption, Return Airfare - (unlimited)
  • Trip Delay - (up to 2,500)
  • Concierge service - (included)
  • Stand by MD - (included)  
Uniglobe/ RBC - Deluxe Package $240.00 + Tax
  • Cancellations & Interruption Insurance
  • Loss, Damage or delay and personal effects
  • Emergency medical insurance
  • Flight accident Insurance
  • Travel accident Insurance
Contiki Holidays Travel Protection Plan - Trips less than $2,000: $129 per person and Trips $2,000 or greater: $169 a person + Tax.
  • Travel Arrangement Protection (Section I)
  • Trip Cancellation: Up to Total Cost
  • The Contiki Holidays "Any reason" Cancellation Waiver**.
  • Trip Interruption: Up to Total Trip Cost
  • Trip Delay: Up to C$1,000 (C$150/Day)
  • Travel Insurance Benefits (Section II)
  • Baggage protection: up to C$2,500
  • Bag Delay: up to C$500
  • Medical & Dental Expenses: Up to C$1,000,000**
  • Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation: Up to C$50,000
  • Emergency Assistance Services (Section III)
Which one will I go with? Is it that obvious or am I, ha ha!.... Contiki Holidays!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Photo of the Day [Week Quattro]


Plane spotting outside the Edmonton International Airport - Sometimes when I am early to Leduc/Nisku for work I will go over to the visitor info building and sit in the bright sun, tan and watch the Planes leave and enter the International Airport. Of course the visitor info building is underneath the flight path so the planes fly right over your head. There are a lot of Air Canada flights during the time I am going to work - I ended up snapping this perfect shot of Air Canada Jazz flying over my head. And this was taken by my Blackberry Camera - Zoomed in and snapped to get this perfect result!

Plane watching is a nice pastime - What do you do to past the time (travel related)?

My next Contiki destinations

No Contiki Withdrawals happened this time once i returned home from Paris and London. But that is maybe because I got excited looking through the brochures picking my next destinations.

First i was looking at what to do for New Years 2012 - I defiantly did not want to do another 4 day tour. So here below is what i have booked and already paid *Thumbs Up*

Contiki #4 - Egypt & The Nile 
9 Days 1 Country


I am going to explore ancient egypt, with its icons, buzzing cities & incredible sights. from the Intensity of Cairo & Cruising the Nile in style to traveling like the locals on a felucca, this will be an intense New Years of discovery.
I also get to see 3 World Heritage Sites. Only Contiki includes - pharaohs to mummies, locally guided tours of the Egyptain museum & the Pyramids of Giza. - Tour the valley of the Kings with a local Egyptian expert - Sit back & Chill as you drift down the Nile on a traditional felucca sailing boat - local villages, ancient sites & stunning scenery. And many more optional activities. But you'll have to wait to hear about them!

But why stop there - Already purchased my flight from Cairo to Madrid. Arriving into Madrid at approximately 4am! 

Contiki #5 - Spanish Spree
15 Days 2 Countries

Hola! I am going Local on this perfect intro to Sunny Spain. I will be tweeting from Gaudi's architecture & flamenco in Barcelona, cosmopolitan Madrid, Beaches & Parties in Ibiza to laid back Seville. I will show you everything that we (Contiki) and myself love about Spain & more.
Not only do i get to see  3 World Heritage Sites in Egypt, But I get to see 7 in Spain. Only with Contiki you get to explore the Palace of the Spanish royal family on their locally guided tour - while catching a flight to the world-reowned Ibiza to check out its famous clubs and beaches - locally guided tour of Granada's Alhambra Palace - While learning about the history of Spanish culture & architecture at the Mosque of Caliphs in Cordoba. Plus some regional dinners and explore more options but you'll have to wait to hear about them!

I will be tweeting again from these Fabulous Contiki Tours - @AyKate - to follow my worldwide adventures!

Let the countdown begin <3