May 11, 2018

We enjoyed a lovely long weekend in Seattle with a few of our friends from Vancouver in November.  In true Seattle fashion the weather was a little rainy and cool but nothing that stopped us from getting out and enjoying this great city.  We visited Pike Place to see them throwing fish, wandered the markets, visited the gum wall, ferried out to Bainbridge Island for a lovely lunch, spied the space needle, drank coffee in the original Starbucks store and of course did some shopping!  Such a fun city to visit – no doubt we will be back during our time here in Vancouver as it is only a 2 hour drive!


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April 8, 2018

Canadian Thanksgiving is the second Monday in October and such a lovely tradition that we couldn’t wait to take part in.  It turns out that the Canadian tradition has different beginnings from the US version and it marks the beginning of the harvest season in this part of the world.  

We were lucky enough to spend our first thanksgiving in Whistler with 20 Australia friends who live in Vancouver.  We stayed at the beautiful Fairmont Chateau where they go all out with pumpkin carving and a special dinner to celebrate the occasion.  It really was the perfect way to enjoy this celebration, give thanks and enjoy the beginning of the magical Fall season in Canada.

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April 6, 2018

With Mr A away back in Australia, the girls and I headed for a fun weekend away in LA during September.  We met up with some close friends from Australia who were holidaying and had simply the best 3 days of fun!  

We caught at crack of dawn flight out of Vancouver and with a 2 hour flight time to LA we had touched down and were out of the airport mid morning ready to have fun!  We Ubered our way from the airport to our hotel in Santa Monica were we decided to base ourselves for the weekend.

We stayed at the very stylish Viceroy Hotel on Ocean Ave.  The location was fabulous with wonderful Ocean views and just across the road and we were on the beach.  The rooms included 2 comfy queen sized beds and a nice sized bathroom so it was perfect for the 4 of us.  The pool area, lobby, bar and restaurant was also just lovely.  I booked everything via expedia which is where I book a lot of our trips these days.  The hotel also had bikes you could borrow but you do need to get hold of them early as they are very popular! 

Once our friends joined us at the hotel we decided to spend the day wandering and watching along the famous Santa Monica and Venice Beaches having lunch and enjoying the shops, street performers and all the magic the comes with this eclectic part of the world.

On Saturday we decided we wanted to do a hike to the Hollywood Sign so we caught the train to Hollywood and from there we order an Uber to take us to our hiking destination!  The plan was going great until both our Uber driver and our friends Uber driver got completely lost and we ended in one location and our friends in a completely different location!  Our first bad experience with an Uber driver as neither could speak English. So with the girls and I now at Griffith Observatory and our friends miles away and nowhere near the Hollywood sign we had an interesting morning trying to find each other!  Needless to say our hike to the sign didn’t eventual but a short hike in the hills around the observatory plus a walk around the observatory had to suffice!! 

On our way back to Santa Monica we took a detour to Melrose Ave as the girls we keen to find the “pink” wall and all other interesting walls along Melrose!  It was a fun afternoon of photo taking and people watching.  

On Sunday we stayed in Santa Monica and hired bikes to ride along the beach, enjoying the magical weather and the fabulous bike path that goes for ever.  More people watching, eating and enjoying being out discovering the fun of the Santa Monica area.

Here are my favourite photos from our weekend away!

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March 1, 2018

Our first summer in Vancouver – super long days and magical temperatures that make you smile.  Vancouver pretty much gets zero rain during summer which is such a contrast to the long rainy winter!  The sun comes up at 5am and goes to bed at 10pm giving us around 16 hours of sunlight a day!  No super crazy 40 degree days like we get in Australia but just lovely mid 20’s that make for the perfect summer!  Here are some fun photos of Sienna and her bestie taken on a lovely summers day in August!  Such fun! 

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February 9, 2018

After a fantastic few weeks tripping up the east coast of the US it was time to head back to Canada to visit the three big eastern cities of Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto.

After leaving Portland we headed north through the very rural and quite state of Maine and over the boarder into Quebec!  The drive was about 5 and a half hours and we were surprised at how quite the roads were in this part of the world.

We arrived in Quebec City ready to explore this beautiful part of very French Canada.  You would never really think you were in Canada on arrival.  All signage and all language spoken is French so it really did feel like we had dropped ourselves into Europe!  

Quebec City was just beautiful and after New York the second favourite place we visited on our trip.  We stayed at Les Hotels Jaro just outside the old town but in a great location that was in easy walking distance to everything.  We had three days visiting the city and during the entire time we walked everywhere.  The beautiful streets are narrow and quaint and a large portion of the town is car free.   Such a lovely place to visit and just wander around absorbing the history!  Here are my favourite shots from our Canadian adventure.

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Next stop was the city of Montreal – much bigger and busier than QC but still lots of old world charm.  We stayed at L Appartement Hotel and once again decided to do without the car and walk wherever we had to go.  Montreal is a lot more widespread than Quebec City so we did need to walk further to see everything but it meant we got to do lots of exploring.  

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Final stop on our Canadian leg was the big booming city of Toronto!  So busy with all that traffic on the very busy multi lane highways in and out of the city.  We stayed at the very flash Adelaide Hotel downtown which was a lucky find on expedia at a special price.  Again lots of walking around the city which included a trip up the amazing CN Tower to see the wonderful views over this incredible city.  A day trip to Niagara Falls to see the amazing waterfalls was a big highlight of our visit.

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