Posts Tagged ‘vacation’
What a gorgeous country. I don’t think my pictures did it justice. Neither did the fog we drove through on the way to Jokulsarlon. So worth it. Will recap the trip later, but for now, pictures.
The list starts below the photos. You knew there would be photos.
1. Just over 2 weeks is not enough.
2. It’s not cool when your partner gets upgraded to executive class and you’re left in the middle seat between two strangers for 15 hours. Don’t ask about this, Orgle is done talking about it. It sucked.
5. At first dining out seemed more expensive. The price of a beer or an entrée* was more than I expected, but without tip and having tax included, it was pretty much comparable and easier to calculate. Big fan.
*6. An entrée is an appetizer.
7. There are very few major differences in terminology. When I was trying to go shopping, mall is something different. Gas station seems to be “servo”. At first I wouldn’t say anything when I walked into a store because I didn’t know how to answer the question, “How you gettin’ on?”
8. I heard about all the dangerous things in Australia. The snakes and the spiders and the sharks… but the most dangerous thing appears to be motor vehicles. There are dead kangaroos on the road everywhere. I didn’t see any of the others.
9. It’s beautiful. I think in terms of pure beauty, the Sunshine Coast and the Barossa Valley were my favourites. We travelled the Great Ocean Road in pretty miserable conditions. I’m sure it’s a sight when not so grey outside.
10. Orgle’s mom is a wonderful cook and one night she cooked up some Moreton Bay bugs. A trip highlight for sure.
11. The trip lowlight was hurting my neck again. The middle economy seat coming over followed by a bumpy flight to Melbourne really put me out. It was the worst it has ever been. I don’t know how Orgle has the patience to deal with me sometimes.
12. AFL. It’s ironic that I’m putting out this post on the day of the Grand Final between the Sydney Swans and the Hawthorn Hawks. At the start of the season I decided to be a fan of the Fremantle Dockers. Against some odds, they actually made it to the playoffs and through the first round of games. It was one of many I watched on the TV there. Even made it out to see a Brisbane Lions game in person. It’s a dynamic sport that I wish could find an audience here – not just because of the tight shorts and sleeveless shirts.
13. In an Instagram photo I posted of Adelaide, I said: Adelaide is the Edmonton of Australia. People make snide remarks about it but when you ask when they were last there, they’ve never been. As well, it’s bigger than most people think. I thought it was a really pleasant city, surrounded by gorgeous grape-growing regions and the ocean (so it that respect, not Edmonton).
14. Aussies love Utes. See Wikipedia. I always thought they were called a trucar. (Like a mix of the words truck and car which appears to not work as well when typed, leading me to believe I just made up that term as a kid.)
15. I watched 7 movies on the flight to and from Australia. The one I liked the most was “Safety not Guaranteed“. I really enjoyed it. (It has 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I am not alone.) The other movies I watched were: Five Year Engagement, The Avengers, Moonrise Kingdom, One Week, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Ghost. I also watched 8 episodes of Modern Family and most of 500 Days of Summer played as I did word puzzles.
16. Orgle’s friends seem cool. Yesterday I added a bunch of them to my Facebook. Most accepted the request. Maybe we can convince some to visit here sometime?
17. The other strange Aussie animal I really liked is the Echidna. They are way cute. After I say this, most people say, “what’s an echidna?”
18. Possums, however, get the big thumbs down. Creepy buggers.
19. I also don’t get cricket. Orgle says it’s a thing because what else are you going to do in hot, humid summers? I suggested surfing. He agreed.
20. Home auctioning seemed to be a big thing. It was hard to get a handle on real estate prices in Melbourne because of it. It was less of a thing in the small towns we went to. Seeing one hundred year old homes in the Barossa for $500K had me rethinking my life plan.
21. I’m now committed to convincing my parents to get chickens. Orgle’s mom has some. It seems to be working out for all involved.
22. Orgle’s dog is getting old. I don’t know if she will be around next time we visit. It makes me sad because I see how his face lights up around dogs. It’s only a matter of time, and finding a pet-friendly rental, before we have our own.
23. Is Australia like Canada? Yes and no. I would say there are probably more US-Canada connections but due to geography, that makes sense. But it’s not dissimilar. You can see that the origins were similar. I’m sure I annoyed many Australians with A. The way that I pronounce Australia with all the full syllables in it and B. My constant comparing of the two countries.
24. I will go back. Tasmania is on the list, so is Sydney and the Blue Mountains. Don’t tell the Aussies, but I’d like to see some of New Zealand too if I’m in that neck of the woods. However, first I have to find a job and save up money.
I’m sure that’s what my next blog post will be all about.
Gros Morne Park, Norris Point and driving to St. Anthony.
(After this there is Icebergs in St. Anthony and L’Anse aux Meadows)
For 10 days we explored an amazing amount of Newfoundland, from St. John’s all the way up to L’Anse aux Meadows. We went to the furthest East and North that it could offer. We could see Labrador. It was a beautiful, rugged province with more history than the West of Canada could hope to offer. The people were kind and, while sometimes hard to understand, were always wanting to help.
Instead of a long post, I give you lists outlining some of our trip to The Rock.
(Also: Photos below)
Five things I will never forget from Newfoundland:
2. The fjord of Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne Park
3. The tiny towns along every coast
4. Colourful row housing in St. John’s
5. Friendly Newfies
Five least memorable moments from the trip to Newfoundland:
1. Walking to the St. John’s airport
2. The steak and mushroom pie at Duke of Duckworth
3. Getting up to go to the Deer Lake airport at 4:30am (Midnight PT)
4. The water in the St. Anthony hotel
5. Starting to get seasick on the iceberg boat
Five things you must see in Newfoundland:
2. The UNESCO sites: Gros Morne Park and L’Anse aux Meadows
3. Tiny towns
4. St. John’s (with trips to Signal Hill and Cape Spear)
5. Wildlife (Moose, caribou, whales and one we never saw: Puffins)
Five things you must eat in Newfoundland:
1a. Icebergs (Seriously the water tasted amazing)
1. Cod tongues (We had them at The Daily Catch near L’Anse aux Meadows)
2. Scrunchions (Fried pieces of pork fat? Also at The Daily Catch)
3. Chowder (The best was at a grandparent-style restaurant in St. John’s)
4. Moose (we had sausages at a chip truck on the side of the road in Gros Morne)
5. Fish and Chips (we were tired of chips by day 10)
(Side note: Our best meal was probably at The Rooms in St. John’s.)
Five weird things they do in Newfoundland:
1. Personal gardens on the side of the road (this is because Newfoundland is a rock so there’s no soil in yards, but there is soil along highways)
2. Piles of wood and crab traps on the side of the road (crown land, go nuts!)
3. Have little bridges on the side of the road (they are for snowmobiles)
4. Serve fries with everything
5. Talk incomprehensibly.
Five things I won’t miss about Newfoundland:
1. Fries (as mentioned above, they came with everything)
3. Foul-tasting tap water (boy are we spoiled in Vancouver)
4. Generic mass-produced beer
5. Our ridiculous rental cars (a Chrysler 200 and a Dodge mini-van/SUV)
Five things I already miss about Newfoundland:
1. How quiet it is
2. Being able to say hello to strangers and they don’t look at you like you’re crazy
3. Old buildings
4. Open countryside
5. Winners of “Tidy Towns”
Five things that surprised me about Newfoundland:
1. Just how beautiful it was
2. How even at the northern tip (where we can see Labrador), it’s still further south than Calgary.
3. Lack of moose
4. Shorts-weather and icebergs co-exist
5. People are large
Five tiny towns with great names in Newfoundland:
2. South Dildo
3. Heart’s Content
4. Heart’s Desire
5. Heart’s Delight
Five questions that I still have following Newfoundland:
1. How would North America have been different had the Vikings stayed in L’Anse aux Meadows and wherever Vinland was?
2. Where are all the moose?
3. Why are all the little houses in tidy towns white?
4. How come we saw so few drinking establishments?
5. If people in Newfoundland drink so much beer, how come there is no decent beer there?
St. John’s, Cape Spear and Signal Hill:
Tiny towns from the Avalon Peninsula: