SearzLea

Hey, I'm on my first major overseas trip. Out to discover the world, starting with the UK and Europe. I'm a massive foodie.
Living in: Christchurch, New Zealand

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  • Day30

    We stayed and explored this beautiful town. Due to a road layout change a few years ago, the town was very quiet. So they revamped the town with a Bavarian theme and it put it back on the map.

    The town is beautiful all lit up at night.
    And we're staying in stunnung accommodation.

    After an early dinner and a walk around the shops, it was time to enjoy a bottle of wine together and relax.

    Found some chocolates that are designed to pair with wine. Goes from milk chocolate to dark and we tested them all to find out which one goes best with the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Vancouver wine. The dark chocolate won.
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  • Day30

    Luckily Mike, Linda and myself have more than a few things in common. And their love of good wine is a winner!
    We stopped off at on of their favourite vineyards that they're a member of. Was able to taste 6 different wines and enjoy the beautiful location.
    I still don't understand why they chill their reds though.

  • Day30

    Kelli and Shaun hosted us for the day. With 5 kids and a baby, it's a busy house.
    Spent the day helping shop for supplies and prep the food for dinner.
    Had a fantastic meal of home pig ham, turkey, and all the things that go with it.
    Finishing with pumpkin pecan slice.

    Like most family nights, it's about binding. So the cards came out to show our true colours.
    Even played cards against humanity with Linda.
    I had to explain what queefing was as it came up as an amswer, while everyone else was crying with laughter and embarrassment.
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  • Day28

    I caught the bas back to Seattle this morning.
    Nice and easy drive, no problem through customs. I think it's a kiwi bonus.
    Mike and Linda picked me up, it was so good to see them 😊 We spent the drive catching up and looking at the views. There was snow over the pass but otherwise all clear. Absolutely stunning sunset.

    I didn't realise about the family housing set up. Why does no one talk about it and just let me know?
    So we checked into a hotel. No matter how long I argued Mike made sure I was treated as their guest and got a room. I gave up arguing as I'd get as far as arguing with Bop, all for show and I'd get no where.
    I can't complain about a king bed room ❤

    We popped into to visit Shaun and Kelli and the kids. What an absolute trooper of a family. It was so great to finally meet everybody. Stayed for a wine and I'll see them for early thanksgiving tomorrow.

    You know your in America when Uncle Mike takes his gun out of the car and into the hotel room.
    I didn't actually surprise me, I'd imagine Bop doing the same if he lived in the state's. Being a military man, I do understand.
    I know guns don't help, but there are crazy people with guns out there. I can understand the safety factor when coming from a trained professional.
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  • Day27

    Our tour continued on to a salmon hatchery.
    Really pretty area. We could see baby fish and then older fish jumping up the waterfalls.
    Then we continued onto the Capilano suspension bridge. Like a really big swing bridge. And it's all lit up for the season looking absolutely beautiful.
    Started off with the cliff walk then moved onto to the treetops.

  • Day27

    Checked out Stanley park with the totem poles. So pretty with all the yellow and red leaves.
    Continued onto Lions gate bridge with singe amazing views. Cool to hear about and see the forest history. The trees were too big so they were cut down from a higher height. Leaving the large left over trunk to break down and become a natural pot plant for trees to grow out if it.
    Also saw Vancouver's very own little mermaid statue, only it's a woman wearing a wet suit and goggles to tell the tide.
    There's also a cannon that finally got caged up after the engineering students stole it and held it for ransom. It still goes off, now with a blank, at 9pm every day to let the boaties know it's come to the end of the day.

    Stopped at Granville island for lunch. Had a beef stew pot pie, perfect for this slightly rainy day. The market was really cool. Had to try a cranberry white chocolate cookie for dessert. Which was pretty tame based on what they had to offer.
    Again with the maple syrup everything. They make maple smoked salmon.

    Drove through Yaletown and China town to the Vancouver lookout.
    Finished off with some amazing views of the city, even if it is a bit cloudy.
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  • Day26

    It was so good to have dinner plans with a friend. As much as I may love solo travel at times, the dinners by yourself are always boring. Any other meal is fine, but by the end of the day I've already talked to myself too much.
    So it was awesome that Freya saw I was in town and got in contact. I met her during the UK tour. And she was super nice to choose a place that was literally 2min walk in a straight line from my hotel and her train station. Perfect! My phone data doesn't work here, so no maps on the go for me.
    And you know your in Canada when even the pizza has maple syrup on it. Of course I tried it 😊
    Went for a stroll after dinner. Found Gassy Jack, an English sailor that ended up here and made a name for himself. They named him Gassy Jack because of his talkative nature and storytelling abilities. The name stuck and the area around his bar is now known as Gastown.
    There is literally a steam powered clock.
    I think all you need a the night and some fairy lights to make a place look pretty.
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  • Day26

    Spent the day on a private tour wine tasting.
    Unfortunately, he did loose my booking as the expedia calender booking system didn't remind him.
    So I ended up waiting an extra hour and a half, which was not quite how I'd usually plan on spending a morning in a new city.
    But, no point being grumpy about it. There is wine to taste!
    We started off with lunch then moved onto the wine.
    So, because I talk too much and drink too slow, we did only make it to three vineyards. Which was perfect seeming that I couldn't help but purchase something at each place.
    Started off at Backyard vineyards where they have a special sparking wine make from only pinot noir grapes grown on their property and a balanced delicate fruity and biscuity taste. Bought a bottle to share over thanksgiving.
    Also tasted their pinot gris, the noisy neighbour white which is a blend of Gewurtz, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Moved onto their Merlot, their reserve Cabernet Franc, then their port named Porch wine. Delicious!

    Then we went to Township 7 Vineyards where I got to taste 7 more wines. Loved their Reserve 7 red wine so got a bottle.

    Moved into Blackwood Lane Vineyard where I tasted about 8 wines with the wine maker. He actually has an engineering background and his partner a background in science, so they are often trying new things. Interestingly, they make a Riesling with the Sea Buckthorne berry and it works! Got a bottle to try it some more.
    Also got a bottle of their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon as it was delicious.
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  • Day25

    Caught the bus up to good old Canada.
    Liking my accommodation already with a proper drip coffee machine.
    Went searching for a bbq place for a late lunch as I need an intake of red meat. Found Memphis Blues Bbq house
    Luckily takeaway doggie bags are offered. When they're offered when I've just finished ordering I think I may have ordered a bit too much 😁
    Started with rib ends and spicy fried calamari. Then also got a brisket salad as I had always wanted to try it. And what a coincidence, there's a wine shop across the road. Lunch and dinner sorted.
    It's raining so it's a night in for me. Lots of sightseeing planned for the next 2 days.
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  • Day24

    Made it safe and sound to Seattle. Was a boring bumpy ride.
    Hotel ended up being walking distance from the airport and is nicer than I was expecting.
    Shame I have less than 12 hours here but I'm looking forward to heading to Vancouver tomorrow.

  • Day24

    As sad as I am to leave Ana and her family.
    I have started to feel restless from being in one place.
    I am so thankful for our relationship that has lasted all these years.
    And I am constantly surprised and talk nicely to my bag as it keeps closing and no burst zips! I did have to sit on it.....
    I'm excited to finish this travel adventure as epic as I can.
    Booked some tours to do in Vancouver and the plans for Seattle have come together. I'm ready for some rushing around and places to be.
    Now I need to hang around the airport for 4 hours until my flight. Luckily I'm hungry so the first stop is the bar! I always enjoy trying out the local goodies. Only they really need to learn how to add in malts in their beer making process. It's all so hoppy and fruity.
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  • Day23

    Went out for a fantastic last family lunch.
    The poor server bought over three different beers to taste until we found one I felt like.
    Have they not heard of malts? They were all so fruity, ever the porter was filled with hazelnut flavour.
    So we settled on a great named beer.
    Teamed with a Bolognese gnocchi it worked really well.
    Time to decorate a ginger bread turkey with the kids.
    Still have champagne to enjoy.
    And that packing thing needs to happen.
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