Celebrating 37 years married by discovering Vancouver and the Rockies plus Seattle & Vancouver Island.
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  • Day32

    Having that coffee break in UnZed

    May 25, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    We had a non-eventful 12.5 hrs of night flying the Pacific. Now a bit of a wait for our Brisbane connection. Nothing like being surrounded by Kiwi accents again... love it!

    Looking forward to being on Aussie soil again and seeing how excited Cino will be. Then to catch up with our family, especially Juliette, on Sunday.Read more

  • Day30

    Dreams do come true

    May 23, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Back in Grade 5 & 6 I loved nothing better after an active lunchtime to sit and listen to stories written by Sam Campbell. Stories of adventures in the wilds of Canada. He ignited a desire to visit his domain, Canada.

    Fast forward to 1988 and Brisbane’s World Expo reignited this desire. On the Alberta Pavilion wall was a stunning picture of a grand old building surrounded by a forest of pines. Fairmont Banff Springs stood tall and proud waiting to be visited.

    Sheree and I decided in mid-2017 Canada would be our next travel destination. Thus 12 months of planning and saving saw a childhood dream come true. 35 days of wonderful moments have been captured in photo and words.

    Dreams really do come true! What blessed memories we now cherish!!
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  • Day30

    Off to Vancouver via ferry

    May 23, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    With sunlit skies we left Victoria heading to Vancouver airport. We boarded a bus, traveled half an hour and then boarded a ferry at Swartz Bay, sailed a BC Ferry past many islands to Tsawwassen Port and finally bussed to the airport. All was seamless and very well organised.

    Imagine the variety along the way - amazing homes with stairways down to personalised jetties to little weekenders - all featured on our 90-minute ferry journey. Most islands were timber covered, some having green paddocks with cattle. There were cliffs, beaches and plenty of peaceful little inlets plus the odd lighthouse at critical points.

    Before heading out to open waters we ventured between two islands where the water flow was swirling, the ferry moving about. As we were doing this two outboards zipped past loaded of orca-expectant passengers. Whale watching is huge here!

    Interestingly, as we crossed the bay the water changed from deep emerald green to dirty brown, the outflow of a swollen Fraser River [waters from melting Rockies snow]

    On such a brilliant sunny day, their was real delight for me in being able to see Mt Baker, the most prominent mountain in the North Cascade ranges in Washington, USA. Because of its height most of its slopes were still snow covered and it stood tall and proud.

    What a way to finish our last full day in Canada! Blessed, again!
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  • Day30

    BTW... what a walk!

    May 23, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    I thought the writing was all done, but with feet screaming, GIVE ME A BREAK, the other side of Victoria’s harbour beckoned.

    With no clouds in the sky and the sun just touching the horizon I set off another discovery walk. Hopefully the pics give you a hint of the two hours of enjoyment and peace. (12500 steps for those interested!)

    Revealed were... Wonderful views, magnificent reflections, seals, geese, people exercising, sea planes taking off, a myriads of boats in marinas, floating homes... and that was all with the perfect stillness of dawn.

    There is a clarity in the light of the far north that grabs the photographer inside me and says, “shoot me”. The clarity is majestic, inspiring and refreshing.

    The blessing of the walk is beyond words. But I know my feet will appreciate the long Pacific flight ahead.

    Bon voyage northern hemisphere... We will see you again!
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  • Day29

    Our last night in town

    May 22, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    As the last touches of spring sunshine linger on the snow-covered mountains we celebrate our final night in Victoria, on Canadian soil. It’s been a buzz, a wonderful thirty days abroad.

    With a more than adequate meal at The Local Sheree and I recounted the highlights. We’ve seen the plenty of spring weather, from below zero with snow and ice to above thirty, hot and dry. We’ve absorbed the majesty of the Rockies, the rolling Prairies, overflowing rivers, huge green forests and rocky shores, little villages in back country Alberta to downtown CBDs!

    The Canadians are wonderful people. They are a kindred spirit, like cousins across the Pacific. There is a real caring, sensitive awareness of others, of society, of environment, of community, of living - positive to witness.

    Victoria, you’ve been great. Canada, we love you. RVing, what a way to go. Getting out of the work habit for a time, to travel, always shows us much, helps us appreciate what we have, and most importantly gives us an Itch for more.

    I have to admit, though, our most important task ahead, is to meet and cuddle our newest grandchild, Juliette Rose. We can’t wait to meet you!!
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  • Day29

    Beautiful Butchart

    May 22, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☀️ 15 °C

    After hearing about this place over thirty years ago we were blessed with a perfect day for our visit. We seem to bring Brisbane sunshine and temps wherever we go!

    If you're into garden design, botanical names, people management and many other things, you would be in heaven. They know how to do gardens and tourists so well.

    Our trip covered the whole garden, taking over three hours and we just celebrated being here. Each section of the gardens, the colours, the design were a unique experience.

    Highlights were...
    The fluency of design
    Understanding how to make good feature gardens
    The way the crowds were managed
    The place was extremely well run
    Especially enjoyed the Japanese Garden and the glasshouse

    Sadly, six photos don’t do this place justice but it should never lessen the enjoyment and blessing of flowers and trees, their colour and design.

    Would we go back? Definitely, but at a different season - fall, early spring or winter time with snow. This place is a must-do on your bucket list!
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  • Day28

    Victoria, it was your day!

    May 21, 2018 in Canada ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    Sheree organised our visit to Victoria, BC's capital, on Victoria Day - their annual celebration. So good to join the festivities! We ferried the Puget Sound from Seattle to Victoria - a three-hour cruise. We caught the tail end of the parade, giving us a hint of a confident, diverse community.

    Victoria has a long maritime history with an Australian connection - Captain Cook visited in 1778. The city, despite a strong First Nation foundation, became very British until a few years ago. According to a local Diner owner, "Many different cultures have discovered the benefits of living in one of Canada's friendliest cities, mild winters and easy access to cities, wilderness and ocean.”

    In today's parade there were Taiwanese, Nepalese, Spanish, Mexican, French, Turkish, amongst other cultures, represented, so this city has matured. A building boom matching Brisbane, is in progress - the locals own this space, First Nations included!

    By mid afternoon we were in brilliant sunshine, around 18 degs, with a slight southerly breeze. That breeze was coming straight off the water and a snow-covered Olympic Mountain Range, Washington Penisula, USA. We celebrated our visit and look forward to visitng Butchart Gardens. Can't wait!!
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  • Day28

    Seattle… what have you given us?

    May 21, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

    My early morning walk took me past Big Fish. Not a salmon or a tuna or even a sturgeon [a large creature found in Vancouver waterways]. No, it was a game company e.g. 'Gummy Drop'.

    It got me thinking. What else has Pacific North West given the world? A quick search revealed familiar icons… Boeing [707 - '54; 747 - '69; 787/Dreamliner - '11] / Starbucks ['71] / Microsoft ['75] / Amazon ['94] / Big Fish ['02]

    Research showed…Carnation [1899] / Defibrillator ['62] / Bone marrow transplant ['63] / Compact Disc ['65] / Ultrasound ['67] / Pictionary ['85] / Kindle ['07]

    This begs the question, why all this creative energy? This entrepreneurial acumen? This courage and genius? I can’t give you the answer. But I wonder…
    Does cooler weather keep the brain more active? Do long wet periods keep people inside and being social? Does it force them outside and doing more anyhow? Has distance from the east coast made a difference? Are they not afraid to play? To think outside the box? To search for answers to problems?

    Let me take another sip of my Starbucks coffee… and ponder a while!
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  • Day27

    Boeing factory tour... what a blast!

    May 20, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    When you’re a plane nerd and you’re in Seattle you have to the Boeing factory... right! We saw a wonderful display of some military and domestic planes, plus hints of the manufacturing process of the current 787 - the body of the Dreamliner is from Kevlar?

    Then it was off to the factory, the largest building in cubic volume in the world, minus all our electronic equipment. No pics unfortunately! Let me be your eyes for a couple of minutes.

    Our bus trip across Paine Airfield revealed many new planes, 777, 787, 767, 747, to name a few. All were in various stages of pre-flight testing or painting prior to their customer handover.

    Getting off the bus we were led down stairs into one of many tunnels running under the building allowing movement across vast distances. Up to an observation deck to see the manufacturing processes of the 767, the 747 cargo and the latest offering, the very popular Dreamliner, 787-8.

    The exciting news for Boeing is their next offering. Due in 2019, is the 777X, supposedly the longest commercial plane! We got a sneak peak of the test version currently being built.
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