Our Canada Visa got approved! Now we have to get our passport to the Canada Embassy to be stamped. The problem is we do not have a Canada Embassy or High Commission in Melbourne. It's in Perth or Sydney. Initially we thought we could go over during Easter Holiday long weekend. Second thought, it's Easter Holiday so nothing will be open. So we are resorting to sending our passports and document over in registered mail. Wish us luck that we get our passports back! 😆
Passport sent out using Australian Post Express to VFS Global in Sydney. Fingers crossed we got everything in the envelope and get our passport back soon!
We were worried that it might get lost in transit but it did not! We get a new sticker on one of the page as well. 😍
We booked a Jeep Patriot!
We booked a Jeep Patriot for our time in Jasper and Banff National Park! It will be a more exciting drive compare to a compact car! Yay! We are planning to go Aurora searching at night as well. Apparently it's possible to see Aurora Borealis in Jasper and Banff during summer! So looking forward to that!
All accomodation, flight, train tickets are booked. Now looking at travel insurance. We are really looking forward to Canada!
Amex Lounge at Melbourne Airport
I just realised I can use my AMEX Explorer Card to get access to the Amex Lounge at Melbourne Airport! Yay! That will be a good start to our trip! 😄
We bought our travel insurance and Philip went and got his international driving license, just in case. He read mixed messages for Newfoundland so he wants to make sure that we can drive there.
We have another 8 days to go before Canada! I am so excited!
American Express Lounge in Melbourne.
We started our trip with breakfast at American Express Lounge in Melbourne.
Our simple breakfast at the lounge.
Pretty good hideout, away from the busy main area of Melbourne airport. Cleaner toilet as well.
I’m going to be travelling Canada for a month with this man! 😊
Melbourne’s gloomy weather
Look at Melbourne’s gloomy weather! This is what we are trying to escape from but I have a feeling Vancouver will be the same! Haha.
I think our last holiday together was Hakodate/Sapporo. That was quite a while ago.
The airport does not look that new. Temperature is at 14 degrees.
We got this Compass card which is the transportation card for Vancouver. We got a day pass for $15.
A&W Breakfast with Rootbeer!
Our first meal in Vancouver. Lol. Just because I miss A&W. We are at Pacific Centre waiting for the phone shop to open at 10am to buy prepaid SIM card.
At the side of the road waiting to take bus to the Airbnb accommodation. Philip made a comment that it looks like New York. I have no idea. Haven't been to the Big Apple.
First Airbnb in Canada. Such a cosy and clean unit. Pretty happy to be walking in to this place after 16 hours flight.
Our internal clock is totally messed up. It’s 4.30am in Melbourne and we are feeling tired. We did not get to sleep much in the plane. It’s 11.30am in Vancouver now and we have to make sure that we last the day and sleep only at night to adjust to the timing here. ZzZZZZzzzZz
We went Japadog for lunch. Quick and easy meal. It’s hotdog with Japanese twist. I had the Kurobuta hotdog. The sausage is really juicy. Philip had Okonomi which has fried cabbage as topping.
We wanted to explore more but we were so sleepy! I was dozing off in the bus on the way back to Airbnb accomodation. We came back at 2.30pm local time to take a nap.
Felt so much better after a 3 hours nap. We were up exploring the streets again. It has been raining all day - light rain. We decided to check out Gastown.
This is one of the tourist must see - Gastown Steam Clock.
Dinner at Miku, famous for their Aburi sushi. I have to say the freshness of the fish and the flavours of the fusion sushis are amazing!
Beef Carpaccio, Seared Scallops and Aburi Sushi Platter. Love all of them.
We went to Grandville Island Public Market today. That’s the entrance.
The view of the Grandville bridge from the market.
Tony’s Fish & Oyster Cafe
We went Tony’s Fish & Oyster Cafe for lunch.
They have this lunch special which comes with 1 pc Cod, coleslaw, chips and a cup of clam chowder for $13.99.
Fish and Chips; Calamari and Clam Chowder.
The seagulls in Vancouver are huge. We were looking at this fella and thinking how did it get so big? It is at least 3 times fatter and bigger than the Aussie seagulls. I was pretty impressed by this - Bon Chovy. It’s an adaptation from Bon Jovi and because they are a fishing charters, they changed it to Bon Chovy. Anchovy, bon chovy - pun intended. Saw this at the cashier of a cafe. The roof of Pacific Centre with the view of Fairmont Hotel at the left hand side corner. On the way to Richmond Night Market. We had to queue about 40 minutes to get into the market. Seems like something that the locals like to do. It’s basically a big pasar malam. We ordered snow crab, prawn and lobster tail. Crab and prawn were good. Lobster tail, so-so. Getting ready to tuck in. These Chinese beef, lamb and chicken skewers were yummy. We had to take the train back to the city to change to bus to go back to our Airbnb accommodation. The view of the harbour centre while waiting for the bus. That was at 9.30pm. The sun start setting at 9pm here because it is summer. It rises at 5.15am.
Our timing is still messed up. It is so hard to adjust to 17 hours timezone difference. We woke up, had breakfast, showered, get ready and then went back to bed. Lol. We napped for 2 hours. It's 3.22pm now and we are having our lunch.
We were at Ramen Santouka. The same one that Singapore has. It is one of the top ramen restaurant here. It is as good or even better than the restaurant in Singapore. The oiliness is Japanese level. Lol. Philip look so scrawny in this photo! People must be thinking I finished all his food! Lol. Having Coffee at Tim Hortons, one of the coffee chain here. We were walking down the street and Philip was like Wow! Trump building in Canada. Definitely close enough for him to build here. We bought some beef, marinate and cabbage for dinner tonight. We took a box of cook rice as well. Thought we can cook a cheap easy dinner. The beef was $22 for one meal so not that cheap after all. Haha. I found donut peach here! I like donut peach but it’s not common in Australia. Pretty happy to see them here - $1.98 for one. H-mart sells pretty good beef and Asian ingredients!
We decided to cook so we can have an early night. The sun set at 9.30pm so we have been leaving the city after sunset and only getting home at 10.30pm. By the time we shower and take a rest and get ready for bed, it’s 1am. Strangely I could not sleep even after being out the whole day. We will get to bed at 1am and by 2 to 3am I’m awake again.
I’ll be awake until about 5.30am to 6am when the sun rises then I could fall asleep again. It must be the timing back home that my body is still following.
Omg! The beef and the marinate taste so good! And it goes so well with the cabbage. Expensive but oh so satisfying. I’m glad we took the beef with more marbling. We were thinking of going for the cheaper one. This one is soooo tender! Muesli - Can’t believe I am having this every morning. My attempt to be healthier. Ironically while I am on holiday. I call it bird food. Capilano Suspension Bridge It’s a pretty area with lots of giant trees. Not a big area but a good getaway from the city. Pretty relaxing to be close to nature and amongst the trees. Saw a cute sign that says slug crossing. No banana slugs in sight though. The sight at the Dam area is pretty. The mountain faraway still has snow cap top. We went back to the city do lunch after that. La Belle Patate Vancouver Lunch - Poutine. Fries, gravy and cheese curd. After lunch we went to English Bay to see the Inuksuk statue. Inuksuk is human made stone landmark used by Inuit people. It is used for navigation and as a point of reference. Stanley Park - A huge park in Vancouver which is surrounded by water. Totem Poles - used by the Nuu-Chah-Nulth and Kwakwaka’wakw communities to symbolise ancestors, cultural beliefs, clan lineages and notable events. There was a Disney Ship leaving the dock as we were walking passed.
Dinner was Pho near our Airbnb accomodation. High rating but we thought it was ok only. I’m still coughing. I had a can of Pepsi with Poutine this afternoon and did I pay for that for the rest of the day. I was coughing so much more! I’m still struggling with jet lag. Throughout the day I was feeling so tired and at night I’ll be wide awake.
The first night I slept well since we landed here in Canada! I got a decent 10 hours! The time out in the sun and the 27k steps walk helped. I’m all bright eye and bushy tail now. 😄
We were at Chinatown for a peek and stumbled upon Sun Yat Sen garden - pretty. Philip said I can pretend I’m in Arashiyama. Lol Here at Nuba for the Lebanese food They are famous for their Cauliflower where they spice it up and deep fry it. It’s so yummy that I’ll turn vegetarian. I wanted to have a plate of dips and pita but wrongly order the pita bread wrap. Oh well, just as good. No complain. Just not that social media friendly material. Hehe. Turkish coffee with rose water. Yummy.
I think we are quite done with Vancouver. I might have gotten numb to cities over the years. I don’t find it exciting anymore or maybe Vancouver is not that exciting a city after all.
Do you know Vancouver has population of about 600,000 only?
It is a gloomy day today and there was a constant drizzle going on. There are sales going on everywhere but we have been to Gap, American Eagle, Urban Outfitter and I did not really find anything that I like or want. I don’t go out enough to justify new clothings and I really don’t need that many clothings.
Tea time was Japadog again. Not for me though, only for Philip.
Went to Guu Original @ Thurlow for Oden, Gyutan and Beer. I was so happy to have oden that I forgot to take photo of the dishes. 😅
We are at the Vancouver airport now. Yawwwwwn....! 6.30am flight is a pain! I fell asleep only at 2am and the alarm rang at 3am. ZzzZzzZZZzZz.
CA Hello Calgary! The gateway to the beautiful Banff and Jasper National Park We are having breakfast in the airport now. It’s 9.20am now but we can only check in to the Airbnb at 1pm. Waiting to check into apartment now. Philip has hit a wall. He is so sleepy I think he could sleep on the floor of the cafe now. Lol
It's 4pm and we just woke up. We took a 3 hours nap. This not getting sleep at right timing is killing me. Apparently the sunsets at 9.50pm here. 😂
We are in Calgary. Oddly enough the area that we are staying in is also East Village. Same as the area we were staying in Vancouver. This is a small compact apartment. Not as spacious though. There’s really not a lot to do in Calgary. We walked down the length of Stephen Avenue. Pretty nice area with lotsa eateries. We walked all the way to the end to State and Main, a bar. We ordered some happy hour bar food. The beef slider was good, the fish tacos was good, the chips was good. We had to takeaway the naan - too much food. Lol. We ordered Raspberry beer. It taste like amber beer with added raspberry. Calgary Tower - almost all city has an observation tower now. It is one of the attraction here but I don’t think we are going for that. Picture of myself and the Calgary Tower
Good thing this Airbnb has bath tub. I had a soak and it feels sooooo good!
The skyline at 9.30pm - still bright. Lol. It’s summer in this part of the world and the sun sets at 9.50pm. I love summer! ☺️
We slept until about 11am. I was so tired but that was because I took some cold medication as well. Guess what, I’m still having cough! Wtf! It has been weeks.
The first place we went to was Calgary Farmer’s Market. It was not a big place but it has everything you need under one roof. I like it better than the Grandville Market. Probably because it is not as crowded as well. It has shops/restaurant on both side and tables in the middle. Pretty organised place. I like it that they use natural wood colour for that place. Make it so much more fitting for a farmer’s market. Saw some mini watermelon and honeydew. It’s really not that much bigger than the peeled coconut in the background. Philip ordered a grilled prawn tacos from one of the Mexican stall. He enjoyed it. I didn’t have much there. We went to a Japanese restaurant on the Westside of Calgary downtown. We kind of stumbled upon that while trying to get to Cluck n Cleaver’s fried chicken. We walked there to realised that they do not have dine in and the weather was shit out there. So we went to the Japanese restaurant before it. Food was alright. I made sure I tried Clamato which is an American/Canadian canned drink. It’s tomato with clam broth. Lol. It taste like tomato juice to me and I enjoyed it. Philip ordered yakitori as well and it was alright.
After lunch we went for a walk along 17th Avenue which is like a shopping street.
We detour to this Thai shop/restaurant that has good beef jerky. The name of the shop is Tuk Tuk Thai. I ordered mango sticky rice and it was yummy. We saw Preso Tea as well. The bubble tea that we could find in Perth. Philip was pretty excited to find it here in Calgary and to meet an Australian from Perth as well. Lol Our purchase for the day:
1) Alpine Wildflower Honey
2) Roasted Mixed Nuts
3) Mango Sticky Rice
4) Thai Beef Jerky
5) Okinawan Black Sugar Bubble Tea
The Pocky we got it for free at the Japanese restaurant when we pay for our meal.
I like natural honey and this is to help with my throat and cough as well.
We had to go out to look for money changer in the morning. We ran out of cash. Lol. We have to pay our next accomodation in Jasper in cash. Therefore we need more cash.
Got our Rental car and now en route to Jasper now.
Jasper National Park
CA The faraway mountains are the Rockies and they still have snow at the tip! Toilet pitstop! Look at the view in this area and our rental car - Jeep! Philip finds this photo funny. He looks like he’s totally in awe with the view. Lol. This view is just crazy beautiful and it is reflected on the bonnet of the car. When I first saw this I thought it is a bridge for car to cross. As I look closer, I saw that it is full of trees and plantation and it has fencing at the sides.
Then I realised it is actually animal crossing. How amazing is that?
The view got more and more amazing as we get deeper into the National Park itself. A view like that is just breath-taking We manage to get close to the lake and the water is so clear! We passed these glacier sites but haven’t got chance to get near to see yet Some of the mountain is still covered in snow
Philip did a humongous effort - he drove 6 hours from Calgary to Jasper. He said the view was enjoyable. Lol.
After 6 hours we arrived at our Airbnb! It’s a lower unit complete with one bedroom, a living area, a dining and a kitchen area. All we need in our temporary home. 😊 Breakfast this morning. Cooked by Chef Chen.
We drove out to Maligne Lake today. Along the way, the view was so impressive. We are still in awe with the beauty of Mother Nature.
This is the view we see everywhere we go. 😍 Athabasca River - Fifth Bridge area It is a little gloomy today so the green/blue colour does not reflect that well. Patricia Lake was reflected more blue/green hue The water is really clear
Tomorrow we will take the boat cruise from the edge of Maligne Lake to Spirit Island right in the middle of the lake.
Chef Philip cooked Carbonara Pasta for dinner. Yummo!
Breakfast today is bacon, egg and sausage cooked by moi. No photos since it is the same as yesterday. Just that I cooked the bacon pretty crispy. 😋
Bear encounter in the morning while driving to Lake Maligne! This second bear came so close to our car! It is literally right beside me! It then turns away from the car back to the forest. Look at that! Having coffee while waiting for the boat ride. What a view... 😊 Our boat ride to spirit island. The view at spirit island is amazing It reminds me of Shangri-la Look at that view. This is Spirit Island We walked around the Maligne Lake area a little more and took this photo. The view is breathtaking. Later we sit by the lake and have our sandwich lunch.
We were done with the boat ride and Maligne Lake at about 4 and went back home to rest since we did not sleep that well the night before.
After resting we went out again at 6 plus to Athabasca Falls. The perks of having the sun setting at 10.20pm is you can start your day late and still get plenty of daylight to do outdoor activities. Pretty interesting place that provide information on hydro and its power to erode the rocks around it. Like most waterfall, there’s always a rainbow. A tourist actually ask Philip to take a photo of him at this spot. He was sitting with his feet dangling off one of the rock. It’s a pretty interesting photo. I did not imitate what he did but I did took a photo of the frame he wants. Pretty spot. Look at the milky blue water! For dinner, we went for Korean food because I’m missing Asian food! This is also the first time that I have eaten beef that taste like chicken. 😅 That’s 10pm and there are still sunlight. Summer in this part of the world is amazing. Lol.
Today has been a lazy day for us. We wanted to go take a short hike to see Angel Glacier but the road to the hiking route is closed until August 2018. End up we were just driving along Icefield Parkway and stopping at a few lookout points. Still pretty good view though.
Our ride with the beautiful view of Jasper National Park! We were at this lookout point by the river where the colour of the river was milky blue. Another one near Becker’s Chalet where the water is milky turquoise. We for a walk at the Valley of the Five Lakes and manages to capture this photo of chipmunk! We did not last that long at the trail because there were so many mosquitos attacking us! It is a hot day today and the temperature went up to 30 degrees Celsius. So the insect are pretty active as well.
We came back home at about 4 plus to chill and went back out to the town to have coffee at 6pm.
It is a laundromat with a coffee bar at the side. Philip thought that it’s brilliant idea. People will definitely get coffee while waiting for their close to wash and dry. We had the best coffee in the whole of Canada there. It was surprising that they have flat white on menu as well. We walk around town a little and I took this photo with the cute black bear. Definitely can’t hug the real one so can only hug this fake statue. Lol.
At 7 plus we came back home and had pasta for dinner at 8 plus. It was a relatively relaxing day. We have practically covered most of the main sites that we want to visit in Jasper. It has been great! We are moving on to Banff tomorrow. So have to pack our bags and drive 4 hours to Banff.
We will be going for the Icefield SkyWalk and Glacier Adventure tomorrow. It is located on our route to Banff. So we thought it is easier to do this when we are heading to Banff instead of intentionally driving 1.5 hours south to do the activities.
Jasper National Park
We checked out of the nest at about 10.30am and head towards the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre. It took us about 1.5 hours to get there.
We stopped by this riverside to take a photo. It is a stop along the Icefield Parkway. We arrived on time for the Glacier Adventure. We took a shuttle bus to a waiting area and change to this vehicle to go on to the Athabasca glacier. This is the glacier and we are on top of it! Glacier are thick deposit of ice over hundred of years. This is the view on the glacier. We are wearing thicker jacket because of the glacier wind that constantly blows. The wind is really cold. We were taking water from the melted glacier stream It is the best tasting water ever! This is how the glacier stream looks like After the Glacier Adventure we went for a Skywalk on a glass bottom bridge. The see through bottom of the bridge The view from the Glacier SkyWalk bridge After leaving the SkyWalk, we went back to the discovery centre for simple lunch. After lunch, we continue our journey to Banff. We stopped by Waterfowl Lake for photo. The panoramic view of the Waterfowl Lake We made another stop at Peyto Lake Peyto Lake - beautiful colour and view While en route to Banff, we saw the Crowfoot glacier! The glacier was supposed to have 3 toes, like the foot of a crow but one has melted and it is now left with 2 toes.
We left the discovery centre at 3.45pm. We only reached out Airbnb at 7.45pm. It was a tiring day for us and especially for Philip. He has been driving for almost 5.5 hours. Even though we went for tours and had lunch and take stops to take photo, it was still a long tiring day for us.
We were pretty happy to be arriving at our Airbnb. The entrance is really pretty as well. We had a few puzzling moments though.
1) The area looks super new and a little dodgy.
2) When we parked our car, the host’ daughter just got home and she was talking to the host at the front of the door but she did not bother to come out to greet us.
3) Phone reception is super bad! I need to take a call from office!
That aside, the suite was superb and very tastefully decorated.
We went out for dinner at about 8pm and did some groceries as well. By the time we get back again to the Airbnb accomodation, it was past 10pm alrdy. ZZzzZzZz.
We had Italian cuisine for dinner. It was pretty good I must say.
We had a really good night sleep!
Unhealthy breakfast again!
After breakfast we drove a little more than an hour to Lake Louise.
It is a pretty lake with a gorgeous hotel beside it. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise So many beautiful photos of the lake. Such a photogenic lake. We were walking along the lakeside trail from one end where the Fairmont Chateau is to the other end of the lake. About 2kms walk, one way. It was such a beautiful walk albeit a little busy. The mountain from another side of the lake The view of Fairmont Chateau on our way back
We spent more than an hour walking on the trail along the lake and another half to an hour having a meal at the deli and appreciating the view. It was such a nice weather to be at Lake Louise - top of 27 degree celcius with light cool wind blowing.
You see that white layer of ice on top of the mountain? That’s glacier and it has a name - Victoria Glacier. While we were walking into the Fairmont Chateau, I overheard these two people whom I walk passed talking about the glacier and something along the line of “wow” or “look at that”.
I turned over to see this fluff of cloud falling from the top layer of thick ice. As it was reaching the lower level, I heard a loud clap of thunder.
I have just seen an avalanche! A mini one happening right before my eyes!
Look at this - Decaf Earl Grey! I see various type of Decaf tea in Canada. I’m definitely going to bring some back.
We are back to the Airbnb to take a rest. We have been taking it easy for the last couple of days. I think the Wow effect is wearing off. 😬 We are desensitised after seeing such beautiful lakes and mountain for 6 days in a row. After a while, it starts to look pretty normal. Lol. We are definitely enjoying the fresh air and relaxing holiday pace.
That’s dinner for us! Krafts macaroni and cheese with bacon! We had a simple dinner. Philip was not feeling too well - headache. Probably from the heat and lack of water. Breakfast today - French Toast with strawberries!
The weather forecast said that there will be thunderstorm today. So we will see how it goes. Might just take it easy and go to the hot spring.
We did not get to go to the hot spring. We went to the Bow Falls. Managed to take a photo and then it started raining so we went back into the car.
Since it started raining, we went to Banff downtown instead. We start with lunch at the Wild Bill’s Saloon. Looks like an American diner. We ordered Bacon & Shrimp Skewers and Chicken Wings Banff downtown area is busy! It is one of the town where there’s mountain as backdrop. Look at that view from the street!
We stopped by for coffee after walking from one end of the street to another. The moment I sat down and connect my phone to the Wifi to check my social media. My Canadian line started ringing. I took it out from my pocket, puzzled, wondering who would have called my Canadian line and hopefully it is not the Director from work. At least not at that time, because our call is only at night.
Saw the screen of my phone that it is Aly Abbas! I knew him from Rio Tinto Singapore, probably 7 years ago. He was the Risk Manager that got sent from Montreal to Singapore for 2 years. We talked for a while and it feels so good catching up with him.
By the time I was done with the call, we were done with coffee as well. So we continue roaming the streets in Banff. I bought a few things. 😊
I bought this pair of shoes from Ardene. It’s like cotton on accessories. I paid like CAD10 for it. The second thing I bought is an automated umbrella! I have seen so many people here uses it. With just a press of a button, the umbrella opens up and another press and the umbrella closes. So good! It costs me CAD35. Hopefully this lasts longer. The third item I bought is a rain jacket. I have seen so many people here wear this instead of carrying an umbrella. It’s waterproof. It’s not the cheapest but definitely useful! I paid about CAD125. The others I saw were about CAD170. A bit pricey I reckon - 125 is still palatable.
Philip did not let me buy the one in black. He said ugly colour. I was thinking I can use that when I’m travelling work. Melbourne has rainy and windy days where umbrella is totally useless. Oh well, the aqua colour is pretty though. 😊
I also bought this pin! I started collecting pin when I went to Eastern Europe 6 years ago. It’s a small memorabilia that is easy to keep comparing to a fridge magnet. Fridge magnet also gave me the impression of old skool trend during our parents era where a fridge front filled with magnet. Not sure if I like that. Therefore a pin. 😊 I think I bought one when I went to Geneva/France too. We had Beavertail! It’s a pastry snack, specialty of Canada. It’s more for Philip. I took a small bite - that missing piece that you see on the bottom right in the photo. Lol. It’s hazelnut chocolate and banana. It’s nice but too sweet for my liking.
Breakfast was a simple toast with ham and cheese with orange juice. We woke up late this morning like 12pm. Lol. We have been taking it really easy. It is after all a holiday. We have seen most of the places we wanted to go anyway, so we are not rushing.
It has been more than 2 weeks here and I am really missing Char Kuay Teow and Nasi Lemak with Teh Tarik. 😩
We went for a walk/hike at Johnston Canyon trail. It was an easy and pretty walk along the designated path, right beside the river. Before arriving at Johnston Canyon, we saw a bear! This time it’s a grizzly bear! The last one we saw was a smaller black bear. Another animal tick off the list. Back to Johnston Canyon, the whole area is overgrown with moss, showing how wet that place is all year round. The view along the trail. The lower fall which was about 1.3km from where we park our car. An obligatory photo of us at the lower falls We went for a drive along the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Drive It was a rainy day and the top of the mountains were covered with thick clouds. Such a beautiful sight. Another mountain near our Airbnb accomodation. Such a lovely sight to be seeing all those low clouds. It was not too cold at all. Probably about 15 degrees celsius, which is still bearable. On the way out from Lake Minnewanka, we saw this elk. It’s a baby elk! Dinner was pasta with bacon and tomato paste, cooked by Chef Chen. Before we had our dinner, we were distracted by this. It appeared behind our Airbnb! It’s a male elk with huge horns!
We are taking it easy today. Tomorrow we will be checking out of the Airbnb and staying a night near Calgary airport. Our flight out of Calgary is at 10am on Sunday.
We left the Airbnb accomodation before 10 and arrived at the airport at 11.15am. Got the car returned and now waiting for hotel shuttle to come pick us up at 11.45am. The drive and car return has been smooth. Just the rain - it has been raining nonstop from before we wake up up til now. Weather forecast has it that it will be raining all day.
We will probably leave our luggage at the hotel and go out for some shopping at the CrossIron Mills Outlet.
Might go to gym later in the afternoon and also get a soak in the hot tub at the hotel’s rooftop.
When we got there to the CrossIron Mills outlet mall, I told Philip I’m tired. I’m not really in the mood for shopping. So we had lunch and we had coffee and we started looking around at 1.30pm.
1.5 hours later, this is what happen...
We decided to leave the mall before we do more damage. 😅😅😅
1.5 hours of shopping and 300 dollars poorer later! I have 7 tops from American Eagle Outfitters for $105. 4 underwear, 1 sports bra, 1 sport tights and 2 sports top from Calvin Klein for a total of $170. The sports bra and sport tights together was $66. The 2 sports top was $50. The 4 underwear was $44.
Omg...! It’s sooooo bad....! Waste money!
We took an Uber back to hotel and checked in. This is how the room look like. So nice! Didn’t expect it to be so nice!
We went to the gym! Feels so good after gym. It’s like I have grown a backbone. Haha. We were at the gym for about an hour. I did some weight for my arms as well and tried out the gym ball which was good! I’ll probably get a gym ball when we go back to Melbourne. It’s so good for sit ups.
Dinner time! Gym makes me really hungry!
We had dinner at the bar in our hotel. We ordered a Caesar salad, Fried Calamari, French Onion Soup, Panfried Salmon and a beer. It was easy meal since there’s nothing within walking distance in that area.
After dinner we had a soak in the tub and call it a night. Staying in a hotel makes it easy that we do not need to worry about leaving the glass unwashed, clearing the rubbish which we will need to think about when we are doing Airbnb.
We woke up at about 7.30am this morning. Get packed and head down to the reception to check out. Took a 8.30am bus shuttle to the airport. Manage to drop off our luggage and clear immigration by 9pm. Still pretty early for a 10.10am flight. We went to Tim Hortons for breakfast since we did not have anything in the hotel.
Toronto is 2 hours ahead of Calgary so by the time we landed in Toronto, it was about 4pm already. We got to the accomodation at about 5pm and checked in.
We went out for dinner at this Tibetan restaurant called Tibet Kitchen.
We had the Tibetan Tea which is tea with butter and salt. Lol. Quite different from what we are used to and totally messes with our mind. We are so used to tea being sweet.
We bought some groceries and got back to the Airbnb early to rest.
Saw this at their 2 dollar shop so bought it. Haven’t seen M&M’s with almond before. Got Cheetos Cheddar Jalapeño as well and it is so addictive! We nearly finished it all in one sitting.
We got to Union Station at about 8.10am and everyone was already queueing up. Did not get to buy breakfast to eat in the train. Had to wait til the snack bar in the train opens up which was about an hour later.
Took us about 2 hours to get there to Niagara Falls station. Did not plan how to get around. Initially I was thinking of walking but we were feeling so tired from the early flight and travelling so resort to Uber instead.
The funny thing about Canada is Uber is not available in Vancouver but available in Calgary and Toronto/ Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls is totally worth the effort getting there. Especially from the Canada side where we are able to see the American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. This is the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. This is the Horseshoe Falls. Opposite the bridge is the US already, literally just separated by a river. We went for lunch at Sheraton Fallsview Dining floor where we had buffet. It was so bright outside that our face were totally dark. Had to over-adjust the background to be able to see a little bit of us. The food were not that exciting at all and the selection was little. It costs us about $25 a person which is not a lot. But mainly for the view I supposed. The buffet place has a small balcony at the end of the restaurant for photo taking. We went walking around in the Niagara Falls town area. It’s like a kids wonderland. With colourful shops like this. Totally Las Vegas for kids. The Beavertails even has beavers at the top of the shops.
We played a few games at the gameland for kids where you have to change to token and you get tickets for playing. The tickets can be used to change to toys. I gave my tickets away to one of the kid there.
We took Uber back to the Niagara Falls station and waited for the train. The train is pretty comfy with wide seats. Both ways, once we got onto the train, we fell asleep. Lol. We were saying it is so much more comfortable than plane where the Air Canada seats are really small even though they use Dreamliner 787.
This is how the Via Rail train looks like. Normal on the outside but pretty comfy on the inside.
CA We went to this restaurant in the city for dinner. It serves northern Thai cuisine. The place looks more like a bar to me. But they served up pretty authentic Tom Yum Gung and Khao Soi which is northern curry mee with egg noodle. Hehe. Another peculiar shop in the city with cow sticking out on the wall. Philip stumbled upon Uncle Tetsu Cheesecake and what caught his attention was $10 for one cake. I thought that’s really cheap! I remember paying like $14 to 17 bucks in Sydney for one small cake.
The cake is so light that I can have one whole cake on my own. Lol. We had half the cake for supper.
Today was free and easy day in Toronto city. We do not have a plan at all. We make sure we get back some lost sleep today. Breakfast was the other half of Uncle Tetsu’s cheesecake. It’s not that sweet so having it for breakfast was alright.
First place that we went to today was St Lawrence Market. We stumbled upon this place, Buster’s Sea Cove, and saw a queue forming. Must be popular or good I guess. That’s my Grilled Cod Fish with fried and Lobster Bisque. Grilled Cod Fish was not bad but lobster bisque was... I guess the French restaurant we went to set the bar pretty high for lobster bisque. Lol. This is the Toronto’s famous CN Tower which is beside the Ripley’s Aquarium that we went to. Here fishy fishy! Philip said that’s a cooked lobster that they put back in the aquarium. Lol. I think it moved so it’s not cooked. Sea Pen which looks like the olden day pen with feather attached to it.
The aquarium was not the cheapest but was pretty entertaining.
This giant was just swimming beside us in the tunnel. We saw this peculiar shark as well, which is known as sawfish or carpenter shark. A sea turtle which Philip cleverly calls Peng Yu which sounds like Penyu in Malay and also friend in Hokkien. Lion fish - I was taking video and all 3 lion fishes came up close and looks like they were all trying to get some screen time. Lol The sting rays sure know how to dance. They somehow like to flap their wings against a flat surface and from where we were standing, it looks like they were dancing. After Aquarium was dinner at this Korean Restaurant. We are trying to get our Asian food fixes before we go to Deer Lake where there will not be any good Asian good. Lol Love their side dishes and beef hot plate. Philip ordered Bibimbap but did not really enjoy it as much as I did with mine.
Tomorrow flying out to Deer Lake/Gros Morne. Another early flight. Have to wake up at 6am. ZzZzZzZ
We got to the airport at about 7.20am. I was so sleepy. Had breakfast at Tim Hortons again which is like so common and everywhere. It’s like their no. 1 go to place for coffee and sandwiches.
CA Arrived at Deer Lake Airport. We are staying in a hotel at Deer Lake. Probably the most expensive price we paid for 4 days accomodation. This cost us about 870 bucks. Given that Deer Lake/Gros Morne is quite a secluded place so they have limited accomodation at one time. Summer really drives up prices at these place. This is the view when we walked to dinner. We are only taking the car tomorrow. So we have to walk out for lunch and dinner today. We had Mary Brown fried chicken for lunch and it was really good. It brought back memories of my younger days when I first had KFC and the satisfaction after having it. I somehow lose this when I’m having KFC now. It might be because their recipe changed over the years. I just don’t find their chicken that fresh anymore.
We had A&W for dinner. Lol. Fast Food overload I can tell you. I had a cod fish burger which was really good. Together with Onion fries and A&W root beer of course. It was good. Don’t remember feeling this much satisfaction having fast food anymore. The fast food here surprised us.
Deer Lake is a small town 30 minutes away from Gros Morne National Park. We have to drive in everyday when we go sightseeing.
We started our day in the hotel as it comes with free breakfast. Nothing fancy, just the usual bacon, pancake, egg, toast, cornflakes.
It was a tiring day for me. I could not get up in the morning and I was sleeping in the car while driving in. Lol.
What I like about this place - the raw wilderness. It’s not as pretty as Banff and Jasper but it is not commercialised as well.
Everything seems to be in its original state - simple. No fancy restaurants, just road side shack catering for everyone. Restaurants like A&W, Subway and Tim Hortons are considered pretty fancy.
We had a granola bar and stopped by a road side shack for some Moose Soup. Lol. Philip ordered that. This time for once, I’m not that adventurous but I gave it a try - it’s alright.
We ordered some fish nuggets, scallops and chips to go with the soup.
Funny looking cloud with faraway mountain. This raw nature reminds me of Australia. A simple shack on the rocky shore by the sea Rock wall that has fossils showing that it was underwater hundred years ago and got pushed to the surface when the tectonic plates collided.
Took a short nap in the afternoon. More like a 15 minutes power nap. Then it’s gym time. Did a 20 minutes treadmill and 5 minutes weights. Zero stamina today...
I am still contemplating leftover lunch for dinner or subway... can’t decide... don’t wanna waste food but want fresh food.
I end up kinda having both. Lol. So I got a soup from subway and 1.5 inches out of Philip's subway. Together with the leftover for lunch, that was my dinner. It was good having a variety. 😁
Lazy day today. Woke up at 9.30am for breakfast and went back to bed after breakfast. Lol. Not me though, it was Philip. I was just lazying in bed reading about characteristics of INFJ.
That’s me! Only 2% of general population is INFJ! What are the chances of finding a partner that is INFJ as well?! Philip is INFJ as well. No wonder we get along well. True especially on the small social gathering.
It’s nearing the end of our trip and we are more relax now. Gros Morne is pretty chill anyway.
More raw nature. It’s hard not to compare when you have seen the most beautiful place. Moving to this, this became very mediocre. Lol.
We saw Moose crossing the road today! It was quick though. Philip managed to shout Moose Moose Moose to me 3 times before it’s gone.
The red chairs are all over Canada’s National Park. They put it at lookout points and I heard some high peaks has it as well. The trophy to climb 8 hours, get to the peak and take this photo. We drive one hour to get here. Not much of an effort. Lol We had lunch at this seaside restaurant and manage to spot a whale surfacing. Philip’s eyesight is amazing. He’s the one who always point out animals to me, in the forest, in the sea. Everywhere and I’ll be like where where where? I feel like a mole sometime. Haha. Mole has very bad eyesight. I had the fish cake which is potato and fish meat patty - not bad. Love the accompanying pickle. Really balances out the taste of potato which gets a bit much after a while. Philip ordered fish burger with seafood chowder and really enjoyed it. Wipe the soup with the chunky fish meat clean and continue to chow down on the burger. The common fish that they use for fish and chips, fish nuggets and fish burgers is cod. Cod is like pretty good fish to us but to then it’s the most common fish. Lol.
Philip was so happy with the meal, the coffee after, the view and just general service. He tipped them more than 20%. Lol.
It was raining since we started our drive today and it only got heavier. So we manage to pass some of the trails but did not get to hike or walk. We will probably go back tomorrow.
If there’s one thing that is worth buying, it is this. I have used it so many times throughout my trip here and it makes life so much easier than opening and closing and umbrella. The wind was crazy earlier while we were trying to use a nature’s toilet in the middle of no where. Definitely not possible to open a brolly. I knew it was going to rain so I wore this all day. Soooo good! Good buy!
I read about the really cold and wet weather in Melbourne and grateful that we are not in Melbourne. The highest temperature for Thursday did not get to 2 digits and it was foggy. Oh well... our holiday is coming to an end soon now.
I will really enjoy Quebec City since the Korean Drama “Goblin” has painted such a romantic picture of that place.
Comparing the modern buildings of the metropolitans like Toronto, I prefer the quieter much smaller city like Quebec City. Quebec City has many old pretty building as well. I saw them during my research. I haven’t been. That’s what I heard/read about it. So we shall see.
Tomorrow is another day in Gros Morne National Park and then we are off to Quebec City. Our last stop of this trip. Philip was like damn! This is the second time I’m getting paid this month. We are nearing the end of our trip. Lol.
I was like damn! You are being paid twice and you didn’t even work a day this month. Lol.
It would be interesting to come back to Newfound Land and Labrador one day and iceberg chasing. 😊 Apparently there is a beer that was made using melted iceberg by the company Quidi Vidi with the name Iceberg. Pretty easy to name that beer.
We will probably get some at the mart after my gym session. Urrrgghhh... trying to work hard to deserve that beer! 😆
Gah... gym was not easy and it was just 27 minutes. Knee started to ache, ankle as well. I prefer running outside but I have not found a favourite running path in Melbourne yet. Plus it is winter and it gets dark at like 5pm. I think gym has more hope than running outdoor.
Pizza for dinner!! We tried going to the mart here for beers but it looks like they don’t sell beer. No chance to try iceberg beer. Now ordered pizza and gotta wait for 20 minutes. ZzZzzZz
Owwww... We were so hungry I forgot to take photo of the Pizza. Lol. So we had Pizza, Garlic Pizza and Coke. Lol. Fast food again!
Could not find the beers but I bought these.
Have not tried Mango Coke before and Cherry Coke reminds me of the Coke we had when we were a teenager - Cherry Coke? Interesting. 😊
Good Morning Deer Lake! We had a sleep in again today. I think we are tired from the numerous time zone changes and early flights. We woke up at about 11.30pm. Got ready and went out to get coffee at Tim Hortons.
I think people here really like Tim Hortons. They are packed. We have to queue pretty long for it. We stopped by to get our takeaway lunch before heading to Gros Morne National Park again.
The weather is superb today! All sunny and nice. Look at that cloud. It took on the shape of waves. It’s probably the same everywhere we go and whether we are on holiday or at work, sunny weather makes us less sluggish. Panoramic view taken from the Discovery Centre. The view and water is amazing today! The water took on this steely blue shade, reflecting the sunlight off its surface. Tablelands - that’s where we are going do a walk/hike today. Tablelands is formed when two tectonic plate of the earth collided and pushes the inner mantle of the earth out onto the open. The rusty colour rock is Peridotite and it has toxic quality, therefore not able to sustain plants, hence barren. We still see some vegetation on the ground but little. Not as fertile and green as the rest of Gros Morne National Park. The weather changes as we were walking closer to the valley between the few tablelands. This is near the beginning when we started our walk. As we were approaching, the wind picks up and we saw the valley got foggy. The temperature drops drastically as well. It’s pretty cool actually. It’s like walking to the heart of the storm, the valley of the shadow of the death, I call it. The temperature fluctuate from 27 to probably 10 as we get closer. My hair was just all over! We saw the tablelands covered with cloud/fog as we were walking out. As we go further out, the sky clears again. Drastic weather change in such short period of time. What’s Melbourne’s 4 seasons in a day compare to having summer and winter together within minutes apart lol. We went to this Canadian Chinese Restaurant. Thought take a risk and see if there is any chance we could find the taste from home. We crave Chinese food after nearly 4 weeks of travelling. Oh gosh... Canadian Chinese food is just like American Chinese food we see on series... the dish on the left is Kung Pao Chicken and the right is Prawn Foo Yong. Both fail to me but Philip likes it. I am always the picky one anyway. I wouldn’t have pick Kung Pao Chicken in the first place. Probably would go for sweet and sour chicken since they kinda do it better. Foo Yong Egg is with cabbage and little prawn... weird... I had a can of Coke after dinner. Cherry Flavour this time. I enjoyed the Mango Flavour but the Cherry Flavour taste like cough syrup. Yuck! Don’t remember how Cherry Coke taste like when we were teenagers but tasting this again now... no thanks. Lol We went for a walk after dinner by the lake and I took this photo of Dandelion. It reminded me of the dandelion photo that I took in Eastern Europe years ago. I love dandelion. They are so pretty. Not that pretty when they are all separated and floating in the air, getting on your hair and clothes. Pretty when they are a ball of fluff. 😊 Do you know that dandelion is a flower dried up and turning into a ball of fluff? I love step 5 where it looks like it has a party hat on. Lol. I like how they put it - the sun, the moon and the stars. 😊
Good Morning, Deer Lake! We woke up early for breakfast. Got my luggage packed last night so no rush this morning. We are checking out of Holiday Inn Deer Lake today and heading to Quebec City!
After having hotel breakfast for the third day, this is what I chose to have. Lol. Boring la, same thing for 4 days...
We returned the car, waiting fo our flight at 1:55pm and it’s only 11:33pm now. #FML! We have waited for an hour and another 2 more hours to go. ZzZzzZzZ
It’s going to be a long day for us. We will be transiting at Toronto airport for 7 hours! Lucky Toronto Airport. At least got more shops there. Deer Lake is worse than Subang Airport. Only one visitor information counter, 4 car hires counter and one cafe, with a few vending machines. Lol.
We survived the 7 hours transit time in Toronto Airport! I don’t even know what did I do. I was writing out my Facebook post for the last two stops - Niagara Falls and Gros Morne National Park. Compiled about 9 photos and 3 videos with commentary. The wifi at the airport would not allow me to post due to the big files. zZzzZzZ. We had coffee as well. Besides that I was also playing two dots and we had dinner too before boarding our flight to Quebec City. We window shopped a bit as well. Lol.
My Truffle Mushroom Beef Burger from Smash Burger - okla... nothing special. BK Mushroom Swiss is so much better.
We arrived at the Airbnb at about 1am. ZzZzZZZ Tiring.
Breakfast of Croissant and cafe au lait Breakfast at this bakery near our Airbnb - la Boitte à Pain. Croissant and Cafe au lait. We went to the old port market and bought some strawberries and juice. Pretty - very European. Love the old building. It gives the city so much more character. A random building that I thought was pretty. Another European thing is the colourful flowers on window. This is such a beautiful shop! A must visit when you come to Quebec City! It’s a Christmas Boutique! It feels like having Christmas all year round. 😊 The other side of the shop and the display The inside of the shop stock full of Christmas decorations! I bought pins as well. I have started collecting pin since Europe trip because I do not want a fridge full of magnets lol. It’s too my parents era. We went to this restaurant for lunch. Good pricing! Lunch special was at $19.95. Which comes with entree, main, dessert and a beer or wine. Such good pricing! We end up upgrading anyway to what we want and pay more. Lol. Very good selection of what you can have and how much you have to add to upgrade. They have good selection for the basic lunch special if you do not want to upgrade. I like this system. Escargot with bread and pea soup Philip ordered the Lobster tail, giant prawn and scallops for his lunch with pea soup. It is so well cooked! I have never had such tender and flavourful lobster tail before. The white wine sauce is done well!
I ordered Maple Bread Pudding for dessert and it was good. Forgot to take photo. I was too full!
This is how it looks in the restaurant. It is also one of the recommended good value restaurant. Omg... the humidity is Quebec City! I thought 50% is alright but nooooo... it's so humid. I'm sweating and I want to change into bikini. Lol Sunset tonight! Pretty colours. But we can’t go out because it is raining.
We went to the grocery store nearby to get our dinner. I was still so full from lunch so no thanks to dining out. Lol
We woke up earlier today to go to Old Quebec. We only manage to cover half of the places yesterday.
Yesterday we didn’t get to go to this shopping street Such a pretty area - charming! Saw a door with my favourite number on it. This is where we will be having dinner tonight. 😊 Back to Place Royal again - such a pretty square. That’s where the umbrella street is located We stumbled upon this street in Quartier Petit Champlain with umbrella! That’s such a wise thing to do on a humid sunny day like this. We took the furnicular from Quartier Petit Champlain to the level where Fairmont Chateau Frontenac is. It cost us $3 each which is alright. Save us climbing in 34 degrees heat. The view from the top of the furnicular. This is the Signature Fairmont Chateau Frontenac. The view from Terrace Dufferin Who kindly helped me take soooooo many photo until I’m happy with this one. Lol The view from Pierre Dugua du Mons Terrace. That is a filming location of the Korean series Goblin. 😊 Another shot of the famous landmark. ... and one with the Canada flag. Lol We walked around the corner and found this cafe serving Crepe so that was where we had lunch. My crepe with maple butter Philip’s snail and crepe with asparagus and cheese sauce.
We head back to the apartment to rest after lunch. That was the plan anyway because we wanted to freshen up for dinner.
We went all dressy dressy for dinner. 😊 We arrived early so were taking photos around the Quartier Petit Champlain area. The texture of the ground was interesting so I started taking feet photos again. This was at Place Royale. This was on the jetty, near old port market. This was on the jetty as well We had dinner here for my birthday celebration. My view - my forever young hubby Appetiser - Melted Brie with maple syrup. This is surprisingly good. We have never thought that cheese and sweet mix well together. My main - Duck Legs Confit. It is not the usual crispy kind that I have in Singapore but it is the most flavourful and tender duck confit I have ever had. And I could actually finish 2 duck legs alone!
Come to think of it, the two times I had duck confit in a more authentic French restaurant. Both are softer duck and not crispy duck.
Philip ordered Venison cooked medium rare and he enjoyed it. They cooked it so well. Desert was Maple cake with sparkler for my Birthday! They walked out with this and singing birthday song. Everyone was looking at us. So shy... We walked along the St Laurence River after dinner looking at orange sky. Looking back we saw this magnificent Fairmont Chateau It’s was quite a pretty view at the jetty At the jetty looking back at Old Quebec.
That concludes our time here in Quebec City and also Canada. Tomorrow we are flying back to Melbourne in the afternoon.
I woke up feeling sad... 😔
Our holiday has come to an end...
It’s time to go back to cold Melbourne winter...
We had breakfast downstairs. I had an apple pie with ice cafe latte and Philip has a croissant with Rooibos tea.
We are checking out of the Airbnb and going to the airport soon.
At the airport waiting fo our flight at 3.20pm. We will be transiting in Toronto and then Vancouver. Then from Vancouver to Melbourne. Such a long way to go home.
Mood: 😔 Gloomy
Toronto Pearson International Airport
We only managed to get out of the plane at about 5.10pm. Our next flight is at 6pm but we were so hungry because we didn’t have lunch! So we squeezed in like 15 minutes for an Udon. Lol. It was hot! And we slurped it down!
Toronto Pearson International Airport
Vancouver International Airport
We managed to squeeze some time and have Church’s Chicken. I just realised the Americans and Canadians do better fried chicken than Asia. Fast food here is damn good as well. I have never had soggy fried stuff at all.
Now I’m ready to board the plane and sleep!
Took this while we were passing the Rockies. Even from the plane it was fun to spot it. Such beautiful terrain.
Vancouver International Airport
This is actually my better long haul flight! We got 3 seats to ourselves and I was able to lie curled up most of the time. Think I got some broken 9 hours sleep. Lol. Feeling good actually.
Coming back to dready Melbourne’s weather - cold, wet and gloomy. Lol. What a welcome from Melbourne!
It's funny how we boarded the plane on 4 July 2018 and only reach Melbourne on 6 July 2018. I'm anticipating bad jet-lag for at least a week!