Monday, January 28, 2013


Our first stop on the West of the States was the funky, bustling little city of Seattle! We had three days and nights to explore- and I think we did a pretty good job.
We were staying on the west side of downtown, close to the famous space needle, which we wandered over to and took some very (not-so) serious photos with, then proceeded to the funky and rather odd looking EMP museum of music, sci-fi and pop-culture (above is a photo from outside it!).
They had some great music exhibitions on- I particularly loved the Jimi Hendrix one, which had displays of all his funky velvet, plaid and psychedelic costumes, crazy guitars and some very interesting interviews. The Nirvana and Seattle grunge scene exhibition was fascinating too- it was fun to see just how many great bands emerged from that era, how quickly it escalated, and how much the scene has changed since.
Then we moved on to the horror and sci-fi exhibits- here's a shot from the 'horror booth'- I was the poor victim and Tim was the scary villain. ;)
Here is Tim fighting off some mutant evil monkey space invaders in his cape and goggles- such a valiant superhero!
We also formed our own band, made a shadow-puppet show(with our own bodies) and learnt about the history of guitars. A pretty damn great museum, if you ask me!
We of course had to explore the famous Pike Place Market- one of the oldest public markets in the US, and a great place for trinkets, pastries, seafood and people watching!
Now this, my friends, is gross. And tacky. And kind of awesome. But, mostly gross. Haha- this is the gum wall at the Market Theatre in Seattle, completely covered in millions of brightly coloured, bacteria-crawling pieces of formerly-sticky chewy. Apparently theatre employees attempted to scrape all the gum off a few times, but eventually gave up and embraced it for what it became- a both 'ew' and awe inducing tourist attraction!
 We met up with the wonderful Penelope, my Mum's good friend's daughter, who I've known forever but not seen for a long time. It was great to get an inside scoop into what to do in Seattle, and see a long lost friend all in one- so lovely to see you, Pen!!
We also explored Capitol Hill- a more residential and rather awesome suburb overlooking downtown. Lots of markets, cute coffee shops, book stores and thrift shops- my kinda place!
We met my Dad's wonderful cousin, Ros and her lovely daughter Allie for a great lunch in a cute little place with awesome sandwiches, coffee and conversation! I'd never met Ros before, but heard a lot about her and it was great to see her in person! We even made spontaneous plans to visit her and her husband John in their coast house in Anacortes on our way back to Vancouver a few days later (I'll write about that next time)!
THEN WE MADE A VERY IMPORTANT DISCOVERY. Allie mentioned her school mascot, one which we had never heard of before; the Geo Duck (PRONOUNCED: GOOEY DUCK). This turned out to be one of the grossest, most pathetic looking creatures ever to grace the world with it's presence, so of course we had to go see one for ourselves when she mentioned the local fish shop would have them...
GIGANTIC CLAMS WITH MUTANT SLUG-LIKE THINGS PROTRUDING FROM THEM. Haha sooo gross/pathetic.. great discovery for the afternoon, in my opinion. Who would want a tough tiger or shark as a school mascot when you can have a mutant slug-clam??!?
For our last night we decided to go on a tour my Mumma recommended; of the historic, burnt down Seattle to be found underground! It was such an awesome tour- really interesting historically, and really different to most other walking tours we've been on. Our guide was really knowledgable and funny, and we had a great time exploring the tunnels that used to be the main streets of the city before the great fires.
We were told the place was very haunted. Judging by the scary man I found in my pictures.. I don't doubt it. ;)

P.S.. ABOUT TO FLY HOME AHH. I hope the storms subside enough to let us in!! x

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Island Dreaming

Next stop on our way south was the sweet little island capital of BC- Victoria. A gorgeous little city filled with little cafes, book stores and markets.
On the ferry over!
 Parliament House
 Who's been there?!
 A TIME CAPSULE! So cool. Who knows what they will find in 2067!? Awesome.
 You can't really see this properly- but this man came through a park we were in and started whistling to the ducks, WHO ALL FOLLOWED him like little puppies!! About 50 of them all waddled after him, pretty cute.
 Nova Scotia pride! 
Munro's Books! Best book store ever (well.. actually, best book store I had found until this point... there was a very strong contender in Portland too.. for another post).
Victoria Market Place. It was really pretty around here, but the market was a bit deserted, even on a Saturday. I assume its a bit more bustling in Summer, but there was still a lot to see in the town even in sleepy Winter,
Next stop... across the border to the U S of A! Keep tuned in ;) x

P.S HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY! We've actually been celebrating in style in San Fran.. I'll write about it soon! OH AND WE GET HOME IN 4 DAYS WHAAAT?! There better be sunshine and lots of cuddles waiting for me. Yay!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Here comes the sun

Out of a total eight days (going in and out) we spent in Vancouver- two were sunny! Not too bad odds really, I wasn't expecting much after five days straight of rain.
We came back to Vancouver for two days after Whistler to catch up with even more Kiwi mates (who knew we could stand so many of them), Lucas 'liability' (below, left) and Tom 'Tombits'. 

We ventured out into the suburbs to check out UBC- University of British Columbia. HUGE campus- with a gorgeous view of the mountains, and even their own museums. Pretty cool place. We were mostly excited by the iced over ponds and little squirrels running around- spot the tourist?
The boys gallivanting and smashing ice
The 'echo circle'- where you stand in the middle looking a bit of a fool, but then you speak and your voice echoes back to you!
Vancouver- you were really good to us! We loved the West coast- stunningly beautiful and really chilled. We also had to say goodbye to the boys, for now- miss you fools! x

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Snow flake

 I've never seen SO MUCH SNOW IN MY LIFE. Well, I guess being from a country that is 70% desert doesn't give me much chance, but still. Whistler was freaking awesome. So beautiful. Fresh, fluffy powder. Blue skies. Striking mountain peaks.
 Sadly I only got shots from around the base since I didn't take my camera skiing, but it was pretty breathtaking up there.
 Our cute little snow-cased lodge
 We spent three nights in Whistler- but it could have been much longer. I thought it might be overly touristy (and more filled with Aussies than at home)- and it was a bit (particularly the Aussie bit), but it was just so gorgeous, and so much fun. We stayed creekside, not right in the village so I don't have pics of the village, but it was really cute, lots of pubs and restaurants. We went skiing two days- one a bit foggy and snowing, one frosty but gorgeously clear. It was amazing. Gemma was a little speed demon, so I let her and Tim go off on their double black runs whilst I cruised down some slightly less terrifying  ones. It was pretty great for most levels though, since you could make your way to the top of the mountains and still get down on non-life-threatening runs. Although I still managed to crash multiple times into piles of powder. You could say I'm not used to real snow. 
A winter wonderland. x

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Wild West

Despite being on the opposite side of the country, it felt strangely familiar coming back into Canada with our arrival in Vancouver. Same Canadian sense of humour, same relaxed lifestyle- if perhaps not quite as ridiculously friendly as the east. The difference of course was the landscape- being surrounded by jutting mountains and gigantic pine forests- the West is pretty spectacular. It also meant being reunited with Gemma- our Kiwi friend who has been our companion since then, and will be for a while longer! Yay!
Little glimpse of Gastown- my favourite neighbourhood in Van. 
 I love that the gorgeous mountain view peeks out from the streets. It was super cloudy our first few days here though, it has actually cleared up a lot since which is good!
 The Gastown old steam clock- not actually run on steam, but actually functioning as a ver fancy steam vent!
 These leaf imprints were all over the sidewalks- so cool!
 Beside the city is the huge and gorgeous Stanley park. We had a wonderful (albeit a bit wet) day cycling around, admiring the huge redwoods and ocean views.
 Totem poles!
 The amazing 'girl in wetsuit' sculpture! We were pretty excited ;)
 The next day we had another nature adventure- this time to Lynn Canyon park. Stunning scenery, amazing waterfalls, more ginormous trees, awesome (but again, wet) hikes, and a suspension bridge!
 On the lookout for some moose- found some!
Loving the West! x