Saturday, 31 October 2009

Mostly work and a few drinks and dinners!! 19th Oct - 31st Oct

Well not too much to report for the rest of October. A few birthdays, dinner, drinks and our family having an engagement party for us.

Happy Birthday to all of those who celebrated in October. 10th Oct - Happy Birthday Emily. 16 Oct - Happy Birthday Trina. 20th Oct - Happy Birthday Tobi. 23rd Oct - Happy Birthday Anna. 24th Oct - Happy Birthday Mum. Although we weren't there to celebrate with all of you, we were thinking of you all.

October 23rd was Anna's birthday, a new friend we have meet here in Canada. Anna is from Ireland. We headed out for dinner and then on to our local (Doolins) for a few drinks. Dinner was very nice, we went to a little Thai place in Yaletown. The night got a little messy for some with a few too many drinks and the icing of a muffin all over someones dress as they sat down in it. So a nice dinner, a few drinks and a birthday cake later we headed to Doolins. Unfortunately there was a cover charge and with me having to work at 7am the next morning, I headed home.

Once home we went on skype to chat to our families who were having an engagement party on our behalf, thanks guys. It appears they were celebrating quite well, it is good to know however that even before we are married our families get on quite well. We'll be home in May to celebrate as well with our engagement party (further details to come).

The 30th October Emily, Anna, Cam and myself headed out to a sushi restaurant in Kits. According to them the sushi was beautiful, however my taste buds don't quite understand this. The place however was very bubbly, fun and I did enjoy the atmosphere. After this we were looking for somewhere to have a few drinks however the place we had found wasn't quite the right kind of place so we headed back to our local Doolins. Cam and I headed off about midnight as once again I had to work at 7am, Emily and Anna continued the night away drinking.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A grand surprise!! 17th Oct - 18th Oct

So we had this weekend off. I was trying to plan something the weekend before for this weekend but was having difficulty trying to find a hotel or somewhere to stay. I decided to give up and have a look the following night, however Cam told me that night not to worry that he had sorted the weekend and it was a surprise weekend away. This was very exciting, I love surprises but don't like them at the same time. I mean its nice to be surprised but then you constantly want to know what is going to happen, where you are going to go and what you are going to do there.

Anyway we had to get up super early (I think about 4.45am) on the Saturday morning to catch whatever form of transport we were getting, I had it in my head that we were going on a bus as we were going to the bus station, turns out we were getting a train. I had found out by this time that we were going to Seattle, which on its own was very exciting. Anyway we were lucky that we managed to make the train on time. First of all we saw a car accident, well actually we didn't see one, but we certainly heard it and nearly missed the bus. Then the bus that we got on was supposed to drop us off at a stop were we could get the next bus but apparently that bus wasn't coming this morning. So we decided to get a taxi instead, don't quite know why we didn't do this in the first place, hindsight huh great concept.

So we arrived at the bus depot right on time, after all the formalities of customs etc, we boarded our train in business class. It was exciting first time on a train in ages and first time from one country to another and we were in business class. Turns out economy may have been better haha, it appeared Cam and I had the only seats in the entire business class that were ok, everyone else seemed to be disappointed with everything and anything, ah snobs. We thought it was fine, more room, money off the cafe foods and only a little bit more expensive. We were to find out on the way back the best part of being in business class but I'll share that later.

We didn't get to see too much on our journey to begin with as it was dark and rainy. Throughout the journey the weather started to clear up and we could actually see a bit of the coastline, its quite a nice view. We arrived in Seattle just before lunch time and caught a taxi to our hotel, The Sheraton. It was very fancy and we were on the 32nd floor (I think) with a beautiful view to the space needle and some of the city, we were facing North westish. We even had special access to the club lounge and continental breakfast.

We decided to dump our bags down and go for lunch and a walk through the city. We headed down to the famous fish market, didn't really know what to expect actually, but mostly there are all sorts of stalls selling all sorts of things and then some fish stands.

We sat at a diner there over looking the water and had some lunch. After this we weren't too sure what to do so we headed back to the hotel to go for a swim in the pool on the 35th floor with awesome views. When then only really had enough time to get ready to go out for a few drinks and dinner. I didn't know where we were heading for dinner so just followed Cam. We went to this really nice french restaurant over looking the water, I don't know what it was but I think something to do with women's intuition, and I started to get suspicious about certain things, not sure what or why but I was. We finished up with our meal and headed out for a walk.

We wandered down towards the markets over looking the water. Cam started taking photos of the 2 of us and now I was really starting to get suspicious. It had been raining quite a lot that day so he got down on one knee in the puddles and popped the question. As most of you will probably know by now I said yes. So now we have joined the majority of our friends and are now engaged. It was a wonderful, romantic surprise. Also the beginning of a night of drinking and dancing to celebrate.

                          View from where he popped the question.

We decided to head out to a few pubs/nightclubs to have a few or several drinks to celebrate and ended up staying out for some time dancing and drinking. It was a great evening/night out in Seattle and I'm sure one I will always remember.

Then next day we didn't have any particular plans other than to go up the space needle. We couldn't come to Seattle and not go up this. After having a long sleep in, we went for continental breakfast which was awesome, lots of bagels, toast, fruit, yogurt, slices and pastries. A real continental American breakfast, shame about the crappy coffee. Anyway after this we stored our luggage and headed to the monorail, which transports you straight to space needle. The views from the top were amazing, we didn't have the best weather but better than the day before and there were actually some blue sky moments. I like the way you don't have to take photos through glass up the top of this tower, means you can get some nice photos.

Where the space needle is, was the site of the 1962 Worlds' fair, there is still rides and stalls underneath the needle. None of these were open when we were there. We found this cool fountain though which provided entertainment for a while. The water squirted out of it but you didn't know where, when and how far it would come out. The children found it very amusing and ended up getting soaked. I shouldn't lie I guess, we found it quite amusing also.

We had a few more hours to kill in Seattle before heading back to Vancouver. We decided to head to EMP (Experience Music Project) and Science Fiction Museum. Both very cool museums to visit especially when it comes to music and Seattle. Its basically all about music and pays particular attention to some Seattle born greats such as Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam and Nevana. It also has areas where you can play some music, listen to music, listen to people involved in music and some music artifacts. A place I would recommend for those who enjoy music and science fiction (or even if you don't like science fiction).

Now it was about time to head back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and head to the bus station. We decided to stop for dinner on the way back, after taking one last trip on monorail. Unfortunately we didn't get to see much on the train ride back as it was dark as well. We decided to try and get some sleep as I had to work in the morning. Now being in business class works the best once you arrive back in Vancouver, as they keep all of the economy class inside the train while business class can head out and through customs. Which meant we were pretty much at the front of the queue, awesome.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Randoms Days and Events - 25th Sept - 12th Oct

As we have said in other blogs we have had less time over here to be tourists, therefore this post is over a longer period of time and I'll only mention the things we have been up to. We have however found a few friends over here and have been enjoying living in a big city with so many things to see and do. Or so many nice places to go out to for dinner and drinking. It is very convenient living in the center of town and being able to just decide to go out for dinner, walking out your front door and being just minutes away from everything.

Any who, for some reason everything happened to come up at once, the evening after coming back from Vegas we happened to have tickets to Pearl Jam (Sept 25th 09). When I arrived in Vancouver there were so many concerts happening and we didn't have enough money to buy any. I said to Cam if Pearl Jam come, I don't care how much money we have we are going. So of course when the news came that they were coming we snapped up some tickets. Once again the band put on an awesome performance, however not quite as good as the last time. I guess we had real high expectations, it also didn't help that they sung Last Kiss (the worst Pearl Jam song in history). Don't get me wrong still thoroughly enjoyed it, they played for just over an hour and then came back on and did an encore that was the same length. So we got a full 2 and a bit hours worth which is better than most bands now days, and they did do Yellow Ledbetter which was awesome.

As my nursing exam was coming up on the 7th October the next week for me consisted mainly of study and for Cam work. We did manage to get out to one of our local pubs again for a few drinks and to watch a hockey game. Do you think its a bad sign when the waitress at the pub knows what you normally order to drink?? This pub is Doolin's Irish pub, what more could you wish for than a pub that plays sport on the TV's (including Rugby), has live music (which also plays kiwi music at times), and sells alcohol? I think this is why its become our local.

As we finally have two incomes we thought it was a good time to do some shopping. Cam desperately needed work shirts, and I well needed what ever I could find. Its awesome shopping here, I manage to find something I can fit and looks good every time. Cam ended up with about 3 things and I ended up with 2, ha see girls don't always get more things.

October 7th was my nursing exam, unfortunately I had to be there at 7.15 am which meant I had to get up at 5.10am to get the train and bus out to the venue. I had to leave real early as the public transport system doesn't run as often at that time of the morning. The exam runs for 7 hours which is crazy, its so hard to concentrate for that amount of time normally let alone after getting up at 5 in the morning. You do get an hour break in between but its still tough. I must say its the most stupid exam I have ever had to do, we all thought it was stupid, I mean really these sort of questions decide whether or not I am good enough to be a nurse. Hard to say how it went really, I guess I'll see in about another 3-4 weeks time.

The end of the exam called for a good night out drinking. Of course we headed out to our local again (Doolins) for dinner and drinks. What do you get when you have several Brits, 2 kiwis, an Aussie and an Irish girl in an Irish pub??? Chaos!! We started drinking about 4 and by midnight most of us were ready to head home, I know we must be getting older, but to be fair we had been up for a long time and had a long exam that we sat. Had an awesome night out with new friends, pub food and drinking.

The weekend from the 9th till the 12th was a long weekend, the 12th was Thanksgiving, we were very excited to be having our first ever real thanksgiving. The Friday night (9th) Cam, Emily and I headed out for dinner at Sip a restaurant in Vancouver. Places were pretty full being late on a Friday evening so we took what seats we could, which happened to be sitting at the bar in front of the chefs while they were cooking. It was like Hell's Kitchen however the head chef wasn't horrible. Its quite interesting watching to see how they manage to get all meals cooked and out on time together. I had ribs of course which were beautiful, the head chef actually stood there and asked us how our meals were going, we said they were beautiful and the chef that cooked them was actually there to over hear and say thank you. It was fun.

Saturday was Emily's birthday, we headed out for lunch with her to a diner just down the road, we had heard good reviews and they even had the worlds best $5 shakes which we just had to get. The food was great but unfortunately the waitress was the worse person I have ever been served by, she was just down right bitchy, so after telling Emily that she couldn't have a side of half salad and half chips she then we on to tell me that my meal was huge and that I could share my chips with Emily. I think we'll prob go back and try it again, she may have been just having a bad day. After this we went to another one of our favourite places for drinks, this one is called Milestones, its a chain over here. We had a few drinks out then headed home.

Sunday was a great day, but very expensive. Several snow shops were having thanksgiving sales so we decided to take up the opportunity to go out and buy snowboards and boots for the season coming up. We got a bargain, managed to get 2 snowboards and bindings, and some boots for me, for the cheap price of $1000, we had a look for retail prices in New Zealand and we got ours for about 1/3 of the price of what we could get them for over there. It was all very exciting, we couldn't wait to get home to try them out. First we had to cart them on the busy bus home, ah fun times. This evening we were supposed to head out for a night out at a nightclub however plans changed so Cam and I decided to head out for a few drinks, a few drinks turned into several drinks and several pubs, well actually only 3. There are so many places to go here, we decided to walk down Granville street, the main night life street in Vancouver and stop in at a few places we hadn't been to. We managed to find several nice places. At about midnight we decided to head down to the waterfront for a walk, its so beautiful along the waterfront looking out at North Vancouver and all the lights. then we decided to call it a night.

Monday 12th was thanksgiving, our first actual thanksgiving and we were both off so decided to head out for dinner that night. During the day we were going to go to the Capilano Suspension bridge however got down to the seabus and it was going in 25 minutes so decided to head to Van Dusen Botanical Gardens instead. We had been told that it was really nice going in Autumn as all the trees are different colours and leaves are falling. It was beautiful out there and much better for the price compared to the last botanical gardens we went to.

In the evening Cam, Emily and I had booked to go to Four Seasons Hotel for a three course thanksgiving dinner. It was very flash and a great excuse to get dressed up and buy an expensive bottle of wine. It was funny we had just been talking about how most places don't seem to give you wine like they are supposed to with the whole showing us the bottle, letting us taste it etc, but they did here and we even had a fancy stand thing with ice. It was very exciting. Oh and when we got there they lady that showed us to our table even took our coats. The dinner was absolutely beautiful and we ate far too much, well worth it though. It was a nice evening out but unfortunately we forgot to take photos, woops, I guess we were caught up with good conversation and food. We'll have to remember next time. We did however remember to toast to what we were thankful for.