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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Travel


Edmonton

Edmonton ~ August 2017

Libby performed like a star baby on the flight. Alex picked us up a the airport was so kind as to loan us his place for the week. Beautiful view. We went to heritage festival with Alex & Kathy & kids. We hung out with Shannon & Jared & Soren in Kinsmen Park and at the Legislature. Amanda had lunch with Tannis. I went out to dinner with Alex and Kathy. We went to the Science center with Shannon & Jared & Soren. Amanda had dinner with Shannon. We met Mike & Karen & Kids at the zoo. I went out to dinner and and Escape Room with Alex and Kathy. Libby didn't sleep a wink on the flight home.


Amherst Island

Amherst Island ~ July 2017

Amanda rented an Air B&B on Amherst Island and spent the week with Riz & Sabrina. I joined them for the weekend. Nice sheep.


Seoul

Seoul ~ March 2017

Beautiful country. Delicious food. Much more civilized then here. They must think we're savages.


Munich

Munich ~ September 2016

Week long hackathon in Munich with Zeiss developers. Lots of fun. Great people. Great city.


Chicago

Chicago ~ November 2015

We had a quick weekend trip to Chicago. We stayed at an Air B&B and saw Treasure Island at the Looking Glass Theatre. I bought a new three piece suit, and we went to the Contemporary Art Museum and the Shedd Aquarium. Lots of fun. Great city.


DragonCon

DragonCon ~ September 2015

DragonCon is a yearly event on labour-day weekend in Atlanta Georgia. In 2015, seventy thousand people attended this multi-media and pop-culture convention, which covers sci-fi, fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, film, and most notably cosplay. It was totally awesome. Our friend Shannon won the Friday Night Costume Contest.


Mexico

Mexico ~ February 2015

We went for a short trip to a five star resort in Mexico to escape the frigid Ottawa February. The weather and beach were beautiful and I loved the chance swim and hang out in hammocks, but I'm not sure how I feel about the vast income differential between us and the staff.


Tofino

Tofino ~ August 2014

After visiting Chris, joined Amanda and Mike and Karen with their kids at Zoe's house in Tofino. Beautiful sunny/foggy days. Great hiking. Picked up some hitchhikers from Spain on the drive up from Victoria. Visited with Ev & Nansen on the way home.


Sunnyvale

Sunnyvale ~ August 2014

Visited Chris at Apple in California. Went riding along the coast north of San Francisco and in a city park closer to home. Felt the Napa Valley Earthquake (economic loss $362 million) and thought it was his housemates being rowdy. Great trip.


Mammoth Caves

Mammoth Caves ~ June 2014

Barrow and Spencer and I met in Windsor and drove to the Mammoth Caves in Kentucky where we wiggled our way through dry caverns 250ft below the surface. We also had some great beer at the Apocalypse Brew Works in Louisville.


Germany

Germany ~ January 2014

As part of my new job, I went on a two week business trip to meet with Zeiss people in Oberkochen and Munich. We worked long days, and I met lots of great people. I really like the German countryside and their predominantly walking urban areas.


Iceland

Iceland ~ July 2013

Iceland is a great and mythic nation. Do visit, but don't be fooled: it's expensive, cold and rainy. Just make sure you bring the right gear.


Jamaica

Jamaica ~ February 2013

Jamaica is a great place to visit. Sure, Kingston is dangerous and there are too many mass-market resorts, but you don't have to go there. If, like me, you want to get away from the depths of winter and relax at a low-population-density beach house in the tropics, then I highly recommend Katamah. It is without doubt the best location in Frenchman's Bay.


Agawa Canyon

Agawa Canyon, Sault Ste. Marie ~ September 2012

We finally took my mom to the scenic train ride in the Agawa Canyon. You have to book this well in advance to see the fall colours. I was worried that the drought would phase-shift the colours season, but it turned out well and we had good weather. It's a long drive though.


Costa Rica

Playa Samara, Cost Rica ~ February 2012

Costa Rica is now my first repeat-visit destination, although this trip was quite different than our first. We flew into Liberia and drove to Samara to stay at Laz Divas Bed & Breakfast, where we basically just hung around, played in the surf and went on some nature hikes. I think it was our first relaxing vacation, and I really enjoyed it. I'd like to do it again.


Arizona

Grand Canyon, Arizona ~ October 2011

For my dad's 80th birthday, Chris and I flew mom and dad to Phoenix and drove north to the Grand Canyon. I was amazed by the change in climate the accompanied the change in elevation. We had lots of fun, but most remarkable was the helicopter tour above the canyon rim. Arizona was good to us, but once is probably enough for me.


Quebec City

Quebec City ~ February 2011

Our good friends Tyner & Cynthia were married in the Ice Palace outside Quebec City, and we made a trip of it. After the wedding we stayed in a tiny hotel room in the old Quebec downtown. What a beautiful, but extremely cold city. I'd definitely like to return.


St. Lucia

St. Lucia ~ February 2010

Amanda and I stayed at a small cottage in Marigot Bay, which is beautiful but not good for swimming. We rented a car and explored the island. They drive on the left. Yikes. For the last few days, we stayed in a sail boat, and had a mostly drunk captain to sail up and down the coast during the day. It was a great trip, but I prefer the people and landscape of Costa Rica.


Chicago

Chicago ~ October 2009

Amanda took me on a surprise weekend trip to Chicago where we ate deep dish pizza, went on an architecture river cruise, and attended the Chicago Symphony opening night gala. Great city. I'd love to go back.


San Francisco

San Francisco ~ May 2009

Amanda had work in San Francisco, so I flew out to meet her for the weekend. We stayed in an amazing downtown hotel, explored the city, museums, pubs; saw some independent theater and a broadway style production of Wicked. San Francisco is fantastic, but don't forget your coat.


Costa Rica

Costa Rica ~ February 2009

We booked a self guided driving trip in Costa Rica through GAP Adventures. GAP's advice sucked, but Costa Rica is amazing. We surfed in Tamarindo, hiked to the base of Arenal Volcano, and saw lots of monkies in Manual Antonio. Costa Rica is a beautiful country filled with great people and tremendous natural diversity. I'll definitely be back.


British Columbia

British Columbia ~ September 2008

We flew to Vancouver, rented a car, ferried to Victoria, visited with family, drove up the island, and ferried to Powell River to see Bruce & Tracy. They gave us lots of adventures, boating out too sea and up isolated inland lakes. True to form, Bruce outlasted us all. Everything was great. And sushi in Vancouver really is better than in Ottawa.


New York

New York ~ April 2008

Amanda had work in New York, so I flew out for the weekend with her. I'd been to New York once before on a trip with Queen's, but I didn't know anyone else on the trip and only had enough money for food and museums. It was nice to have someone to share things with this time around. Even though it took forever, I liked going up the Empire State building, but the crown jewel was Macbeth at Lyceum Theater played by Patrick Stewart.


London

London ~ September 2007

The night of our wedding, we flew to London for a three week trip to Europe. The initial hop there was a bit painful, but the whole experience remains a shining moment in my mind. In London we mostly toured museums, but also took a day trip to Salisbury and Stone Henge. I love how the London underground effectively teleports you anywhere. I'd like to go back.


Dublin

Dublin ~ September 2007

From London we flew to Dublin where we stayed with Schmidt & Caroline. The took us out to dinner and pubs and we toured the countryside together. Dublin was a lot of fun, and the country is very beautiful, but I most enjoyed meeting Schmidt's local friends. Ireland seemed like a nation just awakening, and full of potential.


Edinburgh

Edinburgh ~ October 2007

Edinburgh might be the best city on the planet. We stayed at the sketchiest hostel you can imagine, but I like it and the city is grand. We toured the museums and climed Arthur's Seat, and booked a full day mini-bus tour of the country side, which was fantastic. I'd like to live in Edinburgh.


Munich

Munich ~ October 2007

I was getting worn out by the time we reached Munich, and it was colder, and we only had our little back packs with a few changes of clothes, and everyone smokes at the bus stops, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have, but Steffen Roller took us for a night out with some of the OpenText crowd which was loads of fun.


California

California ~ February 2007

Amanda had a conference in Newport Beach, so I flew out to join her for the weekend. There was a nasty snowstorm in Chicago, so the flight was too late to land at John Wayne airport where my rental car was reserved. Instead the flew us to LAX and bused us to the totally closed John Wayne airport. After that nasty start, we had loads of fun, including surfing and watching Pan's Labyrinth at Fashion Island which is a shopping mall probably large enough to see from space. I think I'd like to work mail delivery in California.


Maritime

Maritime ~ September 2006

With directions written on the back of a receipt, we departed Ottawa at 6pm and attempted to drive through Montreal. Gak. We camped one night in northern New Brunswick and another in PEI. We spent a couple of days in Halifax with McPherson and a few more in a sea-side cottage near Peggy's Cove. Hilariously we thought the ferry across the Bay of Fundi would be free and frequent. Overall I had a great time, but driving just isn't my thing.


Niagara On The Lake

Niagara On The Lake ~ June 2006

Amanda and I love the Stratford Festival, so I thought we should try out theatre at Niagra On The Lake, but that town just isn't our speed. It seemed way too interested in Americans, money, wine, and props, although one of the plays we saw "The Magic Fire" was fantastic.


Mexico

Mexico ~ January 2006

Chris & Angie were married outdoors with perfect weather at a great resort in Mexico. This is lucky, because their original resort was smashed by a hurricane. We had a great time, took my parents the ruins of Tulum, and played with monkies at some nearby cenotes.


Cuba

Cuba ~ February 2005

My first major trip was completely driven by Amanda. She planned it and paid her parents fare. I just tagged along. I love it. The people in Cuba treated is very well. This was be beginning of my legitimate interest in travel.


Boston

Boston ~ August 2004

During my masters, Karen took us to the American Control Conference in Boston. That was a great experience for me. We has some free time between conference sessions and we all had fun exploring the city. I'd love to go back and spend some serious time there.



Camping

Camping ~ Frequently

I've been around, but Frontenac is probably my favourite park. It has a good balance of location, solitude, wildlife, and available activities.


Stratford

Stratford, Ontario ~ Every year since 2005

The Green Room, Raja Fine Indian, The Book Vault, Let Them Eat Cake, Pearl Sushi, York Street Kitchen.


Weddings

Weddings ~ Since 2004

Kingston, Mexico, Merrickville, Toronto, Quebec City, Sarnina, Goderich.