Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Adventures - Part 3: Flyers

Welcome to the final instalment of a three part series recounting the adventures of my wife, Maureen and I while visiting the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, the largest event of it’s kind on the planet. The first instalment centered on our experiences as novice spectators at this amazing event while the second instalment focused on our adventures as volunteers with a hot air balloon support team. This final instalment details our odyssey as passengers in a hot air balloon as we soar high above the New Mexican landscape.  If you’re ready to continue this amazing adventure then, sit down, buckle up and read on!

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Adventures - Part 2: Volunteers

Welcome to the second of a three part series recounting the adventures of my wife Maureen and I at the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, the largest and most well attended event of it’s kind on the planet. In the first instalment, my wife and I traveled to New Mexico’s largest city early in October as novice spectators this amazing event.  In this second instalment, my wife and I volunteer as members of a hot air balloon support team and learn a lot more about hot air ballooning then we could have imagined.  If you’re ready for another amazing adventure then, sit down, buckle up and read on!

Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Adventures - Part 1: Spectators




Welcome to the first of a three part series describing the adventures of my wife Maureen and I as we attend the Albuquerque International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, the largest event of it’s kind on the planet. This first instalment highlights on our experiences and impressions as novice spectators at this amazing event. The second instalment focuses on our involvement as volunteers with a hot air balloon support team while the third recounts our exploits as passengers in a hot air balloon. If you’re ready for the thrill of a lifetime then, sit down, hang tight and read on!

Driving California Highway 1, The Pacific Coast Highway in an RV - Part 2: The North

Welcome to Part 2 of “Driving California Highway 1 in a RV”. This odyssey follows the adventures of my wife Maureen and I as we explored scenic Highway 1 - The Pacific Coast Highway - along the California coast from beginning to end in an RV ( a truck and 25 foot travel trailer). In Part 1, we travelled from south of LA northward through Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach and Morro Bay to a campground south of Big Sur. In this episode, we'll continue north along Highway 1 through Monterey, Carmel and then San Francisco before tackling the less well-known section of Highway 1 from San Francisco to the village of Leggett, over two hundred miles to the north. While the scenery was spectacular and the natural beauty was amazing, the route was not without it challenges. Please continue on with us as we explore the rest of Highway 1

Please click here to read Part 1

Monday, 12 November 2018

Driving California Highway 1 - The Pacific Coast Highway in an RV - Part 1: The South

California Highway 1 - The Pacific Coast Highway - has to be one of the most iconic and well-known roads on the continent. From Los Angeles in the south to the village of Leggett in the north, this two lane ribbon of asphalt twists and turns along the California coast revealing countless vistas of incredible scenic beauty and dramatic ocean views. Little wonder it has been the focus for innumerable adventure bloggers, photographers and travel writers who typically navigate this twisty, two lane route in a sports car, hatchback or other small vehicle. But, what about an RV? How difficult would this route be for a pick-up truck pulling a 25 foot trailer. What difficulties and challenges might there be? That's what my wife Maureen and I intended to find out on this route that was anything but less travelled.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Myths, Stereotypes and RV'ing in Quebec

When talking to friends and family about RV’ing across Canada, one question that often comes up is, “What’s it like travelling in Quebec?” Unstated but implied is their real query, “What’s it like to travel in a province where the principal language that people converse in, that road signs are displayed in, that menus, tourist brochures, maps, etc. are printed in, is not English.” This unstated question usually arises from a multitude of myths, misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding Quebec, its residents and their attitude towards English speakers.

What's There To Do In The "Soo"?

The comedian Rodney Dangerfield and the city of Sault Ste Marie share at least one thing in common. Neither one gets much respect. For Canadian travelers in particular, Sault Ste Marie is often seen as little more than a wide spot in the road where they can get some gas, maybe a meal or perhaps a night’s sleep before moving on. The idea of actually spending time in the area is as laughable as one of Mr. Dangerfield’s jokes. Nevertheless, there are an amazing number of things to see and do in the “Soo” (the city’s nick-name) as my wife, Maureen and I discovered during a recent cross-Canada trip.

Wonderful Winnipeg

It’s hard to get excited about visiting a city that’s referred to as, “Winterpeg” by many of its citizens. And, the negative quips don't end there. Other comments include; “Winnipeg has two seasons, 10 months of winter and two months of mosquitoes.” or “’Winnipeg’ is Cree for muddy waters. The Cree don't have a word for horribly depressing city.” or “Winnipeg is the only city where you can switch from ‘heat’ to A/C and back again, all in one day.” or “In Winnipeg, there are 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction.” or “In Winnipeg, your snow blower will have more miles on it than your car.” Such self-deprecating humour may be a therapeutic way to cope with adverse conditions but, does little to encourage tourism, or so my wife Maureen and I thought when planning a recent trip. Had it not been for a good friend and former resident who extolled the virtues of the ‘Peg, we might have bypassed the city entirely. Instead, we decided stop, take a look and explore. In doing so, we discovered that Winnipeg was a wonderful city with much to offer.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Do You Know The Way To Thunder Bay?

“Do You Know The Way To Thunder Bay?” (Apologies to Bert Bacharach and Hal David).

Anyone who has driven across North Western Ontario from Winnipeg to Thunder Bay will appreciate the humour of this question. After all, there is only one main road between the two cities - the TransCanada Highway – and, it’s a drive most motorists would rather forget. From the Ontario border to Lake Superior, this asphalt artery is just two lanes wide yet carries a LOT of traffic, especially during the summer months. Add in scenery that’s not very scenic plus drivers who are usually in a hurry and the result is a “way” that’s less than ideal for Rv’ers. Luckily, there is an alternative route which bypasses much of the TransCanada Highway and its issues. It’s a route that’s much less travelled but much more interesting and much more accomodating for slower moving recreational vehicles as my wife Maureen and I discovered during a recent trip across Canada.