Just looking back at 2010, I have to say it was an amazing year! – I did quite a bit of travel, had lots of new experiences and had some life changing events take place. – Here is a breakdown of my year!
Chilled out and stayed at home for most of the month
Vancouver/Bellingham to Las Vegas, Nevada (Allegiant Airlines) – overall a great trip, lots of fun and good times!
The Olympics were taking place in Vancouver so it was my objective to get out of town! So, I took my family on vacation
Vancouver to Tokyo (Air Canada)
Tokyo to Singapore (Singapore Airlines) – Flew on the massive A380 and that was one of my favorite and most memorable airline experiences! – What a beautiful plane, lots of leg room and soooo smooooth!
Singapore to Phuket (Tiger Airways)
took a boat to Phi Phi Island
Phuket to Singapore (JetStar)
Singapore to Hong Kong (Singapore Airlines) – Flew again on the A380, what a beautiful plane!
took a boat to Macau and hung out there for a day, that was alot of fun.
Sent the family home from Hong Kong and then continued my journey – I had some business to take care of .
Hong Kong to Bangkok (Thai Airways)
Bangkok to Dubai (Thai Airways)
Took a taxi to Abu Dhabi – The taxis in Dubai are crazy animals I must say!!! – They got between 170km – 190km/hr and you ask them to slow down and they dont.. its sketchy! – They say something in Arabic which means ” God willing”…scary!
Stayed at a great hotel in Abu Dhabi called Aloft – I really enjoyed it, lots of fun although the location is crappy, unless you are doing business or have an event at the exhibition centre.
Dubai to Bangkok (Thai Airways)
Bangkok to Hong Kong (Thai Airways)
Hong Kong to Vancouver (Air Canada)
Drove from Vancouver to Sunpeaks, BC to go snowboarding for a few days, had a great time, the snow was great and the Coast hotel was a lot of fun! – Although, they did not appreciate us drinking beer by the fireplace outside…
Vancouver – Toronto – London, UK (Air Canada)
London – Edinburgh, Scotland (BMI)
Edinburgh, Scotland – London (BMI)
London – Copenhagen (SAS)
Took the train to the small town of Halmstad, Sweden – a pretty little town and a neat little beach, the weather was nice but not quite warm enough to for swimming and relaxing on the beach…nice for a walk though
The Icelandic Volcano Erupted….Boom!
Took the train from Halmstad, Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark – I really like Copenhagen and enjoyed may stay at the Marriott – The Marriott in Copenhagen is absolutely fantastic! It was the second time I stayed there.
My flight for the following day was already cancelled so I rushed to find a train to get me to mainland Europe. I needed to get to London for some meetings. I found a train ticket from Copenhagen to Brussels, I would have to spend a night in Brussels, Belgium
I took the train from Denmark – standing room only, it was the most aweful day of travel that I have ever had 7am and a stuffed stuffed train. The only thing that was cool and interesting about the whole experience is that the train drives onto a ship and you get out and walk around the ship – I thought that was incredible! – I made it Brussells 🙂
Eurostar from Brussels, Belgium to London, UK – took the Eurostar which is always a great experience, it was busy and crazy at the station – by the time I got to London, I was extremely happy and felt my stress levels drop! My flight was most likely to be cancelled, so my colleague who trained up from Italy to the UK bought fully refundable tickets for the whole week from London to Vancouver (Air Canada) so that we would for sure get home! I got home the day after my original flight was canceled. – I was on the first flight home from Europe to Canada and was greeted with news reporters, etc. It was kind of funny but also quite interesting. I almost felt like a celebrity! hahah
Stay home, relax and enjoy the company of my friends and girlfriend
Vancouver to Hong Kong (Cathay Pacific) – Since I am a Star Alliance Elite member for the past 4 years, I called up One World member Cathay Pacific and asked about their program – told them, I am considering switching alliances, they gave me One World status for this upcoming year. I have to admit that they were excellent – even the stewardess introduced themselves to me and addressed me properly – something I have yet to experience on Air Canada or other Star Alliance members. – I must also admit that Cathay seats were extremely comfortable! – I am still undecided if I will switch or not. I do not think the OneWorld program is as rewarding as Aeroplan, so I am a little iffy right now.
Hong Kong to Beijing (Dragon Air) – Ok airline, Beijing I really really loved! I stayed at a boutique hotel called Courtyard 7 – this goes down as one of my most favorite hotel experiences of all time! It was traditional feeling and wish my girlfriend was there to enjoy it with me. I think one day we will go to Beijing and we will stay there together – a very special place!!! I also had the chance to visit the Great Wall of China, I didn’t think it would be that impressive however I was very very wrong – It is perhaps one of the most amazing things I have seen!
Beijing – Hong Kong (Dragon Air) – Vancouver (Cathay Pacific) – Sat on the tarmac for about 2 hours as the tower would not let us take-off due to some thunder showers, etc. almost missed my Cathay flight…
Happy six years to my girlfriend!
Vancouver – Newark, NJ (Continental) – I have nothing bad nor good to say about them…
I had to drive to some small town called Runnemade, NJ – I didn’t know what to expect, but it was tiny…lol
I took an extra day to go see New York City – I have to say I was a little dissapointed. I had the full day about 14 hours and covered some serious ground – I got dropped off about 2 blocks from Times Square, walked all the way down to Central Park and then walked all the way back until I could see the the Statue of Liberty! – It was hot and humid, I think I went through about four shirts, everytime I sweated too much I found a place to buy a new tee 🙂
Newark, Nj – Vancouver (Continental) – My flight was supposed to be in the afternoon, but I wanted to be home early, so I went to the airport early in the morning around 5 am and was able to get my flight changed to the early morning flight so I could get home – Thank-You Continental!
August & September – I was able to stay home, relax and hangout with people I care about. I got a couple shopping trips into Seattle, Washington which was nice – I always enjoy visiting Seattle.
October – on the road again, I can’t wait to get on the road again….
Frankfurt – London – Vancouver –
Seattle (Air Canada) – I told the people in Frankfurt and also in London about my original flights and that I should only be going to Vancouver because they screwed up my original flight. They seemed to acknowledge me, however when I go to Vancouver to collect my bags, they told me that they have already been loaded onto the flight to Seattle. I ended up having a huge argument with the staff at the counters and they tried to force me to fly and told me I have to go with my bags to Seattle. They just didn’t want to admit that they screwed up on the original flight out…in any case after lots of back and forth they finally agreed to have my bags taken off the plane. I then had to go back to customs and security to claim my bags – this delayed me by about nearly 2 hours as customs took a long time for my bags…I ended up having to take a taxi home – I should have sent them a bill for my $25 taxi ride…grrr
Vancouver – Toronto – Ottawa – It was amazing to see Parliament, I felt a little Canadian pride, however disappointed that I did not see Mr. Harper
Ottawa – Toronto – Regina – I went to Moose Jaw to see my parents, that was a lot of fun, my cousins and grandparents came up and spent some time together. I love my family!
Regina – Vancouver – Happy to be home and see my girlfriend! (I Love her too!)
Vancouver – Phoenix – Charlotte – Rio De Janeiro – What a crazy madhouse city! Stayed at the Shearaton Leblon Rio and it was outdated as all get out. A complete Shitdive…I am still wondering how it got the 4* rating. – I think maybe the beach got the 4* the pools sure didn’t as the hot tub was broken almost every day and when it worked it was only luke warm at most. – The beach was awesome, but the waves were HUGE. I was in the water about knee deep and a wave out of nowhere came and flipped me and took my Oakleys with it 😦
We went hang-gliding with Ruy Marra – He has been hangliding for almost his whole life – he also holds some world records and has the #1 licence for hanggliding in Rio. – He can also arrange Paragliding for you if you wish. I found Ruy to also be very sincere, kind and genuinely wanting you to know and understand Brasil – He told us about the forest we were going to fly over and how it was made by only a handful of slaves. He also shared some of his stories and experiences in Brazil – I wish I could sit down with him sometime and talk to him for a few hours. He is a really really great guy and very passionate about what he does! – Check out his website – http://www.riosuperfly.com.br
Florianopolis – Buenos Aires, Argentina (GOL) – Gol is fun and cheap generally speaking – Buenos Aires is an awesome little place. If you go be sure to take in a tango show at Senor Tango (Mr. Tango) – It was amazing!
Buenos Aires – Santiago De Chile (GOL) – I love Santiago, except this time it was raining and sucked a little bit for us…
Santiago De Chile – Punta Arenas, Chile (SKY Airline) – Complete 100% discount airline that feeds you every stop – there was 2 stops on the way to Punta Arenas and they feed you a full meal on each segment – the segments are only about 1 hour too. I am not sure how they do it..but they sure know how to fatten up the cattle!
I have to tell you as well the staff at SKY Airline are amazing! the morning of our flight, I sliced my finger very very deep on a safety razor (how safe is that?) – and it bled for nearly three hours, in any case I was only wrapping paper around it – it was nasty…they took my bags and did my check-in for me. One of their employees took me to the first aid had my taken care of. It was really nice of them to go out of their way for me and help me – I definitely appreciated that, I wanted to give the guy a tip (money), but he politely refused and said he couldn’t take it. If you got to Chile, support Sky Airline http://www.skyairline.cl
Punta Arenas was amazing! We walked around this little town, went to the spa, went to the casino, went horse back riding and then went and saw the Penguino’s (Penguins!!) – I have to say that I am very very amused by Penguins. They are very curious and friendly, I wish I could have one as a pet. – Penguins are also very loving animals, they always stick with their mate and cuddle.
Punta Arenas – Santiago De Chile (SKY Airline) – Again, why complain when they feed me three meals in three hours…insane!
I have a favorite restaurant called Astrid & Gaston – you must eat at their restaurant if you go to Santiago! – they also have other locations around the world in Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Spain, Mexico and Argentina – go to their website http://www.astridygaston.com – Their chocolate souffle is to die for!!!
Santiago De Chile – Mendoza, Argentina (LAN Chile – aka the asshole airline) – You are probably wondering why I call them the asshole airline, well I have to tell you as someone who has their OneWorld alliance it did not make any sense. We went to the “preferred client” checkin. 3 of us and only 5 bags total. They said we were only allowed to checkin two bags but the combined weight would be 20kg. – well we have been traveling for almost three weeks and not even sky airline gave us a hard time for checking two bags in, so I am wondering WTF – in any case, I was livid! We ended up not paying but fought with the staff for a good 10 minutes before them allowing it on. Also when we were on the airplane my fiance stood up to go to the bathroom as soon as she was walking down the aisle the light came on saying that we were starting our descend…the stewardess was an ass and wouldn’t let her use the bathroom (seriously, light just came on as she was approaching the bathroom) – pretty frustrating… – anyways the airline pissed me off enough that I just took the bus from Mendoza to Santiago De Chile the bus was six first class seats in the lower deck and 50 economy up top – the ride was extremely comfortable and lots of fun! the drive was exciting as we were going through the Andes and it was also extremely high in altitude.
While we were in Mendoza, we visited some fantastic wineries and also enjoyed a fantastic spa experience. those were definitely highlights of our vacation: If you go to Mendoza, rent a bicycle from Mr. Hugo Bikes (www.MrHugoBikes.com) and visit the Termas cacheuta spa (www.termascacheuta.com).
Santiago De Chile – Toronto – Vancouver (Air Canada) – a nice ride home, Thank you Air Canada for the complimentary upgrade, which I passed along to my Fiance – she really enjoyed herself!
Vancouver – London, UK (Air Canada) – yup, Air Canada again… 🙂 no problem, generally speaking they are pretty good – they do not charge me for drinks so I am ok with that 🙂
Snowed in London and there was a tube strike along with student protestors everything – I think the Brits are either becoming like the french or they are letting too many of french into the UK. Regent streat was done up wonderfully and made me feel like Christmas was here! I enjoyed music one evening at a place called the Blues Bar and ate food at a place called Sticky Fingers – All in all a fairly good experience. The weekend before coming home, I visited my friends in Shepparton and went to Kingston to the Christmas Market and did some shopping – we also ate turkey at this place called Toby Carvery…that place was ok, but it was way way over-rated…
London – Vancouver (Air Canada) – Thank you Air Canada for the upgrade although I had to upgrade my class to M to use a damn blue certificate – This was my absolute worst upgrade experience I must say – the cabin was extremely dry and the doofus sitting behind me had his arm hanging over the side of pod for half the time. The other thing that pissed me off was that he obviously couldn’t get comfortable cause he kept kicking or hitting the side of pod which then echod in my pod. The cabin was also extremely warm 😦 all in all I did not get any rest…I should have stuck it with economy this time…
I am back in Vancouver now for Christmas and New Years and will be happy to spend it with my brother, his girlfriend, my fiance and her family. However, I really do wish my parents could come and be with us. The cost of flights are outrageous right now, so I am a little upset about that, but I guess that is how life goes.
I am also in the middle of planning my wedding, etc. We will do that in HAWAII on May 24, 2011 – I am looking forward to that, however it is sure frustrating trying to plan a wedding, etc.
All in All – 2010 has been a real treat! Lots of great things happened as well as have got to see more of the world! I am thankful for every experience I get and every minute I live on this earth.
Ps A special Thanks to the following websites that have made my traveling experiences pleasurable!
http://www.TripIt.com – Plan and organise your travel!
http://www.Expedia.com – Book flights, hotels, etc – Their customer service is pretty good too!
http://www.AirCanada.com – Fly Air Canada lots and hope they give you a complimentary upgrade…
http://www.PriceLine.com – The BEST place to get hotels use the Name Your Own Price feature!
http://www.PressDisplay.com – Read your favorite newspapers from around the world
http://www.Aeroplan.com – Life rewarded
http://www.CathayPacific.com – If you live in Asia or going to HK lots, they are fantastic!