Richard P. Johns

Smooth Operator

Richard P. Johns

'Tempus Fugit' - Time Flies and Anyone travelling knows that time passes much to quickly. I have started adding blogs for our Central and Eastern Europe trip from May 2018. Its great to have an easy way to stay in touch with everyone and show off some photos.

My travels so far include Europe, North America, Central America, South America, The Caribbean, South East Asia, China, Japan, Iceland, Australia and New Zealand. Feel free to ask questions if you're going to any of these places.

I am eyeing up the north coast of South America for our next trip but have to wait for vacation time to accumulate.

All the best on your travels!

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans November 20th 2023

Last weekend, I headed out to New Orleans with my co-worker and long time friend, Christina. We were stopping by for our friend's birthday party on the way to a conference near Chicago. I started out with a huge fish and chips meal at the Canucks restaurant at YVR, boarded a plane to Houston, then on to New Orleans. United Airlines does not have movie screens and the app barely works onboard so read most of the flight. We arrived in New Orleans at 9:30 pm, dropped our bags at the hotel and headed out to the Abbey Pub to meet our co-worker, Claire, who was also in town for a conference. Her local friends (Lulu and Jason) gave us some great tips for seeing the best city sights in one weekend. After some beers, we ... read more
St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square
Bourbon Street late at night
Richard, Christina and Claire on Bourbon Street

North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage November 20th 2023

We managed to find a cheap $700 Alaska cruise deal so fit in an extra summer vacation this year. The cruise only went one way so we used Aeroplan points to fly up to Anchorage Alaska. We got there a day early which gave us time to look around town and get a special bus out to Whittier with a bonus stop – the Alaska Wildlife Park. But to back up a bit, we had a short 3 hour flight to Anchorage, Alaska. We stayed at a cheap hotel, Ingra House with creaky beds, a separate washroom and tons of security – oh well. We walked into town down 6th street, past the cemetery, the Sheraton, the museum, the mall and made it to Resolution Park (which was under construction). We followed a trail ... read more
Looking out over Turnagain Arm
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Portage Glacier

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo April 8th 2023

After arriving in Cairo from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, we stayed at the Ramses Hilton in the heart of Cairo. It was a fabulous hotel with great views of the city, several restaurants, and a pool (which unfortunately closed at sunset so we never got to use it). Even though we arrived late the night before, we were on a tour bus by 7:30am the next day to go see the Great Pyramids of Giza. None of us minded the early wake up as it is not every day you get to see the final surviving Wonder of the World, dating back to 2500 BC. The largest pyramid at Giza was the tallest structure on the planet for over 3,800 years. There are three large pyramids at Giza built by three generations (Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure). There ... read more
Pyramids of Giza
The Sphinx and the Pyramid of Khafre
Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman January 14th 2023

We have been back just over three weeks, but my mind keeps wandering back to the epic landscapes and vivid history of our family trip to Jordan and Egypt. Over 16 days, we completed a whirlwind tour of both countries seeing many of the most famous sights and leaving us eager to return and see more of both countries in the future. On a bright note, Riley did really well on the trip with almost no other kids to interact with! He made friends with our fellow tourists over the two weeks. After a gruelling 24 hour set of flights from Vancouver to Calgary to Frankfurt to Amman, we arrived late in the day on January 7, were greeted by a local guide and taken to our hotel. The next morning, we were up bright and ... read more
Richard at Jerash
Southern Theatre at Jerash
Temple of Hercules at Jerash

North America » United States » Illinois » Chicago November 12th 2022

Well, after almost three years of a pause on travel to prevent the spread of the covid virus and not be complicit in the increasing death toll, we finally took a Canadian family vacation in July to visit Montreal Toronto and Ottawa. I will catch up on that blog before the end of the year. This blog is for my first trip out of the country in three years to the USA for a work conference. I left on November 1 so that I could enjoy Halloween with Riley the night before. I left at 5am to Uber to the YVR airport and had a direct flight to Chicago. Unfortunately, it was a newly purchased refurbished plane for Air Canada Jazz with no wifi or entertainment system. Fortunately, I had books and music to keep me ... read more
St. Louis Arch
Gin Blossoms at the Pageant
Hippopotamus at St. Louis Zoo

South America » Argentina » Buenos Aires » Buenos Aires December 8th 2019

Dear Friends and Family, After travelling 28 hours from door to door, Ann, Riley and I arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina. We stopped in Toronto to change planes and then in Santiago just to walk in a big circle and get back on the same plane. We used Uber to get from the airport to the Airbnb and found it to be really reliable and cheap to get around in Argentina and later Chile. We were staying in the Palermo district that boasts lots of coffee shops, restaurants and grocery shops. For my birthday, we did a big walking tour of Buenos Aires. We started in the Caminito at the colourful buildings and market stalls. We walked north to La Bombonera (home to the Boca Juniors), the playground at the Parque Flora Native, San Telmo, Plaza ... read more
Caminito, BA
Exercising near Puerto Madero, BA
Casa Rosada, BA

Antarctica » Antarctica » South Shetland Islands December 2nd 2019

Dear Friends and Family, I hope this update finds you all well. Due to the recent self isolation policy for Covid-19, I have had time to finish my travel blog. I hope this reminds you of better times. Stay safe. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ My journey to Antarctica began with a family vacation to South America. I left my family to relax in the hot weather of Buenos Aires, and caught a plane down to Ushuaia. All went smoothly and I checked into my hotel the day before my Antarctica Expedition with Quark Adventures. This gave me plenty of time to head to the Tierra Del Fuego National Park for hiking. A local mini-van dropped me at one end of the park in Zaratiegui Bay. From there I was told it’s a four hour trek along the coast, past ... read more
Tierra del Fuego
Coastal Walk at Tierra del Fuego
Richard at the bottom of South America

North America » Canada » Alberta » Drumheller May 26th 2019

Riley, Ann and I took a long weekend trip to Calgary and Drumheller. We started at the Calgary Zoo which has a wonderful collection of animals. They also have a fun section with dinosaurs that you bump into along the trail. Riley's favourite animals were the penguins. We rented a car and drove to Drumheller to visit the town, the Tyrrell Museum and the Hoodoos. Riley's favourite dinosaurs were the Pterodactyls and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. We got to hike into the badlands and along the Hoodoo Trail. We also crossed the Star Mine suspension bridge before another visit to the museum. Lots to do on a quick trip.... read more
Riley makes a friend
Riley changed his name to Joey

North America » United States » California » Los Angeles » Anaheim January 23rd 2019

Riley and Richard take off on a boys only trip to the Happiest Place on Earth! We had five days to live it up and let Mum relax. We went to California Adventure for two days, Disneyland for one and everyday in the hotel pool. Our first stop was Cars land where Riley saw Lightening McQueen, Mater and Red. His first ride was the Cars land race that scared him off rides for a bit. We also saw Woody, Cap, the Black Panther and Spidey. We saw the Guardians of the Galaxy in a dance off party. We met with Goofy, Mickey, Donald and Groot. The next day we entered Disneyland. Riley was brave and tried the Indiana Jones ride. But his favourite ride was 'It's a Small World'. Riley took photos with Snow White, Cinderella ... read more
Riley on the plane on the way to Disneyland
First stop at the Disney Store

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice May 4th 2018

Our first interesting stop in Italy was at the fortress town of Palmanova, a nine pointed star shaped fortress. While its larger design can only be seen from an aerial view, the huge fortifications and moats are pretty impressive from the ground. We arrived during the middle of a marathon, so after we walked into the centre of town, we mingled with the runners and walkers following the trails around the fortifications. Our next stop was a beach day at Bibione beach on the Mediterranean Sea. Riley got the chance to play in the sand with his cars and build sand castles. We all walked out to the end of the pier for lunch. We left in the early afternoon which allowed us to arrive in Venice early. We got one of the last parking spots ... read more
Aerial view of the star shaped fortress at Palmanova
Pier at Bibione beach
Arriving in Venice, Monte Dei Paschi Di Siena

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