Page 5 of swissmaple Travel Blog Posts

We set off for Washington DC, bright and early on a frigid morning. Within a few hours, we had checked off several license plates, seen a few state signs, laughed at all the NJ drivers on the side of the road (it was very frigid so I'm guessing they ran out of wiper fluid and couldn't see a thing, or hadn't cleared the snow off their vehicles), and paid $15 in tolls. We of course, hadn't bothered to ask anyone what the best way to drive was, and managed to follow the most expensive route. So much for our $50/day budget! We checked into our hostel and found the room to be very plain with old mattresses and a strong breeze coming through an old, drafty window. The guy almost seemed ashamed to show us the ... read more
Inside the Dome
The Capitol
Trunks Up!

North America » United States » New York » New York January 12th 2009

Between two snow storms, we made our escape to the south. Of course, we didn't venture too far south to start with...there were friends to visit first! Our first visit was New York, New York. Now New York is a big city. Growing up, my impressions of "the City" were generally of a big, scary, place where no one knows your name, and with lousy weather, as my luck always guaranteed bad weather on city trips. It wasn't until I went to live in another city that I began to appreciate the fascination that people have for New York City. While I still would never live there, it is a pretty cool city. So we set out to discover why millions of people all over the world are fascinated with the city that never sleeps. We ... read more
Cast Iron Detail
The Famous Bridge
Brooklyn Bridge by Night

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal January 4th 2009

Time has flown since our last trip in September. And while we haven't been traveling, we have both making observations about our surroundings like any good travelers would. Most of our observations have centred around the change of the seasons and the onset of winter. $*#%^!! may be the most common statement as of late. It may have something to do with the onset of winter. You see, it is the Aussie's first real winter, and unfortunately for him, it has been off to a rather cold start. So as the Canuk, it has been my job to get him out to experience it. We returned from our road trip in the Maritimes in mid-September, and we both got straight back into work. I benefited from the kids going back to school and from the political ... read more

North America » Canada » Nova Scotia September 13th 2008

Ten days with no place to call home. What better way to spend it than a road trip? We only had 10 days, but we had 10 big days, including the Gaspé peninsula, parts of New Brunswick, and Cape Breton and the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Highlights included some amazing camping spots, moose-signs and footprints (but no moose sightings), cute fishing villages, lighthouses, friendly people, crazy drivers and some very large piles of wood (must get cold in winter!) We picked up our rental car the morning of September 1st, and decided that renting cars is a great way to test-drive a vehicle. Our experiences have convinced us to stay away from the go-kart engines of Hyundai's, but that's what we had for our trip! It loved the hills...really (just the drivers behind hated ... read more
Forillon National Park
Le Rocher Percé
Sculptures by the Sea

North America » Canada » Quebec » Montréal July 19th 2008

Ah, Montreal. The city that I call home when I travel. We're back in Montreal for the summer, and we're loving it! While Dave and I were running a "chase point" or checkpoint for the Montreal City Chase, we were distracted by a man wearing a clown wig riding on a kid's scooter, chased by a blue bus full of drunk guys, two of which were hanging out of the overhead emergency exit, throwing water balloons at the clown. Meanwhile, the cockroaches and the snakes at our checkpoint wanted to know what the commotion was about. As teams raced around Montreal completing ridiculous challenges such as eating crickets and carrying water buckets on their heads for the City Chase event, sets of twins paraded for the Two of a Kind parade at the Just For Laughs ... read more
Freshness at the Markets
Cute Square St Louis
Jamming at Jazz Fest

North America » Canada » Alberta » Jasper National Park June 19th 2008

This entry is dedicated to our wonderful host and friend, Phil, who sadly left us in September. May you have a wonderful view for eternity. I've always had a bit of a urge to fully explore the Rockies. What better way than to live there? Well, unfortunately, that was far out of our budget, so I'll have to place that back on the dream list. No check-marks here. We left Vancouver ages ago. Ok, it was only at the beginning of the month. We met up with Dave's sister Catherine in Vancouver, got a wonderful tour of North Vancouver thanks to Jayme, took a train through the Rockies, hired a car (yes, this Aussie expression is still slipping in), climbed some mountains, oohed and awwed over the amazing scenery, and became a bit depressed over the ... read more
Mountain Climbing
Is that colour real?
Grinder & Coola

North America » Canada » Quebec May 28th 2008

Bonjour du Quebec! The past month has just flown by. After we explored a bit of the Vancouver area, we flew east from Seattle to the little airport in Newburgh, New York. The main reason we went all the way across the country was to go to my cousin's wedding in Newport News, Virginia. And what a fun wedding it was! A mix of Columbian, Swiss and cheesy American wedding traditions, with toasts and cheers in several languages and heavy accents. Start with a marriachi band, add the singing Von Trapp family and throw in a dj with a love of the Electric Slide, with a pinch of alcohol, and you'll get an idea of how the weekend went. After that weekend, our first tourist visit was Goshen, New York. We wandered around historic Goshen, floated ... read more
The Ottawa River
Something Old, Something New
Les rues du vieux Quebec

I had a "where the heck am I?" moment last night. We had gone out for a night on the town in Duncan, BC. We went for the "famous" wing night at the Oak & Carriage Pub (at 35 cents per wing, and too many flavours to choose from, how could you go wrong?), followed by a movie at the 80's era Duncan movie theatre. When the movie ended (we had seen 21) and the lights came up, I had no idea where I was. I was in a familiar setting...a movie theatre. But it was an unfamiliar theatre with some people I didn't know all that well. A moment of utter confusion. That's when I remembered...we were travelling. We actually have started the next chapter. We've been "tourists" for a couple weeks now. Odd. Especially ... read more
Bike-friendly cities

Sometimes there are pleasant surprises when traveling. Such as a family vacation. When you're just a kid, the family vacation is fun. Sure, you argue heaps with your siblings, and your parents yell at you for asking the dreaded 4-word question, Are we there yet?. But generally a family vacation is fun when you're a kid. Fast forward a few years. Ok, maybe a few more. You haven't fully lived with your family for several years. You've traveled extensively on your own and have pretty much declared your independence from being cooped up in the back seat of the car with your annoying siblings. You've had a few road trips of your own. You get along with your family, but that's mostly because you don't spend much time at "home". Now why on earth would you ... read more
Sunset on the dunes
Need a seat?

North America » United States » New York » Goshen March 1st 2008

Quack! It's been a few months, and our webbed feet are well soaked with the cold rain Goshen's been having. Where is that white stuff we saw in Denver? Snow? Didn't get much of that this year! But soon we'll be off on our next adventure to Canada! Meanwhile, we've been busy little duckies, helping Mel choose photos for our "Duck Tales" book. Quack! It made for a fun little book to remember our adventures by. We didn't print endless copies of the books, so we'll have to post some photos and stories here! Mel's been too busy to type this out for us, so it took us a long time to type. Gulliver kept falling for Aesop's tricks, which led to many misspellings, which delayed this blog entry even more! It's hard to type if ... read more
Stuck in a rut
Uluru Ducks
Lunch with a beetle

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