Archive for August, 2009

Woah wedding

Mark and I are busy these days getting ready for Jessica’s wedding. Planning a world trip seems like a piece of cake in comparison! It’s going to be a quaint English countryside wedding. The wedding is on Saturday so we may be out of commish for a few days.

Can’t wait for the travels to start again, which we hope will be on September 1st. We’re not sure where we will be headed first. We’re looking into postponing our African journey until April of next year. Getting to Cairo overland will take nearly all the time we have, which will leave little to no time for us to explore Europe with our rail passes. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed that someone will be able to take our spot on the October departure so we can spend more time wandering the Northern Hemisphere.

We’ll be keeping you posted.

Comfy footwear

As we get further along in our travels, we will be posting reviews of some of the gear that we brought with us. Since putting together our packing list was one of my main obsessions before we left, I hope that these reviews will prove interesting and helpful to any future wanderers, or even to any other gear-heads out there like me!

These Holey Soles are one of the two pairs of footwear that I brought with me. They are the Canadian version of the more well-known brand Crocs. The differences between the two brands are very slight. Holey Soles seem to use a very slightly softer and more flexible foam/rubber material than Crocs, and the shoe is slightly narrower. Other than that, they are almost identical in terms of design and look. In fact, I almost always refer to them as Crocs anyways, even though that’s a disservice to the Canadian company. It’s just easier to say, and then people know what you’re talking about.

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Babes in Berlin

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While the boys were surfing, the girls had a laid-back civilized time in Berlin. Confession #2: We probably weren’t all that civilized.

Friday night we went over to one of Jessie’s (bride-to-be/sister) hen’s houses in London for a party with some other gals who couldn’t join us in Berlin. Usual bachelorette shenanigans proceeded, including a very telling questionnaire. Reverse Cowboy? Huh? We didn’t sleep at all really because we needed to get to the train station super early in order to make it to the airport on time for our flight to Berlin. It’s truly amazing that we all actually made it to Berlin in one piece and made it through customs with residual alcohol in our systems.

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Confession

I flew. I do not look forward to doing it again any time soon.

My sister’s hen party took place in Berlin, as planned by her friend Charlotte. It was a surprise. In order for things to work out without her getting suspicious it was ‘easiest’ to fly. The exception was made because, well, it’s my sisters wedding and I’m her maid of honour. It’s a nasty blip on the breadcrumb, there and back. Now I would like to rant about my experience flying Easyjet:

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Gear and Photos updates

Our gear page has been updated again. We’ve added detailed lists to several items, such as our first aid kit, clothing, and personal documents. Just click on the plus symbol (+) beside an item to expand it and view the contents.

There is also a small album posted on the photos page from my surfing weekend in Polzeath. Enjoy!

surfing-gang

I’ve just returned from a great weekend of surfing and partying in Polzeath, on the west coast of the UK. I was down there for Tim’s stag party — Tim is Meghan’s sister’s fiancé. Can you pick him out in the picture? We were down there for two nights, staying in a house right on the beach. Meg didn’t come on this trip, since it was a guys weekend. Besides, she had a bachelorette party to attend — but I’ll let her write about that.

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The Roundhouse

the pump organ

Today we visited The Roundhouse, near Camden market. We went to see an installation by David Byrne called “Playing the Building”. The installation basically turns the building itself into a giant musical instrument. Mechanisms are installed that hit, vibrate, or blow air through various parts of the structure of the building to produce sounds. Some of the elements include columns, catwalks, and mechanical or electrical conduits. The striking/vibrating/blowing mechanisms are then connected to an old pump organ in the centre of the space by long, low-tech cables and tubes. When the keys of the organ are pressed, the sounds of the building are played.

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The Ashes

I’ve spent a fair bit of my day today watching cricket highlights from the Ashes, being contested right now between England and Australia. After four test matches, it’s all square at one apiece going into the fifth and final test, which begins next week. In the latest test, England was embarrassed, finishing all out for only 102 in the first innings, and losing to Australia by an innings and 80 runs over a mere 2.5 days of play.

After some lengthy cricket discussions at the party we went to on Friday and the odd bit of internet research, I’m proud to say that I actually understand what that means now!

The fifth and final test match of this Ashes series will be played while we are still in the UK, so I might have to make my way down to a local pub to check it out. When in Rome…

On another note, we’ve just posted an album of photos to go with Meghan’s review of the QM2.

Review: QM2

butter

5/5. “This is the life”, I kept repeating to Mark’s annoyance. We may have shot ourselves in the foot by starting our journey on the Queen Mary because the bar was set high. Really high.

In no way am I a travel expert, especially when it comes to luxury cruise liners, but I like what I like and so these reviews will be completely biased and weigh heavily on the quality of food, especially dessert. (I’ll try to keep this short, but sometimes my mind and stomach gets carried away).

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stonehenge

We’ve covered a fair bit of ground since landing in the UK four nights ago. Be sure to check out our breadcrumb page to see the routes we’ve taken between our destinations. We’ve been tracking our routes using a handheld gps unit (Garmin eTrex Vista HCx). A big thank you to Meghan’s parents for giving it to us as a gift before we left! Figuring out how to upload from the gps unit to Google maps was a bit of a challenge, since the gps software is only Windows compatible. But I finally figured it out, and I’m looking forward to watching the line grow longer and longer…

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