Left Coast By Design

Tag: Travel (page 1 of 2)

What To Do In Toronto?

As I continue my jet-setting ways during this spell of funemployment, I’ll find myself FINALLY visiting Toronto (apparently I can’t count stops at Pearson International as a visit) next week. That’s right, while I’ve been to Whitehorse and Halifax, Quebec City and Winnipeg, I’ve never found an opportunity to check out the “Big Smoke.” So I need your help – what do you I get up to while I’m there?

At the moment, my plans are to catch up with friends who’ve moved out east over the years, yet with three-and-a-half days in town I figure I’ll need to fill ’em with something.

The Stanley Cup

Courtesy of Jackman Chiu

Obviously as a red-blooded Canadian, no stop to Toronto is every complete without a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame. In fact, I’m pretty darn sure it will be my first stop on my trip – well, second considering I’ll need to check-in to my hotel and such. I’ll get to give Lord Stanley’s Cup a good look, maybe see what Pavel Bure’s plaque looks like up close, and maybe even bump into The Count… err… Gary Bettman so I can give him a piece of my mind.

But then there’s the small matter of the Canucks making the playoffs – where will I watch the games I’ll miss while on the road? Should I just camp out at the Real Sports Bar & Grill I hear so much about, or is there somewhere better?

Blue Jays Baseball at Rogers Centre

Courtesy of laurencehorton

And then there’s the Blue Jays! Would you believe I’ve never been to a major league baseball game ever? Sure I make sure to swing by the Nat to catch a Canadians game every season, but while an exciting brand, it’s not the show. Heck, even with such close proximity to a pro club down in Seattle, I’ve still never seen the big leagues so I can’t pass that opportunity up.

Heck, maybe I’ll take in a couple of games. Both the Tampa Bay Rays and Atlanta Braves pass through town while I’m there.

Lastly, there’s the CN Tower.

Yeah, the VERY tall CN Tower.

You see, I have this fear of heights and while I’ve visited landmarks that have challenged my comfort zone of having two feet firmly planted to the ground – hello London Eye – I’ve never done the fear factor thing on my own. Are there support buddies available? People to hold on to when fear tries to get the better of me? Or do I just suck it up and head to the top like a big boy? Oh the humanity.

Anywho, what other suggestions do all of you fine people have for me? While I’ll be staying downtown at the Hyatt and would like to get around by foot as much as I can – remember, I’m funemployed and all – if there’s an attraction I just can’t miss, I’m willing to make the effort to get there.

An Amtrak Cascades Sunset

While riding the Amtrak Cascades train down to Seattle last month, I setup my GoPro on the window of our coach and set it to take a picture every two seconds.

This is the result:

Sure the video is rough around the edges, and you get bonus footage of my wife’s reflection, but I’m pretty proud of my little creation.

As an aside, if you’ve never hopped on the Amtrak Cascades, I highly recommend the trip. Not only do you get some pretty solid scenery, as well as see pieces of Metro Vancouver you never knew existed, it’s just a comfortably pleasant trip in just as much time as it takes to drive down the I5.

One Day in LA

As part of my journey to rediscover my soul, the wife and I will have one whole day in Los Angeles and haven’t a clue on how we’ll spend it.

That’s right – one whole day!


Our problem is that there is so much that we could do in LA and we’re having difficulty choosing one or two things.

We could go up to Disneyland, as I’ve never been, but we think that would take the whole day. Hop on a Starline Tour Bus and simply see the sights? Visit Universal Studios?  Or visit Rodeo Drive.

What would you do with just one day in LA?

A Trip for the Soul

When I first introduced the idea of funemployment to all of you, I spoke about my desire to view this sudden change of scenery as an opportunity.  In fact, I believe I said this:

I’m going to take the next few weeks and do things I never thought to do before. I’m going to be going on a short cruise. I’m going to fly somewhere on a lark and simply enjoy the destination. – The Opportunity of Unemployment

So as a man who looks to keep his word, the first trip on this journey of funemployment has been booked. While the original idea was to hop on a short cruise and take a few days to simply recharge my soul, my wife and I decided to make it a little more than that and to create a week of adventure.

Amtrak Cascades

Courtesy of Stephen Rees

The first step on our week long journey will be riding the Amtrak Cascades train line from Vancouver down to Seattle. While the whole concept of a passenger train is not entirely foreign to the two of us – we rode them in when we went to the United Kingdom a while back – we’ve never taken in the ride locally.  And as I am a transportation junkie, this could be one of the most exciting parts of our entire trip.

jetBlue Plane

Courtesy of cclark395

Then there is the second leg of our journey, flying from Seattle down to Los Angeles. Neither of us has ever been to this massive city and figured we’d be good to spend at least a day down there before our cruise home. While we still haven’t figured out what we’ll do, we did decide on flying with jetBlue after hearing from friends of ours that the airline is a pretty solid choice. And it also helped that they fly into Long Beach which is essentially where our ship will leave. Or is it San Pedro? I don’t know – Los Angeles is just that big.

Grand Princess

Courtesy of MA1216

Last, but not least, is our sail on the Grand Princess from Los Angeles back home to Vancouver. This is also a new experience for the wife and me, so we’re viewing it as a practice trip to prepare for our much longer sail to Hawaii later this year (I know, I know. I’m a jetsetter).

While the trip is essentially a repositioning cruise with our only ports of call being Los Angeles and Vancouver, you’ll likely find us either on our balcony watching the ocean or poolside relaxing. I get that the temperatures are likely not what one would expect to experience on a cruise, but this trip is really about helping me find that soul of mine that has gone missing.

This adventure is about something new and untravelled. It’s about fun and excitement. It’s about rest and relaxation. It’s about the experience and that’s pretty darn exciting!

Want to come along?

What Happens in Vegas?

As I blogged about recently, Marnie and I are off to Las Vegas in October. While I’ve been to Sin City once, this will be a first for Marnie, so my hope is to soak in as much of the City That Never Sleeps as we possibly can over four days.

We’ve got our flights booked on WestJet (yay $99 companion fare and WestJet dollars), our hotel booked at the Tropicana Las Vegas (in a Deluxe Paradise Tower room whatever that means), and now we begin the bigger step of trying to figure out what we should get up to while we’re there.

I’ve already determined that at least one of our nights will be spent visiting Fremont Street (I loved it and it felt far less pretentious than the Strip). And with another night tied up with the wedding we’re attending, we obviously don’t have much time for anything else. So if you were us, what would you do?

We’d obviously love to take in a show or something. I’ve always wanted to see the Blue Man Group. Can’t say Marnie would be necessarily down with it, but it’s a start. And is there something we should know about shows on how to get the best deals? I always hear of people getting tickets at less than face value, but know nothing of it.

Or should we just take it easy and walk the strip, check out the fountains at the Bellagio, and gamble away our savings? I’m okay with that too, though I’d obviously like to keep a few dollars in the bank to cover the cost of the taxi to the airport on our way home.

I know you’re all Vegas veterans, do us a solid – we really don’t know what happens in Vegas!

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