Lady Luck is finally on my side! I slept-in today and after my shower, I had a burst of intelligence. I could use my in-room blow dryer to heat my hair and comb it into place. (I wouldn't dare use the blow-dryer I brought with me. I could blow a fuse again!) It didn't work out perfectly as planned, but at least I don't look like a curly Albert Einstein.
Also, I finally caught up with the tour group representative. She was very friendly and told me the closure of the underground meeting place and relocation to the inside of the Royal National Hotel had caused a lot of confusion. (Yay! I'm not alone!) She then told me that we were meeting tonight at 6 PM and we leave for Amsterdam tomorrow morning.
On my way back I stopped at Pret A Manger again and had exactly the same thing I had yesterday. It was still equally as good.
One of the small reasons I wanted to go to London was to collect a certain type of coin. The mint had taken the U.K. shield and printed parts of it on the 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, and 50p coins, as well as the whole shield on the £1 coin. While in Pret I was going through my change and I found two of the coins I needed to complete the shield!
On my way back to my hotel room I took an elevator with a man named Mark. He's from Toronto and on the same tour as me!
Back home, my girlfriend just woke-up so I'm going to go call her and wish her a great day at school.
I'll talk to you later.
I just got back from the tour meeting. There will be about 39 of us on the tour.
At first, the woman (whose name is "Flip") was telling us about how we were going to take the bus to Paris tomorrow and all about the fun things to do in Paris. After a while of talking, her partner (named "Muffin") noticed all of our faces had a confused look on it and stopped Flip. She had gotten her tours mixed up! We were going to Amsterdam - but her next group was going to Paris!
There are people from all over the world on this tour. There's people form the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Australia, Maybe I'll be able to buy some foreign currency off the Brazilian and Japanese people.
We meet up at 6:45 AM tomorrow morning, so I'll have to leave the hotel at about 6:30. After all the trouble I've had making it to this meeting, I'd hate to sleep in tomorrow and miss the bus!
Oh, before I forget, I just brought breakfast for tomorrow at a local confectionery store (which are very common in this area of London; about two every block or so) and had supper at Pret again. I promise to mix things up a bit more in mainland Europe. Sorry for being so boring about my restaurant choices!
Well, I guess it's time to switch currencies in my wallet from Great British Pounds over to Euros. I still have over £150 left, but I still hope no women with small purple flowers find me!
Goodnight now. Hopefully my next entry will be from the city of my forefathers: Amsterdam.
Entered London with £350, left with £151.48
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
Since I am Saskatchewan born and raised, it always bothered me when people said there's nothing to do in my home province. If you're looking for culture, history, food, beer, sporting events, community or a touch of quirkiness, Saskatchewan is the best place to visit!
If you've been following my blog for awhile now, you'll know I could write a whole article about places to visit in Saskatchewan (actually, I have written it). For sake of brevity, I handpicked some of my favourite places, but there are many that I left out. Are there any places you'd add to this list? Let me know in the comments below.
The Island of the Dolls is in Xochimilco, a borough south of Mexico City. While it would be faster to take a car from Mexico City to Xochimilco, the traffic is dense and the roads are very congested. Instead, if you're going there, I'd recommend taking metro, which is easy and the cheapest in the world. What you gain in comfort, however, you lose in speed, as the train ride takes about 2 hours.
Mexico City and Xochimilco both sit in the Valley of Mexico. Until about a millennium ago, the whole region around Mexico City was surrounded by a massive body of water. Over the centuries due to both climate change and interference by humans, most of this water has dried up, for the exception of Xochimilco. With networks of canals crisscrossing the borough, car transportation is difficult and water transportation is essential. I'm sure there were motorized boats somewhere in the waters of Xochimilco, but I never saw any. Instead, canoes and rafts are common on the water. However, the most popular vessel is a trajinera – a colourful gonadal-like boat that is pushed along the water with a wooden pole.
Xochimilco is known worldwide for their Floating Gardens market, which are essentially canoes floating down the canals, selling wares to tourists on trajineras. These include things like food, drinks, silver rings, trinkets, ponchos and sombreros. Occasionally other trajineras full of Mariachi bands will approach tourists and offer to play beside them on the water.
I recently had the opportunity to test drive a 2017 Ford Explorer. I grew up learning how to drive a Ford Windstar so I figured an Explorer shouldn't be that much different. Sure, one is an SUV the other is a van, but a Ford's a Ford, right? Well, not exactly. From the moment I sat down, I knew it would be a very different experience from what I was used to.
There were things about the Explorer I liked, and some that I didn't, but it was overall a very nice vehicle. It drove smoothly, turned nicely and handled grid roads very well. I found the brakes to be a little touchy, but by the time the week ended, I mastered how to brake without awkwardly lurching myself forward.
Beyond the learning curve with the brakes, here are my positive and negative experiences with the 2017 Ford Explorer: