My girlfriend Jessica's birthday is just around the corner, so I wanted to do something special for her this year. After a bit of thinking, I decided that there is no better way to celebrate a birthday than to fly around Southern Saskatchewan!
During my cross-Canada Instagram challenge, I was followed by Instagramer flyingmachines_, a pilot here in Regina. Once I saw what he did for a living, I asked him about it. After switching some dates around, we picked the perfect day: Saturday, November 7th, 2015, me and my girlfriend's 58th month together. After dropping hints the days leading up to it, I eventually told Jess what I had planned. She was excited, but also very nervous. Neither of us had ever been in a small airplane before!
On Saturday we met our pilot, Jamie Fitzel, for the first time. It was here that I first learned about his incredible flying documentary "Journey to Yellowstone" he made this past July. His story is incredible, and although I only skimmed the 5 part series, you can tell he has a definite love for flying! I highly recommend you checking it out!
The plane he took on his 1,300 nautical mile journey across unrelenting terrain was a Cessna 172... which happened to be the exact plane Jessica and I were taking that day!
The plan was to fly west from Regina to Pense, then circle my girlfriend's farm, head north to the Lumsden and the Qu'Appelle Valley, and then fly back to Regina for few laps. The total flight took about 57 minutes, but it was well worth it!
A big thanks to Jamie for making this possible!
And an early Happy Birthday to my sweetheart Jessica. I love you.
Happy Birthday Jessica!
Don't forget to pin it!
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.
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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.
If you've ever passed through Medicine Hat, or you're spending a few days in the area, you've probably wondered what to do there. To most people outside the city, Medicine Hat might seem like a sleepy little prairie town in the Canadian Badlands; but for those who live in Hell's Basement, they'll tell you that this city is one of the most exciting places you can explore in all of Alberta.
I've gone to Medicine Hat three times in the past two years, and while I'm no expert on this thriving city, I know where the hidden gems are. If someone I know is passing through the area, I tell them they need to visit Medicine Hat. To help explain why, I put an article together for anyone else interested in visiting the Hat.
If you're spending 24 hours in Medicine Hat, you'll need somewhere to sleep. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a little under an hour away and a great place to camp. Camping in Cypress gives you the choice to explore the park, the city, and everywhere in between.
They say hope was the last thing to die in Auschwitz.
It's been just over 70 years since the Allies liberated the death camp and the horrors of the "Final Solution" were revealed to the world. Prior to their arrival, Auschwitz was the most effective death camp ever created, having taken the lives of over 1.1 million Jews.
Block 4 of Auschwitz holds the museum, explaining the best it can about what happened seven decades past. The museum explains what Auschwitz was originally built for – a camp for Polish prisoners of war – and how it became key to the Nazi's "Final Solution". The museum goes over the construction of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and Auschwitz III (Monowitz), the increased sizes and effectiveness of gas chambers and the factories of death that stood and smoked over the camp during its operation.