Middle Class Traveler

Adventures of the Middle Class

Tag: Air Canada

A day in Stanley Park

This year we decided to do a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. If you have never been to Vancouver, you will be quite presently surprised. Our trip got off to a rocky start because of an airline mishap that should not have happened. I won’t bore you with those details on this post because that one deserves a post of its own!

We flew out of Toronto Pearson and landed at Vancouver International to begin the trip. Upon arrival we had rented a vehicle for our stay and since Vancouver wasn’t our only destination and considering we were about to embark in a road trip through the Rocky Mountains we decided to rent a Jeep Grand Cherokee. Actually that was a great choice so I give that a recommendation. We drove from the airport to our condo which was across the street from Stanley Park. This park is a major tourist destination in Vancouver and is beautiful. Vancouver is a great city and very walkable. While we were there I never took the car out once because to me the city didn’t seem like a very car friendly city, with all the bike lanes and such.

We spent 3 days in Vancouver before heading over to Whistler so we had plenty of time see and do some very exciting things. We started off by walking the entire Stanley Park and we got a pleasant surprise when we were almost done. For those of you who have never been to Stanley Park, there is an amazing public pool that is heated just near the end. This was great considering we had walked for about 3 hours.

After the public pool we decided to walk some nature trails and that lead us up to the aquarium. The aquarium here in Vancouver is relatively the same as the Ripley’s one in Toronto but it does have some outdoor scenery so even if you have been to the one in Toronto, this is a must do! After the aquarium we walked around some more and went to have a late lunch at one of the little restaurants on the pier. This was a nice little place and I would recommend. I will add some pics to show all that I we have done so don’t worry. lol

There is much more than a pool and aquarium though in Stanley Park so if you do go here I would recommend attending all or at least one of these destinations:
Sea Wall
trails
Pitch and Putt
Picnic Areas
Tennis Courts
Splash Pad
Totem Poles
and much, much more!!!!

This was just the beginning of our 12 day adventure from Vancouver to Edmonton. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to see much more about our travels. Little disclosure time… This blog post has affiliate links that if you click and use will help pay for the blog.

Great Travel Deals And Products For The New Year










As 2016 comes to an end I thought I’d throw up some great travel deals and products to get your year started off on the right foot. To celebrate the new year I will include some of the best deals on products and travel destinations. Have you thought about going to the Atlantis or a Sandals Resort? Now don’t look further.

Over the past year I have traveled to some very beautiful destinations but the one that stood out far above the others is our time at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. You can read about that incredible destination here. Now if you are looking for a great vacation to the Bahamas with family or couples this place is ideal. Below are some really spectacular links you can take advantage of if you choose.

Reserve Ahora y Ahorre – Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Warm up this Winter – Save up to 55% off nighty rates PLUS up to a $450 resort credit & Kids Eat Free! Book by January 31st.

One of the most beautiful resorts I have ever wanted to stay at was the Sandals Resorts. These resorts from what I hear are some of the most luxurious resorts on the planet. For people who work hard and want to enjoy some time in a very friendly atmosphere they may be perfect for you.

Save up to 55% at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort

Save up 65% + Receive an Instant Air Credit of up to $1,000 At Sandals Resorts.

One of the best things I’ve ever done is travel to Las Vegas. I have been going there regularly for over a decade now. The first time I graced Vegas was in a motor home but the first time I went with a friend we stayed at the Flamingo. Like I said, I have been going for over a decade and I have stayed in numerous locations. Most recently I stayed at the Bellagio but I’ve also stayed at the Venetian, Ceasers Palace, Golden Nugget and hopefully one day soon I’ll be at the Wynne. I wrote a couple of blogs this year on Las Vegas. One I wrote was on Downtown Vegas and the other about the famous Las Vegas Strip. You can read either of those in my blog by clicking the highlighted links above. If you want superb Vegas deals I have them for you below. Take it from me, I love Vegas so I love these deals!

Cheap Flights to Las Vegas from $67 on Expedia!

Book a Las Vegas Package with Expedia.ca and Save up to 40% on Your Stay!

Now I told you I would provide you with some great deals for the new year and these are a great start if you are planning a vacation. These deals won’t last forever though so take advantage of them while you can.

Now what would traveling be without traveling in comfort? When you do hit the blue highway you may want take one of the most frequently sold items for travel that is out there. You may be wondering what that is? Well it’s the travel pillow. Below you can find some amazing deals on travel pillows!

Also if you are traveling you may want some earphones for the flight. I know when I travel I always use my Beats by Dre headphones but at the end of the day any noise cancelling headphones work for those loud flights.

Now that you have a few destinations and some great travel deals, not to mention some awesome accessories you are going to wanna get going. Hurry up and book that trip before these deals are gone.

Feel free to like and share this post on your social media platforms. Also like my Facebook page to see more travel deals and to read the journey myself and my family take across the world. Last but not least sign up for my newsletter which you will be updated with travel deals regularly! Cheers!

I Dreamed of Another World


A last glance at the Laguna Colorada in the early morning: this shallow salty lake has regained its serenity and lost its intense red color, but still offers striking reflections. We head toward the desert of Siloli in Southwestern Bolivia, a desert dominated by magnificent ocher colors and surrealist landscape. The Siloli desert features unusual natural sculptures. The most stunning rock formation is the must see Arbol del Piedra known as the stone tree. A fragile-looking geomorphological rock formation, it is an impressive 16 feet high. It marks the entrance to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve established in 1953 in Sur Lipez Province in the far Southwestern region of Bolivia. From there we begin our journey along the “Ruta de Las Joyas,” crossing successively several lagoons: Honda, Chiar Kota, Hedionda, and Cañapa.

Starbucks

In a landscape surrounded by volcanoes in the distance, Laguna Honda, whose name means “deep lake”, is in fact only 2 inches deep. But this shallow lagoon is particularly calm, and the bright blue sky is reflected in this true natural mirror. Laguna Cañapa is an endorheic salt lake with a surface area of 1.4 km2 is also surrounded by volcanoes and home to significant wildlife such as flamingos. It is a breathtaking sight, especially when the colonies of pink flamingos take flight… Two flamingos (speaking Walloon together), dress in pink, gently shake a leg and hobble in steps hushed by the water of the lagoon. They peck at salt larva, then evaporate in a few strokes of feathers… magical!

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Following the Las Joyas road, we reach the Salar de Chiguana (415 km2), at over 11,810 feet above sea level. The railway line connecting Uyuni to the Chilean coast crosses the Salar de Chiguana. After the War of the Pacific in 1884 with Chile, Bolivia lost the Atacama Desert, thereby becoming a landlocked country. Under the peace treaty of 1904, Chile guaranteed freedom of transit for Bolivian commerce to the ports of Angofasta and built the Arica-La Paz Railroad, connecting the Bolivian capital to the coast. In the Salar de Chiguana there are small boron mineral deposits that were mined in the early 1990s and exported to Europe. This amazing landscape of salt stretches endlessly to the horizon with the giant volcano Ollagüe looming in the background. The volcano is situated at the border between Chile and Bolivia (height 19,252 feet). It is one of the most active volcanoes in the entire Cordillera Occidental. Although the landscape recalls the Southwestern of the United States, the Salar de Chiguana has a strange omnipresent succulent, the Yareta, which resembles moss stuck on large stones. In fact, the plant is as hard as a rock and grows concentrically extremely slowly for centuries. Locals in remote villages of the Altiplano used this succulent, full of resin, to heat their homes.

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Turning to the villages, we arrive at San Juan Rosarion, usually called San Juan, a tiny place, but a semblance of a return to civilization where travelers can spend the night in hotels or, more commonly, shelters built entirely of salt. Walls are made of salt bricks as are tables, chairs, and beds. The floors are grains of salt.

Virgin Atlantic

Up very early for another highlight of the trip: the sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni. The “White Ténéré” at 4,086 square miles is the world’s largest salt flat and lies near the crest of the Andes at 11,995 feet. “I dreamed of another world / Who remain a mystery / A landless mundane / Yes, I wanted to jump into the air” (Free translation of the lyrics by the French singer Téléphone – Je rêvais d’un autre monde). All limits fall away in this other world of extreme climatic conditions. It is a timeless and spaceless journey to discover the Salar de Uyuni. As Alphonse Lamartine wrote, “O time Suspend your flight, and you, propitious hours, suspend your course: Let us savor the fleeting delights / The most beautiful today!” The desert plains, desperately flat and blindingly white, stretches out as far as our eyes can see. The Salar de Uyuni is a unique show, a landscape both lunar and solar, cold and sparkling. Only passengers on the space shuttles can see the whole desert.

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This natural marvel of the end of the world is, like Titicaca, one of the remains of a vast inland sea that stretched between two mountain ranges and then evaporated. A brief geological history of the Salar tells us that tens of thousand years ago Lake Minchin covered the area. Instead, now we have a desert of salt composed of billions of salt crystals. But there is another version of the story, a charming local legend about the formation of the Salar de Uyuni is linked to the dormant Tunupa Volcano on the Northern side of the Salar de Uyuni rising to 17,457 feet above sea level. Legend says that the Altiplano’s volcanoes could speak and move. Only Tunupa was female. One day Tunupa became pregnant, but the child’s father was unknown. Male volcanoes talked all night and took the decision to remove the small volcano from his mother. This decision infuriated the gods, and they withdrew the right to move, talk and meet from the volcanoes. Tunupa volcano wept so much that her tears mixed with her milk spread on the dry ground; thus was born the Salar de Uyuni.

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Amid this white area stands the Isla Incahuasi Quechua “the Inca house.” It is also called “Isla de los Pescadores” in reference to the neighboring island “Isla del Pescado” featuring giant cacti on an area of 61 acres and forming a hilly and rocky projection in the middle of the Salar – salt flat. There are walking trails allowing tourists to hike easily to the summit for a superb view of the vast white Salar with Tunapa in the distance. In addition to cactus in bloom, the island is also inhabited by the Bolivian vizcacha, Andean rabbits of the Chinchillidae family.


The Salar is composed of 10,000 billion tons of salt of which more than 25,000 tons are extracted annually. It is also rich in minerals, and its crust covers a pool of brine, exceptionally rich in lithium, an estimated 140 million tons and a large part of the world’s reserve. The depth of this salt flat is 460 feet. It consists of 11 distinct layers of salt whose thicknesses varies between 2 and 10 meters. To be in the middle of the Salar is like being in the midst of an infinite mirror; visual perceptions will surprise you. Fresh and salt water rivers underlie the surface of the Salar. This water, which passes under the salt crust, carries with it air that will find a way out. Ojos de Agua are round holes forming small eyes in the heart of the Salar where air and water well up from under the salt crust.

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The train graveyard, the “cimenterio de los trenes”, Uyuni, is the last stop on this Bolivian journey. It is located 2 miles outside the city of Ulyni. A legacy of the age of steam, dozens of old steam locomotives from the early years of the last century peacefully end their lives in the middle of the Salar. From the late 19th century to Mid-twenty century, Bolivia knew a golden age as a result of silver mining. When the silver era dried up, there was no need for a train network. Uyuni, in Southwestern Bolivia, was a transportation hub for trains carrying silver and other minerals from the surrounding mines to the Pacific Ocean. Another early departure at dawn to enjoy a Bolivian landscape like no other !
Hasta pronto

This blog post was written for www.middleclasstraveler.com by http://www.c-ludik.fr/en/

3 Must See Sights in Cornwall



Cornwall, the most southwest part of England is in one word, stunning. Often dubbed the Cornish Riviera, it is known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque countryside and seaside towns. I’ve decided to compile a list of my three must see spots when in Cornwall. If you only have a day to visit Cornwall, I highly recommend utilizing Plusbus tickets if traveling by train. It gives you unlimited use of the buses in either your departure or arrival town. I also suggest traveling by train because of the view. Traveling through Devon and Cornwall on a coastal route is probably one of the more picturesque train routes I’ve taken in the U.K. The journey itself is worth it!

Starbucks

 1. St. Micahel’s Mount in Marazion. St. Michael’s Mount is a massive castle, atop an island that sits across the water. There are no words or pictures that can adequately justify the beauty of this castle. The only way to reach it is to cross a causeway during low tide, or take a boat across the water to the castle during high tide. Be sure to check their website as there is a handy tool that lets you know when the tides are expected to be low so you can cross the causeway. The Castle closes one day a week, and turns out the day is a Saturday, so keep that in mind when taking a day trip. Due to its location on the Southern Coast, the Castle maintains a subtropical atmosphere and has many beautiful gardens year round. There is actually a sister castle directly across the way off the coast of France called Mont St. Michel. Definitely a must add for your next trip!

cornwall2

2. Minack Theater near the town of St. Levan, is an open air theater, oceanside. The theater looks like it was plucked from the past and plopped into our time. It costs £4.50 to enter the theater to view, and there is pretty much no getting around it as its quite impossible to see the theater from outside since it sits at the top of a cliff and is built into the cliffside. Regardless, it is worth the fee. How many people can say they’ve seen a show or band, oceanside on a cliff?! Note: the theatre closes at 4pm in the winter season.

cornwall3

3. Porthcurno Beach is directly below the Minack Theatre cliff and is absolutely breathtaking. Its hard to believe its a beach in England, as opposed to a warm Caribbean beach. The sand was soft and white, with clear and bright blue waters. Looking back on my photos it’s truly hard to believe that they aren’t paintings. Why not spend a day surfing or fishing? Pro tip: if hike halfway up to the Minack Theatre on the cliff – you get astonishing views of Porthcurno Beach.

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Total Cost: £5.80

Minack Theatre: £4.50 , Plusbus Ticket: £1.30

 

 

For just £5.80 you could be seeing all these views as well! So what’s stopping you? Be sure to comment your favorite places in Cornwall! Cheers xx

 

 

This blog post was written for www.middleclasstraveler.com, and you can find more of my work at www.youngbrokeandwandering.wordpress.com.

 

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Downtown Vegas



Vegas Baby! So in my last blog I talked about a few Casinos I have been to on the strip in Las Vegas. Now everything changes and I will talk about downtown Vegas!

When you arrive in Vegas you will exit the airport and the chances are you will see a line-up of taxi’s and limo’s that will bring you to the hotel that you are staying at. To get from the airport to downtown Vegas is about 10-15 minutes and about $60 if you take a limo. I always take a limo from the airport because of its convenience. It also feels great pulling up to your hotel in a nice limo.

FREEMONT STREET EXPERIENCE 

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Now you are in downtown Vegas, what are the casinos here and what are they like you may ask. When you arrive in the downtown you will more than likely be at a casino that exits onto Freemont Street. You want to see the Freemont Street experience, that is one of the reasons to stay downtown.

What to do when you are in downtown Vegas? When you are here you will notice that compared to “the strip” you are going to have lower bet limits. When you walk through Freemont Street you will have the entrances to all the casinos on the strip and these casinos usually have half dressed women dealing cards or serving drinks to attract the people into the casino. The games are played a lot smaller and slower here as well.

So now you are in the Freemont area and you want to eat right? Where are you going to eat here? Well you could have a couple of places to eat and it all depends on what you want to eat. Back in 2009 I played the Binion’s Poker Classic Main Event and before I played I had to eat some breakfast, which I did at the Golden Nugget. I have eaten their a number of times now and its all good. I’ve had the steak and eggs and the bacon and eggs with hash browns so either is really good and portion sizes are great.

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If you are looking for a buffet downtown you will want to check out the buffet at the Freemont. This buffet is called the Paradise Buffet & Cafe, it is amazing. When you go there you will notice they have everything on there buffet. You will also not be disappointed in your selection or the price. This has to be one of the cheapest and best buffets I have ever been to.

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Now that we have talked about to of the Casinos to eat at you will probably want to go to the Binion’s Horseshoe Casino. This Casino is the poker holy grail and it has a number of restaurants in it as well. You can eat at the diner on the casino floor and that is fine but you may want some other types of food. When I was there a few years ago they had an all you can eat ribs option in one of there other restaurant and it was $12.99 so that is a pretty good option as well.

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The poker room at the Binion’s is great but the limits are small. It is pretty good to play there if you want to play something like 1-2 NL which you will probably find at least one table game. Now if you are looking for tournaments though you are going to like this place. Honestly I have to say they have the best run tournaments in Vegas. I have played here a number of times and every time I am never disappointed with anything. The blind levels increase and starting chips are ratio’d perfectly at this casino. I have also never had a problem with any of the dealers, they have all been great.

I hope you enjoy your stay or visit to downtown Vegas. If you want to here more about Vegas or any other destination check out one of my other blogs. Don’t forget to check out my Facebook Page and Twitter account.  Happy Travels!

Calgary Stampede Day 3 The Rodeo


Calgary Stampede Day 3 the rodeo started off wonderful. We had left our hotel and ventured down to the park where they had pancake breakfasts for everyone. The food was amazing and to my surprise the pancake breakfast they fed everyone was featured with bacon! Who doesn’t like bacon right!

So after we had our bacon pancakes, which were free, we took a walk back down to the Stampede grounds where we would check out the Rodeo on our final day. The rodeo if you don’t know is a very awesome event where there is bull riding and horse riding and really a whole bunch of different events, I would say this was the best part of the stampede for us. During the rodeo I was actually saying how this is one event I would come back to watch again.

During the rodeo the 50/50 draw was around $50,000 but unfortunately we didn’t win. The rodeo wasn’t the only thing going on that day as they still had all the other festivities outside the arena and we did manage to get our hands on some more of the amazing food that was being cooked up. We did get deep fried chocolate chip cookie dough and other things like that. I will say again that the people of Calgary put on an amazing event and fortunately it as very inexpensive in comparable standards to what I thought it would be. To give you an idea it was roughly $7.50 for a beer and most of the food you could buy was under $15  so in my opinion it was affordable. I really did expect to pay more for everything.

To end the trip on such an amazing not was really worth while. They had been calling for rain the whole time we were there and it held off just until the rodeo was done for us. We ended up taking there subway or street car system back to our hotel after the rodeo and caught up with some friends who have moved there a while back. I would definitely recommend the stampede to anyone who hasn’t been. Calgary was such a beautiful city and we had such a wonderful time.

To see more of our trip to the stampede you can also visit our Facebook page at here.

Calgary Tower

Calgary Stampede Day 1



Our journey this time took us to the wonderful city of Calgary, Alberta. We decided to visit Calgary for one reason, Calgary Stampede. It has alway been a bucket list item of mine to visit the stampede and when I had read that by the end of 2016 you needed to spend all your airmiles or lose them, I figured this was the place I wanted to go. Spending time and travelling in my home country of Canada is always a must do.

 

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Now that we have decided to travel to Calgary we had to get our flight and we decided to fly from Sudbury to Toronto and connect there to go to Calgary. The airmiles is the same regardless if you are travelling from Sudbury or Toronto so we decided to save a night in a hotel and go from our home town. We flew Air Canada which was extremely convenient because we could drop our luggage in Sudbury and get it in Calgary.

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Upon arriving in Calgary we were picked up at the airport by a friend who I haven’t seen in ages and we went for a quick drink before heading to the hotel. After we checked into the hotel we decided to venture the city and see what was up. Keep in mind this is Thursday and the Stampede doesn’t officially begin until Friday. We ended up staying at the Delta Calgary Downtown and it was a great hotel. We did pay a little over $300 a night and according to the taxi guy on the way to the airport it was double or triple of what it usually is. That being said comparing to downtown Toronto meh, it was reasonable.


FlightHub

Now we decided to hit the town. We ventured out with no particular plans whatsoever and we were on foot so we explored. The view from our hotel room was of the beautiful Calgary Tower so we decided to head that way to see what else we could find. We first went to the park across the street from the hotel and marvelled at the statues they had. I found to my surprise that this downtown was extremely artsy. I never would have thought that to be the case so I was really surprised.

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Nonetheless once we had finished up looking at that stuff we took a walk down to Stephen Avenue Walk. This is an area of downtown Calgary that you cannot drive, only walk and its filled with restaurants and street venders. We really had no clue where to go so we decided to stop at Thomsons Restaurant which is attached to the Hyatt. While there I had an amazing beer called the Wild Rose Czeck Pilsner which was excellent. Normally I don’t drink the no namers but it was a good guess. For my food I had the salt and pepper chicken wings, another great choice.

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After having some food and a couple drinks we decided to head out to do more exploring. We ended up walking to the Calgary Tower to see what the views of the city were like. This was probably the most expensive thing we did but at the end of the day it was a must do thing. So we took the elevator to the top and gazed out over the Calgary skyline. The view was spectacular as the mountains where just visible because of the weather but it was an amazing view. If you are ever in Calgary its a must do.


Now that our night was finishing up we decided to find ourselves some cowboy hats. Myself and my wife took a stroll back to Stephens Avenue to find a store that would have some at a reasonable price. The one thing I found about this trip is this, Calgarian’s don’t rip off there tourists and for that I think they are awesome. We went and found a store where my wife could find a hat for roughly $35 and mine was about $120. It was the real deal and not a plastic one so honestly I didn’t mind paying. Our hats were purchased at Lammles at the Stephens Walk.


Now that we had found what we were looking for we decided to head back to our hotel. I had a friend who was working in Calgary who we were meeting up with for dinner and we would be meeting at Joey Eau Claires in the Eau Claire Market. This restaurant was perfect really, not to fancy but very good.  So what I had there was Steak and Sushi and I also had a potato wrapped in what appeared to be a spring roll. I am not sure what its called but awesome.


Now that we finished there we decided to head back to the hotel which was about a 15 minute walk. When we arrived at the hotel we were walking in and I spotted someone who looked like the Premiere of the Province, Rachel Notley sitting in the lobby restaurant. To my surprise it was and I asked her for a picture and she kindly accepted, to my surprise. She said go get a cowboy hat after taking the picture and to be honest her security looked super annoyed but oh well. I got a good laugh on Facebook after.


Hotels.com: $99 or Less

So this is the end of Day 1 for me in Calgary at the Calgary Stampede and continue reading on because we spent two more wonderful days that were fun filled. Such an amazing city and group of people.

More great pictures can be found at this Facebook Link HERE

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