G is for Guinness, T is for textured butter balls

Since Cailin O’Neil tagged me in this, I am obligated to fulfill my destiny and carry out this burdensome task. You’re all getting to know me too well. I can feel my ratings plummet.

Here are the ABCs of ME.

A: Age in which you first internationally travelled.

20-21. Five years ago. A “green” traveller, as we Newfs like to say (in other words, a “Newbie”).

B: Best (foreign) beer and where.

I enjoyed a scattered pint of Cusquena in Peru, a whole slew of beers in Mexico like Tecate, Pacifo, and Bohemia…but my favourite beer ever was the first Guinness I had, in England. Yes, in a little English pub in Harlow. It’s like a goddamned meal, and it’s delightful.

Note: Guinness in Canada tastes nothing like does in England or Ireland. I avoid it like the plague here. *is a beer snob*

C: Cuisine (favorite)

Guerrin goodness

Nachos. That’s considered “cuisine,” right? My most memorable meal, however, was that time I cried into my pizza at Guerrin in Buenos Aires.

D: Destinations (favorite) and why? Least favorite and why?

Favourites: Montreal (Quebec), Scotland (the Highlands and Edinburgh), Gros Morne National Park (Newfoundland & Labrador), the Cape Breton Highlands, and Peru. Clearly I love Highlands, mountains, and the kind of scenery that makes even Chuck Norris weep with appreciation.

Least favourite? That loathsome experience I had at a shady hotel in New Jersey, in January. I was hungover, dressed for Mexico weather, and starving. Pretty sure I got bedbites and/or lice.

E: Event you experienced that made you say “wow”

The Writers Festival at Woody Point filled me with more inspiration than I knew possible. The Gay Pride Parade in Amsterdam filled me with more booze than I knew possible.

Dancing queens

F: Favorite mode of transport

TRAIN. Or boat. Or both, at the same time. A train on a boat.

G: Greatest feeling while travelling?

Gratefulness. The knowledge that even though you might have went through hell and back to get to where you’re standing, you are truly, truly blessed to be where you are.

H: Hottest place you’ve ever travelled to?

Mexico has been my only true sun destination to date. Guess what? Redheads TAN! It’s true! This year I’m hitting up Dominican Republic though, so we’ll see how that contends.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?

I now have a free round-trip ticket from LAN airlines to anywhere in South America after a flight debacle during my Contiki trip caused us to miss out on Brazil. Now I just need to find a US gateway.

J: Journey that took you the longest?

From Buenos Aires to St. John’s: About 90 minutes to Chile, 11 hours to Toronto, and then 3 hours to St. John’s. Agh. I combated my nerves with free booze. Note to self: Don’t do that on a plane.

K: Keepsake from your travels?

Clothes or jewellery. I love when people ask me, “Where did you get that sweet alpaca purse?!” and I can respond with, “Oh, this old thing? Peru!”

Or liquor, except it’s not so much a keepsake as a use-now-sake.

L: Let down sight? Where and why?

Most of the cathedrals I saw in England. It took awhile to realize I’m not nearly as impressed by man-made structures as I am by real nature.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel?

Being in the Highlands in Scotland. Felt like I was coming “home.” It was an uncomfortable and thrilling and vaguely sexual feeling.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in?

The Pan Pacific in Vancouver, BC. THEY HAD TEXTURED BUTTER BALLS.

O: Obsession. What are you obsessed with taking pictures of?

Outdoorsy things. Things like mountains and rivers and oceans and beaches. If only they could find a way to capture the smell of pine trees and salt water.

P: Passport stamps. How many and from where?

Err, I think I’m at like…9? Mexico, England, Amsterdam, Scotland, Ireland, USA, Argentina, Peru, France…yup, 9. I can’t believe I guessed that right.

Q: Quirkiest Attraction you’ve visited?

The Prime Berth Heritage Centre in Twillingate, just because of its incredibly awesome mannequins.

Or maybe these creepy as shit scarecrows somewhere in Deer Lake.

R: Recommended Sight, Event or Experience?

A hockey game in Canada. I wasn’t at the hockey game in Vancouver, per se, but the celebration in the streets after the Canucks claimed a victory in the play-offs was one of the most fun, energizing experiences of my life.

S: Splurge! Something you don’t mind forking over for while travelling?

Food and booze: Two of the most significant highlights of travel for me.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done

Oh god, I’m a tourist at heart. I’ve done Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye, the CN Tower in Toronto, a Parliament tour in Ottawa, whale watching here in Newfoundland, kissed the Blarney Stone in Ireland, wandered through the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. Etc.

Back before I believed in "exercise"

U: Unforgettable travel Memory.

Machu Picchu, Peru. It is impossible not to be overcome with the energy and historical significance of such a place. Bring smelling salts in case you collapse in a dead faint and a llama tries to eat your hair.

V: Visas. How many of them and for where?

One! Brazil. Which I didn’t get to use.

W: Wine. Best glass of wine had while travelling and where?

Ask my friends what happened to me at Winefest, and you’ll understand why I never drink wine.

X: eXcellent views and from where?

From the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff, driving through eastern British Columbia, the boat cruise through Western Brook Pond Fjord in Gros Morne National Park, hiking the Pisac ruins in Peru, Cloud 9 revolving restaurant in Vancouver, etc.

Y: Years spent travelling?

Have only been travelling since I was 21. N00b.

Z: Zealous sports fan and where?

NOPE, but I like the energy at hockey games. Makes me proud to be a Canadian, or something.

Your turn

I’m supposed to nominate people, but I’m pretty sure I’m the last blogger to actually complete this meme, so I nominate YOU. Yeah, you.

  • January 13 2012

    “The Gay Pride Parade in Amsterdam filled me with more booze than I knew possible.”
    – I literally just laughed out loud (which, incidentally, happens far less often than I actually claim to have “LOL’D).

    Re: the llamas at Machu Picchu: those suckers are protected by the government, so if they try and eat your hair … let them (though perhaps if I had GORGEOUS hair like yours, I’d be slightly more concerned about what happened to it).

  • January 13 2012
    Steven Richadson

    Llamas tried to eat your hair? I must have missed reading about that. Have to go back and check the adventures in SA again to see if I can find it!

    • January 13 2012

      Hahaha, they didn’t actually. I have a tendency to exaggerate. ;)

  • January 13 2012

    A: Age in which you first internationally travelled.

    However old you are between grade 6 and 7. My dad had an exchange through work and we stayeed in England for a few weeks followed by a two week bus tour of Europe. A lot to see in two weeks but I still remember being amazed by everything.

    B: Best (foreign) beer and where.

    I haven’t travelled internationally outside of North America that exstensively since I have been of drinking age but I remember Desperado at a Discotheque in France when I was 18. It was a tequlia flavoured beer. Which sounds gross but was delicious. I think you can buy it in some places here.

    C: Cuisine (favorite)

    Beignet at Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. Hello diabetes.

    D: Destinations (favorite) and why? Least favorite and why?

    Favourite: New Orleans. There is no place like it. You have to experience it to know.

    Least Favourite: Calgary. I have good friends who live there but I just do not enjoy that city unless I am travelling around it on my way to the mountains.

    E: Event you experienced that made you say “wow”

    St. Patrick’s Day in Las Vegas. It was also the first round of the NCAA College Basketball championships (lots of degenerate gambling) as well as spring break. Wild times.

    F: Favorite mode of transport

    Boat but only because I haven’t done a lot of train travel.

    G: Greatest feeling while travelling?

    Taking a deep breath of fresh air in a secluded setting in a natural park.

    H: Hottest place you’ve ever travelled to?

    There was a record breaking heat and humidity day when I was in New Orleans once. Hottest day on record and two Canadians walking several miles midday down Magazine Street. It’s a wonder I’m still alive.

    I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where?

    Disneyland is super busy but man they know how to do it right. (Yes I’m a DIsney Parks nerd.)

    J: Journey that took you the longest?

    Probably the plane ride to Paris (via Frankfurt) for class trip n grade 12.

    K: Keepsake from your travels?

    I’ve taken to buying a pin from every place I visit. Add them to the large collection of pins my dad had.

    L: Let down sight? Where and why?

    I enjoyed the resort I stayed at but I found the Dominican to be a fairly dirty country (trash in all of the ditches) as oppose to Cuba. (Clean due to Communism I’m sure.)

    M: Moment where you fell in love with travel?

    First trip to New Orleans. Realized that it’s not all beaches and theme parks (although those can be fun too.)

    O: Obsession. What are you obsessed with taking pictures of?

    Ridiculous signs. Lots of warning signs can be made funny with a good caption.

    P: Passport stamps. How many and from where?

    My last passport (just got my renewal in the mail) had a lot of USA but one from the Dominican as well. Cuba does not stamp your passport because they know you will have troubles travelling in the States afterwards.

    Q: Quirkiest Attraction you’ve visited?

    Glass House in BC which is made entirely of old embalming fluid bottles by a former mortician from Red Deer.

    R: Recommended Sight, Event or Experience?

    Disneyland near Halloween or Christmas. Or a National Park in the fall.

    S: Splurge! Something you don’t mind forking over for while travelling?

    A fancy meal. Had a great Elk tenderloin with stuffed mushroom caps to start at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It was $50+ for one person but worth every penny.

    T: Touristy thing you’ve done

    A two week bus tour of Europe with your parents counts as fairly touristy I think.

    U: Unforgettable travel Memory.

    My first solo road trip through the States. Lots of beautiful sights (fell in love with Yellowstone) and lots of time to relax and reflect.

    V: Visas. How many of them and for where?

    None. People trust Canadians.

    W: Wine. Best glass of wine had while travelling and where?

    None for me thanks. Pass the beer menu down…

    X: eXcellent views and from where?

    Sitting on the back porch of the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim and looking out over the canyon with your feet up.

    Z: Zealous sports fan and where?

    Edmonton was alive in 2006 for the Cup run. I really want to go see a baseball game in Cuba or the Dominican.

    • January 18 2012

      Oy, good to know about the Dominican…headed there in April! Lol.

  • January 14 2012

    I’ve been on a train on a boat!! To get to Sicily by train, they load the whole sets onto ferries to take the across. Super cool. But I have yet to go to Macchu Picchu!

  • January 14 2012

    “Most of the cathedrals I saw in England. It took awhile to realize I’m not nearly as impressed by man-made structures as I am by real nature.”

    I could not agree with you more. Mother Nature roundhouse kicks Father Time in the groin as well as eye gouges most of man’s greatest architectural triumphs.

    “G: Greatest feeling while travelling?
    Gratefulness. The knowledge that even though you might have went through hell and back to get to where you’re standing, you are truly, truly blessed to be where you are.”

    Like the late great Dr. Suess once pined…Oh, the places you’ll go! I enjoy reading your blog and relate to the fact that you appreciate the moment and place where you are at any given time. Life is so short and we need to make sure we enjoy what we do, without regrets or wasting time complaining. Your blog helps to prove life is the journey, not the destination.

    Thanks for chronicling your adventures.

    • January 18 2012

      Hey Vinny, I love your comments, thanks so much for chiming in! I’m glad someone feels the same way about nature vs architecture. It’s an odd sort of feeling that I can’t really put into words.

  • January 14 2012

    Wow, what a cool list. I used it as an excuse to write my first blog post. I’m not really a blogger, but what the hell right?

    • January 18 2012

      If you have a blog, you’re totally a blogger!

  • January 15 2012

    You in a bikini top. Nothing more to be said ;-)

    Nice ABC’s though. I like how this gets to help know someone a little more.

    • January 18 2012

      Ha! I’m not as fit as I once was.

      Now complete your own ABCs!

  • January 16 2012

    Mannequins are always creepy! I feel like their wee, beady eyes follow me no matter where I’m standing! :)

  • January 16 2012

    very fun post :) TRAIN ON A BOAT! that would be fabulous.
    or boat on a train. that could be interesting as well.

    • January 18 2012

      Ooh, let’s just bring a dory and try it out on VIA Rail…

  • January 17 2012

    Great list. I’ve never been a fan of guinness, but if it tastes better in Ireland and England I just might have to go there and find out.

    • January 18 2012

      Do it! If you’re not a beer drinker, you probably won’t like it. But I lurve it.

  • January 18 2012

    Nice A-Z of travel. Very inspiring!

  • February 02 2012

    I love this. I am definitely stealing this and finding a way to use it. It also made me smile. So thanks. :)

    • February 03 2012

      Be my guest! It was a blast!

  • October 09 2012

    Enjoyed reading the post…New meaning to the alphabets :)

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