WTF, Halifax?

Figured I’d update you all on some recent developments in my 2010 travel plans. This week I booked a weekend in Halifax for February 19-21. Yeah, three full days was all I could pull off, but my best friend needs me and a couple cases of Coronas.

After I booked the trip and started experiencing the first stomach-bubbles of anticipation, I sat back and thought…wtf is there to do in Halifax?! I know absolutely nothing about the city, besides the fact it’s twice the size of St. John’s, has a million universities, and was the site for the huge Halifax explosion.

Anyway, I have a few contacts around the city, including Chris and some blogger friends, and I just recently found out my boozebag cousin will be moving there in two weeks. This all has potential to be quite a two-day, whirlwind trip.

That being said, I’d still like some suggestions on what to do while there.
I have a few things planned, but I’m puzzled by my ignorance. At least half of my friends are from Nova Scotia, it seems weird that I’m not better acquainted with the place. I feel like it’s Newfoundland’s sister province. In fact, I spent last night playing Risk with three boys from Yarmouth (I lost, in case you were wondering). And earlier I had a phone chat with Mitch from Cape Breton, the island where at least a dozen of my friends hail from.

Even more exciting news, however, is that I bought a TBEX ticket! Oh shit yeah! I’m going to NYC, baby!

The whole thing was very spontaneous. I’m taking some extra time off work so I can hit up a few days in the city, so I want to make the most of my time there. I’m so excited I could cry. In fact, maybe I will.

But then I realized something, an unfortunate situation which the travel world shall shun me for. I have never planned a trip solely by myself before. Every other time I’ve travelled, it’s been with others or arranged through school/work. I am almost definitely guaranteed to land in NYC, have a panic attack, and pass out on a bus stop where a bum will rob me of my earrings and wallet. OMG.

Did I even mention my overwhelming fear of large cities? Or how I was so terrified of the London tube, I wet my pants? (That didn’t happen. But it could have.)

So I’m reaching out to my blogger friends and asking to be included in your NYC plans. Dates? Accommodations? Drinks? Strippers? I’m going to make a big list of names and paste them to a chart complete with coordinating photos so I can memorize them beforehand. That way I can walk up to you at the conference and be all, “DUUUUDE, you’re the one with that sweet-ass blog about travelling with a camel and a family of 10!” And you will be impressed. I promise.

On a more serious note, I was going to write a post about the situation in Haiti but the effort seems useless now as there are one million blogs doing the same. All I can say is that my heart breaks every time I see the updates, and I cannot imagine the amount of devastation being experienced by the country.

I’m also insanely impressed by the outpouring of support from eager volunteers on behalf of Matador’s campaign to get some help to Haiti. To follow this incredible process, all initiated by the equally incredible Julie Schwietert, keep checking Matador Change for updates.

Also check out Got Passport’s site for some great info. Every little effort counts.

(Thumbnail image by Itdan)

  • January 14 2010

    I get a shoutout. Awesome! Now I have to go write something geeky but not half as awesome as your stuff.. *sigh*

  • January 14 2010

    Huzzah, see you in NYC! (Please don’t pee your pants, that would be gross)

    • January 16 2010

      HA, don’t tempt me! Stoked, see you there!

      • January 16 2010

        I swear every time I go into the city I see someone urinate. If you pee your pants you’ll look less like a tourist.

  • January 14 2010

    I’ll be consulting your spreadsheet of TBEX/NYC plans…though the cross-referenced photos might be a little creepy ;-) Anyhow, I’m in, so sign me up for whatever the ya’ll are doing! :-)

    • January 16 2010

      I’m a creepster, it’s what I do best! YES, I didn’t realize you were going too! Oh damn we’re gonna be such a dynamic dream team.

  • January 14 2010

    YAY for TBEX! I haven’t decided yet cuz there is this thing in Hawaii that weekend… but I am starting to think that I am not going to want to miss that weekend in New York (and I haven’t ever been there either). So I will totally consider you in my New York plans – ummmmm if I have any.

    • January 16 2010

      Ohh, you’ve never been either?! That makes you, me and JoAnna. Definitely keep me posted!

  • January 14 2010

    I might be in NY in Feb second half.. though probably only for weekends :(
    Would love to meet fellow travelers/bloggers! :)

    • January 16 2010

      There’s a bajillion NYCers! I’ll be there at the end of June…so ridiculously excited.

  • January 15 2010

    Dude. Are we hanging in February then?


    Yes? Yes? Yes?



    • January 16 2010

      DONE! I’ll email you later so I can get some deets. I have a feeling this trip will be all booze and no sleep.

  • January 15 2010

    Come on, come on, acknowledge!
    That one is sad. I like the basketball one better. “How are we supposed to get a decent shot at the.. um… peach basket?” snicker snicker snicker
    No, no, fav is definitely “premier! … you wouldn’t want your picture taken with a woman who’s… not nice?” or something like that. I wish I could own all the heritage moments on dvd.

    Very exciting that you’re going to NYC! And you’ll definitely have tons of fun in Halifax. I recommend having a meal at The Economy Shoe Shop. And eat some proper pizza. I love Newfoundland with all my heart, but my god there’s no decent pizza. I know I’m biased, but Cape Breton has the best pizza (of numerous varieties, my personal favs are Kenny’s and Bernie’s, Bernie’s is this bizarre pizza that most people eat cold (it’s served cold) and you can only get it in one place, my cousin’s bakery, actually, he bought the recipe when the original Bernie decided to retire, cause my cuz along with most people who grew up in and around the Pier couldn’t face the idea of no more Bernie’s pizza. if you ever make it to CB we’ll have to have some… although outsiders generally don’t like it, I think it’s a childhood in cape breton thing, or childhood in the pier thing…) Annnnnyyway what I was going to say was that Halifax has plenty of delicious pizza as well. I imagine there will be pizza that will blow your mind in NYC. Mmmm pizza.

    Can’t wait to read about your adventures in both places!

    re: Haiti, this article from May 2009 filled me in on a lot about Haiti I had sorta known but not really known

    adds another layer to understanding how devastating the quake has been

    • January 16 2010

      Hehehe Alana, you are the best commenter ever! Funny, Matt and I sat down today and talked about all the food I had to try while there, and he said the same thing about pizza. He mentioned a really good Italian pizza place…adding that one to my list too! I’m totally coming to CB, btw, it’d be so awesome to do it when a bunch of you are home visiting.

  • January 15 2010

    I already said it but YAY TBEX!

    Once you plan a trip by yourself you’ll be shocked how easy it is. The first one I put together was a week in Italy when I realized I could do what STA Travel was doing, and for cheaper too!

    I have no plans for TBEX yet (besides drinking and cruising for boys with you and Cailin)but I imagine they will emerge close to the date. I’m also thinking about staying a couple extra days to do the sightseeing stuff, I’ll let you know what ends up happening.

    • January 16 2010

      Oh man, I was a little worried I’d have no one to share in shenanigans with, so glad you girls are going! Keep me posted!

  • January 15 2010

    Congrarts on booking your trips!!I have to check out this TBEX thing. Sounds cool!
    I’ll be in NYC in August, when are you going?

    • January 16 2010

      I’ll be there at the end of June! So excited!

  • January 15 2010

    Hey there Candice,

    Excited for your endeavors up ahead. Have fun @ TBEX in NYC, great city, I’d love to go back, but I believe we will already be in Thailand by then. You’ll have so much fun and i look forward to reading all about it.

    Thanks for including our post about Haiti. Every little bit helps!

  • January 15 2010

    oh and by the way, that link you have in your post to Got Passport is going somewhere else.. :-)

    • January 16 2010

      Woopsies, updated! And thanks, I hope Thailand is equally enjoyable. :)

  • January 15 2010

    ummm i have a huge obsession with the A Part of Our Heritage commericials, and I love that you put one up. My favourites: “Johnson, sir, Molly Johnson”, and of course “Dr Penfield, I smell burnt toast!”. i so would pay to have those on dvd. i’m of no help with halifax as I haven’t been there since I was like 8…buut if you want to know where the best sing along piano bar is in nyc I can help you out there! :)

    • January 16 2010

      Bahaha, forgot that one! I love it! A sing-along piano bar? Do tell…

  • January 15 2010

    NYC is a welcoming city, no worries! You don’t need to plan to have a good time – stuff just happens there. Hope you have fun on both your trips!

    • January 16 2010

      I got that impression too, woot! So excited.

  • January 16 2010

    Thanks for the heads up Candice, I actually was not aware of the TBEX event before this post (yeah, haven’t gotten around much lately, spending too much time with my nose buried in a word processor :P). Not sure if I’m going but I’ll have to see…

    • January 16 2010

      Oh, you must!! It’s gonna be a great time!

  • January 16 2010

    “I have never planned a trip solely by myself before.”

    REALLY? How did you become an editor at a travel magazine?!?

    As for Halifax, it has been a long time since I was last there (which was in 2000, when I was there as part of the trans-Atlantic sailing race I was in at the time), but I remember the Citadel being pretty nifty, and the harbor area is pretty nice. At least in 2000, it wasn’t all that touristy.

    • January 16 2010

      Ha! I know, right?! I’m a fairly novice traveller actually, took my first real trip just three years ago. It’s only recently I’ve had a little bit of money to play with.

      Citadel is a must..I sat down with my roommate tonight and made a huge list of restaurants and pubs to try out. Gonna be fun.

  • January 16 2010

    Jealous of your NYC trip, I would love to go but have zero moneys to make it there.

    If you’re lookin for good live tunes check out Gus’s Pub, the Seahorse , Paragon Theatre, or if ur just lookin for some lame cover bands check out Cheers pub.

    Lookin to get down and dirty with some hip-hoppers hit up “The Dome”. lol, kinda greasy at times, but fun with enough tequila in ya.

    Oh, you could always check out Bubbles Bar. Which is pretty alright at times, classic Trailor Park Boys stuff. A friend and me saw Layhe outside there one night, and as we were walking we yelled “Have another drink layhe”, then he laughed and said “Hey boys!” then i walked into a lightpost, gong noise and everything…worst.

    uhm…what else have I picked up from halifax. As someone else said, lots of good pizza. There’s pizza corner, which is awesome. There’s like a million pizza shops there. Dont know any of the names of them off the top of my head, on account of the only time I get pizza is when i’m blackout drunk and only recognize that I ate pizza in the morning by the stains on my shirt. They also have some deecent donairs.

    Hmm, check out before u head to halifax to find out what dj’s / musicians are playing and where and for how much.

    Besta luck on ur solo trip plannin, have a blast. Stay safe, hold onto ur earrings and ur life.

    • January 19 2010

      NICE, thanks for the info, Corbin! I keep hearing really good things about the pizza, hahaha, hilarious. I’m also told I must check out the Split Crow for power hour. Fun! Hopefully I have time to meet up for a drink, yeah?

  • January 16 2010

    Wooohooooo!! I’m sooo stoked you’re going to TBEX!! It wouldn’t be a travel blogger conference without you. At least, it wouldn’t be nearly as cool and happening. Although I won’t be scoping for the menfolk, I’ll be up for drinks and tearing up the city. I still think we should try to find a five-bed room…let’s talk with Joanna when she gets back. :) Let me know if you need any tips on planning for nyc!

    As far as Halifax, I only know if from the show “Avonlea”. Unless you want to hang out at the port, I know nothing.

    • January 19 2010

      Thanks, Nancy! I’ve already been chatting with JoAnna, gotta book my flight today or tomorrow and then I’ll start figuring out the whole accommodations thing…woooooot!! We’re gonna have so much fun! You used to watch Road to Avonlea?! Awesome. Hattie rocks.

  • January 16 2010

    Could have helped you if you landed in S-E Asia.. But NYC is too far for me ;)
    My only advice would be: “Look like a traveler, or a backpacker.. It intrigues people and you’ll make many friends in the first day hehehe).

    I’ll head back to my Bucket of alcohol (don’t even know what’s inside! damn).. Good luck Candice!

    • January 19 2010

      Bucket of alcohol?! We are kindred souls. Thanks, Dan.

  • January 17 2010

    Candice I just found your site through Matador and wanted to send some good vibes – your writing makes me laugh out loud.

    I took my first trip to NYC about a year ago and spent the whole time stressing over how to sound non-geeky to the locals. I had to rehearse conversation points so that I wouldn’t bring up Sex and the City or Woody Allen films and sound like a slack-jawed tourist. Fail fail fail. I did notice that people are wonderfully friendly and start conversations out of the blue. You’ll love it I’m sure. Good luck to you!

    • January 19 2010

      Sweet, thanks for dropping by, Anne! I might strike up a Sex and the City convo with every person I meet. In fact, I’ve decided to show up at the conference wearing a “I <3 NYC" t-shirt and a Statue of Liberty hat. It's gonna be awesome.

  • January 18 2010

    Put me on your TBEX spreadsheet, Candice – I’ll be there! Really looking forward to it to – like Nancy I’ll have to skip out on the cruising for muchachos (I doubt my hubby would approve) but I’m always up for drinks, laughs, and other general shenanigans :)

    Have a great time in Halifax!

    • January 19 2010

      Awesome, Trisha! It’s going to be a laugh. You and Nancy can be my wing-women.

  • January 19 2010

    Whoa, I just stopped in to check you out after your comment on my post at backpacker daily. This is a happenin’ spot! I shall now subscribe to you doing the world and I am so considering TBEX!!! I would be a TBEX virgin though. However, i am getting married right before that and not sure that will jive with the newlywed glow. or something.
    Cool blog, I will be popping up here every now and then.

  • January 22 2010

    Candice, you are a riot. You’ll love New York. Really. I’ll be at TBEX, but I haven’t firmed up my plans yet. I figured I’d wait until I got back from San Juan. Which is, like, now. I’m wondering if the karaoke travel bloggers will be strutting their stuff? That could be fun.

    • January 23 2010

      SWEET, looking forward to meeting you, and all the rest! I’m kinda leaving myself open to plans for now. There’s so much I’d like to do while there, it’s a little overwhelming.

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