T-Dot Touchdown

So the last few days of vacay were spent wandering through the gorgeous city of Toronto. On our last trip to Canada we had done a lot of the “touristy” stuff like the CN tower and the museums, so this time we just wanted to walk around, indulge in all of the food we could get our hands on, visit friends and family and pretend we were locals! And.. we checked every one of these things off the list.

The visit started with a glorious breakfast with our Bajan friends who were also in the city. Followed by a little walk through Yorkville and then lunch with some of my family who were also in town (didn’t I say we were going to eat a lot). We then went to my cousins apartment, and hung out with the family a bit before taking a walk down Kings Street through all of the TIFF excitement. The day was complete with a fantastic meal at one of the best Italian places I’ve eaten at (outside of Italy of course!), Terrino.

The next day we headed straight to St Lawrence Market and we were green with envy with the amazing delicacies available for purchase in there, nothing like the kind of selection of meats and cheese that we get in Barbados. The butchers had everything from ostrich to camel meat, for every palate. Chris indulged in an insane looking bacon sandwich and I of course headed for the sweet counter.

From there we had a quick drink with my Auntie Zoe, Rainey and their friends who were in town for TIFF at Eggspectations, before heading off on a walking (beer) tour of Toronto with our friend Colin. The first stop was at Graffiti Alley, and then onto Wrvst where the boys sampled beer and Kangaroo sausages. We then strolled through the streets before hitting up Amsterdam for wait for it.. more beer! The food there was also quite good and by the time we were finished, and after one more beer at the Rec Room, we were so ready for the Blue Jays Game!

I’m not a sure baseball fan, but the atmosphere was fun and being in the Roger’s Center was cool with the ceiling open (but very cold). After the game we met up with some more Bajan Canadians for a late night snack before heading to bed.

Our final day consisted of a stroll through Eaton Center followed by two TIFF movies. The first one called The Outsider was awesome, the second one called Good Favor was a typical indy film which left you scratching your head with confusion as you exited the theatre. It did make for great dinner conversation, where we went back to Terroni’s (yay!).

It was a fabulous trip, filled with just the right amount of relaxation, excitement, country air, city vibes and lots of friends and family. Thanks for following.. until next time!

Bajans!






Fantastic meal at Terrinos



Tiramisu was to die for



St Lawrence Market









Kangaroo Sausages


Jason Sudeikis









Eaton Centre


Ramen!



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At Home in Bowmanville

From Waterloo we drove East to Bowmanville, the home of Chris’ Aunt Penney and Uncle Wayne. On the way there we stopped for a quick apple picking session at a farm in Brampton – which was awesome! We left with a 20lb bag of apples and had tasted more varieties than I had in an entire lifetime.

Arriving at The Sisnett’s was like coming home. Chris lived with this family for the year that he was at school in Canada, and I had been up to Canada a couple times as well and stayed there. We had a lovely evening of preparing our apple crumble (yes, with the freshly picked apples) and just catching up.

The next day we visited some of our other friends in the area, did a little shopping had another amazing home-cooked meal at the house and then Chris and I took a late train into the Toronto for a few days of city touring.

Straight from the tree


Super cute little country apple store

Infamous Sisnett backyard


Can you get any more farm to table?

Spot the racoon

Yes my mouth is full..

Us and Chelsea.. was so great to see everyone!

Chris, Colin and Shawn

Lots of chris’ family that were in the area

Chris and his great Uncle Rudy.. what a resemblance to Papa.


On the train to Toronto

 

Wandering Through Waterloo

So for the second part of our vacay, we get to spend some time in the lovely Waterloo/Kitchener area of Canada. This part of the trip is dual purpose: to help get John settled into the University of Waterloo, and to see our good friends the Lewis’.

We have had a great time wandering through this college town. With plenty time being spent at Walmart and Marshall’s picking up all of the essentials to ensure that John is happy and completely equipped to start his college life here in Waterloo. We did make time for not one but two Escape the Room games, and both we beat with 17 minutes (the Vault) and 8 minutes (the Mayor’s Office) to spare! If you know the Hunte family, you know that this is something that they would definitely love and excel at!

The other great thing is we got to spend a lot of time with our great friends Russell and Lauren. We got invited for a wonderful home cooked meal at their house, we toured the St Jacob’s market, even got in a bit of partying! It was an absolutely lovely time and we were so happy to see them in Canada.

Tomorrow we are onto Oshawa to visit some other family, but will be very sad to say good-bye to John.

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Congrats John! You deserve all that’s coming to you!

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Such a cutie!

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Spectacular Home-cooked Meal

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We became the 615th Escape!

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Succuess

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Checking out the St Jacob’s Market

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Thanks for being awesome hosts!

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Another Success for Team Bajan!

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Last family dinner before John starts school

Oh Canada, Oh Canada!

So we finally made it to Canada. Chris and I have been planning for the past couple years to visit this beautiful country and see many of our friends and family who live here. So this is a multipurpose trip, the best of many worlds: bringing Chris’ brother John (the Barbados Scholar!) up to school at Waterloo, having a little vacation in the woods, seeing our friends and family and having a little time in Toronto to take in the city sites and eats! Hopefully we achieve it all.

We left Barbados exactly a week ago, Friday 25th Aug, and other than a quick stop to see my cousins Kevin, Tatianna and Avery, we have been living out in a cabin in the woods in Grey County.

The area is gorgeous and we got to see many beautiful sites as we drove around to take in the fabulous Bruce County Peninsula scenic spots. Instead of using words, I will allow the gorgeous photos below do the talking!

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Hello Canada!

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Pebbles Mennonite Restaurant = Amazing Food

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Had to light a fire

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Breakfast with a View

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Hikers

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First wildlife spotting, a snake!

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Fabulous Pie Stop

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Canadian Sunsets

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Can we get us and the waterfall?

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Walters Falls

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Eugenia Falls

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Eugenia in the Background

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Make sure Chris doesn’t fall into the gorge

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Hoggs Falls

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Standing on a Tree

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Hoggs Falls

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Toesies in the frigid water

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Can’t have a campfire without S’mores

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Chris.. being Chris.

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Big Tub LIghthouse

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The water is so clear

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BeaverTails are to die for

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Stop taking photos so I can eat please!

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The Grotto – Beautiful place, with super clear water but so full of people

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Chris taking a dip at Boulder Beach

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Lion’s Head Lighthouse

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Bruce’s Caves

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A must-do

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Centennial Tower

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Inglis Falls

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Green Door Cafe

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Luscious Bakery

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This guy was an amazing sales person

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The only thing missing from this beach, the sun and some warmth.

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Southhampton

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Another visit to the Williamsford Pie Company

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Goodbye Cute Cabin

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180 year old German brewhouse

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Raspberry Light Ale

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We are now in Waterloo where we are getting John ready to move in to the University of Waterloo. His school starts on Monday so we need to get lots of stuff and move everything into his room.

We also have lots of other fun things planned, so stay tuned!

 

 

 

Hakuna matata – Kenya Style

Kenya is awesome! Let’s first start with that. This was my favorite country on the trip and we are already planning on when we can come back. But let’s start at the beginning…

We arrived in Kenya on Monday afternoon and Bill opened this leg the following morning. The one difference is that Monday night Bill gave us our scavenge books so that we could begin to plan our scavenges. This leg had an option for an overnight safari and we needed the extra night to plan and book.

We took one look at the book and knew that we had to do a safari in the Maasai Mara Reservation. After looking at the map and using the phone directory to call around we were able to book one night at the Governor’s Camp.

Tuesday morning came and we were all so pumped to head out to the reserve. Our driver, Simon (who would play a leading role in why this leg was so awesome) picked us up bright and early and we began the 6 hour trek to the reserve. The first 4 hours of the drive were great but then we turned off onto the “bumpy” road and then the journey got a bit more unpleasant. However, as we got closer to the reserve the amount of exotic wildlife that we could see through our car window got increasingly more interesting and the uneven road became just an afterthought.

As we drove into the camp we knew this part of the trip would be absolutely amazing as we were ushered over to this beautifully laid out lunch right on the edge of a river filled with hippos. After a quick bite to eat we were shown to our tents (SO COOL!) and then ushered onto our first game drive. I have been on safari in a small reserve in South Africa but that paled in comparison to the amount of animals we saw on this one game ride.

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After about an hour into the drive we came upon a Maasai village which allowed you to tour their village for a small fee. The tour began with a song and dance from the beautifully dressed Massai women and then continued with a walk through their village and into their Chief’s hut. It was incredible to imagine that people still lived in such primitive conditions yet all of the kids ran and played like the happiest people on earth. We also got to see all of their crafts as they set up an entire market on the outskirts of the village.

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That night we went to sleep to the sounds of hippos playing in the river right by the camp, and it was so cool to hear all of the sounds of the jungle right from our bed. We woke up super early to take a sunset hot air balloon ride over the reserve. I will let the photos below speak for themselves as this trip was so peaceful and so beautiful.

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From the time we landed a bunch of trucks picked us up and took us over to this area at the bottom of one of the hills for a picnic breakfast. Can I just say – who gets lucky enough to have an entire cooked breakfast sitting at a breakfast table in the middle of the Maasai Mara?! Such an unforgettable experience.

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After breakfast we took a short game ride back to our camp and then packed up (very tearfully) to head back into town. We found out that on our way back we could do one of the additional scavenges which was to take boat over Lake Naviasha and have a drink at the Country Club. This sounded like a very fun idea, until we reached the boat area and it was pouring with rain. Needless to say we did it anyways and got completely soaked while laughing hysterically at each other as we headed out on this very creepy, supposedly hippo infested lake. (No photos because of the rain.. You’ll have to wait for the go-pro footage)

One our way back into Nairobi from Lake Naviasha, our super awesome driver, Simon, invited us to have dinner at his home and meet his 3 year old son Troy. This was the highlight of our trip, as from the moment we opened the door to Simon’s house Troy came over singing and dancing and so excited to make friends. We had an amazing meal in his house and when we went to say goodbye Troy made the saddest face and started to cry. As we pulled away from the house, Simon told us to look back and we could see Troy sitting in the window watching us go. 😦

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The next morning we arranged for Simon to pick us up bright and early and take us around to some of the exciting scavenges in Nairobi. During the journey we learned that Troy was home as school was on a break and we begged Simon to let him come with us as we were headed to the Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Reserve. He said yes and after a quick detour Troy was back with us! Our first stop with the elephants and Troy was a little afraid but so excited to see the baby elephants – as we all were. We watched in awe as the babies held their own bottles and fed themselves, while bouncing each other and trumpeting around the place.

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After the elephants we headed to the giraffe reserve where we got to feed Kelly and Ed, two beautiful elephants. Giraffes are one of my favorite animals and it was awesome to get to feed them, pet them and be kissed by them (see photo below!). Also having Troy there was awesome as the moment he saw the giraffes we did his signature dance and raced over to see them.

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From the elephants we went to the Mamba (Crocodile) Village where we saw many sized crocodiles and turtles and were very nervous as our guide jumped into the enclosure to poke one of the biggest crocodiles to make him move for us. We thought for sure we were about to witness someone being eaten! But alas, all was well.

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From the time we left the crocodile area the rain began to pour, and it didn’t stop. The roads filled with water and at some points it looked like a river was running through Nairobi city. We had planned to walk around tour and complete some of the scavenges in the city center but didn’t think it was smart to try walking through the river and decided to return to the hotel instead.

The last thing we had planned for the night was to eat at this very well-known restaurant called the Carnivore. The plan was to leave the hotel at 6:45 for our 7:30 reservation but Simon called to say he was stuck in a lot of traffic and it would be best to take a taxi instead. We hailed two cabs and started our journey around 7, well we did not make what would normally be a 15 minute drive until 9:45. I have never sat in traffic that was so horrendous but the city had flooded, one road was blocked by a tree, another by a fallen transformer and there was also a very tragic collapsing of a house in the downtown area which was the perfect storm that lead to the worst traffic ever.

Once we finally arrived at the restaurant we had a lovely dinner of all kinds of meat. This is the kind of place where they come around with roasted meat on a stick and cut it directly onto your plate. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was very cool – it made the horrendous journey seem worth it.

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This morning we got up early to complete one more challenge – riding an ostrich. Simon picked us up and we headed out to the the farm. We drove for about an hour until we came to the turn off to the farm and Simon noticed that the track looked very muddy and wet. We tried our best but after about thirty minutes trying to navigate complete mud roads we decided that we did not have the time to make it the 7 km of bad road – and if we got stuck we would be late for 11am check in at the end of the leg. Such a bummer.. but think it was the smart decision.

Instead we did a couple quick scavenges in town and then headed back for check-in. Bill has told us that we will be leaving the hotel tonight at 7pm to a catch a flight to…. we still don’t know. This was the last leg of the journey for Chris and I as we have to return home on Monday and will begin the long trek back across the pond from this evening. I am trying to encourage Savannah to finish blogging for the last country… so if you agree hackle her and make her do it!

The Oasis of Oman

After a gruelingly hot day in India we finally made it to Oman around 11pm and immediately went to bed. That day was a very interesting day as we had breakfast in Singapore, lunch in India and dinner in Oman.. Awesome!

The next morning Bill opened the leg and we all spent about an hour plotting the scavenges we would do over the next couple days. Bill issued a couple rule changes including the ability to rent a car and team up with other teams for an unlimited amount of scavenges as long as we were outside the Muscat city limits. This encouraged team to rent a car together and travel out to complete some of the more difficult but memorable challenges.

After a very frustrating few hours of trying to find an open car rental agency (this country completely closes from 1pm – 4:30pm every day) we ended up at this amazing restaurant called the Khargeen. The scavenge said to smoke sheesha, which we did but none of us really enjoyed and then we knocked off some of the food challenges by ordering of the menu. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was very peaceful and our waiter was so kind and helpful. With bellies full of lamb, kebabs and the most divine hummus and fresh pita ever we headed back to the souq (market) to pick up some more points.

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The Muttrah Souq was an amazing site of colours and smells and we really enjoyed walking through and finding all of items required. From there we headed to the marina where we boarded a traditional dwah for a sunset cruise. So peaceful and very beautiful coastline.

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Now this is where the night got very interesting. Rainey, auntie zo, Chris and I got in a cab to head back to the hotel and Rainey and the taxi driver got to talking and the next thing I know we are headed to Muhammad’s house for dinner. It was absolutely fascinating to be invited into this man’s house, have him treat us so kindly and learn so much about the culture and lifestyle in Oman. We stopped to pick up food as this invitation was so last minute but when we got there food kept coming from the kitchen which his wife was preparing (we never met her or his oldest daughter). We did meet his baby girl and all of his sons. This family is his second as he has a wife and three kids that live outside of Muscat. This second wife and him have 5 children, so I’m total he has 8 kids. When you see me next ask me about this experience as we learnt so much that it would be hard to include all the facts and interesting differences between our Western lifestyle and the one in Oman. Just know the Muhammed was incredibly gracious and we felt so blessed to have met him and shared that meal with his family.

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Day two started bright and early as we had our rental cars and we wanted to cover a lot of ground. We got started by hitting two fish markets before 8am. One in the nearby Muttrah and one in a smaller town an hour away called Barka.

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After seeing our share of fresh fish, we headed inland to check out the Nakal fort and hot spring.

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We then had a very long 3 hour drive into the desert of  Oman to…. Ride camels and surf the dunes in 4x4s. So fun and so thrilling. I cannot wait to share this gopro footage with you!

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After a very long day of travelling we headed back towards our hotel. Took a last minute sunset walk on the boardwalk and then it was onto the hotel for check-in. We shared a couple cocktails, hummus and had a swim in the pool… The perfect end to a wonderful few days in Oman!

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We are now in our next destination after a ridiculous wake up time of 2am for a 4:30 flight to Abu Dhabi to connect to… Nairobi, Kenya!!! I am super excited at the prospect of a safari but a little apprehensive as I don’t know anything about this country. We get this evening off… Phew… But will be on our way with the scavenges from tomorrow morning. Stay tuned!

Pitstop in India

On our way to Oman we had an 8 hour layover in Chennai, India and we went out into the city to complete a few scavenges. It was 56 degrees Celsius.. So please forgive the ridiculously sweaty photos.

Below is a short montage of photos of us having lunch, visiting a bazaar and then climbing to the top of the Madras light house!

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