Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Long time comin'

Good afternoon everyone,

my apologies for it taking so long to post again, life has just been happening, from 3 weddings in the family and births and funerals... life has been crazy

update: things did not work out the way they were meant to with that special someone in my last post.

I am ready to start some new things in my life. I am currently on a weight loss program but thinking of all the yummy treats that I have had from all over the world... I love to travel and I also love to eat... I am debating starting a you tube channel about food and travels from around the world...

to catch you up, my entire family went on a vacation to the Netherlands to visit the family and for everyone to have a chance to see the homeland... I love it there, and I could certainly live there! We were staggered there within 3 weeks, but we all spent a wonderful week together in the middle where we had a family reunion, got to see where Grandpa and Opa grew up... but more about this later... best that we start from the beginning. Mom and Dad left about half a week earlier than we did, they wanted the time to be able to prepare the cottages that we stayed in Center Parc de Eemhof, which is a lovely little cottage village with 1000 little cottages ranging in persons per cabin and in comfort. First thing about this village that you need to know... be prepared to walk... A LOT!!! we got some good exercise while we were there, walking to go shopping in the little town center, walking to the bus or the vehicles, and my favorite, walking to the Ferry that would take us to my favorite Dutch Village BUNSCHOTEN - SPAKENBURG. I absolutely love it there and could live there. Saturdays were market day and that was the first day that we were there. We had planned to do some browsing and we met up with Jacob, Joke and Riekie, her husband Henk also joined us later on. We tried many cheeses and yummy snacks (my favorite is Spakenburgse Jan  Hagel) and so many soft breads. We frequented the Jan Hartog bakery which was open through the week and not just on Market day... and still every Saturday we say "today is Market day." In the first week, we stuffed it full of events... We went to the JUMBO shopping, had family come to out cottage to celebrate Birthdays, we fed the ducks and fish off the balcony, went to the Train station in Nijkerk where we took the train to Amersfoort, went shopping and saw the DOM TOWER, where we did not climb it, but enjoyed the beautiful gardens. We were able to see a replica to scale of NOAHS ARK, and went to a place that has tiny replicas of buildings in Holland called MADEURODAM. We took a tour through GIETHOORN where there are no roads.... they even move the cattle by boat. One special afternoon, we were able to take a ride on a special traditional fishing ship in Spakenburg, the owner was an inlaw of my fathers cousin, that was so cool, we learned about the eel and fishing and how shallow the water is there, and had many wonderful cheeses on bread. 

That afternoon is when more family arrived, and we were preparing for a family reunion the next day. The next morning, my parents had a surprise for me... my Boyfriend jumped out of a bush at me... very romantic.... but it was so sweet that they planned that surprise for me, even if I did have a little suspicion. We had an wonderful reunion with so many people that I have not seen for years. I have wonderful family and each one of them made an impact on my life and has a piece of my heart. We went on a canal cruise through Amsterdam, Some went to see the Royal Concert Gebow orchestra building, and since we have a wonderful family member that works there, there was a tour through the hall, and the rest of the group did the traditional red light district. We all met up at the Heineken Experience and I am not a beer drinker, but my family certainly enjoyed my free beers... the factory was cool but it was so hot that I don't think we were able to enjoy it as we should have. I was also able to say a quick hello to a friend of mine from Amsterdam!

At the end of the week, my boyfriend went home, and so did some family, it was sad to see them go, but I was off on another adventure, time to go to Switzerland and visit my wonderful friend Macarena, who also had some family visiting from South America. We saw the Rhine falls, went shopping, and to the beach. We had a blast... though the temperature was crazy hot... 30 degrees celcius at times... but I love Switzerland, and then it was time to head back to the Netherlands. When I arrived, my cousin Jodi took me out for dinner at De Smickel Pancake house... yummmm!!! Dutch pancakes are the best!!! I was able to say goodbye to her and to some family from Spakenburg... I miss the Netherlands... it is my second home no doubt and I will be travelling there again soon!
but for now we will be looking at some other places I would like to go and maybe some yummy foods to try?

have a great day everyone!
Brittney the lover of travelling!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Off again....

Right now I am sitting at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, I am writing this on Friday, but will not be able to post until tomorrow because this trip is a surprise for a very special someone, my flight will leave this afternoon at 2 pm and I will head to John F Kennedy airport with a 3 hour layover, and then off again, and on my way to Zurich Switzerland! I will arrive at 8 am local time. I have always wanted to travel to New York City, and this will be my first time there and I will be sitting in the airport. My first flight has been delayed about 40 minutes, but I should be able to make the connection with no problem as long as they do not leave later than scheduled. I am getting that feeling... the feeling that I get whenever I am going to travel somewhere, the tingly feeling, I think I am more nervous about the travel than the surprise itself. From now until the time that I arrive, I have 15 more hours left. I am just ready to be on the plane and fall asleep, I didn't actually sleep much last night due to excitement and just getting everything ready. I was up at 6:45 just getting the final touches on everything, packing the last minute things and getting all dolled up since my makeup and stuff had to go into checked baggage, here's hoping this fairly expensive makeup works as it should. I said my goodbyes, to my brothers, then to my sisters and my grandmother who is visiting until tomorrow, then to my mom, who I could see a little tear in her eye as I was leaving, then off in the truck with dad and headed to the airport. It was a fairly smooth ride and we made it in plenty of time, even though dad tried to go slowly so that he could conserve fuel, our family is known for having a little bit of a lead foot when it comes to driving. I was dropped off at Terminal 3 and let me just say... the security has increased, I went to a self check in, then had to go show my passport once, then to declaration machines, then to a security declaration guy, then through the place where they check your carry on, which is where I was stopped for a moment... not sure why, but all was clear... did you know you now have to take your belt, sweater and shoes off... even just plain jane shoes.... crazy, after that, one more passport check before we get to the gates, and then once more when we are about to board the plane... wooow has airport security got tough.... they dont make anything easy for you anymore... at least one of the customs/declarations guys was nice and said to have a nice and safe trip. I am sooo ready to sleep right now, but am going to sleep on my flight from New York to Zurich.

Frustrations in booking with certain airlines

We are very excited to be welcoming some visitors from the Netherlands this summer!!! Alex and Simone and their two kids will be coming in  July, frankly, we are over the moon! Here is one of the experiences that I had trying to book them a flight. We were looking for flights from here, and they were also looking for flights from Holland. I found a great deal!!! I was so excited to book it for them and the price was much lower than anything else I could find and also than they could find. So here I am on the phone with Sunwing. I called and said, Hello, I would like to book some people on a flight from Amsterdam to Toronto. "you mean Toronto to Amsterdam." I said no, I would like from Amsterdam to Toronto and then back to Amsterdam. She asked if I would hold. ok... no problem... being on hold is what travel agents do. so then I am transferred to the French line.... sorry guys I do not speak French... so here we go again, he asked what I would like and I told him. Once again, Brittney is on hold... thanks sunwing... then finally I get someone who speaks English and I had to explain once again what I was looking for. He finally said we have plains that fly from Toronto to Amsterdam and Amsterdam back to Toronto, however you need to leave from Canada to fly back to Canada... so a half an hour of phone Ping-Pong... and they couldn't tell me that at the beginning... nice to know... is that not the stupidest thing ever?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

French Polynesia Mo'orea Island

This island looks incredible, but to me looks like a work of something out of a movie about the Lost city of Atlantis. This world is filled with amazing wonders that will completely awe you. Mo'orea is an island located just 9 miles (or 17 km) west of Tahiti. Mo'orea means yellow lizzard and used to be known as Aimeho or Eimeo. To get here, there are several ferries that go from the capital of Thaiti, Pape'ete daily. The island itself is only about 10 miles wide and covered in mountains, with beautiful bays around the coast. Seriously guys, I think the lost city of Atlantis just appeared in my eyes.  (somewhere in that jungle lol)

Is it Chile in here or is it Just me

I have taken a personal interest in Chile as of late... over the past 6-8 months to be exact, but for personal reasons, So I thought I would do a post on Chile and their marble caves. I have had these pictures in my archives for a year or two and I am excited to write about them.  They are located in the Patagonian Andes and are called the Cuevas de Marmol, they border the Lake General Carrera (a glacial lake that remotely spans the Chile and Argentina border). I have never seen anything similar (yet) , the water that flows into the very intricate cave system is clear blue and the marble on the cave walls is spectacular, spiraling white and blue into each other. The walls were formed through many many years of waves crashing against calcium carbonate. The swirls in the marble is a reflection of the lakes amazingly blue waters. The only way to reach these caves is by boat, and there are tours available to get to these caves, weather permitting. Defiantly a sight for sore eyes :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Amsterdam

The amazing thing about Amsterdam isn't the hustle and bustle of the big city that is right on the water, but it's what runs through that city. The canals, intricate and genuinely beautiful, you can see the entire city on a canal cruise,  The old buildings with the amazing Gables, the  water splashing against the walls along the canals, seeing the locals taking a boat tour through the canals because they do not lose their excitement, and the house/river boats along the banks where people actually live. Amsterdam has a lot of people all over the place, it does have the red light district and people smoking pot everywhere and if you are not into that, I totally get it, but Amsterdam is beautiful as a whole and you can avoid the red light district and generally the marijuana as well. I learned some really neat things on my trip, like for example slowly the houses are decaying and tilting, and what they do, they drill holes in the foundations (logs) and pour cement in them to hold them up. I also learned that the front of the house is generally smaller than the back because they paid taxes on the width of the house, so people would build larger at the back. I learned that the 3 X's everywhere is in remembrance of the three large disasters in Amsterdam: three scurges that have hit Amsterdam in history - water (flooding), fire and the plague. There is so much to learn!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Start with something I know Niagara Falls

I absolutely Love Waterfalls! The beauty of thousands of litres of water slowly eroding at a crust of rock over thousands of years, feeling the mist hit your face as you walk towards it, and for the smaller waterfalls, imagining swimming under the falls and maybe finding a secret cave. How does a waterfall start? slowly! Just like everything good in life, like writing a blog and finding the people that you can bless with your writings and what you have to offer. The Niagara falls is ginormous! I have only been able to visit it twice and it is only a few hours from where I live, I have been to Amsterdam just as many times as I have been to a natural wonder of the world in my own country. Shameful I tell you, but I have plans to go back and show some special friends of mine what beauty it has to offer and the magnitude of glory that you see when you first look at them. You hear this giant rumbling and you can feel the water shaking the ground beneath you as you walk along the side of the falls. people were lined all the way down looking over trying to get the best picture. Many pictures were taken, and so many different ways to see the falls, but I like to see it for what it is. Its beauty, its complete, total and natural beauty! I could have walked down that stretch along the falls for hours... oh wait... we did and we got absolutely soaked at the end of it, but every second was worth it. We walked up Clifton hill and it is steep but it was a lot of fun to see the Ripley's Museums and the Rain forest CafĂ©. There are so many cool things to see and we really only had time to do one of the attractions, so we settled on the Ripley's museum. It was fantastic, we made fools of ourselves on a two way mirror, which we kind of knew it was, but it was funny anyways and we would never see those people again.