Crossing the Pacific by Freighter

Recently, my family had an idea that perhaps we could start our RTW trip by crossing the Pacific on a one way cruise ship (for example, from San Diego to Sydney). Admittedly, we haven’t thought too deeply of all of the challenges with this idea – costs, sea sickness (especially for the kids) and so forth.

While looking into this plan, I came across one of the most interesting travel diaries I’ve ever seen.  The writer (YVR Cockroach) talks about his 17 day voyage across the Pacific on the CMA CGM Libra from Hong Kong to Long Beach.  This definitely does not seem like a good idea for a family with young kids.  At most an adventurous couple could enjoy this trip, though there are doubts since there is practically no conveniences or entertainment to be had (other than what you brought with you).  Having said that, if I were younger, single, had time on my hands, strapped for cash but needed to cross the ocean, I would certainly consider this…

If you want to try it, check out CMA CGM’s website at https://www.cma-cgm.com/products-services/cargo-cruise or their blog at http://www.cma-cgm-blog.com/cargo-cruises-travel-shipping-cargo/.

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Another Family Has Gone RTW

From time to time, I like to look out into the vast arrays of the world wide web (do the kids still call it that?) and see who else might be planning their round the world (RTW) trips.  One family has a blog up at https://roundtheworldwithmyfamily.com where they are cataloging their adventure that has only begun a scant few months ago.  I’m curious as to why they picked the itinerary they did – it appears that they’re going around the world twice – and how that works out for them.  If you’re curious, their first blog post related to their “test” departure is here and it shows that things can get in the way of your best laid plans.

I’ll definitely be keeping up with this blog and watching how their trip unfolds.  Blogs like that one are definitely a great motivator and planning aide for our trip in a few years.

 

Travel Books & Games

Who would have guessed it? Tell your family and friends that you will be traveling around the world and they will gift you with some great travel-themed stuff over the Christmas holidays! Here is a round-up of our lovely new books and games:

The Rough Guide to First-Time Around the World (2016)

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Crocodile Creek Discover World Animals Puzzle

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Atlas of Adventures: A Collection of Natural Wonders, Exciting Experiences and Fun Festivities From the Four Corners of the Globe

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The Great Journey by Agathe Demois

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On Light Pollution: The End of Darkness

A nice little video from the New Yorker on the effect of light pollution and its impact on star-gazing by the general public:

I’ve said it before, but visiting parts of the globe that have minimal light pollution is one of the things I am most excited about for our world trip plans.

My Favourite Things To Do In Ottawa

I was watching this clip (from “Every Frame a Painting”) the other day about how great Memories of Murder is and I was reminded of the amazing video store in Ottawa where JBot and I first rented it.  Invisible Cinema in downtown Ottawa was the gateway drug for so many fantastic new films. Wyatt was only too happy to recommend new things to us. You know the place is great when they organize films by director!

Just looked it up and it has been shuttered. Dang!

And now with friends about to depart for a holiday in Ottawa, let’s continue down nostalgia lane and share some of our favourite places in Ottawa:

Chez Lucien in the Byward Market (137 Murray Street). Where art is worshipped along with the baseball game. The burger named after Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is so good. Try it with the side salad and french fries. Their free jukebox is stellar. As is the romantic chocolate fondue.

This is a great spot to visit after the National Gallery.

I was obsessed with Hintonburger when I was pregnant with G-Man. Oh man, nothing better than a big greasy delicious local homemade burger with bacon…. <queue Homer Simpson drool sounds> When we first started going there they ran out of a little trailer. Now they have taken over the old KFC so they have a much bigger space. I’ll admit, I loved the lop-sided tables. And the burgers. Still worship those burgers.

Beau's

Craft beer has really gained popularity in Ontario but, for me, it all began with Beau’s. Not in Ottawa proper but outside of town in the small village of Vankleek Hill, Beau’s has grown into a top-notch brewer and a role model for keeping businesses local and independent. Their Oktoberfest is a blast if you are visiting  the Ottawa area in the fall. They have a new patio to tempt travellers to stay and eat and drink after a tour.

There is a lot of great hiking trails in and around Ottawa. The Trans-Canada Trail that runs along the Ottawa River and next to Parliament and the canal is very popular, of course. When we lived in Ottawa Mer Bleue was our favourite hiking spot. It is an easy looped trail through a bog. Bog ecology is really fascinating. Which reminds me of Beau’s fantastic seasonal beer called Bog Water. It is made with myrtle! So good!! Pretty sure that beer is inspired by the Alfred Bog though…

Another place in Ottawa that has a special place in our hearts is the residence of the Governor General. It is called Rideau Hall. The building itself is gorgeous, the history is interesting, but it is the site itself that is worth a visit. The gardens and arbour are lovely. Plus, we also had a regular meeting of families at the sweet playground there. Best in town!

Scone-Witch

Rideau Hall is also close to the Scone Witch on Beechwood. They have more than one location. Their scone sandwich with turkey and Stilton cheese is the stuff of dreams. And their lemon curd. It is also next door to Books on Beechwood.

We used to live close to the Glebe neighbourhood. It has a nice vibe. We loved their annual yard sales.

If you are visiting Ottawa, definitely check out the schedules for the Bytowne Theatre or the Mayfair. Great movie theatres!

And if you are looking for coffee check out Bridgehead! They have a few different locations throughout town.

I am sad to say that our favourite Jamaican place is no more. We will miss Frederick, his crazy spicy jerk, and his crazy strong homemade ginger beer! The same has to be said for Zen Kitchen as well. We had the best food and drink pairing EVER at this vegan restaurant. But, that is the fate of restaurants I suppose. It can be a hard business…

Ottawa has a bad reputation for being boring, “the town fun forgot” gets flung around a lot. But really, it just inevitably looks bad in comparison to Montreal or Toronto. That and the large number of civil servants who don’t really cut loose amirite?  ^_^

The Middle Child Syndrome: a.k.a. “Harry Potter & the Cursed Child”

I was talking with a friend the other day about the new Harry Potter play (I am an avid lover of the Harry Potter stories) and was describing it as ‘a cautionary tale for the case against boarding schools.’ I don’t think it is spoiling the new play for readers by saying that Harry is struggling with his relationship with one of his children, that has been pretty clear in the play’s advertising. My suggestion to my friend was that if Harry’s child wasn’t shipped off to Hogwarts for large portions of the year their problems would have been resolved much sooner!

Potter Family

My friend, who is by trade a psychologist specializing in children and families, asked if the child in question was Harry’s middle child? Aha! The middle-child syndrome! Of course. G-Man was quick to remind us of this great AsapSCIENCE video about the effect of birth order on children’s personalities.

Definitely some similar themes in “Harry Potter & the Cursed Child!!”