Christmas & New Years 2018

As 2018 slides into 2019 I sit back and reflect on what a wonderful year I had. I changed my career path from Structural Design to Business Development. I met my wonderful girlfriend Catherine and was also able to travel to all these amazing places:

  • Thailand (Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Kanchanaburi, Koh Samui)
  • France (Paris, Mont Saint Michel, Toulouse, Lyon)
  • Spain (Barcelona)
  • Drive US Route 66 with my Father
  • Visit Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary with my Mother
  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Greece (Athens, Santorini)
  • Switzerland (Zurich, Jungfraujoch)
  • Ottawa with Catherine TWICE!
  • Jasper National Park

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On New Years Eve I prepared Catherine and I a delicious dinner of salmon, garlic mashed potatoes, and mixed vegetables, then we went skating at Canada Olympic Plaza before making a toast to 2019 with some champagne and fireworks.

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I’m extremely looking forward to 2019 as there are quite a few wonderful things planned.

  • Travel to Chile / Argentina / Paraguay / Brazil
  • Travel to Vietnam / Chile
  • See Darci Lynne Live in Portland
  • Moving to a New House
  • Numerous Alberta Hikes (Galatea Lake & Lillian Lake, Junction Creek to name a few)

Chile & Argentina 2019Vietnam & Cambodia

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2018-03-15 – Toulouse & Lyon

Today I woke up naturally at around 8:00am without an alarm clock. I got more done yesterday than I anticipated so I was just going to take it easy before heading to the airport for my 6:00pm flight to Lyon. I rented a bike and rode to the city centre Starbucks, where I had a large coffee and a lemon muffin. I did some reading and more blog writing sitting in front of the old carousel before heading back to my hotel to pack.
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After packing and walking back to the city centre I did some more exploring before heading to the airport for my flight to Lyon.
I visited Saint-Aubin, built in 1847, but technically wasn’t finished until later due to lack of funding.
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I then visited Stephens Cathedral, which was absolutely grand in size. The original date that the church was build isn’t known, but there is a first mention of a church edifice on that cite found in a charter of 844. The structure was upgraded extensively in 1073, and additional construction in the 13th Century. Inside the church is a massive air powered organ, which is still often used for concerts.
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It was then time to head to the airport for my 6:00pm flight. I arrived in Lyon at around 7:00pm. I took the Rhone Express and then the T1 and T4 trams to get to my hotel (Hotel Kyriad Lyon Centre Perrache), right in the heart of Lyon. By the time I arrived there it was fairly late because the train/tram rides took nearly 2 hours. I grabbed a beer from the beer store next door, had a beer and then went to bed. Tomorrow I get to explore the beautiful old city of Lyon!

 

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2018-03-14 – Toulouse

Today I woke up at 8:00am. Toulouse has an amazing bike rental company called Toulouse Velo, which stands for Toulouse Bike. I rented a bike from right outside my hotel and rode towards the town Center where I grabbed some McDonald’s for breakfast before taking the tram up to The Aeroscopia Museum near the airport. The museum featured predominantly Airbus products, but had a few other products such as the Caravelle and not one, but two Concorde’s! The price was fairly reasonable at €12.50.
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The Caravelle, designed and built by Sud Aviation right here in Toulouse between 1955 and 1972, is such a unique aircraft because it had triangular windows, a unique T-tail arrangement, and was one of the first jet turbine powered aircraft to be built that was highly successful. The last aircraft was retired in 2005, a whole 50 years after it first flew. The only comparable jet turbine powered airliner that shares this same success would be the McDonnell Douglas DC9 or the Boeing 737 series, the later having just had its 10,000th unit produced and was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records. I also got to go inside the Concorde’s, an old Airbus A300, and a Super Guppy!
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After exploring Aeroscopia I went to the restaurant next door called La Ferme du Pinot, where I had a local Toulousian dish called Cassolette. Cassolette is beans, pork and duck confit; think meat and beans casserole. I really liked the aviation inspired chairs that were at the restaurant as well. Once I move into a nicer apartment or house I’d like to purchase one.
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After lunch I took the tram back into the city exploring lots of old architecture dating back to around the 1100’s and onwards including the old City Hall, Saint Sernin, and Church of the Jacobins.
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I went back to my hotel to relax for a bit before going out for dinner at the same place I had the donair last night because it was so good. After dinner I went to a local brewery/beer shop called La Matabiere, where I picked up four different beers; three IPA’s and one Amber. I head back to my hotel room and did some photo editing and drank the beers before heading out to do some night photography of the churches and old City Hall. I ended up going to bed around 10:00pm.
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