Tag Archive for: travel

Arizona Day 2

Getting settled into the southwest. Conference starts soon. But enough time to head out to church and then for some time around the pool.

We went to First Baptist Church of Scottsdale. A mid-sized church of approximately 1,000 people. If we lived here, this would certainly be a candidate church.

We did a few errands. I had to get some more storage for all the digital photos I have been taking. A trip down to Fry’s Electronics solved that problem. And, although the hotel offers water at $3.00 a bottle, we much prefer getting our supply from a local grocery store at 30 cents a bottle. Remember when we used to drink water for free?

A few more pictures to share. These are all taken at Camelback Mountain.

Camelback 1

Camelback 2

Camelback 3

Arizona Day 1

We made it safely to Scottsdale. Unfortunately the weather is not what I am used to at this time of year. Bright sunshine and very hot. I may have to spend a lot of time outdoors and at the pool.

How sad.

Here are some pictures that I took around the resort. The first two show an outdoor shot of the resort and an interior shot of the lobby.
Phoenician Outdoors

Phoenician Lobby

By some odd coincidence, there is a golf course nearby the resort. In fact, it is directly behind our hotel room. Here are some photos of the number 8 hole. A par 3. Spectacular views of the area. Lorraine and Matthew are pictured looking out from the blue tee deck.

Lorraine and Matthew

Par 3 Green

Par 3 deck

There is a beautiful cactus garden near the golf course. Here is the obligatory cactus shot.


All Secure

Today we begin our journey to Arizona. We left the house this morning at 9am and, with any luck, we should be in the hotel by 6pm.

A full day of travel.

Airport security is certainly at play. No liquids or gels permitted on the plane.

The odd thing? The first-class lounge is no longer carrying any bottled products. No bottled water. No cans of soft drinks. For those who drink, no cans of beer.

How odd. I generally drink 2 to 3 litres of water each day. Air travel makes it tough to do that at the best of time. I have to drink water using tiny glasses. It was quite the balancing act transporting 10 glasses of water to the airplane.

Turns out that even open glasses of water are not permitted. I had to drink them all at once before we could board.

I have my eye on the seat belt sign and the washroom door. Time goes slowly when there is a lot of water pressure.

The Phoenician

I will be heading out to a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The flight departs on Saturday. I will be in sessions until Wednesday. I have taken a couple of vacation days so that there is an opportunity to tour the great southwest as well as take several thousand exposures with my amazing camera.

My wife and youngest son will be joining me for the trip. Although I won’t see much of them for the first part of the week, we will have a nice time together once the business sessions are over.

We are staying at the Phoenician. I have stayed there before. It is a stunning resort and, if memory serves me correctly, there is a very nice golf course nearby.


White Oaks Resort

I am at a business offsite at the White Oaks Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake for a couple of days. An old friend of mine from my university years owns the property. I was able to connect with him today.

He is a very unique person. Tremendous character and work ethic. And always thoughtful.

Without my knowledge, he upgraded me into a huge luxury suite. Two fireplaces, two washrooms, living room, dining room. What a surprise when I walked into the foyer of the suite.

Too bad I will be spending most of my time elsewhere.

Here is a picture of the bedroom side of the suite along with a link to the hotel. If you are in the area, I highly recommend the property.

White Oaks

Record on Wheels

Although a few years away, I have been diligently preparing and planning for our retirement years.

Rather than carry two fixed location properties during retirement, one in Canada and one somewhere south, we have thought about getting an RV. As we will be relatively young retirees, an RV would provide us with a condo on wheels to travel across North America.

I have even picked out some potential models. The Mountain Aire from Newmar, pictured below, or a tricked out Dutch Star.

Mountain Aire

So, as a plan, that seemed to be fine. But what about the studio? Then an idea came to me. Okay, maybe it was planted by Wayne Hawthorne of Click Track Audio in Ottawa.

A mobile recording studio.

Here is the floorplan of Wayne’s mobile recording rig.

Clicktrack Floorplan

Admittedly, I don’t think my wife would approve of the cube van look. And no place to sleep. Nor quite as sleek as the Mountain Aire. But maybe I could tow the mobile recording rig behind the RV?

Clicktrack Van

Back Home

After a lot of travel and some much needed sleep, we are back home.

Looking back, we did an amazing amount of touring in a few short days. We drove the Ring of Kerry and the Ring of Beara. We walked the Gap of Dunloe and climbed the highest mountain in Gleninchaquin Scenic Park. We crossed the Lakes of Killarney. We toured historic Dublin. I drove a standard shift car on the wrong side of the road.

In short, we experienced Ireland and it was a wonderful experience.

The next few days will be an adjustment to the Toronto way of life. Which, by comparison, seems a bit flat.

En Route

I am posting from my Blackberry in the departure lounge of the Dublin airport. A couple more flights and a car ride and we will be back home in Canada.

Some random thoughts about Ireland. Stunning landscapes in the southwest. Terrible driving conditions.

I adjusted quite easily to driving a manual shift vehicle on the opposite side. Driving on the opposite lane is an interesting experience. I just hope I remember to switch back to the right side when I get back into my car in Canada.

Most of the roads are way too narrow in much of the southwest. There were times when the width of the road would hardly accommodate one vehicle, never mind two. And, just for fun, the twisting, winding roads are marked at 100 km/h. I rarely got above 60 km/h. And even then it seemed like we were going too fast for the road conditions.

Very little diversity in Ireland. Predominantly a Caucasian population.

Washrooms, or toilets, are very odd. The faucets operate backwards to North America.

Always remember to look to your right first when you cross the road.

The traffic signs are small and confusing. Distance markers are rough estimates only.

I did not see one police officer in the southwest. I can only assume that there is not much in the way of criminal behaviour.

Sheep seem to outnumber humans in the southwest. And they go everywhere. If you follow my drift.

The people were friendly and generally conservative.

No Home Depots, no Wal-marts, no Tim Hortons. I did not see any big chain, big box retailers in the southwest. It was nice.

No drug stores. They have chemists.

All the cars in the southwest are badly scratched on their left sides. Why? Because the roads are so narrow and bushes grow right up to the side. No shoulders so when you are run off the road, the car gets scratched. We looked at hundreds of cars. All had scratches on the left side.

Tour buses are over the top. Ultra high end. No yellow school buses.

Pub food is RC friendly. Not too sure about Bangers and Mash. The fish and chips was a good pub meal.

Time to check in our flight to London Heathrow.