Feeds:
Posts
Comments


After 2 sparkling days in Paris, London left me slightly disappointed. I was staying at St. Christopher’s in Camden Town- which wasn’t bad, but the neighbourhood was dirty. In fact I felt like I needed a HAZMAT suite as I slide into a phone booth to phone home. After walking the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, Buckingham Palace looked like a big white box with a flag (sorry, I’m really not trying to be offensive). The best part about my time in London was that the Tube was under maintenance and major downtown lines were closed while I was there, which often rendered me completely lost!

After 2 days in London I was more than ready to board a plane and fly home. I was also seriously low on funds as the GBP is so damn expensive! On the day that I was to fly home I walked into the Camden Tube station and bought a 2 zone ticket. If you’re at all familiar with the London Tube, you’ll know that in order the get to Heathrow I needed a 6 zone ticket.

I sat on the train enjoying the scenery until we left the downtown core, then I was looking for cops at every station who would likely come aboard, discover my ticket was no good, and either kick me off or give me some insanely expensive ticket. It was a nervous ride to Heathrow, but when the train finally stopped I was relieved. I had made it all the way to the airport without incident. Until I reached the top of the stairs, saw the transit guys and the turnstiles.

Crap! I knew my ticket would just pop back out of the machine and I wouldn’t be able to pass. I had very little change in my pocket, and no way to pay for a proper ticket. I decided to hold back a little as it was busy and I didn’t want to have some huge embarrassing scene that would result in my crying, being ticketed or yelled at. So I walked towards a wall with my backpack and pretended to look for something while the crowd dissipated.

It was while standing at the wall that I notice a gate with a guard that’s used for passengers with large luggage. But he would stop me as well and ask to see my ticket. I had almost gathered my nerves when two women started asking the transit dude some questions. I hesitated for only a minute before swallowing hard, grabbing my pack and walking towards the gate. I smiled, looked straight ahead and walked right through without him noticing, and I kept walking! In fact I was too nervous to look back in case somebody had clued in!

Yep, I know what you’re thinking… “Oooo some rebel you are!” as you sarcastically whistle. But I’ll have you know that although I have never been inside some Turkish prison, I do have a problem with confrontation and sneaking past some transit dude who could cause some seriously embarrassing moments for me makes me a rebel. So raspberries to you!! ☺

Advertisements

Driving east on 9th Ave, past Fort Calgary, you’ll come to an old steel bridge with the word Inglewood overhead. Crossing the bridge is like leaving the big bad city and driving into small town Canada. It’s weird and cool all at once. Inglewood is said to be THE new hip neighbourhood in Calgary. I’ve visited Inglewood a few times now and as with all neighbourhoods (or small towns) a few places stand out each and every time.  One of those places is Spolombo’s.

Spolombo‘s is an authentic Italian Deli founded by 3 former CFL players (and childhood friends) Tom Spoletini, Mike Palumbo and Tony Spolentini. Spolombo’s is famous for their handmade sausages (which are a favourite during BBQ season).  In fact I have friends who drive out to Inglewood just to buy Spolombo sausage.  Although their sausages are good, I prefer their panini sandwiches.

Spolombo’s isn’t the only attraction in Inglewood. They also have several funky shops, and a Harley Davidson shop which is quite popular in the summer time. If you’re in Calgary at the beginning of August you won’t want to miss Inglewood Sunfest.

Inglewood Sunfest is a New Renaissance Arts Fair, and will be held on Saturday, August 1st from 11am – 5pm. Stroll 9th Avenue SE and check out the unique shops, yummy restaurants, and pubs. If shopping and eating is not your thing, check out the Art Bazaar filled with local Calgary artists, or watch one of the street performers. It’s one big street party, with bands playing on both ends of the avenue.

Munch on some grub at the Food Fair (located on the corner of 9th Avenue and 12 Street SE) and sit to watch the Fringe performers take the stage as they give you a sneak peek at their shows. Then go grab tickets to the theatrical performances you like to see at the Fringe Information Booth.

Whether you’re hungry, or looking for some funky shops to spend your money, Inglewood has a lot to offer. Personally, as a photography lover, I love to drive through the back streets to see what I can capture through the lens of my Nikon D60.

As I’ve mentioned before, I plan on shooting some video while I travel for my Niece whose 2yrs old. I know, she’s young. However she pretty smart and talking to her through video means she will know what I look like!! However, with this being my second video, I am still trying to master the art of filming myself and therefore I’m still cutting part of my head off!! I think I’ll have to invest in a tripod pretty soon. 🙂

This video will appear on her very own page on my new site design once it’s been coded etc. However, I’m not sure when the site will re-launch, so I’m giving you a sneak peak. I’ll warn you now, it’s pretty basic.

My apologies for not posting Blog Crawl Monday last week. There are weeks when work becomes so involved, that blogging suffers a little. However I’m back this week!

When I first started my blog crawling, I would crawl most of the day and list around 10 sites. However as the weeks have progressed I’ve discovered that the world of travel blogging is a very small one, and finding/stumbling new content is more challenging. For this reason I’ve decided to cut down the number of blogs I stumble to 5.

This week I decided to started with She’s In Love With the World – I’ve followed this blog for a little while now and thoroughly enjoy reading it. Be sure to follow Sarah and her friend Andrea as they travel through Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe!

Fox Nomad – We’ve heard about working smarter, not harder. FoXnoMad is geared towards traveling smarter and who doesn’t want to travel smarter? If you have a few minutes take some time to read “Are Poor Places Any More Real Than Rich Ones?” (Also, he has a wonderfully long links page and totally saved this weeks Blog Crawl!! haha )

Runaway Jane–  Jane is a fellow #rtwsoon traveler and therefore a kindred spirit. She has a wonderful eye for photography and I love the idea of posting pages from her sketchbook. I really enjoyed her post- “My Top Travel Films”.

New Adventures in Backpacking– A great blog with recent posts on travel in Asia. I like the idea of posts on the actual costs of travel in various cities/countires. There’s a lot of great content on this blog, so be sure to set aside some time on a comfy chair.

Gap Year Escape– I love Amar’s blog. He’s another traveler pursuing sustainable travel. His videos are entertaining and his posts are even better! I was so excited when I managed to crawl to this blog today. Truth be told, I had stumbled on it a month (or more) ago and liked what I read, but soon forgot the name!! Sorry Amar! However it’s firmly embedded in my brain and soon to be on my Links page as well. haha

**I know, there is a sudden theme to the blogs I’m crawling- I swear its not on purpose! If you have a blog you’d like to have included on a Blog Crawl, comment below with a link.

Rose & Crown on 4th St & 17th Ave SW

Everyone loves to find a place “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”. It gives you warm fuzzies when you walk in the door and the staff greets you by name with a friendly smile. It’s like coming home after a long trip.  However finding said bar/pub can be hard, very, very hard. Believe me, I know! It’s been a couple years since I left Niagara and my favourite bar of all time, The Wild Mushroom. I’ve looked for a new place here in Calgary and it’s taken me a year to find one.

    • Atmosphere.  I love the feel of pubs, the dark wood, and the warm and cozy feel, all of it. I think it’s partially due to the fact that I love anything worn and old. However “the crowd” that frequents the pub also makes a difference.  As I get older, I know that my neighbourhood pub needs to have a laid back feel to it. For example, I’ve gone to The Joyce on 4th– a great pub. But there is a very young, loud crowd that frequents the pub and after awhile it gets on my nerves. I want to come to the pub to relax, not party and hook-up- that’s what clubbing is for.
    • Staff– The staff can also make a big difference. I’ve been to pubs where the waitress’ are friendly enough when taking your order, but that’s about it. I’ve also been to pubs where the staff gets to know your name and use it in a way that makes you feel at home. There is nothing better than walking into your own personal Cheers and having a Norm!! Moment.
    • Food– As I mentioned above, a pub is a place to kick back, relax and enjoy. So it’s imperative that they offer yummy food. I love sipping a pint and munching on some nachos or relishing in the fried goodness that is beer-battered fish with homemade chips. However finding a pub with a unique menu (especially in Calgary) can be a challenge. I’ve been to Limerick’s, The Joyce on 4th and Kilkenny and although they had a pretty good Irish pub atmosphere, their menus are the same. I want a pub that stands on its own merits and food.
    • Music– If I’m at an Irish or Scottish Pub, then I want to listen to Irish or Scottish music while I’m there. It adds to the atmosphere. I love pubs that feature local singers. I spent St. Patrick’s Day at the Rose & Crown this year and had a great time, but what made the whole experience for me was the music. They had a singer- Brent Tyler performing Irish tunes (He’s actually a Swed, but he was good!). It was the icing on the cupcake for me.  At The Wild Mushroom in Niagara Falls we listened to great rock tunes, it suited to the bar and added to the patrons experience.

      Pubs are not Bars. A bar is a place you go all dressed up to party with your peeps or to pick someone up. A pub is a place you go to relax and genuinely get to know the people around you. You can find a bar anywhere and quite easily. Finding a pub takes time, but when you find it you feel like you’ve found the post of gold at the end of the rainbow.

      You may remember my post a couple weeks ago entitled Day One of No-Social-Life-In-Order-To-Save-Money-To-Travel-In-August has begun, where I explain my theory about having no social life in order to save money for travel. Until yesterday it’s been going pretty good. I’ve still buckled and bought my lunch occasionally, but that’s okay. I’ve been working or hanging at home, but lately I’ve started to feel a little worn out and tired. In all honesty, I haven’t thought much about it. I’ve chalked it up to eating too much sugar, diet soda and general crap and I’ve sworn to get healthy a.s.a.p.

      As I sat on my sofa early yesterday morning I contemplated as to whether I should go out and do something for St. Patrick’s Day or stay home and rest. If you’ve already read my previous post, you know I decided to go out and see what the city of Calgary had to offer, and I had a great time. I didn’t think about money or budgets. I thought about living in the moment, enjoying myself and looking for ways to share my days activities with my blog readers. In fact I wrote yesterdays post with a slight Guinness and Kilkenny induced buzz.

      Now, you may be asking yourself what the common denominator might be between the above paragraphs and I don’t blame you. Allow me to explain. Are you ready?? I woke up this morning and didn’t dread the thought of crawling out of bed. I started the day by putting my tights on backwards (it’s been like 3 years since I’ve worn tights, I forgot the rules, okay!), then after a quick correction I headed to work, where I found my head to be clear and my mood cheery. I didn’t feel the midday energy drop and I wasn’t watching the clock to see when I could go home. Simply put, I was happy and relaxed.

      I cannot be a hermit. I’ve tried and it makes me miserable and very, very tired! I need to be able to go out every once in awhile and enjoy myself. I’m not talking about spending loads of money, but spending some money to give myself a break is worth it in my books. As it is I now have plans to celebrate a staffs’ birthday on the 24th at the Ship & Anchor and then going to Dicken’s Pub April 17th to watch a co-workers’ cousins’ band (The Rose Alarm- check them out on iTunes).