Today is the last nice day we’ll see in Vancouver for a while, so we decided to do a quick photowalk through Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver.
Queen Elizabeth Park opened in 1902 and is the highest point in Vancouver, rising 168 metres above sea-level, overlooking the Vancouver skyline and North Shore Mountains. At the top of the park is the Bloedel Floral Conservatory. SciFi fans may recongize the grounds as settings for many scenes in Stargate SG1, which were filmed here.
Here are some of the better shots from our photowalk:Filed under Photography, Vancouver | Comment (1)
Today we drove to Calgary and our trip took us through the beautiful Rogers Pass in British Columbia. We were lucky and didn’t run into any snow on the roads, but we saw plenty on the mountain peaks above.
Here are a few pictures, which I took from the passenger seat of the car (Don’t worry.. I wasn’t photographing and driving):Photography, Travel | Comment (0)
I am always on the lookout for ways to save money when I travel. I’ve found that city tourist or attraction passes are usually an excellent value. Here’s how they work:
How City Passes Work
First, you purchase the pass online, from a travel agent, or through a tourist information office. The prices vary widely depending on what’s included. Most recently I bought a Go San Francisco Pass and it included over 50 attractions and a 7-day pass cost about $160US.
You will then be given either a ticket booklet or a chip card which you then take to the listed attractions and you get in for free (or a discount, depending on the card). For example, the Southern California City Pass includes admission to 4 major theme parks and they give you a booklet of tickets to present for entry in the park, whereas the Go San Francisco Card gives you a wallet sized chip card that you scan for admission to each attraction.
Getting the best value
Research the available passes for the city or region you are visiting before you go:
- Make a list of which included attractions you want to or have the means to visit (some are outside of town and require a car to visit).
- See how much it would cost to visit these attractions individually and compare that to the cost of the card.
- Check the validity dates of the pass you want to get. You may have the option to choose how many days you want the pass to be valid for, or it may give you a timeframe for the number of days your pass will be valid (from first activation).
- Make sure that you have time to fit in all the attractions you’re planning to visit within the validity of the card.
Some city or attractions passes may include free public transportation. If not, see if that city offers a daily, weekly, or special tourist transit passes. Even if their transit system seems complicated, after one or two rides you’ll get the hang of it (if not, I’ve found people are usually pretty helpful if you ask for directions).
City & Attraction Pass Websites
Here is a list of some city and attraction passes throughout the world. I’ve only listed a few, so feel free to add some of your favourite passes below and let us know what you thought of them! I’ve italicized the passes I’ve personally used.
- Smart Destinations (Blue Ridge, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Maui, Miami, New York City, Oahu, Orlando, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto).
- Smart Visit Solutions (Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania, and Vancouver)
- City Pass (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hollywood, Huston, New York, Philadelphia, San Fransciso, Seattle, Southern California, Toronto)
- The London Pass (London, England)
- Paris Museum Pass (Paris, France)
- The Dublin Pass (Dublin, Ireland)
Happy Travels!Filed under Mashups, Reviews, Travel | Comments (2)
Today was the first time I have been interviewed on a live webcast. The gang at Flight Centre asked me to join them via skype and talk a little about my travels and about being one of the newest Guest Bloggers for the Flight Centre Blog. It was an amazing experience.
It was a quick chat, but exciting nonetheless! I tuned in throughout the day to listen to other guests and it sounded like everyone had a great time.
Flight Centre did a travel expo in Vancouver earlier this year and it was a blast. I can’t wait until the next Flight Centre Vancouver Travel Expo!
Here is the UStream recording of the chat. It’s got some lag between the video and audio:
Congrats to Flight Centre on another successful travel expo!Filed under News, Travel | Comment (0)
Save money, time, and stress by outsourcing business tasks and projects to a contractor or freelancer. This is something I know a lot about because I am a contractor/freelancer. I’m going to give you a few tips to help you find someone to help your business.
Outsourcing saves you money. By hiring someone who works from their home office, you save the costs associated with having a regular employee (including medical benefits, providing a physical office space…etc). Especially if you just need the occasional help or help for a special project, outsourcing or bringing in staff on a contract basis makes great sense!
Outsourcing saves time. You probably have a to-do list longer than Santa. Hire a freelancer to get some of your “nice-to-do” list done while you focus on the most important task: running your business. Also, handing over regular daily, weekly, or monthly tasks can be a great time saver for you, and it gives the freelancer regular on-going work (which trust me, they love).
Outsourcing saves stress. When you have less on your plate you have less to stress about. Once you develop a relationship with a great external freelancer, you can turn the work over and trust that it will be done on-budget and on-time.
What to Outsource?
You can outsource anything from administration tasks, to marketing and communications projects, to research. Tasks that don’t require any in-depth knowledge of your business (like formatting reports) are the easiest to outsource.
For outsourcing projects requiring a specialized knowledge (like writing, editing, communications or marketing, or design), look for a freelancer with skills and training in these areas.
Where to Find Freelancers?
First, ask colleagues and other business associates if they recommend anyone? Word of mouth is the best way to find good freelancers. If you are looking for a freelancer with specialized knowledge, talk to local professional associations or post-secondary schools.
You can always try finding help through classifieds (like Craig’s List). It can be hit or miss to find anyone suitable in all the applications you receive, or all the ads you read, but it can’t hurt to try.
Outsource Your Projects Today!
Why pay someone for 40 hours a week, when they are only completing 20 hours of actual work? Freelancers and contractors can be brought in whenever you need them and they will only bill you for the time they actively spend working on your projects.
With today’s advances in internet, email, video conferencing, and online project collaboration tools and communication, we have the means to work from anywhere in the world. We can work from home around a schedule that is mutually beneficial to the contractor and the employer, saving time and stress for business owners.
Outsource some of your work to see the benefits!Filed under Web Tips | Comments (4)
Inspiring! Earlier this year I read the book “One Red Paperclip.” It is the true story of Kyle, a man from Belcarra, BC (near my hometown of Coquitlam, BC), who decided to trade a small, red paper paperclip for a house…Well, not directly.
Getting a house was his ultimate goal. He started with a lonely, red paperclip from his desk, and traded it for something slightly better. Then trading that for something slightly better… and so on, until he traded to a house. He started seeking trades through Craigslist (my favourite classifieds site) then later started his own website so people could see the current trade and make offers. He was also invited to many radio and TV shows to share his story.
This book is simply an amazing read. I remember hearing about this guy several years back. Then while browsing a book store in Sydney, Australia I found his book and HAD to buy it. Not only was the premise of his idea amazing, he was also from my hometown (well, two cities over, but close enough). He also wrote about making a trade at a 7-11 convenience store in Vancouver, and I knew the exact one he was talking about.
I was so hypnotized by his story that I read the entire 2nd half of his book in one sitting. I envied his adventures and felt inspired to start my own trading mission (I never did, but I was still inspired).
Click on the link below to get a listing of bookstores that sell Kyle’s book. This list is straight from his website.
One Red Paperclip: How a Small Piece of Stationery Turned into a Great Big Adventure
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for any kind of inspiration. This book gets 5 stars:Filed under Reviews, Vancouver | Comment (0)
Hello to all! We have finally returned from my road trip across the Western US. Twenty-four days is a long time to be away and both Dan and I are very glad to be home cooking our own meals and sleeping in our own bed!
I’ll be posting some photos and a recap from our trip soon.
After this month-long hiatus from the WriterGal blog, I’m excited to get back into the WriterGal blog again.Expect some more mash-ups, travel-related postings, and perhaps some photography. Part of our trip took us through Napa and Sonoma wine country and I now have a new interest in wine, so I may be sharing some of my new wine discoveries on the WriterGal blog!
As always, you never know where life will take you. We’ll just go with the flow and see what happens next…Filed under News, Travel | Comment (0)