Theme: The Voyage of Discovery Phase: Phase 1: Part 2 Country: United States of America (USA) & Canada Language: English & French Unit of Currency: US dollars & Canadian dollars Location: USA: Massachusetts, Maine, and Pennsylvania | Canada: Montréal, Québec City, and Toronto Year: 2015 Bucket list: Having my younger brother, Josh experience Canada for the 1st time
- Becoming international secret agents for the day and completing missions in Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA at 5 wits
Randomly, we found a unique adrenaline activity to partake in (well 2), the first one was Espionage and the second one was 20,000 Leagues. My little brother, Josh and I were international secret agents. During the mission we had to crawl, jump, and work in teams to infiltrate, investigate and unravel the plot. Each decision that we made affected the storyline and outcome. With cracking safes, hacking computers, and dodging laser beams it was a very interactive experience, and to date one of our favorite adrenaline activities in the Northeastern part of the US.
And, 20,000 leagues had Josh and I solving a half dozen of puzzles to get out of an underwater submarine and reach the surface to safety before the flood gates opened.
- Experiencing Gillette Stadium for the 1st time
A little background about Gillette Stadium, compliments of Wikipedia – Gillette Stadium is located in Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA, 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston and 20 miles (32 km) from downtown Providence, Rhode Island. It serves as the home stadium and administrative offices for both the NFL’s New England Patriots football franchise and the MLS’s New England Revolution soccer team. In 2012, it also became the home stadium for the football program of the University of Massachusetts (UMass), making it the largest football stadium in the Mid-American Conference.
My younger brother, Josh has always wanted to visit Gillette Stadium since one of his favorite NFL teams plays there at every home game —preseason, regular season, and playoffs.
I asked Josh to reveal his impressions of the New England Patriot’s famous stadium. He mentioned the following statement:
“Standing in front of the Gillette Stadium is something that I have always wanted to do as a little boy. Knowing that Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Malcolm Butler, and others played their best on this field was a highlight of my trip here in New England. Not to mention, they did win Super Bowl XXXVI.”
“To make this experience more momentous, my sister and I were able to capture a few signature jumpin’ photographs next to the stadium.”
Boston and Foxborough, both have been great cities in Massachusetts. The history and architecture of Boston is worth a visit – not to mention the New England Aquarium is very cool.
To top off our time in Foxborough, we tried the locals favorite sliders at a sports pub, Bar Louie, next to Gillette Stadium. We even met a really sweet girl, Courtney who talked highly about the New England Patriots. *Thank you Courtney for your hospitality!
- Driving to Île d’Orléans, across the only bridge from Québec City, Canada to venture around an island where farming and all forms of agriculture thrive year round
As we drove around the island, we were able to check out the areas of Sainte Pétronille, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Jean, Saint François, Sainte Famille, and Saint-Pierre. All of them were unique and offered a bit of history in each destination. The gift shops and artisans were keen for us to sample their cider, terrines, confits, apple butter, and other local delicacies.
- Being part of the development process for Montréal’s Biodome – a portion of our proceeds goes to the exhibit to help create a more accurate representation of the 4 ecosystems
The Montreal Biodome was incredible! Listed below are the 4 ecosystems:
1) The Tropical Forest is a replica of the South American rainforest.
2) The Laurentian Forest is a replica of the North American wilderness. With a large focus on Canada’s environment.
3) The Saint Lawrence Marine Eco-system is an estuary habitat modeled on the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
4) A polar area that is divided into Arctic and Antarctic.
The best part: an ecosystem of Canada’s backyard, displaying small animals, birds, plants, and trees.
*Important note: GoPros are not allowed in the Biodome – we did not get the memo until after we snapped this particular photo.
Apparently, a few visitors decided to use their selfie sticks for the wrong reason, to capture photographs up close and personal touching the animals. To take it to the next level, a few used their waterproof housing to take underwater photographs of the fish and marine invertebrates. It is a shame, because we both were pretty pumped to get some great shots and videos! Where else in the world can you discover a dome?
We did manage to get this video outside Montréal’s Biodome, and in front of the Olympic Stadium! Notice: I meant to say 4, not 5 ecosystems in the video – currently, the Biodome is looking to add another exhibit!
- Capturing video and photography at Canada’s Niagara Falls
According to the book, ” Greatest Wonders of the World” written by Vikas Khatr, Niagara Falls is listed as one of The Seven Forgotten Natural Wonders of the World. The other six are Angel Falls, The Bay of Fundy, Iguaçú Falls, Krakatoa Island, Mount Fuji, and Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Experiencing Québec City and learning about its history
The time in Québec City has been amazing! As much as Josh and I do not want to leave this unique destination, Montreal awaits.
Checklist for Québec City:
1) Ate Escargot at Café de paris X
You know you are in Canada, when a sweet gentleman, Kevin, helps you open your door and starts speaking enthusiastically French phrases and contagiously smiling. I was taken a bit by surprise, so I somehow mixed French and Spanish together during our conversation! I am most definitely working on my French, so that I will be ready for cute Canadian guys like Kevin to meet my acquaintance. Who says chivalry is dead?!?
And, this is yet another friendly local that we met on our tour – please meet Jules, a Canadian photographer who came on the island to capture a few shots of nearby skiers. He was more than happy to take a photograph with Oakley and I before his departure. Note: Jules is also featured in the “Friendly Faces around the World with Oakley.”
Next stop: Montréal, Québec
- Visiting Montréal and eating our way around the city with a few locals
Montréal was sweet! Literally, there were loads of desserts to choose from! My little brother, Josh and I met the owner, Steve, of a cozy and delicious establishment known as Restaurant Miami Deli – Open 24 Hr – Ouvert 24hr – oddly enough, he loves Marathon Key, FL as much as we do!
INTERACTIONS AROUND THE WORLD:
- Adding to the “Friendly Faces Around the World with Oakley” photography album – a quick pose with a few of the best from Phase 1: Part 2 of the world tour. Including a photograph with one of my favorite professional travel bloggers, Kate McCulley! Before Phase 1: Part 2, I just traveled with her in Central America’s countries, El Salvador and Guatemala! My first group tour! Be sure to check out Adventurous Kate and her ventures around the world!
- Acting as Antonia Napier at a Pirate Party hosted by one of my good friend’s group of friends in Bar Harbor, Maine. Of course, Josh was my “father” Governor Napier. Highly recommend attending a Pirate Party!
Details we were given before the event:
Here are a few favorites of the event:
Hiccups on Phase 1: Part 2:
No matter where you travel in the world, there’s always a chance that something might not go according to plan. Take for instance, the CN tower and its thrill-seeker adrenaline activity “edge-walk.” Unfortunately, it does not open up until next week, so Josh and I will have to come back through here before heading over to Newfoundland later this summer.
Then there’s the copious amount of rain that we had in Toronto (mixed with a strong breeze, rain, and sleet; it definitely created a very “interesting” experience, and a rather cold one as well!)
The good news is that Toronto is known for its food, and one of our favorite dining experiences was at Canyon Creek Restaurant. Here we had an amazing assortment of appetizers, prime rib horseradish-creme sandwich, and tomato roasted chicken penne pasta. All were as delicious as they sound!
It’s that time again where I need to head back to work, and so the journey begins returning to the states! Cross your fingers that we will not get held up in customs and immigration long!
P.S. Here’s a photograph from inside Oakley! One of these times we will upload our karaoke session!