Sunday, 29 July 2012

Every little bit counts....Hotel Rewards

 Okay as promised, here are the links to the hotel reward programs we use, hopefully they work.  Some of these also offer airline miles. 
Marriott Rewards
This is the one where we just scored two free nights.   Shame they were not there before our last trip.
  • JW Marriott®,
  • Renaissance®
  • Marriott® Hotels & Resorts
  • Marriott Vacation Club®
  • Courtyard by Marriott®
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott®
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott®
  • Residence Inn by Marriott®

Wyndham Rewards

Covers the following brands:
  • Baymont
  • Days Inn
  • Hawthorn Suites
  • Howard Johnson
  • Knights Inn
  • Microtel
  • Ramada
  • Super 8
  • Travelodge
  • Wingate by Wyndham
I don't think there are any sign up bonuses at the moment.
  • Earn points or miles at over 6,500 locations
  • Free high speed internet
  • Complimentary welcome snack and drink
  • Enjoy free nights with no blackout dates*
  • Choose from hundreds of reward options


Covers the following brands:
  • Waldorf Astoria®,
  • Conrad®,
  • Hilton®,
  • DoubleTree by Hilton™,
  •  Embassy Suites®,
  •  Hilton Garden Inn®,
  • Hampton Inn®,
  • Hampton Inn & Suites®,
  •  Homewood Suites®,
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton® and
  • Hilton Grand Vacations®

Choice Hotels

  • Comfort Inn
  • Comfort Suites
  • Quality
  • Sleep Inn
  • Clarion

 Hope that helps!



Friday, 27 July 2012

Day 4.....Skagway Alaska...Love that word, Skagway.

Saturday July 14th, means we are in Skagway. 

While eating breakfast, yep I understand why everyone puts weight on while on a cruise, the kids said they saw a seal.  No one else did, so it was a bit of a yeah sure sweetie moment. 

Its a teeny little place, who's roots lie with the gold rush in the Yukon.  In its time it must have been on heck of a place.  Now less than a thousand people live here and most of the business is reliant on the cruise ships that dock here. 

Not too shabby a view to wake up to

Here is the ship and a glimpse of the train, more about that later!

There is a town bus that for $2 a trip or $5 unlimited all day

You can read more about Skagway here and here

Bizzy and Nanna B on the bus, it stops all up and down the main street.

The main street is called Broadway.  The shops have all been done up in period style and the sidewalks are all wooden.  Takes a bit to get use to.  Like all the ports, there are a heap of jewellery shops, mostly diamonds and tanzanite.  You have to barter the prices, which is something I hate doing.   I did hear one bracelet start at $1600 and the lady walked  away at $250 cash.

The ship had a shopping consultant who "is there to get you the best deal" , although I wonder given the amount of bling she had on, who the best deal is for?????  They have sessions on the cruise ship about shopping and give out freebie vouchers.  Its all tat but we thought it was fun to pick up a few for Biz.  She of course loved it.

Aaahhh didn't go in here, it was a brothel and is one of the most popular tourist attractions.  You need to be over sixteen to visit, so it must be ..... educational?

Biz and the Bear

Biz heading back to the ship.


Oh and there really was a seal, sorry kids!

Okay it is as good a photo as the bear one, wait until you see the whale ones!

Breakfast in the Lido

This is our new morning ritual, just me and Miss B.
Kind of strange just having one kid to worry about. 
Its so much easier and less stress full and my coffee doesn't get cold.
She is having 2 fried eggs, bacon, toast and a hot chocolate.

We are still working on manners.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Vancouver Aquarium

Everything you read about Vancouver and kids say to go here.  Its at Stanley Park, which is huge and incredibly beautiful.  When you walk in, there are all these display tanks with different marine life.

Pretty cool jellyfish.

Bubble Boy!

Nurse Bella

Serious business this fixing seals.  Apron goes well with the sparkle shoes.

Now what do we have to do?

Nope cant hear anything.

Two seals...


Fishing game.

I'll admit I was a little disappointed with some of the animal displays, they were pretty small and I kept thinking about seaworld on the Gold Coast.  Which is a really bad thing to do when you are trying to experience something different....

Then we stumbled across the downstairs viewing area for the beluga show.  There are three belugas we saw.

This one saw Bella and came back for a closer look.

and again.. It did it several times and even pressed its head up against the window to get close.  Guess it liked Bella and all we heard for the next day was Beluga, Beluga....and I thought it was great.  Sometimes its more about the experience and the moment than the size or cost.

Towel Animals

The kids thought these were great.....

There was a new one each night on the bed. 

Three little monkeys!

Monday, 23 July 2012

Day 1....Vacouver Departure, we are sailing

Just before 5pm on Wednesday afternoon we were finally off.  The ship starts boarding around 11 am, we got there about noon and there were lines to go through immigration and then check in but they were not too bad.  A tour group had arrived just before we did and one after, if we had timed it better,I think we would have go through boarder security quicker.  These guys were a lot more pleasant than the usual ones you encounter at airports or worse still the land crossings.

The check in was quick, they took all our photos, issues us with cards and tagged the kids.  The kids had to wear wrist bands for the whole week.  The bands had the lifeboat number they were in on them so if they were at kids club someone would bring them to the correct life boat.

We were able to drop our hand luggage in the room and were off to check things out.  Lunch was being served in the Lido deck.  Kids thought it was fantastic. I did too, they could each have whatever they wanted and I wasn't shouting, I'm not running a restaurant, you know!

The evacuation drill was held before we left port, Rhys was very attentive and more than a little worried it might be real.  He was very happy when it was over!

Bunch of people milling around on the back deck and a couple of keen kids in the pool!

Checking out the upper decks. Wind was blowing Bella's dress up !

Escorted out by the water police.

Float plane overhead.
There were heaps taking off and landing on the harbour. 
We saw hundreds during our trip.  You don't realise how many are used up here.

Just fitting under a bridge.

Cute little lighthouse.

Toys on the bridge.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Mont Tremblant in the Summer

We wondered what it was going to look like in Summer after spending Christmas there (and that was gorgeous).  Summer was just as nice.  There are flowers everywhere and heaps of people.  It was a really busy weekend being Canada Day and a long weekend.  Everyone seemed to be out and about.  The weather was beautiful and it was fantastic to relax together. 

Mountaineer Hayden, love the look!
Switzerland next time?

Main Street

Look What They Did to Daddy!!!

Off we go...

We are off to Mont Tremblant for the long weekend.  It's Canada Day and time to get out of town.

Everyone is happy, except for Rhys!  Until we decided it was time for the Adventures of Brown Bear........more to follow on that!