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About Milhouse

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Vancouver, BC
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Istanbul, Santorini

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  1. How about Musee Mechanique, a few blocks from Ghirardelli's. It has a large collection of mechanical arcade games that you can put a quarter or two in and play. I think we spent about $5 in there and had a fun time. A couple of machines ate our quarters though. We didn't bother trying to get a refund but it looked like they'll get your game going or give your quarter back if you asked.
  2. I love Thrifty's but they don't have locations that convenient for us. Going to have to pick up a set to try the next time we're near one. We typically go to the Valley Bakery on Hastings in Burnaby to pick up a variety of small desserts including a couple Nanaimo bars to bring to parties or family gatherings.
  3. Personally, I don't recall a lot of places selling Nanaimo bars downtown but it's not like we're always on the lookout for them. When in downtown, we normally go to a chain called Breka but they don't seem to sell them. Urban Fare definitely sells them. The missus' team at work received a dessert tray from Urban Fare as a gift last week that included a few Nanaimo bars. She brought a few leftovers home, including a Nanaimo bar. I only thought it was meh but it did sit out on a table for half the afternoon. We went for a walk downtown tonight and dropped in the Urban Fare by Coal Harbour on the way back to the car/Breka. They had one Nanaimo bar for $2.50 which is pretty reasonable IMO. (Not sure why the glass over the price tag was translucent.)
  4. We struggle with this too since you can pretty much get anything online nowadays. However, a couple things we've brought back as gifts and for ourselves during past trips have been: Peugeot salt and pepper grinders Spices from farmers markets Specialty mustard from the Maille store.
  5. I'm assuming the OP is referring to Vancouver, walking from Canada Place to Sun Yat Sen Gardens? Distance-wise, I think it's a reasonable walk. I occasionally walk from the vicinity of Granville & Georgia to New Town Bakery (which is about a block east of the gardens) after work with my laptop bag, to pick up some pastries. The main issue is route selection as some streets can feel a bit sketchy (or outright unpleasant). I'd probably walk along Cordova onto Water Street to explore Gastown, then south on Abbott, and then east along Pender. Personally, I don't find Chinatown as great of a tourist area to explore any more as there generally isn't much of a buzz. However, there are a number of interesting eateries (Asian and other) in the area. Edit: Oops, just saw the subsequent replies.
  6. The Tokyo page on Wikitravel lists a couple of options: By taxi A taxi to central Tokyo is extremely expensive, on the order of ¥30000 if you hail one directly by yourself (equivalent to a few nights stay in the average Tokyo hotel), and you are more likely to get stuck in a traffic jam than save any time. Flat fare taxi cabs to Tokyo go for around ¥17000-19000 from special taxi ranks, but even so, if you're in a hurry, it's generally much faster and cheaper to take the Narita Express or the Skyliner, and change to a taxi upon arriving in Tokyo or Ueno. If you're not in a hurry, consider the airport limousine bus. Tokyo MK Taxi and Cab Station Ltd offer advanced bookings for taxis in English. Their prices are more or less equivalent to the flat-fare prices noted above, once additional fees are figured in.
  7. We flew on Vueling from Rome to Barcelona after our cruise in 2013 so things may be different. Our experience: Our flight was delayed by about an hour, which is common risk when flying on a LCC. I'm 5'11" and I found the seat pitch fairly tight but for a sub two hour flight, I could live with it. I would consider flying with them again. It looks like Easyjet also flies from Paris to Barcelona too so you may want to check them out as an option too but keeping in mind it's a LCC too (ie delay potential, leg room issues, extra fees for luggage especially if you didn't book ahead, etc).
  8. Maybe there's track maintenance going on or a labour disruption? There seems to be trains from Paris to Montpellier and Toulouse but not from Montpellier and Toulouse to Barcelona on Oct 26. Maybe you can train it down to one of those cities and then bus it the rest of the way to Barcelona. Alternatively, maybe you can do a LCC like Vueling and fly from Paris to Barcelona? Many years back, we booked the reverse, Barcelona to Paris and our plans got derailed due to a train strike in Spain. We had to scramble and ended up taking a bus to Montpellier and then taking the TGV to Paris. (Our trip was further complicated by needing to change buses half way to Montpellier do to a mechanical issue and the TGV stopping for like an hour in the middle of nowhere due to debris on the electrical lines.)
  9. Pretty similar thoughts. Not sure if this will be an issue when you will be there but we were in Paris late June during a bit of a heat wave and the heat was pretty challenging due to the lack of shade in some areas from the wide boulevards and lack of shadows from trees and buildings. We generally love walking through the neighbourhoods too. Some areas I think are more interesting to walk through than others of course, so there might be some value in taking the metro/bus on some segments to pick up some speed to allow for more time in some locations or tack on some locations. We did a somewhat similar walk in the past from the Louvre to Arc de Triomphe, to the Eiffel tower. It's an easy and relatively flat. It's a nice walk starting from the Louvre through Tuileries Garden to the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe so there might be value in taking the metro from Gare St Lazare to the Louvre as your starting point. While it was a pleasant walk, I don't recall the segment from the Arc de Triomphe to Jardins du Trocadero (viewpoint across from the Eiffel Tower) being that special viewpoint-wise. I'd probably want to take the metro for the last leg to Gare Nord, though I wouldn't consider it crazy if you wanted to walk. There are some areas of interest from the Eiffel Tower/Champ de Mars on the way towards Gare Nord: Rue Cler, Hotel des Invalides, Rodin Museum, D'Orsay Museum, (and I guess you can see Tuileries Garden on the way back instead). We walked from the D'Orsay to Champ de Mars, exploring the area in between during a previous trip. There are some narrow sidewalks depending on the route you take (eg. zig zag along some of the side streets to explore). I'd probably try to be more on alert in and around Gare du Nord because there's so much activity and people waiting/loitering so one can easily be distracted. We ate at a place near Gare Nord called Brasserie Bellanger. Friendly staff and great food. However, I don't think dinner service starts as early at 6pm. They will be serving drinks and likely small dishes.
  10. Thanks for the background info on using +.
  11. I always have to google it myself to get a briefer when calling LD or travelling and trying to make a call. If you are calling from the US Internationally, you need to dial : 011 to indicate that you are dialing to outside of North America, then 62 Indonesia's country code then xx the mobile carrier code (apparently this can be two or three digits beginning with 😎 (if calling a landline, this changes to the city code eg 21 for Jakarta) then yyyyyyy the local number. For example: 011 62 81 12345678 If you are trying to text them from the US, I'd drop the 011. For example: 62 81 12345678 If you are calling his cell while in Indonesia, you obviously don't need the country code so it would be 0 since you apparently need to dial 0 to call cell phones xx the mobile carrier code yyyyyyyy the local number For example: 0 81 12345678 https://www.justlanded.com/english/Indonesia/Indonesia-Guide/Telephone-Internet/Phoning-in-Indonesia
  12. It obviously depends on where your interests lie. We like exploring neighbourhoods seeking out food places that we've researched. IMO, there's enough in Tokyo to keep you occupied for three days but you can also do one of the (relatively) easy daytrips to nearby towns/areas/attractions. When we go to Tokyo, we usually visit Shinjuku, Harajuku, and Shibuya neighbourhoods on the western side of Tokyo and Asakusa on the eastern side (and tack on some new stuff). There are key shrines, parks, attractions, shopping streets/arcades, and food areas in those neighbourhoods. On our latest trip, the attraction that blew us away as teamLab Planets. They have about five different rooms that are configured to wow your senses. It might not be for everyone though as you do have to take off your shoes and walk in knee high water in some parts. It's also a slight effort to get there with likely couple of transfers depending on where you are coming from. We haven't cruised out Tokyo/Yokohama yet but have daytripped to Yokohama from Tokyo. In Yokohama, we (oddly) spend a lot of time wandering its Chinatown district and the waterfront area along Yamashita Park. Transportation in Tokyo is generally pretty straight forward, particularly if you do a lot of DIY travel on public transit in other cities. But there are a few tips to be aware of so I'd recommend doing some quick reading on the resources below. For resources, a couple of main ones we use are: Japan Guide Wikitravel Tokyo Cheapo One last heads up is that it looks like you are arriving the week before Golden Week. Not sure where your cruise is taking you but during Golden Week where this is a string of stat holidays, people in Japan take the week off and do a lot of site seeing so attractions and public transport will be busier than usual depending on where you are.
  13. Yeah, we've been hearing quite of measles infection alerts in Vancouver/YVR airport from people travelling back from Asia (though I think the last two were from travellers to/from China and the Philippines). I got the MMR vaccine as a child but I read that for people born after 1970, you may want a second dose/booster. I'll probably get another dose before my next trip to Asia. One other immunization to potentially consider is Japanese encephalitis. The risk of infection is low however there's no treatment of the infection (only the symptoms) after the fact. The cost of the preventative vaccine is pretty steep too (~$300). I only got it because I was going to a somewhat rural part of India for work and the company paid for it. During previous personal land trips to all the places you list, I didn't get the JE vaccine. The main thing though, is to prevent mosquito bites with bug spray.
  14. Tap & Barrel and Cactus Club are likely your best good and easy options near Canada Place with a view. That Cactus Club (and the one by English Bay) get pretty busy though so you may want to consider making reservations (online). My favourite poutine downtown is literally a hole in the wall with no seating called Mean Poutine which is only about a block and a half from the Wall Centre. Another dinner option is Earl's (Test Kitchen but it's actually a full restaurant) which also only a block from your hotel (but also has a few other locations scattered around the downtown core). It's another chain on par with Cactus Club and they are also usually busy so a reservation would be handy. They have a great happy hour before 6pm and after 9pm. If you make it to Gastown on Friday night (instead of Saturday morning), I'd recommend the Irish Heather which is a delicious gastropub. Another Friday night option I love to suggest in the summer is to take the seabus across to the North Shore where you can visit the Lonsdale Quay Market, open to 8pm, and the Shipyards Night Market which runs to 10pm. Behind Lonsdale Quay there's salsa dancing in the plaza on Friday nights. The outdoor night market is free, has live entertainment (cover band), a rotation of food trucks, and a great view of the inlet/downtown Vancouver/Stanley Park. There's also a Tap & Barrel if you want to go that route for dinner.
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