Port Hope

I really didn’t have the chance to enjoy the beginning of summer, so I’m trying to make the most out of it this July to September. Since I couldn’t fly back to Southern state this year, I decided to drive around the Province. Time is never wasted in exploring places anyway. I visited a few already but so far, this one is the apple of my eye. Port Hope, a beautiful town rich in Canadian history is located at southeast Ontario.

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They have theatre, cafe, ice cream shops, museum, dining etc. Downtown Port Hope is dolled up for visitors to enjoy their stay. They have this river that goes all the way to Lake Ontario. As usual, summer weekends are always fun in any town in Ontario (or should I say warm Canadian area?). Port Hope is setting up concerts, farmer market, festivals, etc. In the fort night they will have a fishing event. Since the town is surrounded by river, I wouldn’t be surprised that fishing is included in the lifestyle of the community.

_DSF2015They got a fire fighter museum! Sadly, it wasn’t open during that time. Well, I couldn’t really go in since I’m with my dog.

 

 

 

 

YES! I’m with my doggie!!

 

 

See that happy face? She’s enjoying all our weekends this August. I decided to limit our time in small towns instead of trails and Provincial park cause it’s still doesn’t listen to “come” command. But I was able to visit a local bookstore for a short time.

The Furby House Books! The bookstore is really pretty and I made sure the person who’s maintaining it knows how pretty it is. This is actually the moment I decided that I will make a new tradition. In every place I’ll visit, I’ll make sure to stop by an indie bookshop and pick a book that will somehow remind me of the place.

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And with that said, guess what I picked?

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Uhuh, I got “F**k it, do what you love“. A town with a nearby beach is always something that I like. Growing up in a country with 7107 islands, with beautiful beaches, makes me look for something close to it. It may not be fine white sand or big crashing waves, but the fact that it’s a living water makes me feel relaxed.

SO, anyway. Furby is beautiful, I just got lost in finding some books. Not really sure at first how it was arranged.

 

I only took pictures of downtown and river area, I wasn’t able to take picture of the beach.

 

Overall, my score for Port Hope small town is 9/10.

 

 

Albany, New York and its million dollar staircase

 

From Toronto to Albany, 630 km driven, 2 coffee cups, 1 bag of chips, 4:30 am wake up call and a nice New York State Capitol.

 

The winter didn’t stop us from driving, since we have our trusted winter tires installed in the car. And yes, we used a sedan instead of a compact car or SUV. We were kind of worried if ever we stalled somewhere in the interstate but, we got insurance anyway.

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We parked at Sate street just near the Capitol since it’s  free parking on Tuesday in between the hours we arrived! It was really a lucky day to begin our roadventures!

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In front of the NY State capitol is the old building of State Assembly. The freezing weather is manageable since this is south of Canada.

We didn’t have any itinerary to begin with. Everything we did is just all about impulse with the help of TripAdvisor, stock knowledge of history  and slight experience of the area. All we wanted to do is take a picture of great architecture, find anything interesting and just go out and see different places. If we have the entire month to drive, we will definitely stay longer than a day in this city.

I wish the Assembly Chamber staircase in the 3rd picture is much more detailed than it is. The feeling of the light coming from the ceiling gives more emphasis on the carvings of the staircase. According to the brochure, NY State Capitol staircases are the most prominent feature of the building and we couldn’t agree more on that –

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And of course, the infamous Million Dollar staircase! It’s really called The Great Westerb staircase, they said there were a lot of restoration done to rebuild and reinforce the staircase and they’ve done a really good job in maintaining it for the future generation of New Yorkers!

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HA! Focus on the staircase handrail and you would really see that there are detailed carvings, some are actually faces (ex. Lincoln)

 

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Senate chambers where I feel like I belong (say hello to my destiny. lol) There’s an actual tour that we didn’t avail since we are heavy readers of brochures and we want to take our time certain section. I would love to visit and devour the interior architecture of the Capitol! Pictures can’t capture the ambiance and feeling when you’re in it.

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War Room Ceiling

Beside the Capitol, they have this performing arts venue called the Egg. Maybe it’s the shape of an egg, but for me it looks like a UFO

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The Egg

We never explored the area around the Capitol but it looks like there are more things Albany has to offer. I’ll definitely come and visit again for a full day if ever our plan to Vermont persist!

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How I became a Trusted Traveler

Coming in and out of Canada/US may not be a burden for Canadians/Americans but the volume of people is really hard to endure. Any Canadian/American knows how long an immigration line could be during Holidays.

I remember the time when Delta airlines used to have only one line for all flights going out of Toronto. This means that even if your flight is later than other people, you will have to line up with them. I actually had a first hand experience of this situation. I arrived at the airport 3.5 hours before my flight but due to the unsystematic line up the plane almost left me. 

I didn’t really bother to enrol at first since I’m not planning to go on a monthly out of the country trip. But unforeseen circumstances happen and having one became a need.

So, the first question is.. – What is Trusted Traveler Program?

It saves you time by skipping the long lines in immigration. Card holders are considered as low-risk and pre approved traveler. 

Is it easy to apply?

You’ll undergo background check -national identity, criminal records, and so on. It would take weeks for it to review the application. If you get cleared, you’ll get a conditional approval status and next step will be the interview.

After successful interview, they will send you your global entry card that you could use whenever you travel either by land, by air, or by marine. 

Limitations

If you’re traveling with a non-nexus person, you’re not allowed to use your nexus. 

It’s really a GREAT feeling to know that you’re being trusted by the country.Overall it’s worth going through all the process. 😊

Statues, Concretes and Streets of NYC

 

2 days in NYC is not enough. I fell in love with the city the moment I step foot in Manhattan. I’m always a fan of building architectures specially when there are pillars and statues (Who wouldn’t by the way). Manhattan, New York offers a lot of that from 21st inspired buildings to old concretes. I could stare in Wall St. buildings or City hall building for a day or just tour around MET.:) I would definitely go back to NYC this year! MARK IT!

PANORAMA: DOWNTOWN and another weird incident

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Nathan Philips Square

Kids and even adults are enjoying their skates. If only I’m not scared to break my knees again I would definitely try it on a negative two digit temperature. I’m amazed how they can tolerate the wind chill knowing they can feel the breeze of the cold air while skating.

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SKATES and SNACKS

They also have skate rentals in case you don’t have your own. And  also a snack bar if you feel hungry or just want something to chew 🙂

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Yonge-Dundas Square

After I stroll around Bay, Adelaide, and Queen Street, I went back to Eaton Centre for DAIRY QUEEN! I was craving for their chicken strips that I recently saw in a commercial but it saddened me that the only DQ they have in the mall is only a kiosk that only sell ice creams. I ended up eating in A&W with their TEEN BURGER that I forgot to ask for them to remove the cheese, so instead, I remove it myself. After eating, I went for a walk, and a funny thing happened when I wanted to get inside H&M store. There was a man in early 20s, lying on the ground with eyes closed (maybe unconscious). People (not that too near but not distant) were trying to revive him, it didn’t caught my attention at first since I was talking to my mom about what happened in the interview I just had. I was standing in the concourse while waiting for our conversation to end, I didn’t notice that the man was already up and he walked towards the trash cans near me. I just felt like he was walking near me when people try to draw their attention near the spot where I am standing. He lost his balance again and fell unconscious on the top of the trash cans. People were very concern about him but not necessarily feasting over the scene, they kept their distance (Private space is really observed). A man was about to throw his trash and felt (okay, maybe) concerned that he somehow, tapped the guy on top-slash-blocking the trash cans. So, I went back to replying to my mother’s relentless questions until I felt that something or someone is slowly walking towards you -human instinct. And then I started to run but I kept my voice down even though I really want to and SHOUT so loud. After realising that I ran away from him, he walked towards an old woman (well not that VERY old) and hugged him from the back, maybe to give him support while standing. And the old woman was shocked and some man tried to call his attention that it’s not appropriate and some guy called police/security/911. I feel like he’s on drugs, intoxicated or really sick/helpless. The people didn’t judge him, they were really trying to help him. I hope he’s okay now.

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INDIGO BOOKS

“The world needs more Canada” – This was written in the wall of the stair case. I was overwhelmed by books and I wanted to buy everything I saw that really caught my heart. I’ll be back for it and will surely buy everything I need to fill my new SOON to be library! HAHA!

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Old City Hall, Queen Street

It’s just beside Nathan Philip Square. This was taken first among all those pictures uploaded in this entry. 🙂 This sums up everything that happened in my day. A coffee, great buildings/architecture and courteous people around. Towards a positive 2014!

P.S.

I love how Toronto Police ride a horse rather cars! It feels ancient, cool and some real authority is showing.;)

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