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Nic's all work and maybe some play world tour

Well, here I go on my maiden voyage abroad as I embark on my Eric Pearson Study Grant adventure.
Departing Sydney on October 6th 09 and returning January 5th 10.

I'll try to keep you updated as often as I can on my whereabouts as you follow my adventures round the world.
Feel free to drop me a line!!

Diary Entries

Sunday, 03 January 2010

Location: Vancouver, Canada

OMG!! Where have the last 3 months gone???

I am sitting at Vancouver airport, now awaiting my flight home to Aus!

Besides my busted knee (which is on the 'to do' list when I get home) I've had a pretty lucky trip! Can't complain about the weather, it's been pretty great everywhere; met some amazing people, had an amazing time AND have made it around the world with overweigh bags at every check in and haven't been charged excess once! in fact, today I even checked 3 bags in for the trip home to save having to lugg 2 bags on the plane! so its just me and my trusty back pack!

Spent my last day yesterday out and about (well as much as I can get out and about) up at the Spray Lakes in the afternoon riding in a dogsled. What a heap of fun! crazy dogs pulling a sleigh with 3 people on/in it! I just sat back and let everyone else do the work- well i could hardly run up the hills now could I?? so beautiful up there- much further up the mountains, lots of snow, very peaceful, not too cold- it was only -1- thats like a heatwave after -20!! Anyway, it was lots of fun.

I have had the nicest time in the rockies with Sheila and her family. It is difficult to find the words to explain how beautiful the place is! hope that some of my photos can help you paint the picture. I hope that I can get back there one day- maybe in the spring so i can see a bear!!!

So there yo have it- my adventure has come to an end- so unless something crazy happens before 11pm vancouver time, I only have some duty free shopping left to do!!


tot ziens
Auf Wiedersehen
au revoir

Until my next travel adventure! Thanks for following and keeping in touch! Now the fun really begins as I make sense of all the info I gathered during my 'all work' bits of my trip and start to put together my report!!!

Take care,

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Location: Banff, Canada

had lunch today at the top of the world! well it felt like it even if I was eating a hamburger and fries! the view was amazing, looking over the valleys of the rockies and over banff.

The ticket seller at the bottome of the run- australian, the gondola operator at the bottom of the hill helping us into the gondola- australian, helping us out at the top- australian! I'm at a loss as to what canada would do without the australians they empoly over here! clearly canadians son;t do snow fields!!

But back to the point, the view of the rockies was pretty spectactular! and it was pretty crisp so the air was prettty clear and frosty!

not long til I head home, counting down now- 5 more sleeps til I'm on the plane home. Now i've said it- it must be real!! OH SHIT!! I've been having so much fun!!!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Location: Canmore, Canada

wow- what a wonder day yesterday was- I went to Lake Louise. It was sooooooo beautiful! So white, lots of snow, lots of ice- the Lake was frozen.

The snow hugged the trees, icicles were hanging from the Chateau, snow on the ground, ice skating, ice sculptures it was simply amazing. Very chilly though once one had been outside for a little while.

We had lunch in the Chateau overlooking the people skating on the ice. It's a pretty busy place. A pet friendly hotel too! There would have been more dogs than children at the Chateau!

After lunch we wondered around outside, taking lots of photos. The others went ice skating, I had a look though the shops inside before meeting up with everyone to go on a sleigh ride.

The sleigh ride weaved along the edge of the lake through magnificent trees covered in snow. It went all the way down to the other side of the lake and we turned around on the lake whilst admiring the Glacier- it was awesome! SOOOOO pretty. The photos here really don't do it justice, I could have put loads more up but then I'd have none left to show you all when I get back!

It was a pretty special day.

take care, hope you are all high and dry- heard it was a bit wet back in aus!!

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Location: Canmore, Canada

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day!

I have celebrated my first white Christmas, although it didn't snow, there was still plenty of it outside.

It's been a busy few days getting ready for Christmas but we found time to fit in an Ice Hockey match the other night. WOW- it's like rugby on ice! It's played at an incredible pace- and this was a minor league match too! They crash into each other, they ram each other into the side walls- it's crazy! But lots of fun to watch- you have to rug up cause obviously if they heated the arena it wouldn't do much for the ice rink!

Christmas day was lovely. A big cooked brekkie, cute pressies, and then the smell of a hot dinner roasting in the oven, a spot of toboganinng (not me and my dodgy knee) a snow angel, some wild coyotes running by, lots of beautiful champagne and an amaing Christmas dinner!

All in all a great day!!!

Take care

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Location: Canmore, Canada

Hi everyone, I have a new toy and have been playing!

Hope you have the time to watch my chrismas message- not as flashy as the queen, but precise and to the point! All in one take too!

But if I was recording it now, the snow is heavier outside.

Still having a great time, finished the Christmas shopping today. Best be off and give Heather a hand with some Christmas decorations for the house. Will take some more photos when they are all up!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Location: Canmore, Canada

Well, saw the best that down town Canmore has to offer- I went shopping! Inside the shops was a good place to be cause it was a lot colder out today and as I write this it is snowing outside.

It's a really pretty town because all the buildings have to 'fit the part' so there are no horrible looking buildings. They all fit in and suit the environment around. Was hard to see the mountains around today, lots of cloud cover which attributed to the cooler temp. Have decided that you don't feel the cold if you rug up enough, and once your cheeks, nose and lips go numb you don't feel the cold at all!!!

Managed to find all sorts of goodies for all sorts of people today! Anyway, take care, I'm off to watch a movie in the theatre room!!


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Location: Canmore, Canada

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.....

Well folks, I am in Canmore, not far from Banff, bout an 1 1/2 west of Calgary but nestled in the Canadian Rockies. The recent cold snap over here has meant that there is lots of snow on the ground, but we need some more cause the roads look really dirty! But you get over that!

The house we are in is amazing, lots of space but more importantly a gorgeous outlook- mountains to the north and south out of massive windows. The house is extremely well heated and there is no chance of freezing inside. Outside, well once you rug up appropriately its all good!

But lets rewind a few days- I landed in Calgary, and we headed to a shopping mall. We were there for 6 hours and managed to do about a 1/4 of it! it was huge!!!! It was lots of fun- even on a gammy knee and crutches! Managed to find a few bargains though!

Later that evening we headed to the Ardrie Festival of the Lights, a beautiful christmas light display set around a lake, which of course is frozen and has people ice skating on it. It was a really lovely family atmosphere, little kids being pulled along on sleds rugged up in big puffy jackets and mittens! We then headed to Walmart- OMG!! Quite an experience! You name it- they sell it! And because they pay their staff crap wages its really cheap!

Friday morning we headed to Superstore- another you name it they have it store but more upmarket that walmart. It was a fun experience shopping- trudging through the slushy snow and gravel to get into the shop, then back through the slushy sludgy carpark to get into you car. They gravel the roads to mix with the snow which just makes the roads dirty but apparently much safer to dry on!! So I'm all for it!!

Back to Canmore, we arrived here late friday afternoon.

On Saturday, Sheila and Tom took me on a tour of canmore. We ended up at the Nordic Centre where they held some of the Winter Olympics when they were in Calgary and there were trials for 2010 on- cross country skiing- OMG you have to be superfit to do that stuff! no gammy knees there!! But certainly lots of snow!

Today we headed out to a place somewhere where the 'Junior Forest Wardens (= scouts) were hosting a Christmas tree cutting day. You get to wonder through the snow and a huge area of trees to pick your very own tree. At the moment, Heather is decorating the 10ft tall tree! and there is another one at the front door!

I will upload some photos hopefully tomorrow, we have been out and about and there is no wifi here so we only have one computer!!

Well, take care everyone!! catch ya soon!

Oh, yes its cold, and there has been some light snow but nothing significant yet- hopefully thats coming!!!! But its toasty warm inside! xxxx

Monday, 14 December 2009

Location: Vancouver, Canada

I think today was international "Don't be helpful day" for people who mainly have to operate phones are various companies!!

They either choose;
a) to leave you on hold for an extraordinarily long period of time, and the maybe;
b) tell you to leave callback details and you won't lose your spot in the queue so they can;
c) implement the callback an hour and a half later and;
d) disconnect the call before you have even spoken to a person! so that-
e) you have to call them back and start back at a!!!! leaving you to
f) try another extension in hope that you actually speak to a person only to have them transfer you- return to a!!!
g) you continue to grow increasingly frustrated and try another extension explaining forcefully that you don't want to join a cue, you don't want to be transferred and if they don't help you now you will simply show up at the airport on Thursday and cause problems for the check in staff because you can no longer sit in a window seat because you've hurt your knee and have been stuck in a hotel room all weekend and any hope of getting out today has been wasted waiting for the bloody call back!!!!

So, I'm hoping that I have a seat on the plane on Thursday! The operator (in consultation with his 'supervisor') assures me that I have been reallocated an aisle seat. This culd get interesting!

He couldn't answer my question about luggage when I asked about consolidating my carry on luggage into my 2 bags to check in and didn't seem to understand the notion that it was not possible for me to 'carry on' 2 pieces of luggage!! He kept saying :"but you are able to carry on 2 pieces'!

And after singing the praises of the hospital- that must be restricted to that one ward. Have tried calling (the number that they gave me refers me to another number) to discuss my travel health insurance details and whether or not I actually need to physically present them or whether I could fax them or provide the details over the phone rather than ride in a taxi $40 there and $40 back again simple to hand over a printed piece of paper!! I have left 2 messages today and no call.

Oh, and the woman on the 'customer enquries' extension at Grouse Mountain was not helpful in discussing how I could return the ski pants I'd hired the other day!! She didn't explain that I couldn't just 'drop them off at the base' and if they get lost in the post I'll be liable to lose a $250 deposit! I could just keep them and own an expensive pair of ski pants!!

So, I'm a bit cranky!!! I shouldn't drink but I tell you what, it is very tempting right now!!! So hopefully, things will be better tomorrow!

So for all of you hoping for me to 'pop on down' to the Today Show weather man at Robson Square this morning- its only 3 blocks from where I m, but I was kinda in the middle of 'waiting' when it was on and I had hoped I wouldn't have had to wait quite that long!!!

Last official meeting on my Eric Pearson Study Grant with the BCTF tomorrow. I have so much info, now I just need to somehow write it up logically!

So, hope you have all had a better day :)

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Location: Vancouver, Canada

YEY!! It's snowing outside!!

I know it was snowing at Grouse Mountain the other day, but this is different- this is downtown Vancouver!! and I'm stuck in a hotel room icing my knee. I have a big window and a balcony and it's so pretty out! the snow is swirling around- big white fluffy snow flakes- soo cool!!

Or maybe its just the good drugs I'm on?? No it really is snowing outside!! will be interesting to see how muh we get!

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Well, starts in games and ends in tears!!

Finally, I got to the snow! I went to Grouse Mountain, Vancouver to spend the day skiing. I knew it was oing to be fun- it was snowing in North Vancouver before I even got to the skyride to get up the mountain!

Anyway, I'd booked in for a 2 hour lesson as it had been a while. It was so pretty up the mountain, it was snowing!! A truly beautiful part of the world. visability wasn't great so no spectacular views of vancouver and beyond but it was so white and pretty I didn't care.

Thomas, my trusty instructor was lots of fun. We had worked on the smaller slopes first to get me warmed up and going and so he could 'test' were I was at. I was feeling good. Was laughing and having lots of fun.

we headed over to another slope and all things were going pretty well. That was until we were nearly at the bottom. My skis went one way and I went the other and came a gutser. (we were so close to the bottom that if i hadn't fallen I would've ended up tangled in the safety mesh near the quad chairlift!) I knew as soon as I realised what had happened that I wouldn't be skiing anymore. I was in a fair bit of pain and couldn't put any weight on my knee so we had to wait for the snow mobile. how embarrassing! I had to get taken back to the skyride on the snow mobile, well didn't really have a choice! then had an ambulance ride from the base of the mountainn to the hospital. I must say, canadian emergency facilities are far superior to Australians hospitals. they have 'bays/areas' depending on your ailments- I was obviously in the broken bits place- lots of ankle sprains (snow & ice on the footpaths), wrists of snowboarders etc. I didn't have to wait long to see the dr and was sent for an xray, didn't have to wait long there either. was taken pretty much straight back to the bay I was in in emergency and was probably only 20 minutes later the dr came with the results of the xrays- no broken bits! yey! but ligament damage (acl, medial and patella tendon), won't really know til the pain subsides as to whether there is more extensive damage- will have to see the dr back in aus in january. Lol, and there must've been something strange happening in the universe- dr said I was the 4th 'Nicole' they had had through that part of emergency!!!! So they had to refer to us by our surnames so as to not confuse us!

So there endeth anymore winter activities! No more skiing this trip and ice skating will probably be out too! So I'm bummed about that :( Will spend the next few days resting and hopefully won't need the crutches for too much longer. I didn't think that there was that much swelling til I had a look this morning and took the photos cause its hard to look down and judge on your own legs! Judge for yourselves, but I definately have elephantitis of the left leg!

So bummer hey! At least i did it skiing- not falling down the gutter,tripping on cobblestones, slipping on ice on the footpath, tripping down an escalator in the shopping mall or slipping out of the bath! All of these were potential hazards anywhere on my trip!

Hope you're all feeling sorry for me! But I'm sure I'll find lots to do!!

So you all be careful and take care!! xx

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Location: Vancouver, Canada

So the weather continued to be fine and sunny although it is overcast today which may finally bring some snow to go with the cold air here in Vancouver! Which apparently is uncommon, usually it just rains all the time! So I'm thankful i had a few fine and sunny days to explore the city.

Spent yesterday wondering around Granville Island, once was an industrial estate but has been converted into a series of warehouses full of galleries, artisits studios, gift shops you name it and its probably there. lots of unusaul bits and pieces. There is also a public market there with lots of fresh food- meat, vegies, seafood and food outlets for lunch!
I will definately head back over there, its so awesome just to look around at all the amazing things people come up with!

thinking that I might go skiing up Grouse Mountain tomorrow- if the snow won't come to me I will go to the snow!!

Off to the BCTF to chat with a few more people today and then had better do some preperation for a seminar on Tuesday at which they have asked me to reflect on my visits to the teacher unions I've been to and discuss some of the ideas/thoughts/stuff I've come up with! So at least I have an excuse to stay inside out of the cold air!

I must clarify that yes it is cold, but once you've got a few layers and a jacket on the only part of me that feels the cold is my face! my little nose and cheeks get a nice rosey colour happening walking around in the cool air!

Anyway, best run to get over to the BCTF on time!!

take care xx

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Recent Messages

From KD
More wonderful photos. Can't believe you are about to come home. Travel safely.
Response: See ya soon kd!!
From thomas
poor effort on ski resort photos nic. fail..... epic fail
Response: It wasn't a ski resort and cause I stuffed my knee I couldn't go today!! Sunshine- 82km of runs!! Boys were raving bout the powder!
From Rhondda
Happy new year Nic. Hope you have a good one. Don't you hate the countdown when your holiday is at an end.Enjoy your last few days looking forward to a few wines with you and to look at rest of your photos. It might be a big slide show
Response: Lol indeed! Will have to set up the projector! Looking forward to a few wines with you! See ya soon in 2010! Xxx
From Jo
It all looks and sounds fantastic, am so pleased that everything is going so well for you - now can you come home please??!!
Response: Hehe be home next week on the 5th. We must catch up. I Bought u the coolest present yesterday!
From mum
dont care how many klms there is between u and me its still too far away, what a wonderful day you have had today in Banff, looks just fabulous, and yes glad Im not a bridesmaid in Canada, photos as usual great, just had dinner over at denise and kens with Kath and Jason, Adam and Bec was lovely, they all send their love, am looking forward to tomorrow and going to station, they havent had as much rain as we have had here today, so thats good, dad just told me he could see the moon through the clouds, so fingers crossed, will talk on new years day my darling enjoy the rest of your holiday, could be awhile before u get another one like this one.
love ya heaps, Happy New Year to all in Canmore and especially yourself.
Response: Happy new year to u all to xxxx
From John D
great photos of lake louise - radically different to when i was there in summer!! a magic place whatever the season .have a great last week see you soon jd
Response: you will!! it was so beautiful!!! I don't want to leave!!!!
From Gma
Hi Darling, hav just been catching up on Xmas in the snow. What a wonderful time u hav had. Loved your Xmas message, hav missed u, now I believe I won`t see u till end of Jan. I had as good a Xmas as was possible I suppose. The family gave me a TV 4 the bedroom plus other gifts.
luv u lots xxxxx
Response: Love u too! Time will fly by I'll be there in no time!!xxx
From mum
so glad u got to go to Lake Louise look just magical, tad cold though but quess that is what it is supposed to be, lucky girl, raining here in Coffs last couple of days, but dad says only a few light showers at station, today not so good either and doesnt look like getting better, check the radar station looks ok, glad im working and hope the weather will be good for new years up there, what are u plans for new years eve, anything special. miss ya and looking forward to your homecoming. love and kisses
Response: they are having a NYE party here, Sheilas relo's from over here are coming through so it should be a bit of fun. Lake Louise was gorgeous! xxx
From Di T
Hi Nic....just looking at some of your photos....brings back some lovely memories for me. Sounds like you are still having a wonderful time and your Christmas looked just amazing!!!. Love the way they got the tree up the stairs.
All that snow is beautiful. (bloody 40 here in Perth today)Hope your knee in a lot better now and not giving you too much trouble. Guess you are not far off coming home now so enjoy the rest of your time away.
Love Di
Response: yeah Di, a week and I'll be on my way home- wow! 3 months has certainly flown by. My knee isn't great but we're getting there- stairs are the killer! It's still beautiful and crisp outside- it's so wonderful here!
From KD
Great christmas photos. They certainly grow their turkeys big over there. A perfect snow angel Nic.
Response: snow angel took some work getting up! my knee still not working right!
From Lys
Thought I best give you a response as many of the others are out of touch with technology at the moment. Yes I was thinking of you so thought I best see if you had found time to write. Pleased you have so to catch up yet again on what you're doing at this holiday time of year. Thinking of you and looking forward to seeing you again soon. Love lys
Response: not long til I'll be home and you lot will have disappeared down the coast anyway! x
From Rhondda
It' xmas morning here . You have a good one Hope santa finds you over there. Loved your little video Have fun in the snow see you soon
Response: it's xmas morning here, still snow outside! see you soon. I'll think of you when I drink some bubbles today! xx
From mum
ooh just loved seeing you on the video, made me cry but was worth the two hours of downing loading media player so I could watch it, worth every minute though my darling you look right at home in the snow. cant wait to talk on xmas day ours and yours
love ya heaps xxxxxxxxx
ps tully tried to eat the xmas card u sent today but no really damage still plays ok
Response: Tully Tully Tully!! She needs to get out more, she obviously needs to get out more. Glad you like the video, speak to you tomorrow! Hope Santa isn't too tuckered out after his journey downunder and remembers us here!! xx
From John D
I am used to the queen's message on Xmas day, now we have (Snow)Princesses Nicole's Xmas message from another one of the colonies. Good content matter and scenery, nice lighting, a bit of emotion at the end - 3 stars. have a great Xmas Nic xx
Response: only 3 stars?? well that just down graded your present!!! you have a good one too.
From Kathy Deacon
Hi Nic. Great photos of Canada. I loved your video. You look really well. The place you are staying at appears out of this world. All those photos of snow are triggering my 'snow gene', I am itching to go skiing. I am pleased you are having such a great time. Sounds like you are not letting that knee trouble you which is a positive thing. I hope you have a truly wonderful white christmas. You are in my thoughts, take care. KD.
Response: hehe- it's snowing heaps outside now! just been out playing. Snowflakes that stay in your nose and eyelashes!! You have a wonderful Christmas too KD xx
From Rhondda
Thankyou thankyou had withdrawals from no snow stories. How's the knee? Crissy in the snow looks unreal make the most of it. It won't be like last year. Remember the
g string
Response: How could I forget???
From mum
ooooh love the photos what a beautiful part of the world, how lucky are u to be able to enjoy a truely white xmas and I see u have ur very own xmas decoration for the tree, that was nice of them to do that for you, still warm and humid today which will no doubt continue through xmas, hope the knee is holding up ok, cant wait to talk with u soon
lots of love
give my love to sheila and family and thank them so much for taking such good care of u. cookies look good, you will be a pro at them maybe for next xmas
Response: I got the xmas decoration! You should see Heathers gingerbread house- looks way better than ours did last year!! Knee is ok. It's snowing lightly again outside. Yep, all good here!! xxx love yous all!
From Stacey and Buttons
Have you tried Poutine yet??? you must try it while your over there! i absolutely loved it! sheila will know what it is.
hope you have a good xmas nic! my 1 week holiday starts in 7 mins! cannot wait for some time off!
take care and enjoy a white xmas xxx
Response: woohoo! have a happy and safe one stace xxx
From Dad
Tues 8.30am Good morning Nic, good to here what you're up to again, we all miss your blog. The snow sounds great but I think I prefer our summer. Spoke to pop pop last night, he is home now but sounded very down, not much spark in his voice at all. The girls have settled into Station Creek (I think) haven't heard from them so must be OK. Weather is pretty good sunny and not much wind for the next few days although isolated storms are due this arvo. Give my regard to Sheila and her family, will talk to you later, Lots of luv from sunny and warm Aus.
Dad xxxxxxx
Response: once you rug up and your checks, nose and lips go numb you don't feel the cold at all!! LOL xxx have fun at station, there will be lots more summers there for me, so to miss one and spend it in an amazingly baeutiful part of the world, I'm ok with that!! xxx
From mum
ps your xmas card arrived today, its cute, logan will love it. tell sheila not to forget to give you my parcel. xxxx on xmas morning oh I forgot it wont be xmas when we call will it, never mind we can call boxing day from the "phone box' xx
Response: glad the card got there in time- was a bit worried it might not make it! xx
From mum
good to read stuff from you again everyone was asking how you were going, looking forward to the photos like everyone else, guess u missed the bit on fb re tully and the xmas lights on the balcony, she is ok. just had dinner with gma tonight, was good except I was tired and had to get home to feed the doggies, sad there is on wifi there, will hav e to phone u on xmas day, talke care my darling love ya xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: I've bought a phone card so that I can call you at R & J's on xmas day. No I didnt miss the bits about the lights- see- she misses being walked n stuff- last time she did that was right after all the rain! xx
From Tina
I wish you were with me to see Keith, Mum didn't appreciate it as much as you would time we will be there again. I see the surgeon on 25th Jan so am just waiting until then. Have a great xmas & fabulous new year. Catch up sometime when you get home.
Response: For sure! yes I will have to make an appointment to see a dr when I get home, it makes some real cool clunky sounds!! you have a fabulous xmas & new year too! xx
From Rhondda
I was just wondering if your knee has affected your fingers! We haven't had any updates for a few days. How are you travelling? Hope we get more pics too. Thinking of you xx
Response: lol, well, there is one computer here (no wifi), and we have been busy! there were christmas trees to cut down!!! Photos soon, just need to upload them on my computer first then save them then put them up! be patient! they are worth it!
From Sazii
Hellow Nic-Nic, I am at your mum and dad's right now !!

Hahhaha- we are goignt o Station Creek today. :) No one even told me that you had hurt your knee, some family this is :(
Hope you get better soon, and have alot of fun on the remainder of your trip.

^.^ love from sazziii
Response: so jealous sazzi, but I'm having heaps of fun. My knee will be ok, one day!!
From Gma
So sorry that u hurt yourself, it sure looks swollen. I have`nt been handling things so well lately so off to the Dr.& am on some medication.I got your lovely card yesterday. Hope all goes ok at the airport.
Love Gma xxxx
Response: oh Gma, you take care, remember you have a whole family of people that love you to its!! Lots of hugs to you!!! xxxxx