We Did It!

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

Nov 23 ~ Day #197
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$19700
$15.00
$17041.71
$86.51
Miles by Road
Miles by Sea
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Miles
16084.6
12056.7
7662
196
35999.3

We Did It!

When we began this adventure we set ourselves a challenge. To complete this trip on an average of $100/day or less.

As you can see from the recap of our final totals, we not only met that challenge, we exceeded it.

We traveled for a total of 197 days on an average of $86.51/day. Not bad!

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

First we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the friends and family we stayed with along the way. We could not have achieved our goal without your generous hospitality.

We have mentioned all of you in each appropriate blog post but we would like to thank you all once again. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Putting Things in Perspective

When we mention the mileage, the number of days, places visited, etc. sometimes things just become a blur and the true magnitude is not particularly clear. So, here we’re going to recap things and try to bring some perspective.

Mileage

The total miles traveled, including road, train, sea and air, was 35,999.3. Too bad we couldn’t have added just 0.7 of a mile more. That would have pushed us to an even 36,000 miles.

But, to put this mileage in perspective, the circumference of the earth, at the equator, is 24,901.55 miles.

That means we could have traveled around the globe almost one and a half times. Wow!

Days Traveled

I don’t think we actually calculated the number of days we were going to be traveling when we started this adventure.

Oh sure, we knew the day we were going to start. We also knew the day we were going to fly back home. Both were booked before we set out. But we didn’t actually take the time to calculate just how long the time in between those dates was.

Total number of days traveled = 197.

If you apply an average of 30 days to a month, then we traveled for a total of 6.6 months, more than half a year. Again – wow!

Cruises and More Included in the Trip

It seems amazing even to us what we were able to pack into this trip. Here’s a quick recap.

Cruises

Our trip included three cruises:

  • a two week Alaska cruise
  • a six day Greek Islands cruise
  • a two week TransAtlantic cruise

That’s a total of 34 days – more than a month – spent on cruise ships.

Narrowboats in the UK

We were able to spend an entire week on a narrowboat on the Trent/Mersey canal system in the UK.

Orlando and Disney

We spent two weeks in Orlando at two different timeshare resorts and spent time at more than one Disney theme park.

Landmarks Visited

Along the way we were fortunate to visit many landmarks both in North America and Europe.

Here’s a few:
United States

  • Carlsbad Caverns
  • Monument Valley
  • Grand Canyon

Canada

  • Victoria, British Columbia (a must-see)
  • Hell’s Gate, British Columbia
  • Columbia Ice Fields, Alberta
  • Banff and Jasper, Alberta
  • Lake Louise, Alberta
  • Terry Fox Monument, Thunder Bay, Ontario
  • Reversing Falls, New Brunswick
  • St. Andrews-By-The-Sea, New Brunswick
  • Confederation Bridge, between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island
  • Birthplace of Canadian Confederation, Charlottetown, PEI
  • Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia

England

  • Buckingham Palace
  • Tower Bridge
  • Tower of London
  • British Parliament Buildings
  • Big Ben
  • British Museum
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of Shakespeare

Spain

  • La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
  • Dénia Castle, Dénia

Portugal

  • Madeira, the home of Madeira wine

Greece

  • Santorini

Croatia

  • the old walled city of Dubrovnik

Italy

  • St. Mark’s Square, Venice
  • the ruins of Pompeii
  • the ruins of Paestum
  • the Amalfi Coast

And, I’m sure there are things we are forgetting. It’s time for us to go back and re-read all the posts we have made along the way and to review all the photos and videos we have as well.

This was the trip of a lifetime for us. We will continue to travel, of course, but it is unlikely that we will ever again take such an extensive trip. It was a great adventure but a very long time to be away from home.

We will continue to have, we hope, many, many more adventures. But, perhaps shorter ones this time. 🙂

Thank you to everyone who has followed along with us and to those who have made comments as well. It was a pleasure to share this adventure with you.

Nanaimo to Vancouver to Chilliwack, BC

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 18 ~Day #39
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$3900
$48.70
$4955.39
$127.06
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4917 + 64
3826 + 30
000
69
9484.40

Location: Chilliwack, BC
Mileage: 128 (Chilliwack to Vancouver and return)
Nautical Miles: 30 (Departure Bay (Nanaimo) to Horseshoe Bay (Vancouver)

Today’s Total Expenses: $48.70

Transportation: $27.70 (Ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver)

Entertainment: $21.00 (Parking for Stanley Park, ferry to Granville Island)

BC Ferries

British Columbia has an amazing ferry system to service many of their communities.

This morning we were up early to catch the 8:30am ferry from Departure Bay in Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay in Vancouver where my sister would be waiting to pick us up. We had a full day planned visiting Stanley Park, Granville Island and finishing up with a BBQ with my brother-in-law’s family.

The ferry crossing was pleasant and relaxing. I was hoping to see some wildlife along the way – whales in particular – but I would have settled for seals or dolphins, but it was not to be.

We felt the charge for the ferry was pretty reasonable. We only spent $27.70 for both of us and the trip was over 1-1/2 hours long and covered 30 nautical miles.

Stanley Park

My sister was waiting for us as we got off the ferry. She had brought our car, which we had left at their house while we were on the Alaska cruise.

We threw our stuff in the car and headed for Stanley Park. This is a huge park on a peninsula in downtown Vancouver. It boasts an aquarium, totem poles, many lookout points and more. I’m really not doing it justice with my description, so you should consider a visit here.

We drove through the park to get an idea of where we’d like to stop. We then found a parking spot and the parking pass was good for anywhere in the park which meant we could feel free to stop and explore wherever we wanted.

Our first parking spot was actually just outside the park but our pass covered that, too.

It was lunchtime so we stopped for lunch at a small Arabian restaurant for a Shwarma (I hope I’m spelling that right) plate. It was a plate of spiced chicken, rice, humus, tabouli and a pita bread. We couldn’t finish it all.

Granville Island

After walking the seawall in downtown Vancouver to work off some of our lunch it was off the Granville Island.

Granville Island is a mix of farmers market, boutique stores, entertainment, restaurants and more and is a “must see” when visiting Vancouver.

We were able to leave the car where we had parked it and take a cute little ferry to Granville Island.

While we were there we were able to meet up with our niece (who is expecting within a couple of weeks and simply cute as a button), her husband and their six Afghan hounds – that’s right, I said six and they are all amazingly beautiful.

Back to Stanley Park

After taking the little ferry back to where we had our car parked, we headed back into Stanley Park and made several stops throughout the park including one at the totem poles.

Wildlife Encounter

Finally! An up close and personal wildlife encounter.

Okay, it was only a raccoon with attitude, but it was exciting anyway.

Family BBQ

From there we headed, with the help of Madge (our GPS), to the family BBQ. It was lovely to meet many family members that we have not met before and to see a few that we hadn’t seen in more years than I care to mention.

The conversations were interesting, the food was great and there was most certainly lots of it. Many thanks to my brother-in-law’s family for including us in their get-together.

All Day in Victoria, BC

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 14 ~Day #35
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$3500
$94.14
$4846.52
$138.472
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4917
3826
000
000
9316.9

Location: Victoria, BC

Today’s Total Expenses: $94.14

Transportation: $5.00
Accommodation: $65.09
Food: $24.05

Sunshine!

Today was a glorious day and we took full advantage of that.

Although the hotel we were staying at in Victoria – the Red Lion Inn – was a bit outside of the downtown area, we decided to walk into downtown anyway.

We had first thought we would get a day pass on the local bus system. The standard fare was $2.50 each and a day pass was $7.00. If we planned to “hop on and hop off” the local transit system then the day pass seemed like a good idea.

However, after speaking to a very helpful lady at the information kiosk in Mayfair Mall, we determined that it would likely be a very pleasant walk into Victoria. She told us she walked back and forth to work everyday and she lived in the downtown area.

Chinatown

I had really wanted to see Chinatown and it was right along the route as we walked into downtown.

I believe that this may be the oldest Chinatown in Canada. I seem to remember someone telling me that but I’m not 100% sure of that fact. If any of our readers know for sure, we’d love to hear from you.

Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour, right in downtown Victoria, is a colourful and “happening” place.

All around the harbour are small cafés and pubs along with vendors selling their wares. There is also a large native component selling carvings, jewelry and other items that you simply must see.

In this vivacious downtown area you’ll also find a museum and Imax theatre, the Empress Hotel, the Provincial Parliament buildings, parks, a sea walk and so much more.

If you like to watch float planes, and we do, you can see them taking off and landing all day.

Fisherman’s Wharf

We had planned to stop at a pub and treat ourselves to lunch today but after looking at some of the menus it didn’t look like they had what Geoff would consider “authentic” pub fare, at least not at the ones we stopped at.

On top of that, they seemed pretty expensive as well and we have the budget to consider.

So, we just continued along the sea walk until we came to Fisherman’s Wharf. This is an eclectic collection of floating houses, restaurants and boats.

We had heard that there was a small restaurant called Barb’s Fish and Chips and we are always in search of the perfect fish and chips, so we headed there.

There was a huge line up to order so we figured it must be good if so many other people were willing to wait so long to place their orders.

We took our place in the line and while Geoff waited I wander over to the end of one of the docks to see a seal up close and personal. He stayed in the water but this was the closest I had been to any such wildlife. This was the kind of thing I was hoping to see on our Alaska cruise.

After placing our order at Barb’s, Geoff was given a small pager to hold on to and was told that when it went off that our order would be ready. So we chose a seat in the tented outdoor sitting area and waited hungrily for the beeper to go off.

Fish and Chips for Lunch

When Geoff went to pick up our waiting order he returned with two baskets piled high with fish, chips, tartar sauce and cole slaw.

We tucked in immediately and thoroughly enjoyed the best fish and chips that we’ve had in a very long time, and all in an amazingly interesting and pleasant setting. Neither of us could finish the entire meal. Well – okay – we only left a FEW chips each.

Wind Surfers

We continued our walk along the sea and just across from Beacon Hill Park we had the opportunity to watch some wind surfers on the ocean – all in wetsuits, of course.

We also sat on sun-warmed benches to rest and enjoy the day.

Beacon Hill Park

The day was starting to wane and it was time to think about getting back to our hotel and cooking dinner. We had selected an efficiency suite when booking our room.

To finish off our tour of Victoria we decided to walk through Beacon Hill Park before catching a local bus back to our hotel.

In this park there are many peacocks that actually roam free. We were able to get some awesome shots of these majestic birds.

We also passed a petting zoo where both the kids (baby goats) and kids (children) were having a great time playing with each other.

We then sauntered slowly towards Douglas Street (we were getting pretty slow at this point) to catch the local bus. Our total transportation cost for the whole day – $5.00!

We found Victoria to be a beautiful, well-kept city and would love to return here.

At Sea En Route to Victoria

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 12 ~Day #33
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$3300
$222.76
$4621.94
$140.05
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4917
At Sea
000
000
8380.80

Location: At Sea En Route to Victoria

Today’s Total Expenses: $226.76

Daily Cruise Expense: $222.76
Misc: $4.00 (Laundry)

Open Ocean

Today we were at sea the entire day making our run from Juneau to Victoria, British Columbia.

It appears that we are now in open ocean and not in the Inside Passage. We had taken the Inside Passage at the beginning of our cruise.

Beginning very early in the morning we hit some very rough seas. According to the Captain’s Log, which we could see on the TV in our cabin, the waves averaged anywhere from 7.5 ft to 12 ft. At times the ship felt like it was rolling pretty good and often from side to side.

Fortunately, neither Geoff nor I have much difficulty with seasickness, but that certainly wasn’t the same for everyone. We noticed a lot fewer people at breakfast and lunch.

More Laundry

I took advantage of the lull in onboard activity to get in a couple more loads of laundry. Because we are trying to travel as light as possible (although sometimes it seems like we’ve got an awful lot of luggage) I find I need to laundry fairly often.

Special Chef’s Dinner

The dinner planned for this evening was a special Chef’s dinner and I was really looking forward to it. The staff was going to sing, dance make it a very special evening for all. The entire evening would culminate with the serving of Baked Alaska for dessert.

Well, we didn’t make it for the dinner and it wasn’t because either of us was seasick.

Migraine

Unfortunately I am prone to migraine headaches and, for some reason, one decided to strike this afternoon. It was most likely caused by someone wearing WAY TOO MUCH perfume. Why is it that some women seem to BATHE in the stuff? Even if it’s a nice scent, please, please limit the amount that you wear. There are lots of people like me – a strong scent is one of the things that can trigger a serious headache for many of us migraine sufferers.

I ended up in bed for several hours while taking lots of painkillers in the hopes of getting rid of it.

Being in bed in high seas actually worked pretty well as it felt like I was being rocked to sleep.

The headache finally subsided at about 9pm, but our dinner seating was at 8pm. We decided to head for the dining room anyway.

Great Staff

When we arrived at the Main Dining Room the staff was parading around waving light sticks, singing and carrying the Baked Alaska before delivering it to each table. It looked wonderful.

We joined our usual dinner companions and made our apologies for our late arrival.

Immediately both our Steward and the Maitre D’ inquired if we were okay and what they could do for us. As the kitchen was now closed for dinner they managed to get us each a lovely club sandwich for dinner and we really appreciated it.

We were so sorry to miss the festivities of the evening.

Jeff Trachta and Juneau, Alaska

Our transportation, accommodation, food and entertainment cost so far

June 11 ~Day #32
Budget to date
Spent today
Total to date
Daily average
Total
$3200
$222.76
$4395.18
$137.34
Miles by Road
Nautical Miles
Miles by Air
Miles by Train
Total Statute Miles
4917
At Sea
000
000
8380.80

Current Location: Juneau, Alaska

Today’s Total Expenses: 222.76 + $28.00

Entertainment: $28.00

It Would Be Beautiful If The Sun Was Shining

Yes the rain is back. If you are planning a trip to Alaska be sure to pack rain gear and umbrellas – you will need them. I guess we have been quite lucky with weather; the only bad days have been in Ketchikan and here in Juneau. Of course the locals don’t notice the rain until it’s falling horizontally but I think that’s because they’re covered in moss.

Juneau, Alaska’s Capital
Juneau is unique as the only state capitol that you cannot drive to. The only way in or out is by sea or air – there are no connecting roads.

Mendenhall Glacier

If you take the highway out of town just past the Costco, Walmart and McDonald’s you will find the Mendenhall Glacier. It really is that close. The tour is advertised for $7 – that’s $7 each way per person for a total of $28 which takes you to the face of the glacier in Tongass National Forest.

We would have liked to have stayed there longer and taken some of the hiking trails but the rain was pretty miserable and we are not equipped for it.

More Jewelry Stores

I hope I don’t get Vicky in trouble with other woman but she is fairly practical when it comes to jewelry. She has a few nice pieces but she doesn’t pester me all the time for new trinkets.

Over the course of the cruise we have been following a kind of a treasure hunt using the coupons in the book we got when we boarded. If you visit each of the stores you get different coins and charms free at each store. It’s just junk but I’m sure the grand kids will like them.
Anyway the collection is now complete so we could get back on the ship, out of the rain and grab a late lunch.

Another Formal Night

Formal nights on a cruise ship are one of the few remaining chances the average person has to dress up. I would probably feel a whole lot better about it if I had a tailored Tux.

I grew out of my last tux many years ago and never bothered to buy a new one. What I really need is a big cumber bun to hide my big tummy.

My current dinner jacket does not fit well and I frankly find ties about the most uncomfortable thing there is to wear. We have clothes for six months traveling packed into one duffel bag – there is not a lot of room for fancy duds.

Dinner and a Show
Except in our case – since we have late sitting – it’s show and dinner.

This was the best show of the cruise. We have never heard of Jeff Trachta but apparently he was on the soap opera The Bold and The Beautiful for several years and appeared on Broadway in Grease. We thought he would just be some pretty boy singer but wow were we wrong.

He has a high tech show that uses pre-recorded video of him playing multiple parts that make up his chorus. He has a great voice plus he is possibly the best impressionist I’ve ever heard. All in all an excellent hour.

This was followed by a surf and turf dinner ~ almost worth getting dressed up for.