10% Off with Booking.com – Where are you going next?

Hi All,

I hope you are all well. Just a quick post to offer you the opportunity to save 10% on your next Booking.com reservation.

How does it work?

  1. Click this link
  2. Make a reservation
  3. Check-out
  4. Receive a 10% discount

How did I get this link?

I recently booked a 3 room reservation at the Huntingdon Manor Hotel in Victoria, where I went with my family who were visiting me in Canada for my 30th birthday. After my booking was completed I completed a review and received this link to share with you all to enable you to save on your next reservation.

Here’s the review I wrote:

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Huntingdon Manor Hotel Review

And whilst I am at it, here are a few photos of the room I stayed in (Room 221):

How do I benefit?

When you book I also get a bonus for sharing the link. For every person that books I receive a C$25 rebate. That in my mind is the proper definition of a win-win situation, you save and I save.

Just a couple of things worth noting, most reservations on Booking.com  do not require you to pay up front, you can pay on arrival, which is exactly what I did and it was as smooth as you could ever wish it to be.

After you book your holiday

Happy booking. Drop a note to say where you’ve booked to visit next! I want to see how global we can get this.

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Another milestone reached and what a wonderful way to celebrate – Grouse Mountain

Yesterday was my 30th birthday and what an amazing day it was. Not only did I get to wake up in my favourite place but I had family with me who had travelled all the way from the UK to help me celebrate.

We spent the day exploring Grouse Mountain. We paid for an ultimate ticket, which got us a free shuttle ride up the to the base of the mountain and access to all the shows and the highest peak. It was an incredible experience to go up there and it has been on my bucket list since I moved here. For the tickets it was just shy of $60 per adult.

On the mountain we got to go on the cable car up the mountain, which offers incredible views over Vancouver and the valleys. From there we had lunch in the cafe overlooking the city. Next was on to the lumberjack show, which is an absolute must if you go up there. The skills of the lumberjacks is incredible and the show is really humerous.

Having paid for an ultimate ticket we went up to the highest peak of the mountain on a chair lift, which was brilliant as there was still loads of snow on the mountain. The views are really incredible and going over the bear enclosure offered aerial views of the resident grizzly bears. Up at the top there is a wind turbine that offers 360 degree views across to different mountain peaks, down to Vancouver, Capilano and way out to sea. It is truly breathtaking.

There is ziplining available but we didn’t do that. From what we were told there were 4-5 ziplines that gradually bring you up the mountain. It looked like great fun and I would love to go back and do it another time.

After coming down from the top the bears had fully woken up and offered some truly memorable sights from seeing them play in the pool through to chasing each other and grazing on the grass. The Grizzlies are called Coola and Grinder who are both rescue bears that were found on the brink of death after their mothers were killed. They were taken in by a rescue center and then once they realised they couldn’t be released they were brought up to Grouse to live out their days. Although they have all the skills to survive as bears because they have become used to humans they would not be able to be released because their instincts would tell them to associate humans with providers of food. Something I really liked was that they don’t have specific feeding times for the bears. They hide food for them when they aren’t expecting it to keep their instincts sharp and to provide them with opportunities to explore. The bears will be the only resident bears there as they are only there because they can’t be released into the wild. As captive bears they are likely to live until nearly 40 years old, almost double that of wild bears. They are currently around 16 years old.

From watching the bears we decided to make our way down the mountain and back into town. On the mountain there are bird of prey shows, which we caught some of whilst catching the chair lift back down from the peak. It looked really good and if the commentary was anything like that of the bear keepers then it would have been really informative. Overall it was a fantastic experience that I would more than happily pay to do again. What is really crazy is there is still several foot of snow on a lot of the mountain, and it’s nearly mid-June. It just goes to show what a crazy winter it has been. needless to say I have a little bit of a red forehead from all the sun (I do not feel sorry at all).

If the day couldn’t have got any better, in the evening I spent it with some of my best friends I have made here and my family. We went to The Keg on Dunsmuir. As usual the service did not disappoint and it was a great evening.

I feel incredibly lucky to have spent it with such great people and can’t wait to see what my 30’s bring. Thank you everyone who has sent good wishes from near and far, and from all corners of the world.

Here are a few photos from Grouse Mountain.

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Victoria Day and Burnaby Village Museum

It’s been a long while since I last posted about doing any local activities but today I have been to the Burnaby Village Museum and feel compelled to write something about this great attraction.

The first thing to note about the Burnaby Village Museum is it’s free to enter and it’s not a stuffy museum where you’re going to be for half an hour and then get bored.

The Burnaby Village Museum is like walking back in time with quaint buildings kept in their traditional style. It’s like stepping back 100 years. Minus horse-drawn carriages you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d entered another world, it’s brilliant. There are houses of famous residents to go in and explore, there’s an old Drug Store, a Blacksmiths with live demonstrations, a restaurant, Post Office, Chinese Medicine Store and numerous other buildings and outhouses. Walking around you will notice workers there are dressed in traditional dresses and suits. All of them are full of knowledge and enthusiasm for the different buildings and the history of the site.

What I liked most about it was that it was culturally interesting and engaging without being overwhelming or cliche. As today was Victoria Day there were extra celebrations happening. Victoria Day marks Queen Victoria’s birthday. It’s important to British Columbia because our Capital City, Victoria, which is located on Vancouver Island, is named after her.

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Free Baby Victoria Day Cup cake

It felt very nostalgic to walk around there with numerous links to the British history of the area. There was a live band, a bagpiper, reenactments and lots of things to see and do. If you want lunch or ice cream there’s places for that too but for me I was looking for a free and interesting day out, and that is exactly what I got. I even got a free mini cup cake that was being handed out to everyone in celebration of Victoria Day 🙂

I would highly recommend this attraction for anyone interested in a free and fun day out either on your own or with family. It’s good for people of all ages and there’s lots of outdoor space to walk around or let kids burn off steam.

Check out some of my photos:

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Applying for PR – the latest update 

I finally applied for Permanent Residency on Thursday last week. Watch this blog for the latest updates. The end cuts off abruptly, technology was not playing ball today.

Stay tuned for updates as they come!

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PR Update

It’s been a while since I last posted and I figured it would be apt to give you the low-down on where I am at with my Permanent Residency application given that that’s the biggest thing I have going on at the moment.You may recall a few weeks ago I posted on the Great Canadian Move Facebook group to say that I had submitted my profile into the pool of candidates to be considered for an Invitation to Apply, which is the official invite to apply for PR. You’ll never believe it but a week later I received an ITA but had to decline it as I was 10 days shy of the full 12 month’s work required to qualify under the program I am applying through (Canadian Experience Class – bases your application on your work experience within Canada).

 

Before you think I have thrown away my opportunity to apply I did make sure to check out with an immigration lawyer that I did indeed need to decline the invitation. She confirmed that the reason behind it is because even if I was to wait more than 10 days to submit my ITA the application is fed off of the date the invitation was actually sent, which was 10 days too early for me. Based on that they would reject my application and could potentially prevent me from applying again because I would have lied on my application. This is not a risk I am prepared to take so it is only sensible to go back into the pool and wait again.

 

Although disappointing that I had to decline the invitation I declined it the day I received it and so automatically go back into the pool to be able to be called up to apply again. Now I have officially passed the year threshold I can accept the invitation as soon as it arrives.

 

Whilst I have been waiting for the ITA’s to be issued I have successfully applied for and received my police certificate for immigration. Important note here, you need to make sure that when you get a police check done that it specifies it is for the purpose of immigration as there are additional checks completed during this check that can affect your immigration application. For a UK police check on standard turnaround time it cost me £45. There wasn’t an additional charge to post it to Canada, which was nice and it took just under 3 weeks to arrive from the date of application.

 

Once I get the ITA I will have to get a medical done and references from my jobs in Canada and then I am set to go. It is all very exciting and I am very confident that it should be a matter of when I get issued an ITA rather than if. I am definitely doing everything in my power to be able to get it.

 

In other news I have been busy house hunting for the 4th time. I can’t quite believe it will be my 4th house move in 2 years but then again it’s nice to have a change of living space and have another clear out. I am very close to securing somewhere to live, which is great as that puts a big tick in the to-do box. I am moving from my current place as my contract is up and I don’t want to renew it.

 

The final big thing I am working on is developing my investing knowledge for North America. As soon as I have my PR I will be looking for ways to make my salary go further and start saving for my future. This is something I have neglected until now because I haven’t been sure of where in the world I intended to make my base. I also want to get back into investing again as it is depressing watching any savings I have sit and do nothing in a basic savings account in Canada. Sadly, I don’t earn enough currently to qualify for better interest rates, which means based on my current rate it will take over 140 years to double my savings!!

 

Overall, things feel like they are going really well. Something that is definitely still true is, that despite the amount of uncertainty surrounding what is to come in the future I feel excited about what is coming even though I have no idea what that something might be. I am certainly trying my best to live in the here and now and enjoy it for what it is, whilst keeping half an eye on where I want to go.

 

Watch this space for more updates. I hope all of your lives are feeling similar with excitement but if not that you have plans you are working on to get it there. It might take some effort but it is totally worth it in the end.

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