Posts Tagged With: travel blog

Serving Justin Trudeau

What a great memory and fantastic way to end my last mission!

It was with my utmost pride and pleasure to personally serve Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Trudeau as their personal Flight Steward for a V.V.I.P. flight that took off from Anchorage, Alaska to Tokyo, Japan and back.

They were both very kind-hearted, well-mannered and down to earth people, which made my job on-board that much more enjoyable!

I worked on several of his flights, including his first international flight as the newly appointed PM; but this was the first time I worked in his stateroom, providing V.V.I.P. service.

To top it off, as this was my last flight after 4 years of flying with my unit, he signed my “Flying Log Book”, which keeps track of all my flights, missions and flying hours. It’s signed “For Jordan, With my Best, Justin”. I finished off 4 years of flying with 1214.9 hours spent in the air, which is equivalent to spending roughly 50.5 days non-stop in the air! I landed in a total of 35 countries in 5/7 continents!

Thanks for all the good times, guys!

Now onto new and exciting adventures! Where I go next, nobody knows

Categories: Canada, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Towering Trees of Love

I’m taking it back a few years…

This photo was taken in Cathedral Grove, MacMillan Park on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. You’ll find it on the way to Tofino, but in between Port Alberni and Parksville.

It didn’t matter how much we tried or how wide our hugs were, this tree was never going to feel a full-embraced hug. That’s okay though, because these Douglas Firs have been receiving some loving hugs for the last 800 or so years of their life. That’s right, at LEAST 800 years that these trees have been around. Some of them might have even been longer! There’s no way to explain the feeling of these trees and this forest… It’s magical, but at the same time, you feel like you’re such a small part of the world. Just another ant!

If you plan to stop in Tofino, make sure you don’t miss your stop to take a hike at Cathedral Grove!

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Brad and I showing this monstrous Douglas Fir some love.

Categories: British Colombia, Canada, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lviv, Ukraine

A quick two day trip in historical and beautiful Lviv, Ukraine.

I decided to give this blog post a new spin; I decided to record random events from my short trip on my GoPro, compile them together, edit it up a bit then voila! I’ve got a travel-themed video post from Lviv, Ukraine!

If you enjoyed this, please leave a like and comment on the video! If you want to see more of this in the future, let me know!

Categories: Destinations, Travel, Ukraine, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Final Flight

Today is a special day… It marks two different but important events for me.

First off, last night officially marked my last flight with 437 (T) Sqn. I had a few fun days in Lviv, Ukraine, but it was surreal to think that this was the last mission I was to be part of with this true family of a Squadron. The last 4 years has swept by like a vicious hurricane, but I can confidently say that my time at the Squadron was the best 4 years of my life. Four years with travel to over 30 countries in 5 out of 7 continents all around the world. I not only traveled, but traveled in style and pride on the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-150 A-310 Airbus aircraft, flying over 1,200 hours in the air in total, which amounts up to 50 days of my life spent in the air. Now that I’m leaving off to a new adventure, I can speak about the utmost pride and pleasure that I had while serving multiple dignitaries on our Airbus; personally serving Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Governor General David Johnston, Royal Family members Prince Charles and Camilla from the UK, while they flew to high-class events, meetings and summits around the world. I would also like to mention that is was an absolute honor to care for over 100 WWII Veterans that we flew to the Netherlands for the “Liberation of the Netherlands” battle they fought in, to drive out the Nazis and liberate the country. I also had the awesome experience of flying several famous Canadian athletes, singers, comedians, and stars, including Arlene Dickinson from “Dragon’s Den” to locations across Europe and Kuwait to entertain our hard-working and deployed troops who were away from their families.
Again, working at 437 (T) Sqn was a big part of my life, a place my heart holds close to and I will truly miss it and the people who I flew with; but I know all good things have to come to an end at some point. It’s time to move onto new and exciting adventures, a whole new world awaits me; and all of it, undiscovered with limitless opportunities. I look forward to this new chapter in my life and I have many to thank for helping me reach my goals – so, in saying that: Thank You!

Secondly, today also marks 7 proud years of full-time service with the Canadian Forces. Undeniably, it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life and I look forward to the next 20 (at minimum).

Here’s a video of my wet-down (make sure to play it in 1080p HD quality for the best experience).
On the final leg of every member’s last flight with the Squadron, an informal congratulatory ceremony called a “wet-down” is held at the entrance of the plane. The member walks down the stairs to then be soaked head-to-toe with bone-chilling water. I took part in many of these events, but it was strange to feel that it was my turn this time around. Thank you to everyone who took their personal time to show up for the wet down, it really meant a lot to me!

Thank you 437 (T) Squadron for the best years of my life!

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Memorable Memories

Wow, what a memory of a photo!

I was elated to know that I was going to be around to take this photo with my Squadron. It’s been a few years since we had the last Squadron photo and it won’t be long before I’m off onto my next posting. At least I have this valuable portrait to hold onto and display with pride to my family and friends.

The two planes we are positioned in front of are CC-150 A-310 Airbus aircrafts that are modified to military standards. We just had one publicly displayed at the Quinte International Airshow that just took place on the 25 and 26th of June, 2016 in Trenton, Ontario, Canada – along with several other aircraft from Canada and abroad. Notably, I really enjoyed watching the historic Lancaster and P51 Mustangs fly over head, something that you definitely don’t see everyday.

Aside from that, I’m proud to say that I’ve finally earned a few notable awards! First off, without getting into any specific details, I’ve earned my first medal from a mission I took part in several years ago. I also earned my 1,000 hours flying certificate (I actually have about 1,200 hours now). The important thing to note here is that each hour is an actual hour in the air and not hours spent on the ground in a foreign destination.

437 Sqn group photo

437 Squadron photo taken on the flight line located on 8 Wing Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton, Ontario on June 03, 2016. Images by: Cpl Rob Stanley, 8 Wing Imaging

Categories: Canada, Ontario, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Faro, Portugal

Less than 24hrs in Faro, Portugal, but it was more than enough time to indulge in some tantalizing tapas such as: smoked salmon wrapped around cream cheese and avocado which was gently placed on top of a slice of freshly baked baguette – the others, well, I can’t remember the ingredients, I just knew that every single bite was heaven. Of course, the meal would not have been complete without a luxurious glass of Portuguese red wine, MmmmMmm… I’m not a wine connoisseur, but every sip was heaven!

I took a small walk around the district my hotel was located in; it was very tourist-friendly and most of the locals spoke English. If you’re new to travelling or you prefer easy travelling without language-barrier restrictions, then Faro, Portugal is an excellent choice for you. From what I saw, there was an abundance of activities and sights for all ages, not to mention the city rests right on coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

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This district was about a 10-minute drive from the Faro airport. Lots of shopping and stores galore!

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A view of this local marina in Faro from the 5th level of the 4 star Eva Hotel.

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Wandering through the local district. The weather was hot and city was charming!

 

Categories: Destinations, Portugal, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Queen Elizabeth Park, Vancouver

This is the breathtaking Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Endless gardens, sprouting tulips and floral scents coating the air; it truly is a wonderful place!

20160406_142023_HDRTulips sprouting up; their vivid colours bring so much life to the park.

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An indoor bio-dome;  housing humid weather and magical creatures.

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20160406_133352_HDROne of the entrance’s to Queen Elizabeth Park. That dome you see is an indoor eco-system; seen in the photos above.

Categories: British Colombia, Canada, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crossing Canada; Ottawa and Manitoba

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Sometimes its just never enough time… You feel like your week is just getting started somewhere and before you know it, you’re packing your bags and waving your goodbyes. That’s how this past week was for Amy and I in Winnipeg, Manitoba – or should I say Winterpeg, Manisnowba.

We have officially started our three week vacation just over a week ago, starting in Ottawa, Ontario by visiting my parents and seeing a close friend to sailing through Canadian airspace over to Winnipeg to visit my much-missed and well-loved Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.
Just before I jump into my Winnipeg adventure, I need to share some exciting recommendations and places to see (that only locals know about), if you happen to be in the Ottawa region, that is.
First off, if you’re coming to Ottawa, don’t be scared to venture off across the Champlain Bridge and over into the unknown land of Quebec. Specifically, you’d be spending your time visiting my hometown: Aylmer, Quebec. It’s no more than a 10 minute drive over the Champlain Bridge and you don’t have to worry about being French language-equipped, most businesses are bilingual and will serve you in English without issues. If you’re into cute, cozy and relaxing cafés that aren’t run and managed by major franchises, then you must visit the “British Café”! This newly renovated cafe is armed with high quality coffee, freshly baked pastries, a loungy environment and well managed staff. If you’re into the bar scene, but enjoy tasting new beers from all over the world, then look no further than my favourite bar in Aylmer: ” L’autre Oeuil”, which translates to “The Other Eye” in English. This bar is incorporated into a historic but well-kept house but a modern and dimly-lit interior. The reason why people like this joint so much is because it offers roughly 300+ beers from around the world, both fresh on the tap and bottled and they are continuously adding in new selections to their menu, leaving you opportunities for new palatable experiences on every visit. Thirdly, for food, you must try “L’aubergiste”. This joint is run and owned by two professional chefs who create a new and fresh menu almost everyday to keep things interesting. When I visited last week, I indulged in one of the best poutines that I’ve ever had in my life; duck confit, local cheese curds and freshly sliced fries smothered in a homemade gravy recipe. If the province of Quebec could be transmuted into a fine dish, then this definitely was it!

My grandparents were adamant on showing us their favorite, local food joints within their home region just outside of Winnipeg, so that’s exactly what they did! Joey’s, Ricki’s, Roxie’s, Vickie’s, Half-Moon… You’d think I was reciting off a set of Santa’s new line of reindeer if you didn’t know any better! Out of all those joints, I’d have to highly recommend Roxie’s in Selkirk, Manitoba. We showed up on rib night (Saturday); I’m not usually a rib guy, but I decided to take a chance and see what this popular dish was all about. Well holy-rib o’mighty! Lemme tell you, I was in rib heaven! The meat was melting right off the bones and the apple-chipotle sauce was to die for! To kill time and have some fun in Manitoba, we LOVE to visit a popular casino & resort just North of Beausejour, Manitoba. We have fun gambling away at the newly installed slots and games, which do have pretty positive payouts when comparing to the Regent casino in Winnipeg (from our experience). Because this casino is a little farther from the city of Winnipeg, there is usually better parking and more breathing room in the casino. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a seat at your favourite gambling game.

Aside from fine dining and fun gambling, I had the pleasure to visit with some well-missed family. I’m very proud to see that my cousins are healthy, happy and successful; I look forward to seeing where their future brings them! I also consider myself very lucky to descend from such a healthy, smart and strong family.
At the end of the day, this isn’t a goodbye, but just a “see you soon”!

At this point in time, I am about to land in Calgary, Alberta for a transfer over to Abbotsford, British Columbia, where we will spend a week and a half visiting my family-in-law and my Brother who is currently stationed in Victoria, BC. I am very excited to see everyone and also, to practice my Spanish that I have been learning from scratch as of a few months ago.

Stay tuned for more photos, videos, travel tips, reviews, advice and adventures in British Columbia and beyond!

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Categories: Canada, Manitoba, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic.

14hrs on the ground… Next to no sleep then zipping right back to Canada.

What a magical country… Prague is full of History and architectural charm – I feel like I’m being sucked back in time a few hundred years.

Categories: Czech Republic, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Basque Country, Spain/France

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What comes to mind when you think of Spain? The cities of Barcelona and Madrid? Running of the bulls or tomato throwing (La Tomatina) festivals?

If you look at a map, Spain itself is quite extensive; it’s the second largest country in Europe. In saying that, you can imagine that there is just so much to see in such a large country.

Today, I’m going to share some photos of an area of North-Western Spain called the “Basque country” (Pays Basque / Pais Vasco [FR/ES]).

The history of the Basque country is so old, that the language itself cannot be traced back or connected to any modern day or any dormant/extinct languages; thus, the Basque language (Euskara) is considered an isolated language, leaving linguistic researchers baffled and confused. Some research has revealed the the roots of the language have been around for as long as 20,000 years and almost 1 million people still speak it until this day.

A majority of the Basque population has type O- blood and their genes have been heavily linked to the Neanderthals.

The Basque country is divided into seven provinces or more formerly known as “administrative districts”. Four of them are in Spain and the other three are in South-Western France, bordering Spain.

I’m proud to have strong family roots to this mystical land and hope to soon explore more of the gems it has to offer!

Disclaimer: 90% of photos/videos are taken by me, but not these ones.
Categories: Basque Country, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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