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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Travel Log - Day 0 (Flights)

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 25/01/2006 00:53:00 - 12 years ago

(note: if you get bored reading this, or any other travel logs - a few Chuck Norris Facts might help. i.e. Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice) I've (finally) decided to find the time to share my honeymoon holiday experiences with this limited audience. As we managed to get through a lot in the 18 or so days, I've decided to blog each day as one entry. I was going to wait until I had a desk on which to put my computer (for comfort reasons) before starting this - but I also want to blog before I forget all of it. Here it goes: Bell's mum drove us to Melbourne airport nice and early, so we could have lots of time to wait. Our flight set off at 12:20pm (midday), we were to fly for something like 15 hours and would arrive in America at around

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Travel Log - Day 13 (Mr. Dixon ... stays in Washington)

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 17/08/2006 02:19:00 - 12 years ago

Yes, it's early and I couldn't think of a proper title After a lazy morning we dragged ourselves out of bed for some lunch. While Belinda had a boring Subway - I tried out the "World's Greatest Hamburgers" at Fuddruckers. They may not be world beating - but they were all kinds of fantastic! I ordered a triple cheese burger (I like cheese), and it came with just a bun, cheese and the meat. Somewhat perturbed I wondered if "World's Stingiest Hamburgers" had been misspelled, when I saw the condiment table. Brilliant! A whole area with every condiment under the sun to add to your hamburger. I added the exact amount of mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, lettuce, onion and tomato that I wanted - and had probably the best hamburger consumed while in America. The rest of day 13 was going to be spent getting a tour of the

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Florence and Pisa, Italy - 2012

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 22/08/2012 02:19:32 - 6 years ago

Florence was a bit of a whirlwind with only two nights planned to fit in a bunch of museums and a day trip to Pisa. This was further complicated when I realised all of the museums would be closed on my second day in Florence giving me only one afternoon to fit in the Accademia Gallery (housing Michalangelo's David), the Uffizi, Museo Galileo and whatever else I wanted to visit. This is where the "Florence Card" came in very handy. Most cities offer a "[insert city name] Card" which gives you access to a bunch of museums, galleries and public interest spots as well as providing free public transportation. Florence was the first city that I gave it a go - the density of museums combined with my lack of time making it more than worth my while. I have felt like a king among peasants, heading straight to

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nice and Monte Carlo, France - 2012

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 13/09/2012 06:41:22 - 6 years ago

I really only knew about the French city of Nice because it forms part of a hilarious high school joke, whereby you alternate between pointing at Nice and Brest on a map while giggling uncontrollably. Upon a further review I noticed that Nice was very close to Monte Carlo and figured it would be a good place to start a road trip up to Paris. I originally had 14 days set aside for France, but with the addition of Edinburgh each town on the way to Paris would have to be to only one or two nights. Fortunately Nice ended up with two nights. After a very early flight I arrived at the airport and picked up my hire car - where I was met with a confluence of issues. I hadn't driven in a month, hadn't driven a manual for a few years, only one week experience of

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paris, France - 2012

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 26/09/2012 00:41:32 - 6 years ago

Whenever I mentioned Paris as one of the EuroJoel 2012 destinations, most people would ooh and aah and tell me how jealous they were. For such a infamous and romantic city, I wasn't all that excited to be there. It certainly is a must-see destination, and it managed to take up 5 nights of my itinerary, but for me the romance was always in the US and New York as opposed to Europe and Paris. Before even starting my experience in Paris I had to drop the hire car off - which turned out to be harder than originally anticipated. Paris drivers are terrible. Driving in the middle of Melbourne during peak hour has nothing on Paris. I also found out the secret to parking in a big city like Paris - set your car down wherever you want and chuck on the hazard lights - that'll do just

Thursday, September 12, 2013

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 12/09/2013 01:58:31 - 5 years ago

Part of this trip was designed as a fact-finding mission to determine whether I would enjoy living in Argentina. I would love to learn Spanish, and I figure spending 12-months in a Spanish-speaking country is the only way I could possibly learn - Argentina would make sense as Pao's family is here. With that in mind we decided to visit Córdoba in the geographical centre of Argentina. One of the first sights we visited while was Sarmiento Park and the steel rings celebrating Córdoba's bicentennial. The park was pretty cool (apart from the hobo accommodation section we stumbled upon) and I thought the steel rings were a nice touch. There are two hundred rings - one for each year with a brief description of something important that happened at that point in Córdoba's history. Unfortunately the rings also highlighted a common theme that disappointed me about Argentina - a

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Takayama & Gero, Japan - 2015

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 26/04/2015 01:42:47 - 3 years ago

The Wikitravel article for Takayama was quite complimentary of Center4 Hamburgers serving American-style burgers in Takayama. I'm a huge fan of burgers, but the trip to Japan was more about eating the local fare and trying food that I wouldn't have access to back home. Little did I know, Center4 Hamburgers produces the best burger (and onion rings) I have eaten anywhere in the world - but more on that later. The only reason we looked into Takayama to start with is the Spring Festival - which is apparently one of the most beautiful festivals in Japan - happening right at the end of our prospective Japan trip. It took a bit of re-arranging, and a hotel in almost close-by Gero (as everything in Takayama was already booked) but we were able to stay in Takayama the night before the festival. Looking through the festival map we received from

Sakura & Bonus Wrap-up, Japan - 2015

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 26/04/2015 13:04:09 - 3 years ago

With the high of the amazing burger behind us, I don't feel I should dwell on our final stop - so this will be brief. Wanting an easy road to the airport for our flight home, we decided to spend our final day in Sakura, very close to Narita Airport (and also quite nice in the blossom season apparently). Little did we know then, cherry blossoms are scared by a slight breeze or light shower of rain, so the majority of blossoms were gone by the time we made it to Sakura. We did check out a few of the Samurai houses in the location, which were pretty cool (and unlike Kyoto they actually included props to understand the purpose of each room). We also headed down to the local castle ruins with cool greenery and hidden pathways. But in general, our final day was pretty much a lazy

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pittsburgh Arrival - Border Security Magic, 2017

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 21/03/2017 03:48:34 - 15 months ago

For 3 grueling years I've been on a waiting list to attend the Mario Lemieux Fantasy Hockey Camp - a 5-day camp giving participants a glimpse into the life of an NHL hockey player and a chance to play and interact with some of the biggest names in hockey. The chance to play hockey along-side and against Mario Lemieux as well as other favourites such as Larry Murphy, Paul Coffey and Pierre Turgeon - while contributing to the Mario Lemieux Foundation - made the decision to join the list a no-brainer. When my name finally reached the top of the list, Pao and I planned a 4-week holiday in the U.S. - and took the opportunity to bring my little brother Tay as a 21st birthday present (I set a silly precedent by doing similar with my sister years ago). This incredibly generous gift (which I hope ensures Tay

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Pittsburgh Return - Fleury, Fleury, Fleury!, 2017

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 14/12/2017 09:02:27 - 6 months ago

Continuing our jet-setting lifestyle, we flew back to Pittsburgh from Chicago just in time to see another hockey game - this time against the Tampa Bay Lightning and my first game at the Penguin's new-ish home - PPG Paints Arena (seems like a strange mouthful for a name, but I'm actually used to it now). I was wearing my awesome Magnitogorsk Malkin top (a gift from my equally awesome girlfriend) and it attracted a fair few double-takes. I also ensured we were all wearing a hat that we wouldn't miss, as I was sure one of the Penguins would score three goals allowing us to engage in the age-old tradition of throwing our hats on the ice to celebrate a hat-trick. Light-ning A much better view, sitting with a much classier bunch of fans (Penguins fans, of course) Our seats were pretty cool, we had an awesome view

Monday, December 18, 2017

New York - Third time's a charmed lamp, 2017

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 18/12/2017 07:17:14 - 6 months ago

Part of my North American trip with my little sister back in 2011 included a few days in New York sharing the smallest hotel room I've ever experienced. I felt that I had to show Taylor what New York had to offer, as well as my partner Pao as she had never been to the US before (even though she grew up much closer to New York than I did). We were going to need a bigger room. We had to get up very early to catch a flight to La Guardia airport, as soon as we got into the shuttle towards to the airport I was reminded by how crappy traffic in New York was. I never really used the subway system the first two times I was there (I'll admit TV and movies scared me off), but this time I figured we would pretty much have to

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Miami, Naples and Tampa - Beaches, Babe and a Baby Sloth, 2017

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 20/12/2017 06:23:54 - 6 months ago

My overly-awesome girlfriend Paola was already completely on-board with my crazy dream of flying to America to play hockey with my childhood idol (also note that she was Florida's only "babe" referred to in the title of this blog). Even so, I was more than happy to include a location on our itinerary that was more of a sweetener for Pao, after a few weeks of the biting Winter weather. We said goodbye to Taylor at the airport (he was going straight back to Australia) and hopped onto a plane destined for Florida. A very pleasant experience (more so than the fact that we successfully transferred between planes in Atlanta with only 10 minutes available) was that our plane in New York was slightly delayed to have the wings de-iced before takeoff, only to land in Fort Lauderdale in the midst of some glorious sweltering weather. Weather I don't

Pittsburgh - For some hockey (why not?), 2017

# Posted by Joel Dixon at 20/12/2017 08:17:47 - 6 months ago

Getting over to Pittsburgh from Australia involves a long flight and many dollarydoos, so we planned to attend as many Pittsburgh games as possible while there - giving us the best chance to experience a hattrick for the good guys and to watch Fleury playing in his final year with the Pens. So after returning from Philadelphia we had tickets to catch two further Penguins games, one against the New Jersey Devils and one hosting Jaromir Jagr's Florida Panthers. For the Devils game I took a peek at the ticket exchange website and a pair of seats jumped out at me. There were two tickets available on the glass, directly behind the Penguins bench. Of course, the price was exorbitant but it wasn't too much trouble to convince myself that such an extravagance was justified for the chance to watch legends of the game at ice level. When we

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Pittsburgh - For some hockey (why not?), 2017
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Miami, Naples and Tampa - Beaches, Babe and a Baby Sloth, 2017
New York - Third time's a charmed lamp, 2017
Pittsburgh Return - Fleury, Fleury, Fleury!, 2017
Chicago - Blackhawks, Bulls and a bean, 2017
Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp 2017 - Day 4 and 5 (Final Games)
Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp 2017 - Day 3 (Outdoor Game, Injury, Dinner and Drinks)
Marc-André Fleury still giving high fives to his injured buddy
Mario Lemieux Fantasy Camp 2017 - Day 2 (Contract Signing, Training and Game)

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