#NKinNA16: Part 2 – Cray Cray in Canada

And so it continued…

My New York City journey had ended, and so my Contiki adventure had begun. Kate and I met the people we would be travelling with for the next however-many days, including our tour manager Phil, and our coach commandeer-er Ray AKA Ray Ray. Our first stop from New York City was Boston, Massachusetts, where Phil was conveniently from.

With a few stops along the way for breaks, one of these included a quick visit to Yale University in New Haven, Conneticut. I had been instructed from my sister to find her a husband from an Ivy League school, so with my first chance in front of me, I probably picked the worst candidate for her who stopped for a quick chinny and then ran off to class. Soz Stace.

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We finally reached Boston – after doing Awkward Coach Speed Dating – in the late arvo, so I did what anyone else would do with a few spare hours on their hands… I took a bloody nap. Dinner that night was at a place called Dick’s Last Resort, and as most Americans or others who know about this place, you’re in for an experience.

Dinner was shit. Service was terrible. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

Our first night to bond with our fellow Contikians was at a karaoke bar in downtown Boston. Now, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t remember the name because I was sippin’ the skank happy juice, but it was a night one would never forget. After asking everyone on Awkward Coach Speed Dating whether or not they would do karaoke, I put my hand up to be the first from Contiki to participate in karaoke. Not knowing how to hold a tune even if it introduced itself to me, shook my hand, and then slapped me in the face, I chose to rap one of the few songs I know all the words to… Anaconda by Nicki Minaj.

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Nikki rapping Nicki, right?

I had twerked so hard in the interludes of my karaoke performance that by belt snapped in half. Yes. You read that right.

As this was the first night for bonding, I made some very good friends very early on. Any doubts I had about my group were quickly flattened, and I grew to like this crew already.

On our second day in Boston, we were given the opportunity to tour Harvard University, led by our friendly and somewhat charming tour guide Cormack. Again, I couldn’t find a suitable suitor for my sister, so I apologise. The history behind Harvard University is quite interesting, and I would recommend a tour of this historic educational facility to anyone… although I must warn you: no filming is allowed on the campus of Harvard, so Legally Blonde wasn’t actually filmed there…

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After our Harvard tour, Kate and I wandered around the city of Boston by ourselves, including a stop by the original Wahlburgers. I could safely say that the best burger I have ever had was courtesy of Wahlburgers, and not just because Marky Mark’s beautiful face is staring down at you from a painting.

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A mediocre second night out in Boston soon followed, where most of us were back at the hotel and in bed by 1am. Most of the fun to be had was on the first night, so the second night had no chance.

Bags to the coach at 7:45am and soon my newfound friends and I were crossing the country borders up north and entering Canada. Our first official stop? Quebec City, Quebec. It would soon be established that as far as nightlife partying would go, it was a one-on-one-off situation, meaning our first night in Quebec City was going to be great.

After having a lovely included dinner in downtown Quebec City – and a quick visit to a relatively empty bar that had cheap af drinks – we went to one of the coolest night clubs I had ever seen on any continent. The best part about it? I was allowed to wear black denim short shorts, a Nikki Bella t-shirt, and black hi-tops. I am all for clubs with lax dress codes. Also I got to use my six years of French study in high school.

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The following day, we had an included bus-and-walking tour of Quebec City. I had no expectations of what Quebec City was going to be and what it would look like, so I can say I was blown away when I was shown how beautiful this city was. While it may not have been my most favourite stop on tour, it was definitely one of my favourite cities on tour as far as scenery goes. It’s a charming old city with history and heritage, and I definitely recommend it to those who are both into and not into partying.

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As this would be the off night, the bulk of us stayed at the hotel while some went to go watch a free circus in town. While it may have been an off night, the drinks were still flowing, and soon one thing led to another, and I was getting my hair dyed blond in Bree’s Hair Salon. And so did Micko… except he chose to dye the front and back parts of his hair and not the entire thing.

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After an alcohol-fuelled hotel corridor slash room slash pool party, bags were at the coach the following morning so we could head to our next Canadian destination: Montreal, Quebec. And again, before you get your hopes up… no, I did not see neither Maryse nor Kevin Owens there.

The views here were beautiful, and we went up to the most perfect lookout of this French speaking city. Our first night out in Montreal actually played host to one of my favourite bars called the Winston Churchill Bar, which had cheap af drinks, and a ton of friendly locals in the area. We also crossed paths with another Contiki tour here, and it was great to hear some more Aussie accents.

Oh, and innocent not-so-innocent Ashley and I were dragged to a strip club. It was an experience I’m glad I had, but I would be happy not to see another naked woman saying “shake shake shake shake shake” as her breasts wobbled in my face ever again.

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The following day, we were free to do whatever we wanted in Montreal, which for me was a trip to the ice skating rink in town. When in Canada, right? Well, no one told me that the ice skates in Montreal were a tad different to the ones I was used to at ye olde Norwest Ice Skating Rink, and my ankles and shins ended up bruised and scratched after my efforts on the rink. Our night was capped off with a big group visit to the laser tag joint in Montreal, and our journey from Maryseville was finished.

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Our final Canadian stop – and the last city we would be in with our Contiki Grand Canadian friends – was Toronto, Ontario. Now, not to mislead you or anything, but where we stayed in the heart of Toronto city was unfortunately no where near Trish Stratus’ Stratusphere yoga studio. Epic sadface.

After our included dinner at the Pickle Barrel, the squad and I headed off to a bar called the Madison Avenue Pub. This pub was quite crowded for a rather quiet night, and it was awfully hot and humid in there, so I didn’t particularly enjoy my night there. I did participate in a Bud Light Fan Draft competition (and I am still waiting for my prize for clearly winning), but after that, I headed on home for an early night.

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The following day, Kate and I were lined up to have a Steamwhistle Brewery tour, which required us to be at the brewery at 11am, but then we accidentally slept in… so no brewery tour for us. We decided to walk around Toronto town by ourselves and see what this city had to offer besides Trish Stratus. And maple syrup.

Being the night off – and everyone else had gone to a Blue Jays vs Red Sox game – I stayed in the room and watched the most confusing movie ever called Triangle. Still to this day, I don’t understand what happened in that movie, but yolo.

The following day, we got to visit one of the world’s most beautiful treasures… which has been unfortunately tainted by the man. Niagara Falls baybay! In theory, it sounds weird that people will flock to see a waterfall… but then I saw Niagara Falls, and I understood why people were so captivated by it. It was a sight to behold… and what better way to celebrate it by twerking in front of the falls on a boat. Or taking peace selfies in front of it.

166What’s so hideous about Niagara Falls though, is the man-made “come drop all your money at our feet” gift shops, arcades, bars, haunted houses, and everything else under the sun, area that’s literally across the road from the falls. Speaking of haunted houses, though… let’s talk about that time Hadleigh, Sasha and I went into a haunted house for the lolz and long story short, my awkward knee-jerk reactions to being scared resulted in me kicking the actor in there. Like foot-hitting-his-midsection kick. Oops.

After our adventure around the Falls, we returned back to our hotel where we got changed for our included dinner at Spring Rolls, which featured one of the most delicious vegetarian pad Thai’s I’ve ever had. Since it was our last night with our Grand Canadian friends, the crew went out to the bar across the road.

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So this is where I should mention that I was absolutely blotto this night, and don’t remember much from this. I remember snippets of the night, including falling down the stairs at the bar, attempting to sleep in front of an elevator, and professing my love to Jacob… or Esther. Either one.

This was the night, though, that everyone really felt the love. With the Grand Canadian friends leaving, we all took the time to bond and appreciate each other, and with a huge chunk of our group leaving to go to the other side of Canada, there would be a huge void in the group without them.

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This would end the portion of mine and Kate’s holiday entitled “Cray Cray in Canada”, as we would venture back into the land of free soda refills after this. Stay tuned for more of my #NKinNA16 blog, where I will eventually get to the story of how I threw up outside a bar and screamed at everyone to stop looking at me… all at the same time.

– by Noah La’ulu

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