Auckland City Highlights Tour | New Zealand Travel Blog

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 10

After returning to my hotel last night (Part 9), I was too tired to wander around downtown near my hotel. I instead grabbed a quick combo at the Burger King next door. New Zealand is unlike Australia in that they keep the Burger King name; in Australia, Burger King is called Hungry Jack. It’s surprising how fast food chain restaurants can give you the same feeling in a foreign country as when you are dining in your hometown.

The name of my tour was Auckland City Highlights Tour with Harbour Cruise and Sky Tower Admission. Basically, this tour shows the main tourist attractions in Auckland, a boat cruise, and ends up at the Sky Tower.

The total tour lasts 5 hours. Sightseeing on the bus goes for 2.5 hours and the boat cruise which starts from Waitemata Harbour or simply Auckland Harbour in downtown runs for 1.5 hours. Finally, the tour company will bring you to the Sky Tower and from there you are on your own.

The tour starts by passing on Queen Street, which cuts through the main downtown business and shopping district known as the 'Golden Mile'. Then the tour bus passes the old buildings that date back to the 1880s, New Zealand’s largest university, and modern high-rise skyscrapers.

I also passed by Auckland Harbour and Auckland Harbour Bridge. There was a short photo opportunity stop overlooking the marina from the Harbour Bridge. I noticed 2 old and rusty gigantic iron wheels which provided very nice photo opportunities. Almost everyone on the tour bus wanted to take pictures with those wheels.

Next stop would be Parnell Road, where I will have time to wander around on my own for 15 minutes and have my coffee.

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 1

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 2

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 3

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 4

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 5

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 6

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 7

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 8

New Zealand Travel Blog: Part 9

A Dawn Books – A Showcase of Books by Personal Finance Author A Dawn

A Dawn Books Website Was Fully Designed By A Dawn

First Published: August 9, 2009

Until now, whenever I needed a site I asked my programmers to design it for me and picked one from among those they designed. Take A Dawn Journal, for example. Once I described to my programmer exactly what I was looking for, he designed three sites for me, and I picked the one I thought best suited my needs and looked visually pleasing. The design I picked still exists and this is what A Dawn Journal currently looks like (as of July 20, 2009. I am mentioning this because if you read this article after ten or twenty years from now, most likely ADJ will have a different look). Starting then ’til now, my creative inner-self has been dying to design a website from scratch with 100% my own design and that’s what made it possible to design a website all by myself.

The only thing I had on my mind while designing A Dawn Books is simplicity. I tried to make it a very simple and easy-to-navigate site while giving it a visually pleasing look. On the right side of the homepage, I integrated my Books specific blog. It will show the first few lines of my latest blog on the current book I will be writing and once you click on the Read More tab, it will take you to the A Dawn Books Blog page which stays hidden inside A Dawn Books main page.

From now on, I will be using A Dawn Books to provide updates for the new books I will be writing. For example, I am hoping to start working on my next book Save Now shortly and I will provide updates as I go along on the A Dawn Books site. However, whenever I publish a new post on A Dawn Books, I will let my readers know on Canada’s Personal Finance Website-as ADJ has the highest traffic of all my sites. Take a look on A Dawn Books and give me your feedback. Your continuous support has made it possible for me to come this far and it is always appreciated. Cheers!

What You Must Not Miss When You Have Only 24 Hours in Las Vegas

Las Vegas Offers So Much to See

Just finished my 3-day Las Vegas trip. I had to finish so much in 3 days that I was always on the run. Especially when my Grand Canyon trip took one whole day. So basically I had time to spend one full day visiting free tourist attractions and I decided to give you a brief rundown of what you must not miss if you have only one day in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Fountains: This spectacular water show is not to be missed.

The Mirage Volcano: Watch an exploding volcano in the forest without the risks of going into the actual forest.

The Venetian Grand Canal: Who says you need to go to Italy to experience Venice-style canals? The Venetian Grand Canal mimics the canals of Venice, complete with a gondola ride.

After experiencing the above three, if you have time you can go through Paris the Eiffel Tower, New York New York Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, Fremont Street Experience, Caesars Palace, the Luxor, etc. And obviously, taking part in the things I mentioned will give you the experience of watching The Strip as well.

Las Vegas has so many things to see that you will need about five days if you need to experience a bit of everything, including the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. However, if you are time constrained, in my view what I mentioned above should be good enough to claim you have visited Las Vegas.

In this video LINK, I have captured the three important things I mentioned. And keep an eye on my YouTube Channel for more video clips in the future.

The sign of a recovery? Maybe not so much

Financial Update Week in UK

First Published: August 11, 2009

It is a sign of the times we are living in that more people than ever are actually sitting forward when the TV news switches to finance, as opposed to flipping the channel to find something less boring instead. With the global impact of what was, after all, a global credit crisis, people now want to know about finance. It affects jobs, housing, and after a while it has an impact on everything, from the personal to the political. This week has seen a slew of financial results emerging in the United Kingdom, one of the first countries to be hit by the “credit crunch”, and one of the bell-weather free market economies of the world. To call them a “mixed bag” would be about right…

As the week started two of the biggest banks operating in the UK announced major profits in the billions. Barclays and HSBC each raked in profits for the first six months of the year in the region of CA$5.5 million. Given that it was in the banking sector that the fire started in the UK, two of their major banks reporting such positive results early on is encouraging indeed. The sign of a recovery? Maybe not so much. The other half-year results which emerged this week seem to be somewhat more circumspect, if not downright pessimistic. Among them are some tales of woe, some tales of qualified hope, and a whole lot that can only be described as “hmmm” results.

Bad for the UK government is the news that Northern Rock, the ailing bank it took over (in the aftermath of the UK’s first run on a bank in many, many years) has posted further losses – in the region of CA$1.35 billion. How much of this loss-making is down to how the bank is being run, how much is down to the existing recession conditions and how much is down to the now tattered reputation of the Newcastle-based bank is currently hard to tell. Given that every UK taxpayer now has a stake in the bank, the financial results of Northern Rock are of interest to everyone in the country – and it would be fair to say they aren’t turning cartwheels with joy right now.

Then there is the story of Lloyds HBOS. Twenty or more years ago, there were four banks called Lloyds, TSB, Halifax and the Bank of Scotland. Then Lloyds merged with TSB to create Lloyds TSB, and Halifax and the Bank of Scotland created HBOS in the same way. After a government-backed takeover of HBOS by Lloyds TSB at the end of last year, the buoyant Lloyds TSB found that HBOS’ debt level was far greater than first thought, and this week they announced financial results which showed their first-half numbers to be in the negative margin. Time will tell how they ride out this storm, especially with the Bank of England announcing an additional £50 billion of “quantitative easing”, essentially adding new money to the economy.

What Happened to My OnePlus One in Las Vegas?

OnePlus One and the Luxor Hotel

Just completed my 3-day Las Vegas trip. I was having a vacation full of surprises and the unexpected, especially after seeing one of the seven natural wonders of the World in the Grand Canyon. However, all my excitement was shattered by an unfortunate event just the day before returning to Toronto.

After having a quick breakfast in Wendy's located in front of my hotel, New York New York, I decided to visit the Luxor hotel before heading to the Las Vegas South Premium Outlets mall. The Luxor hotel is named after the Egyptian city Luxor and it mimics pyramids both inside and outside.

I was very excited to take video and pictures of the Luxor hotel from the sidewalk across the street in front. And then bad luck struck me. All of a sudden, I don't even know how, my OnePlus One phone slipped out of my hand and landed on its screen on concrete. The screen got shattered, but the phone was still working. However, the shattered screen lost its touch sensitivity and I was unable to access anything on my phone.

I was very found of my OnePlus One phone and it still looked new after using it for a year and a half. So breaking it made me very upset and I was unable to enjoy my vacation 100% after the incident. I did buy a new OnePlus Two phone when I got the invite, so this is what I am using as my primary phone.

I don't see any point in trying to fix my OnePlus One, as I did some research and it looks like the cost is about $200 to fix it. I was able to retrieve all my pictures and video clips from my trip via Dropbox. I will be posting all the videos on my YouTube channel one by one. Here is the link you can check, you especially don't want to miss the Grand Canyon video.