Red and White Club, March 30, 2006: Mount Royal College Cougars Chelsea Hobbs (volleyball) and Kristy Lachapelle (badminton) were named co-recipients of the Al Bohonus Female Athlete of the Year award while Brody Hilland (badminton) received Male Athlete of the Year.

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Some friends and I are having dinner in "Sushi Tokyo" restaurant, downtown Calgary. Great food and very reasonable price.

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Yesterday I photographed ACAC men's hockey playoffs game between the Mount Royal College Cougars and the SAIT Trojans, where SAIT evened the best-of-five series at two games apiece with a 4-3 overtime victory.

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I'm finally made it back home to Calgary. Last day in Toronto we visited Niagara Falls. The weather wasn't very nice for the photographs, it was a little foggy and all my photographs were lacking contrast, but it was an interesting place to visit. Because Niagara Falls is located right on the US border, we drove to see Buffalo NY, where I decided to eat some American food :)

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I'm back in Canada! Spending some time in Toronto right now. This morning Tracy and I visited the Toronto zoo, it was great! The zoo is very big, I'm very impressed, I didn't even come close to seeing it all after spending pretty much the whole day there. I know that I would come back with tons of good animal photographs if I stayed in Toronto longer. In the evening we went up the CN Tower and took some night shots of downtown.

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Well my time in Jamaca is coming to an end. I had a great time swiming, spending time on the beach, and taking interesting tours around this beautiful country. I stayed in a great hotel, enjoyed very good food, and the weather was great for the two weeks I have been here. Before heading home I had to try the jetted bathtub in our room, it was very nice and relaxing. I'm leaving to Toronto and this will be my last time posting from Jamaica. Stay tuned for more updates.

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Of course I couldn't leave Jamaica without going on a Bob Marley tour, we spent a day on a bus, going to see Nine Mile, the town where Bob Marley was born and where his grave is now. On the way there and back we listened to many of his songs and watched some concerts on DVD. I liked Bob Marley before and I learned some more interesting things about him on this tour.

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Nothing is really new, just enjoying life on the beach. We did lots of kayaking and swimming in the ocean today.

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This morning we took a cab to go to the local supermarket in Ocho Rios. I took some photos of the local people and got a hair cut at a local barber.

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Oh, another hard day at the office :) We finally had a chance to sleep in. We didn't have anything planned for today, just a nice relaxing day at the beach. We went for a ride on a pedal boat, did some swimming and laid on the beach. Later in the evening we played some tennis and I took some night photographs of our hotel.

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Port Antonio. This morning, 7:40 to be exact we left our hotel and headed to Port Antonio. We stopped to see Somerset waterfalls. The area was deep in the gungle, all covered by trees and it was very beautiful. We went for a very short boat ride that took us inside of the waterfalls where Tracy dove in for a little swim under the falling water.
The highlight of the tour was the rafting! If I had to recommend one thing to try in Jamaica - rafting would be it. They took us on a 3 hour trip down the river on a bamboo raft. The raft is about 25-30 feet long and about 5 feet wide. It can transport 2 people plus the raft captain. It was a very interesting and relaxing trip after which we headed back to our hotel.

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Today was another long day. Tracy really wanted to see Kingston, the capital of Jamaica but the tour that the resort was offering wasn't very long and we would only see the touristy parts. We ended up taking a taxi ride with a personal guide. The price was more expensive, but it was really worth it! We could stop at any time to take photographs and could go pretty much where we wanted and stay there as long as we needed.
We stopped at a severally flooded area, Monegue, where a whole village is now underwater due to hurricane Ivan. You can see my photo of some boats that people use to get to the other side of the water where some houses are not yet covered by water. The water levels are still rising and no one really knows why.
We visited Port Royal, a 17th century port that was destroyed by an earthquake. It was an interesting place to visit. We drove through the richest and the poorest parts of the city, we saw many interesting things, and even stopped at the zoo (not even close to the Calgary zoo, but was still interesting to see). We just had a great dinner and I'm looking forward to another long day tomorrow... Port Antonio.

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It was a long day but we made it! We took a tour to Negril, a small beach town. The first half of the tour wasn't very exciting for me, we did see most of the north and west coast but the drive was quite long, 4 hours. At Negril we had lunch and spent a little more than 4 hours on a very nice, long beach. It was very hot and the water was great. The beach was also full of the young spring break people.
After we went to Rick's Cafe where we had the opportunity to cliff dive, or just to watch it from the side (we chose the second option). The cliff was very high and we did see a girl injured and carried out on a stretcher. Of course the locals were the best! We watched a beautiful sunset and drove home. The drive home was longer because we hit a man with our bus.

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We woke up bright and early and took a cab to the Dunn's River Falls. We decided not to go with a tour but to go on our own instead so we can be there earlier and I can just take my time to photograph the falls. It was a good idea because just right after I was done taking photos, the place was taken over by lots of tourists.
Visitors can climb up Dunn's River Falls with a guide, they would start right from the ocean and climb 600 feet up, or can start from the top and take the stairs along the falls all the way down to a nice beach. We had a great day, went for a nice swim (we had the whole beach for ourselves because we came early) and got under the waterfalls to take some photographs (set my camera on a tripod and 10sec timer in the ocean for that).

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This morning we took a cab ride to Ocho Rios, the closest town to our hotel. The main goal was to find an Internet cafe so I can plug in my laptop and upload some news and see my emails. I don't know why, but they don't allow to connect laptops, you are only allowed to use their computers. We got lucky though, after playing around with the hub I found a way to plug my laptop in and was able to use it.
The city is not very big (maybe 25,000 people or so), similar to all the small towns that we saw in Dominican Republic. Its loud, everybody is honking, people are trying to sell different things to tourists. Ocho Rios is a port city, today we saw 3 big cruise ships docked there, and the cab driver said that it is like that year-round, plus many resorts, so there are lots of tourists. I was never asked so much in my life if I want to smoke some marijuana as I was today. As far as I know its illegal but you can smell it everywhere you go.
While walking in the city we met a nice local guy (later turned out to be a drug dealer) who showed us around in the local farmers market, showed us different spices, herbs, fruits, and also some marijuana plants that they are growing. I also found some dry salty fish at the market so I will try it tonight :)

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Today we are being beach bums. After we woke up to a nice view (you can see it on the first image) we went for a nice walk along the beach and for a swim in the ocean. Its pretty windy today but still nice and hot. Although I used sunscreen 30 yesterday, I still sun burned, not bad, just a little on my sholders. We ate some food on the beach, it was very very spicy! (Greg, you would love it here). When people say that Jamaican food is spicy, believe them!

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We made it to our hotel in Jamaica, located just outside of Ocho Rios. It was very late in the evening, so we didn't see much on our 2 hour drive to the hotel.
This morning we slept in a little and went to our orientation meeting, where they told us about all the exciting things we can do here. There are 8 restaurants in the resort (we didn't try them all yet). At least a couple of the restaurants are open 24h a day. Food is great, lots of spicy meat, some nice deserts, and of course all the drinks you can find. Later tonight we played some tennis. I'm going to have to play alot if I will continue eating like I do.

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Well, here we are, we made it to Toronto. Its just past 5 am (Calgary time) and we already checked in our bags, took couple of bags with our winter clothes to the long storage facility, and even booked a rental car for the time when we will come back here after Jamaica. The day is just beginning, and its going to be a long one!

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I'm leaving tonight for a vacation, going to Jamaica for 2 weeks and than staying in Toronto area for an other week. Sorry, I will not have any updates on my page during that time, but be patient, I'm going to have lots of beautiful photographs when I'll come back! I hope there is still some snow left!!

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