The Order

We’ve been wanting to create this video since we ended our road-trip in December. This is the order in which we visited every State, Province, and Territory in Canada and the United States as controlled by YOU, the followers of alexandluke.com.

Enjoy,
alex and luke.

PS: The First Band/Person to create a YouTube video of them covering the song used in this video gets an alexandluke.com prize.

Top 3 places in North America to spend New Years Eve

Posted on December 30th, 2010 in British Columbia,Editorial,Florida,New Hampshire,Top 3's by alex

People often ask us what the absolute best highlights of our cross continental road trip were, and we have such a hard time answering because there are just so many. We have our favourite scenic drives, our favourite breakfast spots, our favourite national parks and beaches, our favourite hotels and motels and hostels… even our favourite states, provinces and territories. So we thought we would make a series of Top 3’s so that we can focus on the best of the best and provide you with some great insight into some of the most fabulous places right here in our own backyards.

And so we begin with the Top 3 hotels and resorts from our travels that we think would be great destinations to ring in the New Year!

Number 3
Pacific Sands Beach Resort in Tofino, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

You may remember from Episode 21 Of Monday Evening with Alexandluke that we absolutely loved this resort because of its cozy and luxurious amenities and spectacular beachfront location.  This is one of the first places that comes to mind when we think about absolute rest and relaxation and for this reason we think it would be an amazing spot to rejuvenate during the holidays.

Situated on secluded Cox Bay, which is a haven for surfers, the suites and villas at Pacific Sands Beach Resort are part beach house, part luxury hotel.  With fully equipped kitchens, Jacuzzi tubs, fireplaces, contemporary yet comfy décor and spectacular views of the wild Pacific Ocean, it really has everything you could ask for if you are looking to stay in and be cozy with someone special this New Years Eve. Low key doesn’t have to mean tasteless tv tray dinners and reruns of The Golden Girls (though if you’re Alex, that actually sounds like a pretty decent Friday night). At Pacific Sands Resort low key can be sophisticated.   Even the frozen food they offer in the main lobby to prepare in your villa is first rate! Hint – the curry and pizza is to die for!

And if all of that wasn’t enough to sell you on this magical corner of the world, check this out – between October 12th and April 30th the resort offers Storm Watching Packages that start at just $117. Before you question why I am trying to tempt you while using the word “storm” let me just explain a little bit about Tofino on Vancouver Island…

Tofino is the type of place that is absolutely spectacularly beautiful when the sun is shining and the seas are still, but it is arguably even more special when the waves are crashing and a thick coat of fog sits heavily on the bay. Tofino is world famous for its wild seas and emotional weather and The Pacific Sands is well equipped for anything Mother Nature throws its way. Heck, they even offer complimentary rain slickers to every guest to use during their stay!

A dark and stormy night at The Pacific Sands is exactly what you should hope for to get you in the spirit, but on the off chance that the weather is clear come New Years Eve you can still ring in 2011 with a bang because you will have front row seats to a fabulous fireworks display right there in Cox Bay.  It seems they really have thought of everything.

Number 2
Mondrian Miami in South Beach, Miami, Florida

If all this talk about stormy weather and rain slickers has you running in the other direction, this next destination may be just the place for you.  With unbeatable views of Biscayne Bay, the quintessential eccentric styling that Miami hotels are known for, and a retinue of poolside patrons that are as colourful as the lights on Ocean Drive, The Mondrian Miami is the perfect choice for the partygoer who wants both sunshine and an unforgettable night on the town this New Years Eve.

We loved our stay at the Mondrian, not because it was comfy and cozy and felt like home (though it really was quite comfortable).  No, we loved the Mondrian because it was actually nothing like home.  It offered us a perfect escape from the familiar and a glimpse into the fast and colourful life that is Miami.  When we thought about where we would go back to in order to have the most outrageous time on New Years Eve, we both immediately thought of The Mondrian Miami.

With a little research we discovered that this year’s soiree is proving to be as over the top as we imagined it would be.  First of all, it is hosted by the one and only Chloe Sevigny… we are BIG Big Love fans and cannot even imagine anything better than attending a Miami party with Nikki – what would Barb think??? On top of that your ticket includes an acoustic performance by Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow (who we deemed favourite song to in Episode 16 of Monday Evening), music by DJ Paul Sevigny and The Misshapes, a premium open bar (hello open bar!) AND midnight fireworks over the bay!

We can only imagine the Facebook albums that are going to result from this New Years Eve party, and might consider combing twitter on the 31st to see if we can get insider glimpses into the festivities!!! If you plan on attending, kindly DM us some Twitpics of Chloe’s outfit!

Number 1
The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

Okay, okay – we know, we haven’t actually been to The Balsams yet, but that will soon be remedied! And from everything we have learned about this place in preparation for our upcoming stay there, it is obvious that as a destination to spend New Years Eve, it is the absolute tops. It may not have the outrageous party scene of South Beach or a view of surfers riding waves, but what it does offer more than makes up for it.

For us, the ultimate New Years Eve festivities involve very little planning, a lot of relaxation, quality time spent with family and friends, and that old fashioned but totally alluring vision of a grand party with a live band, party hats and noisemakers, champagne toasts and fireworks, and guests dressed up in cocktail dresses and blazers with patches on the elbows, maybe smoking pipes out on the veranda as the snow lightly falls and kids on a sleigh ride glide by…

I realize this is starting to sound like a New Years party hosted by Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, but that’s what’s so great about it!  The Balsams is exactly the type of place where you can have all of the bells and whistles of a traditional New Years Eve party as described above! Who wouldn’t want to be transported to a world where you feel like a group of performers might break out into a choreographed tap number with full sets and costumes at any moment?  Okay, so maybe that’s not quite realistic but at the very least we can confirm that the sleigh ride thing really does happen at The Balsams, and you better believe we’ll be partaking in that activity as soon as possible!

There is a long tradition at The Balsams, and New Years Eve is one of the biggest nights of the year.  Between the all-inclusive on-site skiing, the grand buffet, the picturesque surroundings of The Great North Woods, and the charming historic backdrop that the hotel provides, we cannot think of a more perfect place to ring in The New Year.

British Columbian Dolphin Encounter

Posted on September 22nd, 2010 in British Columbia,Carnival,Road Trip,YouTube by luke

While traveling through British Columbia’s inside passage on the Carnival Spirit hundreds of dolphins started surfing the waves of the ship. We managed to catch some footage of the spectacular encounter.

Favourite Follower Friday

Posted on September 17th, 2010 in British Columbia,FFF,YouTube by alex

Update: We’re in British Columbia, Canada

Posted on September 15th, 2010 in British Columbia,Carnival,Cruise by alex

Those of you who follow us on Twitter and Facebook may know this already, but let’s explain how this happened.

Our new best friends at Carnival Cruises picked us up in Seattle and took us to Alaska and the Yukon on the Carnival Spirit. Although Carnival picked us up in Seattle, they dropped us off in Vancouver. In the spirit of the alexandluke.com project we felt it an appropriate place to resume our journey on the road. And when we pulled into Vancouver yesterday, we were met by another special guest who will be occupying the third seat in Burt Reynolds for the next three days! Susan Sabine (aka Alex’s mom) will be riding in the now slightly famous third seat, and you can expect to see her in pictures and videos in the coming week!

Burt Reynolds was jealous that we got to spend an entire week on the Carnival Spirit, and after reading all of the comments on the website directing us to Vancouver Island, we felt it would smooth things over with Burt if we took a ferry ride to the island (we were right, he loved it and now there are no hard feelings about us abandoning him in a Seattle parking lot for a week). Alex, Luke, Susan, and Burt will be on Vancouver Island visiting Nanaimo, Tofino (a place many of you have been suggesting since the very beginning), and Victoria. Then on Friday Susan will be flying home to Toronto, and Alex, Luke, and Burt will be returning to mainland British Columbia where we will hopefully be quickly voted back to the United States.

Don’t get us wrong, we love Canada and we are thrilled to be back in the land of Tim Hortons and Swiss Chalet, but as of today we have 33 days left on our visa to visit: Wyoming, Nebraska, Vermont, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Iowa, and the ever problematic Hawaii.

So that’s our update. We are staying in some absolutely beautiful places on Vancouver Island that we can’t wait to share with you. Stay tuned to alexandluke.com this week for: a directional vote, some more Alaskan videos, and maybe even some big news!

a&l

Directional Vote: BC or Idaho

Posted on August 31st, 2010 in Alaska,British Columbia,Hawaii,Idaho,vote by alex and luke

The results of this vote might not send us in the winner’s direction just yet, but it will matter eventually – let me explain.

We are currently in Washington State, which directly borders two regions we have yet to visit – Idaho and British Columbia. However, Seattle is also a prime location for departures to Alaska via cruise ship and Hawaii via airplane.  We have always hoped to visit both of these American states, but getting to them with Burt Reynolds (our car) may not be entirely feasible (we would need a barge for Hawaii, and we could drive to Alaska, but by the time we get there, the roads might be too treacherous for poor Burt). So, we have reached out to the Hawaii and Alaska tourism communities to see if anyone could help to get us there (unfortunately Burt will have to stay behind this time).

If we don’t find ourselves on a cruise ship or an airplane this week, we will head to the winning region you vote for instead.  If we do manage to get to Hawaii or Alaska, we will be returning to Seattle in about a week, where we will then head to the winning region and start exploring.

Make sense?

Basically – vote on where you want us to drive next, and if  we end up on an airplane or a cruise ship in the mean time, the winning region will simply be pushed back a week or so.

One more thing to consider… as you may know, British Columbia is a Canadian Province, while Idaho is a State. We are required to complete our tour of the United States by mid/end October (as stated on our Visa’s), so if we are voted to Canada now, it might severely limit the amount of time we are able to explore the remaining states (unless customs is nice and re-issues us new visas). That said – British Columbia has plenty of Tim Hortons and Swiss Chalets and people who sound like us so we won’t turn it down, eh!

Vote Now:
[poll id=”44″]

Click #Idaho to let people know you vote for Idaho on Twitter.
Click #British Columbia to let people know you voted for British Columbia on Twitter.

This vote closes tonight (Tuesday August 31) at 8pm ET so tell your friends!