The last bit of Canada

Hello from jolly ole England. I have not had much time to write as I have been busy exploring, visiting and recovering from jetlag. It still surprises me how much I can sleep after taking night flights and staying up so I can get my body’s clock to the local time. Fortunately my jet lag has not been a big issue. I have been here in England now for 6 days and off to Paris tomorrow. However, this is my last bit of what Canada held for me.

My time in Burlington and Toronto was relaxing and fun. It was so great to catch up with people I had not seen in such awhile. It has made me appreciate those years long friendships even more and to make more of an effort to keep in touch. I was also happy to see how my friends have grown yet still retaining their mannerisms and quirks.




My friend being herself


More selfies!







Toronto then gave me a challenge – be patient and leave early ’cause here is a dumping of  12 – 15 cm of snow! As I was taking transit to the airport ($3) to save money my otherwise hour trip was extended to over two hours! Part of it was waiting for the delayed bus and the rest was the bus trudging along at a slow pace through the unplowed highways. I had planned to arrive an hour prior to the suggested three hour window for international flights. A wise choice as I ended up arriving 20 minutes later than the recommendation. Still in good time though. Iceland Air was great too. A comfortable flight but delayed due to weather and de-icing of the aircraft. Iceland Air was great and held they held my  connecting plane for in Reykjavik. Others were not so fortunate, alas the nature of travel and inclement weather.

I will post soon about Chester (home town of James Bond actor Daniel Craig) and it’s cool old buildings (a novelty for a Canadian where our history is rather young). Cheers!

North to South

Hello folks! Just a quick update. I have moved onward from northwestern Ontario to southern Ontario (or as it is called in the Thunder Bay area: ‘down east’). I have had a great time catching up with an old friend & her family in Burlington, ON. I also had the opportunity to visit Niagara Falls. Tomorrow it will be Toronto for a couple days to again see some friends that we are long overdue in the visiting department. I will update you more on my full Ontario sites. In the meantime check out the photos I took at The Falls on a very chilly day.




All photos taken and owned by Eeva Valiharju



After much waiting the final chapter in this ever-changing story we have the full reveal of which mascot(s) will be traipsing the world with RTW-traveler Eeva.  Speculation began as far back as January 2014 when Eeva voyaged to the crazy city of Las Vegas, home to one of the famed M&M World stores. There she found a travel-size Ms Brown. In her excitement she purchased the mascot without much thought of the twin Quatchis. Thus started the real competition for the mascot role. Prior to this monumental event the twins were a shoo-in for the role of mascot as Ms Brown was content to avoid  being squashed into an overstuffed backpack. The arrival of her “mini me” changed the situation immensely. Although the twins and mini have been seen frolicking together there is an underlying tension amongst these celebrity ‘frenemies’.

Travel size mascots vying for coveted role

Travel size mascots vying for coveted role

After much deliberation and discussion with all three key-chain sized stuffies a decision has been reached. Emotional talk and opinions have been presented. The consensus has had to be one of compromise and mutual respect.  As planned since the the arrival of mini-Ms Brown, the original is in the safe care of Eeva’s friend Jasmine. Jasmine is free to take her along on fun weekend getaways and girls’ nights at her place. Ms Brown is also centrally located to the owners of Blue and Green (cities of New Westminster & Surrey, respectively).

And now for the big reveal that you have all been waiting for (if bright lights and dancers were available it would be posted here – or you can just go to YouTube if ya really want :-P ). The official mascot position is a no-brainer as far as Eeva is concerned. The National Questioner has it here, exclusively, in her own words: “It has to be mini Ms Brown. She represents me the best, however, the twins will not be left behind. They will come with me in search of mascot-less travelers who will gladly adopt them. There they can represent Canada proudly as they did in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. I will also try my best to convince mini Ms Brown that hockey is the best sport in the world. And if she can’t accept that then she’ll eventually get the boot. It’s tough but I draw the line there.”

There you have it. This lengthy battle for mascot superiority has been resolved. All parties are happy and it has been noted that Ms Brown has at least been watching sports. Her time in the living room while Eeva’s dad watched MMA fights has exposed her to this new area of interest. Eeva is confident that she will come to love hockey. The twins have been hanging out in the kitchen drinking tea and looking forward to seeing Toronto next week. And as always, they were never in threat of being cat toys.

Thank you for following us here at The National Questioner. Occasional updates of Ms Brown’s adventures will be posted periodically.



In an effort to make certain all readers are aware of the latest breaking new on the Travel Mascot fight, the National Questioner has been re-posting the intriguing tales of mascot competition. As you will see below, we were all under the impression of a mutual respect for all the stuffed toys, alas rumour has it that not as it is below. An new addition has caused a stir. Stayed tuned for tomorrows exclusive story!

This final installment before the new developments break, right here on the National Questioner:



Developing story – Will the twin Sasquatches know as “Quatchi” have to fight to retain their titles as the mascots of Eeva’s impending RTW trip?

Inside sources reveal that there has been drama building since the arrival of Ms Brown (of M&M candy fame). The elegant and eloquent Ms Brown has caused somewhat of a ruckus, being so bold as to sit under the twin’s beloved Canucks flag. Quatchi 1 has not handled the situation well, having retreated to his “safebox” in the closet  He has yet to come to terms with this potentially devastating event. Friends are worried that Quatchi 1 may just stay in hiding if Ms Brown overtakes the roll of mascot.

Quatchi 2, however, seems to have embraced the presence of Ms Brown after her arrival from M&M World in Las Vegas, NV. It would appear that Quatchi 2’s recent trip to Ontario has opened him up to taking risks, including befriending the charming yet potentially mascot-position stealing Ms Brown. He has taken to her classy demeanor and bold style. Is this honest admiration or is a more sinister intention brewing under those fuzzy blue earmuffs? Time will tell.

Despite the boldness of Ms Brown, insiders say she is not interested in the role of mascot. One source said “She’s too big – it’s easy to travel with the small ones.” Another was concerned that she may get wrecked. Ms Brown herself has not made any comments on the matter.

Despite the mascot rumour mill, ultimately it will be up to Eeva to determine the roles. Until now, nobody has asked her. The National Questioner has the exclusive. This is what she told us: “Yeah, Ms Brown is awesome but backpacking is not her style. I see her joining me on other types of trips such as a girls weekend to Vegas or a sun vacation to Cabo. Paris and Spain would definitely be her style, sans the backpack. The Quatchi’s need not worry. They are defo back packing material. And if a traveler is met en-route with out an accompanying mascot, one of them may be up for adoption – to a good home of course.” 

There you have it. The quandary of the mascot’s roles has been resolved. Both sides appear to be happy, even though Quatchi 1 is still in hiding…or perhaps just snoozing. In a related story, none of the toys have been of any interest to the resident cat, Piper and they can rest easy that they will not become cat toys.