BootsnAll Travel Network

Archive for May, 2010

« Home

Lessons Learned on the Road – to the Ultimate Job (or not)

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Brel on a Hammock 1. Video skills! Most of you probably don’t realize that prior to applying for the Ultimate Job, neither of us had ever made or appeared in a video. We’ve had a ton of fun learning video skills and were very flattered that RBG put us in the ‘great video skills’ category with 2 professional videographers. Thanks guys!

2. While social marketing is a big part of our business at home, we had the opportunity to run a proper social marketing campaign leading up to the Top 10 – and did it with fantastic results. Our second place finish with over 3,000 votes and the media attention it garnered in Canada is a feat we will always be proud of. We have our friends and families to thank for coming onboard and making BREL go viral.

3. Our relationship is rock solid. Sure, we’ve been working and travelling together 24/7 for years, but the pressures of the UJ tested all of the couples. We’re proud to say, BREL is stronger than ever.

4. We can prioritize. While the UJ bosses tried to distract us from the official tasks, we stayed focused and created top-notch writing assignments and videos. Of course, it seems now that the ‘fun challenges’ were actually more than fun (oops), but looking back, we wouldn’t have changed a thing. As travel writers on the road, we know all too well the temptations to have fun at the expense of your work and deadlines. We never want to risk turning in mediocre work for the sake of fun.

5. We can stream live-to-the-web! When tasked with a race of putting up our videos of getting to the top 10, we took it one step further – we streamed it live to the web (complete with TV crew in attendance). Sure, this was a risky idea – we could have waited endlessly for the phone to ring with 262 people around the world watching our rejection. And while live-to-the-web didn’t win us the “first-uploaded” contest (a technicality, if you ask us) it’s still a skill we’ll definitely use in the future. Plus it was super cool.

6. Our network of support is fantastic – you voted, you spammed your friends, you followed our blog (we had more comments than anyone!) and we’ll always be thankful.

A huge thank-you to everyone in Kinsale – it’s a fabulous town where the locals and the sponsors made us feel at home (a special shout-out to Mayor O’Brien for your late night drinking and singing). To all the other candidates, we’ll never forget sharing this experience with you all – you were incredible people with incredible skills and personalities and you raised the bar for us on a daily basis. Mark and Denise: we’ve already congratulated you both in person, best of luck on this adventure. And of course, lastly, thanks to RBG: you’ve pulled off a massive social marketing coup and this has been a blast.

The next BREL adventure may not be the Ultimate Job, but it will be Bigger-than-Ultimate. That, we can guarantee. Stay tuned.

photo credit to Susan Jefferies Photography ( – Susan and John were fantastic!

Video Challenge #2: Love at First Site: Kinsale, Ireland

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Video Challenge #1: The Ultimate Job – Quest to find the Successors

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Fishy Fishy: So good they named it twice

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
ireland_dub-kinsale_120.jpg [NOTE to those following the Ultimate Job: the following post is one of our official challenges. We've targeted this blog post to Runaway Bride and Groom's audience--engaged couples everywhere. We will be returning to the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Day in the Life of BREL at the Ultimate Job Finals

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

ireland_dub-kinsale_day2a_105.jpg ireland_dub-kinsale_day2a_108.jpg ireland_dub-kinsale_day2a_112.jpg

We know a lot of you are out there watching BREL at the finals so we've decided to update this blog posting ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Finals: Day 1

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
brel_in_kinsale.JPGTHE ARRIVAL: We were lucky enough to be offered a lift from Lizzie and Ed in their Lamborghini. This likely saved us from getting hopelessly lost or eternally stuck circling a roundabout trying to ... [Continue reading this entry]

Off to Kinsale…

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
In a few minutes, we’ll be headed to Kinsale, one of Ireland’s top wedding destinations and home to the Ultimate Job finals. We’ll be hitching a ride with another Top 10 couple – Lizzie and Ed (of guinea pig fame). ... [Continue reading this entry]

Observations in our first 24 hours in Ireland:

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
worshipping-at-the-temple-of-guinness001.jpg HERS 1.        A pint of Guinness in Ireland is WAY better than a pint of Guinness anywhere else. [Note from B: that’s not saying much coming from Mel, since she wasn’t much of a ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bacon + Chocolate. Together at Last

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
 img_0068.jpg In response to the flurry of interest (revulsion? horror?) at bacon chocolate as an ingredient in the BREL-Tini, I thought people would enjoy some photos of Mel trying her first taste of this legendary combination. [Continue reading this entry]

BREL: 1, VOLCANO: 0 The Video! (in HD)

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Brendan and Mel best an angry volcano to make it to Ireland's green--er, ash-covered shores...

Celebrity Endorsement #2: This is Howie Do It

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
We have one more celebrity endorsement for Brendan and Mel--Howie Mandel! A Hollywood fixture and stand-up comedian, Howie is currently on tour. These days you can see him on TV regularly as the host of the prime time game show Deal ... [Continue reading this entry]

Our Celebrity Endorsement

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
So, it took us a bit, but here is our first celebrity endorsement. He was even kind enough to draw us up our own custom graffiti Runaway Bride and Groom sign! Rather than ruin the fun for those ... [Continue reading this entry]

We Made It!

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Well, after a series of delays (2 hours on the tarmac in Toronto; another hour at the gate in JFK) threatened to fray our nerves, we have managed to sneak into Dublin...on the last plane in before the airport shut ... [Continue reading this entry]

Pondering Probabilities: More Volcanic Ash?!

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
 stupid_volcano.jpg As we all know, only a few weeks ago, Eyjafjallajokull volcano brought air traffic across Europe to a grinding halt. The stories of stranded passengers and frustrated travellers filled the news for days. For me, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lessons Learned on the Road

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
One of our favourite series in our travel blog (The BREL Chronicles) is Lessons Learned on the Road. In the spirit of the Ultimate Job, we thought we’d recycle some of our favourite critical travel skills – even though the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Guest Blog #3: Guest Blog

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010
Yes, I suppose I could have come up with a more creative title, but that pretty much sums it up. I’m a longlonglongtime friend of Melanie’s and am myself a terrible host. But I am the ultimate guest. Lucky ... [Continue reading this entry]

BREL in Training

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
The Ultimate Job conjures up visions of endless beaches, spa-testing, hammock-swinging, glasses of bubbly and lavish gourmet meals. And yes, of course, there is a real thrill at the idea of being on Oprah, being outfitted by designers, having a ... [Continue reading this entry]

RBG Cocktail #2: The BREL-TINI (instructional video)

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010
Las Ventanas Tequila The perfect martini is uncomplicated but elegant. It must be prepared properly—unhurried, and with style. Likewise the perfect BREL-tini is straightforward, but elegant in its simplicity. Fill a martini glass with ice ... [Continue reading this entry]

RBG Cocktail #1: The ULTIMATE

Monday, May 10th, 2010
 maruba-010-small.jpg INGREDIENTS 1 ounce Coconut rum (to evoke swaying palms and exotic beaches) ½ ounce Spiced rum ... [Continue reading this entry]

Guest Blog #2: Jack (age 6)

Monday, May 10th, 2010
Jack I am six years old and Melanie and Brendan are my aunt and uncle. I think they would be the best Runaway Bride and Groom because they love to travel and tell stories about it. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Ultimate Job Challenges

Sunday, May 9th, 2010
As part of the run-up to the finals weekend, has been tasking us with some fun challenges. Thankfully, nothing involves eating live caterpillars or being submersed in water for long periods of time – as least not yet. Challenge #1: ... [Continue reading this entry]

On Becoming Mediawhores

Saturday, May 8th, 2010
he media whirlwind since we started this journey has been shockingly swift and unquestionably fun. Here is a retrospective of our sudden rise to (very minor) fame, and the people who helped it happen.


It ... [Continue reading this entry]

GUEST BLOG #1: Travelling with BREL

Friday, May 7th, 2010
[Kristel] Two years ago I took my first (and, thus far, only) big trip: from Canada to Turkey. Having never been outside of North America I was excited, but also a tad apprehensive. And did I mention I ... [Continue reading this entry]

Miles Above the Rest

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
From budget to luxury, hostel to villa, we’ve seen it all, then written and blogged about it. Together, we’ve travelled through: Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Belize, St Maarten, Anguilla, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Ecuador, Chile, Turkey, Greece, Italy, England, ... [Continue reading this entry]

The BREL Love Story (His and Hers)

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010
HERS To be honest, we didn’t meet in the most romantic of ways. We were both at a Irish pub in Toronto watching the Stanley Cup finals (the hockey equivalent of the World Cup) with our respective friends. We’d each had ... [Continue reading this entry]

How to Spam Friends and Influence People

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
We live in a big city. We know a lot of people. But getting people to vote for us in the Ultimate Job was a whole new experience. Here's what we learned: 1. Begin with a comprehensive e-mail campaign: your friends, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Top 10 Reasons We Are the Ultimate Couple for the Ultimate Job (His and Hers)

Monday, May 3rd, 2010
HERS 1. We've travelled to more than 25 countries together (and another 34 apart) and haven't killed each other yet. If you haven't lived out of a backpack for months on end, you may not realize how challenging it can be. ... [Continue reading this entry]

Facts You’d be Surprised to Know About The Video That Started it All…

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010
1.       In the spa scene, the facial mask that Mel has on her face is actually cream cheese icing. Stay tuned for our outtakes video to ... [Continue reading this entry]