Posts Tagged ‘beach’


I’ve kind of been missing in action these days as I went to Israel and Italy for two weeks.  To say I was busy would be an understatement. I seemed to have visited 6 cities in 14 days…Amsterdam, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Florence, Venice and Rome.

So please bear with me as I’m going to dedicate a few (just a few..LOL) blog posts about my travels. As you know, I’ve been to Israel before, but this trip was special for these 3 reasons:

1. I had the opportunity to celebrate my 50th birthday on the Tel Aviv beach.

2. I  got the chance to spend time with my daughter who is studying in Jerusalem, since Jan 25th.

3. I was able to celebrate the Passover seder with my amazing daughter and amazing cousins.

This trip was by no means a “touring trip”. I was there to see family and friends and eat. LOL.

What really blew my mind about this trip is how different it looks from 3 decades ago. For example, their airport is one of the nicest airports I’ve ever seen. I could NOT have said this 30 years ago.

israel - airport

Plus there’s no shortage of modern buildings either. Take for example, this modern building in Tel Aviv.

israel - building

I was only in Jerusalem for a day but I made sure to see the Western Wall, Mahane Yehuda (their famous food market) and go to my favorite restaurant (Caffit) for their insanely delicious Sweet Potato Salad. (36 Emek Rafaim, Jerusalem)

israel - jerusalemAfter my short stay in Jerusalem, I went to Tel Aviv. What did I do there? HANG OUT ON THE BEACH AS MUCH AS I COULD. LOL

israel - tel aviv

Naturally food was a big part of my trip and I tried to eat Shakshuka as much as I could. I discovered that not all Shakshukas are equal. In fact, I still think the Shakshuka at Dr. Laffa  (3023 Bathurst St) right here in Toronto is the best one!!

israel - food

Israel is indeed a special place for me and I can’t wait to return.

What a great 50th Birthday present. Thanks MOM and Dad!




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I was pretty lucky this summer and had the opportunity to spend 10 days in this beautiful city.

I stayed at the lovely Hotel Place D’Armes.  This charming hotel is brilliantly located in Old Montreal and just steps away from Notre-Dame Basilica.

The hotel featured high ceilings, spacious rooms and a great team at their concierge desk! Not to mention a fantastic bar and a roof top patio!


montreal - hotel

Highlights of my trip included:

a) Jean Talon Market. I simply adore this market! A trip to Montreal would not be complete without it.

montreal - celery

b) The Hop-on-Hop-Off Double Decker bus tour throughout Montreal, that is offered by Greyline. This is the best way to see a city and I’ve now done these tours in Ottawa, Barcelona and Montreal.

montreal - bus

c) I spent hours wandering thru the The Botanical Garden. It’s truly magical. Then I visited the The Planetarium  and the Olympic Stadium. Sadly I didn’t go to the Biodome as I’d been a few years ago but regret not returning as they are all grouped together. Give yourself a whole day or break up these three attractions into two days!

montreal - grid2


d) Discovered a beach in the port of  Old Montreal – which was the perfect place to relax after a long day of touring.

montreal - beach

e) A trip to Simons Department store. Believe it or not – had never been to this store even though I’ve been visiting Montreal on a yearly basis since 1990.


For more information:

Greyline Bus Tours: Click here for more information

Montreal Tourism Office: Click here for special promotions, tourism info, etc.

Planetarium, Botanical Gardens and The Biodome: click here for more information

Hotel Places D’Armes 55, rue Saint-Jacques West, Old Montreal (Quebec). Tel: 514.842.1887

Simons: 977 St. Catherine Oeust, Montreal, Quebec  514 282 1840


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I bet you think I just ate my way thru Barcelona and didn’t see anything but restaurants and the Boqueria Market. WRONG. I actually did go sightseeing!!

I accomplished this by using Barcelona Bus Turistic Bus which allows visitors to see many of the attractions in Barcelona. There’s a blue line, a red line and a green line. It’s tremendous value and well worth the money. If anyone is visiting Barcelona and has limited amount time – this is the way to see Barcelona!!

I spent a full day on the blue line and a good chunk of the time on the red line too.

The Blue Line allowed me to see the following attractions: (please note, there are 14 stops)

The famous football stadium (um, can  you say MASSIVE?)

barcelona - stadium

A Chocolate Museum ( I’m a food blogger so of course this was of interest to me)

What a cute entrance ticket

What a cute entrance ticket

barcelona - park

The Red line allowed me to check out: (please note, there are 23 stops but I just didn’t have time to see everything)

The Barcelona Beach

barcelona - beach

The Aquarium

barcelona - aquarium

Of course, after a long day of touring I was thirsty and needed a drink. So I spent Saturday Night sipping some amazing cocktails courtesy of the W Hotel Barcelona. The Eclipse bar is located on the 26th Floor and was a spectacular location to watch the sunset and re-hydrate!

w hotel

The friendly bartenders were also skilled and knowledgeable about mixing the perfect cocktails. See this? 4 bottles – 2 hands.

w hotel - bartender

I enjoyed the following drinks (all of them..hee hee). To be honest – there were 2 more drinks!

barcelona - w drinks 2

Barcelona is truly a spectacular city with lots to offer. I didn’t stop moving for the entire 4 days that I was there.

For more information please visit Barcelona Tourism.

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There are no words to describe the perfect scenery that I have witnessed while vacationing in the Cayman Islands. It’s been a wonderful week of great weather, great books, and DOING NOTHING. This blog entry will be short and sweet – just like my vacation.




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I swear I am using #55 sunscreen...

A while ago I blogged about movies I had seen. Now I’m going to blog about the books I have been reading on my Kobo for the past 5 days on the beach.  I have really enjoyed these books, to the point where I felt I needed to apologize to my mom for not talking to her. So here’s what I have read:

1. Sh*T My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

This book is positively HYSTERICAL. Thats all you need to know. I love when books make me giggle out loud. Infact I giggled more than once. My only complaint would be that it’s a quick read and I honestly didn’t want it to end. It was TOO funny. I hope this become a movie or I hope this guy writes another book (are you listening out there Justin?)

2. Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

This book is about an affair that Frank Lloyd Wright had in the early 1900’s. It’s historical fiction and I kinda like those types of books. The characters were captivating and the story line too. Not to mention that it’s inspired me to return to Chicago and see more architecture.

3.  Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan

I love these types of books as it tell’s a personal journey that is so inpirational.  Conor Grennan is a great story teller and I hope there will be a sequel to this book one day soon.

4. Don’t be Afraid by Steven Hayward

I won this book recently by following @mountie9. She writes a a great blog – raymentsreadingsrantsandramblings . She told me I would like it and I did. It’s written thru the voice of a 17 year old boy and it’s about loss, grieving, and family dynamics. A great read for the beach.

5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoot

This book was selected by our book club and sadly I missed the book club meeting when they reviewed it. I had been struggling with this book before I left on vacation and I’m still struggling with it. It’s an important story but I’m not sure I’m ever going to finish it.

Part Two – Books I read while NOT on vacation

1. ROOM by Emily Donahue. This book is brilliant and I’m sure it will become a movie in the next few years. It’s written in the voice of a 5 year old who is raised in a ROOM with his mom. I know it sounds eery, sad, etc…but it’s brilliant.

2. Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda. I enjoyed this book too. Great characters, well written and and easy read

3. Ape House by Sara Gruen Again, I enjoyed this book. Again, great characters and a good story. Not as good as her first book Water for Elephants but perhaps that’s not fair for me to compare.

4. I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron. I laughed out loud more than once which means I loved this book. There is nothing like laughing out loud. Read. This. Book. Too.

OK..I need more books to read. Please send suggestions!!

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