Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Dec
30


I’m ending 2016 with some serious splurging. Splurging is generally not a word in my vocabulary but for some reason I really needed to “splurge”.

It all started with a overnight get away to Millcroft Inn where I hung out in their heated outdoor hot tubs. What a treat. (ps there will be another blog post about my stay at the Millcroft Inn – don’t you worry!)

new-years-millcroft

When I returned to Toronto I still felt like relaxing, so I went to the Korean Family Spa. It doesn’t compare to being in Mexico but I welcomed the opportunity to enjoy their 8 different saunas and their wet steam room.

new-years-korean

Then I did some shopping at Fluevog. Can’t wait to wear these two pairs of shoes! It’s a good thing that I have a few events in January because I certainly want to wear them and not have to just look at them in my cupboard.

new-years-shoes

new-years-shoes-2

Oh ya – I treated myself to my very first Le Creuset. I have facebook to blame for this splurge as one of my facebook friends told me about a Le Creuset sale at the Bay!! Before you know it, I was doing some online shopping. I haven’t used it yet but I know I’m going to enjoy these dish. I just hope I don’t keep buying more!!

le-creuset

I didn’t splurge on a fancy dinner or fancy food because I’m perfectly content these days to cook at home plus I’m trying to eat “healthier”. Here’s my version of a healthy banana split. Basically it’s a banana, stuffed with Plain SKYR. topped with strawberries and chocolate covered quinoa puffs. If you haven’t tried SKYR yet, you should. It’s got 22 percent more protein than Greek Yogurt.

new-years-ingredients

My healthy banana split looked like this:

new-years-banana

I’m looking forward to 2017. …more travelling, more friendships, more fantastic food and more adventures. Naturally I will try to share this experiences with you via my blog, facebook and Instagram too!!

Wishing you a fabulous New Years too.

 

 

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Mar
13


I’ve just returned from a trip to Ottawa. I hadn’t been there for a little over 4 months so I was a bit out touch with the foods scene, but not for long as I posted on facebook: “Where should I eat?” and as always my foodie friends in Ottawa were happy to help.
Here’s a recap of what I discovered;

Datsun  (380 Elgin St) – This is a new trendy restaurant on Elgin St and is owned by the same owners as El Camino. It’s one busy restaurant …even at 10 pm. We ordered two dishes and both were incredibly flavourful. Next time, I need to go with a larger group so I can try more dishes.

We started off with this most satisfying bowl of ramen.

ottawa - datsun

Then we moved on and had this Braised Beef Panang Curry with Roasted Peanuts and Lime Leaf dish.. Yummy. Yummy. Yummy.

ottawa - datsun2

2. Aroma Espresso bar – This a popular coffee chain in Toronto, New York and Israel now has a location in Ottawa. It’s located at Landsdowne Park (300 Marche Way – #109) which has been developed into quite a bustling part of town. What did I order? I tried the new cold pressed ginger and tumeric drink. This beverage (which is available hot or cold) hit the spot and was a great alternative to (another) cup of coffee.

ottawa - aroma
3. Urban  Juice Press  (340 Parkdale Unit B Entrance on, Spencer) I had just purchased beer at Beyond the Pale and as we were turning the corner saw a sign and parked the car again. Loved the space and the organic juice that we purchased. These cold pressed juices can be the perfect pick me up in the middle of the day!

ottawa - urban

4. Origin Trade Inc. (111 York St) – This new coffee/lounge blew me away. Someone really put some thought into decorating the space. Plus my coffee can best be described as “smooth” with no bitterness whatsoever.

origin grid

Other discoveries:

This local kombucha that is made in Smith Falls. (purchased at Herb and Spice on Bank St)

ottawa - kombucha
2. This local kimchi that I purchased at the Ottawa Farmers Market.

ottawa - kimchi

But besides eating my way thru Ottawa, the real reason I went to Ottawa was to celebrate my friends 50th birthday and to hang out with my mom. I’m so lucky to have both of these women in my lives.

ottawa - mom:suziAs always, I love visiting Ottawa. Hoping to return in May for the Tulip Festival and to discover more great food.

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Sep
10


I’ve just returned from an incredible stay in Erieau, Ontario.  This charming small city, is home to great sport fishing, a fantastic beach and lively community. I don’t know about you but I had no idea Erieau existed and I’m so glad that it’s now on my radar. 

erieau - photogrid

For some reason I’ve been driving north on the 401 or east along the 401 but never west. Silly me!! It’s so close to Toronto and there’s way less traffic.

The highlight of the trip was a fishing trip with J&P Charters. I’ve never been on a chartered fishing trip but it’s always been on my bucket list. Lake Erie is known for it’s Walleye and Rainbow Trout and that’s exactly what we caught.

erieau - walleye

I couldn’t have been happier with this experience. Not to mention that the weather and the water conditions were perfect too.

J&P Fishing Charters has everything you need..a) a well equipped boat b) state of the art technology c) and 26 years of experience. What more could you ask for? Not to mention, Captain Paul will clean the fish so you can take it home! (Which we did).

erieau - paul

One great thing about this experience is you don’t have to have any experience to go out on a fishing charter. While on the boat, I decided to leave the reeling up to the experts (Captain Paul and his son Tyler) however they are more than happy to assist you and give you the guidance you need to reel in your catch!! The choice is yours.

With the help of Tyler, my boyfriend reeled in the biggest catch of the day (about an 8 pound Walleye ) and Tyler was very helpful and walked him thru the entire process of  reeling it in.

We got off the boat at 6:30 pm and by 8:30 pm we were perched at Molly and OJ’s restaurant eating our catch of the day cooked up by the chef.  Does not get any fresher! Our dinner included soup, salad, dessert and the fresh fish that we had just caught, all for $15 per person. INCREDIBLE.!

erieau - dinner

After dinner, we relaxed at the Bayside Brewing Company.  Yes – Erieau has a microbrewery and it’s right across from the marina!! Of course I had a flight of beer. They had a chocolate mint beer that was most interesting and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

erieau - beer

We stayed at Molly & OJ’s Lakeside Cabin Rentals, in a very clean and well equipped cabin (ie fridge, cutlery, and microwave) that was located just steps away from their private beach. There were bicycles, paddle boards and a kayak too but I was content to just go for a swim and relax.

erieau - cabin

This stunning private beach was just steps away!

erieau - beach

For breakfast we went to The Galley Grill and Pub and we certainly enjoyed a unique breakfast that included eggs over easy, fried potatoes and cheese and several pieces of fried perch. 

I figured including fish in every meal was the right thing to do since Erieau is known for its fresh catch.

erieau - breakfast

If you are considering a trip to Ontario’s Southwest for a fresh foodie adventure, check out oswculinary.com. You can also enter to win a Dream Foodie Escape Contest

Sadly we didn’t have time to go to Rondeau Provincial Park but I’m already thinking about going camping there next year.

In fact, on our entire drive back to Toronto (which was not a nightmare, unlike some other routes), I couldn’t stop thinking about this unique trip.

For more information:

Molly & OJ’s: 875 Mariners Rd, Erieau, ON (519) 676 8812

Bayside Brewery and Pub: 970 Ross Lane, Erieau ON (519) 676 1888

J & P Charters:  (519) 745-1992  or  cell: (519) 897 1042

Galley Grill Pub: 1005 Vilder Ave, Erieau, ON  (519) 676 4469

Huge thanks to the Ontario’s Southwest for helping set up this amazing experience.

Disclosure: I was compensated for this trip however all opinions are my own.

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Mar
31


Pinch me…I’m heading to Israel and Italy. I’m super excited to be going to both countries.  I’ve been to Israel (infact, I went to University there) but I’ve never been to Italy. Plus I have a 8 hour layover in Amsterdam and used my time wisely to roam around the city.

amsterdam - trees

Here’s what I’m bringing to Israel:

1. I’m going to be wearing these super comfortable and super light weight KEEN Shoes called UNEEK. I’m crazy about the design of these shoes too. Created from two cords and a sole, UNEEK offers an entirely new approach to footwear construction. I have no doubt in my mind, that I will be purchasing another pair in black.

keens

2. David’s Tea: These make the perfect gifts to bring to Israel, as they are easy to pack and unique.

trip - tea

Here’s what I will be doing in Israel…

a) hanging with family members and friends.

b) visiting the beach

c) and eating. (no big surprise, right?)

Sadly this is not a touring trip but it’s still going to be a great trip.

In Italy – I will be visiting Rome and Florence and Venice too!!. I will be so busy that I think I might need a vacation when I get back.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

a) my Italian friends could not help me with restaurant suggestions as they always stay with family members.

b) my Italian friends consistently told me: “Don’t worry – you can eat anywhere. The food is amazing EVERYWHERE”.

c)  I found out that my friends have a love/hate relationship with cities like Rome or Venice. Either they loved those cities or they said they were”too touristy”. Time will tell, how I will feel.

d) My friends highly recommended me to purchase leather products but to make sure they were made in Italy and not elsewhere #greatadvice

e) Book as much as possible in advance…ie train tickets, museum passes etc.

If you have any suggestions where to eat in Florence, Venice or Rome…BRING IT ON. I’m seeking the best coffee, best gelato, best food markets etc.

As for accommodations: I will be happily using Airbnb throughout most of my trip. I had a great experience using them in Barcelona in 2013 and look forward to my using them in Jerusalem and Rome and Venice too!!

Promise to keep you posted regarding my travels!!

Cheers for now.

 

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Oct
07


I’ve been a member of CAA for decades. I can’t imagine driving a car without being a member. CAA has come to my rescue many times. So many times that I can’t even count. In fact just last week I had a flat tire on the 401 while driving to Ottawa and CAA came to my rescue in no time at all.

caa - truck:tire Recently I was invited to a CAA Road Test Revival event where we re-learned a few important driving skills. WOW….what a great reminder. We were reminded that driving is a skill that really does require practice!

For example – the benefits of reverse park driving. ps congratulations to @BigDaddyKreativ who rocked this exercise!

caa - reverse We also reviewed how to parallel park (um ..always a favourite!!)

caa - parallel

Here’s some benefits of being a CAA member!

-CAA drivers education

-24/7 road side assistance (this is #1 for me)

-CAA insurance

Would also like to share with you some details about the Tear-up-the-Tuition contest!

caa - tear up

  • Contest period: September 15 to November 30, 2014
  • Students registered for the CAA How to Drive Course at any ADSN location can enter the Tear-up-the-Tuition Contest by visiting caasco.com/learndrivewin
  • Contest Prizes include:
    • 2 x Grand Prize of CAA How to Drive Course tuition reimbursement
    • 2 x $200 Apple Store® gift cards
    • 3 x choice of $75 CAA Rewards Partner gift card
    • 39 x Cineplex Great Escape Packages

For more information, please visit their website.

Twitter: @CAASCO

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CAASouthCentralON

Disclosure; I was compensated for this blog post however all opinions are my own

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Jul
15


As you know, travelling can be expensive. However by using Airbnb and staying in one of their properties instead of a hotel can save you a lot of money!! I had talked to a few other food bloggers who had used airbnb and everyone seemed to have had a positive experience.

Accoording to Wikepedia, As of 2012, the company had 250,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 192 countries. I also learned that it’s a privately held company based out of San Francisco. Interesting.

I downloaded the (free) app and then you search the city you are travelling to. (in my case, I was looking for a property in Barcelona).

Here’s what you need to do:

-read the reviews carefully

-read the details carefully

-look at the photos carefully too

I did this for HOURS and then finally selected Central Garden Entrance Suite. Here’s the description that sold me (ps the reviews and the price sold me too)

This Suite Apartment is recommended for couples, families and friends who value privacy and central location at an affordable price without compromising comfort.

At 35m² this suite resembles a small hotel room with the added benefits of a kitchen. It is located in a very clean and well maintained building with a unique “Garden Entrance” in a vibrant part of the city centre (7 minutes walk to Las Ramblas). 

This suite has a kitchen with everything you need to prepare simple meals using fresh ingredients from the Sant Antoni market at your doorstep (or the Boqueria market a 4 minute walk away), there is also a microwave to make a quick meal. It also has a private, modern bathroom with a spacious shower and a bathtub. There is also a washing machine in a seperate room shared with 4 other studio’s/suites where you also can hang up your clothes. Furthermore the suite is fortunate to come with a large balcony to enjoy people watching in the streets below..

Just steps away is the renowned meeting place Els Tres Tombs- an excellent spot for Tapas accompanied by a glass of locally brewed Moritz beer. With Ronda Sant Antoni at your doorstep, La Rambla a short walk away and the increasingly trendy and multicultural neighborhood of El Raval around the corner, Sant Antoni is a convenient and exciting place to stay.

I made a request to stay there and then heard that my request was accepted. WOOT.

I thought that having an entire apartment for $79 a night was a great deal!  I was also super excited to have a unit with a kitchen but only used it once. (can you believe?)

Perfect.

Perfect.

 My dream came true as I was able to shop for fresh shrimp  and garlic at the Boqueria market and then come home and make myself a little snack!!

shrimp

Airbnb is so addictive that I find myself scrolling through photos DREAMING of my next travel adventure.

I would definitely be using Airbnb on future trips. My host answered all my questions (and there was more than one!!) and the property was spotless, in a great location and a price that I couldn’t beat.

PS for fun it’s even neat to put in the city you live in – to see what comes up!!

Happy Travelling!

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Nov
24


Not only do I collect china but I collect postcards too.  I’m guessing that this collection started when my mom became a travel agent back in the early 1970’s and went on a lot of trips. (I think those days are long gone for travel agents). Plus my best friend in grade school and high school, travelled 4 times a year with her family. That’s a lot of postcards just from her (and I’m ever so grateful).  So between my mom and my best friend – I started to collect postcards.

Naturally my grandparents sent me some postcards too as did a few other friends who knew about my postcard collection.

Here’s one of my favorite postcards. There is a line in this postcard that says “I thought you would like to take it to SHOW AND TELL NEXT WEDNESDAY”

Isn’t that hysterical!! Disclosure:  Im 47 years old…which means that I’ve kept this postcard for a long long time! (by the way – I am NOT  A HOARDER)

I also love this postcard that just has exclamation marks. Clearly my friend was bored of writing me postcards about the same thing i.e The weather is great, you would like it here, blah blah blah.

Every once in a while I pull out this basket of postcards and will look at the stamps, the varieties of countries, the photos, and the dates. I wish I could frame these postcards but its hard to do coz I like to look at both sides of the postcard!!

Now that everyone is always sending emails and texts – I still ask friends/family to send postcards. There is something special about these little cards that I enjoy. Can’t put my finger on it – but I like collecting them.

What do you collect? I know from the comments on my previous post – that many of you collect china too!! But what else do you collect? My friends’ parents collect menus of restaurants that they have visited  while travelling. They are then framed and displayed on a big wall. I LOVE THAT IDEA. It’s brilliant.

Hope you leave more comments about what else you collect.

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