Saturday, November 15, 2014

Venice, Italy

Venice... a city people seem to either love or hate. There isn't much of an in-between. I couldn't get enough! While the food isn't my favourite, the scenery, the shopping, and just the general vibe of the city were enough to have me captivated. Turning the corner and seeing my first glimpse of the canals was, quite simply, breathtaking.

The Grand Canal
I couldn't help but feel transported to a time long ago. Small shops, no cars in sight, outdoor markets around every corner - these things are all so different than what I've become accustomed to. 

My number one piece of advice for the first-time visitor: get lost! Seriously. There's something so magical about having no idea where you are in this city. It's not that large, and you will find what you're looking for (eventually). Getting distracted by having your nose buried in a map just takes away from wandering the streets and alleyways, and there's no better feeling than accidentally finding the best restaurant, a unique shop, or a stunning view. 

I've heard a few people say things such as, "There's nothing to do in Venice." I have such a hard time with this - there is so much to do in my opinion! Ride a water bus (or even better, a gondola!. Go up the campanile in Piazza San Marco and take in the incredible view of the city. Eat gelato (my favourite: La Mela Verde - their green apple gelato is to die for!). Visit an old church. Just enjoy!

Bridge of Sighs

Campanile tower in Piazza San Marco

San Simeone Piccolo

View from the Ponte Rialto
And if you have time, please do a day trip to the islands of Murano, Burano, and Torcello. Spending a few hours on a boat was great on it's own, but getting to see how blown glass is made, seeing the colours of Burano, and the Torcello cathedral made for a phenomenal day. This was actually only a four-hour trip, so competely do-able with 24 hours in Venice!

Stay tuned for my next post about Sin City - Las Vegas!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

In Niagara Falls, Ontario, MarineLand is the place to go... just kidding, it's really not. 

However, there are lots of other worthwhile things to do on a short trip to Niagara Falls! 

Spend some time enjoying the falls. I mean, really enjoying the falls. It's easy to spend just a few minutes there to be able to say you've seen Niagara Falls, but you could also spend a couple of hours walking along the boardwalk area and taking in the majestic power of this natural beauty. 

Another great way to view the falls is by getting up close and personal! You could choose to take a boat ride through Hornblower Cruises on the Canadian side or "Maid of the Mist" on the U.S. side of the border. I was also a big fan of the Journey Behind the Falls, which is literally just that - a chance to see the falls from the other side, get a bit of information on the history from the falls, and actually feel the mist.

Journey Behind the Falls - photo taken with iPhone 5.
If you're in the city for only a short time, or visiting for a romantic getaway, avoid Clifton Hills. It's the most touristy area - full of arcades, chain restaurants, and gimmick-y museums. It can be a fun area to explore (my husband and I went on a Groupon and fully enjoyed spending a rainy few hours at an arcade with the deal we got), but really shouldn't be a priority in my opinion.

Although I just mentioned to avoid the touist locations, check out Skylon Tower by night if you get a chance. It's not too expensive, and the view of the fireworks is well worth the price. 

Photo taken with iPhone 5. 
Niagara Falls is definitely a city worth spending a little time in, without having to spend a lot of money.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Edinburgh, Scotland.

I must say, out of everywhere I've been, Edinburgh was the most surprising. I was ecstatic to be visiting Athens. I knew I would fall in love with Venice. But for some reason, the U.K. was never a dream destination for me. Don't get me wrong - I was never actively disinterested. I just never thought of anywhere in the United Kingdom as a "must-go" destination (with the exception of maybe London). 

However, the history, the people, and the scenery quickly changed my mind. 

The first thing I did in Edinburgh (after a nap) was a visit to Edinburgh Castle. It might be because I like to pretend I'm a princess sometimes, but I love visiting castles, and this one did not disappoint. It has held up to the elements very well, and provided a good lesson on history as well. If you're going to visit, plan to attend the one o'clock gun. The presentation is both interesting and informative.

If you would prefer to spend some time in nature, Arthur's Seat cannot be missed. It's quite the hike (note to self: start going to the gym) but so worth it. The city and farmland views are stunning, like nothing I have seen before. And lesson learned the hard way: there's actually an easy way to get up. You don't have to take the side that is all stairs!

View from the top.

Taking a break at the top of Arthur's Seat.
And if shopping is more your style, Princes Street is not a bad option. Here you'll find quite a few big chain stores such as H&M and the U.K.-based Primark, where I found myself buying a cheap rain jacket. Oops. There's also a few local stores and souvenir stores. 

As for restaurants, I have found a couple of good ones on Rose Street, a walking street with a variety of pub food and other fare. 

Whatever your plan or reason for visiting, I'm sure you will enjoy Edinburgh as much as I did.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

The East Coast of Canada has such a natural beauty and relaxed vibe, with so much to see and do. 

My favourite part of my day in Halifax was just being on the waterfront. There's quite a few restaurants with really cute patios (some are a little overpriced, but nothing too bad), and you can't beat just sitting in the sun and enjoying a drink while overlooking the water. I was also fascinated with the idea of jellyfish being visible from along the boardwalk - something this Ontario girl is definitely not used to. 

If the idea of the boardwalk area doesn't appeal to you, hit the road and take a day trip out to see an iconic Canadian landmark - Peggy's Cove. It's not actually in Halifax, but worth seeing if you're in the area. 

I have one last suggestion of how to spend 24 hours on the East Coast, and this one just might be the best. I haven't done it in Halifax, but it was on the East Coast (in the Bay of Fundy from the New Brunswick side) so I'm counting it anyway. It's something you can also do from Halifax... whale watching! Being out on the open water, hoping for a glimpse of marine life, is such a one-of-a-kind experience. I was in awe!

And now for the food. I'm not really a fan of seafood (not even lobster; please don't judge me!) but I definitely enjoyed some scallops while in Halifax. I ate from a small fish-and-chis stand on the side of the road, and was quite impressed. You can't go wrong with fresh food! 

Whatever you choose to do, I'm sure you will find a way to thoroughly enjoy a visit to Halifax.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Athens, Greece

I might be a little biased about Athens because it's where I went on my first time ever in Europe, but I can't say enough amazing things about this place. Whether or not you're a history buff (I'm not), the history surrounding this city (and country) is mind-blowing. 

The Acropolis. The National Archaeological Museum. The Olympic Stadium. Whatever your motivation behind visiting Athens, please go check out some of the ruins. Any of them. All of them. Note: If you're making a trip to the Acropolis, I recommend wearing shoes or sandals with good grip. Flip flops or ballet flats might not cut it - the marble steps and walkways can be extremely slippery. I couldn't help but take a moment, sitting on the steps of the Acropolis, to just put my camera down and really take in what I was looking at. Thinking about how Athens was built and the work that went into creating the city, all I could say was "Wow". 

While much of the culture of Athens is built on history, what is culture without food? Feta cheese, souvlaki, tzatziki... yum! One of the best meals I've had in my life came from Sissifos Tavern in the heart of Plaka. This restaurant has both an indoor seating area and an outdoor rooftop patio, with a remarkable view of the Plaka area and the Acropolis. Service was excellent, and the food was beyond delicious. Plus, if you're not exhausted from spending the day exploring, the Plaka area has many shops and bars to wander through.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Welcome to "24 Hours". 

Here's the scenario: You're travelling from home to a brand-new city. You're only going to be there for about 24 hours, whether by choice or stuck on an accidental, unplanned layover because your flight schedule got changed. You have enough time to explore a bit of the city, but don't want to waste any of those precious 24 hours researching what to see to or do, or where to eat. Where to start?

Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

I'm here to help! I'm currently working as a flight attendant out of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Over the past few months, I've been given an amazing opportunity to see so much of the world. I also have a real interest in photography (amateur that I am), and thought it would be interesting to combine these into a blog focusing on some of the most fascinating things to do in a city in just a short amount of time. 

Maui, Hawaii, United States.

Maui, Hawaii, United States.

Sangria on a beach patio in Barcelona, Spain.

So sit back, relax, and please join me on my journey exploring this planet we call home.

P.S. All photos posted here are my own, unless otherwise noted. Please ask permission before using them.