Travel

Time to set out adventure and see the world, Don’t you think?

 

 

 

 

2007 July

Europe- France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria 2007
France
Must see’s : the obvious Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, Champs d’elysees, Jardin de luxembourg, catacombs of Paris, Musee picasso, Pantheon. Another sight was travelling down the canal at night by boat to witness dancing, and the true heart of paris.

There is so much to see, but if you go there you have to try THE BREAD, oh my it is heavenly.

Versailles was also a sight to see, although not in Paris it is not very far away. I could not even believe the sheer size of the fireplaces, doorways, and all the secret passageways. The garden and hall of mirrors were might favorite part. I can only imagine what it would be like to wake up to that view every morning.

Austria and Switzerland were next, they had scenery different than what was offered in Paris, although they had old buildings as well the true sight was in the mountains. The cascading waterfalls off the side, and they were so high I thought it was the direct route from Earth to the heavens.¬† When we went up Mount Pilatus, there was a gift shop, restaurant, boutique at the top and you could look down to the beauty of the town below. We took the cable cars down, which was a little heart wrenching to say the least, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to gain a new found perspective and love of the mountains.

In Austria well as you know it has housed some pretty famous people from Mozart to Freud it has some pretty rich history in its Baroque Architecture.
Must sees Austria: There are all kinds of museums (Mozart museum, Moderne museum of Salzburg etc.) as well as cathedrals with astounding architecture, nothing like you see in America. You may also find yourself at the Salzburg zoo, or at Mirabell palace.

In Switzerland we stayed in Lucerne, a beautiful compact city with medieval architecture.
Must sees: The swiss alps, mount pilatus, the lion monument, Chapel bridge ( iconic winding bridge lined with art),lake geneva, lake zurich, Gornergrat railway (train from Zermatt to Gornergrat), Trummelbach waterfall,

Germany the beer is so good there. It is not like Canadian Beer. Although there is nothing wrong with Canadian beer, the Germans know how to do beer the right way. I had never really been a fan of beer but that night, I sure drank a lot of it. We definitely had some fun. The thing I regret the most was not being able to go to a concentration camp. The day we were scheduled to go, it was closed. The good news, I did not have to cry in front of everyone, because let’s be honest I knew I would. There is nothing more tragic than the loss of life.

Must sees: Neushwanstein Castle, Berlin wall, checkpoint charlie museum. Munich where we stayed is known for Octoberfest and for its beer halls, Frauenkirche (gothic church with iconic domed towers), they also have a zoo, and a sea life museums. Soo many interesting buildings with architecture you just do not see East of the Atlantic ocean.

This trip was my first real trip by myself, and it was the one that opened my heart and soul up to traveling for the rest of  my life. I knew that every year I had to at least visit one new spot, even if it was not all that far away. The freedom, the adventure, the new perspective and the new experience of culture that is what I crave when I travel. I absolutely love meeting  new people, and learning  different ways of doing things.

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Florida 2008

This was a visit to see my Grand parents in West Palm Beach Florida. It was my spring break trip from University. I got to experience the beach in March, see Manatees that swim nearby, and do a little bit of shopping. It was a great experience spending time with my relatives, not only my grandparents but my aunts and uncles who were also there. The water was beautiful but as you can tell from the picture it was a little chilly!!

Must sees west palm beach: La fontana of palm beach, chillingworth park, Mounts botanical gardens, okeheelee park, and there are also things to do with animals (lion park safari, zoo, manatee lagoon and keep your eyes peeled you may see a gator or two.

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Montreal 2008
James, Tyson, Andrew and I all pooled our money together, and drove to Montreal only 8 hours away from where we live. We stayed in an apartment downtown, and did some shopping, saw the sights (la ronde, shopping mall, bars, etc.) It was an experience to remember that is for sure. The boys were hilarious and kept me laughing the entire time. The best night was when they went out to the bar and I was soooo tired I fell asleep on the couch at home. They came back and Andrew was on top of me singing and dancing (still sleeping by the way) but best way to wake up. It sure was one of those great memories that you wont ever forget.

Must sees: Notre dame basilica, old montreal, saint josephs oratory, la ronde, olympic stadium, travel the subway, shopping (oh boy is there shopping!!)

Shortly after our return Andrew passed away from his diabetes. We will miss and honor him always.

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New York 2010
My Mother and I took this trip to New York. It was an organized bus trip with Freedom Tours out of Saint John and we stayed at the Row hotel in New York. The room was very small for two people, but let’s be honest we did not spend a whole lot of time in our room. We were only in there to sleep and then the rest of the time we were out exploring the wonders of the city. The hotel itself was just one block away from Times Square, so we were close to everything. We did so much crammed into our four days, I would recommend spreading it out over a week if you can, that way you are able to take at least one day to rest if you need. We saw Times Square, Grand Central Station, Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Ground Zero, Empire State Building, Flat Iron Building, Central Park, tasted some chocolate from a local chocolatier, went to Carlos Bakery from the tv show in Jersey, took in a Broadway play (sister act) which was awesome, went to saks fifth avenue and some shopping in the area. It was the busiest and most exciting four days all wrapped up into one.

Must sees: Times Square, Ground zero (911 memorial), Grand central station, Statue of liberty, empire state building, central park, broadway (for a play- it doesnt matter which one they are all AMAZING!), John Lennon’s final home.

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Las Vegas 2011
Well my husband and I have been to Vegas multiple times, he absolutely loves it because he likes to play poker (not my thing). It is busy, smokey and not the most relaxing vacation. You are practically up all night, and rise early too. I think in the four trips we have taken to Vegas we went to the pool 1 time.

We have stayed at the MGM, Luxor and Stratosphere. My favorite place that we stayed was the MGM. It is the perfect location on the strip, and the rooms are very nice. The only thing I did not like about the hotels is most of them allow smoking in the casino area which is usually not far from the check in desk. You often have to walk through the casino in order to leave the hotel. Trump tower is one of the only hotels that does not have a casino and therefore smoking is not throughout.

Some of the fun activities my husband and I did included the iheart radio music festival (mid september), horse back riding in the desert, shark reef, stripper 101, helicopter tour over the grand canyon/hoover dam, VIP Club Crawl through Expedia, Mme Tussauds, Venetian boat ride, CSI/Diego restaurant, and the los angeles tour. We had so much fun and got to meet lots of new people. I liked experiencing the night life of Vegas by attending multiple clubs to choose which ones are your favorite and where you may go again. Be careful, if you are looking for bottle service it may cost you a pretty penny. We were at PURE in Caesar’s palace and that night bottle service was $7,000.

If you are looking for a fun, unique experience that is filled with lots to do and see you should consider Vegas

Must sees: IHEART MUSIC FESTIVAL, horse back riding in the desert, grand canyon/hoover damn, VIP pub crawl if you want to check out the bar scene, Mme Tussauds was fun, Shark reef, and obviously try the shows – you can not go wrong with Cirque de Soleil (love by beatles was amazing, michael jackson and Ka were all very entertaining), or your favorite performer, Freemont Street, and the strip. There are some rides to along the strip if you are a thrill seeker (roller coaster at ny ny, giant ferris wheel, big shot, and x-scream at the top of the stratosphere). You can not go wrong if you are looking for fun if you choose LV!

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Florida-Disney 2012
This was a wonderful trip with my husband and mother to Disney World and West Palm Beach to visit my grandparents. We started off at Disney World for four days. We stayed at the pop century resort which was very affordable. The rooms were very small, two beds and a bathroom that is all, not much room for three people, but to be honest we were rarely in our room anyway, only for sleeping. We went to a different park each day starting with Animal Kingdom (if you are an animal lover and want to see them in a naturalized habitat, this is the place for you). The other parks were Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood studios and sea world (separate).

Animal Kingdom: For the animal lover, you will see all different species of animal, and the staff educate children and adults in the ways of the animal. They have knowledgeable staff who are dedicated to their jobs and want to provide you with the best experience possible. There are rides and other things to do besides checking out the animals. It is divided into regions: Africa, Asia etc, and the corresponding animals in that region. Favorite ride was the jungle safari in Africa region.

Magic Kingdom: This is for the kid in all of us. They call it Magic Kingdom for a reason. This is where the Disney Castle is located and they have a mickey mouse show regularly, as well as fireworks every night. This place truly is magic and staff make the experience so enjoyable for the children. There are rides divided into categories depending on the age of your child. They have everything from tea cups to roller coasters so know in advance what rides you want to try. We were unable to get to all of them in one day it was just too big a place. Favorite ride was Space Mountain, and my nieces favorite was the haunted house.

Epcot: This is for the traveler. It is a unique experience, they have the world divided up into sections that are separate countries : Canada, France, Germany, China, Japan, etc. They have all kinds of neat rides here as well. At night they also have a fireworks show which is quite incredible. Our favorite ride was definitely Soarin. It is a gentle ride where you are sitting in seats that lift slightly off the ground and you have a screen that is 360 degrees. It is as if you are flying over California, they even have scents and a light mist that spray you when you go over the ocean so it feels like it is really happening.

Hollywood Studios: We enjoyed staff member ROSIE at Hollywood studios she was hilarious. My husband suggests that you have to try a huge turkey leg ( myself am a vegetarian so I would opt out of that one). My husband while on the tower of terror, was holding onto his seat so tightly that he actually injured his hand. It is a ride that goes through a haunted tower the window opens you are in the sky and all of a sudden the elevator/your seat falls plummeting towards the ground.

Sea World: If you want to see dolphins, whales, and other sea creatures up close and personal this is your opportunity. There is some serious roller coasters in sea world, for the thrill seeker. Some may find Sea world cruel due to the information released with the film black fish, which is understandable. I am just providing my experiences of going to these locations. I did not really go on any rides here because this was one of the last locations we went to, and I had gotten tired of rides, we just went around to see the animals. I really enjoyed feeding the sea lions and seeing the sea lion show.

Disney is definitely a magical place if you open your heart to childhood wonder and just let it be.

Must sees: Fireworks at magic kingdom and epcot, 4d ride at epcot (soarin), space mountain, rockin roller coaster, Tower of terror, haunted house, animal kingdom for simply the up close and personal experience with the animals. Sea world for the rides and the animals as well.

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Las Vegas 2012

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Jamaica 2013
We¬† stayed at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort in Lucea Jamaica. It is a tropical paradise. It is far from the hustle and bustle of the main cities. It has a beautiful spot for snorkeling, as it is an inlet off the ocean. You still see all kinds of marine life, but without the large waves crashing on the shore. If you want the waves they have another beach for just that, playing in the waves. This is actually where my wedding was held and I loved every minute of it. We had a lot of fun as a group, we did things like Negril/ Ricks Cafe/ Dolphin Cove/ Black River/ Appleton Factory/ Dunn’s River Falls/ Catamaran/ Snorkeling/ Kayaking in the ocean, there was so much to do in so little time, but it sure was a blast. I would recommend this resort for a visit if you always wanted to enjoy Jamaicas beaches, snorkeling, and awesome entertainment! We played volleyball in the sand on a regular basis, danced with the fellow workers and had some fun contests. Drinks/Food were delicious!

Must sees: Dolphin Cove, Dunn’s river falls, black river, negril, ricks cafe, SNORKELING in any form. Don’t forget to take part in the entertainment as it sure is a blast. Bob Marley museum, blue mountains.

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Las Vegas 2013
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California 2013- Santa Monica/LA
This was a day trip when we  went to Las Vegas. We took a Mercedes Van/Bus to Cali for the day for some shopping, sight seeing and delicious meals. Our first stop was Pier at Santa Monica for lunch, then we went to the Chinese Theatre/Hollywood sign/Hollywood walk of fame and lastly downtown to Rodeo Drive which was so neat. We saw where some of the movie Pretty Woman was filmed. No celebrity sightings for me, I kept my eyes pealed but lets be honest, I think they try to blend in.

Must sees: Honestly the beach in Santa Monica was my favorite part, I think I would have loved to just spend my days at the beach. To see all the sights on a tour was great, but you would only have to do it the once to see what you want to see. I recommend if you are there longer to see if you can get a tour of one of the movie sets. Universal studios hollywood, hollywood walk of fame, griffith park, graumans chinese theatre, hollywood sign, sunset boulevard, hollywood forever cemetary, santa monica and venice beach.
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Costa Rica 2015
This was my Yoga teacher training. I was taken from a small town in Canada (when I left it was -40 degrees Celsius) and plunked right into the heart of the Costa Rican jungle where temperatures ranged from 15 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees. It was absolutely the time of my life. I learned so many things about myself, my practice and how much I missed being around people. It was when I took a huge leap in the right direction with my eyes closed and my heart open. We stayed at Samasati, in Puerto Viejo, It is an experience of immersion mind and body into the jungle life. You really experience sloths just outside your window, monkeys howling in the morning a top your roof, and well it is not for the faint of heart especially if you do not like spiders or bugs. You are in a cabin in the middle of a jungle, you are bound to see a few bugs.

Must sees: Arenal Volcano, Jaguar Rescue center, white water rafting, ride horses on the beach, check out one of the many waterfalls in the rainforest, they are beautiful and you see the most amazing wildlife on the way. You don’t have to go to a animal sanctuary to catch glimpses of wildlife. Where I stayed we had a sloth that lived outside our cabin, monkeys above us every morning, and we saw some snakes, lizards, taratula, and much much more.
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California-San Diego 2015
My Best friend Juliane and I went to San Diego to adventure and take a Warrior for Healing training. It is yoga for first responders/ military who have experience trauma. It gives you alternatives, proper etiquette, wording and options for those individuals. We took this training in Solana Beach/Encinitas about 25-30 minutes away from San Diego.

Must Sees: Fletcher Cove Beach Park, Moonlight and Cardiff state beach, West village shopping center, meditation gardens and self realization fellowship. There were also some great restaurants nearby union kitchen and tap, and pacific coast grill were among my favorites.
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Mexico 2016
Playa Del Carmen

I traveled with my husband to Playa del Carmen last year in May for my best friends wedding. She and her fiance of 10 years were finally tying the knot. We stayed at the Grand Sunset Princess. It was a very large but very beautiful resort that had all the amenities, and the guacamole was addictive! There were monkeys living in the trees not to far away from our room, so we would often venture out and watch as other guests fed them bananas and other yummy treats. There was also an alligator that lived under the bridge near the entrance to the beach on the wedding side who we visited regularly. Lots of coatis and iguanas scattered in the resort.
Must sees mexicoРTHE BEACH!, Fifth avenue for some shopping if you feel so inclined,  Tulum or Coba to see Mayan ruins, or venture onto a zipline. You must go on a catamaran to do some snorkeling, we had the most amazing experience, we saw sea turtles, they were so close that we cold touch them, it was truly incredible, a once in a lifetime opportunity.

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Texas 2016

This retreat was for me. I stayed right at Siddhayatan and did not leave to adventure. I wanted to absorb knowledge from Acharya Schree who was the enlightened master teaching courses on healing, trauma, and addiction. He is so knowledgeable and just a pleasure to learn from. I was able to stay right at Siddhayatan which has dorm like rooms. I shared mine with an amazing girl from L.A. Sarah. She was such a warm, light hearted, and incredible spirit that I know will do great things. If you have the money and the opportunity I strongly suggest this for anyone with PTSD. It provides you a safe place to learn breathing techniques, visualizations, and yoga therapy that will help with the symptoms and coping with day to day life.

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Kelowna BC 2017

 

To visit the other side of Canada was eye opening. It was so incredibly different than one would think, often times people think Canada is all one big igloo- when in reality that is only true in the winter time.

I went to this beautiful city to find myself. And I found her on the water drifting on a paddle board inspired by the life all around. It is so funny how I think most of us who adore traveling we are constantly searching for ourselves, when in reality we do not have to go very far or spend all kinds of money to figure it out. We just have to sit with ourselves and be willing to explore those deep rooted walls we build over time. Those walls are put there to divide us from others, keep ourselves protected from some of the harsh realities of life, but instead of learning about them and moving forward with the lessons, we stay stuck in those harsh realities afraid of all that will come next.

I got to spend a lot of time with some pretty remarkable people who showed me that the walls may have been needed at one time, but they are not anymore. To show up through the hard stuff and be gentle on yourself is sometimes all you need. Other times it could simply be to let go, let the emotions flow. To do yoga and connect to others on a deeper level, an energetic level, helped me to invoke that internal knowing of connection. Although we all have different bodies, we are connected on a level that is really beyond words. When we become more familiar with that wisdom, we become more compassionate to others but also ourselves.

I am eternally grateful for the experiences I have been given.

Portland Oregon

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