Get ready for a riot of colour in Ottawa...
Spring is my favourite time of year in Ottawa and I know I'm not alone. Everyone has a huge grin on their face as they stroll! Everyone is always so excited to greet a new season and spend more time outdoors. And the best part of an Ottawa spring in undoubtedly the Canadian Tulip Festival. It's incredible to see the city scape explode in a riot of colour. Here are my favourite, most colourful things to experience at Tulip Fest.
Come step inside a few centuries of history...
I've been visiting houses of worship around the world for as long as I can remember. I may have all the spiritual sensibilities of a rock, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the beauty, architecture, art, history, and geneaology found within the walls of the grandest mosque or the tiniest church. And as a budget minded traveler, spiritual sites top my list of value all-stars. They are tremendously affordable (usually free!), your donations go to a good cause, there are often special events like free music recitals - and you may even get a fantastic meal too!
There are thousands of houses of worship in London and I've only visited a fraction - but I'm happy to share a few of my favourites here. If I do say so myself, I think this is a perfect list for a first time visitor to London as it gives you a little bit of everything. Famous, obscure, old (and really old), music, community, and food. I'm hoping with each subsequent visit to London my list will continue to grow!
Why isn't St. Paul's Cathederal on this list? It is indeed one of my favourites but I haven't had the chance to visit since 2001 and therefore I can't really offer any personal insights into things like their cafe, their music program, or their tours. Hopefully, I'll be back for a return visit soon!
Dr. Frederick Banting is the ultimate Canadian ambassador.
Every now and then, you come across a travel stereotype that's true - or, at least, I'd like to believe that all the travel stereotypes about Canadians are true. Apparently we're quite a likable bunch! But reputations are not built overnight. Modern travelers owe a debt of gratitude to some of our earliest unofficial ambassadors; those who turned a spotlight on Canada and helped us shine.
One such remarkable pioneer was Dr. Frederick Banting. Renowned for discovering insulin and employing it for the treatment of diabetes, Banting was extremely deserving of the honors that flooded in as a result of his research. But as he rose to super-stardom in the 1920s and 1930s, he never lost touch with his roots. And his humble, hardworking persona continues to resonate with Canadians, who voted him into 4th place on the Greatest Canadians list in 2004. When I think of the best qualities of a Canadian, at home or abroad, I think of Dr. Banting. Here's why.
Look out England! London, Ontario is giving you a run for your money!
If I told you that one of the coolest, most chic, most stylish hotels I've ever stayed in - ever! - was in London, you wouldn't be surprised. Cool Britannia, right? But I'm not talking about London, England. I'm talking about London, Ontario, Canada!
London is a small-to-medium sized city in southern Ontario. The surrounding countryside is known for having charming inns and bed and breakfasts but my honest expectations for accommodations within the city itself were modest. I expected comfortable yet forgettable brand name hotels, but the Hotel Metro blew away my expectations. It easily cracked my top 5 list of the most stylish hotels I've ever been in.
It's time to shine a little light onto your travels.
With all the grace and stealth of a bull in a china shop, I made my way out the tiny doorway of our tree house and across the even tinier landing to our outdoor washroom. The steps were slick with rain, the walls were full of shadows, and the air was thick with the grating call of the coqui frog. But I noticed none of this as my eyes nervously darted back and forth, sweeping the area for the rumored wild pig who called the property home. We were warned to make sure he didn't get into the kitchen hut (HOW??!?!) and I was convinced that a pig smart enough to infiltrate the kitchen could easily secure a foothold in the outhouse to plan an ambush.
I had traveled for years without a headlamp, and then traveled years more with one that stayed in the bottom of my pack. And then, over the course of 72 hours in Hawaii, it more than earned its keep. Here's what you need to know when you buy one - and why I'll never go without mine again.
Here's what's making April a happy month for me.
Planning an amazing retreat.
What do you get when combine a conference, a retreat, and a vacation - and a group of bloggers? Why, it's Blogcation Retreat! I'm so excited to be one of the organizers for this amazing event and I can't wait to see everyone who comes out to participate at the end of May (and I hope to see some of you there!) You can sign up at blogcationretreat.com.
Cheap and cheesy movies.
Wedding Ringer, you delivered. House Bunny, you never get old. Rainbow Cinemas, bless you and your $2 Tuesdays.
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