Where can you find poutine AND fine wine? On a Quebec City food tour, of course! We're reviewing two of the most popular options - as well as giving you the inside scoop on our favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast.
When you think of Quebecois food, does your mind wander to old fashioned fare with a heavy emphasis on maple syrup and local delicacies? Or maybe you're craving less wholesome treats like a heaping plate of poutine? Perhaps your tastes are a bit more refined, with a eye towards wine and French joie de vivre? If you're like me and want a little bit of everything, your best bet is a Quebec City food tour so that no category is left out. Happily, when I was in Quebec City for the Women in Travel Summit, I participated in not one but two fantastic foodie experiences. Read on to hear about each tour, including what I loved, what I felt could have been improved, and my favourite stop on each. Plus there's a bonus review of my favourite Quebec City bed and breakfast which I know you'll like as much as I do!
I'm so excited to be telling CTV Ottawa Morning Live viewers (and all of you!) about our amazing upcoming Aeroplan round the world points trip.
I'm so proud and excited to have presented travel information (and hopefully a little inspiration too!) with my friends at CTV Ottawa Morning Live. I've had the pleasure to visit them before to talk social media in my role as the owner of Sculpt Social - on my last segment, we chatted about the best designed apps for organization.
This visit however was extra special as I got to talk about the first love of my life - TRAVEL! Specifically, crafty travel that allows regular folks (like you and me) to maximize their frequent flyer miles. In case you didn't get to see the entire segment - or if you loved it so much you want a recap - this mini post is for you!
Saguenay is the best place to go kayaking in Quebec - even if there are a few misadventures along the way.
Brimming with confidence and cutting a dashing, athletic figure, I nimbly slid into the stern of my sea kayak, ready to embrace the elements and be one with nature.
Wait a minute.... that's not me! I've never been nimble at anything I do, let alone anything to do with boats! But when I had the opportunity to kayak the Saguenay, Quebec, Fjord - and specifically be in the Saguenay St Lawrence Marine Park, adjacent to Fjord National Park- I WAS truly ready to be one with nature. The chance to navigate a fjord here in Canada was a rare travel experience I couldn't miss.
As for the confidence.... well... let's just say that I was about as confident as I was nimble. But it didn't take me long to hit my stride, with only a few minor mishaps. And it was all worth it to be better acquainted with an absolutely incredible corner of the world. Here's why I think sea kayaking is among the best things to do in Saguenay (even if there were a few awkward wetsuit moments along the way).
I love to chat about money and travel... but penguins usually aren't included in the conversation!
Have you ever traveled to see penguins? And, if so, did they teach you any financial lessons? It's a strange question! You see, a recent conversation about these cute birds unexpectedly shed some light on money and my travel decision making process. Let me explain....
I was chatting with friends about how there are some things I'll happily pay a lot of money for when I travel, yet I get really annoyed at some minor travel expenses. Why was it so easy to assign value to one activity yet be so aggravated with another? That's when a friend piped up and said that in her circle of friends, they summarize this quandary with one quirky phrase: "penguins or no penguins".
She told me about some acquaintances - known for being rather frugal - who had saved up for the trip of a lifetime. They cruised to Antarctica, truly an incredible voyage, and a trip that easily cost thousands of dollars. And while they were there, they had the chance to pay an extra $20 each to leave the cruise ship and board a Zodiac boat that would take them closer to the penguins. But they refused! They must have spent over $10,000 on their trip - but they drew the line at an extra $40 in travel expenses. And thus, the phrase "penguins or no penguins" was born.
In 2013, we created the most incredible reward trip with Aeroplan, circling the globe with Star Alliance. And in 2018 we're doing it again!
TurnipseedTravel debuted nearly six years ago (and does anyone else remember our very first green and grey template?). Nearly 18 months later, that debut became a fully fledged launch when Ryan and I took our readers along for the journey of a lifetime.
We cashed in all our points for what was technically a trip to Australia but instead embarked on an amazing round-the-world trip fueled entirely by Aeroplan. See, we had learned about all the reward flight loopholes needed to "hack" our travel plans and create a mini round the world trip with Star Alliance partners. With stops in Europe, Asia, North America (and, of course, Australia), we had 9 flight segments on Star Alliance flights (and visited about 15 different locations) and paid about $300 each for taxes and fees. As you can tell from our nostalgic photos, thanks to Aeroplan, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Or so we thought....
We love coffee - and we love travel gifts that go the distance. One lucky reader will get to win both!
Long time blog readers will know two absolute truths about Ryan and myself. The first is that we are obsessed with coffee. Ryan loves a classic cup of black coffee, whereas I hold out for some combination of espresso and steamy milk, but together we are formidable force, tracking down every cappuccino counter and corner cafe around the world.
The second is that we are enamored with anything that does double duty or that classifies as a two-for-one. 24 hour layovers on route to our main destination. Free guided tour day at the museum. Taking the brewery tour while half price appetizers are offered. In short, we want great bang for our buck and we want to be caffeinated while we get it. With that in mind, we are thrilled to offer an amazing giveaway to our beloved readers that combines BOTH of our passions!
Peace and reflection at St Symphorien Military Cemetery, Belgium.
It's difficult to drive down a road in rural Belgium without encountering one of the subtle green signs of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission . Belgium suffered terribly during the First World War, as did the millions of troops from around the world who fought in the water logged trenches. But as I was to learn, visiting a war cemetery is not just an experience of sadness but also one of inspiration.
What makes a girls' getaway all the sweeter? Adding in a delicious dose of maple on a trip to Montebello, Quebec.
Can there ever be too much of a good thing? Not when it comes to maple! This classic Canadian flavor is so much more than a pancake topping. And when I had the opportunity to partner with Ford Canada for a girlfriends' wellness weekend in Montebello, Quebec, I knew that my favorite autumn flavor would only sweeten the experience.
I was excited to indulge in as much of Quebec's signature condiment as possible, and I soon learned that there was more to maple than meets the eye. Traditional pancakes, step aside! Here are my favourite Montebello maple moments.
Agatha Christie, elephants, and a chance to WIN your very own amazing literary prize pack!
In 2003, I discovered a tiny bookstore in Cork, Ireland, called Mainly Murder. Well, when I say "discovered", what I really mean is that I followed the instructions in my Let's Go guidebook - and I was not at all disappointed with their recommendation.
The elderly proprietress really did look like she could be a character in an Agatha Christie plot, just like Let's Go had described. When I presented my insufferably vague query (I wanted something to read while I was backpacking... something "good"), she intuitively directed me towards the perfect author. That's how I discovered Minette Walters, whose novels really were the ideal companion to backpacking - paperback books, easy enough to find around the world, suspenseful but not too scary.
Mainly Murder has since closed but it will always have a special place in my heart. It launched my passion for discovering bookstores around the world. So when I had the chance to try out a Sweet Reads book box and saw an Agatha Christie quote on their stationary, I knew it was the very thing for me.
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