After almost three hours on the road I turned off the highway toward Glovertown, NL making turns down progressively smaller roads until I reached Noah’s on the Point, my home for the next two nights. I’m not quite sure how to classify it as none of the usual titles: hotel, motel, or inn seem to fit. Rooms are grouped into three clusters, each room/suite with its own external door, parking space, cheery yellow deck chairs and bbq. There are a couple picnic tables and two communal fire pits where you can watch the sun set over Alexander Bay and roast marshmallows. I felt like I had stumbled onto a little cottage community.
My home continent. I have been to most Canadian provinces and over a dozen states.
Salvage is a town of approximately 175 on Newfoundland’s Eastport Peninsula. It’s one of the smaller but more interesting peninsulas on the island. These days it’s a popular summer destination because of its pretty towns, seascapes and sandy beaches. It’s been said that the 9km hike from Salvage to Eastport is one of the prettiest in the world and I’m hard pressed to disagree.
Graffiti and street art are one of those topics that brings on a lot of disagreement. Some see it as vandalism, defacing property while others see it as a form of art. There’s one place in particular in Toronto where authorities have turned a blind eye and artists have run amok. Toronto’s Graffiti Alley is a unique lane hidden between Queen & Richmond where street art is not only tolerated but celebrated.
Despite having been to Niagara Falls a few times, I had never made the stop to have a look at the Niagara Whirlpool, formed approximately 4200 years ago by the upstream erosion of the Niagara Escarpment by the Niagara River. If you visit you can take a ride over the gorge in an antique, open air cable car which has been operating since 1916. The whirlpool naturally spins in a counterclockwise motion during normal flow. When more water from the river is diverted to the surrounding hydroelectric power plants, however, the flow often reverses.
The sign says that Clifton Hill is the street of fun at Niagara Falls to which I add a caveat… if you’re a kid. Most adults will probably find it to be a cheesy drain on their wallets. Everything may be overpriced but I still had fun photographing the over-the-topness of it all. I was here when I was 9 and you know what, almost nothing has changed. There are still the same haunted houses, wax museums, arcades and gift shops. One thing that I do love about Clifton Hill is how colourful every thing is.
The EdgeWalk guide called it “Toes Over Toronto”. I called it terrifying. So there my 10 little digits were, perched over the edge of a grate, 1168 feet over Bremner Avenue. Every time I looked down my head would swim and I felt like I was going to fall forward. My fingers tightened on the thick black cable that was keeping me from doing the world’s most epic swan dive. How did I end up tethered to the top of the CN Tower anyway?
I’d been to Niagara Falls a handful of times in my lift but I’d never been on the Maid of the Mist before. I’d seen the boats bobbing in the water each time and saw the crowds in their plastic rain ponchos. This year I got to join them and experienced the power of the Fall’s first hand. It’s one thing to look down on the river from above but it’s another to be in that cloud of heavy mist at the bottom, looking up. You really get a sense for just how powerful Mother Nature can be. The ride doesn’t really last all that long, about 30 minutes, but I think it’s worth the $20 to be able to see the Falls from this angle. Pro tip: wear shoes that you don’t mind getting soaked…because they will. Have you been been on the Maid of the Mist?
I know the cliched terms: quiant, idllyic, sleepy so I won’t use any of those. I will, however, say that Niagara-on-the-Lake is pretty. Tourism is important here so everything about the main strip looks manicured and well-kept. People are drawn to the area for theatre and wine. The town is also known for its gardens, art galleries, antique shops, and golf courses. The visitors are older. The pace is slower. It’s the kind of town I would like to visit for a quiet, low-key, sunny long weekend.
The name of the huge art installation in the middle of Toronto’s Distillery District is “Still Dancing” and, depending on who you talk to, it resembles a whiskey still and a droplet of liquid or a man and woman dancing. I’m in the former camp since I just can’t make that leap from abstract shapes to people dancing. But I can get on board with a stylized still and droplet, especially considering the location.
I’m still a bit of a n00b when it comes to world cuisine but I was pretty sure that banh mi was a Vietnamese sandwich, so I was confused when my friend insisted we go to Bahn Mi Boys for kimchi fries. “But kimchi is Korean,” I thought. I just chaulked it all up to both being Asian countries and off we went in search of fries. I both praise and curse her now for that invitation.
St. John’s, Newfoundland has long known hard times and with our developing oil industry we’re starting to know some good times. So it makes sense that St. John’s is a city that can cater to any budget. Here’s how you can balance your budget in the far east of the Western world.
Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. What struck me here was the photo that someone had hung on a post. I can only assume it was a friend or family member who served in the army during the war. It added a personal, human touch to the larger than life, stainless steel soldiers forever on patrol.
Canadian bloggers are getting together in a giant game of tag to tell you about our Canada and what you shouldn’t miss when you come visit us. Canada is a pretty awesome country and I consider myself to be very lucky to call it my home. There’s a reason backpackers stitch the maple leaf to their packs. We’re generally known as a polite, funny folk with a fondness for hockey and Tim’s double-doubles but I’ve picked out a few of my own reasons why I think Canada rocks.
Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean”, in Chicago is one of the world’s most popular pieces of public art. It has more visitors than anything else in Chicago aside from Navy Pier. At first blush it seems too simple to really be called art, just a giant mirrored bean-like shape. But there’s more to the Bean than meets the eye.
Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean”, in Chicago is one of the city’s most visited attractions, second only to Navy Pier. It was high on my own priority list when I visited the Windy City. In fact, I made two visits. Once just wasn’t enough.
2012 was another year full of travel. I visited five new countries and even circumnavigated the globe like a boss. I pushed my limits and had some incredible experiences. I worked on learning some new languages and tried lots of great new foods. I can’t wait to see what 2013 will have in store for me.
Poltergeists… spirits… apparitions… shades… whatever you want to call them, St. John’s is full of ghosts. Probably not too surprising for a city that’s over 500 years old with a healthy dose of dark stories in her past. If you’ve ever wanted to hear about a few of these hauntings while standing on the spots where they occurred, the St. John’s Haunted Hike is happy to oblige. Dubbed an “Ambulatory Theatrical Exploration of the Macabre”, the hike brings to life ghoulish tales of hangings, murders and other deeds most foul.
The ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier wasn’t the best idea as a solo traveler since you can’t ride alone. Luckily, a couple let me ride in the 4-person gondola with them. I loved the higher up view of the stretch of beach and the ocean. It was fairly busy for a Monday in early May.
It’s been years since I’ve been to the Regatta. Instead I usually spend my holiday Wednesday at home. Wednesday you say? Who has a holiday on a Wednesday? Well, we do…but sometimes it’s Thursday. The odd time it’s on Friday. This year I decided to go down to the pond to remind myself what all the fuss is about.
Every now and then someone says to me “I’m going to New York for the first time, do you have any tips?”. Do I have tips? Does my cat like scratching leather? Yes, yes he does (RIP my red “rock star” jacket). New York can definitely be overwhelming so I thought I’d compile my own personal tips and suggestions for the first time visitor.