Part 3: Saskatchewan

Hey Lovely Readers!

It is our last post for Canada’s 150! I hope we gave you some good suggestions for things to do and places to visit! Canada is a really beautiful place, and I’m proud and happy to live here!

The last place I wanted to talk about is Saskatchewan. This province is a place that is very overlooked. Everyone wants to go to BC or the mountains in Alberta- for obvious reasons- but I find that no one really explores Saskatchewan unless you have family there! Saskatchewan is beautiful. It is a province made up with a ton of small towns and communities. There are a ton of farming communities. I love this. They’re all these small towns with towns of personality. When people tell me the name of their small town they’re family is from, it is most likely that my grandma knows their family if they’re in the same local community.

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One of the first places I wanted to talk about was Waskesui! This is a beautiful lake with purple sand. The cabins are amazing and are not a terrible price to rent. My family would go back every summer and spend the week with the wildlife in a beautiful cabin! I  absolutely loved it and it was the most beautiful lake. There are a ton of other lakes in Saskatchewan! What is amazing when you live there is if you wanted, you can get away to a lake every weekend. A nice, clear lake too. Some other lakes I recommend are candle lake, emma lake (close to Waskesui- this one can be touristy and busy in town, but they have beautiful private beaches), green water- these are just some of them. I always see black bears and a ton of wildlife at Waskesui- I love it!

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If you want to got the city, the best places to go are Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, and Regina. Saskatoon is a typical large city with malls, zoos and Kinsmen park, and all that. It’s a good place to stay if you want to stay in a nice hotel in the city and go out of town to the lakes, or hang out and do some shopping. Also, you can check out a lacrosse game- Rush. They moved from Alberta to Saskatchewan recently, are an amazingly good team and are definitely way more appreciated there. Moose Jaw is well known for the underground tunnels. The tunnels were originally used for utility purposes, but it has been rumored that Al Capone used the tunnels in his bootlegging days. Lots of stories circle around seeing him using these tunnels or in Moose Jaw. Although no physical evidence supports this, there are a ton of well known families that have lived in Moose Jaw for years that have claimed to have seen Al Capone. There’s also a lot of stories about Chinese immigrants digging and living in the tunnels. Regardless, they are a piece of Canada’s history which is awesome!  Last, is Regain. An old beautiful city in Saskatchewan. If you are in this area check out a CFL Roughriders game- you will not be disappointed. The Roughriders are the pride and joy of Saskatchewan. People come from all over Saskatchewan and dress up in crazy outfits to go to the games! It is a great time!

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Well Happy Birthday Canada- 150 years! I hope you learned a little bit more about Canada these past three weeks!

-Erin

Part 2: Mountains, Mountains, Mountains!

Hi Everyone!

Its part 2 of our Travel Western Canada series, and today I’m going to talk about travelling in Alberta!

For the most part if you aren’t camping and travelling through Alberta, you’re visiting the mountains. Luckily Alberta is chocked full of beautiful national parks that contain a plethora of serene mountain views (see below).

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(ooh ahhh)

Park 1. Banff National Park

Probably the most well known national park in Alberta, it boasts lovely mountain views and (I believe) is the oldest national park in Canada. I used to go to Banff all the time as a child, and my dad would often have conferences or business trips that my brother and I could tag along.

On one memorable trip to Banff I was staying the week with my dad while he attended a conference and low and behold it rained the whole week and we got trapped in Banff for a few extra days (not too shabby). The whole town was on doomsday alert, the grocery shelves were bare, and the river was raging!

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Now a days Banff doesn’t call to me as much as it used too, it is often overpriced, full of tourists, and just generally commercialized. If you’ve never been it’s worth the visit, but keep in mind these next two parks (and bring yours patience if you do decide to visit)!

Park 2. Jasper National Park

The less touristy version of Banff; known for its amazing mountains, vibing LGBTQ+ pride scene, and serious snowboard scene. Recently this has been my families go to mountain vacation, as well as my boyfriend and I’s favourite place to spend reading week.

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Jasper is MUCH more laid back, if you don’t go during the summer months, many of the stores and restaurants are actually closed during the off season, so fair warning a head of time. Last time I visited my boyfriend and I stayed in the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. I have never stayed in a Fairmont before and I was over the moon to have the opportunity. We had an adorable little cabin room, and seriously the price was worth it for the pool (and its views) alone.

Park 3. Waterton Lakes National Park

This park is a new discovery for me, I have only been once (last year), and I was blown away! Located in the southern part of Alberta this park also contains beautiful mountain views and as with all these national parks – a lot of hiking trails. Similar to Jasper, most of the restaurants and stores are only open seasonally so first time visits are perhaps better kept to summer months!

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As a bonus visit Albert sight, on the way to Waterton you can stop at Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump, an archaeological sight that was used by indigenous peoples in the past to kill a large number of buffalo. It is seriously super cool and so worth it!

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That’s all for now!

Happy Travels

Kathleen

Part 1: A Trip to Western Canada!

Hey Lovely Readers!

Hope you’ve had an awesome Tuesday! I just finished work so blahhh. I always find when I work a 3- 11 shift that I’m wide awake until 2:00am which stinks! So right now I’m happily typing away until I just completely crash!

Alright, so what should you do if you want to travel to Western Canada? I get this question ALL the time from people from other countries. Even when I was in Vancouver people were asking me what I do in Alberta. GOOD QUESTION. Lol just kidding, there are tons of things to do here! Western Canada is actually a very fun place to travel! So, here’s my list! I’m going to split this VERY long post into three parts! So in 3 parts, I’ll do British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan (sorry Manitoba, I’ve never been there! Maybe people will recommend something for me!)

Ok, I’m going to start with British Columbia. This is BC. People love going to BC for the nature and the weather. Their winter is constant rain, and their summers are hot and beautiful!

There are some REALLY great places to go in BC. Kelowna and Penticton in Okanagan Valley have beautiful lakes and mountain views. There are amazing wine tours you can do, and lots of people golf there. It’s gorgeous.

Jumping over to Vancouver now, I’ve talked about this a bit and will talk about it more so later on, but Vancouver has some great mountain views, lakes and is on the ocean. Vancouver is amazing for having various types of foods you can find! On every main street is a strip with different foods- sushi (DEFINITELY TRY SOME, if you don’t like fish, they have some non- fish ones that are very good! There was a cream cheese one or a cucumber rolls), Indian Food, Italian- you name it. They also have a bunch of cute little coffee shops and little groceries stores with all kinds of different foods. Some site seeing: Granville Island- has some little stores on the coast, the Aquarium, Canada Place- where the Olympic Torch is, the art gallery, the UBC anthropology museum, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and Stanley Park- it was just named the best place to see. There’s so much I’m missing! I’ve also heard that it is an experience to ride the ferry to Vancouver Island, so definitely be excited and prepared to splurge on that!

The next place up is Victoria! I haven’t been there yet, but I am possibly going before the end of the summer (Hopefully!). The TOP place to go is Butchart Gardens. This place is beautiful, and I’m so excited to go! ALL THE FLOWERS! They’re so pretty, it’ll be a beautiful walk!

Craigdarroch Castle is the next thing people really talk about seeing! It’s a Victorian Era Scottish mansion. The Victorian Harbor is a great place to go- and the best pictures are at night! Maybe a night stroll would be beautiful along the harbor! There’s the national museum, Fisherman’s Wharf for marine life, Fisgard Lighthouse, and sooo much more! If you can go whale watching, that would be very awesome too! It’s a lifelong dream for me! I just want to see some whales!! Maybe this summer? Going around that island too would make for a great trip, in my opinion! I’ve also been told that Tofino is beautiful!

OK, last place! Whistler, Panorama, Fernie…. These are just some of the VERY popular skiing and snowboarding areas! If you plan on going in winter, these are the recommended locations!

 

Now, I would talk about the mountains, but the rocky mountains are on the border between Alberta and BC! So, we’ll save that for the next part- Alberta! We can let you know which is in BC and which is in Alberta then!

Hope you like our BC recommendations! Come Visit Canada!

-Erin

I’m Back!

I’m Bacccckkkkkk!

Hello everyone I’m back from Portugal and SUPER excited to start blogging again! I plan on doing a complete debrief of my trip later in the week, but for this post I thought I would just catch you all up on what has been happening (and why I’ve been away for so long!).

Firstly I would like to describe my journey home; our flight was suppose to go from Lisbon to Toronto (with a stop in the Azores) and from Toronto to Edmonton getting us back in town by 12am on Sunday. However because I have the worst luck getting back from Europe (Re: Erin and I getting back from Italy a day late because AirFrance strikes) we missed our connection in Toronto and had to stay overnight!

Here’s the scoop: anyone whose been to mainland Europe knows that time runs at a different pace from North America, and the day we left being no exception, our plane was three hours late due to the fact there was no plane to put us on. They found us a plane and got us all on only to tell us that they didn’t have clearance to take off so we waited another hour. Also this plane had no brand names it was just completely white, needless to say people were starting to wonder WHAT was going on.

Ok so finally we’re in the air and we have to stop in the Azores and we get unloaded and loaded onto a completely new plane! There are other random inefficient items that transpired but I will just keep it to that for now. The airline that flies from Portugal to Toronto is not the nicest, with a limited movie selection (Me Before You, X-Men Apocalypse, Suicide Squad, and the latest Ice Age), and a strong smelling salted cod meal (See my tips for Travelling as a Vegetarian!).

When we landed in Toronto they gave us a voucher for a hotel and a meal and sent us on our way. We had a flight at 7:10 the next day getting us back into Edmonton before 10! In the end the extra stop over wasn’t bad – it gave us all a real bed to sleep on.

On that last plane ride home I caught the Plague and so I’ve been recovering ever since, oh and working; I guess I’m back to working now to.

Talk soon!

Kathleen

Honolulu, Hawaii

Hey Lovely Readers!

Sorry we’ve been so MIA these past few days! We’ve both been away, travelling and adventuring up a storm! I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had time to write!

I’ve been debating about what to talk about today for travel Tuesday. I would love to talk about some places in Italy more specifically, but I want to research them better and give you some historical details on everything! SO, I’ll leave that for now until I’m researched up! I’ve been reading a lot of non fiction books lately!

I think I’ll talk a little bit about travelling to Honolulu, Hawaii! I loved Hawaii- who doesn’t! It’s such a beautiful, and tropical paradise there! I went to Waikiki when I went and it was amazing! I don’t know if I’d go back again though- let me be more clear- to that specific area!

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If you have never been to Hawaii- try to go to Honolulu! There’s so much to do there! The Polynesian centre shows the different Hula dancing, outfits, etc for the native Hawaiians in each region! They’re dancing is amazing and the outfits are beautiful! You can walk through different villages and do some very interesting things and basically be Moana! Another hot spot is going to the USS Arizona Memorial- WW2 Pearl Harbor attack. You can tour different subs, and go to the site where a boat has sank. There is a beautiful area where people and soldiers can be remembered- an amazing memorial.  Also, if you’re a history nut, the USS Missouri is there too. It’s a massive boat from WW2, where the US and Japanese Peace Treaty was signed! I also recommend doing a bus tour! We did and it took us all over the island to different beaches, market places, beautiful country! You can see where movies were filmed- Jurassic Park btw! You can also visit the Dole factory that has amazing pineapples! The fruit is amazing there! Other than these there is a hike up Diamond Head volcano, which is beautiful and you can go to various different beaches! Relax, and enjoy the beach!

Also, I almost forgot the best part! Hanauma Bay! It’s the absolute best for snorkelling! The water is so clear, and you can swim among the coral and look at pretty, colourful fish! It’s a great place to go for the day! Beautiful beaches and water!IMG_0255.JPG

 

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The reason I wouldn’t go back is only because it is pretty busy there! There is a ton of tourists and there’s so much to do- but you can do it all in one trip and it’s almost not worth it to go a second time and do the same thing- unless you’re going for the beaches. I definitely want to try a different island- Maui or something where I can relax and spend time on beaches instead! I do however recommend- anywhere in Hawaii is amazing, no matter how many times you go!

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– Erin

 

Travelling Alone

Hello…. It’s me.

It’s so weird, because I’m literally typing up a bunch of posts, just in case I run out of time to do it on my trip! So currently, I’m still on a plane to Vancouver. You can imagine me with my IPad and Keyboard typing, gazing out the window, and listening to Elvis’ I can’t help falling in love with you. Sounds like it would make a great movie actually. Such good imagery. Anyways, based on when this post will be out, it’ll be Saturday! So happy Saturday everyone!
I wanted to talk a bit about travelling along! It can be a kind of sketchy thing, but I promise it is worth it in the end! As you know from my last eight million posts, I will be in Vancouver and am currently on a plane by myself! At first I was super nervous to be going by myself. I was listening to Anna Farris’ podcast and she had given the advice to go somewhere and learn something new about yourself and go on a road trip for just you. When I heard it, I thought that that was crazy! How can you do something like that alone! How can you be that comfortable? Honestly, I think it will be the best decision I could have made. To be honest, I won’t be very alone, because I’ll be with cousins. However, I never see these cousins, so sometimes it may be a little awkward and lonely- but worth it. I can already sense that there’s so much to learn about yourself when you’re alone! It’ll be amazing to be out of my comfort zone and to really get to know me and figure out what I want to do with my life! I’m excited! It’s all so thrilling!

I really recommend you guys do this at some point! Good luck with you’re own road trips!

– Erin

Yamnuska Wolf Sanctuary

Hey Guys!

Hope you had a good Tuesday! Today, I wanted to talk a bit about the wolf sanctuary about 60 minutes from Banff! If you love animals and are looking for something to do, then I recommend that you go! It’s 100% a must!

I loved my experience there! There are three different options you can choose when visiting. For one, you can do just a tour of the place- walking around and checking out the wolf dogs. Second, you can do a tour and do a behind the scenes where you can ask questions to some of the people who run the place. Last, you can do both of those options and be able to meet and pet the wolf dogs! Very cool experience!

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I did the second option, because we did not book in advance. I recommend that if you are feeling more timid around the wolf dogs. You can ask as many questions as you’d like, get some great pictures and see some of the wolf dogs up close. We had a great teacher named Joel- he gave us a lot of information. The other thing to, was that it was one- on- one. There was only us in the group, so that was kind of cool too! If you want to get to know the wolf dogs first hand, make sure to book in advance! They are really accommodating and will try to get you in if you show up last minute, but just try to book in advance if you can! I recommend the second and third option if you are going to visit! It’s quite a small area, and you’ll find you’ll get through it too fast! These options slow it down a bit so you have a great time and are interacting more. Also, I recommend that you go for at least one feeding time! They get super excited and it’s fun to watch!

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I hope you guys check it out and have a good time! It’s an amazing non- profit organization that spends their time rescuing wolf dogs! Most of the wolf dogs they get come from people who think they’re pets, others come from sad stories of abuse. So, you know it’s to support a good cause!

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Here’s the link for more information: http://yamnuskawolfdogsanctuary.com/

Erin

Binding Books

Hey Readers!

Happy Lit Thursday! On Thursdays, we usually talk about books we’ve read and put a review with it! Today I’m kind of stepping away from that to talk about someone who does book binding!

A couple of years ago, I attended my first ever Comicon, and while I was exploring the shopping area of the expo, I came across a little table run by a sweet couple! On there table, they had a ton of classic novels that they had bound! I finally was able to have the chance to read the book, and I have to say it was very cool!

I’m not one to have a Kindle or a e-reader because I love the feel of holding a book (although I do get the perks and I may have to get one eventually), but this was an even cooler book to own, because of it was hand made by Those Great Little Books! On the site they show the different styles for binding the books, so you can choose which kind you want, and see how they make them!

The book I bought was The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I love it because they made the book look old, and it’s filled with multiple Sherlock Holmes stories! When I was at Comicon, they had binded books, such as 20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea- which was my favorite book as a kid so I wish I would’ve also bought that one! Looking at their site now, they have books like Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass, Treasure Island, Dracula, Pride and Prejudice, and more! There prices range based on the size of the book you get- although, don’t quote me on that!

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You can check out their site here: http://greatlittlebooks.com/product-category/all/

Erin

Grassi Lake, Canmore

Hey Readers!

If you’ve been keeping up with us, then you’ll know that today is Travel Tuesday! If you follow our instagram (avenue23.ke), than you’ll know that I recently went on trip to Calgary, and did a day trip out checking out the mountains! We did many different things throughout the day, however, this week I’ll just talk about the hike I did and save the rest of later!IMG_2512.JPG

My brother and sister- in- law recommended Grassi Lake in Canmore, and seriously no regrets on following their advice. The day we went, it had snowed the night before, however, that did not stop us from going! We went up the easy way on the hike, because the difficult way was closed, but it didn’t matter. It was still kind of difficult. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an extremely easy hike compared to some of the other ones in the area, and  it will probably only take you 30 minutes to hike up (if you go the easy way). However, it was really hard to trek through slushy snow, so I do recommend good shoes if you’re going to hike up this time of the year. If you haven’t been to Canada before, then just know that it’s not really a surprise if it snows again in May- so just keep that in mind! Also, by the time we went down the mountain, the snow was already melted which was cool to see.IMG_2556.JPG

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The snow made the hike up extremely beautiful and worth it! The trees were covered with a light frost, and at the top, the lake was this really pretty blue, and the trees were faintly white. It was breathtaking and totally worth it. At the top, there is one larger pool of water that trickles down into the second larger lake. When you go to the uppermost lake, there are rock climbers trying to make their way up the rock, which is definitely cool to watch! Before going back down, make sure you stop and check out this rocky area near the edge of the cliff! You will not be disappointed with that view! It was an amazing view.IMG_2574.JPG

I truly recommend this hike, especially if you’re not used to hiking. It was not too hard at all and you will definitely not be disappointed in the view or the trail.

Erin

Travelling with Family

Hi everyone! It’s time for another Travel Tuesday! These are seriously my favourite posts to make, and today is no exception. This Friday I will be travelling to Portugal with my family, and so today I would like to lay out some tips and tricks for travelling with the fam.

Now I am pretty lucky in the way that I get along (for the most part) with most of my family, and especially my immediate family. The people partaking on this adventure will be both of my parents, my younger (by two years) brother, and my grandpa on my mother’s side. Now none of us have travelled with this grandpa, and he has never been out of the country, so he is kind of the wild card of the upcoming trip. None of us know if he is going to freak out or be completely chill, so that should be something fun to look forward to.

As I mentioned earlier I get along with my immediate family, so these tips are not going to talk about surviving family you don’t like (that’s a whole other can of worms). However I would like to share my top three tips to make travelling with your fam easier!

Tip 1. Pack some Snacks!

Now of course this is country dependent (and diet dependent), but most places will have some convenient, already wrapped, snacks to pack in your bag. The reason this is tip numero uno is because I don’t live at home anymore, so I know that my eating habits are not in line with my families. I am also someone who gets VERY hangry, and I think we all know the more people in a group trying to pick a restaurant the LONGER it takes and the more frustrated I know my mother gets when I get hangry.

I’m taking two “gomacro” bars with me – both to keep my hanger at bay, but to also provide myself with some vegan options (you never know if your dad managed to sign you up for a veg meal on the plane or not). So this is the second part to this tip! If you have dietary restrictions (GF, Paleo, Vegan, whatever!) bringing some of your fave pre-packaged snacks and help to lower the group frustration and give you some tasty options (there is nothing I hate more than people obsessing over whether I have enough options)

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Tip 2. Lower your expectations

Now this tip is not to say “Give up all the fun things you want to do”, it’s more so that you should be more flexible. Everyone has a certain expectation of what the trip is going to be, some more rigid than others, and you can only benefit the trip by allowing yourself to be the flexible one. Your family wants to get up at 8 and go to the beach when you want to sleep? You can sleep on beaches. Getting dragged to a million museums? Try and make a game out of how many of a certain thing you can count, or talk to your family members and make up histories for the object. That way when it comes down to the important things you want to do, your family will have seen that you can give and take and they are more likely to give!

Tip 3. Bond!!

Seriously family trips are such an opportunity to bond with family members. Last year my brother and I talked for hours after my parents went to bed, pack some card games (seriously a deck of cards takes up no space!) and stock up on easy games to play! Ask your parents about how they met, what was their favourite job when they were younger, favourite pet- anything! Now’s the time to make memories!

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(the Bro and I)

Happy Travels!

Kathleen

(p.s any Portugal people out there got any cool suggestions? leave them in the comments below!)