Europe 2018

Hey Everyone:

I know I have been talking a lot about going to Europe and haven’t really informed you about the trip and where we are going! There’s only 54 days until we go and I am super stressed about making payments and Saving enough money for bills when I’m gone, etc! But after next week’s payday, I’ll have it paid off for the most part and I’ll be ready to go! Super excited!

So, my best friend and I are going for a month and half to Europe! We’ll be travelling all over the place! I have been waiting for my chance to go on a Europe trip FOR YEARS! My biggest regret is that I never went after high school, but then again I probably wouldn’t have a degree. So I’m going now!

We are not going with a travel group. There’s just too many places we wanted to hit and I wanted to stop and time out places on what we wanted instead. Nothing against travel groups, it’s just how we planned it!

In no particular order, this is where we’re going:

1. Germany 🇩🇪- We’re hitting three stops in this beautiful country! We have a day to go see Neanderthals in Dusseldorf, and some ancient forums. Next up will be a week in Berlin, and a week in Munich after that! We have so many museums and castles lined up! I’m so freaking excited! Germany has been fun to plan! I love history, so I’m looking forward to it! Also, Germany is actually a good place to travel cost wise too! I’m finding a lot of the museums are cheap or free even depending on what you’re seeing!

2. France 🇫🇷- There’s a lot we’re looking forward to seeing in France, and so we have 3 stops on our journey! We will be stopping in Lyon for three days! We are just going to hang out and maybe do some wine tasting (I’m not the biggest fan of wine, so a lot of people who know me are probably rolling their eyes at me right now!), and I’m excited to hit up the beaches in Nice! I’m extremely excited for Nice. It looks beautiful and also there is more archaeology there (hope my friend doesn’t mind!). If you’re wondering what’s their for archaeology- homo ergaster. Anyways, next up on the trip is Paris for a week! Of course! I’ve been wanting to go to Paris, since forever! Once again, we have a ton of museums and beautiful places lined up!

3. United Kingdom 🇬🇧- We’re only making one stop here, and of course it’s London. That’s right my UK friends! I will be there for a week! We plan on doing a day trip out to some cool sites like Stonehenge (this took a lot of convince for my friend- she will probably laugh when she reads this!), Westminster Abby, and Bathe! We also have a few stops we plan on making!

These are the big places on our trip! It’s the places we’re spending the longest amount of time at! We are also briefly spending time in a few other places too!

4. Netherlands 🇳🇱- We are spending a couple days in Amsterdam! I’m excited to just hang out and do a couple museums, but really just experience the place!

5. Italy 🇮🇹- Milan! Italy I have missed you! We’re only there for a day or so, but whatever! I’ll take it! Pizza and cappuccinos here I come!

6. Austria 🇦🇹- We have planned to stop in Salzburg for a couple days, because we both need to feel like we’re in the Sound of Music! But also, this is such a beautiful place! I’m excited to go there and relax.

7. Switzerland 🇨🇭- Zurich! I have been through Switzerland three times now and never been able to stop! It’s a beautiful place and I know we’ll need a day off of museums and travelling so Zurich is a great place to stay for a day! it is expensive, but I think the fresh air and the views are worth it to go and relax! No pressure to do anything at all!

That’s it! It’s a lot of places, but so worth it! The thing about going to Europe is that you feel like you can add a lot into your trip and you never want to stop adding places! I think we’re hitting a few key places that we both have wanted to see and I can’ t wait!

I’ll keep you posted on the trip and with a few dos and don’ts as well for travelling! Let me know if there’s anything you want me to try out!

Maggie & Jake

Hey Guys!

Today is a fun post! Not that they aren’t all fun, but this one I’m very excited to do! I want to talk about my dogs, and actually my other really great pets!

Maggie & Jake. If you know me, than you know that my dogs are my life. We do almost everything together, and if I could take them to work with me or to hang out with friends, I would. Sometimes, they dictate what I do or whether I even leave the house, because I never want to leave them! I bought a shirt that says ” I just want to hang with my dog”- this is accurate! If I leave the house and no one is home, I have to throw treats at them and run out to make me feel less guilty and because they deserve all the treats! Fellow pet owners, I know you feel me! The more I see them, the happier I am. Dogs are seriously one of the most amazing things to happen to this earth- we don’t deserve dogs. They’re too great!

My dogs are both schnauzers- ones a miniature, ones a standard size. Before Maggie and Jake, we had another miniature standard (Although debatable, because he was way larger than the average miniature).  His name was Rebel and he was one of my greatest loves. He had an amazing personality- always sassy, but also very loving. He always wanted to hold hands (He loved his paws being scratched) and when I asked him if he loved me, he’d bark at me. He was an amazing dog.

Rebel was my first actual dog. We had one before, but he was so protective of us kids, that my parents worried he’s bite someone. They moved him to a home with a couple of adults and he was way happier and less stressed. He was never like that with them- perfect home. We picked up Smudge from an apartment, where he was way too young to leave his mom, so we were very suspicious from the beginning. In the end, he went to a better home. Anyways, when we got Rebel, my parents had researched the breeder and done their homework. The breeder was amazing and we brought our first puppy home. I was in grade 1- I think? We grew up with him, and I taught him all the tricks in the book! Rollover was a hard one for him, he used to growl and sass me whenever he had to do that trick! He hated that one, but other than that, he knew a lot of tricks! We used to hide his toys and watch him sniff them out and jump on them when he found them. When people came over, he would bark at them until they gave him attention. It was never vicious or aggressive, it was more like a “Hey! Why are you paying attention to her! Give me pets!” He’d stop whenever they pet him, and if they stopped he would start up again! When we had picked out Rebel, he had cried every time we moved him away from his mom- the breeder knew he’d be dramatic and he was. If he ever stepped on something or had a branch in his fur, he would fake a limp for attention and cry. So, I’d sit down and massage his paw like I always did, and  tell him he was a good puppy. Then he’d switch paws and to get that one massaged,  and he’d walk away all fine, no problem. As he got older, and we got more and more attached ( I used to snuggle him like a baby and he would enjoy every minute of it), my parents grew worried about how we would react when he passed. They knew we would be devastated, and the idea of not having a dog at all killed them. They ended up deciding to get another puppy by the time I was in Grade 12. So we got Maggie!600560_10151715602370695_557043231_n

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We got Maggie from the same breeder as Rebel, but she had a different parents. Rebel’s parents had passed away by this point, and the breeder had gotten new dogs by this point. OH, it’s also worth noting 2 things here: 1- All of our dogs were/are pure bred schnauzers with lineages traced back to France; 2- We got schnauzers because they are hypoallergenic dogs and my dad and brother had had an allergy to dogs at one point (we’re not sure if they still have allergies now). These dogs have a different type of hair from most dogs- and this is why we never rescued from the local SPCA. Someday, I will rescue dogs. 249322_1711920442524_1373547086_31445922_6390199_n.jpg

Anyways, we went to pick out Maggie before taking her home, and there were only female dogs left. We also didn’t want Rebel to feel threatened about a new male dog, so we went with a female to make it easier for him. He had been an only dog for years. The puppies were freaking adorable, but we picked out Maggie, because she kept sitting on our feet and was so calm for a puppy. She still does this. If I’m sitting on the couch or at the kitchen table, she’ll sit on my feet. Maggie is the sweetest girl in the world. She is very cuddly and affectionate. She always has to be sitting next to you and touching you in some way. Like, she’ll lay as close to me as possible when I’m sitting on the floor, or she’ll sit on me. She was an amazing puppy. When we got her, we took her to my Grandma’s house (it was just my mom and I, we decided to take her so Rebel could get a break as he wasn’t quite used to her yet). My grandma’s house is 8 hours away, and she slept almost the whole time, and was so calm! We made frequent stops to let her pee and stretch her legs, and she would do what she had to do, and then sleep again once we got in the car. At my Grandma’s she was an angel, she went outside and never in the house; played lots, but never too long that she was too hyper. Only chewed her toys, and slept in my bed with me no problem. Rebel loved/hated her. He was more so annoyed that she would follow him around and sleep as close to him as possible, but I knew he loved her too. He was great with her still, especially for being an only dog who was also very spoiled!

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We found out Rebel had cancer in December 2012. He had a tumor on his stomach that stopped him from eating. One day, I had noticed he wasn’t eating his meal- which was odd, he loved food too much. It crushed me. The vet told us, we didn’t have long, but we tried to keep him alive as long as possible. When we found out things changed. He started sleeping in my bed more, we fed him ANYTHING he would eat. One day, he was so hungry we fed him a whole piece of pizza. We made him comfortable, and he made it through Christmas. I made ornaments to remember him, and would document everything he did. Just little special personality traits, and reasons why I loved him. He died in January, 2013. The feeling of losing a dog is insane. I’ve never been so sad or felt such loss. I cried for a month, and actually am still crying as I write about it. It never goes away, but it gets easier.

Maggie was a blessing. She was everything we needed to help us get through it. She is extremely affectionate, so she would come over and give me kisses until I would stop crying. It was also nice to come home and have a dog run and greet you. The house would’ve felt empty without her. After Rebel, she came everywhere with me. I would take her on car rides all the time to run errands (my car would be running on hot or cold days just FYI, and always a short trip). We’d hang out in the sun, play, sleep in the same bed, she’d “study” with me- the whole works. Maggie’s personality is hilarious. She’s super sweet and affectionate on one hand, but is very mischievous on the other! When she wants you to keep petting her, she’ll take her paw and scoop at your hand pulling it towards her tummy, because she loves belly rubs, if that doesn’t work she will lick you to death! Like I said, Maggie is very mischievous. She constantly tries to get Jake into trouble! She will bark outside until he barks, then run inside quick so we yell at him. If she doesn’t want him around, she’ll ask to go outside (he loves outside), wait for him to go out and then get back in. Sometimes, she’ll distract him, so she can go eat his food too. She’s a foodie. At one point she was fat from eating Rebel’s food when we got sick, and so she’s on a weight loss diet, but is all back to her perfect size now! She’s my Maggie May.

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Jake. There are not enough words in the world to describe Jake. We got him November of 2013. Our family was almost not ready for Jake. We were still grieving, but my dad was determined to get another male dog. We got Jake from Seattle, because our regular breeder had stopped breeding schnauzers and was breeding different dogs now. I don’t recommend flying a puppy to you. The whole process was crazy, and I feel like Jake has anxiety issues from it now. His flight kept detouring and changing and that is too much for a puppy. Poor guy. He was the last puppy left from the litter. Jake was a FREAKING cute puppy! But he was SUPER hyper! I have never had a dog like that. He was crazy! I actually don’t remember most of his puppy- hood I was so tired! It was hard, because I was still getting over Rebel and now I was training a new puppy that was high maintenance. Maggie was miserable, and Jake would be up at 4am everyday, while I still had to hit 8am classes at the university! It was CRAZY! I would take him for a 10km walk and I would be exhausted and he’d still be playing! When he was very little, we would have to wrap him in a towel and force him to calm down by snuggling him. But I got through it. I honestly don’t know what I would do without Jake in my life now. When I bonded with him a month after we got him, it was amazing. He is the colour in our world. Crazy, hyper, and hilarious. He can jump 7ft high, and has caught 2 squirrels- which is not ok for me, but crazy that he’s done that! He’s not the most affectionate guy, but when he gives you kisses and snuggles, it is so meaningful. At night, he lays on my feet- his way of snuggling. Also, if I have the tv on too loud in my room, or I move him, or we disturb him in any way, he will groan super loud to let you know he’s trying to sleep! He’s also the biggest chicken out there! He is literally scared of everything! Laundry being folded, my unicorn speaker, knives chopping too loudly, scary parts in movies that make loud noises- loud noises in general actually. He doesn’t like it when we talk to loudly! He will get up and leave the room- especially if it’s a hockey game and we’re cheering! But he also follows my mom and I around the house. He gets so close to you, his nose is on your leg when you’re walking! Jake loves playing, and running outside. He will just do straight up laps around the yard. He’ll also grab anything he can- like a bone and shake his head at you and tap you with his paw so you’ll play with him! Sometimes, he’ll just throw the ball at me! He LOVES hip scratches! He will put his body between your legs, so you have to scratch his hips! He’s a crazy man, but he’s calmed down MAJORLY! He knows when it’s time to play and when it’s time to calm down and sleep. He’s a very good dog, and buddy! I love him so much. IMG_3525984027_10152455191160695_7278147732747205375_nIMG_4753

So, those are my dogs! The only other pet I have is a gecko! My brother and I bought her from a gecko breeder we found on kijiji. She was only $5 and she is beautiful! She’s a crested gecko named Tiberia. We’ve had her for 3ish years now and she’s still growing! We had to get her a new tank soon actually! She’s brown, but turns bright red when she sun baths! She’s so cool! IMG_4369IMG_5523

That’s it! Those are my pets! I love them all, and without them, I don’t know where I’d be! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post as much as I’ve loved writing it!

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Summer Hikes

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

So, it is getting close to that time of the year again where we can soon spend all of our days outside in the sun, doing what we love to do best! I have already started planning trips and road trips to go on and can’t wait for the summer!

I wanted to briefly talk about Lake Louise, because it is absolutely gorgeous, and Canada can be very underestimated as a place to travel at times! Anyone who knows me, or lives in my area has probably hiked or been to Lake Louise numerous times, but it’s so nice to see our readers from around the world reading our stuff and now I can share Lake Louise with you guys too!

Lake Louise is a very pretty, blue lake that is absolutely freezing, because of the glacial water melting off the mountains. It is super nice to dip your toes in after the hike, and you can rent kayaks or canoes if you are less interested in the hike itself, but still want to explore!

Beside the lake, is the Fairmont Hotel, which is absolutely beautiful, and when you walk the trails past the hotel, you can start the hike.

I was at my Aunt’s house one day in Calgary and she gave me her hiking trail book, and on each trail she hiked, she would mark off the experience of hiking it. So I chose Lake Louise thinking it was easy, because that’s what I thought she had wrote. When I looked back at it after, it definitely said hard, so I must’ve been crazy. But yes, it was hard, but so worth the views. At the halfway point, there is a smaller lake called Mirror Lake. At that point, it was so hot and we were so tired that we practically laid in the lake to cool off. The rest of the way was hard too, because of how steep it is, but you eventually get to the top and a tea house at the top, with another small lake. On the way up there is a beautiful waterfall for you to take a breather before climbing the steps up. Make sure you take some extra cash, and water, because it is expensive, but it is so worth it. Apparently, you can follow another trail and go further than that to possibly another tea house and lake, but this was perfect for us. Also, going back took no time at all and we made it back down in time to enjoy the sun going down behind the mountain.

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The Tea House on the Mountain
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The Lake by the Tea House
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Mirror Lake (The halfway point)

 

 

So, if you’re looking for a good hiking trip, I definitely recommend hiking up Lake Louise. It is a harder hike, but take lots of water, and maybe a picnic and you can eat and take a long break halfway up. Then you can finish the hike drinking a nice cuppa at the top!

Hope you get a chance to go camping or hiking in beautiful weather!

– Erin

Villa Pollio, Sorrento, Italy

Hey Readers!

So one fun fact about Kathleen and I is that we lived in Pompeii, Italy for the month of July doing archaeological work at the ancient ruins. In Pompeii, we shared a basement suite with five other people who also worked at the site with us. We had weekends off, so on those weekends we would jam pack them with trips around Italy, such as Milan, Venice, Rome, Florence- basically the works. Our first weekend we were supposed to go to Milan and Venice, however, when we got to the train station I found that my Eurorail was missing. I felt so guilty, and was so disappointed that we had to miss Milan, but in the end it was worth it. I did find my Eurorail later, but in the end we realized it was so much better that we ended up staying back! We became excellent friends with our roommates and ended up spending the weekend getting to know them. We went out to the beaches and went for drinks. The one day we were there, one of the girls who had already been to Italy took us on a day trip to Sorrento, and it turned out to be one of the highlights of our trips.

If you are in Naples, it is an easy train ride from there to Sorrento. It’s about an hour and a bit to get there on that train, but it is worth it. This post is dedicated to our swim at Villa Pollio. It is a collapsed, ancient, roman villa that has been filled in with ocean water. It is the most amazing swim ever. To get from the train station to the Villa, we walked for about an hour. You could probably take cab and hire someone to take you up and show you where to go if the hour walk is not ideal, but definitely research how to get there.

The swim and the walk up was beautiful and well worth it. It looked like something out of Pinterest (I will be pinning the pictures). In the rock there was a massive crack in the wall where water and light come in and fill up the villa, so you could swim through into the ocean. The waters were a little rough for me that day, so I swam back and just floated in that swimming area. It was extremely relaxing and soothing. Pack lightly as there is only rocks to store your stuff on, and do not expect to be able to read or be on your phone lots. The area is all rock, so there is no beach to sit and read and tan on. Personally, I preferred to stay floating in the interior area, because there were no waves and large rocks in the middle to stand on if you wanted to sit in the water. My friends swam out, though, and were able to swim around close to the exterior of the villa and around in the ocean.

I highly recommend checking out Villa Pollio in Sorrento. It was one of the best parts of the trip and also a happy mistake. I am very thankful that I lost my Eurorail for only that weekend so that I could explore cities closer to Pompeii.

– Erin

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View on the climb up!
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The view on the walk!
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The First Views When Getting to The Villa!