A Vegetarians Guide to Portugal

Hello everyone! So as you know I’m back form Portugal and it was amaazzzing! I figured instead of mushing all of my favourite things into one post I would split them into sections so you can get the full experience.

So of course the first post is going to be about food, I love food… this should be no surprise.

Quick recap; I am 90% vegan (so we will stick with the term vegetarian for right now), but I knew going into this trip that to make family travel easier I would just eat vegetarian (see my Travelling with Family Post for Tips!), and this turned out to be one of the best choices.

One of the national dishes of Portugal is a dish focusing on salted cod, so that should set the scene. I always had something to eat; but there weren’t always vegetarian dishes on the menu. For the most part we ate breakfast at our accommodations (we rented houses so we had a full kitchen that was stocked), so breakfasts were the easiest meal to account for.

Lunches were normally eaten out during our day, and most places had at least one omelet on the menu that I could customize to be veggie (which often included French fry cut potatoes – 10/10 would recommend trying this). During one lunch spot I ordered the veg soup that seemed to be a staple on most menus; however, any vegetarians out there will know the feeling of taking a bite of something and knowing that it contained meat, for sure this soup contained chicken broth.

Dinners were the most interesting. Sometimes we ate at our accommodations; which meant eating copious amounts of bread, cheese, and olives, and other times we went to restaurants. Some restaurants didn’t have anything vegetarian on the menu. You would open the menu and it would be split into two sections; meat and fish. The servers were all so nice and did the best to accommodate me, but I frequently at a dinner filled with vegetable sides (i.e potatoes and steamed broccoli).

If you read my post on travelling with family I mentioned that being flexible for dinners could help things go super smoothly, and I have to say that this trip reiterated this point to me. My parents were so lovely and I could tell they felt bad that I didn’t have many menu options, but they greatly appreciated my flexibility and on the last night they made reservations at a vegetarian restaurant in Lisbon for me!

Oh and if your wondering if I ate those two vegan power bars, I did, one on each long haul plane ride because as I predicted they had no veggie meal for me (also the meal on the plane was salted cod… odd choice as it was rather stinky)

That’s all for now!

Kathleen

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

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!)

This Is What Dreams Are Made Of

Hey Lovely Readers!

Happy Tuesday! On this lovely day I would love to take your mind off of whatever you are doing currently and talk to you about travelling! As you have probably guessed, I love travelling so much. I think one of the reasons why I am struggling to find an appropriate job is because I’m trying to find something that will allow me to spend my life travelling. I want something that will give me the freedom to do what I truly love to do. I’ve always debated moving to Europe for some time. I’d be able to use my anthropology degree, and I’d learn new cultures and seeing how various people around the world live. It’s just something I truly love.

Anyways, I’ve always had the travel bug. When I was in grade 10, I went through a really bad phase and was just getting through it and coming out the other side. I wanted to do something for myself and I was determined to travel. At first I chose to make a list of my top places I wanted to go to and I thought that I would hit all these places when I graduated. However, in grade 10 I found out that my top place was achievable and for the next year! My school let out an announcement saying that the next trip would be in Greece, and of course I had to go! Both my friend and I talked to our parents and both agreed to the trip as along as we could get jobs and pay for it ourselves. So, the next day I went out and got a job at a local restaurant through a friend and we both became dishwashers. We spent that year doing one of the most disgusting jobs, but not caring because Greece was in our future.

Greece was amazing. The school did an amazing job putting together the perfect travel schedule. We travelled throughout all of Greece starting and ending in Athens. Everyday we’d get on a bus and travel to city after city experiencing the towns and seeing ancient temples and ruins. One day we took a day cruise out and visited three different islands (I’ll do another post on this later and specifics). I had no idea what the importance was of everything we saw until I took a classics course in university. We learned about Delphi, Mycenaean architecture, Poseidon’s Temple, Olympic stadiums and so much more. I had no idea that these were that important. I learned about them on the trip, but I didn’t necessarily understand the importance until later. It still amazes me the places we went to, and the things I saw and all in a week during spring break. We also had gone around Easter, and one night we were out walking around, and groups of people were walking through the streets with candles. My friends and I bought some and joined them too. They were all chanting and a priest came out and started the Easter procession. It was amazing. I was amongst the people, learning their culture, seeing just how much religion and practices impact people. Amazing.

The trip was cleansing for me. I made so many friends when I was just coming out of a time of despair. I also learned so much about myself. I knew that university was somewhere I needed to be. I had to go, and now looking back I’m not even surprised that I chose to become an anthropologist. I was in love with the things I saw and the people I met. It was my favorite part of the whole trip. I still plan on going through my pictures to see just how much history I really saw

Teens, if you are reading this, it is totally worth it to go on a school trip. The teachers do give you free reign to wonder with groups of students. They take a step back and let you experience the trip without them breathing down your neck. It also helped me to learn what I needed to do the next time I planned a trip. I learned how to spend my resources and time. One thing I did learn was that a week of straight up temples is boring. So, try to add different things to you trip you wouldn’t normally want to do. Sure see the ruins, but also go see artwork, or go for an evening stroll through town. Don’t focus on seeing one type of thing on a trip. Experience a little bit of everything (Like different time periods)! Also, don’t jam pack your time with sightseeing. You only have a limited time and you’ll be very tired with time change. Make sure you get some time to relax and hang out. Remember it is your vacation! Adults, I think the group trips would be very much like this and it was awesome to have most of our daily activity planned for us. We did get lots of free time too to do what we wanted, so I highly recommend a group trip too!

I hope you enjoyed this post! I will definitely try to go more into specifics about interesting sights to see in the future, as I have a lot of photos that I want to share badly and I have no room for in this post! If you went on a good trip recently, let me know what you saw! I would like to know for my future travels!

– Erin

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This is a Mycenaean Palace with the famous Lion Gates. They think the Lion Heads were made of Gold and stolen after the fall of the Mycenaean
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Taken at the Acropolis in Athens
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We went on a day cruise to three different islands, so this is where I am (I’ll do specifics later, because some of these I don’t even know where I was! It was so long ago now!)
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The Temple of Apollo in Delphi
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Temple of Poseidon! I highly recommend going here! It sits on a jut out of land in the water and has the clearest water! We climbed down and put our feet in!
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This is us climbing down the temple of Poseidon!

 

 

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

Living in Italy

Hey Readers!

So we know in our other posts we briefly mention our month away living in another country, but today we wanted to talk more about that and what we did there, and all that jazz!

Kathleen and I decided last year that we wanted to get more working experience with our anthropology degree. We emailed professors trying to find sites in Canada that were more affordable and really could not find anything that interested us. We heard from one professor that she was taking anthropology majors to Italy to get some cultural anthropology experience, and we attended that meeting, but the professor was super boring and Kathleen was road tripping (see other article!) around that time so it wouldn’t have worked out. I had even debated going myself feeling desperate for any sort of experience, but then Kathleen mentioned  looking up archaeological sites online that seemed to be promising! After finding a reliable website, we decided on Pompeii at the scavi (ruins)!

Our month was one of the best things that ever happened to me! We lived with an Italian family and had lots of parties with them, and got to know them really well regardless of the language barrier. We lived with 5 other people in a basement suite and although we could drive each other crazy, we did everything together and had a lot of fun getting to know people around the world. One time we were grocery shopping and we would say something with our Canadian accent and they would say the same word with their British, Scottish, and American accents and we would stop and be like “Wait, how did you just say that” then get in debates about who was wrong. We travelled around Italy together on weekends, and worked together during the week. We had family meals every night and we all knew when to hang out by ourselves so to not drive everyone crazy!

The work we did in Pompeii was also very cool. We had a very strict supervisor, but I felt like I learned a lot. Our artifacts came from a bathhouse within the scavi, and for the first few days of the trip, we would wash the pottery and let it dry. We would have to weigh it, date it, mark it down with a number and try to figure out what kind of a vessel it was. Was it used for cooking, transporting oils… the list goes way, way on! Also, we would have to weigh it, describe it in Italian, and then they would get photographed and drawn later. The pottery was very cool and some pieces could be put together to make up a whole side of a pot!

I like to think I’m pretty used to travelling to new places, however, I didn’t really expect to experience so much culture shock in that month! Something so simple as finding taco seasoning became a guessing game, and the people who ran our dig worked on Italy time (aka being late means nothing). It was super interesting to compare what was expected of us in Canada, versus expected in Italy. Italians have an interesting nightlife, where all the stores and shops stay open until midnight or 1 am on Friday. Saturday, and Sunday. People dress up and spend most of the night hanging out with their friends, dancing, playing.and of course, trying to get the attention of the opposite sex. Plazas and town squares really facilitate these interactions, and its something I miss a lot about Italy! There is no designated meeting place in Canada. Young people meet in coffee shops or bars,which in themselves facilitate interesting interactions, they are just not as universal.  

Definitely a key component of this experience was knowing when to take alone time. It’s important to remember that we all need some time to ourselves! In the house we all took alone time after our day of work, sat on the couch if we wanted and cooked meals together if we wanted. If you suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) as I do, it can be EXTRA hard to find the time you need for yourself, since there is always something going on! As long as you recognize that the party is not going to take off without you, you might be able to charge your batteries a bit! Cook some meals with your friends after and you’ll jump right back into the fun!

– Erin and Kathleen or Kathleen and Erin