Welcome Back

After a 3 month hiatus, I am officially back!

So, where was I for the past 3 months? I was working. I overwhelmed myself with too many shifts in order to pay for my trip to Europe and had no time for anything except for eating and sleeping. It was a painful couple of months!

Then I went to Europe! I was gone for 6 weeks and if you remember my previous post, then you would see that we went everywhere and did everything! I had the most amazing time and came back with a lot of things crossed off my bucket list. However now, I’ve added even more things to my list!

I have so many things to tell you! So many tips and tricks, and places to visit! I’m so excited to share everything with you! If you follow me on Instagram, thanks for keeping up to date with all my stories and pictures from my trip! (If you don’t you, you can check some of the pictures out at Avenue23blog). I also have some more personal and lifestyle posts lined up as well!

Thanks for standing by, it feels good to be back!

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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!

Mexico Excursion

Hey Guys!

So as you know, I did recently go to Mexico! Such a fun trip! One of the best parts of the trip was booking an excursion. Excursions are activities you can plan that the company you booked with have available for you to do. Basically it’s an added expense to do various activities. They normally last about a day and the company plans to anything ranging from snorkelling in a private location, to ziplining in the jungle. There was also whale watching (only in certain months because of whale migration), scuba diving, cave tours, visiting ancient ruins or sites, and simply going into town. They are super fun and add something to a trip.

My friend and I booked with a company called Sunwing. When we wanted to check out excursions, they were sitting at a table in the main lobby in our hotel where we could go ask them questions. Easy to find, and they will let you know the best excursions and for whatever price range. The most extravagant excursion was dinner and a show (cirque du soleil quality). It was called Rhythm of the Night and took place in the jungle in the dark. From my understanding it’s dinner and a show in a private part of the jungle! That was about $160 if I recall. So for the amount you get from that one (they’re way longer and there’s more to it than that), it’s actually not a terrible price! The one that we decided on was a trip to town- Puerto Vallarta- and only cost $60. It was a VERY good day!

We started off our morning picking people up from other resorts and from other hotels within Puerto Vallarta. We picked up a photographer, and she would take nice pictures throughout the day (It was only $15 for a disc of pictures). So the gist of our trip was that we paid to go into town, and we would go through the jungle next to have lunch and then end with a tour of a tequila factory. IMG_3264

We spent most of the morning touring through Peurto Vallarta itself. We stopped at the boardwalk called Malecon, and walked through there. The views were beautiful, and the best part was that the Day of the Dead decorations were still up! It was very cool! We actually had not meant to go for Day of the Dead, it was just the only time we were both available and the flights were cheap! When we had already bought we realized we accidentally booked it over Halloween, which is the beginning of the Day of the Dead. We also went to a parish there that was very nice. The colours were super bright, and there were flowers and sculptures everywhere- very different from the churches I saw in Rome, where colours are very similar. So other than that, we went through a few little stores! In Mexico, they always take you through a couple jewellery stores before you move on. It didn’t bug me at all, because there also was a bar in each store, so we had our tequila shots and moved on from there!IMG_3251

We stopped at one other store other than the jewellery store, and that was a souvenir place. I bought a really nice Day of the Dead skull in memory of me being there around that time! Basically the salesmen bargained with themselves when I was buying it! I was willing to buy it for $20 and they kept lowering the price thinking I wasn’t going to buy it! It went down so fast I didn’t even have time to reply until they’re final offer! I am a terrible bargainer- Is anyone comfortable with it? After that, we did go to the Marketplace! Neither of us bought anything, because after a while, everything starts to look the same. However, it was cool to see the decorations up and to just walk around in the sun… UNTIL the sun was unbearable! We went from kind of hot to like I can feel myself burning hot! So we, were happy to get on the bus and just drive around a bit. IMG_3304

This part of the trip was a surprise! When we had talked to the sunwing representative, it seemed like we would just drive through the jungle to get to the tequila factory. Instead, we stopped along the way and took some nice pictures of the views, and then had lunch in this very remote town! It was very cool, we were basically sitting outside by a waterfall, eating shrimp wrapped in bacon. There was also a lady making pitas, chips, and salsa on an open grill! The food and the food was amazing!IMG_3400

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Last, we went to the tequila factory. It was a small home business. Just for the record, this was good quality tequila! They did NOT taste like that strong, disgusting, cheap brand of tequila! There was a few different kinds. He had a mandarin orange, and coffee flavored tequila- ok coffee tequila is deadly. You can use it on any deserts and in any warm drink! He had one white tequila- the strongest of the tequila family which was more manageable than a cheap shot of tequila. Last, he had three different dark tequilas. They range based on how long they’re in the barrel for. The longer, the stronger flavouring. It tastes like a woody kind of smokey flavour. Very good! IMG_3453

Other than that, we went back to the hotel and got back in time for supper and a beautiful sunset! It was a very good day! We saw lots and it was only $60! The cheap excursions very good if you’re looking to not spend a lot on some extra activities! Highly recommend!

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Puerto Vallarta Mexico

November 9, 2017

Hey Everyone!

It has been a VERY long time since I have done a travel post! VERY long time! So, I thought it would be fun to finally do one- they are my favourite posts after all!

I think today is a great day to talk about Mexico! It’s cold, and snowy and a great time to talk about something warm and relaxing!

In June, maybe July? Anyways at some point this summer, I was thinking about how I didn’t get a very long vacation. When I went on vacation I was still working and they were never long enough. All I could think about was this super long trip to Europe I have planned in 2018, but it’s still soooo faarrrr awaaayyy! So I texted up my friend saying “We need a mid-point vacation before Europe. I will NOT make it to Europe!” We had debated about a few places- Hawaii? Las Vegas? Mexico?- but when it came down to it, the all inclusive hotel was PERFECT for both of our needs! We didn’t want the hassle of getting around, and making food basically (so much laziness), so Mexico all inclusive?- Perfect!IMG_3098

We decided on Puerto Vallarta region, and the hotel Riu Vallarta. It’s a 5- star all inclusive (Hotel link is at the bottom). We had debated about a few places, but I was very keen on going to this place after seeing the water slides and the look of the hotel. You’re probably thinking water slides?- ya I don’t know why I based my decision on that considering I don’t even care for pools, or go on water slides ever… In the end, it was still a great decision! The resort was clean, and had many good features!

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Everyday we would begin our day with the buffet for breakfast! There were four possible places you could eat at- One fancy place inside the hotel, an Asian food place next door, another dress up/ fancy restaurant next to the ocean, and the buffet which changed it’s theme every night so you always had options! Anyways, after breakfast we would go to the beach for like 8 hours at a time! We would relax and suntan on the beach, go for a quick ocean swim (Every time we were like I’m not getting my hair wet, and every time my hair would get wet because I was pelted by a wave), eat some lunch back at the buffet and would drink an above average amount of Piña coladas, or Bahama mamas. These drinks would be served to us on the beach- which was amazing, but also kind of terrible at times! At one point, I had about 4- 5 drinks in a row ( I got one for my friend, but she was sleeping so I drank hers LOL) and got up to go to the bathroom and was like alright feeling a little day drunk! They sneak up on you fast when you’re not moving! Also, there were a couple of times we moved to the pool to avoid the sun and get a bit of a break! The pool was nice for shade, and also had areas where you could sit and read your book- I was super thrilled about that!IMG_3103

There were always activities throughout the day! I would say that the entertainment group there was amazing for getting people involved! They would play Spanish music VERY loud and would do stretching classes by the beach, Zumba, beach volleyball, soccer, and more! They constantly had people up and going and the funny thing was, that there were a lot of people involved that you wouldn’t think would be! During the day too, they would have either beach games or pool games- dancing, swimming, football games, and at one point they even had a foam party! They had a canon shoot out foam at people in the pool!

By 5pm, we were back in our room getting ready for dinner. Every night we came out to the main square for dinner, there was always a different theme by the entertainment group! There was Halloween, day of the dead, Mexican folk night, Michael Jackson, Rock Day and circus. The main concourse would be decorate with the theme, people would be dressed up, and they would constantly have activities for people to participate in. Usually during/ after supper, there was live music playing- different bands for people to dance to, and halfway through the evening there would be a live show! Dancers would come out dressed in costumes matching the theme of the night! I think it’s also worth it to note that the Haunted House they did was actually terrifying. My friend screamed and ran through the entire thing and I jumped into some poor Mexican dude’s arms, while he was with his kids trying to get through.IMG_3195

Overall, the trip was amazing! I highly recommend! There are a lot of activities for the kids as well if you are worried about that! We also did an excursion to town, which I will talk about in one of my future posts! There’s a lot to tell about the excursion!

 

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Have you been to Mexico? What was your favourite part and where did you go? Let me know in the comments!

Link for the Hotel Riu Vallarta we stayed at (about 30 mins from Puerto Vallarta in Nuveo Vallarta)

https://www.signaturevacations.com/HotelDesc/en/PVRRVT.asp

– Erin xo

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

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!