• canada,  north america,  travel

    Skyline Hike in Jasper National Park – Day 2

    Photo Gallery I certainly lucked out on the weather on this hike, as I awoke bright and early the next day to clear, blue skies. I fueled up with a hot breakfast (eggs, bacon, muffins, the works) and packed a ham and cheese sandwich, Rice Krispies square, and a juice box in an adorable brown paper bag. My legs were feeling the wear from the previous day’s exertions, but I determinedly strapped on my pack, armed myself with poles, and…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Skyline Hike in Jasper National Park – Day 1

    Photo Gallery Over the last few years, I’ve challenged myself to a big solo hike when I travel. I’m not sure as to the genesis of this desire. Perhaps it was my own way of testing my limits—how far I could push myself—or a way of reminding myself that I am a strong, independent woman. Last year, it was the W-Trek in Chile and before that it was Schiehallion in Scotland. When I decided to visit Banff and Jasper, I…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Trans-Canada Train Adventure

    Full set of photos My idea to return home from Vancouver to Toronto via train was largely prompted by a desire to see Canada in the wintertime, to experience the country in what I think many would consider its most iconic state. “The Canadian” is a bit of an institution in Canada, having operated since 1955—it’s even featured on the 10 dollar bill! I also liked the idea of ringing in the New Year on a train, with fellow travellers and…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Travel: Saint-Roch – Day 9

    Full gallery of photos It was with a bit of a heavy heart that we awoke, as we knew it was our last day of our vacation in Québec. We had a fairly modest day planned and spent the morning packing our bags, doing laundry and tidying up the apartment. I’d made reservations for a noon brunch at Le Clocher Penché, which was reputed to be one of the best places to get brunch in town. It was located down…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Travel: Old Town Charm – Day 8

    Full gallery of photos It was another cold, clear morning for us in Québec City. Our plan for the day was to spend a bit more time touring Old Town. This was partly strategic because we found out upon arriving that the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade (yup, they’re still going) would in part be parading down one of the streets nearby to our house, so we thought we’d try and get around it before it started. We opted to walk down…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Travel: Manger-thon – Day 7

    Full gallery of photos Beautiful sunny skies greeted us, and we treated ourselves to yet another leisurely morning of puttering around our apartment. Our host had recommended a bistro up the street, and after a bit of poking around, it looked like a promising spot. We headed over and grabbed a pair of seats at the beautiful bar surrounding a spacious kitchen area. Bistro B had a great modern feel to it–sleek lines warmed up by some interesting wood panelling behind…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Travel: Bonjour, Québec – Day 6

    Full gallery of photos It was an early morning for us (after days of sleeping in late), as we had a 9 am train to catch to Quebec City. Thankfully, we were packed and ready to go, so it wasn’t long before we were headed for the metro with the rest of the morning commuters. After following a labyrinth of underground tunnels, we made it to the train station in good time. We stopped for a McDonald’s breakfast and then…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Travel: Mile End – Day 5

    Full gallery of photos Our last day in Montreal started off somewhat leisurely (unsurprisingly), as we spent the morning packing and doing laundry. Our plan for the day was to explore the Mile End neighbourhood a bit more, which we’d seen a bit of the previous day during lunch at Lawrence. This area was traditionally a multicultural area, home to Jews, Greeks and Portuguese, but has transformed somewhat into being a very hipster, artsy area, with cafés, restaurants and little shops…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Travel: Rue St Denis – Day 4

    Full gallery of photos We had a relatively quiet day planned, with no real sights in store but more an exploration of neighbourhoods. David had noted a coffee shop on our walk to the train station yesterday, so we decided to check it out. Pourquoi Pas Espresso Bar was a small, cozy little café that made a solid cup of espresso, stocking beans from a roaster in Toronto but also kindly recommended a couple of coffee roasters to check out in town.…

  • canada,  north america,  travel

    Travel: Swineway to Heaven – Day 3

    Full gallery of photos We seem to have committed to lazy starts, which, when I’m on vacation, I absolutely don’t mind at all. We ultimately lounged around the apartment until lunch time before heading out for the day. First stop: food! We’d passed an interesting looking place on the walk home yesterday that I suggested checking out called La Réserve du Comptoir. It was actually a charcuterie but also served sandwiches and coffee. The interior was chic and minimalist, but…