Browsing Category

Travel

Travel

BREATHTAKING CANADIAN WATERFALLS YOU NEED TO VISIT

August 8, 2017
There’s nothing like going on an adventure and visiting the natural beauty that Canada has to offer.
Over the weekend, I visited Albion Falls on a whim because I just so happened to be in Hamilton, Ontario.

Photo Credit: @yvonne_khadra

In case you didn’t know, Ontario has some incredible waterfalls, with over 100 of them located in the city of Hamilton.

Hamilton is home to two of my favourite waterfalls: Albion and Webster’s Falls which you will learn about below.

ALBION FALLS

Photo Credit: @yvonne_khadra

Albion falls was once considered a possible source of water for the city of Hamilton. These falls are spectacular and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of them!  The journey to the waterfall is a scenic one so make sure you have your camera ready!

Photo Credit: @yvonne_khadra

To reach Albion Falls via a walking trail, Start at Buttermilk Falls. Take the Mountain Brow Side Trail towards Albion Falls. Here, you will find two lookouts, benches and interpretive displays about the falls and area’s natural and cultural heritage. Leave the parking lot and walk along the road to Albion Falls. Continue on Mud Street to the Mud Street parking lot. Here, the Bruce Trail enters the Red Hill Valley.

 The falls are surrounded with parking areas which are free. If you don’t feel comfortable walking down the steep hills to get to the falls, the good news is, there are many photo opportunities available without actually being close to the falls.

 

WEBSTER’S FALLS

WEBSTER'S FALLS

Photo Credit: @yvonne_khadra

Situated in the beautiful forested Spencer Gorge Conservation Area, the waterfall features a two-tier rock formation that surging waters spill over into a gorgeous pool of water below. These falls are a famous tourist spot since it was purchased by the Webster family in 1819.
Throughout the year, you can spot nightly light shows at the falls which is worth the trip!
To reach Webster’s Falls via a walking trail, loop down the Spencer Gorge and back up the escarpment on the Bruce Trail.
Note: there is an entrance fee of $5 per person once you get to The Spencer Gorge Conservation Area.
What are some of your favourite waterfalls in Ontario?
xo, Yvonne K.
Lifestyle Travel

GAME OF THRONES: FILMING LOCATIONS YOU CAN GO TO NOW

August 4, 2017

HBO’s Game of Thrones has inspired globe-trotters to make their own epic journey to some of the real-life places that are featured in the show. Season seven has begun and for those of you who are interested, I’ve rounded up the best places to visit if you’d like to walk in the footsteps of your favourite characters from  Game of Thrones.

NORTHERN IRELAND

There are dozens of filming locations in Northern Ireland because a lot of the green screen shots were done at Titanic Studios in Belfast. I’ve chosen my favourite locations in Northern Ireland because there are way too many to list!

Photo By: Moment Open/Getty Images

The King’s Road (The Dark Hedges)

The Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland have played a major role in the Game of Thrones story, serving as the setting for the King’s road. In addition, the area that surrounds the Dark Hedges should be a must-see for any fan, since it has been used to film Winterfell, Castle Black and the Stark family war encampment.

Photo By: Moment Open/ Getty Images

Mourne Mountains

Northern Ireland’s Mourne Mountains provided the scenery for Dany’s entrance into the Dothraki holy land. Of course, the Dothraki fighting horse statues are missing, so you’ll just have to imagine the iconic gate when you visit these breathtaking mountains.

Photo By: Moment Open/ Getty Images

Downhill Beach and Mussenden Temple

Serving as the backdrop for Dragonstone Castle and Blackwater Bay, Downhill Beach was where Melisandre burned the old gods, issuing a new religion for Stannis’ followers.

Most of these attractions are located close together which makes it easier for you to visit them all in a day.

For the die hard fans:

Go on a Winterfell Tour!

“Fun tours include the award winning GOT archery experience in the Winterfell movie set, film location cycle tour (15 locations on demesne) and quirky overnight Glamping breaks. Based just 40 minutes from Belfast, the activity centre has been made famous by the filming of Game of Thrones on it site – Castle Ward Demesne”.

 

CROATIA

Photo By: Image Source/Getty Images

Dubrovnik

King’s Landing, or as it’s known in real life, Dubrovnik, a Croatian city nested on the shore of the Adriatic Sea. Durbovnik’s stone walls, dramatic cliffs and amazing views make it the perfect seat for the king(s) of Westeros.

 

MALTA

Photo By: Free Stock Photo/ Pixabay

Mdina

The walled city of Mdina was Malta’s first capital city. A maze of tangled streets built in golden limestone, it’s a favourite of film directors looking for a medieval-looking location. The fight between Jaime Lannister and Ned Stark that concluded with the latter’s capture was shot here – you all know what happened afterwards.

 

ICELAND

Winter is definitely here, and it looks like Iceland will be featured in season seven. This isn’t the first time that Iceland was featured in the series, in fact, it was also featured in season two. You will get a glimpse of the country’s frozen landscapes which have attracted fans from around the world to the little island in the North Atlantic.

Photo By: Travelnet

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall) is an iconic waterfall of Iceland offering a spectacular view of untouched nature. Gullfoss is part of the Golden Circle tour, located in South Iceland on the Hvítá (White) river which is fed by Iceland’s second biggest glacier, the Langjökull. The water plummets down 32 meters in two stages into a rugged canyon which walls reach up to 70 meters in height. On a sunny day shimmering rainbow can be seen over the falls.

 

MOROCCO

Photo By: E+/ Getty Images

Essaouira

This historic bastion in Essaouira, Morocco, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It also happens to have played the part of Astapor, the slave-trading city where Daenerys freed the Unsullied, including everyone’s favourite: Grey Worm.

 

SPAIN

Photo By: Macall B. Polay/ courtesy HBO

Alcazar (Seville)

In Seville, the upper levels of the Alcazar are home to the royal family, but the palatial estate’s lush gardens are transformed into the Water Gardens of Dorne in the Game of Thrones’ fourth and fifth seasons. The Alcazar’s staircases are so narrow that the production crew had to use cranes to transport equipment up to a few of the palace’s balconies. More than 8,000 visitors converge on the Alcazar each day, making it one of the most-visited attractions in Seville.

 

More Game of Thrones Travel Destinations:

Roman Bridge of Cordoba 

Girona

Basque Country

San Juan De Gaztelugatxe

 

 

 

 

Travel

5 Amazing Places to Visit In Canada

April 27, 2017

In case you don’t know where you should travel to this summer, I am here to help you discover some amazing travel destinations that are located in Canada.

1492618813578

Quebec City

 I love taking mini trips whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed with work or just with life in general. I find that getting away for a few days can do some major repair.

I’ve compiled a list of amazing places that you need to visit in Canada:

 Quebec City

Canada

Photo: ShutterStock

The oldest city in North America, Quebec City holds both European charm and sophistication.  Home to the iconic Chateau Frontenac, poutine, the clip-clopping of horse-drawn carriages on cobblestone streets, as well as the New France Festival (held in August) and, of course, a world-famous winter carnival, there’s always plenty to do, see and eat in this beautiful city.

Visit Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta

moraine-lake-banff-national-park

Photo: ShutterStock

Set inside the borders of the vast Banff National Park, the area that surrounds these two towns is a Rocky Mountain wonderland, a place of electric blue glacial lakes, waterfalls, and wildlife (from elk to bighorn sheep to grizzly bears) and breathtaking sights. You will definitely want to go hiking up into the mountains in Lake Louise!

Kluane National Park, Yukon

Photo: ShutterStock

Photo: ShutterStock

If you enjoy a long hike along with a breathtaking view then you certainly need to visit Kluane National Park. Not only is it beautiful but it is also a place to seek solitude and peace.

Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland

Photo: ShutterStock

Photo: ShutterStock

This is one of Canada’s most unique parks, a place that features a great amount of geological diversity. The waterfalls alone have me wanting to book a trip here soon!

Long Beach, Tofino, British Columbia

Photo: ShutterStock

Photo: ShutterStock

Named “the best surf town in North America” by Outside magazine, Tofino, a beautiful beach town close to the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, has, despite its relatively remote location, been drawing surfers, nature-lovers and those with wandering souls for years. Located just south of town, Long Beach is absolutely breathtaking and people often admit that they never want to leave.

What are some cool places you think I need to go to?

XO, Yvonne K.

Travel

Why I Love Toronto

March 27, 2017

As I walk the busy streets in a city filled with fast cars and tall buildings, I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be only four hours away, (driving, that is),  from such a rich and cultured city such as Toronto. If you know me, you would know that I am from a small city with a population of just under 300, 000 people. Even though I love where I am from, I love taking trips to a bigger city that has so much to offer. During my most recent trip to Toronto, I stopped by Kensington Market for the very first time.

a2af2a46-2d8e-4d92-9a2f-18929a48b191

Kensington Market

In all of the times that I have been to Toronto, I somehow missed visiting Kensington Market. Luckily, I had the opportunity to check it out last week and I absolutely loved it. If you live for fresh produce, vintage shops and stunning art then you must set your calendars and make sure you visit this charming neighbourhood, (that’s what I like to call it).

Vintage Shops


Toronto Travel Things to Do in Toronto

There are various shops filled with a mix of food stores selling an immense variety of produce, meats and household items. There are also tons of bakeries, spice and dry goods stores, and cheese shops . There are so many stores that sell a wide variety of new and used clothing, and there are discount and surplus stores. Some of the more popular shops in Kensington Market include the Blue Banana, Courage my Love (shown above) and Good Egg. It is also home to many restaurants covering a wide variety of styles and ethnicities. A unique architectural feature of the neighbourhood is the presence of extensions built onto the front of many buildings.

Art

You will not miss the art that belongs on the many buildings in Kensington Market. I cannot count how many times I had to stop and admire each work of art.

Kensington Market in Toronto

kensington market in toronto

Kensington Market in Toronto

Make sure to visit Kensington Market next time you go to Toronto. I cannot wait to go again, one day just was not enough for me! The best part about Kensington Market is that it offers almost everything including, bars, cafes, fashion stores, restaurants and so much more. It also offers a chill and laid back atmosphere which will make you want to go back again.

xo, Yvonne K.

Lifestyle Travel

Travel Diary | A Day in Toronto

January 3, 2017


15878998_10156143005974572_1391999521_n

I’ve been to Toronto about a dozen times and I wanted to stay away from all of the tourist attractions during my latest visit. Even though I was only in Toronto for a day, I still had the opportunity to check out some of the shops, the ice rink near city hall and had the pleasure of walking down the streets gazing into the windows of some of the city’s most unique shops and boutiques.  Toronto offers top shopping locations for people who want to buy something out of the ordinary as well as something that is trendy and popular. I had a blast window shopping for outfit inspirations as well as exploring some vintage shops that I never even heard of before. I can’t wait to visit Toronto once again because this city is full of unique and exciting for bloggers, stylists and people who just need a little getaway.

nyx in toronto

Of course, I had to step inside the NYX store in Toronto, which is located on 363 Queen Street. This store looks small from the outside but you will be amazed once you walk in because it is FULL of makeup! I spent an hour just looking at products that I was curious about.

This is the ombre blush by NYX and it is highly pigmented. The tone is incredible and it feels incredibly soft on the skin.

The Black Market: this was my first time and I was amazed at how cheap everything is. This is a vintage shop that sells old vinyl, clothing, shoes, handbags, leather jackets, sunglasses, hats and the list goes on. The store is located on 265a Queen Street West in Toronto.

Next stop: Original.  This is a one of a kind type of store located on 515 Queen Street West. They sell designer shoes, jewellery, clutches, dresses and I am sure the list goes on.

Alice in Wonderland Shoes!

This dress was upstairs and it was displayed right before walking into a warehouse of handmade dresses. The details are to die for!

I had to check out a place called Off the Wall which is located on 450 Queen Street in Toronto. Not only does this shop sell cool art, they also provide custom framing, offer printing services and do art consulting. I didn’t take too many pictures here because it’s better to see all of the art in person and I didn’t want to get kicked out lol

Last stop: Nathan Phillips Square Ice Rink! This was the highlight of my day in Toronto and I was lucky enough to share that experience with my boyfriend. I had such an incredible time in Toronto and like I said at the beginning of this post, can’t wait to visit again!

Travel

Travel Guide: A New York Christmas

November 18, 2016

Christmas in new york

The other day I kept singing the song “New York I love You” by LCD Soundsystem and I started thinking about how amazing my time in New York during the holidays was. Although the song conveys a seemingly solemn message, I find that it speaks volumes of the capacity for New York to be a memorable destination experience. Here, in America’s fastest city (a New York minute as they say), you can find so much beauty amongst so much chaos.

So you’ve never been to New York during the holidays? This guide will trigger some wanderlust in you. I know it.

So, why New York?

Well, the massive Christmas tree that just so happens to be at the Rockefeller Center every year is why I decided to go in the first place.

Christmas in New York

The Christmas tree tradition began in 1931 during the same time 30 Rockefeller Plaza opened. This 80-foot-tall that is decorated with over 30, 000 multicoloured lights and is ready by mid-November and remains lit until early January every year.  That’s right, this is a tradition you must see once in your life because you will never see a tree as big as the one at the Rockefeller Center. More on the history of the Rockefeller Christmas tree here.

Christmas in New York Travel Guide

After you see the tree, I highly recommend ice skating in Bryant Park or Central Park. Grab your friends, family or even a special someone and head to this magical ice rink. While admission is free, patrons must pay for skate rentals, locks and bag check. The ice rink does get hectic during the month of December so make sure you go at the earliest time to enjoy some time on the ice.

Empire State Building New York Travel

Next, a trip up the Empire State building is a must! This famous skyscraper will be decorated in festive Christmas colours. You will be mesmerized once you reach the very top of the Empire State Building. If you want to skip the lines, buy your tickets online here to save yourself some time.

Empire State Building Christmas

A broadway show is always a great idea in New York. If you’re looking to end the night with some relaxation on Broadway, then I highly recommend that you check out one of my favourite sites for buying tickets to shows on Broadway. The site is called Broadway Box and they offer discounts on tickets and if you’re interested, discounts on popular tourist attractions.

Radio City Music Hall

Nothing says Christmas like watching the Rockettes perform at Radio City Music Hall. While in New York, it’s a must to attend the annual musical holiday stage show, a spectacular tradition since 1933. (Location: Sixth Avenue and 50th Street).

Fifth Avenue

For all of you shopaholics, you definitely won’t want to miss New York’s Saks Fifth Avenue. You’ll feel like you’re walking in a winter wonderland when you pass the festively decorated stores like Lord & Taylor, Saks and Tiffany’s. I’d say why not give your eyes an early Christmas treat by checking out the holiday decorations on the Avenue of the Americas. From festive, oversize tree ornaments to jumbo, coloured lights, you’ll be aesthetically pleased every which way you turn! (Location: Fifth Avenue between 39th and 60th Streets).

Macys

If you love great big department stores then you better head to Macys.  Macys can be a magical place during the holidays due to its extravagant decorations, fancy lighting and the jolly Christmas music playing throughout the holiday season. (Location: 151 West 34th Street).

Macys

A Christmas without toys can be a very sad Christmas for kids. Because I am a kid at heart, I especially found that to be true when I visited the famous toy store FAO Schwartz, unfortunately, this toy store permanently closed in 2015. You’ll want to go to check out the toy stores in New York because they most likely have absolutely every toy you can think of.  For those of you who love toy stores, I would highly recommend going to the Disney Store, the LEGO store and Toys R Us. You can let your inner child play among the life-size stuffed animals, dolls and high-end toys.  Ah, I wish I was a kid again.

As a kid, one of my favourite holiday movies was Home Alone 2: Lost in New York starring Macaulay Culkin. If you’ve ever watched the movie, you’d know that Kevin the main character played by Macaulay, stays at the Plaza Hotel using his dad’s credit card and eventually evades the hotel staff near the end of the movie (lol). If you go to New York during the holidays, this hotel is a must see because of the neat shops, boutiques, bakeries and restaurants located in the lower level of the hotel. (Location: 768 Fifth Avenue).

Look at that beautiful Christmas tree found in the lobby of the Plaza hotel!

If you’ve got a sweet tooth like mine, then Magnolia Bakery better be on your to do list. My favourite dessert to order there is the banana pudding. The only downside to going to Magnolia Bakery are the long lineups outside. I would suggest going early as soon as they open so that you can get first dibs on their incredible selection of pastries, cupcakes and banana pudding. (Rockefeller Center, 1240 6th Avenue).

A good slice of pizza in New York isn’t hard to find especially if you stop by John’s Pizzeria.  I am always met with such incredible and welcoming staff every time I go for pizza at John’s. Even when this place is swamped, my order was ready within ten minutes! This is a perfect place to go for a quick lunch after you’ve spent hours sightseeing. (Location: 260 West 44th Street).

These are only a few of the many reasons to spend Christmas in New York. Hopefully you all get the chance to experience a Christmas in New York one day and if you’re a Christmas nut like me, I guarantee that your trip to New York will only make you appreciate the holidays even more. The city of New York is always alive with excitement. However, there is something even more magical about New York during the holidays. This time of year is enchanted by an abundance of lights and life size ornaments. Not to mention, the air is filled with such crisp excitement and the chances of watching snowflakes gracefully fall from the sky are quite good. A lineup of holiday inspired events take place throughout the city. Locals greet one another with Christmas cheer and extend a warm welcome to visitors from all over the world. If you have been contemplating a trip to New York, the Christmas season is perfect timing due to the captivating atmosphere mixed with the attributes of this city during a time where people come together to celebrate.

Travel

Treasures of Toronto: The Casa Loma

September 28, 2016

img_7102

So I took a day trip to Toronto and decided to go to the charming Casa Loma. This castle, located in midtown Toronto, offers the ultimate getaway from the usual hustle and bustle known to the city. The Casa Loma is a unique historical site known for its breathtaking architecture and plays host to many Hollywood productions, television and photo shoots.

A Brief History

Sir Henry Pellatt, the dreamer behind Toronto’s famous landmark Casa Loma, was born to British parents in Kingston, Ontario on January 6, 1859.  Ambitious from his youth, Sir Henry Pellatt left his studies at Upper Canada College when he was seventeen to pursue a career in commerce in the family business. By the age of 23, he became a full partner in his father’s stock brokerage firm Pellatt and Pellatt. That year also meant he would marry Mary Dodgeson. Travels in Europe inspired his love for fine art and architecture which would drive his vision of Casa Loma and construction began in 1911 until 1914.

Right upon entering the castle, you notice its beautiful charm.

This is the library which is located on the main floor.The herringbone oak floor pattern creates different shadings from each end of the room. On the ceiling is Sir Pellatt’s Coat of Arms.

Sir Henry Pellat’s Study located on the main floor.

Great Hall: With a 60′ high ceiling, this room is a focal point of Casa Loma.

The ceiling located in the conservatory.

This is the serving room, which is located on the main floor of the castle.

Sir Henry Pellatt’s Suite located on the second floor.

Lady Pellatt’s Suite: The walls are painted in Lady Pellatt’s favourite colour: Wedgwood blue.

I did it, I took a selfie inside Lady Pellatt’s Bathroom. Don’t judge.

The third floor of the castle leads to the towers which allow you to see the elegant gardens outside.

One of my favourite pictures taken. This is a beautiful shot of the Toronto skyline which can be viewed from the tower.

This is the wine cellar: Ammonia and brine-filled pipes chilled the collection of nearly 1800 bottles of wine and champagne.

As of 2014, the garage and carriage room feature an exhibition of vintage cars from the early 1900s.

1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard.

1910 Maxwell Model Q Standard.

Casa Loma Garden.

Fun Facts about Casa Loma:

Casa Loma is a popular location for both film and television. It has served as a location for movies such as X-Men, Strange Brew, Chicago, The Tuxedo, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Warehouse 13, Twitches Too, and The Pacifier. Comic books and children’s novels that have filmed at Casa Loma include the Scott Pilgrim series and Eric Wilson‘s murder mystery, The Lost Treasure of Casa Loma. It was also temporarily transformed into Hogwarts for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Casa Loma is also a top wedding venue in Toronto. Many couples also get their weddings photos taken at the castle. If you’re interested in doing so, check out more information here.

I loved this castle and if you haven’t taken a tour yet, add it to your to do list the next time you visit Toronto!

Travel

24 Hours in Quebec City!

August 25, 2016

Bonjour!

A quick stop in Quebec City was such a great idea. This city has so much to offer in terms of breathtaking views. I only heard of this place from family and friends but little did I know that I would instantly fall in love with it! Quebec is a beautiful city full of old french architecture and I felt like I had stepped into a town in Italy or France. I was really worried about not being able to speak french but most tourist sites have people who speak English as well.

There is so much to see in Quebec City so if you end up going there and falling in love, just remember that if you live there, you get paid to learn how to speak French. Here is a link for more information on how to get paid to learn French in Quebec.

I spent one full day in Quebec City and I will definitely be going back to do some more exploring there 🙂

Here are some of the pictures that I took while there:

IMG_6751

To do list of course!

IMG_6736

You must check out Montmorency Falls in Quebec. This was a spectacular view and such an exhilerating experience. These falls are 83 meters high. There are staircases that allow visitors to view the falls from several different angles. Once you reach the bottom, I dare you to look up and see the number of stairs you just climbed down! It is an absolutely amazing experience.

IMG_6746

IMG_6749

Beautiful street art.

IMG_6806

IMG_6807

IMG_6808

IMG_6801

IMG_6780

One of my favourite things to do is to just wander the streets of an unfamiliar city or town. This wandering the streets lasted pretty much half of the time spent in Quebec City.

I loved these moments.

IMG_6800

IMG_6796


IMG_6798

IMG_6804

IMG_6765

Witnessed a photo shoot and then decided I wanted my very own photo shoot:

IMG_6790

IMG_6784

IMG_6793

Make sure to visit Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel in old Quebec. It is a luxurious hotel as well as a historic site. It is perched atop a tall cape overlooking the St. Lawrence River. This is known as the most photographed hotel in the world. Best of all, there is a cafe Starbucks there 🙂

IMG_6775

Make sure to visit the Plains of Abraham. This is a historic area within the Battlefields Park in Quebec. The land is the site of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, which took place in 1759.

IMG_6772

IMG_6810

Going home, see you in the winter time Quebec!

Yvonne K.

Travel

New York, I love You.

March 18, 2016

One of my favourite cities to visit has to be New York. I only like to visit and each time, I discover new places to eat, meet some really cool people, and go on a New York adventure .

Some of my favourite places to eat:

Serendipity 3

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 1.39.28 AM

If you haven’t watched the movie Serendipity (2001) starring Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack, you must before you go to this gem of a place. Serendipity 3 is located in the Upper East side and not too far from Broadway so see a show, and then make your way over to the best place that serves desserts in all of Manhattan. You better make reservations because the line-ups are no joke, and trust me, you’ll want to admire the cool things found inside this restaurant. This place is perfect for a first-date, or if you want to spend the night out with the girls.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 1.47.41 AM

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 2.12.27 AM

Okay, if you know me, you know my biggest weakness is chocolate! I will do anything just to go back and have a sundae at Serendipity! They are quite famous for the frozen hot chocolate and known for having famous guests stop by.

Lexington Brass

If you love breakfast like I do, then you should try this place out at least once when you go to New York. It’s not cheap but it’s worth every dollar. This place is magnificent and I don’t usually use that word too often, so believe me when I tell you that this place is a must! You can always check out the reviews and see for yourselves.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 1.57.01 AM

Things to do in NYC:

I usually use trip advisor as a travel guide and I find that it helps me plan and keep my trip organized. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 2.17.12 AM

Don’t forget to visit Brooklyn, one of my favourite places in New York. The culture is just so incredibly rich with something going on every single day.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 1.02.59 AM Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 1.02.22 AM

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 2.06.26 AM

Although I enjoyed sharing some of my favourite things to do in NYC, it’s definitely a place for you to discover on your own. It’s one of those places that has something for everyone. New York, I will definitely come again <3

Yvonne