Travel Recap: Kenora

Travel Recap Kenora

Earlier this month my husband and I took a road trip to Kenora, ON which is around 5 hours from Thunder Bay. It’s a beautiful area that I had only ever driven through but never really stopped to enjoy. We had been meaning to do a camping trip there for awhile so it was nice to finally do it. I really enjoy doing these travel recaps so I thought I’d share one in case you are curious about what the lovely town of Kenora, Ontario has to offer! Continue reading

Weekend Getaway Makeup Bag

weekend get away makeup bag contents

It has been a hot minute since my last blog post. When the warmer weather starts to come around I wear makeup less and less, and spend a great deal of time outside. However as I was packing for my next adventure I thought I’d share with you the contents of my weekend getaway makeup bag! The trip I’m about to embark on is a short one. I will be staying in a tent, however, I’m close to a town and wanted to pack some makeup for evenings out. So let’s take a look at what made the cut! Continue reading

Travel Recap: Paris | Where We Stayed & What We Ate

As most of you know, I was in Paris over the holidays for seven days and if you follow me on Instagram you have already seen a few photos from my trip. My husband and I did so much on this trip that my recap is going to have to span over multiple posts as I don’t want to create one big marathon post. So today we are going to look at where we stayed and what we ate!

Where We Stayed

While in Paris we stayed at the Le Royal Hotel. It was located in the city centre in the Montparnasse section of Paris. We were about ten blocks away from the Eiffel Tower and within a short walking distance of two metro stations. We took the metro pretty much everywhere so it was really handy to be near them both as it made it very easy to get around. Continue reading

Three Places on my Travel Bucket List

Travel Bucket List

Travel is something that is very important to me. There are so many places all over the world that I dream of visiting. I’ve never made a formal travel bucket list, as I honestly think I could fill a book, but I thought I would chat about three of the places I have my eye on. I’m going to exclude Paris, France from this list as I’ll be going there in late December. If the trip wasn’t booked then it would have definitely been on this list. So, let’s chat a bit about three places that are pretty close to the top of my list!

London, England

London

England in general is a place I’ve always wanted to go. Given my half British roots, it’s only natural that I’d want to explore the country that my grandparents came from. Additionally, I’ve always been fascinated by British pop culture so that as well brings it high up on my list of places I’d want to go. I’d want to explore more than just London, but that’s a start! Continue reading

Travel Recap: Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells

Photo Source

Hi guys! Last weekend I went to the Wisconsin Dells for the first time with my husband and two of my best friends. The Wisconsin Dells is a small city in Wisconsin that proclaims to be the waterpark capital of the world. I would say it definitely delivers on the waterparks! From Thunder Bay (where I am located) it is about a 8.5 hour drive. Most of the resorts seem to have indoor and outdoor parks so it is a travel destination you could enjoy all year round. Summer of course is the peak season for their tourism.

In order to get the most out of our trip we left at 4:00 AM to ensure we got to the resort early enough to enjoy a full afternoon there as we were only staying two nights. If I did this again, I would probably leave one evening earlier and stay at a midway point (ie. Duluth, MN) but waking up early wasn’t that bad. I was pretty excited so it wasn’t all that difficult getting out of bed.

Wisconsin Dells

Where We Stayed

Continue reading

Road Trip Recap: American Leg

road-trip-recap-united-states

Hi guys! Not to be repetitive but today we are going to talk about the American leg of my recent road trip! I wanted to do a beauty related post but I’ve been sick so I’ve been sleeping through all the day light/no one wants to see this face, trust me! I am feeling a bit better though so I thought I would sit down and write this post. If you missed the first half of my road trip recap you can find it here!

Day 11: Seattle

We left British Columbia bright and early to make our way to Seattle. It was only about a two hour drive but we wanted to get there somewhat early so we could do some sight-seeing.

We briefly stopped at one of the outlet malls on the way but we didn’t really buy much. The intent of our trip was more to see and experience things, rather than shop. And besides, we had been to Minneapolis earlier in August and did a huge shopping haul there!

Once we got to Seattle we checked into our hotel and decided to walk to the Space Needle as there was quite a few things we wanted to see in that area! The first thing we did was go up the Space Needle to get a view of Seattle, which was a beautiful sight to see!

Space-Needle-Seattle

The Space Needle in Seattle, WA

Space-Needle-View

The view from the Space Needle

After that we went to the Chihuly Garden and Glass which was so beautiful! The detail and the time it must have taken to make all of the pieces on display was truly amazing. If you’re in the Seattle area, I definitely recommend checking it out! It was a fairly quick walkthrough, but still worth it as you can see from the photo below.

Chihuly-Garden-Glass

Chihuly Garden and Glass… isn’t it beautiful?

Then, we went to the EMP Museum which was definitely one of the highlights of Seattle. That place is amazing! I can’t even begin to describe it but if you like any of the following, I suggest checking it out: music, fantasy, or sci-fi. They had a great area dedicated to Kurt Cobain which I found fascinating, they had so many items that belonged to him and the other members of Nirvana.

EMP-Museum

Display of guitars at the EMP Museum

After that we walked around downtown trying to find somewhere to eat. Downtown was crazy busy as the last day of PAX had just ended so there was people everywhere. We didn’t know PAX was going on otherwise we probably would have tried to get tickets for that as after reading about it, seemed like something my husband and I would have enjoyed going to! We eventually found somewhere that wasn’t packed to eat, and the meal was okay but not memorable. I can’t even remember the name of the place we ate!

Day 12: The Museum of Flight & the Road to Montana

We didn’t have much time left the previous day so we decided to visit the Museum of Flight in the Seattle in the morning. It’s a good thing we did because we spent a LOT of time there. There were so many planes and exhibits to see. If you’re into space travel or air planes, I think you would enjoy going! But, be prepared to spend a long time there!

Museum-of-Flight-Seattle

The Museum of Flight, just a small number of the planes they have on display!

After that, we started making our way to Missoula, Montana which is where we were spending the night before continuing on to Yellowstone National Park. We got there super late so most places were closed, so we ended up eating Taco Bell in our hotel room for dinner, which was okay by me! I never get Taco Bell as there are none near me.

Day 13: Yellowstone National Park

We got up early the next morning and started making our way to Yellowstone National Park which spans through a little bit of Montana, but mostly Wyoming. We got there in the afternoon so we were able to start sight-seeing right away. There was so much wildlife roaming around because the landscape is a little more open than the national parks I had been to in Alberta. We saw quite a few elk, bison, big horned sheep and baby black bears while driving through the park. It’s a HUGE national park so there is so much to see. We didn’t get to see it all, but we made sure we saw as much as we could.

Yellowstone-National-Park-Elk

All the elk hanging out in Mammoth Hot Springs, they were all there in the same places the next day too!

Yellowstone-National-Park-Bison

A family of Bison crossing the road in front of our car!

The first day we mostly went to the areas where they have lots of thermal activity so we saw quite a few geysers and hot springs! Some notable ones were the Fountain Paint Pot, Great Fountain Geyser and Old Faithful. We waited to see Old Faithful erupt and it was amazing! It generally shoots 14,000 to 32,000 litres of boiling water 106 to 185 feet into the air. It did this for a few minutes while we sat there awestruck.

Yellowstone-National-Park-Old-Faithful

Old Faithful!

Yellowstone-National-Park-Great-Fountain-Geyser

The Great Fountain Geyser

After that we ate probably one of the worst meals of the trip (while Yellowstone National Park is absolutely stunning, the park runs all of the restaurants within it, so food quality leaves a lot to be desired) and then went back to our camp site to go to sleep. This was probably one of the coldest nights on the trip, but thankfully by this point we were pros at staying warm, since camping in Alberta was pretty cold too!

Day 14: A bit more Yellowstone & Drive to Rapid City, SD

After struggling to leave the warm cocoon I had made myself in the tent, we got up and saw a few more sights before leaving Yellowstone National Park. We went to see Artist Point and Grand View which are lookouts to see the canyon which were absolutely beautiful. We also went to see the Petrified Tree and did the scenic drive at Mammoth Hot Springs.

Yellowstone-National-Park-Artist-Point

The view from Artist Point

After that we started the long drive to Rapid City, South Dakota. Once we got there we checked into our hotel and went for dinner at Kōl. While the service was a bit slow and a little odd, the food was great! What I mean by odd is that they seemed to bring out food as it was ready so we got our pizzas (main course) a few minutes before our appetizer. But, at least the food was great!

Day 15: Mount Rushmore & Drive to Minneapolis, MN

Before leaving Rapid City, we had to go see the sight that brought us to that area in the first place, which was Mount Rushmore. It’s only about 20 minutes out of Rapid City. We got there fairly early so it was pretty quiet there but we didn’t stay long as it was very cold and rainy outside. But, it stopped raining long enough for us to get a picture.

p1050080

After that, we didn’t stick around and started driving to Minneapolis which is about a 8.5 hour drive. When we got there we went straight to the Mall of America so that I could make a quick stop in Sephora and then have dinner at our favourite restaurant there, Tucci Benucch. We weren’t that hungry so we just had a few appetizers, the calamari there is amazing!

Day 16: Heading Home!

At this point we were ready to go home and spend some much needed time with the dogs and bunny so we got on the road fairly early. The drive from Minneapolis to Thunder Bay is about 6 hours and it’s a drive we are very familiar with so it went by pretty quickly. There was a lot of construction in Minneapolis so leaving was a bit of a challenge but once we were on the road it was smooth sailing!

And… that was our trip! We put about 8,700 km on the car during this trip and loved every minute of it! I’m so glad we did this road trip and although I wouldn’t do the whole thing again, there are some places I would definitely revisit. Banff and Jasper are high on that list, as well as it would be nice to see the rest of Yellowstone National Park!

Hopefully I’ll be feeling better and be back with some beauty related posts soon! Until then, what is the most beautiful thing you have seen while travelling? Let me know in the comments down below!

xoxo,

Robyn

You can also find me here…

YouTube | Bloglovin | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Road Trip Recap: Canadian Leg

cross-canada-road-trip

Hi guys! As you may know, I just wrapped up a road trip across Canada (well, to the west coast from Ontario anyways). I thought it would be fun to give you a snapshot of some of the things my husband and I did as well as share some pictures. We drove home through the United States so I’ll be posting that leg of the road trip separately.

Day 1: Drive to Brandon, MB

Our first day on our road trip was spent driving to Brandon, Manitoba. We opted to drive a bit longer as opposed to going to Winnipeg to maximize our days and decrease the driving time to Calgary. This drive was approximately 9.5 hours. Once we arrived we set up our tent at Turtle Crossing and went for appetizers at Joe Beeverz. Literally the most “Canadian” place I have ever been. Saw a big sign advertising Coleman Hell performing in Brandon which was pretty cool. Always great to see him doing well!

p1040117

camping-Manitoba

Our camping set-up… and my husband’s “practical camping vehicle”

Day 2: Drive to Calgary, AB

Next up was the longest drive for the Canadian leg of our trip to Calgary, Alberta. This was approximately 10.5 hours. We did stop in Regina, Saskatchewan so that we didn’t totally by-pass the province. We spent an hour exploring the Wascana Centre Park.

Wascana-Centre-Park-Regina-Saskatchewan

Once we were back on the road we drove straight to Calgary minus one stop to refuel our Tim Hortons supply. I never sleep in the car but… driving through the prairies is a bit uneventful. I partook in a nap or two during this drive.

Once we arrived in Calgary we checked in at our hotel and headed off to the Calgary Tower to enjoy the view from the observation deck and enjoy a lovely dinner in the revolving restaurant. Note to self: revolving restaurant = slight motion illness. Dinner was delicious though!

Calgary-Tower-View

View from the Calgary Tower

Calgary-Tower-Glass-Floor

Sitting on the glass floor on the Observation Deck of the Calgary Tower!

Day 3: Calgary Zoo & Banff, AB

We stayed in Calgary for a short while to explore the Calgary Zoo. It’s a very nice zoo and one of the highlights was watching Tiger Training! I enjoyed the indoor exhibits as it was very cold that morning.

p1040263 p1040289

After that it was time to head to Banff, Alberta! This was one of the parts of the trip we were both really looking forward to. The mountains and just the scenery in general is breathtaking. If you haven’t been to Banff, I highly recommend it.

Once we got there we set up camp at the Johnston Canyon Campground and headed into town for dinner. We enjoyed a yummy steak dinner at the Saltik Steakhouse and then went up the gondola to get an amazing view of the area. Simply breathtaking. After that we went to the Banff Upper Hot Springs to take a quick dip and relax before heading back to camp to sleep.

Banff-Gondola

View of Banff from the top of where the Gondola takes you

Day 4: Johnston Canyon & Lake Louise

We started our day by packing up our camp site (the “instant tent” proving itself to be a worthy purchase) and took a hike to see the upper and lower falls at Johnston Canyon. Definitely worth the hike and the views were incredible.

Banff-Johnston-Canyon

Johnston Canyon

After that we drove around Banff to see some other viewpoints like Bow Falls, Surprise Corner and Hoodoo’s Lookout. We also went to Lake Minnewanka which was full of beautiful scenery and rocks to sit and enjoy it. Then it was off to Lake Louise where we set up camp again.

Banff-Lake-Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

We were ahead of schedule so we went to see the actual Lake Louise and walked around it. Then went to see Moraine Lake which was for me, definitely a highlight. It was so calm and the most amazing shade of teal. It was much quieter than Lake Louise and, I’m using this word a lot, breathtaking.

Banff-Lake-Louise

Lake Louise

Banff-Moraine-Lake

One of the most peaceful places I have ever been… Moraine Lake

Day 5: Lake Agnes Teahouse & Drive to Jasper, AB

We woke up early to take down camp again and to head to Lake Louise to hike to the Lake Agnes Teahouse. The hike is approximately 3.4 kilometres up a mountain. It’s quite steep and considered a moderate level hike. If you’re out of shape like I am it’s a bit torturous. I didn’t think I would make it, I thought either my legs or lungs would give up. But we made it! The tea house is quite impressive. It has no running water or electricity so supplies are helicoptered in at the beginning of the season. Any fresh food is hiked in by the staff. They also bring down their waste by hiking the trail as well.

Banff-Lake-Agnes-Tea-House

Lake Agnes Tea House

Once we finished our tea and hike (downhill is so much easier) we started our drive to Jasper, Alberta. There is a lot to see between Lake Louise and Jasper so the 3.5 hour drive likely took closer to 6 hours. Some highlights are the various random viewpoints on the Icefield Parkway, the Glacier Skywalk, Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls. So many beautiful sights to see! After that we set up camp in Jasper and went for dinner before calling it a night. One more note before we move on, we walked up to the Columbia Icefield since there is a place to park and walk up if you don’t want to pay to do the tour. If you live somewhere where you regularly see ice in the winter, you could easily by-pass this. My legs were done from the morning hike so I didn’t find the walk up worth it. It’s a glacier which is neat but really to the eyes it is an icefield.

Jasper-Glacier-Skywalk

Sitting on the glass floor of the Glacier Skywalk

Jasper-Athabasca-Falls

Athabasca Falls

Day 6: Jasper Skytram, Maligne Lake & Drive to Kelowna, BC

Before we left Jasper we went up the skytram to get a beautiful view of the mountains and Jasper itself. We weren’t sure if we would want to since we went up the gondola in Banff but I’m so glad we did. We didn’t hike up to the summit as we were pressed for time and our legs were sore from the previous days adventure but I would do it when (not if!) we go back.

Jasper-SkyTram

On top of the world after riding the skytram in Jasper

We also drove out to Maligne Lake which was further than we thought it would be. If we had more time I think a boat tour would enhance the experience. The mountains surrounding it make it pretty so boating through that would be amazing, but we just didn’t have time.

Jasper-Maligne-Lake

Maligne Lake

Then it was time for another long drive as we were making our way to Kelowna, British Columbia to enjoy the Okanogan Valley, home of the wine trail. This drive was about 7 hours and I partook in another car nap. Alberta sure tired me out! Once we got there we checked into our hotel and enjoyed some takeout pizza from Antico Pizza before calling it a night.

Day 7: All the Wine!!!!

It was finally the day I had been anxiously awaiting… wine day in Kelowna! We started the day with a 11 am tour at Quail’s Gate. Almost didn’t make it on time as a portion of the road where the wineries are was closed due by the RCMP due to some kind of incident. The details surrounding it are a bit fuzzy but the road opened up again a few hours later. The winery was very nice, the tour was very casual and involved tasting some wines. This is where I tried ice wine for the first time and fell in love. I also tried their Old Vines Frosh wine which they called their “big boy” red and it had a smoky flavour to it. I was skeptical but actually enjoyed it enough to take home a bottle.

Kelowna-Quails-Gate

Quail’s Gate Winery

Next we had some lunch before heading back to the trail to stop in for tastings at the Hatch and Beaumont Family Estate. The Hatch was enteraining, the employees all seemed to have a sense of humour and the place had a hipster vibe. I picked up another bottle of red wine here. Beaumont was a smaller winery but they had some great wines to try. I got a second bottle of ice wine and we picked up a bottle of white wine. Since we are red wine drinkers we never really enjoy white wines but Beaumont’s Trio impressed us.

Kelowna-The-Hatch

The Hatch

The last stop on our wine adventure was Mission Hill Family Estate. We did the Legacy Tour here and I am so glad we did. They were a lot more generous with their samples and we enjoyed a walk through their amazing vineyard and went to see where they age the barrels of red wine. The estate is beautiful and full of amazing art pieces. Each wine we tried was paired with a complimentary canapé which was a nice touch. Our sommelier, Erica, was knowledgeable, down to earth and friendly. All the wines we tried were great, highlights were their Compendium and Oculus. We didn’t end up bringing any wine back though as our favourites were quite pricy and I enjoyed our less expensive purchases just as much. If you go to Kelowna though this tour is a must!

Kelowna-Mission-Hill

Sampling some red wine where it ages at Mission Hill Family Estate Winery

We ended our day with dinner at La Bussola which is an Italian restaurant in downtown Kelowna. It was delicious and a great end to the day. After that we had a very early bed time as we were both exhausted.

Day 8: Drive to Vancouver & Exploring Downtown

We left Kelowna first thing in the morning after our marathon sleep. The drive was about 3 hours. We got into downtown Vancouver later than anticipated so we didn’t have much time to explore. We did a really quick walk around Gastown and a bit of Stanley Park before we went for dinner at the Cactus Club. The calamari and short rib pappardalle were amazing!

Vancouver-Stanley-Park-Totum-Poles

Totum Poles in Stanley Park

Day 9: Whistler & Capilano Suspension Bridge

We started the day bright and early to head up to Whistler. It ended up being pretty foggy and over-casty but we ended up enjoying the regular gondola and the peak2peak one. The peak2peak was pretty neat, it holds the world record for the longest free span between ropeway towers. The ride itself was about 11 minutes. We didn’t wait around for the glass bottomed one as they only have two and wasn’t worth the wait. The glass bottom was a small portion of the middle that looked like it was blocked off by metal poles and when we went past the people in those ones they were looking out the window like everyone else anyways!

Whistler-Peak2Peak

View from the peak2peak gondola

After we were done at Whistler we went to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. I’d been a few years ago but my husband hadn’t been since he was a kid so he wanted to go. We both found it overpriced for the experience which kind of ruined it. I think going once is enough. It is a neat experience though if you haven’t done it. They also have a tree top walk and a cliff walk that are worth checking out while you are there.

Vancouver-Capilano-Suspension-Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Day 10: Whales!!!!

Our last day for the Canadian leg of our road trip was definitely one of the highlights as we drove to Steveston to do some whale watching. I’d wanted to go whale watching for a longtime so I was really looking forward to it. We had to do some searching but we eventually found some transient killer whales. They estimated that we likely saw about 17 as they could identify some of the pod and are familiar with the family members who swim together. It was amazing seeing them in their natural habitat.

Vancouver-Whale-Watch

We also saw some stellar sea lions, seals and some harbour porpoises. Seeing the younger sea lions reminded me of the sea lions in Finding Dory. If you’ve seen it, you’ll probably know what I mean.

Vancouver-Whale-Watch-Stellar-Sea-Lions

Young Stellar Sea Lions

Vancouver-Whale-Watch-Stellar-Sea-Lions

Older Stellar Sea Lions

After that we enjoyed a few drinks on a patio before leaving Steveston and ending our final activity in British Columbia.

Phew! We packed a lot into this trip but that’s our style of travelling. We don’t really sit around much when there is so much to do and see. Stay tuned for the American leg of the road trip which will be up shortly!

What was your favourite road trip or tourist attraction you’ve ever done? Let me know in the comments down below! After doing this, I definitely want to take a road trip to the east coast in a couple of years but before that we will probably go back to Europe or do some other further travel. There’s so much we want to see and do!

xoxo,

Robyn

You can also find me here…

YouTube | Bloglovin | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest