Year: 2015

Montreal Rediscovered

For our latest visit to Montreal, we decided to pick up a guidebook from the library. Even though I lived in Montreal for fifteen years having a guide drew my attention to things that I’ve walked past many times but accepted as part of the city backdrop. We started our walk in China Town where a friendly local suggested Lobster Cantonese for dinner at Beijing Restaurant. The Plateau is my favourite place in the city. I love the eclectic feel of the neighbourhood. Little sidewalk cafés, green spaces everywhere, art in the park and graffiti of gigantic proportions.    We stopped at Wilensky’s for a quick-lunch. This place has been around since 1932 and the interior remains unchanged. I was impressed by the speed with which the bologna sandwiches and soda drinks appeared before us. After lunch we walked west on Avenue des Pins and admired the mansions on Redpath Crescent. We stopped to rest in parks along the way. Once we got to the other side of the mountain, we set to explore Westmount. Some of …

Save Money & See The World

Traveling can be an expensive hobby so over the years I had limit my spending to enable my habit. Here are some of my tricks for saving money without compromising on style. 1. Wear neutrals. I have a lot of black basic items in my wardrobe because they’re easy to match and classic. A black shirt with a nice pair of jeans is chic and timeless. Same goes for grey and white. The fit is key. I buy items that fit and drape really well on my body. I use accessories to create different looks around my neutral staples. 2. Make it yourself. I started sewing about two years ago. I love browsing fabric stores for unique fabric. I made this top from what seemed to be fabric for window coverings. It only cost me 0.99 cents/meter and it’s one of my favorite items of clothing. I love the creative process of making clothes. This top was hand stitched and took about an hour to cut and sew. 3. Shop thrift stores. A lot of people feel icky about shopping in thrift stores …

Back to the County

We returned to Prince Edward County to visit a few wineries in the area. The county is one my favourite day trips from Ottawa. Our first stop was in Wellington to have lunch at the Tall Poppy Café. The town is quaint with small shops and 200-year-old buildings on the shore of Lake Ontario. Next we stopped at Rosehall Run winery for a few samples. We continued to Casa Dea Estates Winery and tried a beautiful white wine made from Melon de Bourgogne. This winery has an Italian restaurant and a patio overlooking the estate. It also offers visitors games of chess and pétanque. My favorite winery was Chadsey’s. The property is beautiful and it’s currently for sale. They only offered white and rose wines and an unexpected sparkling rose.    On our way back we stopped in Bloomfield for some much-needed ice cream.   

Travel Favorites

When I first started traveling I had no idea what to pack. I packed things that were impractical and a lot of times I found myself with nothing to wear and with lots of pieces of jewellery and accessories that I didn’t need but took up a lot of space in my suitcase. I used to travel with a large suitcase but nowadays I only travel with a carry-on and a small backpack even on trips of 10 to 14 days. Over the years I fine-tuned my packing skills to match the travel experiences I want to pursue. The time I spend packing has been reduced to 30 minutes because of go to items that always make it into my bag. These are some of the items that have been tried and tested over the years to meet my needs for comfort and versatility. 1. Military Jacket. This is a lighter version of a military jacket because it’s made from a blend of linen and cotton. It packs nicely and I don’t have to worry about it getting wrinkled because …

Perfect Spring Day in Ottawa

It’s about time I write a post about Ottawa, the place where I live now. Ottawa is great in the spring with lots of green spaces, great festivals and plenty of spots for outdoor activities. I decided to do a walking tour of the Byward Market and New Edinburgh and document my itinerary for anyone who may happen to be in the area and is looking for something to do. The walk is about 6.6 km and may take anywhere from three to five hours depending on your pace. Ottawa has some great museums and some are in walking distance from city centre. I started my walk at the National War Memorial, corner of Rideau and Elgin St. I walked over to the Rideau Canal and took this shot of the Rideau locks right next to the Parliament building.    I took the stairs down to the Rideau locks by Chateau Laurier. I have done this route many times but first time visitors can spend some time walking along the Ottawa river and visiting the …