Ottawa Road Trip

Beautiful architecture, the Rideau Canal, markets, cathedrals, and many museums – Ottawa is a great road trip

The Grotto – Bruce Peninsula National Park

Stunning views, rocky caves, and gin clear turquoise waters, at Bruce Peninsula National Park

Awenda Provincial Park

Our new favourite campsite, with FOUR beaches, a lake with canoes, trails, and snapping turtles

Discovery Harbour

Stepping back in time to 1812, at an original British naval base in Canada

Cheltenham Badlands

A strange geological formation of blood-red earth, tucked away in the countryside

Kazuemachi Chayagai

The trip to Kanazawa was coming to an end, and we’d managed to tick off most of the main sites: Kanazawa Castle, Kenrokuen Gardens, Nagamachi Samurai District, and Higashi Chaya District. The bonus was stumbling upon another district along the beautiful Asano River, which is lined with, you guessed it, loads of cherry blossoms, plus…

Higashi Chaya – The Geisha District of Kanazawa

Out of all the things we saw in Kanazawa, I think Higashi Chaya was one of the highlights of the trip. Higashi Chaya – literally translated as Eastern Tea House – traditionally was and still is Kanazawa’s ‘pleasure quarter’ where geisha and courtesans dances, played music, and entertained in quaint wooden tea houses (where tea…

Nagamachi Samurai District

Kanazawa has a number of fascinating little neighbourhoods, one of which is the Nagamachi Samurai District. Not too far from Kanazawa Castle (see previous post), Nagamachi is where samurai and their families lived while serving the castle and its inhabitants. With narrow roads and small, walled houses, this is an area that should be explored…

Cherry Blossoms in Kanazawa

Just as things were starting to defrost in Canada, we boarded a plane for a long, long flight from Toronto to Tokyo, to visit hubby’s family. Spring is a great time to be in Japan. It’s not too cold, it’s just before the stifling heat of summer sets in, and everything is in full bloom….

Whale Watching in Cabo San Lucas

From December to April, humpback whales and grey whales migrate from Alaska down to the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific, both to give birth to calves, and to mate. You can see the whales literally ALL THE TIME if you just look out at the horizon. In the morning we…

Exploring San Jose del Cabo

The old town of San Jose is not too far from the ‘Zona Hotelera’ – Hotel Zone – where we were staying at the Royal Solaris in Cabo San Lucas. Instead of forking out a lot of money for an overpriced taxi, we decided instead to try the local bus transportation, the Urbano. Getting around…

Kayaking The Arch

One of the most famous sites in Cabo San Lucas is The Arch, an iconic rock formation at the very tip of the peninsula, where the Pacific Ocean hits the Gulf of California. Many people go see The Arch on a boat trip, but the best way to see it is by kayak.

No Bad Days – Trip to Baja California

As you may have read in my previous post, the only way to survive the 6-month stretch that is winter in Canada is to leave in February, which is just when you slink into the depths of depression. This is why on a freezing Thursday morning in February, during a snowstorm, we found ourselves sitting…

Hibernation Nation

Once upon a time, I was a voracious blogger. Writing about all the fun and interesting things I had seen or places I’d been, that kind of thing. Well, I haven’t written for a while. And that’s because pretty much since October, it’s been a whole lotta this rubbish: Followed by more snow….. and temperature…

Lion’s Head Provincial Park

In the last few months, whenever we’ve had the time, we drive north to the beautiful, pristine Bruce Peninsula, to hike, camp, and even swim in the warm, shallow waters of Lake Huron. Autumn is a fabulous time to roam around the Bruce Peninsula, with the autumn colours changing literally every day to the most…

Dinosaurs in the Mist

About a month ago I was able to make a quick trip to Winnipeg, which is the capital of the province of Manitoba. This month I went a bit more west to visit two cities in the province of Alberta – Edmonton and Calgary – which are about a 3 hour drive from each other….

Bruce’s Caves – Perusing the Peninsula

By sheer luck, a close friend from Hong Kong has just moved to Ontario, and has a cottage up in a scenic area north of Toronto called the Bruce Peninsula, so we’ve been up there quite a bit this summer, enjoying the fantastic natural scenery. The Bruce Peninsula is on Lake Huron, which has a…

Weekend in Winnipeg

Lucky for me, there are two new ultra low-cost carriers operating domestic routes out of Toronto and nearby city Hamilton – Flair Air and Swoop –  which means that there’s going to be a whole lot of local travelling going on around my new home and native land. One of the first places ended up…

We didn’t get eaten by bears

  Canada is bear country – let’s face facts. Once in a while in the local news you hear about bear sightings nearby, as in 20 minutes up the road, and you are reminded that Canada is one big-assed country with a lot of wildlife (unless you live in Toronto). Nonetheless, we embarked upon our…

Scenic Caves – Collingwood

Having guests is a great motivator to get out there and try somewhere or something new. So when some friends from Hong Kong came through Toronto, we headed a short drive north to Collingwood to visit the Scenic Caves. Set in a beautiful forest, with an easy to follow though hilly trail, there are 17…

Mono Cliffs – Instagram lies!

You can’t always believe everything you see and read about online, especially when it comes to travel. A lot of times we see an incredible image and think, ‘Wow, I want to go there just to see THAT, to stand there and take the same picture of this exact spot’.  Well, sometimes Instagram and Facebook…

Biking Island Lake

Since Island Lake is literally right around the corner, we’ve been there a lot for hiking and sightseeing. But this was the first time to do the entire lake, which is 8.2km long, on bike. What a great workout! And what a beautiful day. Island Lake is a 400 acre reservoir with a number of…

Belfountain Conservation Area

So the goal this summer is to go somewhere, every single weekend, rain or shine, and enjoy the great outdoors before the deep freeze returns, forcing people to hide indoors for roughly five months. There’s nothing like the threat of winter to make you carpe that god damn diem! Last weekend we hit up Belfountain…

Elora Gorge

It was a sunny Easter weekend, and rather than torture myself with dreaded kids activities such as an Easter Egg Hunt, instead we packed up the car and headed to the Elora Gorge, about a 30 minute drive from home. Elora and Fergus are two quaint little towns with large Scottish populations, and classic old…

Mono Cliffs Provincial Park

It is supposedly spring right now – despite the temperature hovering a wee bit above 0’C – so it’s time to do some hardcore exploring during the few short months when Canada is not covered by snow. Orangeville is a great place to live if you like the great outdoors. There are dozens of provincial…

Life in a small town

Everyone knows of course Toronto, or maybe Mississauga and Brampton where there is a high concentration of West Indians. But tell someone you’re living in Orangeville and they look at you blankly. Either that or they say, ‘why the ass are you living out there in the countryside?’ Indeed, it is countryside – Orangeville is…

Feels Like Home

For the past decade, getting to Trinidad required a painful, mind and ass-numbing, exhausting 24-hour trip from Asia back to the Western Hemisphere. But now that I’m living in O Canada, in one easy 5-hour flight, boom! There I am in Piarco, looking at a sign that says HOSEINS ROTI SHOP. I definitely need a…

Coming in from the cold

So, what has been going on here in the True North, as I have fondly started to call Canada? Well for a few weeks in February it was brutal, with endless snow shovelling, which let me tell you is backbreaking work, especially when the bloody snow plough comes around the corner and DUMPS two feet of…

Back with a new adventure

Dear readers, long time no speak. It’s been a long hiatus from the blog. A long, LONG break. The longest I’ve gone without updating, ever. Don’t worry, I am not dead. But, I had good reason for not writing. At the end of 2017, all of a sudden a job opportunity in a new country…

Tamgaly Rock Carvings

We are lost. We must be lost – we have been driving for almost 3 hours and haven’t seen a sign for Tamgaly for about 45 minutes. I forgot to mention, our driver has never been there, and has no GPS. But how can we be lost? There is only one road to Tamgaly, and…

Charyn Canyon – the Valley of Castles

I hate long drives, unless I’m the one doing the driving. There is just something so tedious about sitting in the back seat for hours on end. Especially with a 4-year-old in tow for 200 kilometres! ARE WE THERE YET? Unfortunately, as a first time tourist in Kazakhstan, I was not willing or brave enough…

In the Land of the Wanderers – Trip to Kazakhstan

I had only been in Almaty for about 20 minutes, and already I had managed to embarrass myself. We were all sitting in the backseat of a smoke-scented taxi with a busted windscreen, heading to our hotel, and chatting with the driver Andre, who could speak some pretty decent English, having spent a few years…

Thailand Temptations

Thailand is the kind of place where after a day or two your brain switches gear and starts thinking crazy things, like whether you are too young to get a retirement visa (you have to be 50, for the record), or if there is some other way you can get a visa to stay there…

Bangkok Family Fun

Thailand’s crowded, traffic clogged capital, Bangkok, is not exactly the first place that comes to mind when you think of family friendly activities. Shopping, yes. Food, yes. Night time ‘entertainment’, ladyboy cabarets, street markets, definitely. But family fun? Yes! You would be surprised to learn that in the past ten years, this mega city has…

Sesoko Island

On a hot and sunny Saturday, there’s nothing better to do than fill up the tank of gas, grab your snorkel, and hit the beach. Sesoko Jima (island) is connected to the main Okinawa island by a tiny bridge, and about a 90 minute drive from Naha city up the east coast. After exiting the…

Lake Shikotsu

As mentioned in the previous post, after liming in Sapporo for a night, we were ready for the real adventure – two nights at the Marukoma Onsen hotel at Lake Shikotsu, and a kayaking trip on the lake. The area that comprises the Shikotsu-Toya National Park is very volcanic, and the two lakes are calderas,…

Eat me!

One of the things that I made sure to bring with me from Japan was all of my super cute amazing tools for making bento – lunch boxes – because I knew it would not be available in Hong Kong. Thankfully in Japan they are a dime a dozen, and every dollar store sells them. So how…

Springtime in Sapporo

It is May in the city of Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, Japan’s second largest island. Often referred to as ‘Japan’s Wild North’, the name is well deserved, because although it has a lot of space, Hokkaido remains largely underdeveloped. Just outside the city centre, bears and deer roam free, and within an hour’s drive…

Dai Seki Rin Zan

Do you see it, hiding the rocks? What does it look like? Is it an alien face, peering out?  *cue spooky music* How about this one? A shaggy camel perhaps? And this lovely is most definitely a big crocodile!  Can you see its mouth? Look closely up to the top of the hill – can…