My Travels

New York City

Hello Folks,

So I’ve been meaning to write this blog post for a long time, but due to laziness and procrastination, I kept putting it off. With going back to school this new year, I’ve been trying really hard to cross off everything on my to-do list.

This September one of my oldest friends, who I commonly refer to as my big sissy, Martina, messaged me about a seat sale with Porter Airlines. It was a couple days after my 21st birthday and I just thought “why not”. Before I knew it, we had booked our flight for a week in New York City (which neither of us had ever been to).

Before I knew it, a month had went by and it was time for our trip!

*Disclaimer: a lot of this trip is eating and walking around

Wednesday

  • We left for New York on Wednesday, October 26th (yes this post is very late)
  • While waiting in line for security in Ottawa I warned Martina “I always getting stopped for these”, she said she does too and we laughed about it, until about 3 minutes later when the women checked my ticket and told me that I had been chosen “at random” to be searched
  • They checked Martina too because she was traveling with me, but after patting down my body, checking the bottom of my feet, going through my whole suitcase (including my underwear – thank you airport security man for fondling those) and ruining the packing job I had spent an hour doing perfectly, we were set to go
  • Of course until we got to our transfer in Toronto and instead of going to the lounge to wait for our connecting flight like all the other passengers on our flight, I was brought specially upstairs to go through security AGAIN, where they found nothing, AGAIN (*sigh*)
  • Our flight arrived in New Jersey in the evening and we spent the rest of the night just trekking to Brooklyn (where we were staying in an airbnb)

Thursday

  • We started the morning by exploring Chelsea Market, doing a bit of shopping and getting breakfast
  • We walked a lot of High Line Park, even though it was a bit chilly haha
  • We tried some People Pop’s
  • We decided to do Madame Tussaud’s and after making it to the end we were sure we missed something because it felt way too short, to which one of their employees responded “Ya a lot of people say that”… moral of the story, don’t waste your money on the Madame Tussaud’s in NYC haha
  • We stopped at Carlo’s Bakery to enjoy some (not so) deserved treats
  • We explored Times Square, ate typical tourist food (i.e. pretzels and hot dogs)
  • And lastly, we saw Chicago the musical!

Friday 

  • Friday was rainy, which kind of sucked so we did a lot of indoor activities today
  • We started our day by going to Sarah Beth’s for brunch after seeing tons of glowing reviews online
  • The place was more on the expensive side, but I can say that I hands down had the best Eggs Benedict I’ve ever had in my life
  • We then went to the Museum of Natural History
  • And then we went to the Museum of Modern Art, which ended up being one of my favourite parts of the trip
  • P.S. Most of these museums are “pay what you wish” and yes, they’ll give you dirty looks if you pay $5 for two people when the recommended price is like $15-20 each, but they’ll still let you in hahahahaha
  • We ended our night by going to Junior’s for cheesecake (after a recommendation from our friend Karen) and then headed back to Brooklyn!

Saturday

  • We hoped to spend Saturday in Central Park, but yet again it was raining so we made some last minute changes to our plans
  • We started our day with bottomless mimosas at Poco’s (after they just squeezed us in without a reservation)
  • We went to Grand Central Station
  • We ate (more) food at Magnolia’s Bakery
  • At this point I was drunk and essentially falling asleep in Grand Central Station, so we decided to head back to Brooklyn for a little siesta haha
  • After our much needed nap, we decided to go to the Guggenheim (or as the person behind us referred to it as the “Guggen-line) because it was the “free” night, I don’t think either of us were really that phased by the exhibits and decided to leave to, you probably guessed it, get more food haha
  • With an amazing recommendation from our friends Norma and Miller, we decided to check out Roberta’s (back in Brooklyn haha), we waited a while because yet again we had no reservations, but it was worth it because I truly think it was some of the best pizza I’ve ever had, and the place is super cute as well

Sunday

  • Finally some sun!
  • We started our day walking through Prospect Park, which wasn’t too far from our Airbnb
  • We went to Smorgasbord, which is like an outside food market, for lunch and ended up eating like a 5 course meal. Martina made some sacrifices only eating vegetarian food so we could split everything
  • From there we checked out Dumbo, which wasn’t at all what we thought it was going to be, but a lot of people were getting wedding photos taken there and it did have a beautiful view
  • Then we took a short(ish) walk to the Brooklyn Bridge and then walked the length of that
  • After that we took a ferry to Staten Island so we could see the Statue of Liberty (p.s. this is a nice free way of seeing the Statue of Liberty, it’s not the best view, but if you were just looking at crossing it off your NYC bucket list and didn’t want to spend a ton of money, this may be for you)
  • Since we were kind of, not really near by, we decided to do Canal Street/China town
  • After a quick google/pinterest search we ended up at a restaurant called Nom Wah Tea Parlour for dinner, and I know I’ve said this like 5 times already, but honestly the best chinese food I’ve ever had
  • We got in no problem without reservations (I’m only making note of this incase anyone may be planning their own trip)
  • After that we walked through Little Italy and a bit of SOHO before heading back to Brooklyn

Monday

  • Monday was our last day in NYC and we thankfully got some sun!
  • We started our day at the Bagel Store where I got to try the Rainbow Bagel with the funfetti cream cheese (probably a little bit too much sugar for the morning haha)
  • We did the Met
  • Walked through Central Park
  • Took (probably way too many) photos at Belvedere Castle where Martina told me to “stop holding her hand” in the photos *sigh* I was just trying to be cute
  • We went through Strawberry Fields and stopped at the “Imagine” mural
  • After being convinced by a rickshaw driver to take a tour, and thanks to Martina for being a good barterer, we did the little bike tour of Central Park
  • The driver brought us to Bethesda Fountain (or the fountain from “Friends”) and we took a jumping photo. Since we were both wearing dresses I was hesitant in the first place, but with some convincing from our driver we decided to try anyways. Martina’s dress ended up going up and she may have kind of flashed our driver, but it made for a good laugh and an even better photo haha

IMG_0110.JPG

  • We hit up all the classic stops in Central Park, and I actually highly recommend one of these little tours cause the drivers know so much information about the Park, and you get to find out all the weird things like the celebrities that live near by and how much they pay for rent haha
  • We ended up going to a Mac and Cheese place for dinner and while we were there we were brainstorming on what we should do for the rest of the night, I don’t know how we came upon seeing a comedy show but thats what we ended up doing
  • We went to a comedy club, which I unfortunately don’t remember the name of (re: Martina says it was called the Comedy Cellar), and got our name put on a waiting list (because yet again we didn’t make reservations haha)
  • When it was time for the show, the bouncer called people’s names out in order on the waitlist and people cheered as people made it into the show
  • Martina and I ended up being the last two people allowed off the wait list before the club was at capacity and they stopped letting people in. Talk about good luck.
  • The show ended up being hilarious, probably because most of the comedians were writers for TV shows and what not, but it was definitely one of my favourite impromptu decisions from our trip
  • From there we headed back to Brooklyn and got ready to head home the following morning

Tuesday

We returned to Ottawa

img_3244img_3189

I honestly had the best time, and although my photos are few and far between (although it seems like there’s a lot here) I spent a lot of the trip just enjoying my time with my big sissy and best friend. So long live spontaneous trips, blurry iPhone photos and eating way past full.

Love always,
Kate

Last Stop: England and Canada

Hello Folks,

After Amsterdam I headed back to Liverpool in hopes of seeing the city without rain, and by some stroke of luck it actually happened! I spent a couple days there before heading to Brighton and then to London and then back to Canada!


Sunburn from my last day in London (Heathrow Airport, London, England) 

I’ve been home for a week now and have been re-living the whole trip while writing my last couple blog posts. Now it’s back to normal life and adult responsibilities. I’ve been updating my resume in hopes of getting a job in my field once I’ve returned from visiting my family up north. If anyone’s in need of an Event Planner get in touch haha!

Tomorrow I leave to go visit my family and I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to enter the boonies. To give you a little perspective, my home town is six hours north of Ottawa. Due to school being so overwhelming this year, and then leaving for my trip, I haven’t been home since Christmas! One of my grandma’s was diagnosed with and beat lung cancer in that time. It’s crazy how much I’ve missed being away at school. I’m excited to catch up with everyone and just spend some quality time before heading back to Ottawa to work.

I was thinking of doing a little “about me” questionnaire post, if I can find a good set of questions online. Keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in getting to know a little more about who I am. As well, at anytime if you have any additional questions feel free to ask in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer!

Love always,
Kate

Next stop: Netherlands

Hello Folks,

The last country I had the pleasure of visiting before looping back to the UK was the Netherlands. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed the drive from Paris to Amsterdam. Yes 9 hours was long, but with a book in my lap and Belgium and Netherlands countryside out my window, it made for a good drive. I wish I had more time for everything, but especially Amsterdam and the Netherlands. It was a last minute decision to go at all, with me booking my bus the night before and my hostel the morning of. If I can offer a piece of advice for anyone planning to visit Amsterdam, DON’T GO ON A WEEKEND. I myself am eighty at heart and not much of a party person and it ended up costing me so much more to stay in the city because it was a weekend. If I would have had more time to plan I would have visited at a different time, but unfortunately I had to loop back to England soon as my flight was a round trip, so it was a sort of “now or never” decision, and although I got completely ripped off with hostel prices, it was still completely worth it.

Cities Visited
1. Amsterdam

Highlights
1. The Anne Frank Museum
2. Having Emilee (a girl I met in Paris) to explore with
3. Seeing Alan Rickman in a museum
4. Constantly having something beautiful to look at (including the people – what’s in the water here?!)

Downsides
1. It rained morning to night my last day in the city
2. My hostel cost me a fortune

Favourite Shots


Canal and buildings (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

IMG_2342
Cute shop (Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Dusk (Amsterdam, Netherlands)


Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

IMG_5548
Unedited canal (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

IMG_5535
Alan Rickman ? (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Love always,
Kate

Next Stop: France

Hello Folks,

After just under a week in Dublin visiting Emma and being a tourist, I headed to the Dublin airport on route to Lyon! Once at the Lyon airport, after a tram ride, multiple train change overs and walking around aimlessly for hours, I finally made it to the hostel. The staff was super friendly, but the hostel itself was inside a parking garage and had no sort of security system. The bedrooms had no locking system as well, so essentially anyone off the street could walk into the hostel and more importantly into our rooms where we sleep, but that’s just a minor detail I wanted to rant about. The city itself was colourful and lively, while maintaining a low-key type of feeling. I think this was because it didn’t have the same hustle and bustle as all the other tourist-type cities I’d been visiting. I spent only a couple of nights in Lyon before heading to Paris. I stayed in Paris for just under a week (are you noticing a pattern?), but I wish it could have been more. The city was absolutely beautiful and there was so much to do but alas, at the end of the week I had to pack up my bag and move on to the next country: the Netherlands.

Cities Visited
1. Lyon
2. Paris

Highlights
1. The relaxing atmosphere in Lyon
2. Seeing the Eiffel tower sparkle
3. The nice weather – for once!
4. Seeing the Love Lock Bridge before it was removed
5. The tubes and easy navigation in Paris

Downsides
1. My hostel in Lyon was in a parking garage with no security what-so-ever
2. The smell of urine in various parts of Paris

Favourite Shots

IMG_4803
Colourful little cacti (Lyon, France)


 
Little cacti (Lyon, France)


Flowers for sale (Lyon, France)

IMG_4802
Panorama of the canal (Lyon, France)


Sacre-Coeur (Paris, France) 

IMG_5371
The horrendous hanging tennis ball (Paris, France) 

IMG_5367
Park beside Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France)

IMG_5372
Obstructed view (Paris, France)

IMG_5218
Panorama of The Louvre (Paris, France)

IMG_1847
View from the top (Paris, France) 

IMG_2150
Unedited view from The Arch De Triomphe (Paris, France)

Love always,
Kate

Next Stop: Ireland

Hello Folks,

After an early wake up and a quick packing of my bag, I headed to the Edinburgh airport on route to Dublin! A short flight later I found myself waiting for my shuttle bus outside the Dublin airport. I made my way to my friend Emma’s house and settled in until she came home from work. Emma is from Alberta and we’ve been visiting each other various summers for years now. Last summer she visited me in Ottawa and came to Osheaga with my sister and I in Montreal. Recently she had relocated to Dublin, and I couldn’t think of a better opportunity to get my summer visit in! I ended up spending just under a week in Dublin before heading to Lyon.

Cities Visited
1. Dublin
2. Galway

Highlights
1. The Cliffs of Moher
2. Seeing my lovely friend Emma
3. The accents (voted most attractive in the world I may add)
4. Finding out I had a day more than I thought!
5. The picturesque views

Downsides
1. The temperamental weather

Favourite Shots


Myself at the Cliffs of Moher (Ireland) 


Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)


Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)


Cliffs of Moher (Ireland)


Street Performer (Dublin, Ireland)


Park (Dublin, Ireland)


Street Gallery (Dublin, Ireland)

IMG_4453
Temple Bar (Dublin, Ireland) 

IMG_4437
Costumed Men (Dublin, Ireland)

IMG_4445
Street Performer (Dublin, Ireland)

Love always,
Kate

Next Stop: Scotland

Hello Folks,

After leaving Syd in Leicester, I caught a train to Edinburgh! I spent four nights there, which in hindsight ended up being a tad bit too long and I wish I would have explored more of Scotland. I had heard such good things about Edinburgh and how much there was to see so I wanted to make sure I had enough time for everything. Not to mention re-packing a backpack every day or two is a huge pain in the butt and I’m clearly much too lazy for that haha.

Cities Visited
1. Edinburgh

Highlights
1. Climbing Arthur’s Seat
2. Ice cream from Mary’s Milk Bar
3. My hostel (https://kickasshostels.co.uk)
4. The free walking tour of the city
5. All the cute little independent shops
6. Beautiful museums

Downsides
1. Spent too much time in one place
2. Some bitchy waitress at The Elephant House gave me dirty water

Favourite Shots


First night (Edinburgh, Scotland)


Bagpipes (Edinburgh, Scotland) 


Museum of Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland)


Arthur’s Seat (Edinburgh, Scotland)


Mary’s Milk Bar (Edinburgh, Scotland)


Lovely view (Edinburgh, Scotland) 

IMG_4270
Castle and shops (Edinburgh, Scotland)

IMG_4206
Panorama of Arthur’s Seat #1 (Edinburgh, Scotland)

IMG_4221
Panorama of Arthur’s Seat #2 ft. Arthur (Edinburgh, Scotland) 

IMG_4222
Panorama of Arthur’s Seat #3 (Edinburgh, Scotland)

IMG_4177
The Elephant House (Edinburgh, Scotland)

IMG_4166
Proof of my dirty water haha (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Love always,
Kate

First Stop: England

Hello Folks,

I started my journey by flying into London, but actually I immediately caught a coach to Leicester where I would be staying with my friend Sydney for around 10 days. While staying in Leicester I took an overnight trip to Sheffield and Howden to visit family and from there went to Liverpool for the day to explore. I finished off my time in Leicester before heading off to Scotland. As my plane ticket was a round trip, I ended up making my way back up to England at the end of my time in Europe, which is when I visited Liverpool for a second (and much less rainy) time, as well as Brighton and finally London and Little Harrowden.

Cities Visited
1. Leicester
2. Sheffield
3. Howden
4. Liverpool
5. Brighton
6. London
7. Little Harrowden

Highlights
1. Seeing my lovely friend Sydney
2. Getting to meet a small handful of my British family
3. Absolutely everything about Brighton: the seaside, the tiny shops, the delicious restaurants
4. The best dessert I’ve ever had – a cheese cake brownie from Cloud 9 in Brighton
5. Seeing the Cavern Club Beatles tribute band*
6. The accents (my weakness haha)

Downsides
1. Not having appropriate rain gear
2. The awful conver$ion rate
3. Not having enough time to explore more of England

Favourite Shots


Sydney & I (Leicester, England) 


A very rainy day (Liverpool, England)

IMG_4082
“George” from the Cavern Club Beatles Tribute Band (Liverpool, England) *


Dream houses (Brighton, England)


The best brownie I’ve ever had (Brighton, England)

IMG_5828
Beach huts (Brighton, England

IMG_2485
Unedited Tower Bridge (London, England) 

IMG_2447
Unedited Big Ben (London, England)

Love always,
Kate

*If you’re ever in Liverpool, I advise you check them out. Here is their website: http://www.cavernclub.org/beatleweek-bands-guest-speakers/the-cavern-club-beatles/