Summer Tag! 

I can’t believe summer is coming to end, it always feels like it goes by too fast. 

This summer has been very adventurous one for me, and I’m looking forward to what Fall has in store for me. However, today I want to take my time to talk about summer. I thought the perfect way to do that is by answering some questions from the Summer tag. Tag posts/videos are very popular on social media and I enjoy them quite a bit. 

Now it’s time to sit down and tell you what I like about summer.

Enjoy.

1. Your dream summer vacation.

My dream summer vacation would definitely be somewhere tropical. Being on the beach and going swimming is a perfect summer activity for me. This summer I had the chance to visit the beautiful Cannon Beach. I haven’t been to the beach in a long time, and I loved it.  

2. Favorite summer drink.  

I typically get a lemonade from Starbucks. For example, I like the Iced Passion Tea Lemonade. It’s delicious and refreshing.

3. S’mores or ice cream?

Why not, two in one!
 

That’s a very hard choice, especially for a summer treat. I prefer s’mores if I’m in the outdoors, camping and enjoying nature. Icecream is perfect on a hot summer day, and let’s face it, no one can say no to icecream. I have to choose both 🙂

4. Pool or Beach?  

Definitely the beach. I dislike swimming in a pool because of the chlorine, so the sea or ocean is the best option.

5. Would you rather spend a summer day outside in the pool or inside watching Netflix?  

Definitely outside in the pool, it would be a wasted day if I was inside. I leave Netflix for the winter, when I’m hibernating.

6. Your most fun summer memory?

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
 

It has to be when I went to the seaside in Bulgaria. Every summer I went with my family and I swam in the Black Sea. I guess that’s why I love the beach.

7. Favorite summer nail polish?  

I like pastel colours for the summer, but I typically like to wear dark colours.

8. Sunglasses or hats?

Both! I have very sensitive eyes so sunglasses are a must. As for hats, I must wear one to protect my head from the heat of the sun. If I don’t wear a hat, I begin to feel sick.

9. Favorite summer scent?

Nothing in particular, but if I had to choose it would be a floral scent.

10. Favorite BBQ food?

I’m a Pescitarian so I would pick veggie dogs aka the fake meat. I also like eating potato salad and corn on a cob.

11. Bikinis, tankinis, or one pieces?

Bikinis, I also like the bottoms that look like shorts.

12. Summertime Book recommendations.

I don’t have anything in particular right now because I’m in the middle of trying to finish five books. I don’t know which one to finish first, but I like the Game of Thrones of books.

I hope you guys enjoyed this fun little post! Tell me what’s your favourite summer memory in the comments box 🙂 

Thanks for reading and see you soon!

East Coast, Meets West Coast 2016! Part II – Granville Island & Gastown.

Welcome back everyone,

Today it’s time for part two of my travelling story! I will be telling you a little bit about Vancouver and the beginning of our road trip to Portland, Oregon.

Where did I leave off? Oh yes, it was the end of our crazy, but fun hiking day. After my intense hike, I remember waking up and feeling really sore. Hiking is the best workout you can get! Even though I was sore, I was happy because I was improving my stamina and getting back into shape. I woke up around noon, my friend slept in a little bit longer so I took advantage of my free time and edited some pictures from the hike. After my friend woke up and we got ready, we went out to grab some sushi. Apparently, sushi in Vancouver is cheaper than in Toronto. That’s actually, for seven bucks we got a nice meal and it was very filling.

Simply delicious

Before my friend went off to work, we drove down to Granville Island by the Harbourfront. 

The scenery of the boats, and the mountains in the distance was lovely.

The mountain is hiding behind the bridge

Granville Island is a shopping district located at the end of Granville Street Bridge. My friend and I hung out near the water for a bit before she went off to work. I decided to go and explore on my own, I walked around taking pictures of the scenery and recording videos for my video montage I’m working on as we speak. When I was done, I decided to put away my camera so I can enjoy my time without feeling the need of documenting every little detail. I decided to go inside the Granville Market and look around for any souvenirs (I used this word a lot on my trip, haha). You could find everything there, meats, pastries, more delicious food and unique homemade products. I bought a Granville Island coaster, I wanted to take a little piece of Granville Island with me to Toronto.

IMG_7340  After I finished browsing around the market, I decided to go and take the bus to Gastown. Gastown is a historic part of Vancouver and a place I’ve always wanted to see in person, it is beautiful part of downtown with an European vibe. I am proud of myself because I managed well on my own with the bus and directions. I always get nervous navigating through a unknown city because I have a poor sense of direction, but I did well. The bus ride was pleasant, I talked to some tourists as well and it was fun to find out from where people are coming from to visit. As soon as I got to Gastown, I was super excited to go and see the famous steam clock in person.

 

IMG_7341
Arrival in GasTown

Before that, I came across a souvenir shop and of course, I had to go inside and buy some gifts for my friends and family. When I was done, I went to take pictures of the clock tower and then I went on a short walk.

IMG_7342
  
I decided to head back to my friend’s place because I had to finish packing for our U.S. road trip. I went to catch the SkyTrain, but I was slightly confused of the transit system. For example, they didn’t have a ticket booth to buy tickets or ask questions, while in Toronto there is one at every station. I almost took the wrong train for the the wrong travel zone, but my intuition guided me to ask a couple how to get to my destination. They guided me and I took the train to my stop. I like the transit system in Vancouver because 1) it’s cheaper 2) we travel above ground and there is actual cellular service. Hallelujah!

Skytrain Station


Inside the Skytrain

 When I arrived at my stop, I hopped on the bus and went home. My friend’s roommate was already at home, so we ended up cooking a delicious healthy dinner, chatting and going for an evening walk to the park. It was probably one of  the most relaxing and enjoyable evenings I’ve had in a long time.

Craving this delicious dinner again


Pleasant walk in the park

 After we got back, I started packing and waiting for my friend come home from work, because we were planning to start driving to Portland, Oregon in the middle of the night. Yes, I am serious! The reason why my friend wanted to leave so early was because of the traffic, we didn’t want to get stuck in traffic for a long time and waste the day. My friend got home a little bit after 12:30am and we were on the road around 2ish ( I can’t remember the exact time). I was super excited to finally go to the States, it was a very exciting moment for me. I’ve never had such a spontaneous trip in the middle of the night, and in general I always plan things ahead of time.  I’ve learned that the best things in life happen, when you are spontaneous and go with the flow. Now back to the story! Soon we arrived at the border, when all the technicalities were taken care of and we showed our passports, we were on our way again. As soon I knew we were on U.S. grounds, I squalled so loud that my friend thought something bad happened. I grew up watching American movies with my family back in Bulgaria and to us the States were a big deal and I was happy to finally see what the fuss is about.

I am going to end this story here and continue with my U.S. road trip story in another post because there is so much to talk about! What I want to know from you guys is, what was your most memorable road trip you’ve had? Share your story below, I would love to read it.

Thanks for reading and see you soon 🙂

 

East Coast, Meets West Coast 2016! Part I – Stawamus Chief Hike.

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog, my apologies for that but I recently came back from a vacation. After 15 years of living in Canada, I finally went on my first big vacation. I know, what have I been doing all this time? Well, not too much but the top two reasons why I haven’t traveled anywhere is because of 1) financial reasons 2) busy with other daily life demands. I did travel to Montreal three times and to Niagara Falls once, but I don’t count these locations as big travel trips.

In Fall 2015, my friend moved from Toronto to Vancouver City, if you are from Canada then you know BC is popular for its beautiful nature and scenery. When my friend moved away, she kept asking me to come for a visit, but always said ” I don’t know, should I splurge money like that” and in that moment I decided, “Yes, now is the time and if not now then when?” I began to save money and in March I purchased my flight ticket, which was relatively cheap for what you usually get. When I say cheap, I meant from the $400 dollar range and that’s pretty good. The countdown began and the excitement started to build up as the departure date arrived closer and closer. I even downloaded a countdown app on my phone and I checked it everyday.

July 23, 2016 finally arrived and I was so excited I’m finally going somewhere different, and being stuck in one place all the time is very dull. My plane departure was slightly late but my overall my flight experience was enjoyable. I made sure I had items to entertain me for 5 hours such as a book, my music and one of those adult coloring books.

 

Life worries seem so trivial when you have a bird’s eye view of the world

Cotton candy clouds!

My flight going to Vancouver felt longer, but the minute we landed I was overwhelmed with excitement.

 

Arrival at Vancouver Airport

From the airport I took a cab to my friends place, I wasn’t planning on taking the SkyTrain when I had so much luggage and the transit system would be confusing for a first timer in VanCity. The car ride was nice, the first thing I noticed was the clear sky and how well the moon was seen. In Toronto you can’t see the moon very well and it appears very tiny, in VanCity it appears larger and closer to Earth. It was cool to witness that and I could also see the stars in the sky, in Toronto you have to go to cottage country to get that view. That’s what impressed me the most on my first night in Vancouver.

 

Bright big moon over Vancouver harbourfront 

I arrived at the house in 20-25 min, and surprisingly I didn’t feel jetlagged at all. That was good because the next morning we had to be up early to go on a six hour hike. Yes, six hours but it turned out to be a bit longer. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do in Vancouver was to go hiking and I was thrilled I got the chance to do that. We went to Squamish which is an hour away from Vancouver, where the Stawamus Chief hike is located. It offers a beautiful scenic view of Howe Sound and several mountains in Garibaldi Provincial Park. The views were incredible, I’ve never seen anything so beautiful before and I was in awe of the British Columbia’s beauty.

Before you enter and begin the to hike up to the top of the Chief, near the parking lot you will find Shannon Falls. Shannon Falls is a beautiful waterfall surrounded by trees and there were a ton of tourists taking pictures and simply enjoying each others company.

Shannon Falls


After we finished admiring the Falls, we started walking through a short trail to enter the Chief.

Our view before entering the Chief
The hiking trail that led us to the Chief

 The estimated time of the hike is six hours, the level of hiking is considered intermediate but it didn’t feel that way to me. There are three peaks and to get to the first peak, we had to climb steep wooden stairs that slowly transitioned into rock stairs. At first I was fine, but then it started to hit me, my heartbeat was off the charts and my face was almost as red as a tomato. Oh and of course, I was sweating profusely. I stopped many times while I was climbing the stairs, but luckily I wasn’t the only one in the group who did that. I was starting to feel nauseous too, it wasn’t a good feeling but I knew I felt that way because I didn’t enough hiking experience. Halfway through the hike to peak one, we stumbled across a “lemonade stand”. There was a couple waiting for hikers and giving out lemonade to them! I thought that was the most thoughtful thing I’ve seen, it is special because they they were regular people who only wanted to help out make the hiking experience a little bit more manageable. It wasn’t free, but there wasn’t a particular price you had to pay, you payed what you could. While I was enjoying my lemonade, I sat down to admire the scenery in front of me. All you could see was trees everywhere and I loved it.

Our view when we made a pit stop to enjoy some lemonade

We took a little bit of breather before we continued climbing up to the first peak, that’s when it got a little bit tricky. We reached a steep area where we had to use chains to climb up, it was challenging but I decided to push through. Even though this hike was difficult and we stopped many times on the way to peak one, I decided to keep going. I didn’t want to give up, I may be a less experienced hiker, but my willpower is stronger. My friends were impressed that on my first day in VanCity, I completed such a difficult hike. I gotta admit, I was quite proud of myself and it showed me I can accomplish anything I wanted. That’s not the end, when we reached peak one it was the most beautiful sight. We took time to rest, take lots of photos and eat to increase our energy for the second peak.

Peak 1


Breathtaking view from peak 1

After a much needed rest, we started again! It was fun to do this hike a lot of people, we were chatting and enjoying this experience to the fullest. The hike up to the second peak was not so bad, instead of stairs, now we had lots of rocks. We took our time climbing, but then for the first time during the hike I got scared. There were some elevated rock we had to jump on while using chains to bring ourselves upwards. For one of the rocks, I had lift my leg high up in the air and jump up to grab onto the chains. I was suddenly terrified, I have a fear of heights that subsided two years ago but I’m not completely over it yet. So when I looked behind and saw what would happen if I didn’t jumped properly, I simply panicked. Embarrassingly, I screamed out loud during my first try! The scream was a genuine feeling of fear, but one of my friends stayed with me and encouraged me that I can do it. So my willpower kicked in again and I build up the courage to jump up and grab onto these chains. I pulled myself up and I climbed onto the hill, I am lucky to have such supportive friends who encouraged me and helped me get over my fear. We had to climb a little bit further to get to the second peak which was more uphill, but eventually we made it to the top.

Peak 2


In the distance you will see the Garibaldi Provincial Park

 At that point, I was absolutely exhausted and I rested for a while. We completed our usual routine of taking pictures, we were lucky enough to have some people at the second peak who offered to take a few group shots of us. I was dreading the next moment because that meant we had to continue climbing to the final peak, and I didn’t want to. My friends were contemplating a bit and the person who was taking our pictures told us it’ll take a long time to get there. I was hoping that would be convincing enough to change their minds and go back, but some of us were determined to complete the full hike. My friends knew I didn’t want to, but they told me it would be worth it in the end. It was worth it, I would do it again if I had to. I can’t remember exactly, but it took us an hour and half to get to the third peak. The hike to the third peak was not that bad, it was actually easier than the other ones. Once we got the final peak, I felt a sense of satisfaction that I completed such a difficult hike with minimum hiking experience. I was so proud of myself and my friends were too!

Peak 3, just in time for the sunset


On our way down we decided to take a short cut, we were led by our friend who knows the way and if we didn’t have him, we would be lost. The short cut was not that easy, there were lots of rocks and steep hills, therefore going down was not easy. My pace was slow because I didn’t want to fall down and hurt myself, it took while to get down and our goal was to get back to those stairs we climbed earlier. Because we were in the forest, it was starting to get dark, not too much but we had to hurry to get down. Me and two of my friends were ahead, and I was on the lookout to find these stairs and also to the hear the waterfall. If I heard the waterfall, that meant we close to exiting the Chief in a hour. Luckily, I am very observant so as soon I heard the waterfall I told my two other friends who were behind us. We started climbing down the stairs, but it was getting even darker. I got a little bit nervous, but I knew we were going the right way so the feeling quickly went away. We were way ahead of our two friends, so as soon we made it down, we sat down to rest and wait for them. Shortly after that they showed up and we were all reunited. We started walking back to the parking lot, we walked by a camp site near the entrance of the Chief, one day I’ll go back and camp out there.

We got onto the trail we used to enter the Chief and night view of the mountains was stunning! Of course, we stopped and took a few photos!

Photo credit goes out to my friend! Stunning view of the mountain at night, after we left the Chief

Soon we got into the car, and drove to Boston Pizza to eat dinner because we were starving. After dinner, my friend dropped off the others and we went back home. I slept like a baby that night, and the next morning I was very sore haha, but it was worth. I am so glad I spend time with these amazing people, for nine hours we got to know each other a little bit and I’ll never forget that amazing day!

As you can tell from the title of this post, this is part one of my story. There is so much to share about this trip, so I’ll be splitting up the story into parts. The next part of my story will take place in the United States and the awesome road trip we had.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, let me know if you go hiking and if you do share with us what’s the toughest hike you’ve ever done.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for part two of my 2016 travelling story!

See you soon.

Update!

Hello everyone,

My apologies for my absence, I am currently on vacation in Vancouver City and I was on a road trip to Oregon and Washinton State.

I have a lot of new content for you guys and travelling stories so stay tuned 🙂

See you soon!