Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Drumheller Alberta: Dinosaur Paradise!




The first stop on our 10 day West Coast, Canada Vacation: Drumheller Alberta.



Day 1

Our day started with a flight from Toronto into Calgary, picking up our rental car and starting our journey to Drumheller. Once we got there it began chucking it down with rain, in fact the town was under a weather watch for extremely high winds and hail. We sorta managed to avoid the worst of it, but we did get the rain. So what is there to do in Drumheller in the rain? Only the best dinosaur museum ever! This is a must do if you are in the area.


Day 2

First up we headed out to find a little white church, and I mean tiny!


Then we headed to one of my favourite view-points called Horsethief Canyon. It is an area well documented for finding dinosaur fossils (including an alligator from 72 million years ago).


After visiting a location where there is the possibility of finding real dinosaur fossils, our next stop was visiting the World's Largest Dinosaur.... Statue. You can also pay to climb to the top and look out the Dino's mouth!


Drumheller is also home to numerous small dinosaur statues. We found it a fun challenge to try and find as many as we could!


Next we headed to the Hoodoos. The interesting rock formations are formed by erosion. I had visited similar rock formations in Turkey so I was excited to see how our Canadian version compared. The area is smaller than I imagined but it is really beautiful and unique.

*** Wear hiking shoes if you plan on exploring the area. Otherwise you can still take photos and walk on some platforms but you wont want to do much else as it is extremely slippery.

 

After the Hoodoos we left Drumheller and headed towards Banff. Our stop for the night was in Canmore!
 
More blog posts coming soon!


Thursday, 9 November 2017

Spring Packing List for Banff / Icefields


*All items above are featured in my Polyvore!

When I was getting ready for my trip to the West Coast of Canada (one of the first stops being in Banff, Alberta) I was quite puzzled on what to pack. I looked up average temperatures in May, but that made it even more difficult. It gave warm highs and chilly lows and always included the possibility of snow. As a Canadian I know all too well the way weather can go from sunny to snow in a difference of  a few minutes. So I decided to pack for all weather just to be safe. So here is a list of what I brought and what I actually wore!

Coats:  Rain Coat  and Denim Coat

🗹 Windproof/Waterproof Coat: It was my most worn article of clothing on the entire trip. It was great for a variety of weather conditions as it is quite lightweight but also easy to layer to add warmth.

Denim coat: Didn't get too much wear out of it. Save the space.


Tops:  Peace Collective and Roots are two of my Fav shops for Canadian clothing!

☑ Sweatshirts: Bring a few especially a warm fleece one for the Icefields!

☑ Tops: Bring a few lightweight long sleeve and short sleeve tops for layering with jackets & sweatshirts.

⌧☑ Tank Tops: Only really needed for hiking or a photo-op  otherwise skip.


Bottoms:

☑ Leggings: fleece lined pair (great for Icefields) and regular athletic Leggings

☑ Hiking pants: I used Lululemon Studio Pants as hiking pants, which worked out great. But any loose, lightweight, quick dry pants would work!

Jeans: Only wore to dinner, could have skipped.


Footwear: 

☑ Hiking Shoes: Keen Hiking Shoes  Hiking shoes are essential for hiking obviously but even for non-hiking related events such as the Icefields you need shoes with good grip.

☑ Booties: Ugg Boots  I liked having a second footwear option to wear to dinners or elsewhere. Your second pair of shoes could be anything I just chose booties!

☑⌧ Sandals: Birkenstocks I liked having sandals for car rides, hotel breakfasts and quick outings! But for the time of year they really aren't needed.


Accessories:

☑ Socks:  I brought two different types of socks
- for my hiking shoes I used Wright Socks. They have a double layer and are blister proof.
- for my booties I used Roots Cabin Socks.

☑ Backpack: Fjallraven backpack is a great backpack but any backpack will do! This is really only needed for hiking so that you can carry water and small items like cameras.

☑ Purse: I used a Kate Spade Crossbody Purse with a zipper closure. I find the zipper the most important part of a purse for traveling but also one that will fit my camera, wallet and phone at the same time.

Hat / Gloves: I didn't need mine but if you enjoy wearing them or aren't use to chilly/mild temperatures then there's no harm in bringing them.

☑ Swimsuit: The hot springs in the Banff area are a must do. They really do work wonders on relaxing your muscles after a day of hiking.

☑ Camera(s):  I used 3; my IPhone, Canon Camera & GoPro

The Canon PowerShot SX730 is a great purse/pocket sized camera with 40x Optical Zoom and 20.3 Megapixels.

The GoPro Car Mount is one of my favourite additions to this trip. I have previously used a GoPro but always for its under water capability. I bought the car mount for this trip and love looking back at the videos of driving through the mountains!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

West Coast Canada Itinerary

10 Day West Coast Canada Itinerary
 
Before I get into my day-by-day posts with much more detail, I thought I would post an outline of my itinerary. The time frame for my vacation was 10 days (May 24-June 2) and I did a bit of sightseeing in both Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.




Day 1
- Flight Toronto to Calgary
- Pick up Rental Car at Airport
  (Jeep Patriot)
- Drive to Drumheller
- Check into Hotel
  (Ramada Drumheller)

- Royal Tyrell Museum
  (amazing dinosaur museum)


 
Day 2
- Little White Church
- Horsethief Canyon
- Biggest Dinosaur in the World
- Find Dino's around town
- HooDoos
- Drive to Canmore
- Check into Hotel
(Rocky Mountain Inn Canmore)
- Explore Canmore Town

- Drive Lake Minnewanka Loop (Banff)

Day 3
- Drive to Banff
- Drive Bow Valley Parkway (w.pitstops)
- Lake Louise
- Moraine Lake
- Drive to Yoho National Park
- Natural Bride / Emerald Lake
- Drive Back through Bow Valley Parkway
- Check into Hotel
(Charltons Banff)
- Explore Banff



Day 4
- Drive to Icefields
(with lots of pitstops)
- Icefields Explorer
- Glacier Skywalk
- Drive to Kootenay National Park (Continental Divide)
- Drive Lake Minnewanka Loop
- Vermillion Lakes Drive
- Hotel (Charltons Banff)
 


 Day 5
- Surprise Corner
- Banff Gondola
- Bow Valley Parkway
- Hike Johnston Canyon
- Upper Hot Springs Banff
- Check in to Hotel
(Fairmont Banff Springs)
- Explore Banff Town

- Relax at Fairmont

Day 6
- Drove all day - from Banff to Hope BC


Day 7
- Drive 2 hours to Vancouver
- Check into hotel (Buchan)
- Drop off Rental Car
- Begin 2 day hop-on-hop-off tour - complete one circuit
- Get off bus in Stanley Park
- Van Aquarium
- Explore Stanley Park
- Walk the SeaWall



Day 8
- Laughing Statues
- Canada Place
(get bus to Capilano)

- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Treetop Walk
- Grouse Mountain
- Explore more of VanCity
- Grandville Island
- Explore Canada Place

Day 9
- Picked up by Whale Watching Company
- Drive to Stevenson BC
Whale Watching time:
- Bald Eagles
- California Sea Lions
- Steller Sea Lions
- Orcas
- Harbour Seals


Day 10
- Flight Vancouver to Toronto

Thursday, 8 June 2017

West Coast Canada Sneak Peak!


Hello All,

I'm back again! I just got back from 10 days exploring Canada's West Coast! First up was Alberta where we spent time in: Drumheller, Canmore, Banff, Icefields Parkway and Yoho National Park (technically BC). Then we drove to BC and did some exploring around Vancouver as well as Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain!

I will be doing quite a few blog posts breaking down each part of my trip but for now here's a few of my Fav pics!!


 






 

STAY TUNED FOR MORE POSTS!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Travel Diary Iceland: Day 4


For Day 4 (our final day in Iceland) we visited the famous Blue Lagoon! This place now has a spot in my top 10 fav places I have ever been traveling! I figured for this travel diary I would do something a little different since the pictures speak for themselves I am just going to give a bit of info (maybe questions you might want to know before visiting) and then any tips I have!
 
BOOK in Advance!!! No matter when you are going I would book in advance as this place often sells out! I booked it a week or two before visiting and I was limited to booking times and by the time I got to Iceland it was sold out for my entire stay so had I not pre-booked I would not have gotten tickets.
 
The Blue Lagoon is actually closer to the airport than to Reykjavik, so it is best to combine booking your trip here with either an airport arrival or departure! This also can save you a bit of money as you can combine airport pickup/drop-off with your blue lagoon tour. We chose to do this before departure so we booked the earliest morning pickup possible. The bus picked us up at the hotel, dropped us off at a bus station where we exchanged our printed tickets for actual tickets and then hopped on a new bus to the Blue Lagoon. You don't need to book your pickup time from the blue lagoon as the buses run regularly, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you are heading to the airport! (You are given a schedule of pickup times).
 
Luggage? The first building you see after getting off the bus is for luggage storage. For an extra fee you drop your suitcases off here. We did this and then only brought a smaller bag with the necessities and valuables inside with us. It is handy if you pre-organize what you want to bring inside with you!
 
Feeling Spendy or Thrifty? While getting your bracelet you also have the option to rent towels, robes, slippers and even swimsuits. If you are visiting the Blue Lagoon in the winter and/or part of a layover than I recommend renting all of the above (well maybe bring a swimsuit). If you are visiting in the summer or during an extended stay in Iceland then you may wish to bring your own towel and flip flops and skip the additional fees. There are many hot springs around Iceland so it may come in handy and save you money to bring your own.  
 
Hair Conditioner - Inside the change rooms you will be told that you must shower naked (there are stalls with curtains) before you will be able to enter the pool area. They do ask that you shower before putting your swimsuit on, so you may want to just enter the shower area in your towel with swimsuit in hand and then you wont be bothered by the staff. While showering they do have free conditioner to load into your hair but don't rinse it out! This is literally the most important tip I can give you. I have heard horror stories of what the water can do to your hair. I loaded mine with conditioner and put it up in a bun and never dipped my head under the water and had no issues.
 
Don't forget your hair brush! After swimming with your hair loaded in conditioner you are going to want to wash and brush it out!
 
Give yourself plenty of time! It is very relaxing (even with frigid air temperatures) and you wont want to get out. So give yourself a good 3 hours-half day minimum to spend here!
 
If visiting in the Winter: Enter the water through the indoor pool and then use a pool door to get outside. This limits the amount of cold air touching your body.
 
Bring a GoPro or Lifeproof case! I used a Lifeproof case on my iPhone and was so glad to have had it! Although they may not compare with the quality of my Canon camera it is better than nothing! and you can capture some memories!
 




 

 This is my opening the door reaction! WOW that air is cold!


 

 
After a bit of a swim around it was mask time!! If you have just paid for a basic entry you get the white mask free of charge - if you have paid for more of a deluxe package you get an extra green mask for afterwards.


 

 
 After rinsing off the mask it was time for a drink!