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3 Days in Paris

Paris is a beautiful city that you can probably wander around for a lot longer than 3 days, but when you’re limited on time 3 days in Paris is magical.

Day 1: Welcome to Paris!

Check into your accommodations and freshen up before heading out to explore the city.
We stayed at a lovely Airbnb apartment in Montmartre, right about the quaint shops.

Hop on the Big Bus Tour to get a glimpse of the city. Yes, this is super touristy but it’s one of the best ways to see all the famous landmarks around the city without killing your feet. Because of the great experience I had on the Big Bus Tours I look for them in any major city I go to.

Take in the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, you have the option to go up and view the city but might I suggest going up the Arc de Triomphe instead? They say the view from the Eiffel Tower is beautiful but it’s missing one thing…the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Grab a sandwich or savory crepe from Happy Caffe and walk through the Jardin des Tuileries Garden until you find the Louvre Museum, you won’t have time to explore all the art but you can look into the eyes of Mona Lisa. If you have an extra day to spare you should lend it to the Louvre so you can appreciate the beauty it has to share.

Next walk along The Seine River and the Bouquinistes, which are the green boxes were you’ll find merchants selling books, art and souvenirs. Take a stroll along one of the bridges to Notre Dame Cathedral and take a moment to appreciate the Gothic architecture. After exploring the area make your way to Shakespeare and Company and purchase a book or two.

You are now in the Latin Quarter, wonder the streets until you find the perfect location for dinner.

End your night with a good view of the Eiffel Tower on the hour to watch the lights dance around fill you with childlike wonder.

Day 2: Paris explorer!

Spend the morning walking around Montmartre and up the steps up to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica. Follow in Amélie’s foot steps to Cafe Des 2 Moulins to take a few photos before heading to lunch at La boite aux lettres.

After lunch it’s time to explore the famous Paris Catacombs, spend a couple of hours walking through tunnels lined with human bones.

Now it’s time to walk like royalty through the immense grounds that is The Palace of Versailles. Or if walking is now a bore to you with your royal mindset you can rent a bike and ride through the gardens.

If you have a kitchen in your accommodation pick up some items to have a home cooked meal. You can get fresh cheese, baguettes, meats, pasta and sauce to make a hopefully memorable meal.

Day 3: Disneyland Paris!

Get up! We’re going to Disneyland Paris!

A bit out of the city but easy to get to, you’ll want to arrive and line up before the park opens. I suggest starting at Walt Disney Studios to knock out the big rides before heading over to Disneyland where you’ll probably spend most of your time.

Spend the day being a big kid, run around with happiness. Find your way to Disney Village (Downtown Disney) for shopping, food and entertainment.

Disney Tip: Everyone runs to Crush’s Coaster when the gates open.

Paris Tip: Don’t let anyone hand you anything, put anything around your wrist or ask if you speak English as they try to have you sign something. It’s all a scam! They will try to make you pay, pick pocket you, or get you to put your bags down while someone comes around and takes off with it. Unfortunately theft is a big thing in Paris so make sure your possessions are protected and brush up on the latest scams with a simple google search. With all that being said, don’t be afraid to explore and see new things.

Well there you have it, you just spent three days in Paris and boy are my arms tired…huh?



25 Things to Do in London

London Calling! Are you ready to explore one of the greatest cities in the world? As Joey Tribbiani says “It’s London Baby”…just leave the hat and pop up map at home.

  1. Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour

    Of course this is going to be the first on my list! For all of us who have been waiting for our Hogwarts letter, this is for you. Strut your house gear along the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest as well as sets from the entire movie franchise! 

  2. Sky Garden 

    The Sky Garden is a FREE attraction that I recommend going to when you first get to the city. A gorgeous view of Central London is a great way to say, “Welcome! You’ve made it”. Also a great alternative if you want to save money/time and skip the London Eye or The Shard. You must book your reservation in advance and don’t forget to  bring the printed ticket.

  3. Palace of Westminster & Big Ben

    See how House of Parliament works with a guided tour or admire the architecture from the outside. Keep an eye out for Peter Pan flying around the clock tower which is named Elizabeth Tower, Big Ben is the bell. 

  4. Westminster Abbey

    Although you can’t take pictures inside this royal church, it’s beauty will leave a lasting impression

  5. Trafalger Square  

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    Great place to grab an afternoon snack and people watch.

  6. Hyde Park

    You can either stroll through or spend hours exploring the many treasures in Hyde Park.

  7. Harrods

    Forget the little blue bag, you want the green bag from Harrods! If you get lost it’s ok, they have food! 

  8. Victoria & Albert Museum

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    One of the many free museums in London, this one has over 2 million objects.

  9. Tower Bridge 

    Not to be confused with the London Bridge which is actually now in Arizona (weird right?)  This beauty has become an iconic symbol of London and you can go up it!

  10. Borough Market

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    Come hungry and leave full, this food market should not be missed on your list.

  11. House of MinaLima

    OMG! Have you read the latest story in the Daily Prophet? Don’t fret, you can pick up your copy here. Mina & Lima are the two behind all the graphic design work in the Harry Potter films, with their most recent work being in the Fantastic Beasts films. 

  12. Tower of London

    This place is so cool with it’s gorgeous grounds and dark history. 

  13. Theatre Show 

    Is it safe to admit most great actors come from the UK? there seems to be a debate about this in Hollywood, either way see for yourself and catch a show.

  14. Camden Market 

    Such a cool market to find unique treasures either for yourself or gifts for others. 

  15. Millennium Bridge 

    A walking bridge that may look familiar to you if you throw in some Death Eaters flying around as they attack London.

  16. Covent Garden

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    Shopping, food, entertainment all in one spot. 

  17. Tardis 

    You’ll find this beauty right outside the Earl’s Court Station, watch out for Daleks. 

  18. Leadenhall Market 

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    Once a meat market now houses shops, cafes and pubs. However it’s probably better known as a filming location used in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” for the Leaky Cauldron entrance. 

  19. Sherlock Holmes Museum

    The queue to take a picture in front of the door can get long but you can easily walk into the shop next door and visit the museum. 

  20. Natural History Museum

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    The building is worth the visit alone, but count this among the many free museums in London.

  21. Portobello Road Market

    Antiques galore! You can probably find anything here, and I do mean anything!

  22. Neal’s Yard

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    A quaint area you can stroll through while in Covent Garden

  23. British Museum

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    Free! Give yourself ample amount of time to explore, unlike me, who tried to cramp in everything 40 mins before closing .__.

  24. Big Bus Tour 

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    I am such a fan of Big Bus Tours. Yeah they’re “touristy” but aren’t we all tourists in a place we’ve never been? The tour lets you see all the major attractions from the top deck, lets you hop on and off at different stops and saves your legs. 

  25. The London Pass 

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    Gain access to most of the major attractions with fast track entry and ride a Hop On / Hop Off bus. Check out the website and make a list of the attractions you would like to visit, then compare pricing to see if it would be worth buying.  

    *BONUS RECOMMENDATION! Forbidden Planet – Megastore
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    Totally geek out here and spend all your money on fandom gear.

    This completes our tour of London, what do you plan on checking out on your visit to London?

Reading is an Adventure

Reading is an adventure
that never ends
– Charles Shulz

One of the best ways for us to travel is with our own imagination. It may sound cliche but Charles Shulz was onto something magical, reading is an adventure! Think of the writers who brought you books that you will read over and over again, are you transported to a new place? Can you imagine the taste, smells or emotions that characters was feeling? That’s the power of reading!

I remember getting those Scholastic book fair catalogs in elementary school, rushing home and circling all the books I was hoping to get. Finally the day had come, I would walk into the school Library with the money I begged my mom for and pick my new adventure. “Magic Tree House” and “The Boxcar Children” were among my favorites, wondering where the next journey would take us. I still get excited anytime I walk into a library or book store, a library card is a mini passport waiting for stamps. What would be in your “reading passport”? Maybe Middle Earth or the Forbidden Forest?

So let’s celebrate reading and continue the adventure by simply opening a book. Comment below with your favorite reads.

Business Insider “The 21 greatest travel of all time”



Find Travel Gear on a Budget

Find Travel Gear on a Budget

Finding cheap travel gear on a budget can be hard and frustrating. The anger that takes over when you decided to take the plunge and buy that expensive gear only to see it on sale 3 months later makes you want to Hulk SMASH! Don’t worry, I’m here to help you find the best deals for gear that wont break the bank, so you can spend more on your travels.


What are you looking for? A reliable suitcase, stylish but warm winter coat, the perfect hat that says “Yeah, I’m on vacation”, or maybe you have no idea what you need but you need to find it. Doing a quick google search will bring up endless possibilities and somewhere in the haystack you’ll find the deal.

A huge source of my travel gear I find on Amazon, they usually have great prices and most time free shipping. I don’t make this my final stop though, I find what I’m looking for and keep their price in mind as my starting point.

REI used travel gear     Steep and Cheap     Overstock

Thrift Stores

I find so much travel gear at thrift stores and I get excited every time. It’s fun to think about the history of the item, what places has it been? Did someone just buy it for one trip? You’ll be surprised at what you can find at a thrift store…travel or not. One of my favorite Reddit threads is “Thrift Store Hauls”, people are constantly sharing their amazing finds for a fraction of the cost.

scary huh? but don’t let that stop you from finding gold

Dig high and low! Check the book section for travel guides or maps for places you’re planning on visiting. They may be a few years old but most of the content will still be accurate for general things to see and do. You may even find a book for a destination you haven’t thought about visiting yet and add it to the bucket list

Scan through the clothing racks, there’s no need to spend $800 on a coat when you can score a North Face jacket for $15. Look out for good walking shoes or boots, you can find name brands barely worn. Funny enough when I decided to do this post I went to a local thrift store to gather pictures when I found this Travelon anti-theft bag during a 50% off sale for only $7 when it retails for $65, so happy!

Found this in that scary mess I mentioned, brand new only $3

Don’t stop there, next check out the techy section, display cases, cosmetic bags area. Target will send their after clearance items to Goodwill Industries, sometimes even items that were opened but never used but they clearly couldn’t put back on the shelf. That’s how I found brand new adapters for half the price.

Don’t forget garage sales when the season is right.

Off Price Retailers

I always take a look at Ross or Burlington for travel accessories like luggage locks or travel pillows. I got a pair of Skullcandy head phones for less than $10 when they retail for $40. Costco will have luggage deals from time to time if you’re a member, great quality too. Look for the nearest outlet mall/store for past season items at a discount some even have extra discounts on their sale stuff.

Friend Swap Travel Gear

Share travel gear with your friends and coworkers, it’s a great way to test out an item that you’re not ready to buy yet. Obviously if you damage the item you are expected to replace it. As I write this a friend is borrowing one of my Travelon bags while she explores Europe. We’re a community, we have to help each other follow our dreams.

Where do you like to find your travel gear on a budget?

A Geek’s Guide To Vancouver BC

A Geek’s Guide to Vancouver BC

So you want to explore Vancouver British Columbia, and why wouldn’t you? It’s clean, vibrant, and you get the best of both world, nature and city all in one location. You can spend a weekend here or a lifetime and always see something new.

Planning Your Visit


Vancouver Metro Map
Vancouver Map

I always recommend looking up the official tourism site for the destination you’re visiting. The travel bureau wants you to see the best stuff its city has to offer to make sure you spread the word and keep coming back.

Official Visitors Guide via Vancouver Tourism

Where do you want to stay? Hotel over looking the city or vacation rental to live like a local in a residential neighborhood?

During our latest visit we stayed at the lovely Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Vancouver. This was the ideal hotel for us for location and budget. The hotel staff is friendly and knowledgeable about the city and surrounding area. They also have a fun Instagram page to give you more insight on their favorite locations. There are many hotels in the city that are budget friendly or pamper you with luxury. 

Next thing to plan is how do you want to get there?

  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is less than 8 miles from Downtown Vancouver
  • Drive the distance. Make sure to have a vehicle that will tell you kilometers per hours and expect to pay everywhere you go for parking.
  • Train choo choo. Amtrak gives you a chance to see all the beauty the Pacific Northwest has to offer

What To Do

Stanley Park

This park is huge! Being one of the cities largest attractions you should plan at least a half day to explore. The seawall is a nice walk or bike ride to work off all that poutine you ate. Check with your hotel or vacation rental as many will supply bikes to ride for a few hours. There are also plenty of bike rental shops near the park entrance or Citi bike once in the park.

Granville Island

Take one of the little boats across False Creek to enjoy the Public Market and shops on Granville Island. Expect to spend a few hours here exploring and trying the food including Granville Island Brewing Co.

From there continue the little ferry ride to Maritime Museum Dock where you can get beautiful views of the English Bay.

Kitsilano Beach Park

Kits Beach is the perfect place to soak up the sun and spend a summer day relaxing or playing beach sports.


Gastown is a small charming neighborhood with a famous resident, the Steam Clock. There’s only 7 working steam clocks in the world and Vancouver is home to one of them. It’s fun to take a few moments watching the gears turn or hearing the whistle blow. There’s also a few souvenir shops near the clock if you’re looking to take some goodies home.

A short walk away you’ll find Canada Place.

Canada Place

An iconic landmark, Canada Place is a great place to feel welcomed. It’s the Convention Center, major cruise terminal, and so much more. Also in the area you’ll find the 2010 Olympic Torch and the digital Orca statue art.

Movie/TV tour

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Commonly referred to as “Hollywood North”. With some big studios in there area, there’s filming going on most times of the year. You can look up some of your favorite films and hits the streets kid, live like the stars.

Whale Watching

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During migration you may have a chance to see these majestic creatures. Best months for spotting a whale will be March to October and there’s many different tour companies to choose from.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

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Fans of Nat Geo should recognize this gem as they named it the World’s Top City Garden.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

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A stunning place to take in the beauty nature has to offer and take instagram worthy photos.

Vancouver Aquarium

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No need to go to P Sherman 42 Wallaby Way when you can visit all your favorite fish here.

Grouse Mountain

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Only 15 minutes from downtown with spectacular views of the city.

Science World

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Weird Science! Be a kid and get creative with science.

VanDusen Botanical Garden

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Sip some tea, take in this wonderland and day dream under a tree like Alice.


Vancouver is on the list for being a “Foodie City” and for great reason, they have food trucks, well respected chefs and amazing cuisine. Where will your taste buds take you?

Blue Water Cafe

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Best known for their seafood and outstanding wait service, you can either have an elegant dining experience or wallet friendly happy hour experience.

Earnest Ice Cream

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We all deserve a sweet treat. Especially after deciding what flavor you want from the mouthwatering list.

Cactus Club Cafe – English Bay

Food with a view! Great place to laugh with friends and loved ones over a great menu.

Vij’s Restaurant

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A local favorite and recommended as a must do

Cafe Medina

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Vancouver locals are huge on brunch and this is the spot to do it at. Lines can form so get here early.

Storm Crow Tavern

Truly one of my favorite geek restaurants! The whole atmosphere pulls you in, you can meet there with friends and family and play board games all afternoon.

EXP Restaurant + Bar

Video game restaurant/bar with great food. They live stream League of Legends, Overwatch,  Starcraft competitions and more, so it’s a really chill place to hang out, just pick the right side; Horde or Alliance?

a few other recommendation

  • Tacofino – TACOS! need I say more?
  • Fanny Bay Oyster Bar – Happy Hour!
  • Meat & Bread – grab a sandwich and head to a park
  • Nicli Antica Pizzeria – pizza and drinks, yes please!


  • If you’re driving expect to pay for parking everywhere
  • There’s free “neighborhood” wifi in Yaletown
  • The currency is Canadian dollar (CAD). Paper bills include $5, $10, $20, $50 & $100. $1 coin known as a loonie and a $2 coin known as a toonie

What are your favorite places to see and do in Vancouver?

Trip Report: New York City Thanksgiving


 Trip Report: New York City Thanksgiving

I was given the opportunity of a lifetime to visit NYC for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. With my mom along for the excursion we were flown out to New York for an experience we’d never forget.

Arriving at JFK the day before Thanksgiving, we needed to make our way to Manhattan. There are a few different ways to get into the city from JFK or LaGuardia airport . Taxi, car share, Shuttle or subway are the most common. I chose taxi since I know it’s a flat rate into Manhattan and it’s easy to get right outside baggage claim. Something new I noticed since last time I was there, is that the Port

Authority of NY & NJ gives out receipts to show the rate and cab number you’re getting into. No doubt this cuts down on drivers pocketing money or over charging.

When you get into the cab they will ask your destination and enter in code 2 into their meter which is the flat rate fee + any tolls or surcharges. Another new thing I noticed is the touch tv screen in the back seat where you can view your rate, city information and payment options at the end of the ride.

We checked into the Hilton Garden Inn Time Square, not actually in Time Square but right around the corner on 8th ave between 48th & 49th st. I typically like to stay at Hilton properties because of their Honors reward program and the amenities they come with. If you like staying at hotels check which company will give you the best rewards based on your needs. They all tend to be really competitive to make you their loyal costumer so you have some choices.

I enjoyed our stay at the Hilton Garden Inn TS, they have spacious clean rooms and friendly staff. Our view over looked 8th ave out towards the Hudson River. When I needed a few items for my new tattoo, there were two choices near by, a Duane Reade (Walgreens company) and a Rite Aide. The nearest subway entrance is a block up on 50th st. a blue line, which was a bonus for us, as it had a elevator for my mom.

On Thanksgiving day we woke up at 4:30 am, hopped onto the subway going uptown towards our grandstand entrance. Our tickets stated they start letting in at 6 am, we got there at 5:30 am and there was already a line around the block. Once in, we were directed towards the bleachers that line Central Park West. We had amazing seats but definitely froze! A few things I wish we would have brought; seat pads, a blanket and hand warmers. For some reason I expected there to be music playing during the parade but there wasn’t.

After the parade we went to Top of The Rock Observation Deck at Rockefeller Center. What an amazing view of Manhattan! You can purchase your tickets online in advance for a selected time slot

and arrive a few minutes before that designated time. There’s 3 observation decks once up top and special tickets you can purchase to come back at sunset or night.

For Thanksgiving dinner we were treated to a luxury buffet at The View Restaurant, which sits 48 stories above Time Square in the Marriott Marquis. The floor rotates giving spectacular city views, making a complete 360 during an hour. There was 3 or 4 stations with different offerings of a decadent food assortment. Add great company and red wine sangria and it made for a memorable evening.

We continued the next 5 days running around Manhattan in full tourist mode. Since this was my moms first time in NYC I didn’t want her to miss a thing. We hopped on the Big Bus Tour, which was brilliant since she can’t walk very well. They have 4 colored routes plus the night tour. The only ones that don’t have hop off locations is the Brooklyn and the night tour. There are many different tickets available depending on we chose the 2 day bus tour with the night tour.

We moved hotels a few times to get in different parts of the city, including Hampton Inn Financial District and the Conrad New York located across from the Freedom Tower and 9/11 memorial. Staying at the Conrad was such a privilege, a way to end NY on a high note.
Well that’s enough of me rambling on, thanks for listening. You can view the rest of the trip in the photos below. If you have any questions please let me know.