My 14 months off from work has started with a bang! I`ve been on the go since June 24th and I won`t stop until I am due back to work in September of 2014. In one month I’ve traveled through North Carolina, Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and most recently Dominican Republic. My mom tells me that I`ve had the `travel bug` ever since I was five years old. She reminds me that at five years old, I left her for one week to go to a children`s camp four hours from my home. I excitingly waved goodbye as the bus drove away. Not once did I get homesick. I was born to travel. I haven’t stopped since.
Here are the highlights from my travels this month. I`ve listed my favorites (in order) in each destination. I hope my travels inspire you to try new things and to get out there and explore new and unknown places.
Prince Edward Island, Canada
1. Lobster buying on Naufrage wharf- I was brave to hold the 5lb unbanned lobster!
2. Photographing the many bald eagles flying above.
3. Spending the afternoon on Naufrage Beach and enjoying the fresh lobster rolls for lunch.
4. Visiting the PEI Brewing Company– My favorite was sampling the mango beer, blueberry beer, lobster lager, and the seasonal ale ‘beach chair lager‘. The Cows chocolate covered chips were the perfect snack for the drive to Charlottetown.
5. Globe World Flavours restaurant in Charlottetown was the perfect place for supper; I enjoyed the fish & chips on the warm sunny patio.
North Carolina, USA
2. Lazy 5 Ranch– This is the best zoo encounter I`ve ever had. If ever you are in North Carolina this is a must do activity. Add this safari experience to your bucket list. My favorite part was feeding the giraffes.
3. Discovery Place– It was pretty cool lying on the bed of nails.
4. Jetton Park, Lake Norman- The walking trails are stunning and the perfect place to get active or to take pictures of your friends and family.
5. Birkdale Shopping Center, Huntersville- The cute shops are the perfect place to walk around with a cold Frappuccino, while window shopping and browsing during the mid-afternoon heat.
6. Mac’s Speedshop on South Boulevard for pulled turkey, homemade southern macaroni and cheese, and all the fixin’s`.
7. Discovery Kids– Although I am an adult, I enjoyed walking around the child size city with my friend watching her one year old daughter play in amazement. They had everything from a bank, grocery store, farm, brick factory, mechanic shop, to an airport. I wish there was something like that when I was a child.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
2. Watching the Canada Day fireworks from the roof top of the Chateau Laurier was a once in a lifetime experience.
3. Taking a helicopter tour with Heli-Tremblant on Canada Day to see the crowds on Parliament Hill from above was breathtaking.
4. Free admission to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on Canada Day- With a boyfriend as a pilot, I had to go and see all of the unique old planes and aircrafts they have on display. My favorite was the original Charger (the Frankenstein model).
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
1. My stay in Halifax at the downtown Delta Barrington hotel where men in kilts valet park your car was a unique addition to the trip.
2. The Split Crow for supper and live music with The American Rogues band.
3. The Lower Deck on the Halifax harbour for some midnight music and dancing to traditional seafaring music.
4. Shopping on Spring Garden Road. Crimson and Clover just off Spring Garden is an awesome consignment shop with immaculate brand name clothing at steal prices.
5. Uncommon Ground for local speciality coffee and tea.
6. The Bluenose for a cheap traditional 2 egg breakfast.
7. Hart and Thistle Gastro Pub with a view of Dartmouth harbour for a light lunch.
8. Walking around the amazing Halifax harbour and waterfront. The local Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market is the perfect place to buy local produce and handmade products.
9. The Garrison Brewing Co to sample local beer; the raspberry wheat is incredible.
Cape Breton, New Brunswick, Canada
1. Driving along the Cabot Trail and through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park while stopping at every lookout to take pictures.
2. Hiking the iconic Cape Breton Skyline Trail (9.2Kms) where you get the best views in the Highlands National Park.
3. Whale Watching out of Pleasant Bay with Captain Mark’s Whale and Seal Cruise to see the Minke and Pilot whales. The first time I went whale watching in British Columbia I didn’t see any; this time a pod of 8 whales swam around the boat. My pictures are amazing.
4. Swimming at Ingonish Beach. I would say it is one of the top five best beaches in Nova Scotia.
5. Driving to the most Northern point in Cape Breton-Meat Cove. The view is incredible.
7. Eating at the Coastal Restaurant in Ingonish which was featured on the Food Network`s “You Gotta` Eat Here“. I had the seafood chowder and crap dip which were both highlighted on the show.
8. Seeing the Beulach Ban Falls. I’m so small in comparison to the waterfall.
9. Hiking the Middle Head trail (3.8 kms) on the water’s edge from the famous and beautiful Keltic Lodge.
10. Visiting the Acadian village Cheticamp on the Cabot Trail – the gateway to the Highlands National Park. The views of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence are stunning with the mountains as the backdrop.
Samana, Dominican Republic
1. My first real girls trip with my mom.
2. Getting muddy on the buggy tour.
3. Visiting Bacardi Island (Cayo Lavantado)- the beaches are stunning.
5. The unlimited fresh tropical fruits-juicy pineapple, watermelon, mango, papaya, and cantaloupe.
6. Kayaking along the coast to our very own private beach.
7. Shopping for jewelry (they have amazing silver, amber, coral, and the national stone- larimar) vanilla, coconut oil, honey, and coffee in Samana.
8. Practicing my Spanish with the locals.
9. Our relaxing caribbean massages at the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa spa- masaje relahante caribeno!
I can`t wait to plan my next month. The options are endless and I don`t even know where to begin. I hope my journey thus far excites you to visit one of the places I`ve traveled to or to search for the perfect place for you!
1 month down, 13 more to go…