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Beauty Review: Lavender & Acacia Relaxing Foaming Bath
August 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm 0
bathbubbles We tested out the Le Couvent des Minimes foaming bath by chance; we found it in the drug store and thought based on it's expensive price tag it had to be amazing! We were not disspointed! You only need a little bit for a full bathtub and the scent is divine! It has a strong but natural scent and it produces an incredible amount of bubbles for a full bathtub. So, even though the pricetag is around the $35 mark, it's worth it to pay for quality products that you can use for a long time. Apprarently these products come from a Convent in France en Provence, that now operates as a hotel spa, which has been certified by Relais and Chateau ( a big fancy group that tells you if your hotel is fancy enough to get into their club - it's very exclusive; only 2 hotels in Canada are in the club).
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Travel
Travel Diaries – Road Trip: Savannah
January 6, 2010 at 12:06 pm 0
For years I have wanted to go to Savannah. It all started when I was an ESL teacher in Korea. On one of our many nights of drinking wine together my friend Lise and I shared stories on our favourite cities to visit. Lise mentioned that her favourite city by far was Savannah - with all the gardens on every block, beautiful historical architecture and Southern charm.



Gorgeous buildings on every corner in Savannah

Gorgeous buildings on every corner in Savannah

When my fiance and I showed up in Savannah we weren't sure where to go or what to expect. We parked by the river and walked around the tourist area. It was pretty busy and lots of tourists were walking around, going in the boutiques, and tasting the local seafood. The cobble stone streets and old buildings created a wonderful ambience, but one of the coolest things were the sidewalks, which was concrete with oyster shells and other shells mixed in. It was super original - I've never seen anything like it before!

Savannah river sidewalks have a seashells mixed in!

Savannah river sidewalks have a seashells mixed in!

Once we had a coffee in the outdoor market we headed up to higher ground and walked around the old town. It was gorgeous! There were big, beautiful, historical homes with wonderful landscaping, and at almost every block there was a small city park. With the slow, Southern pace, beautiful homes and lovely little parks Savannah was the most walking friendly city I've been in.

Parks on every block make Savannah a great city to walk in

Parks on every block make Savannah a great city to walk in

We didn't have a plan in particular for the day, we just wanted to explore and visit the city - given the small city and walkable environment it was easy to do! So we strolled, visited the parks, read all the plaques and learned about the monuments in each park, and strolled some more. When it was time for a break we happened upon a gorgeous building - the Forsyth Mansion. We sat back, had a glass of wine and admired the phenomenal restoration of the historical building. It was stunning and fuelled so many ideas about how I would decorate my fantasy house.

The gorgeous Forsyth Mansion is worth a visit

The gorgeous Forsyth Mansion is worth a visit



One of the dining rooms at the Foryth Mansion

One of the dining rooms at the Foryth Mansion

When the sun set we strolled back to the car, admired the final scenes and headed back on the road to our next stop. Savannah was a beautiful city to visit, and if I'd had more time I would have loved to stay in the Forsythe Mansion, eat at the great restaurants and live like a Southerner for a few days. Up Next: Key West, Florida
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Travel
Weekend Warrior: The Perfect Romantic Getaway
September 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm 1
A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I took a last minute weekend getaway to Langdon Hall, a country house outside of Toronto. I wasn’t sure what to expect…it was a pretty pricey place and I was worried that it would be a bit stuffy. But when we pulled up to this country house, which really is a country mansion, I realized I was dead wrong. Instead, Langdon Hall is a beautifully manicured property with lovely gardens and an outstanding restaurant. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and were upgraded to a split level suite – quite nice indeed! After settling in we had a relaxing glass of wine in our room, got ready, and then we went for dinner at the restaurant. It was lovely. I had truffle and asaparagus salad and a wonderful steak, and of course, a few glasses of wine that the in house sommelier picked out for me. It was so nice to get to dress up for dinner and go to the formal dining room. And best of all, the crowd in the restaurant was mixed – some young families, couples celebrating their anniversaries, a few older ladies who lunch types. The next day we completely missed breakfast, but instead went down for an early lunch. And since we were at a fancy country house, why not start the day with champagne! After having a lovely lunch on the outside patio we just lounged around, took little walks, read outside in the garden, watched the fish in the pond, and relaxed. It was wonderful. It turns out my worries that it was going to be a stuffy place were totally unfounded. Everyone was lovely, the service was great, the restaurant was outstanding and the country mansion was beautiful. My only caution - my boyfriends dinner, a kobe beef steak, was very pricey at $60, and not amazing. We didn't want to be restaurant complainers, so we didn't say anything, but it was nothing short of highway robbery for a mediocre main.
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Travel
Amalfi Coast: Italian Dream Part Four
July 24, 2009 at 9:20 am 0
Amalfi Coast I had huge expectations for the Amalfi Coast. I thought it was the playground of the rich and famous, a place where the elite go to relax and enjoy beautiful views and a warm culture. As it turns out I was wrong. It wasn’t so fancy (neither am I since I don’t even know where the fancy people go!), there were no Italians, and it seemed like a beautiful landscape that earned a great reputation many years ago and has held onto the reputation that is now no longer warranted. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery is outstanding, but if you want to go out and about and discover the towns be prepared to pay a fortune for anything and be englulfed in the crowds of middle aged Brits and Americans – not the charming old Italian grandmothers and friendly locals that I was expecting. To find something less touristy we drove into the hills one night for dinner. There were still many tourists in Ravello, but I was distracted by my delicious meal. I had the best fish I’ve ever eaten – it was grilled and came with a fresh mint, olive oil and lemon sauce on top that was heavenly. I still daydream about it. After spending two days in Priano, Positano and Amalfi I was happy to get back on the beautiful and twisty rounds and move to our next destination. Stay Tuned: My favourite city is next! For more on Italian travel journals see the post on Florence, Tuscany and Rome.
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Travel
Rome: Italian Dream Part Three
July 23, 2009 at 9:43 am 3
Rome We left Tuscany very early in the morning and drove to Rome hoping to arrive prior to rush hour traffic. You’ve probably heard that the drivers in Italy are crazy, and that’s 100% correct. Luckily for me my boyfriend drives like an Italian very comfortably – he’s an expert at driving inches away from other cars at one hundred miles an hour, changing lanes like a madman, and passing people on roads that only fit one car. For most tourists driving in Italy is stressful, but for my boyfriend it was the ultimate driving test, and he passed with a gold sticker! As we were driving into Rome I thought my boyfriend was going to explode with enthusiasm over the architecture and historical buildings. After stepping out of the car many times to see the buildings we were passing we finally arrived at our hotel, only to leave within seconds and see the sights – and they are sights to behold. We went to the standard tourist spots like the Coliseum, the Forum, the Spanish Steps and Trevi fountains, and then we just walked around the city getting lost, taking little alleyways, and stopping for coffee and wine often. I really wanted to go shopping in Rome and shop we did! We were all messy and sweaty from walking around all day but that didn’t stop us (even though I’m sure many shopkeepers wish it did). Shopping in Italy is a serious activity, it’s very expensive, and not something to be taken casually. Everybody dresses up and looks their very best to go to the shops and be waited on. And, there is a definite etiquette to be followed….I don’t know what it is, but I know that I don’t know it. The funny thing is, the salespeople in the luxury stores were much friendlier than at the mid price stores. We went into Prada and although we seemed like misfits (messy, dirty, looking like tourists and touching everything) they were very nice to us. But at Furla the girls were so obnoxious and rude. It made me crazy that this girl was two steps behind me re-organizing everything that I touched and huffing and puffing the whole time, like I was causing her major undue stress. Ummmmm – you work in sales right? Customer service? Oh well, I was on vacation so I wasn’t going to let that bring me down! After two full days, and plenty of sight seeing and shopping, it was time to move on. I really enjoyed Rome – it felt like an actual Italian city and not just a tourist spot. There are locals around, going to and fro work and they tend to co-exist much better with the flocks of tourists than in Florence. I could have spent a few more days in the city, but it was time to move south. Up Next: the beautiful Amalfi Coast For more Italian travel journals see my posts on Florence and Tuscany
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Travel
Tuscany: Italian Dream Part Two
July 17, 2009 at 9:15 am 2
The Tuscan Countryside After two exhausting days in Florence it was so nice to escape to the countryside. By chance we made a hotel reservation to a modest looking hotel, the Borgo di Fontebussi, which turned out to be a luxury retreat. The pictures on Expedia do not do justice, and the price was amazing for what you got. As we drove up to the gated retreat I just wanted to sit inside and take a nap…until I saw the place we were staying….and then I felt like a princess who just landed in heaven. There were many different buildings, a lovely pool, two restaurants and many seating/park areas. The views from the hotel were outstanding and it was filled entirely with Europeans that wanted a little getaway. Everyone was just relaxing and having lovely slow meals, drinking wine together, sitting on the grass and enjoying life. It was bliss! After spending our first day in the retreat it was time to check out and go to Cinque Terre, but I just couldn’t leave. My very accommodating boyfriend had no problem with losing money on our other hotel reservation and staying on one more night….he’s so lovely about these things. Since we had an extra day we decided to peel ourselves away from the heaven retreat and visit the Chianti route. We drove around all day and visited many different towns, cafes, restaurants and vineyards. It was nice to just chit chat away driving down the country roads, getting lost and seeing amazing views at every turn. Throughout the entire day I was concocting plans in my head figuring out how I would take a six month sabbatical in Tuscany, living in a farm house, eating glorious food at every meal, and drinking the best wines I could imagine. Tuscany is a place to lose yourself in fantasy….and indeed I did. I felt so relaxed, blissful and in love with everything, and I’d go back tomorrow if I could. Stay Tuned: The crazy city of Rome is next! For more Italian travel journals see posts on Florence and Rome
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