Category Archives: Travel

Travel || Banff, Alberta || Explore, Sip & Stay

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If you caught this little couples getaway on my Instagram stories last week, you’d probably have seen this blog post coming a mile away. As a born and raised Edmontonian this isn’t my first visit to Banff National Park by any means. We have frequented the area bi-yearly for decades. Luckily enough being an avid mountain air seeker, I’ve had the pleasure of trying many establishments and I wanted to share a few of our favourites in hopes this read will help you plan out your next escape. Here are my current hotels, restaurants and attractions of mention for Banff in 2018.

Stay

We’ve done the full range of accommodation options for Banff over the years: from rented house, cabins to hotels. I will say when booking a couples trip, I highly prefer a main street Banff hotel to any of the other options. Walking access to restaurants and sips being the main reason. And in all honesty, house keeping when I’m away from kids for some romance is a must.

Elk + Avenue Hotel (formerly the Banff International): Location, location, location… located in main street Banff, this modern and renovated hotel is steps away from nightlife, shopping and eats. We love the decor added in the last update to this hotel, it’s a trendy comfortable “après-ski” kind of vibe with so many cozy touches. Definitely check the website when booking, currently there is a promo that includes gondola and seasonal festival tickets with your room booking. Who doesn’t love some added value?

Honourable Mention Mount Royal HotelAlthough I haven’t stayed at it since it’s new renovations, I can definitely speak to the prime time location in the middle of main street. Visit the website and take a look at the gorgeous updated rooms and that roof top hot tub! Our plan is to try out the new rooms sometime this winter.

Sips & Eats

Let me start off by saying this category is so tough for me. There are almost too many places to mention that are incredible to eat. So to save myself from writing a novel I’m only going to share our current 2 favourites for both taste and experience.

Sky Bistro: Dine at the summit of a mountain. Enough said! We enjoyed a relaxed lunch with the most specular views we’ve ever seen from a restaurant. I highly suggest getting a reservation if you are going for a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain.

9B0EFF22-D18B-4785-BE8A-BFC598D660B1Chucks: It’s gotta be the Albertan in me but we cannot go to Banff and not get a real Alberta Beef experience. Grass fed, hand picked and aged steaks to choose from this restaurant is a meat lovers dream. You’ll notice we are not the only the ones who think so, you’ll need a reservation during peak dining hours or you will be turned away. We shared the the family style platter, The Cow Boy Trail it had something for everyone.

Experience 

A trip to Banff is not complete without taking in some specular views. Between hikes, strolls along the falls or mountain top visits, everything is majestic in the mountains. Here is one experience you don’t want to miss.874BC68C-DDD7-48A5-86C9-1CA374EF5E6D

Banff Gondola at Sulphur Mountain: For the view along, this gondola ride is definitely worth it. As a little side note, check the website you can save by bundling admission with dining, booking in advance or arriving early currently has free admission for children before a specific time. Approximately 7500 feet above Banff this attraction is a must for a breathtaking experience like no other. At the top experience a state-of-the-art facility offering history, shopping and dining. I suggest bringing layers to take a stroll on the boardwalk. I couldn’t get over the view or the elevation! Continue reading

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Travel || Radium British Columbia || Bighorn Meadows Resort #Sponsor

8DD6C0C3-CD6A-4425-849A-1DD2A7AC2201As you may have seen on my Instagram a week ago, we had the pleasure of staying at The Residences at Bighorn Meadows Resort in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia. They are a collection of 44 vacation homes for sale, boasting cozy interiors, fantastic views, and an abundance of recreational activities right at your doorstep. We took a family friendly hike, followed by lunch at the cutest Mexican restaurant and finally a swim at the popular Radium Hot springs. Whether you’re looking to own a vacation home for weekend getaways with the family, or purchasing a rental income property, The Residences at Bighorn Meadows are the perfect investment.

B5BF0308-FDEC-418A-9C13-1CFB864245A1Bighorn Meadows Resort is unique in that it offers luxury and comfort while maintaining highly competitive rates in a breathtaking area of the Columbia Valley. Situated on an expansive 9-acre site surrounded by the prestigious Springs Golf Course, Bighorn Meadows is a resort community that provides the comforts of home while setting you worlds apart from the hustle and bustle of city life. Bighorn Meadows has sold out of ten phases, and is a second home to over 1000 families. Phase 1-10 have sold out, and Phase 11 of these incredible duplex vacation homes are now available for sale. Over 80% of their buyers are from Alberta, and I can see why, it’s such a beautiful area of BC with lots of recreational activities right at your doorstep. Another great plus is that these vacation homes are in an area of BC that are speculation tax exempt. If you’re an Albertan looking for a great vacation getaway home, you don’t have to worry about that tax.

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New Age Road Trips || How times have changed…

Lincoln continental 2018 review banff canmore lifestyle blogger family road trip tips tricks ideas I love a good old fashioned family road trip. Snacks, great music and incredible scenery. Growing up the majority of our vacations were on the road as opposed to in the air. Let’s face it, it’s a far more affordable option for tons of families. The one thing that isn’t the same from my childhood mini vacations are the luxury features available in some motor vehicles nowadays. We had the pleasure of partnering with Lincoln on a weekend trip to the mountains. Here are some of my favourite aspects of The 2018 Lincoln Continental that make long road trips as a family that much easier:

Sync 3 is a voice activated feature that can easily control your phone. For us, we loved pressing a button, asking for great restaurants in the area and getting a response in seconds. It was like having a little tour guide in the car with us, perfect for a road trip when you’re not familiar with the town or city you are taking a pitstop in.

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Parka Power with @Parajumpers_Official #Sponsor || A wintery look for your next snowy adventure… #PJSFriends #PJSCanada #MyParajumpers

How very Canadian of me, sharing a winter look when other bloggers in North America are talking Spring! With an impending winter snow storm warning here in Edmonton, I thought it felt fitting to share one of my favourite parkas with you. I’ve partner with Parajumpers to share this cozy look to inspire your next snow day adventure. They are an extremely innovative outerwear collection with highly technological components, designed above all else to be functional. This is my third coat from them in 5 years, I’m a fan to say the least. The Light Long Bear parka by Parajumpers is the perfect parka to keep you warm and stylish in the colder months. It is so light weight and I love the athleisure vibe. The multi pockets help me tote around everything a busy mom would need: kleenex, snacks, diapers and travel wipes! It’s very much the perfect coat for an active on the go lifestyle.

Parajumpers Top best designer parka Canada Canadian blogger chloe drew red bag style gap love gap skinny high rise jean  Parka: Parajumpers c/o || Jeans: Gap || Bag: Chloe || Sweater: Abercrombie || Sneakers: Skye Footwear c/o|| Sunglasses: Prescription from Bailey Nelson NS-174 Photos by the ever so talented B.Grace Creatives for Northern Style Exposure

Check out her inspiring Instagram HERE 

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Disneyland Tricks & Tips: How to do Disney like a seasoned pro… #travel #disney #disneyland

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Here are my insider tips, tricks and hacks for experiencing Disney like a seasoned pro:

  1. A stroller at Disney is your best friend, do not attend without one. Even if your kids are a little too big to use it for it’s obvious purpose. It’s where you will store everything you need for your family throughout the day. And it’ll help you save money in the park on purchases like expensive drinks, snacks, blankets, extra clothing, and extra footwear. You are allowed a small soft shell cooler and a stroller through security… but no selfie sticks! They will be taken away as a forewarning. I suggest filling your stroller with drinks from Target or Walgreens. On average a drink within Disney will cost you between $5-$8! When you can get a pack of 12 beverages at Target for the price of 1. You’ll need a place to store snacks and layers of clothing to put on/ or off throughout the day depending on weather. Especially if you are starting during the day and staying until the evening, the temperature will drop. Strolling parking is available everywhere! Simply park your stroller in a designated spot leaving it to go about your business in that section of the park. It’s as simply as that. I tie a bright coloured bandana or balloon to ours to find it. There are a lot of strollers! A stroller will hold everything you need, help you not make pricey purchases and make you hands free to have fun!
  2. Target is one of the best places to buy just about anything!  Stock up on cheap snacks, drinks and apparel. Any Target near Disney will have an a Disney related souvenir and clothing section. Anything from sweatshirts, collectable pins, hats, tees and sweatpants can be found at approximately 1/3 the cost outside the park. They even had Disney rain gear for rides like Splash Mountain. In the park it’ll cost you approximately $8 for one Disney rain poncho, while Target had them for $2. We go on our day of arrival to score many of the expensive extras seen in the park. Plus, it’s a great way to pick up souvenirs at a fraction of the cost. By saving on snacks and tiny extras we were about to let the kids indulge little bit in the park and find amazing toys at the many gift shops.disney treats and instagram photo worthy locations how to
  3. Work the Fast Pass System! A Fast Pass will save your life  with young children that cannot wait in the long lineups. If you are new to Disney, there will be two lines: Regular and Fast Pass holders. Basically Fast Passes skip almost the entire line. The new system has an app that can be purchased for $10 a day and you can do your fast passes electronically through the app. If you were doing Disney for one day it can be relatively convenient to pay the $10 per person per day for the convenience of the new fast pass app. But for us we did Disney several days in a row and we were a large family group. Each person in your group has to pay that $10. For us we could not justify an extra hundred dollars a day to use an app. Instead we would designate one adult as the fast pass holder. They would carry all of our tickets, hustle to a separate section of the park to obtain fast passes for our entire group while we waited in line for a longer ride. By the time they returned with our fast passes they would join us in line. We found the system to work well for our large group, we rarely waited longer than 20 minutes for any given ride. Please note, some rides are more popular compared to others. Unless you get a fast pass before noon for many of the “popular rides,” there will not be any more fast passes available that day. California Adventure: Guardians of the Galaxy, Toy Story and Cars. Disneyland:  It’s a Small World, Madahorn, Starwars, and the Haunted Mansion. If a ride is displaying a wait time of 15 minutes or less do not waste a Fast Pass on it. Instead try to use your Fast Passes on rides that have between 30 to 60 minute wait times. You can check the wait times on the app for free or it’s displayed at the front of the ride. Get a Fast Pass for a busy ride, thing on the less busy rides in that section until your Fast Pass window starts.
  4. If you have time, there are several Disney Store outlets in the area. We scored a handful of limited edition stuffed animals, jackets and action figures for 70% off the park prices. If an Outlet day is on the agenda, why not? You will not be disappointed by the prices. Plus, stores like Coach, as an example sometimes will carry limited edition Disney bags and accessories on sale. Luxury Disney does exist if that floats your boat.
  5. Book your dinners well in advance, reservations are key or you will eat dinner at grab and go locations only. Many popular restaurants book up months in advance, especially when your a group of 4 or larger. By saving on breakfast, lunches and snacks by bringing a cooler splurging on a few dinners within the park was totally worth it. Many of them are an experience within themselves, let alone awesome food. And if you are looking for a beer or a wine… those are only available at a few locations in California Adventures, Disneyland does not serve alcohol. Here are a few restaurants to target for reservations: Blue Bayou, Carnation Cafe, Mendocino Terrace at the Golden Vine Winery, Plaza Inn, and Ariel’s Grotto. starwars bubble machine blower maker disney land tips tricks Continue reading