So there are a few reasons that Canadians in particular don’t want to travel to Mexico at the present time. Be it swine flu, increase in crime on Canadian travelers or the earthquakes, Mexico is a hot spot to avoid… or so many think. Sure if you go to the popular places like Cancun or Mexico city, but why not try some where a little less populated and a little more hospitable. Cozumel is the answer. This island, just off of Playa Del Carmen in the east of Mexico is a great little spot to delve in to the culture, the hospitality and the ocean.
Picturesque beaches and quaint strips will be all you need. The great thing about this part of Mexico is that it isn’t overrun by partying teens and college students, nor is it the center for the elderly. It is just a nice little island that caters to the average humans needs. Great little restaurants (many styles other then just Mexican) Nightclubs that look like they are out of the movies and even a town center shopping bazaar. Here you can get everything from a great new pair of cowboy boots to a scuba tank.
With a few hotels and one true resort to stay in you will find that making acquaintances is easy. The people are friendly, helpful and would love to sit back, relax and have a drink with you. It’s a good time to go also, with airfare being so low to Mexico. Check it out, who knows, you might just be able to chill out and have some fun.
Ever notice when we get one nice day of weather in Toronto we all forget how depressing the winter is and remember the great places we have in this city? Well I do, and I found myself remembering some of the really great places I can go to indulge in tasty treats.
The first one is an amazing local burger place called Craft Burger. There are a few around the city but the one I like to frequent is on King just west of Spadina. Craft Burger was started by a Torontonian and holds some of the freshest and most tasty hand-crafted burgers in the city. My personal favorite is the classic chesses burger with fries. Simple, but oh-so-good.
Another of my favorite places is a great little French bistro called Fare. Located on Queen Street East in Leslieville, this place is a hidden but amazing gem. Pretty much anything on their menu is to die for, but I personally recommend the Steak and Frites. Top it off with a friendly and knowledgeable staff, this restaurant is low key, charming and within a price range that wont break the bank. If you are going in the summer months, be sure to check out their back patio.
Now, after you have filled up on a burger or steak frites, you will need dessert. This brings us to my favorite place in the city to get hot chocolate. Now I know what you’re saying: “summer is on the way. Why would I want hot chocolate when I want to cool down?” But trust me, once you taste Soma chocolate you wont care if you are in the middle of the Sahara desert and are parched for water. Made from scratch, completely in-store, all the chocolate at Soma is rich, sweet and unique. Situated in the Distillery district, Soma can be quite a popular place during the summer time but I assure you it’s quite worth the crowds. With many flavors and types of chocolate items to choose from, you won’t be bored. My top choice here is the Mayan hot chocolate; a rich medium chocolate blend with a little bit of spice added for extra bite.
So the next time you get that Toronto bug, take a moment to think about how truly lucky we are to have such great chow right at our fingertips. How can we not be lucky when we have hand-crafted burgers, the best Steak Frites this side of France, or chocolate with an extra kick? Try it out and let me know.
Number one on my list of places to visit is a lot closer to home (Toronto) than most others. WYOMING in the summer!!! Grand Teton National Park, USA to be exact. I think the landscape of the American west is some of the most amazing in the world, and for outdoor enthusiasts like myself, this looks like paradise. Hiking, Rock Climbing, Horseback Riding, Camping, Canoeing, White Water River Rafting, etc… the list is endless. On the lighter side, kick back at some of America’s best lodges and immerse yourself in the history of mid-west. Whatever your pleasure may be, there’s no doubt in my mind that Wyoming during the summer months would definitely be a trip for the books.
Ever wanted to go relic seeking in the depths of the jungle like Indiana Jones? Or escape to a tiny tropical private Island like James Bond?If the answer is yes to either ofthose, then you should head to Belize.
Situated between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize was once a part of the Mayan empire. This has left many hidden gems to be discovered. Just outside of the capital city of Belmopan, you can find amazing rainforest and ancient caves. These caves used to be used by the Mayan people as temples for worship and sacrifice. One company, called Caves Branch, offers cave exploration where you can spelunk, discover and even float by inner tube into many rarely visited caverns. One boast so much as to be made entirely out of crystal.
If digging around in the dark for lost treasure isn’t your thing, then maybe you would prefer laying in the sun on a private island.Only a half hour boat ride off the main land of Belize you can cozy up on Tobacco Caye. Roughly the size of one football field, Tobacco Caye, is located right on the longest coral reef system in the west. With beautiful views in every direction, the ability to choose your food from right out of the water and only 6 guest houses to pick from, you can grantee you will truly feel like you escaped.During the day you can choose from snorkeling or diving adventures in the reef or just laying in bed with the breeze blowing through your open shutters. In the evening you can lay in a hammock and watch the colour of the sun set and then enjoy a tropical feastby torch light.
Whichever option you choose, Belize won’t let you down. There is just something so remarkable about a tropical place where you can have a real jungle adventure and then relax on the ocean, and do it all in a place that isn’t overrun by tourists.
I am obsessed with eating competitions. I don’t know why but it fascinates me to see a grown man or woman stuffing their faces all in the name of competition. Hot dogs, hamburgers, wings, crab cakes, it’s all good!
My first introduction into the world of competitive eating took place last summer at Dunn Tire Park lin Buffalo NY during the annual Wing Festival- Yes there is a two day festival dedicated to the almighty wing and it is very popular with ‘meatatarians’ everywhere.
By the way check out our coverage of the Buffalo Wing Festival on this site. It was there that I met Sonya “the black widow” Thomas; She’s Korean, weighs slightly over 100 pounds and she is an eating machine! In fact she slayed the competition. It’s worth noting that the competition was on average 4 times her size. Anyway, if you haven’t seen Sonya in action- do so now, she is amazing!!!
I saw a Sean Penn’s ‘Into the Wild’ a few nights ago and it’s one of those films where I find myself still thinking about it days after the fact. For those who have yet to see it, here’s a quick synopsis….
“After graduating from Emory University, top student and athlete Christopher McCandless abandoned his possessions, gave his entire $24,000 savings account to charity and hitchhiked to Alaska to live in the wilderness. Along the way, Christopher encounters a series of characters who shape his life.”
This is based on a true story so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything when I say that Christopher dies alone in the middle of nowhere, but it does make the ending all that more heart-breaking. It’s amazing to me that someone felt so strongly about disconnecting himself from society that he decided to lose himself and live alone in the Alaskan wilderness.
Alaska has been on my list of ‘things to do’ for awhile now, seeing this film just reinforces that.
If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? I know most of you are thinking “in your arms Paria” but seriously. I would want to be somewhere far far away without the sounds of a bustling city. I started researching for the most remote islands in the world and picked my favourite. Mauritius. Located in Southern Africa, island in the Indian Ocean, just east of Madagascar. Doesn’t it just sound far away? It is. From New York, you’re looking at a 26-hour flight to Mauritius, with a stopover in Dubai.
Where To Stay: The One & Only resort is an hour away from the airport and in one of the most secluded areas of the island. It’s five-star and features land sports, water sports and three unique restaurants: one indoor and two outdoor.
How can you say no to a resort called The One & Only?
Soft mood lighting, leather couches, leg rests, Ferragamo toiletries, a washroom you can actually move around in and food service like a five star restaurant. No I’m not talking about my dream vacation. Welcome to Singapore Airlines ladies and gentlemen, where flying is a vacation on its own.
The suite class on Singapore Airlines Suites, each passenger is given a queen-sized bed. I don’t even have a queen size bed at home. Designed by French luxury yacht interior designer Jean-Jacques Coste, the suite class offers separate compartments with walls and doors 1.5 m high. The beds, yes I said beds are separate from the seat and folds out from the back wall, with several other components of the suite lowering to accommodate the mattress. Windows are built into the doors and blinds offer privacy. Hungry? Order from a menu that an international panel of chefs have prepared from around the world. Bored? Enjoy on demand movies and nintendo games on your own personal 23 inch LCD monitor. (on a sidenote: I still have a big bulky TV in my room)
$9274.38. That’s how much it’s going to cost you to fly in the Singapore Suites from Toronto. But can you really put a price on comfort?
2.7 million people live in this great city and sometimes we get so caught up in complaining about the winter blues, we forget all the reasons we love T.O, T Dot, Torono or however you choose to say it. (It’s Toronto- don’t over pronounce the t’s though)
I came across a great article written in the Toronto Star 175 reasons to love Toronto. After reading the article, I realized I could never live in another city. There’s so many things to love and this list is just scratching the surface.
There were a couple that made me laugh. 26. We have a restaurant devoted to poutine. 46. We’ve got a sugar museum. And a shoe museum. 60. Yonge-Dundas Square was supposed to be Toronto’s answer to Times Square. It’s really no comparison, but don’t you want to give the city a big condescending hug just for trying?
Personally my favourite was number 88- The view of the city as you drive south on the DVP. If you’re luckyyou will most likely be stuck in traffic because I like to call the DVP a parking lot.