20 December 2014

Christmas Adventures!

Tomorrow I am setting off on my Christmas break adventure to Eastern Europe. I will be travelling around for 12 days starting in Prague. I'm really looking forward to seeing the Christmas markets and getting in to the festive spirit. From Prague we venture over to Cesky Krumlov the medieval looking city full of cobblestone paths for the night. Christmas eve and day is spent in the beautiful Vienna touring the markets and feasting on schnitzel and strudel! After we move on to a quick stop in Bratislava. Then a few days in Budapest soaking in the outdoor baths. Followed by Poland where we will spend a couple nights in Zankopane with an Auschwitz tour, and finishing it off in Krakow to ring in 2015! It is going to be a pretty amazing trip and I feel so lucky that I am able to do this.

Krakow Poland at Christmas time

I will be flying off tomorrow and probably wont be back up and posting until my return in January of the new year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Cheers to more Britventures in 2015!

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07 December 2014

My first afternoon tea

I attended my first LDN Bloggers Tea last weekend and it was also my first time sitting down for an afternoon tea. So needless to say I was pretty excited and it did not disappoint! Fellow blogger Melanie from Sunny in London organized the whole day and it had a very celebrity classy feel to the whole event.


The Lancaster London hosted us along with their Executive Chef Ben Purton. They put a lot of work in to creating the atmosphere for us and even debuted a new Christmas pudding scone for us to try! Which was incredible!


Before we ate a representative from Laurent Perrier was around filling our glasses with bubbles and giving us a mini crash course on champagne and different foods that compliment it. Of course I got right in there and learned a few tips while enjoying my drinks! Strawberries and cheese good, olives and sun dried tomatoes bad.


The cakes, sandwiches and tarts were all beautifully presented for us and my personal favourites were the scones! We had the Christmas pudding with a special marmalade topping, plain and raisin both served with clotted cream and jam. There was so much food and I definitely left there feeling over satisfied having worked my taste buds all day.




The whole afternoon was lovely. I got to meet and chat with some other bloggers and enjoy some amazing food! It was a great experience to have as my first afternoon tea! Plus I also got to take home this fun little gift with a bottle of the champagne, the different teas, some other goodies from Lancaster London. Thanks again to Melanie and Chef Ben for a brilliant experience!


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02 December 2014

December Travel Link Up

It's that time again for another travel link up hosted by Kelly, Emma, Rebecca and Sammy. This month the theme is Christmas and the holiday season.


This year I will be jetting off to explore Eastern Europe and all the festive trimmings that come along with it. This means it will be my first Christmas not spent in Canada. I'm feeling excited to take on this new adventure but also a bit nostalgic for the things I am going to be missing out on.

Every year Christmas for me is one big whirlwind event. It has always been the busiest most hectic time for me growing up and I have developed a love/hate relationship for it over the years.

I come from a big family and a family of divorce which means that I have always had to split my time at Christmas between my two families since before I can even remember. It has always been the worst part of my holiday... trying to coordinate scheduling in time to spend with each of my four parent's sides. And in the process trying to not upset anyone and visit everyone. It's a lot of pressure for a kid growing up. But as I have gotten older and developed my 'I can't please everyone' attitude it seems to have gotten better... As I can only do so much. Living overseas has put a new perspective on this for me as you really do find out who puts in an effort to keep in contact and maintain a relationship with you when you move away and who doesn't.

But on to the best parts of celebrating Christmas!

Christmas Eve is spent with my Father's side where we all get together and house hop. We spend about an hour at each of the different relatives houses eating way too much food and drinking way too much booze. It is nice because each house is known for having a different spread of food and by the time midnight rolls around I am falling asleep in a food coma. Our house is known for my Dad's Christmas village that he spends hours putting up every year to make sure it looks perfect with each house in the right spot. It started out with just a couple houses and has now grown to take up a good chunk of our family room during the holidays.


 

My Mother lives more North in cottage country which means I get to spend my holidays with lots of snow on a beautiful frozen lake. This is pretty much exactly what people imagine when they think of a Canadian Christmas. We ice skate on the lake, drink hot chocolate by a wood fire, play outside in the snow all day and take in lots of wildlife sightings.



This year I will miss my family and being back home but I have some great adventures to look forward to in a few weeks!

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29 November 2014

Walking Snapping Tagging

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to go on a London Instagram Photography Walk with other London bloggers. I have now been to a couple of these blogger events around London and they are always well put together and lots of fun! This one was put on by Joe Blogs, Giff Gaff, and Best LDN Walks. We took a stroll through central London starting off at Waterloo, walking along the South Bank and over Westminster bridge and finishing off near Trafalgar Square. Our guide for the night was Charlotte and she provided us with some fun London history and stops along the way for great photo ops. 

My highlight of the night was getting to see all the street art in the Banksy tunnel and since Charlotte provided us with some spray paint I was able to do my first ever tag! Which was sadly covered up in less than 10 minutes by some other tagger... but at least I snapped a pic first!



Here are some of the other snaps I took throughout the night using my phone. I must say I do not have a fancy top of the line camera phone but I still think they turned out alright! If you want to see more from that night check out #giffgaffsnaps on instagram.






Want see more from that night? 

Check out my friend Sara's post as we went on this little adventure together and as an extra treat she has some really cool pictures of me tagging!
Here are some posts by other bloggers from the night  as well on Giff Gaff

Thanks again to Joe Blogs, Giff Gaff and Charlotte from Best LDN Walks for a very fun night!
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23 November 2014

Celebrating Thirty

 For my thirtieth birthday this year I decided to take little trip to Liverpool with some friends to escape busy London life for the weekend. It was such a good time and I had so much fun! I was pleasantly surprised to find out Liverpool is a great city full of friendly people and I really liked being there!


We started off our weekend heading out of London by train with lots of snacks and 3 bottles of bubbles to keep us company on the journey...
Saturday the weather was a bit rainy but we were still able to spend the day out exploring Liverpool city life and the Albert Docks. The docks is a beautiful area and also lead us to The Beatles Story exhibition. Which is one of my main reasons for wanting to go to Liverpool so I could take in some Beatlemania.

 
The exhibition was so well done and put together. It was a tour with free audio guide which took you from where it all began from their first guitars ever played to the recording of their albums, the first published articles about them, and so much more all the way to the end of their careers. They had replicas of different influential places like Strawberry Fields and The Cavern Club. It was a really well put together exhibition and left us on a Beatles high. 


Which we followed up by going to the Cavern Club. Which was the highlight of my trip. I can't really sum up how I was feeling when I went inside there but it was a flood of too many emotions hitting me at once. I was excited, overwhelmed, happy, sad, just on an emotion overload literally feeling everything. There was just so much going on inside and it was extremely busy. But it was amazing! They had live music playing and the drinks were flowing plus they had pictures all over the walls of all the different artists who have played there which was cool to see. Knowing all the history behind it just made it that much better and I'm so happy that I got to experience it.


Saturday was celebrated with some drinks, dancing and club hopping to have one last blast in my twenties. It was such a great weekend filled with lots of giggles and being silly... my two favourite things! I'm so lucky to have made some amazing friends and I couldn't have asked for better company to spend my last weekend in the twenties with! x

video

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01 November 2014

A Very European Christmas

Today I booked a holiday :)

I have decided to use my breaks to the max this year which means trying to see as many places as I can during all the time off I get from work. In December I have always gone home for the last 3 years that I have been over here to have a traditional white Canadian Christmas with my family. As much as I love it I have decided to do something different and spend my Christmas holidays travelling. This is going to be a big step for me being away from home during the holidays and I'm sure at some point I may even become homesick and possibly regret my decision BUT I am going to go for it anyways. I really want to travel and it costs less money for me to take a big trip rather than fly home. So this is one Christmas where I am going to do something different and get some new experiences.


I have booked a Eastern European trek which takes me from Prague to Krakow with a few stops in between. It looks like a really great trip and some highlights are:

Tour of Auschwitz
Christmas markets in Prague
Christmas dinner at a winery in the Viennese hills
Schnapps museum
Chalet in the Alps
New Years party in Krakow
River cruise on the Danube

So I am pretty excited to be able to experience all of it plus more! It will be my first time going on a solo adventure but it is with a tour group so I'm sure I'll meet loads of people!
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November Travel Link up

I haven't participated in the last two travel link ups because I found that I didn't have much to say about the topics. It made me a bit sad because I enjoy participating in these monthly posts. I just found my self unable to write... either due to my own lack of motivation/inspiration or due to bloggers block. BUT this month has changed that and I am happily participating! I am linking up with fellow expat bloggers Kelly, Emma, Rebecca and Kat for this months topic of "falling in love on the road!"

I have indeed fallen in love on the road... but just not with another person...

When I first moved over to London from my little city in Ontario, Canada it was a quick, impulsive and not well thought out move. I moved over for a job and had 2 months to pack up my life and ship out. I had never been away from home for long periods of time and never been as far away as crossing an entire ocean. So began my journey...

Istanbul, Turkey
When I first got here I met lots of different people and they all seemed to be well travelled and had seen and experienced lots of different places around the world. I on the other hand had personally never planned on travelling. My travel experience was limited to all-inclusive stays in Mexico, party breaks in Las Vegas, or Disney World vacations in Florida. Don't get me wrong these are all great vacations to have, but after travelling through Europe and experiencing different cultures and countries I must say that is where I fell in love with travel.

I have only just begun my loving relationship with travel but I can honestly say we are going to be going strong for a long while ;) I feel there is still so much for me to see and experience and I can't wait to do it all!

So far during my travels I have fallen in love with something from every place that I have visited...
♥ the canals in Amsterdam
♥ the ruin bars in Budapest
♥ Big Ben in London
♥ Temple Bar in Dublin
♥ the Eiffel Tower in Paris
♥ the Highlands in Scotland
♥ the markets in Istanbul
♥ sangria & tapas in Spain
Canals in Amsterdam
    
Big Ben in London

It has been such a great experience so far and I feel that it will only get better with the more I am able to see.

I already have some more adventures lined up for the end of the year with lots more falling in love to come. Plus next weekend I will be venturing off to Liverpool to celebrate my dirty thirty!
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13 October 2014

Poppies

On Sunday it was a pretty nice day so I decided to venture over to the Tower of London to see the poppies. I hadn't heard much about it but I had seen a few pictures other people had posted on Instagram and decided it looked like it might be worth seeing. I'm really glad that I went because it was beautiful. 


The poppies are a tribute to mark 100 years since Britain's involvement in the first world war. Each of these ceramic poppies represents a British soldier who died in the war. They have been slowly filling the moat around the Tower since August and will finish on November 11th with a total of 888,246 hand made poppies.


 
The colours of the deep red poppies against the stone was gorgeous. It was really an incredible thing to see and I highly recommend anyone in London take some time out to go check out this art installation.



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15 September 2014

Cheers to 3 Years!

September 15th is my official Londonversary! It was the day I packed up my life 3 years ago in to one suitcase and a backpack to travel all the way across the pond to teach children in England! I came over without a winter coat thinking that being Canadian it wouldn't get as cold as I was use to... cut to 2 months later when I was calling my parents to beg them to ship it over! haha

After three years it has become so much more than just a place where I work. 


I have become a Londoner.

I like a few pints after work.
I avoid central London and touristy areas at all cost.
Packed tubes annoy me.
I plan my nights out based on how I'm going to get home later.
I get mad when someone stands on the wrong side of an escalator.
I use words like trousers, jumper, and knickers to describe clothing.
I love a good drink in the park.
I walk everywhere.
I get excited on sunny days and take full advantage of a good beer garden.
I judge people based on which area they live in.
I get excited by any free event.

London has become my home and I could not ask for a better place to have spent my last years. I have made some incredible friends and travelled to lots of crazy and exciting places!



This year I'm hoping for my best adventures yet, lots of travelling and making sure to get my full London fix in this great city... plus a special weekend away coming up in a little over a month for my dirty thirty to Liverpool with some of my best mates I have met over here. 
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31 August 2014

Last weeks of summer

I have spent the final weeks of my summer visiting my parents at their lake house. It has been relaxing and filled with some pretty nice sunny days where I was able to sit and read lots of books in the sunshine dock side.

So to finish off my Canadian summer at home I have decided to make this a picture post with a few of my favourites.





Hope everyone else had a great summer too :)
 

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