Stay-cations!

Hey guys,

Figured I would do a little something different this time since it’s been awhile since my last update.  Seeing as this blog is about vacations and my favourite places to visit, I figured I would talk about some of my favourite things to do in Southern Ontario where I live.

The summers have and always will be famous for our family rituals.  BBQ’s, picnics, playing in the lawn sprinklers , and visiting the local tourist attractions and hotspots.

We start with the Toronto Zoo.  Every year we visit the zoo before schools are out for the summer.  Not only does this give us the chance to enjoy the zoo without a large crowd, it also seems that we see a lot more animals on display than during the hot and humid days of summer.

A season pass for Canada’s Wonderland is a must have with our family.  We certainly get our money’s worth as we visit at least 5 times every summer.

A short drive down the QEW leads us to beautiful Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls

Where a weekend of fun is quite simply all too short to enjoy everything the falls has to offer.  Starting at Lundy’s Lane where the fun houses, haunted houses, arcades, restaurants and countless other activities await.  Making our way to the Falls down Clifton Hill while enjoying some fresh fudge or ice cream while we take in the beauty of a natural wonder of the world.

Darien Lake in Western New York is another spot we like to venture out to and enjoy the roller coasters and large crowds!!

Ending off our family summers are usually always the same way.  With a trip to the CNE for cotton candy and carny rides!!!!!

There is so much to do we are truly lucky to live in such a great part of the world.  That doesn’t mean that the rest of this world isn’t ours to explore as well.  This September we will be heading to Orlando, Florida for a visit to the house of mouse…I can’t …..wait!!!

 

 

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Aloha from Hawaii!

Aloha

When my husband and I got engaged, we both knew there was only one place on the planet we wanted to visit to celebrate our union of love.  That place was Hawaii.  Or as I like to call it now, “Paradise on Earth”

Just flying into the Honolulu Airport in the dark was amazing in itself.  There seemed like these islands just appeared out of nowhere and we were there.

Greeted at the airport with a beautiful flower lai and limo service to the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki Beach.  My husband was mesmerized by the beauty of the place.  Of all our destinations we had travelled this one felt different from the moment we arrived.  Granted it was also due to the fact that we were married just 24 hours earlier.

The Aloha spirit resides throughout the island.  Being a tourist destination Honolulu may not be the ideal stop for some travelling to the islands as it is very much a city on the beach.  High rise buildings are the foreground to the beautiful diamon head volcano which stands ominously in the background of Waikiki beach.  Surfers, body surfers and beach goers pack in the white sand beach and take in the amazing weather that Oahu has to offer.

Other things around the island we took part in was visiting the Dole plantation to sample some fresh grown pineapple.  It was a fun spot, we took a train tour of the pineapple fields and got lost in the pineapple maze.

The next day we spent a day I will never forget.  Pearl Harbour is a place of reflection and human emotions that is very hard to explain.  As you relive the events of the morning of December 7, 1941 while standing over the turrets of the sunken USS Arizona which still to this day leaks oil which look like tears in the water.

Food and shopping are easy to find in Honolulu which made my husband and I very happy as we love to eat at franchise restaurants since my husband is so damn picky!

Following an amazing week in Oahu, we took a quick inter-island flight over to Maui for a week long stay at the Ka’anaapali Beach Hotel.  Known as the most Hawaii’an resort on the island of Maui.

With its beachfront access and whale shaped pool there was plenty of water to take a dip in and keep cool.  The grounds were fantastic, but my favourite part of the resort was the views.  On one side there was the Pacific Ocean and on the other beautiful lush green volcanic mountains.

A short drive into the town of Lahaina was a nightly journey for dinner as there are a number of restaurants and shops in this fantastic seaside town.  We ate dinner for my husband’s birthday at Bubba Gumps and had an amazing seaside table complete with wild stingrays swimming around in the shallows below.

Maui will always be remembered to me for the long scenic drive on the road to Hana.  A long winding narrow road with the ocean and mountains framing the entire distance.  The stops along the way make for a wonderful day.  We seen a black sand beach, beautiful banyan tree forest, waterfalls, caves and scenery out of a postcard the entire way.

Road to Hana

After two amazing weeks in paradise we returned home with the most incredible memories.  It was a picture perfect honeymoon that I am so blessed to have been a part of.  We plan on going back for our 15 year anniversary and I can’t wait to get back to my favourite place i’ve ever visited.

That’s another entry down, reflecting on these trips has really been a great experience for me.  I’m so grateful to write these memories down and realize I have been to so many more places to write about still.  What a life!

Until next time, if you’d like to leave me some feedback you can so here.

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Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba

“What an incredible beach!”  The first thing out of the mouth of both myself as well as my cousin Dan who was travelling with me.  Dan owns www.bramptonroofingcompany.com and was kind enough to help replace my roof at a family rate.  In return I asked him to come along for a this trip when my original travel partner was unable to travel.

Back to the beach, I’ve never felt such soft white sand between my toes before.  The sand stayed nice and cool regardless of how hot the caribbean sun became during the day.  The entire island is full of resorts and is attached to the main island of Cuba by a man made causeway.  There is a nice variety of wildlife in the area from lizards, crabs and birds of all different varieties.

Taking a taxi in Cuba is a great experience on it’s own.  Dan and I cruised the island in an old ’57 Chevy convertible with a cerveza in our hands and the top down to enjoy the warm  breeze coming off of the ocean.

cuba convertible

 

There are some negatives which I must talk about. The first is something I feel is nobody’s fault and that is that there are a lot…and I mean ALOT of mosquitos at nighttime.  We foolishly forgot to travel with bug spray and absolutely needed to pony up and buy a can of mosquito repellent after our first night on the island.

The second negative comment is pretty common when taking a trip to Cuba and that is simply that the food does not meet the standards we are accustomed to in North America.  I had known this ahead of time and brought with me some protein bars and other snacks to fill in the hunger gaps.

Taking into account that we knew food would be an issue before travelling was a real help personally in dealing with the not so great quality cuisine.  I found literally a couple of things I would eat every single day.  Pancakes for breakfast.  Chicken nuggets and fries for lunch and grilled chicken with a whole wheat bun for dinner was all I could stand to eat while there.  However, once I had my protein bars and a large amount of cereza, I never felt like I was starving or needing for food.

These negatives while looking back on this trip were so insignificant because the real reason we went to Cuba was for sun and sand.  That was delivered in spades.

Would I go back?  It seems like a question most people ask when they here I went to Cuba. The answer is yes .  While it wouldn’t be my first choice, as there are other area in the caribbean that just feel like home to me.  The biggest influence for me is price.  If you aren’t picky about your food and don’t forget your mosquito repellent it is a wonderful tropical paradise that should be discovered.  At least once!

As always if you have any feedback, contact me here and i’ll get back to you ASAP.

 

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Cancun, Baby!!

Is there a better place on earth for a combination of sun, sand and party then the beautiful Cancun, Mexico.  I found myself mesmerized by the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters on first arrival.

That was just the beginning of an amazing week of vacation bliss….or blitzed as it turned out on more than one occasion.   The nightlife is needless to say..Incredible!  My favourite spot had to be Coco Bongo’s where it felt like you are partying in the middle of of a vegas show.  Dancer’s, singer’s and performers surround you during breaks in the pop type music that filled the air.  Drinks are free flowing and easy to lose track of how many are going down as it’s a pay one price and drink all night type of deal.

Waking up in the morning after a fun night at the club is easy when you have such an incredible beach and pool areas at the fantastic Riu Cancun that we were thrilled to call our home away from home for a week.  The pool games were a blast and the activities kept the hotel’s beach and pool areas as the place to be all week if you wanted to have a good time.  Thankfully there was also a quiet pool with no music and activities for those days where you just need to relax.

I’ve personally been to Cancun on seven different occasions and can’t wait to go back again sometime!!… as for this entry, I hope you enjoyed some of my memories.  I’ll be back for another entry soon, next time I’ll be sharing some thoughts on my recent trip to Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba.  Until then…

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Sunny Jamaica

One of my all time favourite sunny destinations is without a doubt the beautiful island of Jamaica.

Most recently I stayed at the Gran Bahia Principe Runaway Bay.  A very large resort set on the northern portion of the island and just a short drive to the town of Ocho Rios.

In my humble opinion this resort was fantastic.  Well maintained beautiful gardens, private beach with great areas for snorkeling and clean refreshing pools that seem to surround the buildings.

The weather in January was great, sunny everyday with the exception of one rainy afternoon.  The island is so rich and lush that green is everywhere, beautiful mountain ranges where some of the world’s finest coffee is grown.

In those mountains of Jamaica is where one of our tours took us.  A small village named Nine Mile which is home to the island’s most famous son, Mr. Bob Marley.

Touring the grounds on which the music legend was born and raised is quite a humbling experience.  The atmosphere can be a bit intense outside the gates of the Marley compound as the local villagers have various forms of marijuana joints, cakes and even tea to take your Bob Marley experience to a higher level.  Though it is never forced on you and several members of our tour bus passed, I felt that it was an opportunity to connect to Bob Marley and his music through another one of his passions.

I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who can maintain an about and be apart of the atmosphere.

Another tour that was a great deal of fun was walking up Dunn’s river falls!  The natural waterfalls and refreshing natural pools make for a very fun and enjoyable day.  It took our group about 30 minutes to get to the top.

All in all I think this trip to Jamaica was fantastic, the island, the people and the beaches are all beautiful, what more could you ask for!?………a return trip maybe?

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Hi there! Welcome to my new vacation blog

Hi everyone, thanks so much for checking out my new site.  I’m calling it tyca hospitalities.  I’ll be posting mostly about travelling as it’s my passion in life.  Check back tomorrow for an update.

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