Adventure

Whistler Yurt Weekend Getaway + 3 Dog Friendly Hikes

Hello blogosphere, I’ve missed you. I took a year hiatus and I’m back! Bobo and I did a two night stay glamping in a yurt at the Riverside Resort in Whistler and took full advantage of lots of hiking opportunities in the area. I’m actually pretty impressed with how much we squeezed in! 

When Bobo and I discovered we had a free weekend I somehow managed to snag this last available Yurt only one week in advance. I had stayed at the Riverside Resort last year for my friends bachelorette in one of their cabins and loved it, so was pumped to head back. This time, glamping style in a YURT! I would 100% stay in this yurt again. One tip is that when I saw photos online, it looked like there wasn’t pillows/duvets on the bed so we overpacked by brining our sleeping bags & pillows. Turns out, the beds had sheets, blankets & pillows, so we didn’t need our own stuff. 

We had Jack with us so we were pretty limited on the hikes we were allowed to do since Garibaldi, Wedgmount Lake & now Joffre lakes are a no dog zone. We did three new hikes though which was awesome! Loved the new scenery. The three hikes: Brohm Lake Tantalus Viewpoint trail, the base of Brandywine Falls & Brandywine Meadows. This article is titled “Dog friendly hikes”, however, if you plan to hike the base of Brandywine falls be prepared that there is one steep area which we had to carry Jack down. Other than that, it was fine! 

Our 3 Day Whistler Hiking Itinerary 

Friday

  • Drive up from Vancouver
  • Grabbed groceries 
  • Brohm Lake Hike

Saturday

  • Base of Brandywine Falls Hike
  • Alexander Falls
  • Callaghan Valley 
  • Alta Lake (swimming)
  • Green Lake (walk)
  • Whistler Alpine Cafe (dinner)
  • Whistler Village for Free Concert (Too Many Zooz played and they were awesome)

Sunday

  • Green Mustache Cafe
  • Whistler Alpine Cafe

The Base of Brandywine Falls Trail

You can read directions on all the popular hiking blogs, to sum it up, when you get to the viewing platform of the falls, keep going. There will be a second platform where you can view Diasy lake. Go beyond the fence and keep heading east along the edge of the cliff (not too close though, just don’t read north into the forest). You’ll reach the part where you have go down a steep area. There is a rope here, however, we didn’t need it. I went down first then Bobo passed me Jack. Once you get to the bottom you walk along all the boulders at the bottom. There are markers along the trail too. On the way in, we went into the forest which is a less direct route & where I bailed. I wouldn’t recommend  - the boulder path is surprisingly easier (we took this route on the way out). You’ll eventually get to a part where the trail does go into the forest. You will pass a bear cave. We didn’t see/hear a bear, I was hella scared though. Bobo read online that there wasn’t a bear in it last year so I assumed we were good, or else I wouldn’t have done the hike. 

Callaghan Valley 

I loved exploring this area of Whistler. I had never been to it before and had no idea Alexander Falls even existed. There were only a few cars in the parking lot and wayyyyyy less touristy then Brandywine falls. The viewing platform for the falls is right in the parking lot so you don’t need to hike anywhere. We saw on google maps there was some hiking around Callaghan Lake with the opportunity for grizzly bear spotting (can’t say I would get out of my car if we made it). We started to go up the logging road to the lake but it got sketchy for lame prius. JK, love my prius, it’s just lame for off roading, haha. 

We talked to a couple in the parking lot of Alexander Falls (they had a 4WD Nisson SUV so assumed they may have done it before). They essentially said there’d no way in hell the prius would make it, lol. There’s steep areas and high rocks which is why you need a high clearance vehicle plus you go through streams/rivers. 

Brandywine Meadows 

My car, along with a bunch of other sedans, did not even make it to the lower level parking lot, lol. If you make it to the lower level parking lot, you can take a direct & steep climb up the mountain. It should be a 6.5km & 550m elevation gain hike. We however, took the logging roads up the entirety of this hike. It was 17.5km & 750m in elevation gain. It took us probably 5-6 hours to complete?! If you have a 4WD SUV/Truck/Jeep, you can make it to the upper parking lot and the hike is hella easy from there (less than 3km roundtrip for sure).  IMPORTANT: BRING BUG SPRAY!! I have 9 mosquito bites one knee cap alone. As soon as you stop moving, the mosquitos swarm you and it’s very unpleasant. When you watch the video above you’ll see Bobo dancing around - that’s to stop the mosquitos lol. Overall this hike was stunning. There was STUNNING views of mount brew & mount fee from the logging road which I don’t think we would have gotten had we take the direct path up. Oh and be aware the the logging road doesn’t offer any protection from the sun, so wear lots of sunscreen/hats/ even long sleeves. 

If you have any questions/comments, please leave them below 🙂

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Road Trip Down the Oregon Coast

In May my Mom, Aunt & I road tripped down to the Oregon Coast.  The last time I stayed on the coast I think it was only for 3 nights. I knew we'd want to take our time to see more & get lots of footage at each spot so we were there for 4 nights. Even with the extra day, it felt like we were on the go the whole time. Not much relaxing, we did see A LOT though....so worth bypassing the daytime naps. LOL. We stayed 2 nights in Seaside, Oregon (a 15-minute drive north of Cannon Beach) and then 2 nights in Lincoln City. I wanted to book us in at Cannon Beach & Oceanside but everything was booked up! We did waste a good 3-4 hours on the way down from Seaside to Lincoln City visiting the Tillamook Forrest. I looked it up online and thought I saw some cool viewpoints from the tops of mountains --- WITH CARS IN THE PHOTO -- so was under the impression we could get a rewarding view without the hike. When we showed up to the visitor center they didn't know what I was talking about. It was still a beautiful drive through the forest, but won't be going back there to visit unless I have time to hike. 

Cities, Beaches & Parks We Visited

Seaside, Oregon
Ecola State Park
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Oswald West State Park
Cape Kiwanda State Park
Lincoln City, Oregon
Multnomah Falls

A highlight of the trip was definitely spotting some whales from shore. No matter how hard I attempted to capture them on the drone, I couldn't. They were going so bloody fast and I just wasn't able to spot them on the drone. Not to mention the batteries only last 20 minutes and about 15 minutes into flight on a fully charged battery a beeping noise will starting alerting you that the battery is low. This was slightly stressful, especially when we were a couple hundred meters up from sea level on a cliff and the beeping started and the drone was about 10ft from the water. :| Another highlight: Campfires on the beach! The perfect way to unwind, watch the sunset and enjoy a beverage or 5. 

 

 

Galiano Island // VIDEO

I'm a little late to the game in posting this footage but better late then never, right?! Bobo, Jack and I went to Galiano for the first time back in February for the Family Day long weekend. The weather was glorious and I can't wait to go back and explore more in the summer! Below is the breakdown of where we went and the Airbnb that we stayed in! Claim your $50 Airbnb credit here.

1- Bodega Ridge Hike

2- Montague Harbour Provincial Park

3- Bellhouse Provincial Park

4- Airbnb (Trish was an amazing host!)

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Arizona Road Trip | Phoenix, Sedona, Page, Grand Canyon & Vegas

My mom spent 6 nights on the road adventuring through Arizona in October and it was AWESOME! We flew into Phoenix and did a one-way car rental to Vegas.

CAR RENTAL TIP: We saved 40% on our car rental by renting from outside the airport. I'm not sure if this is with all airports or just ones in Arizona or the United Stated but we managed to drop the rate from $830 to $470. I seriously almost had a heart attack when they told me the total when we arrived at Enterprise in the airport. How did it go to $40/day to over $800?! AIRPORT TAX, that's how. We took an uber to an enterprise location 1km away from the airport and the price dropped by almost 50%.

Phoenix

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SEDONA

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HORSESHOE BEND

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ANTELOPE CANYON

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PAGE

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GRAND CANYON

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CLEVELAND DAM

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Saltery Bay

Can I just tell you that I am having SO MUCH FUN with my new drone? I've never been so excited to edit footage before in my life! Last weekend Bobo, Jack and I travelled a hop, skip and jump over to Saltery Bay Provincial campground, just south of Powell River. We had it booked from Friday-Sunday but since it was raining on the Friday, we couldn't leave until Bobo was done work AND we had to take two ferries we decided to just get an early start on Saturday morning. When I booked the campsite I thought it was just north of Gibsons and not two ferries away....oops! haha. It was a long an expensive trip for camping for 1 night but....was still worth it (HASHTAG NO REGRETS)! If you're thinking of heading to Saltery Bay area, I would highly recommend at least a two night stay to make the trip worth while. Check out the video and all the locations featured in the video below :) [fbvideo link="https://www.facebook.com/bolandiablog/videos/10153512603371607/" width="800" height="449" onlyvideo="1"]

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Saltery Bay Campground | Map | Make a ReservationBeach of Sunshine Coast Highway (beside oceanside resort) | Map 

Skookumchuck Narrows | Map

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Don Bosch Park on Ruby Lake (not featured in video) | Map

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Joffre Lakes Hike & Nairn Falls Camping

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If you're popping by my blog to check hear about the conditions of the trail for Joffre lakes with the snow because you're interested in doing it, I have two pieces of advice for you: 1. DO IT 2. BRING BOOTS OR SHOES WITH GRIP. I did the hike my nike runners with zero grip and was either skiing down in my runners or bailing, exactly 14 times on the way on the way down to be precise (surprisingly no bruising today, weeooooop!). It took us 4 hours round trip to get to upper Joffre lake which was still 90% frozen over. We passed a few people on the way up who warned us about the lake and they had fallen in (to their knees), so just be careful on how far out you go out, it was really warm up top so the snow is melting fast. If you plan to hike this only once this year I'd recommend doing it later in the season is you want to see the Kool-Aid blue water. The snow is stunning but that glacier water is something else. If y

Squamish Hike | First Peak, The Chief

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Not sure why, but whenever I hiked the chief in the past I always bypassed the first peak and went to either the second or third peak. I wasn't sure if my dog Jack could handle the obstacles required to get to second and third peak so played it safe and did the first peak. As you can see, the views are just as incredible. :)

Alder Flats Hike in Golden Ears Provincial Park

I did this hike towards the end of February. Ever since discovering the beauties of Allouette Lake in the summer I've been eager to explore the trails in Golden Ears. The hike is about 11km and took us roughly 5 hours. As you can see in the photos there was some snow up top so dressing accordingly. If you have hiking boots I'd recommend those over wearing running shoes. :)

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1 Week on the Big Island, Hawaii (Kona)

If you like adventure, this the big island is for you. My boyfriend and I had 7 days on the island and we were doing something different each day from hiking, to snorkelling to sea kayaking. What I loved about the big island is the array of landscape it has. For example: In 1 day we drove from barren land with black volcanic rock lining the highway, to a lush green valley where it was raining, to the top of mountain where  there was blue skies and endless rolling fields filled with cows and horses. If you're visiting the Big Island you will definitely need a car rental if you want to be exploring. I'd also give yourself at least a week if you want to fit in adventures and have time to relax.  The one thing we didn't get to was seeing the volcano which I hear is amazing.

If anybody is looking for a place to stay in Hawaii I'd love to recommend my Aunts 2 bedroom condo located in Honalo. She also rents out her convertible mustang. Email sadaponte@shaw.ca for details :)

Sunday Kona Green Market

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Hapuna Beach - Best white sands beach on the island

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Dinner in Downtown Kona

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Snorkeling in Kahaluu Bay - Loved this spot!!

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South Point - We came to south point to go cliff jumping but the ladder wasn't there. In retrospect I would have chickened out anyway so not a big deal. Definitely worth the visit to the see these Santorini like cliffs and you can say you're in the southeast point of the USA, wippie-do-da!

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Green Sands Beach/ Papakolea - This beach was 110% worth the wicked capris pant sunburn I got during this dessert like 9km roundtrip hike. There's people from the parking lot that you can pay to drive you in their 4x4 vehicles too if you're not the hiking type. The hike is pretty flat though so if you can stand the heat, do the hike.

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Sunset from our place

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Pololu Valley - The rain felt so so good on my sunburn from the day before but man, I can only imagine how beautiful this place would have been with blue skies!

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Drive from Pololu Valley to Waipio Valley where my camera died so I actually didn't get any photos :(

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Sunset in Kahaluu Bay - Our go spot

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Sea Kayaking in Kealakekua Bay- It turns out Bobo and I actually don't like sea kayaking. We rented the sea kayaks from this sketchy dude who just had two in a random spot away from all the other tours. The legit rental companies werent allowing people to take the kayak's out because the waves were too big. Sketchy dude told us that he had a spot that was "calm". We said "fuck it" and did it anyway. When we got to the other side of the bay where the Captain Cook  Statues is we were told off by 4 people that we couldn't dock our kayak unless we were with a tour. Something sketchy dude didn't tell us about. So we had to snorkel and swim with our kayak where I got yelled out for putting my foot down on the ground for 2 seconds to let water out of my snorkel so I could breathe - can't damage the coral!! So the lesson learned here folks, is that you should probably rent with a legit company if you'd like to have an enjoyable experience here. Oh and getting out of the water in the kayak while waves were crashing into rocks was probably the most terrifying thing I did on this trip. MADE IT OUT ALIVE THOUGH!

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Cliff Jumping at The End Of The World - hard to see with the go pro screen gran but thats Bobo jumping off. I LITERALLY stood on the edge for THREE HOURS and chickened out. I just couldn't do it. After some locals came by and told me how people die here all the time (they get swept into the cave and drown) and in the summer the water is so clear you can see the "harmless" sharks swim by I was like NOPE. Somebody did die there 2 weeks previous but its usually when waves are really bad, the day we were there they were mellow.

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Have you been to the Big Island? If so what was your favourite spot?

Special thanks to my Aunt Sandra for letting us stay in her condo!! :)

Halfmoon Bay

Welcome to my new video series! Since I love adventuring around this beautiful province I call home and 99% of the time lug my camera with me to document it, I figured I'd create a new video series called "Explore BC". The first video in the series is from a weekend trip to the Sunshine Coast to Halfmoon Bay.

Time from Vancouver

2.5 hours- Only a 40 minute ferry ride form Horseshoe Bay to Gibsons

Where we Stayed

This 2 bedroom Airbnb

What to Do

Go floating & swimming at Trout Lake

Hike to Skookumchuck Narrows

Go swimming in Ruby Lake aka the warmest lake I’ve ever been in!

Grab Coffee at Halfmoon Bay Cafe and walk down to the water.

See pictures from this trip in this blog post

If you want inspiration on where to visit in BC, I encourage you to subscribe to my Youtube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=SarahBolandia

My Greece & Turkey 2 Week Vacation Itinerary

My friend Allison and I had exactly two weeks to cram in 5 cities in 2 countries that we wanted to visit. Thanks to our shared Pinterest board and we narrowed it down to Istanbul, Fethiye, Santorini, Athens and Meteora. Sadly Mykonos, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale did make the cut due the amount of travel time we would lose getting to those destinations.

There isn't a plethora of transportation options to get from the Turkey coast to the Greek islands, but where there's a will, there's a way. Blustar ferries has only three sailings a week from Rhodes island to Santorini and costs around 30 euro. Now how do you get to Rhodes island from Fethiye? You take the Ala Turka ferry which sails out every morning for a whopping 50 euro. If I remember correctly it's about a 1.5 hour ferry ride to Rhodes from Fethiye and then a 12-14 hour ride from Rhodes to Santorini. Can you say TRAVEL DAY?!

Unfortunately for Allison and I the ferry from Fethiye to Rhodes was cancelled that day due to bad conditions. They told us this was the first time this had happened, just our luck. This obstacle ended up costing around $650 CAD each to get a flight from Fethiye to Santorini. We couldn't wait to take the next ferry from Rhodes to Santorini because it left two days later and we would would only have two days in Santorini instead of four. We then had to book THREE flights to get Santorini: Fethiye > Istanbul, Istanbul > Athens, Athens > Santoroni!! Well it was under one booking but we physically took three planes that day and arrived in Santorini the same time as we would have if we had taken the two ferries.

We booked most of our accommodation through Booking.com, which I had never used before. I liked booking through this site and I'm personally using it for any travel bookings I make in the future.

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ITINERARY

DAY 1 | Flying from Toronto to Istanbul (Red Eye) Accommodation: Slept on the plane Transportion: Air Canada then a private shuttle bus that we booked in advance to bring us to our hostel (15 euro each) Tips: Free booze for international travel...

DAY 2 | Istanbul Accommodation: Metropolis Hostel | $87 CAD for two nights, for two people in a 4 person shared dorm. There's an awesome rooftop patio with a bar if you want to buy booze & food or you can bring your own.  Transportion: The Hostel was close enough to everything that we got around the city on foot Tips: We stayed in Old Istanbul and explored all the touristy sites (Mosques, Spice market, parks). If you're a female make sure you cover your legs and don't have exposed shoulders. I was wearing a tank top and shorts and was getting enough disgusted looks that I went and bought pants, even though it was 35 degrees out.

DAY 3 | Istanbul Accommodation: Metropolis Hostel | Transportion: The Hostel was close enough to everything that we got around the city on foot Tips: Walk along the water and take advantage of all the rooftop patios.

Day 4 | Istanbul - Fethiye Accommodation: Ten Apart Hotel | $80 CAD for 2 nights for 2 people in a 2 bedroom (5 beds), 2 bathrooms & a kitchen suite. This was my favourite hotel & the best bargain! Upon a late arrival Allison and I had one day to book paragliding and a boat cruise. The hotel manager was very accommodating and arranged everything for us including transportation. Transportion: Shuttle to Istanbul SAW airport then we took a 1.5 hour plane from Istanbul SAW airport to Dalaman airport with Pegasus for $80 US for the two of us. After getting out at Dalaman airport there's shuttle busses waiting to take people to either Fethiye or Olundiaz. Tips: Hector paragliding & a boat cruise, enough said.

Day 5 | Fethiye Accommodation: Ten Apart Hotel Transportion: We had a driver come get us from our hotel and drive us to Olundiaz where the boat cruise was & the paragliding. After paragliding a bus took us back to Fethiye. Tips: When booking the boat cruise look into which one you're booking. Some of the boats have waterslides off them and are more for the "party crowd". We booked ours through the hotel, but if you just show up on the beach around 10-11am all the boats will be lined up and you can decide which one you want, assuming they're not sold out.

Day 6 | Fethiye to Santorini Accommodation: Anna Pension | $32 CAD for two people for 1 night (1 room, 3 beds and private bathroom). If you're on a budget this is the place to go! It's affordable to get a private room, there's a pool and it's not to far from downtown Fira. Transportion: This was the travel day from hell which you can read about at the beginning of this post. There are ferry op tions to get from Fethiye to Santorini and other Greek islands but since one of the two ferries was cancelled due to bad weather we opted out and book plane tickets for that day, versus waiting two more days to take the ferry. We took a cab from the airport to our hotel. If things haven't changed all the cabs in Santorini charge the same flat rate (30 euro maybe?!)

Tips: We arrived here late at night and left the next morning so no tips here, sorry!

Day 7 | Santorini Accommodation: Villa Happening | $248 CAD for 2 people for 3 nights (1 room, 2 beds & private bathroom). This hotel is in Imerovigli which is a fancy touristy spot where you see plenty of infinity pools off the cliff side. I booked this hotel because I was supposed to have a photoshoot with work here, hence the more fancy location with better landscapes (the photoshoot didn't happen but we kept the booking anyway). A woman and her daughter run this hotel and they're both very very sweet. The airline lost my luggage and the pair were very helpful calling the airline every few hours checking for updates for me. Transportion: We took the public bus from Anna Pension to get to this hotel then toured around mostly by foot. Tips: The hike to Skaros Rock is a must, the photo ops make it worth the climb! Even though Villa Happening doesn't have a pool there are many bars with infinity pools on the cliff side in Imerovigli that are open to the public. They all look like hotels and private suites but if you see one with a bar & a pool and want to use it, just ask. Also the food is ridiculous expensive in Imerovigli, which we learned after our first dining experience on the cliffside, ahah. Allison and I went to a small grocery store and grabbed breakfast foods, booze & snacks so we weren't spending as much eating out. This was the first break in the trip that we could actually do this since we were staying in one city for more than 2 nights.

Day 8 | Santorini Accommodation: Villa Happening Transportation: Transportation was provided when we booked our boat cruise (charter bus picked us up). Tips: We did a boat cruise that brought us to the Volcano, hot springs and then dropped us off just to watch the famous Ohio sunset. The boat cruise was underwhelming compared to the one we did in Fethiye, maybe because I wasn't expecting brown water at the hot springs followed by the smell of sulfar. Also, is it unreasonable to expect to see hot lava if I'm going to a volcano!? LOL. All we saw was some smoke. Don't get me wrong it was still cool to see, it was just hyped up too much by our tour guide. If I were to go again I would go on a boat that took me to an isolated area where I could jump off the boat, relax, eat & drink! Do yourself a favour and got to Ohio to watch the sunset.  Get there early and snag a spot at the square, it is 120% worth it despite the thousands of tourists everywhere (just embrace it).

Day 9 | Santorini Accommodation: Villa Happening Transportion: Public transit to downtown Fira. Tips: Downtown Fira is decent spot to get a quick bite to eat and souvenirs for cheap.  Catching sunsets on roofs is a thing too by the way.

Day 10 | Santorini - Athens Accommodation: Hotel Tempi | $83 CAD for 2 people for 1 night (1 room, 2 beds & private bathroom). This hotel was meh. Everything was booked up in Athens so options were lacking. Transportion: We flew from Santorini to Athens and then took the subway to our hotel. Tips: No tips here, we got in late and left the next morning.

Day 11 | Athens - Meteora Accommodation: Hotel Antoniadis | $170 CAD for 2 people for 3 nights (1 room, 2 beds & private bathroom). Two words: Rooftop Pool. Transportion: We took the subway to the train station. Check out schedules here. The train from Athens to Meteora is about 4 hours. Once you get to Meteora mostly everything is walking distance from the train station. FYI The train was around 25-30 euros one way per person. Tips: Just a heads up that people do smoke in the trains even though it's technically not allowed. Also podcasts are a great way to take in the views of the Greek country side without getting bored.

Day 12 | Meteora Accommodation: Hotel Antoniadis Transportion: Walked everywhere Tips: If you're into hiking, I'd highly recommend the hike up to the Monastery followed by a sunset tour. The "Visit Meteora" website will come in handy.

Day 13 | Meteora - Athens Accommodation: City Circus Hostel | $74 CAD for 2 people for 1 night (2 beds in a 6 bedroom mixed dorm & private bathroom). This was the trendiest place  we stayed and probably the least bang for our buck seeing as we had a shared room. Luckily we were out all day sight seeing and only needed it to sleep & shower, so it wasn't too bad. Transportion: We took the same train that we took to get to Meteora. Tips: I really enjoyed our jam packed site seeing day in Athens. To see: Acropolis, Temple of Zeus and Olympic Stadium. To Eat: Lithos.

Day 14 |Athens - Toronto Accommodation: N/A Transportion: Subway to the airport then Air Canadaaaaaa! Tips: Your vacation isn't over yet, why not take advantage of the free buzz and get a little tipsy on the way home? haha.

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COST BREAKDOWN

Total cost for accommodation for 2 people: $774 CAD  ($387 CAD per person)

Transportation Upon Arrival (not including flights from Toronto to Istanbul):

  • Flights for 2 from Istanbul to Dalaman (Fethiye): $110 CAD
  • Flights for 2 from Dalaman (Fethiye) to Santorini: $1317 CAD
    • This was an unexpected cost because our ferry was cancelled. In theory this should have cost us only $100 on ferries each but since we had to book 3 flights for same day travel, we got dinged :( 
    • Flights for 2 from Santorini to Athens: $283.44 CAD
    • Roundtrip train for two from Athens to Meteora: $180 CAD

Total cost for flights for 2 people: $1890.44 ($945.22 CAD per person)

Total cost for accommodation & flights between most cities for 2 people: $2,664.44 CAD ($1,332.22 per person)

Click below to see pictures & more details on each city I travelled to during this trip.

PS.... Dear Turkish Airlines, RyanAir and Aegean Airlines, Please have direct flights from the Turkey Coast to the Greek Islands. Thank you!

If you have any questions about my trip, comment below! :)

New Year's in Nova Scotia

After Christmas my boyfriend and I travelled to Nova Scotia to see his family sans Jack (he stayed with my mom in Ontario). We spent the majority of our time in Tatamagouche, which is essentially in the middle of nowhere. It was beautiful as you can see you from all the photos. Also made an obligatory visit to Peggys Cove. Can't wait to visit again but next time in the summer.

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Peggys Cove

Christmas in Ontario

This year I had the pleasure of spending time with family for 3 days shy of a month. I flew home to Ontario at the beginning of December with Jack. Originally I was supposed to head home on the 19th but since I got laid off I bumped my flight to an earlier date to not only spend more time with family but also to switch aircrafts so my dog could travel with me. My boyfriend met me in Ontario on the 22nd, we spent Christmas with my family then flew to Nova Scotia on the 28th to spend New Years with his family.

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Meteora, Greece

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The last stop on our trip was to the hidden gem of a town called Meteora. It is roughly a 5 hour train ride inland from Athens and 100% worth the visit. We discovered this town though pinterest and researched that it was a good spot for hiking and sunset tours. We stayed at Hotel Antoniadis and would stay there again, did you see that rooftop pool!?

Athens, Greece

It's been 8 months since my trip to Turkey & Greece with my friend Allison and I realized I haven't posted the last two cities on our trip. Better late than never though, right? After hearing many disappointing reviews on the city we went into it with low expectations which actually worked to our advantage. After Santorini we flew to Athens first thing in the morning and stayed for one night. It was a smouldering 35-38 degrees in the city and with only one day to pack all the touristy sites in there wasn't a single minute wasted. We walked to the Acropolis from our hotel, then to Temple of Zeus, then Olympic Stadium, then toured around the city on a hop-on, hop-off bus. I really enjoyed seeing all the historic sites and found the people in the city to be less aggressive than when we were Istanbul.

If you're ever in Athens do yourself a favour and go to Lithos for dinner. The food was fantastic but the service & people were even better.

Accommodation was expensive in Athens. The night after Santorini we stayed at Hotel Tempi. Our last night on our trip after Meteora we stayed at City Circus Hostel which is the super trendy looking place in the photos at the bottom of the article. The two beds in a 6 bedroom mixed dorm was $10 less than what we paid for a private room and bathroom at the Hotel Tempi. :|

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Meal Plans for Camping at Pemberton Music Festival

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I've decided to break down the “What Food to Pack for Pemberton Music Festival” list. As I mentioned in my previous post I am a lazy binge eater when it comes to festivals. I work my butt off during the week eating super healthy, going for runs and doing fitness classes. When it's festival time I don't even have energy to put real pyjamas on so you bet I won't be cooking gourmet meals. I appreciate the people who put in the effort to get their nutrition though. GO YOU GIRL (or boy)!!! I've broken down meal plans into two different types of campers along with meal plans and grocery lists for each. I'm heading up Friday morning so the meal plans are effective Friday at lunch.

THE SAVAGES. Savages are people who come with minimal efforts and want to break out of their salad eating habits or continue to live off everything processed for the weekend. I happily categorize myself as a Savage camper.

THE LUXURY CAMPERS & HEALTH NUTS. These are the people who put in the extra effort to max out their fine dining experience during the festival. They generally just like eating quality food or they're really sticking to their paleo diet.  Savages will be waken up every morning to the smell of delicious omelettes, freshly brewed coffee and maybe even the smell of steak! They will be jealous and experience FOMO. Damn it for being so lazy and cheap!

THE SAVGES MEAL PLAN

Breakfast

  • Saturday- Oatmeal
  • Sunday- BQQ'd bread with peanut butter OR pancakes. Last year at Sasquatch we made TEQUILA PANCAKES. Now that's how you start the morning off at a festival ;)
  • Monday- Hello McDonalds drive through on the way home!
  • @bolandia_yvr@Pemberton_Fest@VancityBuzz If you want the "Lazy & UNhealthy" edition, add 200% more bacon!! Brilliant stuff, Sarah!— 102.7 The PEAK (@ThePEAK) July 16, 2014

Lunch

  • Friday- Hot Dogs and/or Burgers
  • Saturday- PB & J
  • Sunday- Canned food

Dinner

I don't know about you but I plan to be fist pumping and crowd surfing at this point. Will either be too full from all the booze to eat or grab a bite inside.

Snacks

  • Doritos
  • Ruffles
  • Fuzzy Peaches
  • Graham crackers
  • Hershey's Chocolate
  • Beef Jerky
  • Ritz cheese sandwich crackers

THE LUXURY CAMPERS & HEALTH NUTS

Breakfast

  • Saturday- Omelettes and Bacon. Pre cut all the veggies and put them into a container so all you have to do is dump it into the pan.
  • Sunday- Granola, yogurt and fruits of sorts.
  • Monday- An organic breakfast wrap from some one-off mom and pop coffee shop on the way home

Lunch

  • Friday- Deli meat on buns with cheese and side salad
  • Saturday- Steak with roasted peppers and baked potatoes
  • Sunday- Pre-made Quinoa salad

Dinner

  • I don't know about you but I plan to be fist pumping and crowd surfing at this point. Will either be to full from all the booze to eat or grab a bite inside.

Snacks

  • Hummus
  • Pita Bread
  • Almonds
  • Trail Mix
  • Fruit
  • Veggies
  • Crackers
  • Granola Bars

What to Pack & Hacks for Pemberton Music Festival Camping

It's Monday. It really hit me today that I'm going to Pemberton Music Festival this week and to be honest I'm not one bit prepared. Where do I start? LISTS. Lots of lists so I don't forget anything! Grimes is blasting and I'm in the zone. Here goes nothing... I've been to my fair share or festivals and campgrounds and over the years I've learned a few things of what to bring (the lifesavers) and what to leave at home. Here's the list of what I plan to bring. I know the lists seem long and overwhelming but everything on these lists is stuff I've used in the past. Once you get there you'll be drunk and not have a care in the world so it's best to go prepared! Keep in mind if you're camping it's NOT  car camping meaning you have to park then walk all your stuff into your camp site. I hope this list helps all your virgin festival goers out there or people just double checking they have everything.

Food & Booze (Check out the Meal Plans Post HERE)

  1. WATER. Folks, it's going to get up to highs of 38! We don't want to ruin the party with people overheating from dehydration.
  2. Bring an empty water bottle to bring into the festival. There should be water stations so you can keep hydrated without breaking the bank.
  3. FREEZE WATER BOTTLESa night before you leave. These will act as ice packs in your cooler until it defrosts and you drink it. KILLING TWO BIRDS WITH ONE STONE! Thank you Mom for teaching me this tip back in the day when we were Canada's Wonderland Season Pass holders!
  4. Stovetop or portable BBQ & mini propane tanks
  5. Hot Dogs, burgers & buns
  6. Canned shit. Alphaghetti, Ravolili, etc. It's disgusting how lazy one can get after drink non-stop and sitting there in the smouldering heat. I'm fine with all these instant foods but I went to Sasquatch last year with my friend Erin and her BF they made homemade guacamole, had coffee every morning, fresh veggies and dip, you get the point. I sat there and drooled as I ate the most depressing thing of my life...canned mac and cheese courtesy of Walmart in Bellingham.  To each their own. haha
  7. Mustard and ketchup
  8. Instant oatmeal
  9. Deli Meat, cheese and bread
  10. Plastic shot glasses
  11. Paper plates and bowls
  12. Plastic cutlery
  13. Granola bars
  14. Bread & PB & J. Andrew and myself lived off this at Sasquatch last year. To this day the noodles that we splurged on on our last day there were the best I've had noodles of my life...
  15. CHIPS
  16. Candies
  17. If you don't want to be bloated all weekend so you can rock your super fun forever 21 crop tops then I'd suggest bringing hard liquor. It will be lighter to lug to your campsite too I have to laugh out loud when I reread what I just wrote "hard liquor will save you from bloating" after all the food suggestions I just made. Oh well, every bit helps right? haha. MAKE SURE YOUR HARD LIQUOR IS IN A PLASTIC BOTTLE. Security won't allow glass in the campground for obvious reasons and if security is anything like Squamish Music Valley festival last year they will GO THROUGH YOUR TENT and take it from you if you have glass. I literally witnessed this. I hope Pemberton has their shit together and don't go through people's tents. On that note go to #6 in camping.
  18. Beer Bong
  19. Juice for mix
  20. Pop
  21. Redbull
  22. Plastic Cups
  23. Tongs
  24. Tin foil trays. This is what I cook my canned food in on the BBQ
  25. Can opener
  26. UPDATE BOOZE ALLOWANCE Each of the following is the maximum allowed amount of alcohol per person during the weekend: - one (1) 40oz bottle of liquor - two (2) 750mL bottles of wine - one (1) 473mL case of twenty four (24) cans of beer  
  27. BBQ Lighter 

Camping

  1. If you can try to get up as early as possible. If you're like me and have super kind friends that are going up earlier than you ask them to set up your tent for you so you're not left stranded.
  2. DO NOT for the love of god choose a spot beside the honey buckets AKA the porta potties. This is the one place that is NEVER quiet. So unless you don't plan on sleeping for 1 minute during this 96 hour festival I'd recommend going the extra few sites over to avoid this area. It's also smelly. Porta potties & 38 degree weather. NO THANK YOU.
  3. Tent
  4. Sleeping Bag
  5. Air Mattress
  6. Duct tape. In case your tent has mystery holes in it like mine :(
  7. A luggage lock. I always lock up my tent before heading into the festival grounds. My friends and I store our cooler in the tent. It just doesn't feel right abandoning  your liquor when there's thousands of drunk people around. Trust issues much? lol
  8. Headlamp so you can see where your damn Advil is buried in your bag in the middle of the night.
  9.  Pillow
  10. Shoes. Bring a pair of shitty shoes you don't care about anymore even if they're not your #FestBest. They will get dirty and you'll probably want to throw them out after
  11. Flip flops for the campsite/ showering
  12. Plastic bags for garbage & dirty clothes
  13. A cooler
  14. Lawn chairs or a Tommy Bahamas beach lounger chair (built in cooler included. Thanks Costco)
  15. A fold up table
  16. A Tarp to put under your tent just in case it rains
  17. Twine. Can come in handy in so many different scenarios

Clothes & Hygiene

  1. It's going to be HAWWWWT & SUNNY. Bring a HAT(s). Drinking all day in the sun and having your head exposed is asking to get heat stroke and I don't want sound like a grandma over here but I've experience over drinking in the heat before and it is no fun later in the day nor the next morning. The last thing you want is to be waking up in the middle of the night with the cold sweats.
  2. Shorts. I'm bringing 4 pairs of shorts.
  3. Tanks & Crop tops
  4. T Shirts
  5. Dress. You're not going to a club. You're going to be sitting in grass cross legged, jumping up and and down and possibly crowd surfing. Do you really want to be flashing what your mama gave ya?
  6. Pyjamas
  7. Swim suits. DID YOU HEAR THERE'S GOING TO BE A WATER SLIDE?! #STOKED
  8. Underwear. 4 days. Do the Math.
  9. Toothbrush & toothpaste
  10. Hair ties, Head bands, floral head pieces, bobby pins.
  11. HUGGIES. The more hygienic version of an Italian shower ;)
  12. Soaps and shampoo if you plan on showering
  13. deodorant
  14. Sunblock
  15. Aloe Vera. If #14 fails you
  16. Sunglasses
  17. Birth Control Pills!
  18. Band-Aids
  19. Bug Spray
  20. Hand Sanitizer
  21. A rain poncho. For under $2 this can act as rain coat and dry seat on the grass Rahshina :)
  22. Toilet Paper

Fun, Random But Necessary Things to Bring

  1. As I mentioned under food & booze Beer Bong. LOL
  2. Download the Pemberton app. It has everything from schedules, maps and vendor info. My friends and I have already "favourited" which artists we plan on attending
  3. A backpack/ fanny pack. Handy to bring in for the day to carry things like THAT LUGGAGE KEY, an empty water bottle, wallet, camera, phone & charger, sunblock, etc. You're also allowed to bring in sealed bottle of water. If you're super cheap and don't want t spend lots of money on alcohol you should probably check this out.
  4. HAIR CHALK. Well technically you would need this before. But if you want to temporary dye your hair use pastels from Michaels. I'm going to follow this tutorial :)
  5. GLOW STICKS
  6. A helium balloon. This is seriously a life saver. When you're hammered at the end of the night and have to walk through 10,000 camp sites you can easily spot yours if you tie a balloon to it. Hopefully nobody steals it or the sun doesn't melt it! In the past nobody has stolen my balloons
  7. Portable phone charger if you have one
  8. Potable speakers for when you're just not ready to go into the festival

DO NOT FORGET YOUR WRISTBAND AND YOUR ID. Hope this list helps you guys! If I'm missing anything comment below and I will add it in! :)

ENDING NOTE

I know most of us live off of the "if you didn't Instagram/Snapchat it, it didn't happen" rule but whatever you do DO NOT be THAT PERSON who is holding up their iPhone or even worse an ipad for the whole concert. As a photographer I'm all about capturing these moments but at some point you need to put the camera/phone down and take it all in. Not to mention how rude it is for all the people behind you.

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