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  • Amsterdam, October 2012

    Looking back to my visit to Amsterdam in 2012, I remember it so fondly. It would be one of those cities that I could picture myself happily living in. The biking culture, the history, the water, the art, everything is just wonderful. 

    Our Airbnb host was wonderful and offered to pick us up at the airport. He then took us on a little tour of the neighbourhood our apartment was in, and even brought us to a local grocery store to pick up a few necessities. (The ginger cookies were so good!)

    Our first night in the city, it was pouring rain so we stopped a local spot for a dinner of some delicious comfort food, before heading to our apartment to open up a bottle of wine. We then took some time to explore the city, before stopping a cute bar for a drink. (And by cute, I mean that there was an adorable black cat in there!)

    It was extremely hard to have any self-control with delicious looks pastries like these at every turn!

    We accidentally locked ourselves out of the apartment on this day, so before we could start our day of sightseeing we had to wait for the (extremely patient) Airbnb owner to come back! We took the time spent waiting as an opportunity to grab a couple of shots of the area surrounding the building.

    See the spider? Sorry!

    The first thing we did was take a canal tour around the city. We were so lucky to have such perfect sun shining down on us!

    We opted not to rent bikes as it was a bit daunting in a city we had never been to before. Perhaps next time we will!

    I highly recommend getting pies from Pieminister, they were perfectly flaky and filled with a wide assortment of options, we were in pie heaven.

    We also went into a Hermitage Museum for a few hours where they had a temporary Van Gogh exhibit. At the time we visited Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum was undergoing some renovations so they had moved part of the collection over The Hermitage. It is always breathtaking seeing such great works of art in their original form. 

    Sadly we didn't get to take a Heineken tour (arrived too late!), but we did explore the gift shop.

    A dream world for cyclists!

    Such a magical city at night.

    By far, the absolute best split pea soup I have ever had. I have dreams about this soup!

    A traditional dutch pancake at The Pancake Bakery

    On our last morning in Amsterdam, we went to the Anne Frank House. It was something that I have wanted to see since I was a young child reading her diaries. Words cannot express how moving and devasting seeing it in person was. Sorry if this picture is tacky, but I wanted a memory that I got to be there and see such an huge memorial to an amazing young girl and her family. 

    We then hopped on the Thalys train to Paris, photos to come soon! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Ireland Part Two


    I should probably give fair warning that this is a very image heavy post, and that it's mainly of (beautiful) landscapes. Also that it might make you want to drop everything and go visit the Giant's Causeway, because boy, is it ever gorgeous.

    Brenda and I drove up with her cousin Declan and his wife Darina who were kind enough to take us on this lovely trip to Northern Ireland to see the Giant's Causeway. We stayed in a lovely little trailer in the town of Ballycastle (A town nearby to the Causeway). I wish I had more photos of the trailer because Brenda and I's bedroom was hilariously small, but it seems that most of what I have consists of this shot of my breakfast of peanut butter on toast and tea.



    That is some pretty realistic rowing of the boat, if I do say so myself :)


    If you haven't heard of the Giant's Causeway before, here is what their website says about its history:
    "60 million years ago the land here was different: the climate was warmer and vegetation thrived. Tectonic plates were moving - Europe and North America were moving apart. Magma from deep inside Earth spewed through cracks in the surface. Lava flowed. It cooled in contact with air and rock, hardening into basalt. For hundreds of thousands of years, all was relatively quiet. Then the earth cracked open again and more lava forced its way out. This time, the lava cooled slowly and evenly in a deep pool. Cracks travelled through the cooling rock, creating the columns we see stretching up..and making the honeycomb pattern we can see today. There are over 40,000 columns at the Giant's Causeway, most are six-sided, but there are others with fewer or more sides. Later eruptions left these columns hidden deep underground. It took millions of years of erosion for the columns to begin to be revealed. The sea level rose and fell and rose again. It wasn’t until after the last ice age, about 15,000 years ago, that the columns were revealed at the shore as they are today."

    The honeycomb shapes are absolutely amazing to see in person, they all fit together so perfectly! 

    After leaving the Causeway, we drove over to another fantastic spot: The Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. The bridge takes you over to the Carrick-a-Rede island where you can walk around and take in the amazing views. The bridge was traditionally erected by salmon fishermen. There is no longer any salmon fishing done here, as there aren't many salmon left to catch.

     

    After seeing how shaky and high up this bridge was, I almost opted to wait on the safe side, but after some convincing we all made it across. And since you can't tell from the photos, I should tell you how it very rainy and windy it was that day (Didn't help with my fear of heights while crossing!)


    Taken just before the bridge actually started, otherwise how could I have looked this calm and collected?

    I will be forever dreaming about these breathtaking views.

    Probably the bravest photo I've taken so far! 

    Later on, we had a much deserved dinner at Central Wine Bar in downtown Ballycastle.

    After dinner we checked out a few of the other pubs in Ballycastle and then finished the night with some fresh chips from a local chip shop, mmm! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Ireland Part One

    It's hard to believe I went to Europe for the first time almost a year and a half ago, in October of 2012. I flew into Dublin to meet up with my Cousin Brenda, and begin our two week adventure! Since Brenda has family in Ireland, we spent the first few days in a Naas, a town outside of Dublin, and then went into Dublin for explore for the day. 

    The morning I arrived into Dublin, Brenda's uncle Jimmy picked me up bright and early from the airport, such a kind gesture was a lovely way to begin my trip.

    Deciding to travel in the fall was a perfect idea, the cities were quieter, and the leaves were such brilliant colours.

    We stayed with another aunt and uncle of Brenda while in Dublin and they had this adorable dog!
     

    My first night there (after a long afternoon nap) we went for a quick drink at the Killashee House Hotel nearby, and met up with some of Brenda's other family members. My aunt Mary and Uncle John, who live over here, were also in Ireland at the same time as me for a wedding!

    Try not to notice the jetleg bags under my eyes :)

    Brenda's aunt Fionnuala made this amazing dessert snack, I can't remember what it's called but I do rememember it included Mars Bars and Cadbury milk chocolate melted on top, yum!

    At the train station in Naas, heading to Dublin! Typical cloudy day in Ireland, which then turned into a downpour when we arrived in Dublin.



    Some nourishment before the day of exploring Dublin began.



    The Book of Kells was fascinating, and the Library was absolutely gorgeous, sadly I followed their no photo rules and all I have now is this photo of a sign! 

    We took solace from the rain inside an adorable tart shop where we split this delicious apple crisp.



    We took a tour at the Jameson Distillery, which is now actually just a museum and the main factory is located in Cork... But we did get to do an official tasting to compare different types of whiskey, and at the end of the day, Jameson definitely tasted the best. (If you like straight whiskey, which I quite honestly don't!) But the cocktail offered at the end of the tour was pretty delicious.



    A perfect sunset while on the train heading out of the city.


    Stay tuned friends, I'm going to aim to post once a week so that you can relive this trip with me, I have Northern Ireland, Amsterdam, Paris and London to get through yet! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Montreal in September



    Back in September Chad and I went for a short weekend away to Montreal and it was absolutely wonderful. We had been the previous year for Osheaga but regretted not getting to spend more time there outside of the music fest. We basically spent the weekend doing what we love to do: wandering, eating and seeing a few of the typical tourist sites. Take a few moments and enjoy Montreal with us...

    Our perfectly situated Airbnb apartment. I would kill for this much natural light in my current apartment. And what's funny is that most of the reviews of the place complained that it was too bright! 






    On our walk through Mont Royal, we stumbled upon (more like delicious baked goods scents wafted our way) Boulangerie Kouign-Amann and we had the best treats we could ever imagine. Probably one of our favourites places in Montreal now, we visited this about 3-4 times that weekend alone.... yum! 







    Poutine at La Banquise. They even had an amazing goat cheese poutine (Pictured) for those of us who can't eat any cows milk dairy! (That would be me in this scenario) 

    A simple but tasty brunch at a very welcoming place nearby to the apartment. The bagel was delicious, as one would expect in Montreal. 

    This stand has caught my eye a few times when passing through Old Montreal, it's just so quaint, and it makes me crave a freshly made smoothie. 

    We spent the afternoon at the Biodome, and it was as fun as I remember it being. Nothing like seeing monkeys, penguins and sloths all in one place! 

    Another perfect breakfast, this time at Engaufrez Vous. The most delightful waffle-sandwiches for brunch. With a side of dried fruit and homemade jam. 

    The Jean-Talon market is most definitely one of my top three favourite things in Montreal. I was completely in heaven as we wandered rows upon rows of fresh vegetables, fruits and homemade delights of every sort. I wish I lived closer and could do all of my shopping here, I have never seen so much of a selection in my life!

    And yes, because I am crazy person and so very addicted to kale, I purchased this tauntingly delicious looking head of kale and carried it back on the train with us. Let me tell you - it was worth it! 

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Little Nicky's and Summer Walks

    To me, the idea of a perfect day off is one where I get to spend it with people I care about, exploring new places and preferably eating delicious treats. This particular day was no different. I finally had a chance to go to Little Nicky's, and I'm wishing I hadn't waited so long to make the effort! Chad, Katie and I met one Friday afternoon for a little conversation and coffee before Katie headed back to work. They are known for their fresh made-to-order mini doughnuts, and I didn't hesitate to get 1/2 dozen to go when we left. I have a soft spot for fresh doughtnuts and Little Nicky's did not let me down. 









    Chad and I then ventured into the beaches for an afternoon of exploring in the summer sun. 



    We stopped for some quick sustinance in the form of delicious sandwiches from Juice & Java Cafe and Catering. I could really go for one of those right about now! 










     

    Our day of food did not end there - we then went to my house and bbq'd some amazing burgers with sauteed kale and mashed potatoes on the side. Another perfect summer day.

    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Jamaica

    This has been a couple months coming, but it's finally here, photos of my work trip to Jamaica! Now that I work during the day for Flight Centre, there are more opportunities for travel, (not to mention many afternoons spent daydreaming about all of the beautiful places on this planet). Back at the beginning of June, I headed to Jamaica for a few days for a 'familiarization' trip with some Flight Centre colleagues. (Fam trips are for travel agents to learn more about certain destinations/resorts) This specific trip was based on the Sandals/Beaches chain of properties. So naturally, we were treated like royalty (now I'll never be able to travel on a budget again!) and I can't believe that I get to go back in September (for work again - am I lucky or what?!) 

    We started our trip bright and early at the Pearson airport - guzzling down caffeine and listening to Monika on her ukele to pass the time. 



    We finally made it (after a very short flight and a few naps), and were treated to lunch at The Mariner beach-side grill at Sandals Royal Caribbean. Nothing like eating fresh and delicious food while looking at the gorgeous blue sea.

     
    Next up we drove through the mountains into Ocho Rios and were checked into Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort. We were all treated to our own butler suites (my own butler!).




    Nothing like sleeping in a massive king bed all alone!




    My butler suite had it's own semi-private (shared with one other couple) plunge pool. I was estastic!



    I spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and revelling in my new home for the next couple days.





    That first evening, all of us Flight Centre folk went to Kimonos, Grande Riviera's Japanese Teppanyaki Restaurant. The food was absolutely delicious, and watching someone prepare it from fresh made it even better!




    So comfy. 






    A few of us ate breakfast at China Doll, where they serve breakfast to only butler suite guests! Yum.



    The rest of the day was spent touring a few of the Sandals properties in the Ocho Rios area. This is the main pool area at the Grande Riviera resort. 




    One of the absolutely gorgeous and serene spa treatment rooms. 





    Words can even describe how HOT Jamaica was. Any clothing was too much clothing - it was a constant state of sweating! But I'm not complaining, give me that any day over a -25, with windchill, winter day in Toronto! 








    This is only a partial view of the stunning Honeymoon Romeo & Juliet butler suite at the resort. 












    Jerk Chicken pizza - oh yeah, it's a thing. The Beaches Ocho Rios prepared a special lunch for us flighties and even had the Sesame Street Characters stop by to say hello.



    That orange girl looks like she's about to choke me!




    Beaches Ocho Rios also has a waterpark!!! And thanks to our awesome Sandals host we got to play on the waterslides for a couple of hours.








    Our waterside dinner at Kelly's Dockside restaurant. Such a filling, satisfying meal. Every restaurant at Sandals was so great about dealing with all of my food intolerances, I didn't have to spend a moment worrying about what I'd eat!




    Yes, in case you're wondering, they did paint themselves with chocolate!




    The next morning, before we all transferred for our last night at a resort in Montego Bay, I ordered myself some room service for breakfast. Only I didn't quite get to eat it...



    That morning I was very closely introduced to a family of mongoose who appeared to thoroughly enjoy my breakfast. I then proceeded to lock myself out of my suite by accident because I was so flustered (I don't do well when hungry!) I had no idea what these creatures were until I asked a member of the staff who laughed when I told her the story of my breakfast.







    Lunch at the Royal Caribbean resort in Montego Bay - I love a good salad bar!



    This resort has it's own private island!








    Lazy river with a swim up bar, what else do you need?! 


    Sunset from the balcony in my room at Sandals Montego Bay.

    These next few photos are from the underwater camera I borrowed from my dad, quality is pretty bad, but these are more about the fun than the photo! 










    If you made it all the way through these, I applaud you!


    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens. (Except the underwater shots)  

  • Cuba in film

    Remember back in August when I went to Cuba? Well, I just got back a roll I took with my Diana F+ while I was there! I had a couple of other rolls previously processed so I'm going to throw them all into one huge photo post.

    It's always fun to look back on a vacation months (and months) later and really feel like you're there again. Sitting here I can almost smell the ocean, and feel the soft breeze blowing through my hair. But don't worry, I won't forget that I'm still in Toronto and it's practically fall outside (What happened to the summer like weather from last week? What a tease.)

    Okay! Get ready for 30+ photos of beautiful Cuba...







    Taken on our taxi ride to Havana, we stopped at a little pina colada/snack bar for a rest. It looked out onto this gorgeous view.








    I loaned Diana my Fisheye 2 camera for the week so she had a ball taking snaps with that. I forgot how fun that little camera is! 
     



    There's me - only carrying about 3 cameras at this particular time! 



     

    After all of our tourist activities it was back to the pool! 
     





    We even watched someone get married on the beach!

    All images taken with my Diana F+ and one of these types of film: Ektachrome E200 (Cross processed), Illford Delta 400, or Kodak Portra 400VC.

  • Newfoundland, December 2011

    Finally got around to scanning some Diana F+ from a long time ago...I have quite a few scanned Cuba photos to share but first, here's some old photos from my trip to Newfoundland last Christmas! 















    All photos taken with my Diana F+ and Ilford Delta 400 film. 

  • Cuba - Part One


    Just as the mornings are growing chilly and frosty, I decided it was a perfect time to look through and post some memories from my Cuba trip.
    This part one post will be mainly photos around the resort we stayed at in Varadero (apologies for all the nature and still life captures!). After a couple of days we ventured out of the resort and I will feature those shots in future posts! Please do come back and look:)





    Our first few days in Varadero were during the tail end of hurricane Issac. Thankfully, we only had to endure a few rainshowers and some cloudy skies. It was still extremely hot, the drinks were flowing and the water was warm so we were still able to have a great time before the sun joined us.




    My adorable Mom and Sister!





    The man who taught me so much of what I know.








    Our first (much needed) drink after our 6am flight.



    Honestly? I wasn't a fan, but it was neat to try a piña colada while in Cuba.









    It was a pretty cloudy day at the beach when we arrived. But it's okay, we were in a warm, gorgeous place.





    The sun peeked out a little!





    We saw a million cute kitties (and puppies). Don't worry, in the upcoming post there are even more to be seen.






    Thanks for looking! Stay tuned for many more Cuba photos and stories to come.


    All photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Dusk along the Seine

    Dusk along the Seine

    "Colour expresses something in itself. One can't do without it; one must make use of it. What looks beautiful, really beautiful - is also right." - Vincent Van Gogh

    Here's a quick taste of my trip to Europe, I couldn't help but take a glance through my Paris photos last night while I was doing some other editing work. I am absolutely enamoured with Paris and am already planning my next trip back. (Well, maybe more in the daydream sense, but it's still a goal!)

     

    Photo taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my Canon EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens.

  • Aberfoyle Antique Market



    Back in June, a few of us ladies took off for the day to Aberfoyle to go to their amazing antique market. It was unlike anything I'd seen before - it was huge, hundreds of different vendors and tables. If I had a truck with me (or a thicker wallet) I could've easily bought hundreds of things. We had the best day hunting around and looking at all the cute and quirky stuff for sale. We stopped for a quick lunch inside their adorable, rustic cafe to refuel and then continued on. It was pouring off and on all day and of course, the moment we got back on the highway it was a downpour - lucky us! I can't wait until next summer when we can go back.






    It's such a cute place!





    You'll all be happy to know that I did NOT add another camera to my collection that day - I need to start using what I have before I buy more.. or so I've been told. (It's an addiction)

    I look like a giant!




    There was some pretty classy stuff there! Brynn had to know what they felt like, of course.




    We met some very cute puppies.





    I'm really regretting not buying that bunny!


    A car-seat!

    This is something I SERIOUSLY regret not buying. How amazing would this look in my kitchen?!

















    And then it poured on the way home...

    All Images shot with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and my 85mm 1.8 and  50mm 1.8 lenses.
     

  • Montreal and Osheaga 2012



    About 3 months ago, back in August, Chad and I headed to Montreal for Osheaga. It was the first major festival we've been to together and we had the best time! We definitely fell in love with Montreal and wish we could just move there - but the lack of our french language skills will definitely hinder us in this dream. The weather was insanely hot - but the rain held out (mostly) so we were all pretty lucky. We saw some amazing bands: fun., Sigur Ros, The Shins, M83, Brand New, Of Monsters and Men, Portugal. The Man, James Vincent McMorrow, and many many more. Even though I've seen almost all of those bands before, the spirit of a festival changes everything.





    This completely saved me in the Montreal heat - so yummy.




    (Beginning of a roll...)




    Such a cute bow in this lady's hair!



    We got to be front row for Sigur Ros - it was as mesmerizing and amazing as you'd expect. I had to keep pinching myself so I'd remember it was all really happening. Ahhh...

    This is the wonderful apartment we got to stay in - rented through www.airbnb.com. If you haven't used Airbnb before, I highly recommend it, I have stayed in some amazing places!









    The apartment had an adorable claw foot tub that I was pretty taken with!





    We took a little walk around the neighbourhood we stayed in, near Cremazie station....








    On the metro heading back to the Osheaga grounds!




    Here is a very crappy photo from a Panasonic Point and Shoot when we got to see Brand New front row. Not the best performance I've seen, but it was really great to see them live again.



    I was pretty excited about it!



    Then I got to run into these two cuties!




    We tried to take shelter from the absolutely sweltering afternoon sun under these umbrellas - didn't work that well.





    The handsome man I got to spend the weekend with.



    There is a blurry me sitting on one of those lightboxes (but you could only tell that in the evening, of course).



    Lots of beautiful foresty areas there.



    The back of Jana's lovely head.





    I gained a little weight over the weekend from all the poutine (just fries for me though).






    Then I got a super fresh, super tasty burger! Sadly I had to eat it without the bun, but I was just happily to be eatin' something. Yum.





    Then on Sunday, the clouds moved in....



    ...and it POURED. But it was okay-because Dallas Green has a pretty voice.



    We spent a few hours on Sunday enjoying Old Montreal, it was a bit wet, but that made it all the more beautiful!













    Not blurry, look closer.




    Thanks goes to Chad, for being awesome and willing to take all these shots of me.




    Photos taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 35mm 1.4 lens, my Canon AE-1 50mm 1.8, (with Kodak Portra 400, and Fuji Superia 400 film), and a couple of shots were taken with a free Topshop disposible camera I got at the festival and my Dad's Panasonic TS2.

  • Osheaga iPhone Recap



    Last weekend the boyfriend and I went to Montreal for the wonderful Osheaga festival! I haven't been to Montreal since I was a teen, and I'd honestly forgotten what it was like. But, this past weekend, I fell in love. The people are friendly, the apartments are quaint, the food is delicious (but mainly hard for me to stomach), and the city is just wonderful to wander around in.  Since I took most of my photos there on film, I haven't had a chance to have them all processed yet. So I figured I'd do a little iPhone update post. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@withcamera) may have already seen a few of these.. If you haven't followed me on there yet, please do!



    The long early morning drive there.



    Our very cute Airbnb apartment for the weekend.



    The little patio set at the apartment.



    Late night wine on the patio!




    The very informative metro signs.



    Thunderstorms rolling in at the park.



    A very tasty popsicle on a very hot day.




    Brand New



    Sigur Ros




    M83



    We wandered around Old Montreal for a few hours before the festival on Sunday.





    Interrupted this bird taking a nice little bath.




    Oh, there's Chad!

    Overall, it was an amazing weekend. I can't wait to plan my next trip (move?) to Montreal!


    All photos taken using my iPhone4 and processed using the VSCOCAM App.

  • Playing Catch Up



    I'm way behind in posting these, but I wanted to let them see the light of day before another year had flown by. I had a great Winter this year. Was probably a little lazier than I would have liked, but I had a lot of fun! (We won't talk about the hours I spent playing Resident Evil on Chad's Wii)


    Christmas at my parent's house.

    Diana on Christmas morning, waiting to open gifts. (I'll admit that I have the same sweater... and I love it).



    On Boxing Day this year I flew out East to Newfoundland. The Porter lounge on the Island Airport is amazing! Free cookies and tea, what else could one want?




    Chad's parent's house.



    The bacon even tasted better there!



    Homemade raisin bread.



    Breakfast is by far my favourite meal.




    In case you forgot what Winter looked like - here it is, probably one of the only snowstorms we had all year.


    What's better than breakfast? Breakfast in bed.


    Taken by Chad, excuse my dopey look.. not sure what was happening.


    Family day in Kleinburg, how cute are those little chairs?





    All photos taken between December 2011 and February 2012 with my Canon AE-1 50mm 1.8 and Kodak Portra 160VC.

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