Sleeping with giants

We were alone, deep within the woods, when we heard it: a rustling in the trees ahead. My heart jumped to my throat. Naively, we had left our bear spray back at camp, and now we were standing in the middle of a ripe berry patch. Shaking with fear, we waited for whatever it was…

Napa of the north: Niagara’s trendsetting ways

“Hidden gem” is a phrase that gets tossed around a lot in the travel sphere. So much so that it’s become a cliché, its accuracy debatable. After all, what’s “hidden” to visitors may very well have celebrity-like status for those who live in or near the area. You could say that’s the case with Canada’s…

It’s not all beef in Calgary

Pop quiz: You’re headed to Calgary for a culinary weekend. What are you going to eat? Beef, you say. Of course. Well, not exactly. Sure, the west is known as the beef headquarters of Canada, and the first time I visited Calgary, I ate so much of Alberta’s acclaimed AAA beef that I’m pretty sure…

Sunset at Harris Lake

No boys allowed: Girls’ getaway in cottage country

It all started 10 years ago. I was going through a rough time, a period of intense stress that had left me with a severe case of insomnia and—when I could finally sleep—nightmares. My long-time friend and eternal voice of reason (and fellow mojito hunter) came to the rescue. Erika showed up at my house…

Going green in downtown Toronto

As a travel writer, I get to visit some pretty cool places. And last week, I was fortunate to spend some time in a place that’s recognized worldwide for sustainable travel and has been voted by National Geographic Traveler as one of the world’s Top 10 geotourism destinations. Was I in Costa Rica? The Galapagos?…

Celebrating winter at Ottawa’s Winterlude

I have a special soft spot in my heart for Winterlude. Which is appropriate because this year, well, Winterlude was a little soft. It wasn’t their fault, though. I blame Mother Nature, who chose the worst possible time to inflict a 10 degree temperature spell in southern Ontario: during the last weekend of the Winterlude festival,…

How to survive a night in an ice hotel

A few years ago, my then-boyfriend and I braved a chilly night at the stunning and surreal Hotel de Glace in Quebec, Canada. And while it was one of the coolest (no pun intended) experiences I’ve ever had, it was also the worst night of my life. Damp, cold, and with a pressing bladder demanding…