Grand Turk

I love Grand Turk, the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters make you feel like you’re in paradise. I’ve been to Grand Turk many times before when I was working on ships. It was always the same routine; grab a smoothie, lay on the beach, run back to the ship to work. This was my sister’s first time in Grand Turk and we didn’t have to worry about working after so we wanted to do something a little more exciting. We booked The Ultimate Snorkelling Adventure with Chukka Tours.

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The tour took us to two reefs. The first reef was a drop off. The water was about 30 feet deep and at the edge of the reef it dropped to 7000 feet deep! It was amazing to see, there were tons of fish on the edge of the reef.

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This would be a great place for scuba diving. Once I’m certified I would definitely come back here to explore more.

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I quickly became best friends with the guide and as a result got all kinds of perks. I got to see everything first, feed the fish and even got a special souvenir.

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The guides threw some bread into the water and the fish were all over us. My new bff even gave me some bread and I was even feeding the fish right out of my hand! Such a cool experience, even though my fingers got nibbled on a little.

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Our second stop was much shallower. Which meant we could get much closer to the reef and the fish.

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Definitely one of the coolest things we saw was this nurse shark!

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Had to keep an eye out for what might be swimming nearby!

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I even swam through this tunnel of coral with the guide swimming behind me recording it on my Go Pro!

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The guide found this sand dollar in the water and gave it to me as a souvenir. I accidentally broke it before we even got back to the ship…oops!

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We still had lots of time left on the island so we went to have a drink a Margaritaville. My sister went for the classic frozen Margarita and I had a frozen mojito. To be honest, mine was way better.

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We spent the rest of the day lounging under palm trees and cooling off in the water.

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Old San Juan

We only had a short day in San Juan, but we were going to make the most of it. Our plan was to tour the forts, explore the colourful streets and have a piña colada in Old San Juan.

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We started our walking tour on Paseo de la Princesa- good start to the day, I had already found my street. The beautiful promenade was lined with shady trees and led to path along the water.

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At the end of Paseo de la Princesa is the Raíces Fountain.

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From here walked along Paseo del Morro, right long the water outside of the walls.

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The path took us right around the outside of the island to it’s northwestern point.

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At the end of the path we were at Castillo San Filipe del Morro, the main fort in Old San Juan.

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The views from the top of the fort were absolutely amazing.

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From here we walked down the main road and into the city streets.

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San Juan is the home of the piña colada, so we went to Barrachina, the restaurant where is was invented.

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Honestly it was one of the best piña coladas I’ve ever had, and I don’t consider myself a rookie when it comes to frozen alcoholic beverages. It was more creamier and pineappley than most – way better than on the ship.

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We spent the rest of the day wandering around the streets and doing a little bit of shopping.

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Old San Juan is known for its colourful houses and doors, this door with the Puerto Rican flag was my favourite.

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It was super hot walking around so on our way back to the ship we stopped into this little store Señor Paleta. They sold the most refreshing paletas, or popsicles, perfect for a hot day. Mine was pineapple-mango and my sister got strawberry mojito, both were delicious. The rest of the walk back we discussed how we would make these at home.

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When we got back to the ship we went up to the open deck to watch us sail away from San Juan. It was an amazing view of the fort that we had visited earlier that day.

Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (similar)

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

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Top 5 Travel Essentials

When you’re constantly travelling for work you learn a thing or 2 about what you need to take with you! Here are my 5 things that I cannot travel without:

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1

Lilly Pulitzer Luggage Tag and Passport Holder : This luggage tag is great for scoping out your suitcase at baggage claim. The brightly coloured print will stand out amongst the sea of black standard suitcases. When I’m at the airport I’m constantly searching through my bag for my passport, just to make sure that I haven’t lost it. This passport holder looks cute and keeps your passport safe.

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2

JOHNSON’S® baby powder: I love my travel sized baby powder and I bet it’s a lot of useful then you’d think. I use it in my hair as a dry shampoo and even to make my roots look less noticeable. My hair always seems to get really oily during flights, so I sprinkle a little on my roots when I hop off a plane. (So key for when your travel sized bottled of aerosol dry shampoo has been confiscated at security). It’s also super useful at the beach! It helps get wet sand off your skin. Perfect for when you’re putting your shoes back on after leaving the beach.

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3

Hodgson Mill Travel Flax Chia : I love these individual sized packs for travelling. When I’m at home I buy hemp seeds, chia seeds and flax seeds in bulk. I blend them together to make a sort of “dust” that I put in my smoothies, cereals, granola or salads. Kinda hard to do when you’re travelling though. When I’m on vacation I don’t always eat as well as I should be. Especially since I don’t eat meat these little packs help me get the protein and a bunch of other good stuff that I need while travelling.

 

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4

 

Maui Babe Browning Lotion and After Browning Lotion: I use the browning lotion in addition to SPF while I’m tanning to get an amazing glow. The After Browning Lotion is perfect for after tanning to help prevent your tan from fading, it also soothes burnt or red skin. Both these lotions are made from natural ingredients and leave your skin feeling super soft.

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5

Beats by Dr. Dre Solo2 On-Ear Headphones: Once during a flight I had to listen to a girl beside me divulge her entire life story (including her stalker ex-boyfriend) to a complete stranger on the other side of her. After this incident I immediately got myself a set of headphones to drown out all noise around me. They work equally as well for crying babies and snoring men. Nothing says ‘Leave me alone’ quite like these do.

What are your travel essentials?

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ST. JOHN

If you have never been to the U.S. virgin Islands then you NEED to go. They are absolutely beautiful.

I was super excited because my boo took this day off work to come out with us (he only gets one day off a week-if he’s lucky). So the 3 of us got off the ship together in St.Thomas and took a ferry to St.John. It’s a short 15 minute ferry ride, and costs about $14 a person.

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Sailing into the St.John ferry terminal you pass tons of sailboats and yachts anchored by the island. 

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There’s a hiking trail right near the ferry terminal that takes you to 2 beautiful beaches, Salomon Beach and Honeymoon Beach.

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After 20 minutes hiking we reached Salomon beach.

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I love that this beach is so exclusive, the only way to get there is hiking or by boat. We had almost the entire beach to ourselves.

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The beach was like paradise, crystal clear warm water and white sand.

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Fabien got me this Luli Fama bikini for Valentine’s Day. (How awesome is he, right?)

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Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay there forever and we had to get back to catch the ferry. On the hike back we were in for a huge surprise when we passed at least 10 wild donkeys.

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Fabien didn’t seem to be phased, I was busy worrying about getting pooped on and making sure he wasn’t petting the donkeys.

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I’ll definitely be back to the USVI one day, hopefully in yacht 😉

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HALF MOON CAY, BAHAMAS

Even though I’m out of the business I can’t seem to stay away from cruising. Honestly it’s far from my ideal form of travel but with the bf still working on ships, it’s a great excuse for a vacation. This time my sister came along with me for a 7 day Caribbean cruise and a few days in Miami.

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Our first stop was the private island of Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas, known for its crystal clear waters and white sand beaches.

We took a small boat to some coral reefs just off the island where we did some snorkelling.

 The current was pretty strong where we were so snorkelling turned into more of a workout out than I had expected.

After about 45 minutes in the water we had seen all that these small reefs had to show us. Most of tour group had already headed back to the boat by the time we were ready to go. One woman even had to be rescued from the water (NBD, she was fine).

We spent the rest of the day splashing around on the beach. The water was so warm and clear. Probably warmer than our pool in the middle of summer.

Half Moon Cay was the first port I ever visited when I started working on cruise ships 3 years ago and I hadn’t been back until now. It was nice to go back to the island as a guest and really get to enjoy it without having to rush back to the ship to go to work.

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Had a get a classic pic with our floating home in the background before we left.

Bikini: Victoria’s Secret

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Mondays with Melbourne : Blue Jays Home Opener

Alright sports fans. So Friday was the Blue Jays Season Home Opener and all of Toronto was pretty excited about it. Unfortunately the Jays didn’t get off to the great start that we were hoping for with  2 losses and one W to Boston over the weekend. But like the old adage says, “win or lose, we still booze”.

I love a good Jays game in the summer but I wouldn’t really call myself a baseball fan. I’m more of a drinking at a baseball game fan. However, there is one Blue Jays fan in the family:


  

HILO

Hilo is one of the main cities located on the Big Island. With a lot to see we thought the best way to take in as much as possible was the Hoppa On Hoppa Off bus.

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Our first stop off the bus was Richardson’s Black Sand Beach.

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The beach is home to tons of turtles, either swimming in the tide pools or catching some sun on the rocks.

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We waded through some tide pools with baby turtles swimming past us.

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The black colour of the beach was created from lava flowing into the ocean and breaking down into sand.

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The next stop was Akaka Falls. The short trail to get to the falls made us feel like we were walking through Jurassic Park. The falls themselves are almost 130 meters high.

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To my left you can barely another waterfall, Kahuna Falls.

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Rainbow Falls was the next stop for us. As the two falls merge at the bottom you can see a rainbow in the water.


Our last stop for the day was at the Liliuokalani Gardens. These Japanese style gardens are filled with banyan trees, koi ponds, bridges and statues. Perfect for taking a stroll or snapping some pics.GOPR1026.JPG

WAIKIKI

Waikiki is absolutely one of my favourite places in Hawaii. It is crowded and it is full of tourists, but it is beautiful. G0490833.JPG

I have to admit that I am sucker for the ABC store. I have a wide variety of fake flower hair clips and who could say no to a can of iced Kona Coffee? It’s also a great place to load up on Hawaiian souvenirs like macadamia nuts. Some of favourite finds from the ABC store are coconut peanut butter from North Shore Goodies and amazing tanning lotions from Maui Babe.

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After our obligatory ABC run, we rented some chairs on the beach with a pretty great view.

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Waikiki beach is where surfing was made famous. We decided we had to do some surfing while we were there.

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Being rookie surfers, we thought that it would be best if we took a lesson. We found a local on the beach who gave us a good deal and we were ready to ride some waves.

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We may have bailed a few times and definitely came out with a few more cuts and bruises then we went in with. But surfing Waikiki is an experience of a lifetime.G0530900.JPG

Once our lesson was over we hung around on the beach to watch the sunset. A perfect ending to an amazing day.

Bikini: Triangl poppy in Sea Spritz