Arriving in Nice


Last Monday I arrived in Nice after a rather turbulent flight from Brussels. Fabien picked me up from the airport and from there we drove along the Côte d’Azur and across the border in Italy, stopping along the way in Monaco and Menton for a visit and a caffe. The drive was absolutely beautiful, right along the coast. In the evening we got to the apartment in Vallebona, Italy, where we will be staying for the next month.


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Mondays With Melbourne: Snapchat Edition

The new snapchat filters have been vomiting rainbows all over social media. From face-swaps to puppies selfies to flower crowns. Melbourne wanted in on the hype.

Happy Monday!

Ps. Currently waiting in the airport in Brussels!

Perk Up, Skin!

Everyone seems to be talking about these face masks that make you looks like a cute little anime animal while you’re wearing them. So, when I found these at Winners (think Canadian TJ Maxx), I had to get them. They came in a bunch of different cute animals; tigers, raccoons, zebras and penguins to name a few. I opted for the ever so cute in real life garbage bandit raccoon and tiger.


Before:

Jks, before:

During:

After:

The instructions were really simple and they were really fun to wear. You can bet there were many Snaps sent. But if they work is totally debatable. It felt really refreshing when I was wearing just not sure about the effects after. You’ll have to see for yourself.

ps. Follow me on Snapchat: debbywaite

Mondays With Melbourne

Last night the Toronto Raptors beat the Miami Heat in Game 7. For the first time ever the Raptors will go to the NBA Eastern Conference finals. Basically all of Toronto is pretty stoked. Melbourne even went out to shoot some celebratory hoops.


Countdown to France is also on: 7 days!

Have a great week!

Majahuitas and Yelapa

Puerto Vallarta is one of my favourite places in mexico. It has so much to offer, but I am especially fond of it’s beaches and snorkelling. Yelapa is a small town just outside of Puerto Vallarta and is only accessible by boat. A huge percent of the people who live there work in the tourism industry and commute by boat. Majahuitas is a cove just around the corner from there perfect for snorkelling.

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From Puerto Vallarta we took a boat along the Banderas Bay to Majahuitas for some snorkelling. It’s a big pet peeve of mine to snorkel with a foam life jacket, but these are all that the tour company had to offer. I’ve noticed that this happens a lot in Mexico so I usually just drag it along with me in the water without wearing it so I can dive into the water.

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There were still tons of fish and I was able to move fast enough to follow this stingray. Maybe the lifejacket gave me some sort of courage because I know seeing a stingray along the beach would absolutely terrify me.

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After snorkelling we got back on the boat and headed to Yelapa, such a cute little town. The main attraction in the village is its waterfall. It’s about a 15 minutes walk from the beach.

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After spending some time at the waterfall we headed to the beach in Yelapa to relax (read drink cervezas and Micheladas).

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On our way back to Puerto Vallarta we were surprised by a whale splashing right in front of us.

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Exploring Yelapa was great, it is so interesting to see the difference in culture in such a short distance. Puerto Vallarta is very developed while Yelapa is so small and simple.

 

CABO

I absolutely love Mexico. In my perfect world I would be eating fresh guacamole and tacos on a beach with a cerveza in my hand. I’m super grateful that my job gave me the opportunity to spend so much time exploring this beautiful country. Spending all this time in Mexico and being surrounded by mexicans, you would assume that my Spanish would be pretty good. I am proud say that I can have a full conversation with any 3 year old and after a few Micheladas I can confidently order from any taco truck in Spanish. My mexican slang is also on point.

One of my favourite places in Mexican is Cabo, largely due to the fact that it has amazing beaches. Fabien came to visit me on the ship while I was working and he was on vacation and we got to spend the entire day exploring Cabo.

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In my opinion one of the most beautiful beaches in Cabo is Lover’s Beach. The only way to get there is by boat, we took a water taxi which are hard to avoid along the pier.

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The taxi dropped us off at Lovers Beach. This is the calm side of the beach where the water is crystal clear and you can swim.

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The other side of the beach is known as Divorce beach. It is too dangerous to swim here because of the waves and strong currents. It was way less crowded than on the other side and perfect for pictures.

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We didn’t spend too much time at Lovers Beach due to the lack of shade… and cervezas. We hopped back into the water taxi and went to Medano Beach which is lined with restaurant, bars and resorts. The water taxis drop you off right on the beach, so you literally hop into the water from the boat and walk to shore. Make sure you hold on tight to all your stuff. I accidentally dropped my GoPro into the water when jumping out of the boat (don’t tell my dad). Thankfully I had the floaty attachment on it and was able to grab it before it floated away. Oops..

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The water here was much calmer compared to Lovers Beach. But the beach is full of vendors trying to sell you a Nacho Libre mask or braid your hair, maybe even a sweet temporary tattoo. Lo siento mamacita, not my look.

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We grabbed a spot at one of the resorts along the beach with some comfy chairs and an umbrella. Of course no day in Mexico would be complete without some cervezas and tacos.

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On our way back to the pier in the water taxi we sailed past the famous El Arco just as the sun was setting. Such a beautiful site to end our day.

Mondays with Melbourne: Starbucks Happy Hour

It’s finally starting to feel like summer is on its way. The sunny has been shining, it’s been warmer than mildly freezing and Starbucks has brought back Happy Hour. From 3pm til 5pm any Frappuccino® is half price until May 15th.

Melbourne and I went to celebrate and she tried out the new Caramel Waffle Cone Frappuccino®. To be honest it just tastes like the normal caramel flavour with some soggy waffle cone crumbs on the top. Not sure why waffle cone is a flavour, it’s obviously just a vehicle for better things. But if you’re really into waffle cones then maybe this is just for you.


Hope you’re enjoying the warm weather and almost affordable coffee beverages!

Cinco de Mayo

When my friends asked me what I did last year for Cinco de Mayo: “Nothing, I was in Mexico”. So Mexicans (living in Mexico) really don’t care about Cinco de Mayo and don’t celebrate it. But that doesn’t mean that a bunch of Canadians who are really into tacos can’t have a good time.

Of course I found it necessary to make a piñata. I used the classic balloon and paper mâché techniques. I painted the outside white and used an image of a Calavera or “Sugar Skull” that I googled to sketch the outline.IMG_1924.jpgIMG_1927.JPGIMG_1935.JPG

I painted the rest of the design with colours and then it was ready to be filled with candy. Seems pretty simply but the entire process took me about 2 days with drying time.

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I made my classic 7-layer bean dip and a smaller not-so-classic vegan bean dip.

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I’ll use any excuse to make Micheladas, basically beer with clamato juice. I even found the mexican candy on straws that you put in them.

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One of our favourite treats of the night was the spiked watermelon. I cut 1-inch thick watermelon slices and lay them flat in a tupperware container. In a saucepan I boiled tequila, triple sec, water and sugar, let it cool a little and poured it over the watermelon. I let the watermelon sit in the fridge all afternoon. Before we served it we squeezed some lime juice and sprinkled some salt on top. It was delicious and a huge hit. Full recipe here if you want to try it out yourself.IMG_2242.jpg

Our host, Elysia, was in charge of the tacos. She made slow-cooker beef tacos and shrimp tacos just for me. Bless her soul for putting up with my dietary restrictions.

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The fun part began when it was time to hit the piñata. Unfortunately piñatas are not as popular here as they are in Mexico and we had to improvise with our bat and blind fold. We were unintentionally extremely Canadian and used a hockey stick and a toque instead. After a little bit of damage and a few close calls the piñata cracked.

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I hope everyone enjoyed there Cinco de Mayo as much as we did!

South Beach, Miami

After our cruise we had an extra day in Miami before our flight home. My favourite part of Miami is south beach. I love the shopping on Lincoln Road, the retro hotels on Ocean Drive, the beach and of course the bottomless Mimosas at Sunday brunch.

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Once we got off the ship and through customs we went straight to brunch at 660 Angler’s, where $25 gets you an hour and a half of unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Marys. Fabien opted for a beer, because unlike the rest of us he had to go back to work after. We started out with Bloody Marys which I’m not a huge fan of TBH, they just don’t compare to the Canadian Caesar. However, they were bottomless so we each had a couple before we moved on to Mimosas with our meals. I had the fish tacos and Fabien had a huge burger which he demolished within minutes then continued to eat the rest of the tables meals… and a Nutella brownie. The rest of us were full from our bottomless drinks anyways. The restaurant was very cute and we had a lovely table outside. The service was also topnotch. Before our drinks were even finished we had a fresh one in front of us. This was the best meal we ate in Miami, and thats not just the Mimosas talking… I think.

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After Brunch Fabien went back to the ship and we headed to our hotel. We stayed at Nautilus which is right between Collins Avenue and the beach. This hotel was so cute and chic. They had the most charming walkway leading out to the beach, where we spent the rest of our afternoon.

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The next morning we walked along the beach to Ocean Drive to get a coffee and admire the boutique hotels.

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We spent the rest of the day by the hotel pool, trying to take as much sun as possible before returning to Toronto.

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Our short stay in South Beach just left us wanting more. With Fabien working on a ship out of Miami I’m sure I’ll be back soon!