Pumpkin Fall Family Fun

Pumpkin Fall Family Fun

Pumpkin Carving

Here is a fun family tradition that my family started a few years ago that I would like to share with all of you. It’s basically a family pumpkin carving party, but let me share how it started.

When my parents sold their house, my mom decided that their apartment was too small to host Thanksgiving; and that it was time for me to take over our family feast.

Our first Thanksgiving at my place was fine, but I discovered that it was a lot of work!!! Some families sit around the dinner table and talk for hours about world events, their feelings and that sort of crap. Well that’s not my family! Lol.

My dad was done eating and was asking what was for desert before I even sat down. I cooked all day and we were done and in a turkey coma within 20 minutes. They came, they ate and they left!!!

Being a professional party/events planner, I did a bit of soul searching to figure out how I could improve our family time. I came up with a brilliant idea! I realized that my family seem to bond more when we are doing an activity; instead of just sitting around the dinner table.

The following Thanksgiving, I had a plan! After dinner, there would be an obligatory pumpkin carving contest. No one gets a pass; everyone has to carve a damn pumpkin!!

Let me share with my American friends that Canadian Thanksgiving is on the same day as your Columbus Day. So it’s always in October, before Halloween.

I cooked the turkey, my mom, brother and sister in law brought sides. We sat down and were done eating within 20 minutes…again!!

After we cleared the table and cleaned up, we prepared for our pumpkin carving throw down. What I wasn’t expecting was how into it everyone would be!! It was so fun; we actually sat around talked and laughed for hours!

Meow
Even the cat had fun, this is his happy face!

Over the years we have invited cousins and other family members to join us after their respective turkey dinners. The first year we posted our finished pumpkins on Facebook and asked our friends to vote for which one they liked best. I noticed a week later that friends were posting their pumpkins and asking friends to vote for their best pumpkin. How fun!!

Family Pumpkin Carving
My whole family really gets into it. My brother now brings his own carving tools.

Other years we vote internally, the rule is you can’t vote for yourself. Who knew pumpkin carving could be so competitive? And who knew my brother was such a great carver? He has only lost one year; he did a VW van pumpkin and people didn’t get it, lol.

VW Pumpkin
The infamous VW pumpkin that ruined my brother’s perfect winning record.
Family
We sometimes get VIP guests, like my Christopher. The more the merrier!

I am challenging all of you to have your own pumpkin carving night with your kids, your parents or your friends! Do it!! And try posting on social media and asking your friends to vote; you will be surprised by how much participation you get. I am also available to judge, I am pretty sure I would be an awesome judge. Just tag me on Facebook!

 

Elvis Pumpkin
We aren’t very good,, but we have lots of fun family time together. This is a great idea even if you don’t like your family, everyone is too busy to fight…just saying.

Make memories!! That is what my blog is about!!! I missed our pumpkin carving last year, but I will be in Canada this year and it’s on!! My brother is going down!!!!!

Kiss Pumpkins
We line them up, post on Facebook and let the voting begin.
Witchy Pumpkin
My bro, the carving champ…I even tried cheating one year, he’s hard to beat!

Hit the like button below if you are a cool person 🙂

Boo!

Liette

 

 

Fright Night!!

Fright Night!

Spooky Fun Things to Do in Downtown Las Vegas.

Fright Night

It does’t matter if you live in Las Vegas or Miramichi, yes it’s a real place, look it up! You can find something spooky to do in October. I challenge you to find some scary fun in your own hometown before Halloween.

The whole point of my blog is to encourage people to get out and  do things, even if you think it’s dumb or lame; do it anyway. You may just have a great time?

In this post we will explore scary things in downtown Las Vegas; downtown Vegas is basically Fremont St and the surrounding areas.

Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead Zombies

Our first stop is Fear the Walking Dead Survival on Fremont Street. We mustered up our courage to battle the undead; I decided two lemon drop pre-zombie martinis would help.

Frear the Walking Dead
The entrance is on Fremont Street, just after the giant martini glass.

This was advertised as part escape room and part ride. Although I enjoy getting scared, I am not that brave, but was game to give it a try.

Waiting to take on zombies
Waiting for our turn, Aaron, Staci and I.

I must say, I did feel a bit better having one of Las Vegas’ finest, Aaron, with us! He was aware that his sole purpose was to protect us if we got swarmed by zombies; and he seemed cool with that.

Right off the bat, they told us that the zombies weren’t allowed to touch us. I instantly felt braver. No cameras were allowed during our experience. I respected the rules. I didn’t want to risk pissing off our handlers and being fed to the zombies.

We were paired with a group from California, who appeared to have also had a few drinks, for extra courage, I am sure. I bounded quickly with Tracy, she was in front of me and told me I could hold onto her if I felt scared. It’s funny how quickly you bound with people when you are in a stressful situation. I totally used her as my shield…shhhh! Don’t tell her. lol

Making Friends
My new zombie fighting friends from California. Tracy is top right.

We entered and were scanned to make certain we weren’t already infected by the zombie virus. Once cleared, Aaron and I were separated from Staci. When we rejoined her, she was already best friends with Fireball and the other ladies in their group.

New Friends
These guys made it fun, they were loud, rowdy, engaged and just plain awesome. Fireball, nicknamed by Staci, is bottom right.

We went through several rooms before sheltering in an elevator that led us to a truck or a helicopter, I was running for my life, I can’t remember what they said we were getting into. We were handed 3D glasses and guns. We shot like hell to make it out alive! This was the “ride” part of the experience; Staci and I yelled our heads off. It was a great stress reliever.

I am happy to report that no one got bitten; we all survived! It was a lot of fun, it lasted about 20 minutes ish.

It was very well done, but I do think that the people you are with are what makes this ride fun. I only saw a few zombies, but I was at the front of the pack. Aaron who was holding up the rear, said he saw more of them.

I would recommend this event to friends. It wasn’t crazy scary, which I liked, but there could have been a few more zombies. But all and all;  I give The Walking Dead Survival, 3 black scardy cats out of 5.

Not ready to go home just yet; we went for a drink at the Artisan Boutique Hotel, located on West Sahara. It’s know for their after hours parties.  During the week, it’s a quiet boutique hotel, and a crazy hot spot on weekends.

Downtown Las Vegas
We survived!! Now off to a spooky old hotel.

This place is 100% haunted! We didn’t see any ghosts while there, but there is no way it isn’t haunted. It’s old, funky and fabulous.

We didn’t stay long enough for the after hours craziness, because we are old, but we did enjoy the cool vibe.

Haunted Hotel

Artisan Hotel
There was an altar right off the lounge…it has to be haunted!! The decor is goth chic.

The Haunted Museum

Next up on our downtown haunted tour is The Haunted Museum; it’s located on East Charleston Blvd. Because this is more of a museum, I wouldn’t recommend too many drinks prior. They tell stories, so you need to be quiet and listen.

Haunted House Las Vegas
So many scary things to see in Vegas…who knew?

You may be wondering if I believe in ghosts? Well I don’t not, not believe in ghosts, lol. I am a little afraid to say that I don’t believe; I don’t want to piss any off…just in case they are real and watching me. Better safe than sorry, right?

Gargole Las Vegas
Is it weird that I like gargoyles? I think they are cool.

The Haunted Museum in Las Vegas, was created by Zak Bagan from the TV show, Ghost Adventures. He has collected “haunted” and super creepy items and placed them in a supposedly haunted house.

My friend Sean’s daughter and her friend were visiting from Canada, they were game for a creepy night, so off we went!

Haunted House Yikes
Here we are waiting in line to get in, ready for a good scare.

I find it’s always a good idea to do something scary with someone younger or slower than you; someone you can use a shield or “sacrifice” if shit gets too real, lol. With that in mind, my dates for the Haunted Museum were two 19 year olds and a late forty something year old male. Full disclosure, I am a late forty something female, but I am fairly sure, I could have out run him had things gone bad…sorry Sean; I would have absolutely  called for help, once I was at a safe distance away though… you’re welcome!

Haunted House LV

As soon as we walked in this is what greeted us; nothing creepy about clowns and dolls. In the picture below, check out the first clown on the top left, tell me he isn’t the creepiest thing ever!! He is staring at you right now.

Haunted House

Haunted House Dolls
Creepy dolls….check, clowns…check, serial killer memorabilia …check!

Pictures and videos are not allowed inside the museum, but we were able to take a few pics in the lobby.

This place was 100% creepy; a tour guide led us through a series of scary rooms. I did make certain that I was never the first or the last person to enter or leave any of the rooms; that’s another helpful hint for you…you’re welcome.

I am not going to lie, in the second room, I did feel strange and a bit lightheaded, was it a spirit? I am not sure? But I powered through and only screamed once; it was more of a yelp than a real scream. I had warned our group, that I was a screamer.

We made it out alive and I so far nothing has followed me home! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to get a bit creeped out. It’s open all year round, but it’s a perfect October activity.

I am giving The Haunted Museum a 3.5 black scardy cat out of 5.

I would love to hear about your spooky activity, so please leave me a comment below. And as always, click on like, if you were at all mildly entertained.

Boo!

Liette

(I am also mildly entertaining on Facebook and Instagram too: oui-liette)

Gargoyle
Peace out goblins!!

 

 

Maritime AF!

People often talk about the Canadian provinces as the “have” and the “have not’s”. The Maritimes; New Brunswick, Nova Scotia & Prince Edward Island are often classified in the “have not” column.

We have long been the butt of a lot of Canadian jokes; and that is fine,  with the exception of Newfies (people from Newfoundland), we are the funniest and nicest people in Canada. We can take the jokes because we know who we are and we know how lucky we are to call ourselves Maritimers.

What makes us Maritime AF and right awesome? Here is a short list!

 

Maritime AF

Oh Canada! It all started here boy!

We are the birth place of Canada in more ways than one. The first Europeans to settle in the Americas did so in the Maritimes; first came the French and then the English (First Nations were already here).

Then on July 1, 1867 the Canadian Colonies united to become a Dominion; Canada was born. And where was the Confederation signed?? In Toronto? Ottawa? Nope, in the Maritimes; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to be precise. Mmm I think that makes us Canadian leaders!

We know how to winter! (sorry for posting winter pics in the summer, I know it’s a no-no)

You know you are Maritime AF if you have survived a real Maritime winter. First of all let’s get one thing clear, anything under 30 cm (1 foot) of snow is considered a light dusting in these parts. And we don’t call the army to help dig us out when we get hit with a little snow, sorry Toronto, you’re never ever going to live that one down.

No, when we get hit with a NorEaster, we put our very best skidoo pants on and we dig ourselves out! (for my US friends: Skidoo is a snowmobile brand, it doesn’t matter what brand of snowmobile you have, we call it a skidoo. It is also used to describe things; skiddo pants are snow pants. And it can also be used as a verb, example: skidooing, meaning going for a ride on your snowmobile.)

Have you ever had to shovel the snow off your roof? If so, you are Maritime AF! Then after you are done with your roof, Maritimers help their neighbors; and yes we know our neighbors. Why are we so friendly? Because the next time it snows and we can’t open our screen door because the snow is too high and it opens outward; we know that they’ll come shovel us out. You don’t survive in these parts alone; are communities are strong.

Canadian Winter
A light dusting of snow in Moncton, N.B.

Have you skied, snowsheoed, gone slidding, skidooed & skated all in the same week? If so, you Maritime AF.

Winters here are long; too long to sit in the house and wait for spring, because sometimes spring doesn’t come, it goes right from winter to summer, lol. Maritimers make the best of winter!

Winter Fun
Maritimers, not afraid of a little snow or cold!

Have you ever used snow to cool your adult beverages? If so you are Maritime AF!

Wine Not
No ice? No problem here!

Have you ever been in the forest and said to yourself either out loud or in your head, “I live in a freaking winter wonderland?” If so, you are Maritime AF!

Let It Snow
There is nothing better than going for a walk after a heavy snowfall when the temperature is hovering on or around 0 degrees Celsius.That’s  just hot enough to unzip your jacket and take off your toque; it’s magical.

Have you ever spray painted a snow bank? Yup Maritime AF!

Oh Canada
My coworker Paul Dupuis and I painted a big maple leaf on the snowbank during the Vancouver Olympics to support Team Canada. Crosby, a true Maritimer, scored the winning goal…coincidence? Nope, Maritime AF! lol

The Best Summers Ever!

Just when you can’t take one more minute of winter, summer shows up! She is fickle, so we don’t take her for granted. As soon as she warms up, we are out in our shorts and flip flops.

We also tend to call a lot of things “she”; like summer, weather in general, boats, cars and a multitude of other  things.

Have you ever heard someone say: “How’s she making her?” When said correctly, it sounds like: hoows shemakinger, it means how is your day going?  Also very popular and Maritime AF is: “How’s she going?”, meaning how are you? And for a few extra points you can throw in a “boy” at the end: “How’s she making her boy?”, How’s She going boy?” The boy translates to friend and it sounds more like booy.

The Maritimes are so beautiful in the summer that it makes the 3 months of winter worth it…ok 4 months…fine 6; it makes the 6 months of winter worth it!

Canadian Beach Day
Just a regular Maritime beach day in May.

 

Beach Bunny
Catching a few rays on a sunny beach day in June! See, we are funny!!
Parlee Beach
Summer! Which usually falls on the last week of July and first week of August. The best two weeks of the year!! Lol

We have salt water in our blood; when the sun is shining we flock to the ocean.

If you have gone swimming in the ocean on the May two/four weekend, you are Maritime AF!

Only in the Maritimes!

If you are in the Maritimes and say you are going on the island, you don’t have to specify what island you are talking about, “the island” is P.E.I. Anyone who has to ask what island you are referring to are obviously “from away”; which is how we describe people who are not from here. Used in a sentence: Where is he from? Meh, from away.

Confederation Bridge
The Confederation Bridge or the Fixed Link connects New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island. It spans 13km/8miles. It is def Maritime AF!

If this patched and re-patched road looks perfectly normal to you, you are Maritime AF.

On the road again
If you don’t like the weather here, wait 15 minutes and it will change. The continuous frost and thaw does this to our roads. This road was most likely paved a year ago, lol.

Do you eat your lobster cold? If so, you are Maritime AF. Warm lobster is for sissies, a.k.a. anyone from Ontario.

Lobster
Helpful lobster hint, if you buy cooked lobster and it isn’t on it’s back, you are buying it from amateurs. Keeping them on their backs keeps the juice from leaking out. You don’t want a dry lobster.

Have you ever had Roast Chicken Chips? No? Then you are definitely not Maritime AF. Another clear sign that you are not from the Maritimes, is that you have never heard of #stormchips. That is when they call for a big snowstorm and you go to the store to stock up on chips, it’s a thing, google it.

Speaking of weather, if you haven’t heard from Cindy Day, you aren’t Maritime AF! Who is Cindy? She was CTV’s meteorologist for over a decade. We liked to blame her when she got the weather wrong. Someone needed to be held accountable..right?

We also use the word “right”, right a lot, lol. Example: It was raining right hard last night. It can also be used at the end of a sentence to replace “eh”.

Chips
They are calling for a big storm, you have enough storm chips right?

Kitchen Party

And finally the very best part of the Maritimes are Maritimers! Whether it’s an Acadian tintramar for le 15 aout,  or an Irish or Scottish Ceilidh with Gaelic music;  where you can get your jig on (jig means dancing or get your grove on). You haven’t lived until you have been to a Maritime Kitchen Party, they are by far the most Maritime AF thing on this list!

Acadians
photo credit to grob1993 from Instagram

I hope you enjoyed this post, if not, you are certainly not Maritime AF!! And we probably can’t be friends lol.

I want to hear what you think makes us Maritime AF, there are too many for me to list alone! Leave a comment below.

Feel free to click on like, it’s below my last pic, you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram: oui-liette

And finally, sharing this post with your friends will give you instant Maritime AF street cred…just saying.

Muah!

Liette

Lighthouse Selfie
Thanks to Kadopromo for my fancy hats! Need corporate branded swag? Check them out at: http://www.kadopromo.net

 

Day Tripping in Toronto

Back in Canada for work, I found myself with a few hours of free time to explore the city; what to do, what to do? To say that this city has an infinite list of things to do is a huge understatement!

My favorite thing to do in a big city, any city really, is to walk the streets, people watch and to get the feel of the unique vibe of the city.

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Hello Toronto!

We walked our way to Graffiti Alley, which is in a really neat part of town. It is in the Fashion District and runs south of Queen Street West from Spadina Ave to Portland Ave.

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Graffiti Alley is a true alley, there was a large truck backing up when where there, it’s beautiful and real. You can just imagine how it got started, mural after mural until it turned into this amazing space.
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The colors are so vibrant! There is approx 1 km of art.

Never heard of it? If you are Canadian, I bet you have seen it without knowing what it was. It’s the alley that Rick Mercer, a fellow Maritimer, walked through during his awesome rants on This Hour Has 22 Minutes.

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My beautiful cousin Nicole, who lives in Toronto (Oakville), was our tour guide. Yes she is my first cousin…really, she is super petite with an Italian or Spanish look, while I have more of a blonde viking vibe, but we are a family!

I discovered Graffiti Alley a few years ago, if you read my very first blog post on the hard hitting subject: How to Take the Perfect Selfie, you will have seen this pic, taken there.

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This pic taken a few Novembers ago.  On a much cooler day.

You often see photo shoots being shot when touring the alleys, which I love to witness.

selfie
Feeling a bit faint here, oufff hot and humid. I seriously thought I was going to pass out! My face looks a bit funny here…funny looking, not funny ha! ha!

If you find yourself with free time in this beautiful city, I urge you to get out and explore!!

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I see you there CN Tower!
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There she is, I’ve decided, the CN Tower is a she! Toronto also has a working trolley system. No texting and walking here! Watch where you are going!!

We have had two awesome meals here, here are my recommendations:

Si Lom Thai Bistro – 534 Church St

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Best Pad Thai ever!! Prices were super reasonable.

My second recommendation Is Donatello: 37 Elm Street

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Another gem, freshly made pasta, was soooo good!
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The restaurant is huge, with a rooftop terrace, they have a small eating space right on the side walk; which is where Mary and I decided to eat.  It is surrounded by flowers. It was so quaint!

 

Tomorrow I am off to my hometown of Moncton, N.B. I have already put my parents on notice that I will be expecting lobster rolls for lunch. They are more than happy to comply. But tonight, I am eating smarties in bed; resting up for some vacation adventures.

Thanks for reading, more pictures on Insta & Facebook: oui-liette, check me out! And click like below if you liked. If you didn’t like this post, sorry, but you just read all the way to the end, so it couldn’t have been that bad, lol.

Feel free to share your fav thing to do in this Mega City! I will be back here in two weeks, would love some recommendations.

Muah!

Liette

 

 

 

Sober in Vegas…or not?

Sober in Vegas…or not! (Part Deux)

More fun things to do in and around Las Vegas, while sober…or tipsy! Lol

This next activity, is my second fav thing after kayaking. You probably shouldn’t do it while drinking though, lol.

When you think of coming to Vegas, I bet a Camel Safari isn’t exactly top of mind? I am a list girl, those who know me will be shocked by this statement I am sure…not! I often make mini bucket lists, just to keep things interesting. I try to pick 4 or 5 new things a quarter. New on my list was going on a Camel Safari.

Camel Safari Nevada
This was my camel, I forget his name, he had a big personality!

Since Las Vegas is in the desert, I thought it would be plausible that there would be camel safaris available somewhere…right? I mean, come on, anything is possible it’s Las Vegas!

I was right! I did a quick Pinterest search and there it was! The company is called: Camel Safari…ok, they may not get points for originality, but hey, they do Camel Safaris, so it fits. My nephew Jack was coming to visit, so I booked us a Camel Safari! I really need to give my nephew a shout out, like camels, teenagers can be, at times difficult, but he is and has always been game and receptive to all my cockamamie ideas…and there have been many!! You rock Jack!

Lizard
Jack wanted to take this little guy home.

Camel Safari Selfie

Camel Safari, the company, are located in Bunkerville, which is a little over one hour’s drive from Las Vegas. So not far at all.

Camel Safari www.camelsafari.com
I found them on Pinterest, check them out!

There are different tours available; you can feed the animals, they have more than just camels; they do bachelor and bachelorette parties, where you can party under the stars. Side note, the night before we went on our safari, they filmed an episode of the Bachelor there! And of course they do Camel Safaris, please check them out online: http://www.camelsafari.com

Now I am no camel expert, but everyone that I told about my upcoming adventure, warned me that camels are basically assholes. My experience was the exact opposite, these camels were very well behaved! Mine had a funny, quirky personality, we bounded over the fact that he seemed to love getting his picture taken, just like me.

photo bombed by a camel
My camel and I hamming it up, his selfie game was strong! lol

Again, I am no animal expert, but I attribute their well-mannered behavior to the fact that they are so well taken care of by their keepers. They are not locked in cages, they get to roam on the estate; where they hang out with their camel friends and a rescued zebra, who the camels have accepted as one of their own.

The staff seem to be there because of a genuine love of animals, it was great to see! And a fun experience, I highly recommend!

Camel Safari…checked of my list!!

NEXT! Let’s do a speed round of my go to places, this is where I take my visitors who come to visit me. 

Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains is 15 minutes off the strip (all of these places, I found on Pinterest, it’s my fav search engine.)

Seven Magic Mountains, Las Vegas
Here with one of my many beautiful cousins. Our dads were not fans, they stayed in the car, lol.

Seven Magic Mountains is a temporary art exhibit in the desert, I guess you can drink there, as long as you are not the driver. You can take great pics and it’s free!

Liberty Bell Arch

Liberty Bell Arch is part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, it’s on the Arizona side. It’s a geological masterpiece! The arches were formed over 300 million years. It is less than an hours drive from the strip. It is a moderate hike, bring lots of water! Sorry, this is a non-alcoholic activity, but it is free!

Liberty Bell near Las Vegas
Modeling my new Roots Nice hat!

You can’t see the Arch from the highway, so when it finally does come into view it’s amazing! Please be careful, the rocks at the base of the Arch are lose and sharp. I didn’t venture all the way up to the base; but my friend Sean did, he did a lot of slipping and sliding on the rocks and I was there at a safe distance away to photograph it!

Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire is approx 50min from the strip, you really, really need to go! It is breathtaking and there is a spiritual zen vibe to it. The hikes are amazing, the park is over 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops, as per their site, please go to: http://www.parks.nv.gov for more info…oh and they have cool petroglyphs.

Save your drinking for when you get back to the strip, you need to be on your A game for this one. There is a fee to get into the park, but well worth it.

Valley of Fire, Las Vegas
My dad and uncle ventured out of the car for this one, lol. He is 80, I hope I am as active when I am his age.

Ghost Towns

Nevada has lots of Ghost Towns, if you have a bit more time or are touring the state and see them from the highway, you should stop! As long as you aren’t driving, I don’t see any issues with an adult beverage or two, hey you may even see more ghosts after a few?

 

Nevada's Ghost Towns
So many ghost towns, so little time. This one was in Rhyolite
Nevada's Ghost Towns, vintage cars
This one is in Nelson, they do a lot of cool photo shoots here, loved the old cars.

Welcome to Vegas Sign

What people may not realize is that Las Vegas has a very sophisticate side, we have world class entertainment, top chefs and restaurants and the worlds most impressive NHL hockey team…GO KNIGHTS!

But there is also a fun and cheesy side, everyone who visits me needs to get their picture taken at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign; I think it’s the most fabulous touristy thing you can do!

Although this is a free activity, there is always a guy there who offers to take your picture, I recommend you let him. He is a pro! He will help you find your inner cheese! Don’t forget to slide him a $5 afterwards! $10 if you are a larger group.

Welcome to Las Vegas Baby!
As long as you aren’t driving, please do drink during this activity!

My brother wins for best jump, the worst jumper is Gilles, bottom left. Gilles you really let us down, you should be embarrassed, lol. My dad and uncle were living their best thug life, trust me you would not have wanted to be on the ice, with these two hockey guys in their hay day!

What is your best Vegas hot spot? Have you tried any of the activities listed here? Please share!

As always, thank you for reading, this one was long, but I needed to jam pack lots of content. If you enjoyed please click on like, feel free to share on social media and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Merci! Muah!

Liette

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Sober in Vegas!

Sober in Vegas!

Yes you read that correctly, it is possible to be sober in Las Vegas; and news flash, it can actually be really fun. I want to share a few fun things that I have discovered off strip, that don’t involve drinking or gambling.

Not to brag but in my first year here, I now live in Las Vegas, my friend Lynn and I have done almost every day trip activity within a two hour drive from the strip.

What kind of things you ask? How about kayaking, camels and hiking for starters? There are so many fun things to do off strip, it’s going to take more than one post to share them all.

One of my first day adventures with Lynn was kayaking and it is probably my most favorite activity to date. And yes, I said kayaking…in the desert! I am from Atlantic Canada, so I am naturally drawn to the beach and to any and all water activities.

I was amazed to find a place that is just a 50 minute drive from my house; it’s called Willow Beach. The water is crystal clear, there is also an area called Emerald Cove where the water is, well it’s emerald green, hence the name.

I am in love with this place!!! I should warn you that this post will be heavy on pictures! Oh and filled with lots of exclamation points!! Deal with it!!! lol, sorry, will try to restrain!

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Once you turn off the highway, you will drive all the way down this road. Trust me there is water at the bottom.

For exact driving instructions, punch it in your phone, Willow Beach. But in brief, from Vegas drive towards Boulder City, then hang left; super helpful right?

On our first kayaking adventure, Lynn and I booked a guided tour, which is more expensive, but was well worth it for our first time out. On our next trips, we ventured out on our own. You can rent a single or double kayak onsite, you will need to book in advance, rentals are $47ish a day.

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Lynn taking in the view!
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Taking time for a quick pic, I was a bit of a paparazzi on this trip, not going to lie.
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This was a super hot day, we were excited to be on the water.
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Off we go!

From the marina, we kayaked for about 50 minutes to get to a small rocky beach area, it’s the perfect place to rest, picnic and swim. There are a few spots along the way where you can pull over and hang.

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Here is our fav spot to stop. You will need flip flops or water shoes, it’s rocky.

 

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You can see the water is a nice green, no filters needed for these pics!
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Here is our little beach.

I will warn you the water is on the cold side, I was impressed with Lynn, this California girl got in and swam on our second outing. I am Canadian, I have not yet found water too cold to swim in.

Please note this activity is more of a spring and fall thing. It is just too hot in July and August to be outside for any long periods of time. Regardless of when you go, you will need to pack lots of water, snacks and sunscreen.

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Cheese! You will notice in most of my posts that if I am outside I have a hat and when on the water, I have a water shirt. I am a blonde Canadian, I burn!

After resting, snacking and swimming on the beach, we continued onward to Emerald Cove. It is about 20 minute from our resting spot. If you keep going down the river, you will eventually hit some hot springs; we haven’t made it that far down, as of yet.

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This is the very fabulous Shondra making her way toward Emerald Cove.

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To the left of my kayak you can see what looks like a cave, it looks a bit scary from this viewpoint, but it really isn’t. It’s more of an archway, on the other side is a small opening.

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This is a better view, there are usually a few kayaks waiting for their turn to go in. Don’t be a jerk and stay in there too long. No one likes a cove hog! lol

I am told that the water is green because of the algae on the bottom.

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See! Emerald Green, the water here is a bit more shallow, so when the sun shines, it glows green. The water is crystal clear, the green is on the bottom.

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Shondra chilling in the cove.
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The water is so green exiting the cove. It’s so pretty it looks fake, but trust me, it’s real.
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You can see our small resting beach over my shoulder.

Fun fact, Canadians outside of Canada wear Blue Jays hats to meet other Canadians. If you are in the US and you see someone with a Blue Jays hat, you are obligated to say hi and ask what part of Canada they are from. It’s how we find each other.

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Lynn riding the current, working on her tan.

From the marina to the cove, you are paddling against the current, but on the way back you can coast and enjoy the ride.

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Shondra, who is from New Mexico is rocking a bikini top and I have my water shirt on, but it does have short sleeves! I also kept applying sunscreen every 15 min.

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When there is no wind, the water is like a mirror, it’s truly breathtaking! We have seen eagles flying overhead and mountain goats grazing on the cliffs.

If you only have time for one off strip activity, this is the one you have to try!

I was amaze to find out that some of my friends and coworkers, who have lived in Vegas for a long time, had never been to this area. Sometimes you need to be a tourist in your hometown.

To prove how much I like Willow Beach; I bought a kayak…yes a maritime girl moves to the desert and buys a kayak, it does seem a bit crazy.

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I bought a kayak and decided to set it up in my condo, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I hope you enjoyed this post, two more on fun things to do off strip will follow shortly; next will be my camel safari!!

I also want to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my blog, this is just my third post and I have had over 36,000 views so far! I don’t expect all my posts to go viral, like my previous post did. I am fine with a slow build moving forward.

If you can find my like button, you need to scroll down, trying to fix that; please click on it. And if you really like me, you can subscribe.

Thank you again!

Muah,

Liette

 

 

New Brunswick, Canada! You’re going to hate it! 

If you hate sandy beaches, friendly people, world class seafood and breathtaking natural views; then I am pretty certain you won’t like N.B.!

New Brunswick, in my opinion, is one of the most overlooked provinces in Canada. If you are not from Canada, it’s the one province that you have most likely never heard of.

Map of Atlantic Canada

It’s situated in the between Quebec, Maine, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It has no bestselling novels with a red headed pig tail girl about it, Sidney Crosby isn’t from here, and Hollywood stars don’t vacation here in million-dollar summer homes.  It is a plain and simply a forgotten province which more people tend to pass through on their way to other places.

The goal of this post is to highlight a few of the awesome things about South Eastern N.B. that you probably won’t like one bit.

Here are five random, things about New Brunswick, that you may not like.

#1. It’s way too green!

N.B. greenery

 The landscape is covered in lush green forests and fields. In fact, if you drive 20 minutes in any direction, you will find yourself in the forest; where you can hike and bike beautiful pristine trails for miles and miles or kilometers.

The only thing more annoying than the multi shades of green in the spring and summer are the colours of fall; when all that green turns into yellows, oranges and reds. Make sure not to visit in the fall, it’s too pretty, you won’t like it!

Fall Foliage

#2. N.B. just has too many beaches!

 Everywhere you turn there is another beautiful beach. If you head North East of Moncton, New Brunswick’s largest city, you will hit your first beach in 15 to 20 minutes. Shediac, Cap Pele, Grande Digue, Bouctouche…they just keep coming, all the way up the Acadian Coast. So many sandy beaches with funny names to choose from… too many really.

New Brunswick Beaches

And don’t expect cold water, nooo; the water in this region is warm! Why? Because it is situated between two land masses; the provinces of N.B. and Prince Edward Island. This body of water is called the Northumberland Strait. It is much shallower than the Atlantic Ocean which feeds into it, so it heats up quickly. It is actually the warmest water North of the Carolinas in the U.S.

N.B. where the water is warm

There are several public beaches, where you can prance around in your fav speedo; where you can see and be seen. But there are even more private beaches perfect for relaxing away from the crowds of people, ugh, I am fairly certain you wouldn’t enjoy that!

Here’s a hint for finding a nice private beach. If you see a wharf, and you will see many, there is usually a nice beach right beside it; that is where you will find the locals.

If you do run into locals, whatever you do, don’t make eye contact with them, they are so friendly, they will smile and say hi to you for no apparent reason. If this happens, just walk away quickly, before they start talking to you about the weather and asking you where you are from. Be careful, it’s surely some sort of trap!

Growing up in this region, I didn’t really appreciate the beauty of happening upon a lighthouse, fishing boats and colorful buoys, until I moved away. They are plentiful and offer lots of opportunities for that perfect Instagram shot!

Buoys, Boats and Lighthouse

#3. Trust me you will hate the Bay of Fundy!

As if all those beaches weren’t enough; next on our list is the Bay of Fundy, where freaky things happen!

The Bay of Fundy has the world’s highest and fastest tides in the world! The tidal range between low and high tide is 16.3 meters or 53 feet.

A great place to witness and experience the tides is Hopewell Rocks. At low tide you will be able to walk on the oceans floor, like literally, you will be walking on the bottom of the Bay of Fundy; but who would want to do that right?

Hopewell Rocks, N.B.

(the image above is a stock image, not mine)

And then, at high tide, you can kayak around the flower pots, that’s what they call the rock formations, because they resemble flower pots; and guess what are on top of these rock formations? More freaking green trees!!!

The tides change every 6 hours; so during daylight you will be able to see one low and one high tide.  As if the tides aren’t freakish enough, they create something called a Tidal Bore. Get this, the Petitcodiac River changes directions each time the tides change! Yup you heard me correctly; the rivers water flow changes direction every 6 hours. I am not lying, look it up!

You can be having a drink in Moncton, minding your own business and witness the Tidal Bore come in, it’s basically a wave that sweeps in and changes the direction of the river. If you are very unfortunate, you may also see a surfer or two riding the wave.

Surfers riding the wave

(The top image was sent to me by one of my Facebook friends, the bottom is a picture of the Petitcodiac River, taken by me flying into Moncton. Fun fact, it is also called the Chocolate River!)

#4. Too much fresh seafood

This part of the country is just too lobstery! Everywhere you go you are being forced to eat fresh seafood.

The best lobster

Where else in the world can buy lobster from a guy with a cooler in the back of his truck on the side of the road and have it be the best damn lobster you have ever eaten??

They are so cocky about their amazing lobster that they have erected a giant lobster in Shediac, which is; surprise, surprise, the lobster capital of the world. Way to rub it in Shediac!

Lobster in Shediac, N.B.

I just came back from a visit to N.B. and ate lobster 4 out of the 9 days I was there, I mean come on!! I suffered through it, but I am not going to lie, it was difficult.

#5. The people

New Brunswick’s population is mostly a mix of English and French, the French are called Acadians; there is also a strong First Nations presence. It is the only official bilingual province in Canada; this mix of cultures makes New Brunswick very unique and open. The people are naturally warm and welcoming, which is great… if you like that sort of thing?

How warm and welcoming? During 9/11 when Air Traffic Controllers on the East Coast were told to “empty the skies”, NB, as well as NS and Newfoundland welcomed tens of thousands of travelers who were forced to land in Atlantic Canada when the US airways were shut down.

Local communities opened their homes and hearts to these stranded travelers, showing them the meaning of Atlantic Canadian Hospitality.

A more recent example of this hospitality is how the region has welcomed and embraced a number of Syrian refugee families.

I used to joke that my dad would give you the shirt off his back and my mother would feed you; this isn’t uncommon, it’s just how people live their lives. They don’t think, they do, they help; that is who they are.

As you have probably figured out by now, there is nothing to hate in New Brunswick at all; in fact, I am fairly certain, if you give it a chance, you will absolutely fall in love with it! I had to leave to realize how madly in love with it and its people I am. There is a saying once a Maritimer, always a Maritimer; some of us leave, but we always eventually come back.

See you soon New Brunswick!!

Muah!

Liette

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