Tag Archives: Travel

Your 21 Year Old’s Typical Amsterdam Post

I went to Amsterdam.

Originally, I was planning to go by myself. But my three guy friends, who are also studying in Ireland (from Canada), decided to go at the same time and I wound up meeting them there.

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I have too many goddamn pictures of this goddamn sign.

The first night was a blur of a pub crawl, featuring unlimited vodka shots and feeling like Jane Goodall observing the guys strategizing and picking up girls.

The pubs all had smoking sections where people would just get high in these half outdoor/half indoor areas. Blurry memories of some guys from LA sharing their spliff with me. (Because world travel as a Canadian means you literally just meet Americans and no one else). Red lights and half-naked prostitutes gave the streets a nice atmosphere as we walked from one bar to the next.

I vaguely remember buying a waffle covered in chocolate and glazed strawberries and bananas. I kept thinking “Michelle if you leave this waffle in the cab I will never forgive you(me?)” as I was taking it home to eat in bed, because that’s what I do when I’m drunk and I’m disgusting.

I, however, forgot I was staying at a hostel and wound up silently giggling and eating this waffle in the top bunk trying not to wake anyone up or smack my head off the ceiling.

My friends apparently got home okay and they don’t remember how, but they do remember the “French girls”, whatever that means.

I also bought myself a little surprise for the morning because when I checked my purse there was a mysterious brownie in it.

Ah, what they hell, I ate it.

Amsterdam: 1, Me:0

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The only photo I have of that night says more than words really can.

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Bloody hell, I just miss home.

I’ve been in Ireland for a month for university.

It’s been grand. It’s been so grand.

There have been great ups and downs, but for the love of god, it’s thanksgiving at home and I’m fecking sick of explaining to Americans that yes, we have ours in October.

Join me while I wallow in self-pity and wade through corny Canadiana while I further ignore my uni work.

 

The original Wayne’s World:

 

And the voices that were a constant in my childhood home many winter evenings:

I just want some goddamn poutine and no one in this country knows what cheese curds are.

Saskatoon is a city, too.

I’m currently in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the university for a little over a month. As I’m…3000km away from Toronto, things are slightly different here.

– There are a lot of mosquitos…and they come out in the early afternoon. They’re also mutants and leave bigger-than-average marks on you.

– Everything is so dry. The air is dry. The ground is dry. There is dust everywhere. Wearing contact lenses has become a dangerous game.

– Street sweepers do not seem to exist in this magical city. Nor does the notion of “sidewalk repair.”

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“Meh, good enough.”

– The sun rises at about 4:30am. I forget what sleep feels like.

– Lots of bikes here. Great. Lots of bikes on sidewalks and I have only seen one person use a bell. Not so great.

– There are so few bars in this city, everyone knows them all. This is convenient, unless you’re trying to avoid some guy you saw last week and accidentally tell him some vague description of where you’re going.

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Plenty of places to watch the Leafs lose during game 7 when they’re up 4-1 with just minutes to go. Let’s just not talk about that.

– The Ukrainian residence we’re living in has lovely meals that remind me of what my grandmother would have cooked if she wasn’t too emotionally unstable to leave the house and go grocery shopping. The cafeteria ladies will also make you a plate and put your name on it if you plan to miss dinner. Awww.

I really like Saskatoon. It’s beautiful here. I was picturing some flat, GTA-like wasteland (yeah, Ajax/Pickering, looking at you), but there is this picturesque river that runs straight through the city and a quaint downtown area.

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LOOK, NON-DEAD TREES GROWING BY SIDEWALKS. HOW DO THEY DO IT?

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From the first day of an accidental 5am wake-up. That was painful.

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and churches, because pourquoi pas?

 

No one is debating for the millionth time about subways vs. LRTs, and I don’t even know who the mayor is but I’m pretty sure he’s not on crack. (and yes that is a link to the google search because this story gets worse by the hour).

There are also unlimited cookies in the cafeteria for us. CAN’T STOP ME.

What a nice city, and a well-needed break from various frustrating Toronto things.

Escaping the Heat

The past month (maybe even more, I’ve lost all sense of time this summer) has been sweltering in Toronto. Disgusting. Sweaty, humid, sunny. There hasn’t been one decent rain day–you know the ones where it’s actually raining in the morning so you can call into work and get to stay home since you’re not needed–all summer.

In 5 days I’ll be off to PEI, where the weather is tolerable and the beaches are numerous…and sometimes actually cold. Ah, I can’t wait.

Okay so there is not *that* much of a difference number-wise, but trust me, the humidity cannot be described on these silly charts.

I’ve been flipping through the albums of my two previous trips, and I can’t wait to go.

Ah, a beach with no screaming children or obnoxious frisbee guys wearing visors.

The only “traffic jam” you’ll see…getting ice cream.

And if I’m lucky, there will be a game of field golf! Yeah! (But this time we’ll have internet, so we won’t be *that* bored.)

Beautiful.

The 24 Hour Camping Adventure

What have I been up to, no one asks? Well, here you go:

This past weekend, I set out on a journey with some of my favourite people in the world. We went camping.

I had never been! Can you believe that? I think was the only person in our group who had never slept in a tent or even been to a campsite. I had to scrounge for sleeping bags and a spot in a tent off a friend in exchange for a ride up in my car. Thank god for that.

After the two hour drive to the park, we finally found our campsite. We only had to turn the car around twice, which was not bad since it allowed us to stumble upon this turtle:

It was huge and it snapped at us! Still awesome, though.

The rest of our day included struggling with camping equipment, checking out the “beach” (all rocks, no sand. Who needs sand, really?), and fending off the two middle-aged creepy guys who overstayed their invite for a quick game of beer pong on our campsite. I still don’t understand that entire situation.

This tent actually stumped the other experienced campers, it’s just a weird one!

Tents should really come with instructions.

Shallow, freezing, rocky water? Not a problem.

That beautiful gatorade bottle makes a cameo in 90% of the weekend’s pictures

We then headed out to the marsh to see if we could find another turtle. No luck, but there were some huge cranes flying overhead which were kind of neat.

did actually have friends with me on this trip! I just didn’t want to post any pictures of them without permission (since getting dolled up and going camping isn’t something we do) and sometimes I just get the urge to post something quickly.

Then we packed up and were on our way home by 11am on Sunday. A good weekend overall, but a few lessons learned:

Look up nearby hangover food places before hand. It was a 40 minute drive to the nearest one, but man that glorious Harveys in Port Hope more than made up for the long drive. You guys are awesome. That is all.

Oh and also, wear shoes, not sandals! Trust me on this one. The mosquito bites and the inevitably dirty feet aren’t worth showing off your cute and comfy Birkenstocks.

Grey Days of February

Today was a nice, freezing rain kind of day. I couldn’t get anything done on my route today, so I thought why not go down to the Scarborough Bluffs and take some pictures?

Bluffer’s Park holds a lot of my childhood memories, and more recently memories of me failing at taking up jogging (ugh, long story).

Here they are, as I tried to make light of the most disgusting day of the month so far.

The notorious Canadian Goose.

These bright red berries really stand out on such a drab day.

Looking west out to the little man-made thing where I previously attempted to go jogging, HA. 

And east, towards to the marina

It hasn’t really been that cold, but the ice still won’t let the rocks go.

A spot to take in the silly ducks who put up with the super-choppy waters of today.

And a few steps back

The houseboats of Bluffer’s Park. I’ve never known what exactly attracts people to live in “floating houses” (not really boats since they don’t go anywhere) but hey, at least they have some cool geese to look at. 

For those wondering, those would be the “bluffs” in the background. For some reason I didn’t get any pictures of the actual bluffs. Go figure. 

An empty, frozen marina

Completely deserted

You would not believe the amount of people just sitting in their cars in the parking lot. Are they waiting for a drug deal? Just drove down to think? I have no idea. 

I spent so much time here in the summer as a kid, but it’s something completely different to come and walk around when everything is covered in ice. Try it sometime. 

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A Weekend in Quebec

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This past weekend, my parents and I went on a mini-road trip to visit a university in Quebec, 8 hours away. We stopped over and spent Saturday in Montreal before continuing onto Sherbrooke, 2 hours east, for Sunday. Although there … Continue reading