4 Days in Iceland

We had such an amazing experience in Iceland back in June 2015 when we came for 20 days. So much so that I couldn't pass at the opportunity to stopover in Iceland on the way to the Netherlands with two of my friends. This time there was no midnight sun. And we were only here for four days. But we did manage to cover a lot of ground. We drove all the way up the southern coast to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon and back again. And we managed to catch a glimpse of the rare Northern Lights. All in all, the stopover in Iceland (in low season) was worth it.

British Columbia: Yoho & Kootenay National Park

We flew into Calgary at the end of August to embark on a twelve-day road trip across six national parks: Glacier in Montana; Waterton, Banff and Jasper in Alberta; and Yoho and Kootney in British Columbia. Yoho And Kootenay are nestled right beside Banff and Jasper in eastern British Columbia and together these four national parks, along with three nearby provincial parks, form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site.

Hiking in Maine

As the largest of the New England states, Maine offers a wide variety of hiking opportunities and options through diverse terrain. We initially planned a four-day backpacking excursion along the Grafton Notch Loop. While the distance itself was not particularly daunting (60km over four days), one thing we (foolishly) did not factor in was the substantial change in elevation. Being located in the White Mountains (key word being mountains) should have tipped us off. Needless to say, we had to re-examine our (not-so) well-thought-out plans.

Bon Echo Provincial Park

Bon Echo Provincial Park is located in southeastern Ontario and is situated along several lakes, including Mazinaw Lake - the seventh deepest lake in the province. For years we've been saying we'd like to visit Bon Echo, in large part because it's located close by K's family cabin. So this year we finally made it happen. While there are just over 500 car camping sites to choose from in this provincial park, we booked one of the 25 coveted canoe-in campsites located in the backcountry on Joe Perry Lake.

Newfoundland

Even though Newfoundland is a part of Canada, with its charming and friendly culture and a more relaxed pace of life, you can't help but feel like you are in an entirely different country. They even have their own time zone (an hour and a half ahead of Eastern Standard Time). Sure, the weather is predictably unpredictable and there are wind warnings on the regular, but the scenery out on The Rock is hauntingly breathtaking.

Cape Cod

Cape Cod (often referred to as just “The Cape”) is a hooked-shaped peninsula off the eastern coast of Massachusetts. Jutting out into the Atlantic ocean, with its abundance of pristine sandy beaches, it’s no surprise that thousands of locals and tourists alike flock here every summer in an effort to beat the heat. With a heat advisory on the forecast for the weekend coupled with the fact that high-season was not quite in full-swing, the timing was just right to visit the Cape.

Salem

Hocus Pocus is one of my all-time favourite movies. Ever. Set in the historic town of Salem, the movie follows a group of kids who inadvertently awake the Sanderson Sisters - a trio of  witches who wreaked havoc hundreds of years ago by sucking the souls out of little children. The kids, along with the help of a talking cat and a friendly zombie named Billy, must defeat the witches by sunrise to prevent the sisters' powers from fully being restored.

Acadia National Park (in the Spring)

Located along the rugged coast in Maine, Acadia National Park offers of variety of trails that weave their way up, down, and around mountains, through lush forests, and along a granite shoreline, all the while providing panoramic glimpses of the lively Atlantic Ocean. We visited Acadia once before last fall after the Labour Day long weekend and had such a wonderful time (with minimal crowds and pleasant weather) so we planned another visit to coincide with the other shoulder season – the spring.

Diving in Roatan

Tucked away off the northern coast of Central America, Roatan is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras and is reputed to be one of the best places in the Caribbean for scuba diving. The coral reef that encircles this quiet island is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world and is often a mere few hundred feet from shore. And while Honduras generally has a bad rap for its high crime stats, Roatan is considered relatively safe and is far removed from the dangerous crimes common on the mainland. With a healthy and diverse coral reef ecosystem, excellent visibility, affordable diving, and pristine sandy beaches, what more could you ask for in a vacation?

New York City (in the Spring)

They don't call it the city that never sleeps for nothing. With over 8.5 million people, New York City is bursting with culture, class, coolness, and crowds. It has been referred to as many names and nicknames over the years: New Amsterdam, the Big Apple, the Melting Pot, Gotham, NYC, but one thing remains: it is still the land of opportunity. And opportunity to sightsee.