Doing yoga in Bali has been on my bucketlist for a while. Little did I know that meant practicing yoga while overlooking the lush green rice paddies of Bali. Ubud is a spiritual and cultural part of Bali where yoga and meditation are very popular among tourists and expats.
We booked ahead of time and paid (a very reasonable price) just before class. It all went very smoothly. Walking through the rice fields to get to the yoga studio, the unique experience had already started. The paddies and the tropical vegetation combined with the serene and silent atmosphere of the area were memorable. The studio was clean and well cared for. Our class was given on the roofed outdoor terrace on the second floor. The teacher was a Canadian expat who had been living in Bali for a few years while teaching yoga. The staff were all very nice and made the experience an even better one.
I loved the experience of doing yoga with nothing but fresh air, the sun and the sound of birds and water running through the rice fields.
Wynwood is a warehouse district in California which developed into a trendy neighborhood full of art and culture. Art galleries, museums and outdoor art are abundant in this area.
Hanging metallics at Wynwood Walls
Hanging metallics at Wynwood Walls
Art murals can be found throughout Wynwood but Wynwood Walls is the place to visit to see the outdoor art mural exhibit. Taking pictures there is a must… and makes for great social media posts! The colors are vibrant, the styles are unique and the people are friendly. A visit of Wynwood walls is a nice summer afternoon outing.
End your visit with a meal at Wynwood Diner just across the street of Wynwood Walls. It is a colorful eatery with a gorgeous interior and good Miami food.
Hong Kong is known for many different things but the first thing that comes to my mind when thinking of it is the way you feel when you are there. Walking down the main roads, you realize right away how densely populated it is.
Hong Kong is a former British colony in southeastern China. The people are of many different ethnicities. Chinese (cantonese) and English are the official languages and most signs are in both languages which makes it easier for us visitors.
Modern skyscrapers are abundant in downtown Hong Kong, which is a financial hub. The panoramic city views can notably be admired from The Peak, at Victoria Peak, and from the other side of the water from the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui.
On one side, the downtown Hong Kong skyline is full of futuristic skyscrapers. On the other side, the Mong Kok area has a charm of its own. The streets are bustling with people day and night and the illuminated signs light up the streets at night. That part of town isn’t as tidy as downtown but it is charming in its unique way.
When visiting Miami Beach, Lincoln Road cannot be missed. It is a pedestrian street bustling with energy day and night, filled with restaurants and stores. The outdoor terraces are perfect for a drink, a meal or a hookah lounging session on a nice day. Gorgeous trees and water fountains can be found every few meters with great photo ops!
On our last day in Hong Kong, Nick and I decided to treat ourselves with a drink at Ozone Bar, the highest bar in the World.
Ozone Bar is a rooftop bar located at the top of the International Commerce Center in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. They serve Asian tapas and inventive cocktails, along with an amazing view of the city.
Unfortunately, on the day we paid a visit to the bar-lounge, it was rainy and cloudy. Therefore, we had to be seated indoors, which disappointed us. However, the interior design was unique, artsy and luxurious and we were still able to hang out on the terrace to admire the view. We still had a wonderful time and enjoyed a great view amid the clouds. The drinks are pricey, but you’re really there for the view! Totally worth it.
Yosemite National Park is a location you will not regret taking the time to go see for yourself. The park is so vast it includes a variety of different landscape and sights. Although the park is very popular, tranquility can be found easily.
It is a great place to do camping (there are many camping sites in the valley), stargazing (watch a meteor shower from the Glacier Point!), hiking, picnicking, animal watching, photography and surely, simply sightseeing and enjoying nature at its best.
It is well known for its numerous and beautiful waterfalls and rivers. Hiking trails can be found following the watercourse.
The majestic giant sequoia trees are found throughout the park.
Crouching our way through an empty fallen sequoia tree trunk.
The granite mountains and granite cliffs surrounding the Yosemite valley can be observed from almost any viewpoint. In between the mountains are deep valleys in which you’ll find villages, wildlife, meadows and forests.
This year, I got to check something off my bucket list!
My boyfriend and I spent New Year’s in New York City and even got a hotel in the heart of the city this time (we usually get a cheap stay in New Jersey)! We got an awesome price with Frenzy Tours, a tour company based in Montreal that provided us with round-trip transport between Montreal and Manhattan, NYC and nights in the Marriott East Side Hotel. Once we got there, we were free to do whatever we wanted.
I cannot blog about our weekend getaway without giving a quick shout out to these places for their awesome food (#foodie)! A weekend in NYC would not be the same without its amazing food.
Shake Shack will always have a special place in my heart. And Eataly is a new discovery of mine which I am now obsessed with… Mmmm just thinking of it, I’m developing a huge craving for this white truffle butter seasoned pasta served with mushroom and fresh parmesan. Sushi of Gari is a small Michelin-starred restaurant where I tasted uni (sea urchin) for the first time.
Sushi of Gari.
I have been to NYC many many times… but I had always skipped visiting the famous Grand Central Terminal. A casual weekend in the city was the perfect opportunity to check it out. The bustling train terminal was very movie-like and full of life. The architecture was intriguing and grand.
I’ve been numerous times to the Rockerfeller Center when visiting NYC. However, I’ve never visited the city during winter and have never had the chance to see their famous and gigantic Christmas Tree. Honestly, the tree wasn’t as rich and full as I thought it would be. Nonetheless, the Christmas decorations, the music, the crowd and the overall festive atmosphere won me over.
Rockerfeller Center Christmas Tree.
During the evening of December 31st, my boyfriend and I had planned to go out for dinner and watch the countdown on a television in a bar or anywhere we could find a spot to sit at. We didn’t even plan on watching the ball drop in person because of all the people telling us it would be impossible to get in because of the extreme security and overwhelming crowds. But while on our way to finding a restaurant for dinner, as we were commenting on how the line ups were atrocious to get in to the area from which people would watch the event, we got lucky. We ended up being able to get into the area without even having to wait in line as they had just opened a new entrance as we were walking past that street.
So, seeing we had this opportunity, we decided to watch the ball drop countdown after all. However, we had 6 hours of waiting while standing in a crowd, cold and hungry ahead of us. We kept warm by jumping up and down and we found ways to sit on the ground which was already full of trash. And, lucky as we were, Domino’s staff were selling pizzas outdoors and we got a whole pizza just for the two of us. When the moment finally came, everyone chanted the countdown together and we saw the ball drop (even though it was 2 millimeters of diameter from where we were standing). The ball drop went so quickly and with all that excitement and counting down looking at the screen, we didn’t even notice the little ball dropping! All in all, the experience was not a comfortable one but it was an epic and exciting one.
I don’t think I’ll spend another New Year’s in Times Square watching the ball drop again, but I do think it is an experience to live once in your life and I’m happy I did and got to share it with my boyfriend. Growing up, I’ve celebrated the New Year with my family watching the NYC countdown every year. Having been able to live it was surreal.
Waiting for the countdown!
Waiting for the countdown!
Finally, here are a few photos of what happened right after the New Year countdown back at the hotel… we got engaged! NYC will always have a special place in our hearts now.