Beautiful British Columbia


I travelled to Vancouver in February 2015 for another trade show.  We stayed at the Pan Pacific, which was on the water and had a beautiful view of the mountain scape.  We were also right beside the convention centre and the Olympic flame (which we saw lit up one night!).

Anyway, this was the first show I had to plan on my own, from booth design to product displays and logistics of getting all item to and from the convention centre. Needless to say, it was a lot of work – but a fantastic opportunity and great experience for me. The show (from set up to tear down) was 4 days.  I chose to catch a flight back home the day after.  

Before my flight, I had about 5 hours in the day to do something in the city.  I caught a tour bus to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and I have to say it was well worth it! I went across the bridge, through the trails, tree top trekking and Cliffwalk walk.  This small glimpse into Vancouver and its nature was nothing like Ontario.  I can’t wait for another chance to visit this city and explore further. 

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Cilantro Pesto Pasta


I had a bunch of Cilanto and didn’t want it to go to waste. I decided on trying to make a Cilantro Pesto Pasta. I used the cilantro, garlic, pistachios, almonds, olive oil, salt, pepper, Parmesan, and a bit of liquid from the boiled pasta. I blended it together and tossed with the Rigatoni pasta noodles. Delicious! Served with a side of roasted eggplant. 

One free day in Chicago, Illinois


My first out of country trade show was in Chicago. I was told I would be attending the show a few days after I accepted the job. It was pretty exciting – my first international business trip.  I got into the city a day early and decided to explore on my own. Aside from shopping on Magnificent Mile, I made my way to the famous “bean” as well as the Art Institute of Chicago. I also went to the top floor of the John Haddock Center building for a great view of the city. For the most part, our work days were pretty busy and I had limited time to site see. We did manage to go out for some great dinners and visited the Willis Tower (aka Sears Tower/Skydeck) as well one evening. Definitely a lively city to visit.

Versailles


A nice day trip while in Paris is to catch a train and head out to Versailles to see Chateau Versailles and its grounds.  It’s quite a big place, so give yourself time to get there, do the tours and walk the grounds (there are little villages, stables, houses, gardens and much more). Well worth it. Just a tip, make sure you get the correct train ticket! It isn’t the regular local metro. 

J’aime Paris


It’s been 6 years, but Paris still holds a place in my heart.  I feel like Paris fed that inner “travel bug” in me.  I never had a passion for travelling until I visited this city. The food, culture, architecture, history and art – it’s not the same at home. Visiting Paris made me realize how much more of the world I wanted to see and experience.  Merci Paris, je t’aime!

P.S.  I don’t have a picture, but we were here during World Cup 2010 and it was amazing to be in that atmosphere and cheering on France with many others at our Hostel! (St Christopher’s Inn Paris Canal)

Crossing the Atlantic – My First Time on a Plane (London, England)


Many people don’t know this, but the first time I travelled via plane was when I was 21 year old in June 2010. My parents weren’t able to travel with 3 children. Most of our trips were within Ontario or driving to New York to see relatives.  I decided that as a graduation present to myself (for completing undergrad), I’d take a trip by plane to Europe. 

A friend was able to come along with me, so we decided on England and France. I took 2 weeks vacation from my summer job and headed to Europe.  She went a few days before me (I waited to attend my graduation ceremony) and we met in London.  We stayed with my aunt (a little drama there, but nonetheless we had a great time). Overall, we saw a lot in London before catching our flight to Paris.  Things to note – Oyster Cards are very useful for transit and getting a phone SIM card doesn’t cost too much either.  The London Eye gives a great view of the city. And pub hopping is easy – just be careful not to leave your phone in a bar (a really nice guy found my phone and returned it!) 

Cologne, Germany


Had the opportunity to visit Germany for a business trip and trade show.  During some free time, we spent the afternoon in Cologne. We visited the Cologne Cathedral and climbed to the top to have view of the city. They have a tower similar to our CN Tower! We also stopped by a love lock bridge, and had the opportunity to see how many people used our padlocks – I even found a set from our German team.