Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro -The Trek That Changed My Life

A physical, mental, emotional and spiritual journey that will change your life.

Walking up a mountain. No big deal right?
At least one would think it was no big deal until you find yourself immersed in it all and in a very different reality. Continue reading “Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro -The Trek That Changed My Life”

A Day Of Pampered Bliss At Soma Spa

Hammam massage. Just the name makes me feel like I am traveling once again. I was lucky enough to come across Soma Spa here in Calgary, and learned they are in fact the only spa in Calgary to offer Hammam massage. With that being said, I was in! In fact I was in for a few other things too…. Micro dermabrasion facial, pedicure, and a bit of a manicure(I say bit, because we ran out of time, so it was just partial). Now you tell me a women that wouldn’t love that experience.

From the moment I walked into Soma Spa I felt like I was already rejuvenating, and it was time to let go……

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It was bright, open, and very welcoming. I love that it’s minimally decorated, and classy as heck.

All smiles await you upon entering. I was stoked! I had been wanting to do a spa day for like way too darn long, but I have been so busy, it just hadn’t happened. So this was a spa dream come true! After being warmly welcomed I was introduced to Shanti, my stairway to heaven for the day. She has this great energy, you can’t but help but feel relaxed around her.

First thing was first. Hammam massage time! It is a traditional Turkish bath concept with a bit of a westerner twist.

The ambiance of the room was perfect!

Not to mention the heated marble table that I had to lay on. Imagine – a heated, marble, table.

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Need I say more?!

Ok, well I am going to say more…..The music, and lighting was also perfectly relaxing. It’s the most incredible thing to have someone hosing you down, then exfoliating your whole body, not once, but twice over! Then a scalp massage, followed by massaging a body butter into your skin. That was one of the most awesome experiences ever!! I didn’t want it to end. I am officially a hammam believer!

Well after that pure bliss experience, I was en-route to my micro dermabrasion facial.

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I was in dire need of a facial….. Wrinkles and pores everywhere! At least it felt that way, possibly it didn’t appear as severe as it was feeling to myself. It was time to knock a couple years off my face. I was amazed at how non- invasive a professional micro dermabrasion treatment is. The at home micro dermabrasion treatments feel as though they are much harsher on your skin. As if I wasn’t already feeling ridiculously awesome after my Hammam treatment, the facial just took it up a while other level. I love when they massage all those fabulous creams into your face and chest. I was far away in some distant land loving life.

I floated out of that room…. And straight to my pedicure.

Radiantly Glowing!

I love pedicures! Particularly good ones. Shanti did such a great job! Very detailed.


She spiffed my feet right up, topped them off with some Shellac polish, and got them all summer ready.  We were really getting to know each other after 4 hours of treatments, not only that but we were also running out of time. I just wanted a small fix up of my hands, it was quite perfect I only got a wee manicure and some nice polish. Just the little dazzle my hands needed.

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I felt like I had barbie nails

Have yourself a little watch of my experience.


Man, I didn’t want the day to end. Alas…. All good things must come to an end. Or at least a pause. I am absolutely going back there soon for more treatments. Every aspect of that day was amazing, they took such amazing care of me, and I would highly suggest when in Calgary – a Hammam massage is absolutely in order! Thank you so much to Soma Spa for the incredible experience. Everyone deserves to pamper themselves. TLC is never over rated.

Palma Indulginces at the San Juan Gastromarket

Gastromarkets. These concepts are a rave around the globe at the moment, popping up all over the show. For darn good reason too. Here in Palma de Mallorca, it is just the same. The art of food is a massive focal point for foodies – gastronomy is the craze. Enjoying a meal however, does always begin with your eyes. Although if it’s to be an incredible culinary art, as in a cut above the rest, something to write home about – it will bring something to the table that heighten’s almost all of your senses. That is a much more difficult feat. Yet is an astounding experience. I do very much appreciate gastronomy culinary art.

S’Escorxador is where San Juan, the newest and hottest gastromarket is located in Palma. Having opened in June, it has taken off very well. Since I returned to Palma, I had so many people telling me it is a must try; So I did just that. I went and tried it.

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Considering it was raining, what better a day to choose to engage in an affair such as this. Sitting inside an exquisite establishment, sipping on fine wine, and indulging in an exceptional culinary experience. Yup pretty perfect if you ask me.

Okay, well actually, on that note – as a child when it would rain(or even hail) outside, I took it as the perfect opportunity to slap on the ol’ swimsuit, and head outside to have the time of my life in mother nature’s glorious shower. For hours my little heart would be content in it. Not gonna lie, even as an adult, I still like to play in the rain. Although I haven’t donned my swim apparel in quite some time for the occasion. Although the thought has crossed my mind. I mean, ‘why the heck not?!’ It’s refreshing, natural and fun. For a trip down memory lane, so little Petrena can live on inside of me. You catch my drift.

Second to that though, sipping on fine wine, and tantalizing my taste buds in a gastromarket – would be the next most ideal choice. One in which my sophisticated classy lady side happens to love.

S’Escorxador itself dates back to the beginning of the 20th century, and was the cities original central slaughterhouse. The re-vamp of the building has completely modernized it. I have a massive appreciation for history being restored and turned into something exceptional. Urbanization at it’s finest.

Upon arriving to S’Escorxador I immediately was drawn straight to the cinema posters. Dang, I love going to movies. They even played movies in English at this theater. Not that I mind watching Spanish movies, but to see a movie in my own language, is always enjoyable. Sooooo yah, 6pm movie after an afternoon gastromarket session, was exactly what my list of things to do entailed on this particular rainy day.

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When I walked into San Juan I was instantly impressed.

IMG_4211                           I was digging the decor. Bright, crisp, clean, airy, and inviting. The lighting fixtures are very eye catching as well. It was undeniable, I was in for a fabulous experience. Seeing as how it is a gastromarket, and they have 17 gourmet food stalls there – you best be prepared to sample a few of the various delectable’s that are on offer.

First thing is first though. Get the vino flowin! Very important. Step freaken 1.

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We grabbed a bottle of red called Damana 5 to get us going. Why on earth did we start with red?! Beats the heck out of me.  Alright, alright, it was me who ordered it… I was eager to get the party started. So we did things backwards. First red, then rose, and onward. We were enjoying ourselves regardless of the wine sequence, and that is all that matters.

IMG_4112                      With Vino in hand, you can see Belle was ready to check out the various stalls. Let’s do this! 

In accompaniment to the vino, we did do our utmost to sample various dishes. I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed how social it was sitting there. Different locals would come and sit beside us and would end up having a little chat. Socializing with different people absolutely adds to the experience. Bringing people together, one gastro experience at a time. Hmmm, new slogan perhaps?

Wendy was right in there being a gem and starting us off with some ceviche.

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After which we had, Pad Thai, and some Mallorquin Ham and Cheese platters.

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Onward and upward to some of my favorite things, Aperol Spritz’s and Oysters.

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Oh heck yes. Now we were talking. Nothing like slurping an Oyster down the hatch, and then cleansing the palette with an Aperol Spritz(made with Cava of course). Oysters and bubbly just go hand in hand. Well in my case, hand to my mouth.

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We even had a suck at some Percebe(otherwise known as goose barnicle).

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As you can see the girls were absolutely loving them!

Wendy actually does love them though, I think she just got squirted in the eye.

Not my fave if you ask me, tastes a bit too much like a combination of rock and strong fishy sea water. Oh well, tis the way sometimes, I will always give things a try at least once though.

Space had become quite limited in our stomachs at this point. It was a must to go out with a bang though. Rarely do I eat red meat, but when its local, and a fine cut, not to mention, so tender it melts in your mouth like butter. Well, then its a different story.

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It was ridiculously good. Save the best for freaken last – as they say.

After it was all said and done, we did still in fact take in our movie. The flic of choice was Desert Dancer – and it was nothing less then amazing. For myself it was one of the most emotionally moving movies I have ever seen. I loved it. Giver a go if your into an emotionally touching film. Its a fantastic little theater as well, with very friendly and happy attendants waiting to welcome you.

Well what can I say, San Juan did not disappoint.

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We went, we indulged, we laughed, we socialized, and thoroughly enjoyed the ambiance. A gastronomic experience not to be missed.

Spicing things up!! Let’s cook shall we? :)

So here we were, just past hump day, onto a nice little Thursday evening, seeking some sort of evening activity, and it’s always fantastic to participate in an activity where you can learn some new skills, while also mingling in some new social circles. And last but not least, drink wine. Oh wait, did I just say wine?!  Mmmmm, yes, it does always add a nice little something to any evening event.  Well unless I am on route to Yoga, in that case I will stick to the veggie juice:)  Seeing as how I can hear Asia calling my name lately, and I have not yet had the pleasure of exploring any of Asia to date.  This little Asian cooking workshop, sounded right up my alley! It is an Asian cooking class that is put on weekly.  The women whom runs it, Nathalie, spent a lot of time living in Asia, and studying the various styles and ingredients of their cooking.  There were a few things on the Menu to prepare, Fresh Curry Paste, Indian Kashmiri Chicken, Malaysian Chicken Curry with potatoes(with homemade Malaysian Curry Powder), and Chang Mai Chicken Red Curry with Egg Noodles.

She had a fabulous little set up, with the kitchen and dining area, and there were about 10 of us participating. 2014-11-20 001 003

As it was a group activity, we all had little stations set up to participate in the food preparation. With my friend Huggy here being exceptionally eager to get choppin:)

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It started off as us at our stations, then it turned into the whole lot of us taking turns helping out in the Kitchen.

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Once we had everything simmering away,2014-11-20 001 007 we looked at the clocks, and it was none other then ‘Vino O’clock!’ The beauty of it is, not only is it delicious, but it also doubles as ‘personality’ in a bottle.  In which once everyone taps into it, all the people really start to open up and chat with each other even more:)

2014-11-20 001 013 Moments after this snap was taken, personality literally started oozing out of us!! It was unstoppable.

2014-11-20 001 004Unfortunately due to prior obligations of mine, I was not able to stay for the dinner part, at the lovely little table she had set up.  She was kind enough to pack some of the food to go for me though.  It was such a wonderful little evening, and seeing as how I don’t feel like a fully qualified Asian Chef just yet, I will sure to be signing on for a couple more workshops with Nathalie.

And really though, this experience just awakened and intensified my inner travel bug to start gnawing at my insides so I will give in, pack my backpack, and jet set over to Asia.  Yup, once that travel bug wakes up, there is only one way to chill him the freak out:) Who am I to complain?! Nothing like a new adventure on the horizon.

The unique area of Basque in Southern France and Northern Spain;)

Taking in all the beauty that Biarritz, France, has to offer:)
Who knew(well I am sure some of you know) that Basque(the area here) is it’s only language, and the people here very much consider themselves their own Culture/Country. Soooo freaken interesting;)❤️

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