It Was A Walk In The Bush

February in Northwest Territories usually means -30 degree Celsius temperatures, and 10 layers of clothing to protect from the very real potentials of frost bit and freezing to death. However this year the weather has been so unpredictable and up and down, every week we have something else. Lately it even go in the the plus temperatures. Of course that’s pretty awesome if you want to go on a nice bush hike and be out in nature. Not sure if its best for the environment up here though.

That being said, it was an absolutely stunning and warm day, so I decided the best way to spend it would be hiking out in the bush, and seeing what mother nature had on offer this particular day.

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The surroundings themselves are absolutely beautiful. Winter wonderland is the exact description I would use.

The snow was pretty deep in lots of area’s, every time I would take a step, it would go straight over the top and straight into my boot.

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Just your typical ‘Snow booter’, no big deal… Scoop that right on out and keep trucking along. Ok, well it was a bit of a chilly deal after the 10th one, not gonna lie.

The scenic view kept changing, which kept the walk enthralling.

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We are so lucky in this area of the world that one of the most sought after medicinal mushrooms in the world grows wild. The Chaga mushroom.

There is an ample supply of birch trees here, in which host the Chaga mushrooms. Chaga mushrooms have the highest number of antioxidants of any food, incredible immune boosting properties, anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-viral and cholesterol  lowering effects to name a few. It is a powerhouse of a healer, that’s for darn sure.

When your out on the land here, it’s always prime time to do some Chaga hunting.

We were not super successful this day, but we did find some. There are times you find a area covered with Chaga. Even finding a nice chunk is awesome, and you can cut it off and take it to make some super healing tea. Yum! Health taste’s so good.

I also came across a spruce tree that was oozing with sap.

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Alright, well perhaps I should say it had oozed with sap, as the sap was hard. When I was a child growing up in the bush, I spent quite a lot of time out on the land a lot. I always loved chewing on spruce sap, I called it tree gum and/or bush gum. It is also full of healing qualities and vitamins, as it comes straight out of the tree, it kinda like tree blood.

I was pretty excited when I found the sap, and straight away cut a piece off and tucked right in.

I love the taste! It definitely has an earthy taste, similar to a tea, however I love those types of flavors. I suppose because I grew up with them, so my pallet is  accustomed to them. Of course a few beautiful flashbacks from my childhood came flooding in – which was absolutely wonderful in and of itself. This day had proved a be a massive success, and probably one of the best ideas ever.

Let’s not forget one very important detail. Being a lover of grounding and tree hugging, there was absolutely no way I could be out there without giving a tree a hug.

The energy exchange is undeniable, and the healing benefits are amazing. Nature always fills my soul.

After a couple hours of adventuring around, we decided to head back and end this nature filled day the only way that seemed to be the cherry on top. A good ol’ bonfire.

 

Not before taking in the spectacular sunset though.

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It was such a fabulous day out in pure blissful nature, it was too great not to share.

What can I say, don’t underestimate the soul soothing, energy topping abundance of a day in mother natures playground. Get out there and go bask in it. Heck yes to being awesome in nature!

A Divine Dining Experience At One18Empire

Chic atmosphere, fine food, fab service, and beverages the entice the taste buds to wake up. That is exactly what you will find at Calgary’s One18Empire, a whiskey inspired bar and restaurant. With a selection of over 100 whiskeys, you could spend plenty of time sipping your little heart out. I do enjoy sipping on a fine whiskey myself. The focal point of their local inspired fare is shareable plates. The whole concept really intrigued me, so I had to go and experience it for myself.

Located in the Marriot Hotel downtown, One18Empire’s ambiance is very inviting.


The name is derived from where it was located on the original historic Atlantic Avenue in the early 1900’s known then as the Grand Central Hotel. There was a time the hotel nearly blew up way back when an old miner shoveled dynamite in the furnace. They now have a drink named after the event called ‘Near Miss‘.  A perfect place to unwind after work full of rich Calgary history.

Our server for the evening was Meredith, she was awesome from the get go. I was digging the uniforms which were that of workshop apparel too, and also the trays they use.

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Very fashionable workshop apparel I might add.

We got right in there with some Bourbon to start things off. The Black Walnut Old Fashioned – their signature cocktail. Which also happens to be one of the worlds first written down recipes.  I was instantly enamored by the large tennis size ball of ice in my glass. Not gonna lie, the ice sphere was pretty darn cool.

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Apparently it is not just for show either. It also has a purpose as I was informed. The ice melts slowly because of its shape and size, so that it maintains your drink at the perfect temperature while very minimally changing the taste, so as to keep it good until the last drop. That it was!! Delicious. I could get used to sipping on that.

My tastebuds were awakened, and seeing as how One18Empire’s focus is on shareable plates, we dug right into a charcuterie board.  I do love a good charcuterie board, it is a common staple back in Spain, so it almost brought me back home to Mallorca for a moment. I was very impressed with their personal touches on the board consisting of house made marmalade, house made pickles, and house made mustard. Those details always make a difference.

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Accompanied with that fine feast was the simple beet salad.

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Don’t let the name fool you, that salad was not so simple, it was more like divine.

With a chilled bottle of Reisling on the go, and even though we were feeling quite stuffed from the first course, we still went on to tuck into a couple of mains. Seeing as how we were already in sharing mode, we thought it best to stay on that train and choose a main each for the both of us to try.

We decided on the Seared duck breast and the Alberta grass fed petite tender .

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I would have to say my favorite of the two was the tenderloin, it was superb.

 

This was absolutely a divine experience, and we were provided with ample history of One18Empire by our knowledgeable and top notch server Meredith, her bubbly personality, and attentive service really made the experience a memorable one.

Unfortunately we didn’t do any whiskey sampling, or see the whole restaurant, but that is just more reason to go back sooner rather then later – and I absolutely will be going back for an extended experience. One18Empire, a historical sensory filled culinary journey not to be missed.

Bungy Jumping The Bloukrans Bridge – And The 5 Things I Took Away From It

Adrenaline, the natural high that can become ‘Oh so addicting’, and particularly when you are in South Africa. The country is chocked full of adrenaline packed activities for the souls delight. Upon arriving to South Africa for the first time, I had no idea that this all awaited me. Suddenly though just touching down on South African soil made me yearn for some adrenaline. Funny that. Like my little adrenaline loving soul could sense it.

The Bloukrans Bridge, is where the worlds ‘highest bungy jump off a bridge/highest commercial natural bungy’ is located.

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Sitting at a height of 216 meters. Up until this point I had never bungy jumped in my life, however I knew as soon as I found out about it, that it was something I had to do. A check on my list in life that absolutely had to be checked off.

Residing in Jeffrey’s Bay for quite some time, a stunning little world renowned surf town, which is only a 1.5 hour drive from the Bloukrans Bridge, the day came where myself and a few friends decided to make the trip and conquer this feat. During the drive we had the music cranked and were getting ourselves pumped. Everyone was saying how nervous and excited they were. When it came to me however, I was saying ‘I don’t really feel anything at the moment, I am not sure what to feel really…’ That is until we arrived and I seen exactly what I was getting myself into.

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Reality hit like a ton of bricks! ‘Oh dang I thought, when I looked at the size and height of this bridge. Am I seriously signing up for this?’ The day before the trip I had it in my head that I was just going to be awesome and leap off this bridge like no big deal. Just like a rock star.

Yes, that mental picture changed pretty quick when I seen the bridge, my non-existent balls fell straight to the ground. Suddenly I was feeling some freaken emotion all right. I ain’t no quitter though, at least I try to make it a point not to be. So I got all geared up and started making the trek on the see through suspension bridge out to the jump location.

The adrenaline and fear were already setting in. Once I was at the location, I was instantly thinking, ‘I must be crazy to have signed up for this?!’.

At that point backing out was very much on my mind. I was trying hard to self talk and get my head in the game, but really was on the verge of peeing my pants. Totally opposite to what I thought I would be like.

They did have a DJ there though and lots of good beats to get you pumped up. By time it came to my turn and I was on the ledge, I was still trying to back out. I didn’t care about my money, I just did not feel like hurling myself off a bridge. It didn’t help that I kept looking down when they kept telling me not too. ‘How the heck can I not look down, when I am on the ledge of a 216 meter bridge?!’ I said to them. I mean really, it was too darn hard not look down.

The guys running the bungy were not taking me backing out as an option. They were doing some really good motivating chat such as when I would say ‘I don’t want to do this, and I do not care about not getting my money back’, they would respond. ‘You do want to do this, or you wouldn’t be on the edge attached to a bungy, you wouldn’t have come this far if you did not want to do it’, and also telling me ‘Of course it is scary because its not normal to throw yourself off a bridge’. They had some very valid points, and even in my fear filled state, I couldn’t help but agree.

With a bit of motivation, and possibly a small nudge, I had no choice but to leap off the edge and was free falling faster then you could say ‘jump‘, AND loving every second of it!

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It was so crazy, and amazing. The feeling off falling through the air so fast, with the wind in your face and the ground coming at a ridiculously fast speed towards  you, until the bungy cord gently grabs and pulls you straight back up. When this happens I instantly tried to grab onto to something that wasn’t there.

So basically I was grabbing on to thin air. Once it pulls you back up you free fall again. The rush was like nothing I have ever experienced in my life.

Finally I was just hanging there suspended in the air at the end of the bungy cord, taking in every amazing second of being there. They say a lot of people get scared at that moment, so when the guy comes down on an abseil to get you, they make it clear that you are not to grab onto him, as it can turn into a dangerous situation. This turned out to be one of my favorite parts! He comes down and latches onto your waist and takes you off the bungy cord. As he pulls you back up, you arrive to a once again see through platform, which I basically scrambled on, because I was afraid of falling.

Once I was up, I was pumping with adrenaline, and when they came to ask how it was, I was so pumped up that too many swear words from excitement were coming out of my mouth to describe how incredible that experience was. Not my usual classy self, but hurling yourself of a 216 meter bridge will do that to you. I was profusely thanking the guys for helping make me do the jump. The feeling was beyond words.

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Here are the 5 things I took away from doing the bungy –

1.Clearly I am not super human. Even though at times I like to think so, put me on the edge of a 216 meter bridge attached to a bungy, and I will freak the heck out.

2. Yes it’s true, it really isn’t normal to jump off a bridge. There was no pun intended in that one. Although I am sure it will be easier now if I will ever do it again.

3. Gosh if I wasn’t attached to that bungy, I would have splatter like a bug. Even though at times I like to think so, put me on the edge of a 216 meter bridge attached to a bungy, and I will freak the heck out.

4. Listen to them when they say don’t look down. Seriously, as hard as it may seem, DON’T LOOK DOWN, it will just freak yourself out.

5. Face your fears. That was definitely life changing, and the hardest part was getting off the edge. The feeling of accomplishment from facing a fear like that is indescribable.

 

That was by far one of the best experiences of my life. The location was amazing, the people were great, and the adrenaline rush was EPIC. If you ever have a chance, go for it! Face your fear. I would love to do it again, and this time, like the rock star I envisioned.

Northern Canadian Class – Dining In Style At ‘The Back Eddy’

Classy dining around the globe is a hobby that I take very seriously. Enticing the palette with incredible and unique flavors and food pairings, all while surrounded in a comfortable chic atmosphere – is exactly what I am after when dining out. I am continually on the hunt to find the best and most amazing places to experience and share around the world. It’s an art that one can’t help but appreciate.

Here in the hub of the North – Hay River, NWT, there happens to be one of my absolute life long favorites. The Back Eddy. They always provide an unforgettable experience, and the dishes will never disappoint.  Having been in business for over 40 years,  it is clear there are many things being done right here.

The decor of The Back Eddy reflects a nautical theme, adorned with helms, and various pieces from ships.

Hay River has been a port for shipping and barging for many years, so it was very fitting for The Back Eddy to take on this theme. The name is derived from an ‘Eddy’, which is a whirl of water, and in this case, ‘Back Eddy’, intended to represent the whirl of water created by the back of the ship.

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The original owner of The Back Eddy also created what’s called, Back Eddy Spice, which is still sprinkled in quite a few dishes on the menu to this day, as well as sold in many stores. It’s a Back Eddy staple. The Back Eddy has now been family run by some pretty phenomenal people for the last 16 years.

The atmosphere is inviting and very relaxing. Particularly now with all of their festive decorations making the place feel ‘oh so magical’.

Each month they feature different lunch and dinner specials, as well as a monthly dessert(made in house).

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The majority of their dishes are all made from scratch in house and with plenty of love, so you are guaranteed to always have a fresh flavorful experience.

One of my absolute favorite dishes of theirs is the ceaser salad. Nothing fancy, but they make their own dressing, and it is sooo darn good. I can eat it every day. In fact, when I am home every year, I pretty much do eat it every day. I have yet to find another around the globe that compares.

This time around on our ladies of leisure dinner, rather then one of their tantalizing menu items, we were after one of their other classics. Hot Rocks.

Hot Rocks are just that, heated marble slabs, that you get to cook your own food on, right at your table.

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It’s seriously a lot of delicious fun. They come out already nicely heated and then you place them on the flames to keep the sizzle going.

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You have the choice between meat rocks, seafood rocks or a combo of both. We decided to go for the combo rocks which included, Lobster, Prawns, Chicken and Beef, along with plenty of various veggies.

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The platter is very abundantly stocked, and has a fabulous array of house made butters and dips. So you absolutely will no be going home hungry – better bring those stretchy pants.

First thing was first though. I needed to prepare my palette by getting the vino flowing(lets not forget who we are talking about here). It’s simply the classy lady way to begin any culinary journey. For a small Northern establishment they do have quite a good little selection of Vino to choose from. I opted for a Rose, a nice inbetween of white and red.

With hot rocks, your act of having dinner truly turns into an experience. It so nice to share fabulous food, great chat, and good drinks all while being surrounded by an extremely comfortable environment. It’s the best way, and always creates it to be nothing less then memorable.

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You won’t forget how full you were in the end either. Good thing the seats have wheels on them – in case you can’t get up and need to be wheeled out. Isn’t that a classy mental picture?!

The Back Eddy truly is a Northern Gem, and it only gets better with age. That’s right, just like a fine wine. If you find yourself in Northwest Territories, and particularly in the Hay River area, make sure you stop in and enjoy some Northern class and true North hospitality. Cheers to keeping the palette adventures going!

Top 5 Reasons To Travel During The Low Season

Low season travel offers such incomparable experience’s to it’s counter part of high season travel. From the beginning of my nomadic adventures abroad I was instantly taken with being places in the low season. The contrast can be quite big, it’s actually pretty amazing. It’s not very often I stay in a place during the high season, it really depends on where I am, as the situations always very.

My most memorable travel experiences have always taken place in the low season, and so I wanted to share a few of the main reasons as to why that is.

So if your considering booking a trip and your not quite sure what time of year to do it in, here are my top 5 reasons to do it in the off season.

1 – Prices Drop Immensely 

From flights to accommodation, excursions and eating out, the prices are much lower, and it is so much easier to work out a deal. Instead of forking over all your hard earned cash for minimal return, you can make it strech so much further, live a little more lavishly or even extend your trip. Why let the experience end sooner then it has too?!

2 – Less Crowds

I am not massive on being in crowded places, especially when I am adventuring and sight seeing. In some places during the high season it’s almost impossible to move, and the line ups to see attractions can be painfully long. Ain’t nobody got time for that. If I see a massive line for something, a lot of the time it deters me from going. Being places in the low season has proven to give me some of the most surreal experiences possible. Instead of being one of hundreds on a tour, it has just at times been two of us taking it all it. Many times being a mind blowing experience that would never have effected you that greatly had it have been done rushed and crowded.

3 – The Weather Is Sweet

Well for the most part that is. I am from the arctic so my Northern Canadian blood is accustomed to the cold. Which means, I am a sweaty mess in super hot climates. Not my most attractive state, let me tell you. In the low season in tropical places the weather is still beautiful, warm, and very bearable. Sometimes you will have to deal with the rain, but I like the rain. The sun never stays away for long. There is fun to be had no matter what the season or the reason.

4 – Beaches Are Not Crowded

I absolutely love when I can go to a beach and there is endless open sandy space for me to relax in. There is nothing less relaxing for me then having to walk through a bunch of people while looking for a small space where I can squish in with my beach towel. No way. I much prefer having the ability to do cart wheels down the beach. If that was my thing that is. But just knowing I have the option makes my little world turn.

5 – Become One With The Locals

When I go to a new country, I am always so keen to get to know the locals, and get a real feel for the place and how the people live. I love to experience what life is like in each place. In the low season, places aren’t packed with tourists, which means the locals are out to play – and trust me, locals always know the turf and hidden gems the best. This gives the best chance to get to know them, enjoy the activities they are accustomed to, and really immerse yourself in it all. In my experience when I am in a place in the high season, I tend to mainly meet other foreigners, which is also great, but the local experience in the low season is where it’s at, and one you won’t soon forget.

Low season travel never ceases to rock my world, and these are only 5 reasons I listed, there are plenty more. It’s amazing how over looked it can be, as people always tend to follow the crowd. My advice is to venture off away from the crowds, and take that road a little less traveled(as they say). If you are open minded without massive expectations in life then you will be blown away at how the events will unfold and far surpass what you ever imagined.

Chasing Beauty In The Northwest Territories – The Land That Doesn’t Disappoint

Well it’s official. It is mid October, and there is snow everywhere here in the Northwest Territories. Winter has come early this year. Not that I am complaining, I do love the snow. Especially when it’s accompanied by favorable temperatures. Although, the up and down, above and below zero game, makes things messy, wet, and slick. You never know what your going to get. Yes, the pro’s and con’s to everything in life.

Just before the snow flew, I went out on another day of adventuring. It’s just what I do. No matter where in the world I am. Trust me though, the snow ain’t gonna stop this lady from adventuring. It simply creates more various adventure opportunities. Particularly in the NWT.

The week prior to this I went to Twin Falls Gorge and enjoyed the epic ambiance of Alexandra Falls.

This time, we went the opposite direction. We cruised out to the little community of Kakisa, which is about 1.5 hours North of Hay River, NWT. With a population of about 45 people, I don’t mean little lightly.

The primary reason of driving out there was to visit Lady Evelyn Falls. Which is located just 5 km away from Kakisa. Obviously I had to take a little cruise through the quite little community since I was in the area. Lady Evelyn Falls are closed for the season. Well the campgrounds are.

img_4605img_4604  You can still walk in and see the falls. It was quite cool being in the area when everything is totally shut for the winter. A completely empty campground. Not a soul to be found, other then a couple of birds that is. Funny enough though, I wouldn’t have any problem camping in that weather. Get a nice warm fire going, a couple extra layers of clothes, and your laughing. Or perhaps I am just a die hard?! Ahh well, next summer.

Don’t forget to heed the warning before you embark on your waterfall adventure.

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I guess it depends what a high level really means? Thanks for the warning though!


Lady Evelyn Falls are quite a bit smaller then Louise and Alexandra Falls at the Twin Falls Gorge, however she is not lacking in pure stunning beauty.


It’s almost a calm feeling and smooth flowing energy when you are around them. As opposed to the powerful high energy feeling you get at the Twin Falls. It’s not hard to get down beside them, but we didn’t go for it that day.  It was a beauty of a pit stop, and well worth the drive in itself.

After we took in our fill of Lady Evelyn Falls, it was time to start driving back in the direction of Hay River. Not without keeping our eyes peeled for more pit stop adventures to be had along the way. I absolutely love having no plans sometimes. I truly believe in the journey along the way, and when you are open to receive whatever awesomeness is out there, you get exactly that. More awesomeness. Not without a few bumps in the roads at times. I mean trust me when I was crossing Africa alone with that mentality, there were some bumps. However, it always turned out amazing or with a big ol’ forehead swipe of ‘phew’ , and definitely added to my story.

There was this awesome little lookout point that we pulled into. You stand tall on the rocks, and take in the spectacular Northern view.

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It’s total Northern landscape as far as the eye can see, and it’s absolutely wonderful.

img_4559 It is so unique, and as you progress up North towards the Tundra, you have less and less plantation. The changes are dramatic, and the beauty just continually morphs, yet never becomes less. Looking into this bliss, makes a person want to bring a canvas and paint it. Maybe I will wait for warmer weather though. 

Don’t forget to lick a tree while you are there.

Not far up the highway from that look out point, we pulled into McNallie Creek, where sit’s another one of mother natures dazzling gem’s.


There is a day use area, and once again, another set of little waterfalls flowing into a bowl shaped ravine. With the icicles forming on the edges of the water, you can see winter is well on it’s snowy and cold way.  If you keep your eyes peeled when you are there, you can see cliff swallows nesting in the walls as well. Which we didn’t see that day…..

The depths of the water at the base does appear fairly deep. I have been told that people do enjoying jumping in there in the summer.

The paths around the area are great if you feel like frolicking in the bush.

img_4491 The colors were magnificent, and even though there was a chill in the air, after a bit of walking you don’t even feel it. You get warmed up by the incredible setting. Nothing compares to being in nature, it gives you such an uplift and flow of awesome energy. And particularly in the North. It’s a very special place that I will never stop boasting about.

That was a whole day of absolute pure bliss. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in one day. The majestic Northwest Territories once again did not disappoint. It seems as though she is the land of endless waterfalls.

While you wait to check the NWT off of your bucket list, don’t forget to explore your own back yard. There are always beautiful places hidden around every corner – where you would least expect it.

Northwest Territories Timeless Beauty – Small Town, Big Charm

The natural beauty in Northwest Territories is endless and enchanting. Each corner has it’s own unique splendor to be enjoyed. Even having grown up here, there are still so many places I have yet to discover in this vast territory. It’s full of culture, northern lights, midnight sun, incomparable landscapes and pristine natural beauty. Yes, mother nature does not skimp out on us up here.

The beauty surrounding the quaint little town of Hay River, NWT is no different. Every year I make sure to come and enjoy a few months back here, and no matter the season, it is always incredible. Although some seasons are faster then others.

Summer is amazing with the midnight sun, winter is long and a tad dark, however the majestic beauty of the snow covered landscape is one to remember, the cold is a small price to pay, and in between those two there is, Fall. I love fall. The colors are magnificent, and there is such an array of colorful beauty to be basked in.

A day trip to the waterfalls is a must when you are in the area, during anytime of year really. There are actually three sets of waterfalls located about 45 minutes drive from town. The small ones at Escarpment Creek, and the two larger ones at Twin Falls GorgeLouise Falls and Alexandra Falls. It’s amazing to see such impressive and grand falls and landscape so close to town. There is something about waterfalls, you can just feel the energy exuding from them when you are in their presence. It’s even more amazing to see them frozen over in the winter. Frozen beautifully in place. Not a sight you come across every day.

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These ones in particular are Alexandra Falls. They are directly off the highway, so an easy pull off for a pit stop. There is a lookout point you can walk to, which gives you the perfect picturesque view.

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Or you can very easily walk down along side of them at the top of the actual falls, where you can take in all the awe-inspiring natural brilliance and energy of the flow up close and personal.

 

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Don’t be grabbing no barrels and trying to go over though. Probably wouldn’t be the best idea.

There is a fantastic path between Alexandra and Louise falls.

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So if you are keen for a nice afternoon stroll between the two, it’s a perfect way to immerse yourself in the serenity of the Northern nature.

Make sure you bring a picnic as well, as there are picnic area’s where you can have a fire and a cook out, as well as endless laughs with some of your favorite companions.

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You can keep it extra northern and local, by using fresh locally caught whitefish, and garden fresh veggies.

Keeping it local no matter where in the world I am, is exactly how I like it.

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This area is timeless and rich in beauty. A feast for the eyes and a treat for the soul. If you have not already been, Northwest Territories is a must see destination, and so is the town of Hay River. This small place really is just the beginning, or one could say – the entrance to the ‘Spectacular NWT.

 

A Culinary Journey At The Workshop In YYC

Wining and dining is one of my favorite past times. A great group of friends having endless laughs and good chat while sharing fine food, and sipping on superb wine in a classy atmosphere. What culinary dreams are made of. The culinary scene in Calgary is pretty impressive and I am always on the hunt for unique places that stand out from the rest.

Recently I had the supreme pleasure of enjoying an incredible culinary journey at the WorkshopLocated in the heart of downtown Calgary right inside the Theater Junction Grand, boasting the perfect combination of the Arts Culture as well as Culinary Culture – it is a pure gem.


I love the feeling of walking into a theater, we all know it. It is a feeling of excitement, and cultural history, beckoning you inside with its antique feel. Yes, I was absolutely already diggin the feel of it when I reached the front doors.


The restaurant is very open and airy, split on either side of the entrance to the actual theater.

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With the decor being that of an actual workshop – and a classy one at that. Building things was a hobby of mine growing up, so the workshop feel was quite appealing to me.

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We were warmly welcomed and upon being seated we were then given a great in depth briefing about the history of the place.

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I was amazed to learn that the theater itself was built in 1912, being now just over 100 years old. At the time the theater was considered the biggest and best in the Pacific Northwest. It is now a place where art can be expressed in multiple forms, from all areas of life. The Workshop and the Theater are two separate outfits, yet combine perfectly as one.

We clearly got into the wine from the get go. There is no messing around when it comes to myself and my love of wine.


I decided on a bottle of French Rose. I do love a good Rose!

Red, white, rose, who am I to judge really?! I love them all. Particularly Rose from French vineyards, however I have enjoyed some very fine Rose’s from North America now as well. Three of us arrived prior to everyone else, and being famished, we just ‘had’ to get right in there with some sort of snack to get us going. I suppose the excitement was also getting the better of us.

Because of the high recommendation given to us, we chose the Fried Cauliflower with garlic, green olive and Harissa aoili.  As well as the Seared Scallop with pickled potato, pork cheek, charred radish and serrano broth.

 

Wow, it was truly delicious!! I love vegetables, and particularly cauliflower, and with the aoili(which we eat alot of in Spain), it was the perfect compliment. Seriously ridiculous. The scallop was perfectly flavored and melted in your mouth like butter.

So far this culinary journey was off to a dreamy start.

Literally it was so darn good we had to order seconds of the cauliflower. Along side some Albacore tuna poke and the Bulgogi beef tartare.

Both beautifully presented and flavored, I myself however was more partial to the Tuna. I love fish though.

The service was impeccable, and the wine was flowing like a river. Just the way we like it.

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Not only were we being provided with top notch service, we were also being entertained as heck by our server. He really was amazing.

I was pretty stuffed from all those appetizers we indulged in, so for the main, I shared an order of  the Parmesan Cream Gnocci and the Spicy Maple Brussel Sprouts. Two of my absolute favorite foods on this planet. img_5959

I loved every bite. Just when you thought the food couldn’t get better – it then it got better.

The others shared the BBQ pork loin and Pork Belly, accompanied with some cumin roasted yam.

img_5962 With the amount of ‘this is so good’ that was coming out of their mouths, I was pretty certain that they were enjoying tantalizing their taste buds. You can see the effort and taste the passion that goes into every dish there.

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Long behold just when we thought we were at capacity, dessert arrived, and so did the Chef.

We were treated to their three house made desserts. Fallen chocolate souffle with cherry compote, hazelnut crumble, and malted stout ice cream. Fresh berries with citrus genoise, muscat sabayon, and pink peppercorn shatter. Last but not least, Lemon semi freddo, with torched italian meringue, blueberry compote and sugar cookie.

img_4034 How in the heck can you say no to dessert when it’s put right in front of you and boasting with artistic fresheness?! Well, you can’t. You just can’t.

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I can’t express enough how fabulous this whole experience was. The food, atmosphere, service, and the the people, were amazing. You can check out the YouTube video about the incredible experience if your keen.

I am absolutely going to be visiting again, this time around I will also take in a show. If you find yourself in YYC, the Workshop is not to be missed.

 

 

Dolly Parton Concert – Legends And Dreams Come Alive

Dolly Parton. I think that is all I have to say. She is a legend.

I can’t just stop there though, so I shall go on. From a very young age, probably starting around 7, I fell in love with Dolly Parton. That was back in the days of VHS, yes remember those?! Well my grandparents were big Country fans, and they had loads of various Country concerts taped on VHS, including plenty from Dolly Parton. Back then we only got about 7 channels on TV, and that was using an antenna and tin foil on top of the TV, you know,the ones that look like bunny ears. So you taped whatever you could when you were getting good reception so you could replay it.

Yah, so I taped whatever I could of Dolly concerts and watched them all the darn time. I also bought her book ‘Dolly – My Life And Other Unfinished Business’ when I was 10, which I read about 100 times front to back.

I was enamored by everything about Dolly Parton. I thought she looked like a barbie, she sang like a dream, and had the best outlook on life ever. I set 3 goals back then. To see her live, go to Dollywood, and one day meet her in person. 20 years ago she came to Calgary, Alberta, to play at the stampede. I wanted to go so badly, but I couldn’t make it. I was absolutely gutted. I knew though that someday I would have another chance, I just wasn’t sure when…… Until now.

A few months ago, I seen that she was coming to Canada on her Pure and Simple Tour, and Calgary was one of those stops. Seeing as how it was in Calgary that I had the unfinished Dolly Parton concert business, it was a no brainer – I had to finish it there.

I am in the Northwest Territories at the moment for a couple of months of home time before I head back to Mallorca, Spain, and it is a 14 hour drive to Calgary from here. 14 hours to complete a childhood dream of 20+ years, is worth every darn kilometer. I booked myself into the classy Hotel Arts, and lucked out when I got 4th row seats to the concert. I couldn’t believe when they randomly came available. I scooped them up the minute I seen them.

Dolly started promptly at 7:30. I was busy getting myself a classy beverage thinking there would be an opening act. Nope there sure wasn’t though. Dang it! I didn’t want to miss one precious second of Dolly on stage.

We were ready for action

I was in awe from the moment I set eyes on her. Actually I was in tears.


Famous people don’t even phase me, ever. To me people are just people. However, Dolly Parton was someone whom shaped me growing up. Well her and Marilyn Monroe. I had no idea how touching seeing Dolly was going to be. Not only was her voice totally perfect, sitting there listening to all her stories that I read in her book, coming from her own mouth, was beyond words. For the first time in my life, watching someone live, brought tears straight to the ol’ peepers. Especially being in 4th row. Her energy was emanating. She was so damn amazing. Leave it to Dolly Parton to be as inspiring as always.

Man did she put on a good show. From 7:30 – 10:30 with a 20 minute intermission, she’s definitely a go getter that one.

She pretty much played every instrument under the sun.


Even after the show it was hard to leave.

And also hard to believe what we just experienced.

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This is something I will absolutely never forget. Hands down best concert of my life.

The closest I came to getting a photo with her.

What did I take from all of this? Don’t ever give up on your dreams. I waited 20+ years for this one, but gosh darn it, it happened – and it was unbelievable.


Next stop, Dollywood.

Trust me, once you start checking the boxes, you just can’t stop.

NWT – Beach Vibes On The Shores Of The Great Slave Lake

Northwest Territories, sun, sand, beach, and fall weather – I love all of those things. The NWT continually has unique beauty on offer. Summer comes to an end so fast here. When she goes, she goes. It’s essential to enjoy as much of the sunshiny outdoors and beach weather as possible before the Arctic freeze takes over.

So a sunny warm day in September, means it has to be enjoyed!

My hometown of Hay River is situated on the Great Slave Lake, the tenth largest lake in the world.

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At first glance you may think the water looks a little murky, being brown and stuff… But it’s as fresh as they come, being a fresh water lake, and the fishing is fantastic. The water can be chilly, but us Northerner’s are used to it, and our blood has no problem adjusting. Really though, it’s not bad at all. Once you hop in it only takes a minute to adjust.

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Now even though there is also a very large amount of driftwood, don’t let that deter you either.

The more driftwood the bigger the beach bonfires.

I love when myself and friends get together and crack some cold ones on the beach while enjoying the crackling of a bonfire.

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I would call it pure soul food. It always varies with the drift wood situation, sometimes there is loads, other times not so much.

It was a stunning autumn day – warm, sunny, calm winds, absolute perfect day to enjoy some outdoor bliss. Not to mention I had scheduled a date with myself. You know, epic ‘me time’, where I bask in my own awesome company, and re-charge.

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One of my favorite past times. It also gives me the opportunity to reflect, and get my creative juices flowing. I decided what better place to go then to the beach on such a miraculous fall day.

The water was ridiculously calm, not too cold, and the sun was as bright and lovely as a ever. I brought my blanket, and had some chill time. It was truly blissful. I have a massive appreciation for this part of the world. Perhaps I am a bit biased because this is my home, but it speaks for itself really.

My awesome energy was once again on full form so I could venture back into the world and share it with as many people as possible. Taking time for yourself is a gift that everyone deserves. Not to mention, taking that time to appreciate the beauty you have surrounding you exactly where you are. So what are you waiting for?! Get out here and enjoy some of that epic ‘me time’. You should also plan a trip to the alluring Northwest Territories.