A Perfect Weekend in the City

This weekend was one for the books.

My dear friend Madison and I escaped the rock and headed over to the mainland for a pretty perfect weekend full of good tunes, dancing, hiking and lots of belly-laughs. With a thirst for adventure, and a need to get out of town for a day or two, we could not have been more stoked. And, we kicked it all off by seeing The STROKES! Need i say more?
Well… probably.

For those of you that are not familiar with The Strokes, basically they never tour. Or at least its been a long damn time since they toured. So last year, when they announced that they were playing All Points East in London around the time that i was meant to be there, I had to go. I figured that id never get the chance to see them in Vancouver, so may as well! And well, it was amazing. We saw so many incredible musicians that day and it was an experience ill remember forever. But i had pretty much accepted that that would be the only chance i ever get to see The Strokes. Thankfully however, i was wrong.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx70nGhDCmM/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

In February they announced the show for March 5th at Rogers arena, Vancouver.

One month away. I couldn’t believe it! They only announced 3 tour dates: Vancouver, Seattle & LA. Super random, but i definitely wasn’t complaining!
Anyway, we boogied to Vancouver and danced our asses off. It was definitely a night to remember. Unfortunately, i did not take a single photo or video of the concert. Which I am now realizing is actually a beautiful thing. There’s something so freeing about turning off your phone or camera, and just fully immersing yourself in the experience. Unfortunately though, this leaves you with nothing to post on the gram! Oh the horror! (which is why i left you with a picture from All Points East) Pics or it didn’t happen right?

And then, we climbed a hill and saw the most incredible views.

Eagerly we woke up the next morning, ready to tackle the day and ignore our lingering hangovers. We headed into gastown and enjoyed our morning coffee at Milano’s – to fuel us up for a day on the slopes.
We brought our snow shoes with us as we were heading up Cypress Mountain that day for a hike before heading home. Because the weekend just is not complete, unless you squeeze in a new hike.

As much as i absolutely LOVE the city

I will always be an island girl at heart. Because as we left downtown and began driving up the mountain and into the trees it was almost like a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong though, I do love the city. I still love the hustle & bustle, and endless opportunities that you have in cities. But the mountains are and will forever be, my safe & happy place. Part of the reason I love Vancouver however, is it’s close proximity to the beautiful mountains and ocean. Which are necessities for this Island girl’s heart to be happy.
We had the most amazing weather which made for an incredible snow shoe up to the Bowen Island Lookout Point.

When we made it to the lookout point, my breath was taken away.

We were greeted by this beautiful bird… Which I’m guessing was a young eagle? But please correct me if i am wrong. He was beautiful. He stayed perched on this tree branch the whole time we were there. Obviously not a shy fella. I guess we weren’t the only ones soaking in the good views.

I felt as though i could have stayed here for hours.

We stayed up here for at least an hour just completely awe-stricken by these unbelievable views. There were blue jays everywhere, squirrels, and whiskey jacks. Oh the alpine, how i love you.
Being up here got me so stoked to do the Saint Marks Summit in the summer once the snow has melted. We initially thought that we could snow shoe up to the summit, but really that was just a fantasy. After being warned of the avalanche zone and having a ferry to catch in a few hours – we decided Bowen lookout would be much more suitable.
If you’re ever looking for a quick hike just outside the city – you have to do this one! It is not strenuous, very quick and amazingly close to the city. And of course, you get these views! This was my perfect weekend in the city. Anyway, enough from me. Now enjoy these photos, and let me know what you think!


After an amazing day in the alpine

We then made our way home back to the island. It was a jam packed 24 hour visit to the mainland, but it was filled with good tunes, great company, scenic views and the yummiest coffee’s.
Here’s to many more weekends like this one in 2020.
What is your idea of a perfect weekend? Let me know in the comments below!



Roadtrips & Puffins

Latrabjarg, the place of my wildest dreams.

A place of wide open wilderness. A place filled with the most adorable of sea birds – Puffins.

By now, if you’ve done any amount of research on Iceland, you will know that the weather can be completely unpredictable. After a rather snowy and cold day spent exploring Snæfellsnes Peninsula, we were a little apprehensive about driving in the west fjords the next day. We planned to head to Latrabjarg; the westernmost point of Iceland, and home to some of the highest cliffs and seabirds. With snow in the forecast, i was feeling anxious about the drive out there. Especially after reading about how treacherous the road can be. However, Latrabjarg was the place that i was looking forward to the most on this Iceland trip. So, Full send and we’re on our way out to the iconic cliffs. After briefly driving through a few clouds, we were greeted with the most warm and welcoming sunshine for our drive through the mountains.


The drive definitely was no easy feat.

If you ever decide to head out there, please make sure you drive slowly! The road is quite narrow and windy, and its unpaved. So its essential to take your time, soak in all the amazing scenery and enjoy the drive.

We arrived at these cliffs after about 5 hours on the road, and man was it ever worth it. The sun was beaming down on us – making it warm enough to walk around in a light sweater. Felt a bit bizzare, seeing as we were stuck in what felt like a blizzard the day before.
Standing on these magnificently tall cliffs on the ocean, truly felt like you’re standing on the edge of the world. And it also makes you realize just how tiny you are.



We began hiking up and searching for the puffins


We hiked up to the highest point of the cliffs and disappointingly had not seen a single puffin. But thankfully the views were more than worth it. We enjoyed the hike and frolicked around taking in this otherworldly scenery.
However, we came here with a purpose. And that purpose, was to find some puffins. So after soaking in some of the most breath-taking views in the world, we decided to make our descent.
The parking lot got closer and closer, and we still hadn’t seen a single puffin. Until, i spotted a fellow photographer lying flat down on the cliffs, immersed in shooting something. And there it was. I was initially blown away by how small they are. I’m not sure what i was expecting, but i definitely thought they would be bigger. And man, are these birds ever adorable!


And just like that, a million appeared!


They were EVERYWHERE! had we just hiked past them without noticing?
We later found out, that puffins tend to stay closer to the shore on the lower lying cliffs, so the higher in elevation we got on our hike, the further away from the puffins we got. We also found out that they tend to hangout on the cliff’s in the mornings and mid afternoon to evenings. We started around 1 and it wasn’t until probably about 3 that we spotted our first one. All in all – i still definitely recommend hiking to the top at Latrabjarg, because it left me almost speechless. It’s a place that you just have to experience to believe.


FUN PUFFIN FACT :

Did you know, That puffins mate for life?

If that’s not the cutest thing, I’m not sure what is.


This was definitely a HUGE highlight of our Iceland journey.


And let me just say, The west fjords may be the most magical place i’ve ever been. On our drive home to our Airbnb we had booked for the night, we got to witness one of the most beautiful sunsets. We finished the day off, by bathing in a hidden hot spring right across from the cabin we were staying in.
Its safe to say this was one of the most blissful days i’ve ever had.








Adventures and Bears

After a busy and stressful week, feeling the need for some adventure, i decided a trip to the coast was in order. A co-worker of mine had recommended a place she knew of where black bears are known to hangout and feed, and where you can watch them from a safe distance. So i packed up the car and set off for a much needed day full of Adventures and Bears.

As I have mentioned in previous post’s, Tofino is a place that makes my heart feel so full. I always leave feeling so rejuvenated and refreshed. It’s quite possibly the best place for me to go if I am looking for mental clarity, or just need to decompress.

Our first stop was for a small walk at Little Qualicum Falls.

Next Stop, Bear Watching.


We arrived at the location my friend had told me about. While nala waited paitently in the car, I got out and began looking for bears.
When I first arrived, i couldn’t see anything. So I waited and explored the area a bit. After walking on the boardwalk that’s located on the river where the bears feed, I realized that I could hear the sound of something eating. And sure enough, underneath the boardwalk was a beautiful black bear feasting on a freshly caught salmon.
I was completely blown away. Here i am – standing 2 feet above this amazingly powerful beast, feasting on it’s fresh catch. How unreal!

I decided not to take any photos at this moment, as I felt it was important to just be as present as possible and take in this incredible experience for all that it was. That, and I didn’t have the clearest view of the bear either. It’s honestly quite difficult for me to explain what it felt like being this close to a bear, but it was amazing.

I was so incredibly fascinated and infatuated by this beautiful bear feeding


I was completely immersed in the moment and was paying zero attention to my surroundings. Then, I looked up for a brief moment and realized that there was a massive (and i mean MASSIVE) bear, staring straight at me from across the river.
This was the biggest black bear that i had ever seen, and perhaps the most magnificent creature I’ve ever seen.


I stayed with the bears for about an hour

Though I felt as if i could stay here forever. Since I had Nala-bear in the car, i figured i shouldnt stay longer than an hour. This hour was one of the most precious hours of my life.
You know that feeling you get in your tummy when you’re over the moon excited about something? I felt that for the next 3 days, every time i thought about the time I shared with these bears.

Leaving this experience, i couldn’t help but feel so incredibly lucky. To be able to be in such close quarters with such powerful creatures while feeling so safe is quite an indescribable feeling.

Bears are a source of fear and anxiety for many

But the more time i spend around these guys the less I fear them. It is so incredibly crucial that we all learn how we can happily co-exist with animals such as bears, because after all this is THEIR home and we are simply visitors. If everyone takes the proper precautions and does their research before heading into bear country, i believe that we can live harmoniously with these animals.

Staying calm when close to a bear is one of the most crucial things in my opinion. I am a strong believer that animals feed off of the energy you put out. And had i been uptight, stressed or nervous around these bears, who knows if they would’ve even stayed in the area. I felt truly honored that they were comfortable enough to feed and hangout in my presence.

For more information on safe bear encounters, Check out this link! http://westernwildlife.org/black-bear-outreach-project/tips-for-coexistence-with-black-bears/


Would you want to go bear watching? Let me know in the comments below!


Who wouldn’t want to wake up here?

Paradise is just a 3 hour drive from home

After a long sketchy drive in the pouring rain, we were lucky enough to wake up in tofino in the cutest hotel ever.

We booked to stay with The Shoreline for 2 nights and i cannot reccomend this place enough! We are staying in the pet friendly room so that we could bring nala – and they supply you with dog bowls, a dog bed, poop bags and treats. It is so amazingly cozy and situated right on the water. Also, conviniently located stumbling distance from not only the tofino brewery, but shelter – where you will find the most delicious calamari in the world.

The Shoreline was filled with the most thoughftul touches

The thing that i loved the most about this hotel – was the fact that everything inside was locally made. From the towels and blankets – to the locally roasted coffee and house made essential oil blends.

This was the absolute perfect place to hunker down for a weekend and watch the storms pass by.

All this being said , we came for tofino looking for some adventure, and we definitely got it!


We started our first morning by doing the cox bay lookout hike which was amazing. Once we got to the top we noticed some big dark clouds rolling in, and sure enough we got stuck in a hail storm a few minutes later. Thankfully though, that didnt last for too long and we were greated by the suns beautiful rays moments later.

Now, Time to get off my computer and enjoy the rest of our time here.
I’ll leave you with the song I’ve had on repeat this whole weekend.

Tell me, would you want to #wakeuphere?



All images found on this blog have been shot & edited by Steph Gaul