adidas Teams Up with Parley to Create Shoes with Recycled Ocean Plastic

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adidas by Stella McCartney White Parley Ultra Boost X shoe

I felt compelled to write about the new collection that adidas just launched this week as it is a step towards trying to find solutions to eliminate all the plastic waste that is slowly engulfing our oceans.

Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental issues the earth is currently facing. If you haven’t already, make sure you watch the documentary called A Plastic Ocean, as this is incredibly eye-opening. Most of us don’t realize the impact that our plastic use (especially single plastic use – straws, food containers, plastic water bottles, etc.) is having on the planet (including myself up until I watched the doc!). So when big global brands like adidas, partner up with Parley (an organization where creators, thinkers and leaders, come together to raise awareness for the beauty and fragility of our oceans and collaborate on projects that can end their destruction), it gives me hope that we can find solutions to recycle this plastic pollution and turn it into something good.

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Made with Parley Ocean Plastic™, adidas launched new editions of their signature UltraBOOST, UltraBOOST X and UltraBOOST Uncaged. Parley uses marine plastic debris and turns it into a shoe. By implementing the Parley A.I.R Strategy – which consists in avoiding virgin plastic, intercepting plastic waste, and redesigning new alternatives; they are making a difference one step at a time.

Each shoe reuses on average 11 plastic bottles, that are used to create laces, heel webbing, heel lining, and sock liner covers, which are made from recycled PET material.

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Also, as part of their commitment to create a global movement, adidas is calling on its global community to join the adidas x Parley Run for the Oceans digital event – hosted by Runtastic, and taking place around World Oceans Day 2017 (June 5-11). Runners are invited to show their commitment to the cause by joining the run – from the city streets, to the beach, or wherever they happen to be during that week.

I hope more global brands will follow adidas‘ initiatives and find ways to use up-cycled marine plastic and transform it into products we can use. I think we all have a responsibility whether we like it or not to preserve our oceans and the planet, if we want to keep enjoying it!

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For more information on the adidas x Parley collection, go here.

Got Barrelled While Handboarding

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I LOVE anything ocean-related so when I first heard of handboarding a few years ago I had to give it a shot. I was lucky enough to get in the water with the rad crew at Slyde Handboards (I even wrote about it here!) and was immediately hooked by the sport.

If the name sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve watched the episode of Shark Tank (watch it here), where guest shark Ashton Kutcher and Mark Cuban invest into the company. How rad!

I had been itching to get back in the water with the crew for quite some time, so I was stoked to have been able to stop by their headquarters this week to check out some of their new board models (can’t wait for you all to see them!) and also get into the water with Slyde Handboards’ founder Steve Watts. Here’s a little recap of the fun we had out in Dana Point.

For more info on Slyde Handboards, go here.

Shot by: TheOffners

Beach Bum

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Well… after a lengthy day, 2 days of traveling, we finally made it to Europe. The 9 hours of jet lag definitely has me feeling a little funky but I knew that going to the ocean today would be the best thing to get me feeling energized again.

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No surfing for today, just enjoying the lovely waves, the sun and the beautiful Côte Basque scenery. Some days, it’s nice to be a beach bum, I rarely get the chance to just lay by the beach so I’m making the most of it!

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Excited to be heading to the #ProAnglet surf competition later this week. Got any recommendations for the Côte Basque? Send them my way!

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Photos by @Offner

Sanuk Women’s Shuffle Sidewalk Surfer (get them here)

Bench women’s short 

TOMS Traveler matte grey (get them here)

Nixon mint green waterproof watch 

 

Summer Goal

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I don’t usually set myself seasonal goals but I’ve decided that I was going to do so for the summer.

My goal this summer: be close to the water, as often as possible.

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The one thing I want to do most in the summer is be outdoors. I don’t have the luxury of living somewhere where it’s nice 365 days a year, so when it finally gets warm and sunny out, all I want to do is be outdoors and preferably somewhere by the ocean or close to a body of water. It’s impossible for me to be focused and concentrate indoors when it’s so nice out!

Because Toronto is located right on Lake Ontario, I try to go for runs on the Martin Goodman Trail several times a week and bike close to the waterfront. Any time I can go swimming in a lake, wakeboard or SUP, you’ll find me on the water. I’m also very excited to be spending a full month in California this summer, so that I can fill up on Vitamin D and get my fair share of ocean time. Can’t wait to just walk to the beach in my favorite Sanuk flip flops (pictured below!), wearing my bathing suit, carrying a picnic and a surfboard. I can’t wait to smell the salt air, feel the ocean breeze, watch the waves and then go for a surf or swim!

What are your summer goals?

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Photos by @Offner

Sanuk Yoga Joy Metallic sandals (get them here)

H&M boyfriend jean shorts

Zara colored tank

Life’s A Beach

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Life really is a beach, IF you choose to see it that way. Each day is like a little life, so it’s our job to make each day our best life. I just got back from an amazing month of traveling and resourcing. I spent the last week or so in California close to the ocean and the beach (I’ll be posting a new travel blog on my latest adventures shortly!).

While I was there, I had a lot of time to myself to think and reflect on this past year and also the future. I feel more ambitious and positive than ever to make 2015 the best year yet. I want to make 2015 a year of health for my mind, body and soul. I want to put my best foot forward every day and be the best version of myself that I can be. What are your hopes and aspirations for 2015?

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Photos by @Offner

Anine Bing boots with silver studs (get them here)

Anine Bing dark grey cardigan (get it here)

Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper Black (get them here)

Zara TRF oversized tee 

Exploring San Francisco

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This summer I returned to beautiful San Francisco. Though I travel to Los Angeles several times a year, I’ve only been to San Francisco once before, back in 2006 when I was on tour. I was delighted to be back in a city I didn’t know much about and that has changed so much over the past couple of years.

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If you’re flying into San Francisco, the good news is that the airport is pretty awesome! It’s located only a few minutes from downtown (you can access it easily via cab or the BART), it’s new, clean and also offers some of the healthiest food options I’ve ever seen before in an airport. I loved their market and all of their fresh food options.

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I spent five full  days in San Francisco, which really gave me the opportunity to re-familiarize myself with this lovely city.  We spent those days walking for hours non-stop. San Francisco is really a great city to explore by foot. If you’re going to go explore though, make sure you wear comfortable footwear as you will have to climb up and down hills to get to the different areas of town. San Francisco also has many bike paths than span across the downtown area. They have the Bay Area Bike Share system that you can use if you want to tour the city on wheels. I’ll be posting a special San Francisco food blog soon but in the meantime, here are some of the things that stood out while exploring the city.

1) Mission District. Is an incredibly unique neighborhood that is full of life and culture located in east-central San Francisco. What immediately stood out in this area was the huge presence of the Mexican culture. Everywhere you go you will find influences of Mexico in the food, the shops and the environment. Mission reminds me of a small Brooklyn or even Parkdale in Toronto. There are many young adults, artists and entrepreneurs that live in the area. Valencia Street between 24th and 14th street is the main street in the neighborhood where you’ll find a ton of really neat shops, restaurants, bars, schools, etc.  Guerrero and Mission Street are also filled with tons of different businesses. Every street around these main arteries is filled with beautiful homes and apartments. The architecture in this neighborhood is stunning, just like anywhere in San Francisco. The Victorian rowhouses are all colorful and each have something special. One of my favorite shops that I found on Valencia was Paxton Gate, a boutique shop that specializes in taxidermy, fossils, plants, science & so much more. The shop is filled with so many interesting books, unique gifts & decorations. There’s also a handful of vintage stores on Valencia that have amazing clothes and accessories.

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2) Coffee culture. I could have an entire blog just dedicated to coffee in San Francisco because it’s really a big deal. San Francisco’s coffee shops are renown across the US. You may have already heard of the legendary Philz Coffee located in Mission District, the place where each coffee is brewed individually and blended for each customer. For the past 25 years, Phil has been making his own unique blends of coffee and serving them to their faithful customers. Going into Philz is definitely a different experience. Other than Philz, you’ll also find Ritual Coffee Roasters in Mission, on Valencia Street. It’s smaller but a great spot to grab a croissant and coffee on the go or to stay for a few minutes. The simple and clean decor makes the place very modern and bright. Also, on Valencia you’ll find Fourbarrel Coffee, a spot that reminds me a lot of Intelligentsia Coffee in Los Angeles. It was rated as the #1 coffee spot in San Francisco by San Francisco Weekly. It’s a big open space. You can buy lot’s of coffee accessories and merch from the shop. It definitely feels a little more upscale than Philz and is also a major hipster hangout. If you go closer to the pier, you can grab coffee from Blue Bottle, a coffee shop that originated in Oakland, CA and that now can be found everywhere in the Bay Area, New York and Los Angeles.

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3) Street art. Everywhere you look in downtown San Francisco, you’ll find beautiful and colorful street art. Artists of all types and backgrounds leave traces of their talent across the city. I was particularly drawn to the art I saw in Mission District, just because a lot of it was inspired by the Mexican culture. I really think that street art is so special and unique and makes a city so vibrant. It adds character to the building or structure it’s on. I think each city should make space for street artists to leave their marks.

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4) Ocean Beach. I couldn’t go to San Francisco without going to Ocean Beach. Though a little far from downtown, the ocean is pretty easily accessible via bus if you take Judah Street. Another way to access the beach is to walk through Golden Gate Park, which is what we decided to do. Golden Gate Park is so incredibly vast and lush. It reminded me of Central Park minus the crowds. Once you get to the beach, you feel like you’re in a completely different place. We stopped at Java Beach Cafe to grab some beach snacks before crossing the road and climbing up the sand dunes. There’s a nice bike path located at the beach that goes on for miles. The beach in San Francisco is so large and quiet. The sand dunes prevent you from seeing the city behind you so you feel like you’re tucked away somewhere quiet and beautiful. Though I didn’t get out in the water, I did see a handful of surfers wearing 3/2 wetsuits riding some waves. A tip: Make sure you grab an extra layer of clothing when going to the beach, it tends to get a really windy. The view though… priceless!

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5) Wine country. On the last day we were in San Francisco we were invited to go down to wine country in Sonoma. We visited a few family owned wineries including the Benziger Family Winery located in Glen Ellen. What I particularly enjoyed about this specific winery is that it uses Biodynamic, organic and sustainable farming methods to make their wine. We had a lovely tour of the estate and also had the best cheese & wine tasting I’ve ever had. They had such a tasty selection of cheeses, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! Another fun winery on our tour was the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. This is a destination for the entire family, with a full hotel, restaurant, pool & spa. They also have a cool museum with artifacts from all of Coppola’s movies and his daughter’s movies as well. The pool and café are a great place to spend the afternoon.

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Before finishing this post, I feel compelled to mention that homelessness still seems to be a very major issue in San Francisco. They are everywhere you go in the city. I’ve seen a lot of homeless people in Los Angeles and other cities on the west coast, but the problem seems even greater in the city of San Francisco. I really felt helpless as a tourist seeing all the people on the streets. I hope the city can continue working on making the lives of these people better!

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5 Questions With: Vivianne Lapointe of Live FAST Mag

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Photo by: Janell Shirtcliff

On one of my recent trips to California, I attended an art show that Vivianne Lapointe also known as Ladyshark put on at a neat art space in Hollywood. Being a big fan of the ocean and having always been fascinated by sharks, I was really excited by this exhibit and fundraiser. From then on, I started following Ladyshark on social media and discovered that she was also the founder of an amazing magazine called – Live FAST Mag. Over the past couple of months, it’s become my go-to mag for inspiration – they always have such beautiful photos, travel and art features as well as so much more! Vivianne and her team recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the production of their very first annual issue. “A big glossy book with drool-worthy features that you can pick up a year or 10 years from now and flip through with the same pleasure,” she says. You can check out the campaign and what Live FAST Mag is all about here. I’m thrilled to present to you today my 5 Questions With Vivianne Lapointe.

1) Can you talk to us about your style evolution from your teens until now? How would you describe your style today? (you can provide us with photos if you’d like)

My personal style was a bit all over the place growing up – like I’d wear thick socks in fancy heels, and I remember people making fun of me because I’d straighten my hair only in the front and leave the back really messy. I was always into platform shoes, knee high socks and hats. Right now I spend a lot of cash on great lingerie and stockings, because somehow it makes anything I put on after sexier and more expensive. When I’m chilling at home or at the office I look like a tomboy – skinny jeans, oversized tees, snapbacks – but when I go out I like to feel like a sex pot. 

2) Who are your style icons?

Claudia Cardinale, Brigitte Bardot, Dita Von Teese and then a lot of my super stylish friends  like Janell Shirtcliff, Kelley Ash, Cyd and Dal from Stone Cold Fox, Leemor Rhodes and Chiara Ferragni.

3) What inspired you to create Live FAST Mag? What is your mission with the mag?

FAST stands for Fashion, Art, Sex and Travel – the best things in life. Think about it… you can really lose yourself in an amazing orgasm, the view you discover when you reach a mountain peek, a great book, staring at a painting, or wearing a gown in the most gorgeous silk. Life is so short! I hope we inspire people to live to the fullest and to do everything they can to stretch the precious time we are given on this earth.

4) What are some of the most memorable moments thus far with Live FAST Mag?

Our first Babes On Tour, when we documented our road trip from Los Angeles all the way up to San Francisco. That’s when I fell in love with the Madonna Inn and Big Sur. I’ve been back twice since. Another great moment is when the president of the NY Observer emailed me to tell me he is a huge fan of the mag! And both of my trips to Pow Wow Hawaii were pretty life changing. 

5) You’re a big fan of the ocean and of sharks, where does this passion come from?

It stems from fear and has come full circle since. I’ve written about it pretty extensively here.  

Best of luck with the campaign!

Miami Vice

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I got a much needed with break from winter last month when I spent a few days in one of my favorite long weekend destinations: Miami. As expected, the sunshine and heat was there to welcome us. Here are a few things worth your time on your next visit:

1 – Standard Miami Beach

We spent our first 24hrs at the Standard Hotel located on one of the islands in Miami Beach. I loved their remote location because it was far removed from the noisy south beach strip yet still close enough to restaurants, entertainment, etc. I absolutely loved everything about my experience at the hotel. The lobby was beautiful (loved the ping pong and foosball table), the room was simple yet super comfy, the gardens were lush, the pool had a superb view as the hotel is located right on the water, the restaurant (especially the brunch!!!) was delicious, the spa was super relaxing, the juice bar was a nice little touch and I loved all the activities they had available for guests (SUP, Yoga, etc.). I recommend booking a spa treatment with them even if you’re just going for the day. You’ll be able to do their steam rooms, saunas, etc. afterwards and will also have access to their pool. It’s also really fun to walk around from one island to the other since you’re already on one of them (Belle Isle to be exact!). It’s so fun to see all the beautiful homes and boats on each island.

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2 – Joe’s Stone Crab

Make sure you check out this South Beach institution, whether you’re a fan of stone crab or not, it’s totally worth the experience. It’s first come first served so either show up right at 5pm or be prepared to wait 2-3hrs, which is what we did but was well worth it. The restaurant is absolutely humungous and so is their food. But everything that they make and serve is made in house or caught fresh. I recommend ordering some stone crab, wearing the bib, also ordering a few side dishes and a homemade dessert to enjoy the full experience.

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3 – Renting a scooter

Everyone rides around in a scooter in Miami. It’s a super cheap way to get around not only South Beach but also Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, North Beach, etc. There are many places to rent scooters, we rented ours from Beach Scooter Rentals, on Washington ave. just below 14th ave. They have more than one location in South Beach. We got a cool looking Vespa for $80 USD for 24hrs that came with two helmets (no one wears a helmet in Miami!!) and a lock. We even got to take it to our apartment overnight. What’s amazing about having a scooter is that it costs $5 to fill up the tank of gas! Having a scooter allowed us to explore the area a lot more!

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4 – Miami Watersports Paradise

@Offner and I are always looking for fun activities to do when we travel. For a while now, he’s been wanting to go wakeboarding and while we were at Otentic (the best French restaurant in Miami! Check out the dessert platter below – bonjour le Café Gourmand!! You have to go check out their new location!!), the owner told us about a buddy of his that owned a watersport company right at the pier. So we hit him up for a two hour session. What’s great is that you don’t really need to bring anything other than your bathing suit. He gives you a life jacket, the board and teaches you how to do it. He’s really patient and super friendly. Not only did we get to do some amazing wakeboarding (it was my first time and I’m now hooked!!), he also gave us a super cool tour of the islands in his boat. It was really special because it was just the instructor, Offner and I! He also offers wakesurfing classes, tubing, etc. So much fun!!

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5 – The Beach

No matter how many times I go to Miami, the thing I love the most is the beach. The clear warm water, the tropical fish you see when you’re swimming, the long stretches of sand, the boardwalk… it’s perfect! Even in mid-February, the water was in the high seventies. A little chilly to get in, but once you’re in, it’s super refreshing. Swimming in the ocean has always been my favorite thing to do ever since I was a kid. I would spend my entire day in the water playing games, paddling around, swimming laps, etc. I think I’ve always stayed a kid at heart because the ocean still brings me so much joy. If you’re going to Miami, the beach will most likely be where you will want to spend most of your time. You will also definitely want to invest in either buying, brining or renting a parasol if you’re going between April-November. It gets REALLY hot on the beach!

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The more I go to Miami, the more I love it! Yes, there’s the very show off, lound music, crazy side to the city but there’s also a much quieter, local kind of vibe that you get if you explore a bit. Can’t wait to be back!!

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Welcome to Miami!

Two weekends ago I was able to spend a few days in Miami. My last visit to Miami dates back to last November but I had only spent 48hrs in this tropical wonderland. Growing up in Quebec, Florida was always a very popular destination for my family in the winter. I think my first ever trip as a baby was to Orlando when I was just a few months old. I’ve done the Orlando/Disney trip a handful of times, stayed in West Palm Beach with my grand-ma, went to Fort Lauderdale a few times but hadn’t spent too much time in Miami before.

So I was really happy to have more quality time there to discover some of the city’s hotspots.

Summer isn’t necessarily the best time of year to head to Miami, that’s when it tends to rain a lot just because it gets so humid and hot. We got lucky with the weather, it only rained one morning out of four and a half days. It was 42+ celsius and sunny the whole time.

We spent most of our time at the beach, the water was SO warm! It is also really clear and the ocean floor is soft and sandy, so you can see all sorts of tropical fish swimming around you. It’s beautiful! Though a little pricey – $50 a day for two chairs and a parasol but you can come and go as you please the entire day, we made sure to protect ourselves from the hot sand and intense sun. There’s really nothing quite like swimming in the ocean. It’s oh so relaxing!!

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I was able to do a little bit of shopping while I was there. My two favorite spots are: Collins Ave. (where you’ll find everything from Zara to LF, to Armani, etc.) and also the pedestrian outdoor shopping area on Lincoln Road.

I’m a huge fan of Art Deco so seeing all the different art deco hotels, buildings, clubs, museums, etc. are so amusing to me. We took the time to visit one of their Art Deco themed museum – the Wolfsonian FIU, located on Washington Ave. They had interesting collections on women and sports, Zeppelins, Art Deco, Architecture, etc. It’s only $7 per person and will take 1-2 hours of your time.

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3 favorite places to eat:

The Dutch – is located in the W Hotel in South Beach. They offered a brilliant fall fixed price menu with one appetizer, one main and a dessert. Everything everyone had there was absolutely to die for! The wine selection was also top notch! The vibe of the place was cozy yet stylish, the staff was knowledgeable and super helpful. I loved my dinner there and can’t wait to go back!

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Otentic – I officially found the best cheese platter in Miami. This small restaurant located on Washington Ave. makes typical French dishes. I loved drinking a Monaco (beer & grenadine drink), their charcuterie boards and salads are also killer. They make a mean chocolate mousse! I love their attention to detail, offering customers a free glass of white wine and tapenade as soon as you walk in. The owner Aurélien (yup, same name as Offner!) is super young and friendly. A must!

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The Forge – Loved eating at this over the top Art Deco inspired restaurant. The atmosphere was young, hip and fun! The styling of the place was unreal. They had a special on Veuve Clicquot champagne the night we went so if you ordered a glass of champagne at the bar, they would serve you unlimited appetizers. Unreal! The food was also heavenly. They had very tasty bread baskets and a fabulous selection of wine. I had the soup and grilled cheese, Offner had the burger and his parents, the biggest steak I’ve ever seen! Their little dessert tray was also yummy. It’s a festive place with loud music so if you’re looking for a quieter spot, this may not be the place for you!

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Now for something completely different, the 11th Street Diner located on Washington and 11th Street is also a superb place to grab some quick breakfast or lunch. It’s the original building that was constructed in 1948 in New Jersey that they moved to Miami in the 1990s.

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A bar to check out:

The Broken Shaker – is located in the hip Freehand Miami hostel. Offner always loves checking out up and coming bars in every city we visit. He had heard of this place because of their original handcrafted drinks made from ingredients, herbs & spices directly taken from the place’s garden. We tasted their savory sweet and spicy homemade punch. They also had a tremendous outdoor garden/patio with a pool, lot’s of fun seating areas, little lights, trees, ping pong tables, etc.

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(photo credit: The LA Times)

Finally, if you’re looking for a cool morning or afternoon excursion, I highly recommend taking a trip to the everglades at the Everglades Safari Park. I’m not one to do too many touristy things on vacation but this was really well organized, informative and fun. For $40, they take you from South Beach (the location of your choice) on a 40min bus ride to the everglade national park. You then go on a 45min airboat tour where they teach you about the different species of snakes, alligators, wildlife, etc. in the national park. That is followed by an informative alligator demonstration (no one wrestles with alligators!) and time to walk around their sanctuary where you can see all sorts of alligators, crocodiles, lizards, etc. They then take you back to your hotel in South Beach. Honestly, well worth the money and super amusing!

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Our time in Miami went by SO fast! With it only being a 3hr flight from Toronto, it’s the perfect long weekend destination! Can’t wait to go back soon!

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SoCal Adventure Pt 2

It was long overdue, my SoCal Adventure Pt 2 post. Apologies for the delay! It’s been a busy two weeks since I got back from vacation. We shot a bunch of pilots, commercials, etc. at work for the upcoming season so I was spending a lot of time working on that.

For the second half of my most recent California trip with Offner, we decided to stay in Marina Del Rey. It was the first time we were using Airbnb to find a room in someone’s apartment. We’ve done the individual apartment before on numerous occasions but it was a little scarier scoping out places to share with people. We got super lucky and found an amazing little studio fully equipped with a private bathroom and small kitchenette in a lovely woman’s home right at the limit of Marina Del Rey and Venice. We had a beautiful balcony that overlooked the little housing complex that had a beautiful pool and garden. This is where we ate our breakfast every morning. It was such a relaxing place to stay! Offner and I were like two kids in the swimming pool; playing games, doing contests, synchronized swimming, etc!

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While in the area, we spent some time wondering around the Venice boardwalk and legendary skatepark. We are also really fond of the Venice canals, a super quiet and beautiful area in Venice that is removed from all the waterfront chaos. Offner and I walked around picking out our “future” home, going to garage sales and enjoying the pretty sights!

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Our breakfast go-to spots in the area are Deus ex machina in Venice & Urth Caffé (Hello!! Green tea almond milk latte, my favorite!!) in Santa Monica. Deus were actually have a really rad surfboard swap event the second day we were there so we had to stop by. No boards were purchased but it was nice to meet a lot of local vendors, eat yummy food and drool over amazing surfboards!

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We returned to Offner’s favorite fish taco joint in the area called Reel Inn, for some fresh tacos and veggies after an amazingly relaxing day of surfing in Malibu. The water had really warmed up the second week we were there, so surfing was delightful! The waves weren’t breaking too often, so you really had time to sit on your board and relax while you waited for the next set. I honestly think that this little spot is one of my new favorites. Thinking about it just warms my heart and makes me want to go back so badly! There’s nothing quite like riding a nice longboard beach break 🙂

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We also had the chance to go out on several nights after spending the day either lounging around, surfing, shopping, etc. We tried out The Bungalow in Santa Monica. Though the decoration and overall concept was great, the crowd and atmosphere was disappointing. My top spots that we tried this time were:

The Standard in downtown Los Angeles (there’s a new SPIN Ping Pong club there too!). It was a super hip spot with a dreamy pool and a cute beer garden on rooftop. The view of downtown LA was spectacular. Interestingly mixed crowd as well!

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Hotel Erwin‘s rooftop bar. It has the best view of Venice, hands down! Our friends Lisa from This Beautiful Day and her husband joined us and so did my lovely friend Rosie, who I met last year through instagram. Such a memorable night!

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Since we’re big foodies, we also checked out a few new & hip restaurants. My top two were:

Nikita, a brand new ocean-front restaurant right beside Nobu in Malibu. It just opened in July and is already super popular. It was surpringsly easy to get a table on a Friday night. The atmosphere was chic but also laid-back. The food was spectacular (I would have taken photos but I didn’t feel it was appropriate in this kind of environment), the wine was delectable and the service was impeccable! We also really enjoyed their beautiful oceanside patio. The perfect romantic evening!

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Tar & Roses, a beautiful Spanish-influenced restaurant in Santa Monica. They had incredible tapas and probably one of the best cheeseboards I’ve ever tasted! They had a very big selection of fine cheeses and for $20 for a selection of 5, you can’t beat that. Attention cheese lovers, this next pic might make your mouth water 😉

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We also returned to the Melrose Trading Post and visited the beautiful town of Manhattan Beach for the first time. The beach there was so peaceful and uncrowded, it was a perfect place to hang out for an afternoon. Their little downtown area is also super cute and fun to explore!

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This trip wouldn’t have been complete without many lunches, walks, shopping excursions and hangs on Abbot Kinney. Loved the TOMS flagship store & café and the 3 Square Café for an afternoon snack!

Before leaving my dear friend Maggie came up to the Santa Monica area to take pictures of Offner and I on the pier. It was a lot of fun modelling for her and taking pictures with such a stunning scenery! She has lovely photo site that you can check out: http://emwhyphotography.com/. Here’s my favorite photo from our shoot:

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On the way to the airport in Vegas, we stopped by Calico to visit the ghost town. It’s an $8 admission fee per adult. Though it may sound like a lot to just visit an old mining town, it was pretty neat to see just how well preserved these buildings were. Plus, there’s a beautiful view of the desert from the top. It was definitely a lovely way to end this vacation!

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All this blog writing and remising is making me miss SoCal SO MUCH! Can’t wait to be back to continue the adventure! I love you California <3