For the past month and a half, my husband and I have been living in an Escape Campervans. When came time to book our latest Californian adventure, we were on the lookout for a new low-cost experience that would allow us the flexibility to travel to different cities around the state while also providing us with some great accommodations. After doing a bit of research, I found a great van rental company called Escape Campervans based out in California. If you’ve traveled across the southern United States, you’ve probably seen some of their colorful vans on the road.
What I immediately loved about Escape Campervans was the two great campervan models they offer. We opted for the bigger model of the two, the Mavericks, seeing as we’d be living in it for quite some time and it turned out to be the perfect size. Their converted Ford E150 campervan was easy to drive, park, economical and also allowed us to travel to anywhere our hearts desired. The 17 ft truck was the perfect home on wheels with fully stocked bedding, 2-burner stove, sink with running water, refrigerator, cooking and eating utensils, tons of storage space, picnic chairs and everything we needed to be independent during our trip. I was particularly a fan of their solar-powered fridge and light, allowing us to make food even while off the grid.
Escape Campervans also offer a handful of different add-ons and options so that you can customize your experience exactly the way you want it. We opted for a roofbox to put all of our extra luggage, a GPS, a USB charger as well as one of their custom Insurance packages. The company also offers complimentary 24/7 roadside assistance.
The thing about #vanlife is that no matter what you end up doing with your campervan or where you end up going, it’ll always be an adventure and a unique learning experience. I’ve learned so much about camping, the roads, National Parks, etc. in the past month and a half, things I would have never learned if I hadn’t partaken in this great once-in-a-lifetime journey. The danger with vanlife is, once you get a taste of it, you’ll want to keep doing it. After living in a van for almost two months, we’ve grown so used to it that we are thinking of getting our own van after this portion of our travels ends. Our love for the #vanlife just keeps on growing every day!
You can find Escape Campervans in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Las Vegas, New York, Denver and Seattle. For more info, go here.
Listening to good tunes while doing a road trip is a must! Prior to leaving on this travel adventure, I was still working full-time in the music industry. Immediately after I left my network television gig I was in need of a “music detox” from the 10+ years I spent working in the music biz.
Living in an Escape Campervan these past two months has reignited my love for music. Driving around has allowed me to discover great new artists and has opened my mind and heart up again for music. Though I will no longer be pursuing a career in the industry, I’m happy to be reconnecting with music as “fan” instead of a critic.
I have decided to share with you today some of the songs that have been playing in the Escape Campervan these past couple of weeks in hopes that you might also discover something new!
Speaking of enjoying music, I’m doing a giveaway on my Instagram profile right now that allows you to win a brand new LG Bluetoothspeaker! You can check it out here.
7 years ago this month, I moved to Toronto. In less than 3 weeks, I packed up my life and left everything behind to go find myself. And find myself did I ever! It was the best decision I’ve ever made. The past 7 years have been undoubtedly the BEST years of my life. I’ve learned so much and accomplished so much, I’m truly proud of how far I’ve come.
Two months ago, I decided to leave my full-time network television job after 5 seasons in pursuit of the next life adventure. I’ve always dreamed of spending several months traveling but those who work full-time jobs will know that these kinds of adventures are almost impossible to get when you’re working for someone else. So I decided to pursue this website endeavour full-time and also a few other creative projects (some of which will be revealed to you soon, can’t wait!!) in order to fulfill this dream of going on a great travel adventure. With travel comes uncertainty, risk, the unknown, lack of funds, etc. So my husband and I have decided to give up our apartment, put everything into storage and see where these travels take us. Because you never know what the future is made of, I’ve decided to write a little post today on some of the things I love most about the amazing city of Toronto. I know I will be back but knowing I will be away for a little while, I figured this would be an appropriate farewell for the next couple of months. I am forever grateful to the city of Toronto for the past 7 years and am excited about future adventures in the city in 2017! In the meantime, here are the 5 things I’ll miss most while I’m away!
1) Parkdale – Ah Parkdale… I could write a novel about this neighbourhood. It’s with a lot of pride that I called Parkdale my home for the last four years. I LOVE Parkdale. It is a real example of a little tight-knit community in a big metropolitan city. You can stay just in Parkdale and find everything you need. Parkdale has character and personality. Parkdale is a little rough around the edges but it has charm. When I first moved, the area wasn’t so sought after but over the past couple of years, it has become one of the city’s hotbeds for new restaurants and bars, young entrepreneurs, artists and creatives that are pursuing their dreams in the big city. Through the years, I got to meet so many incredible people in the neighbourhood and lend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. Parkdale residents look out for each other and help each other out. Some of the things I will miss most about the neighbourhood is The Abbott, the West End Food Coop, the Cadillac Lounge, Electric Mud BBQ, Grand Electric, Tempered Room, Public Butter, etc. No matter where I end up, Parkdale will always be a part of me. It made me fall even deeper in love with the city.
2) The amazing fitness community – For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to really become acquainted with the amazing people in the fitness community in Toronto. Through my website, I was able to work out at some of the raddest gyms, studios, with some of the nicest and most supportive crews. Whether it would be the Nike Running Club, Nike Training Club, Spokehaus, Misfitstudio, Big Hit Studio, Academy of Lions, Black Toe Running, Greco Toronto, etc. all of these amazing crews all share their passion and love for sport and being active. Through being surrounded by such inspiring people on a weekly basis, it has helped me become the healthiest and best version of myself. It has inspired me to starting running races, lead a healthier lifestyle and take care of myself, something I had never really taken the time to do prior joining all these groups. What’s also amazing is that no matter the activity you want to do, there’s always someone that will be up for a cycle session, a run, a training session, etc. The women in the fitness community here in Toronto are all incredibly supportive and push you to accomplish goals you’d never thought possible. People like Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath, Nike Running Club Coach Inge, Adidas Running Club coach Rejean Chiasson, are just some of the inspiring people that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from. They have taught me more than I would have ever thought. All the pacers, volunteers, race organizers, gym leaders, instructors, etc. in Toronto have all had a positive impact on my health and am so grateful to them all!
3) The vegetarian food – Toronto is vegetarian and vegan heaven. When I first moved here I had high hopes, leaving a very meat-heavy city like Montreal, all I wanted to find was amazing vegan food and that I did! Some early favorites were Sadie’s Diner (RIP!), LIVE, Hogtown Vegan and Urban Herbivore. Now there’s also Doomie’s, Fresh, Kupfert & Kim, and the list goes on. Toronto knows their vegetarian and vegan food! Plus almost all restaurants in the city also offer delicious vegan or vegetarian options on their menus. I now definitely hold higher standards for vegan and vegetarian cuisine, thanks to Toronto’s topnotch restaurants. I definitely need to get my Toronto vegan fix before I leave on my adventures…
4) The waterfront – I love nature and if it wasn’t for beautiful Lake Ontario located right at the foot of the city, I’m not sure if I would have loved Toronto as much. Luckily, I had the opportunity to live right by the waterfront for the past couple of years and it has allowed me to find peace and solitude in times when things in the city got a little too crazy. The vastness of Lake Ontario, the beautiful parks on the waterfront, the islands, etc. are all aspects of Toronto that I love the most. Running on the waterfront several times a week became my meditation, my getaway and a huge stress relief.
5) Friends – When I moved to Toronto, I didn’t know anyone in the city. I moved on a whim, in less than 3 weeks, with a car packed with the few belongings that I owned. It’s one of the proudest moments of my life. A lot of people are afraid to just pick up and leave, to move away from familiarity, from friends and family. Though a little scary, I just couldn’t ignore the voice inside my head that told me I had to go. Though I was afraid that I would end up alone in this big new city, I was lucky to meet some of the most incredible people over the past 7 years here. Some people came and went but some of the friends I’ve made in the city have become family. Making friends seems easy as a kid or when you’re in school but when you become an adult, it’s always a little more challenging. Luckily, half of the people that reside in Toronto also come from somewhere else and therefore are open to making new friends. I’m so grateful to all those who have had such a positive impact on me in this city, who have inspired me and bettered me and no matter where I end up, I know we will always remain close. Thank you!
1) Start at the Detroit Historical Museum – This “pay what you want” museum is the best way to get started when you first arrive in the Detroit. You will learn so much about its creation, history, downfall and current resurgence. The museum is separated into different exhibitions that cover the automobile industry, to the creation of Motown, to some of the city’s greatest athletes and moments in sports. The museum is fun, interactive and teaches you a whole lot about the city, past and present.
2) Grab a drink at UFO Factory – This was hands down my favorite place we went to the entire time we were in Detroit. The reason being: it was a no frills, no hype, just laid back bar located in Corktown. The name drew me in immediately and to find out that the space was even cooler indoors, I was beyond stoked. You can order some great diner-style food from Laika Dog, with classic bar drinks while also picking songs out on the jukebox. The UFO Factory is also a great place to see live music.
3) Midtown & Corktown – These are two areas of the city that have been changing a lot over the past couple of years. Midtown is located along the east and west side of Woodward Avenue and north of downtown. Corktown is located just west of downtown Detroit, it is the oldest extant neighborhood in the city. Both areas of town are packed with beautiful lofts, little shops, restaurants, fitness studios and more. They are both a great place for an afternoon stroll, to grab a coffee or even get a workout in. You can also feel a real sense of community in both of the neighborhoods.
4) Visit the Eastern Market – This may be a classic on everyone’s list who goes to Detroit but the Saturday market is the best place to meet the most locals. You really can get a feel for the city, when you walk around throughout the market and the entire area. Signs like “Detroit Hutles Harder” or shops like Everybody Vs. Detroit showcase not only Detroiters’ strength but also their pride. So many people in Detroit wear apparel with the letter “D” or wear some of their local sports teams’ jerseys, logos, etc. The market has been encouraging local food producers and artisans for the past 125 years.
5) Don’t be afraid to explore – Detroit is full of really unique neighborhoods, but you have to be willing to explore to find some of the coolest things the city has to offer. Not every neighborhood is located side by side and sometimes, appearances can be deceiving. What may look like an abandonned, or not so great neighborhood can potentially have a lot to offer. Just by being curious and spending time driving around the city, I found so many great gems. The Heidelberg Project or even the Michigan Building, the former theatre turned into a parking lot are just some of the amazing things I saw during the weekend. The city is really a photographer’s dream. Though there is still a lot of rebuilding and growth to take place before the city can really thrive again, from the looks of it, thanks to some creative young entrepreneurs, the city really seems to be on an upswing and it couldn’t make me happier. There truly is something magical about Detroit!
Page,Arizona is a small town located near Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. It’s near the Utah border and is a 2 hour drive north of Flagstaff. This small town of less than 10 000 population has a lot to offer in terms of activities and nature. It’s the perfect spot to include on a road trip across the Southern US, a perfect destination to spend 24 to 48hrs.
1) Tour Antelope Canyon – This slot canyon is located just a few miles east of Page. It’s located on Navajo land and is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to in my entire life. To visit Antelope Canyon, you absolutely must take a Navajo guided tour that will cost you $40 per person. You can also opt to do a photography-specific tour, that is a little pricier but that operates at the best moments during the day to photograph the canyon. Don’t be surprised if you’re surrounded by a ton of people during your visit. The only downside of this place is its popularity. My trick to get photos without anyone in it, either go ahead or behind the group. It’ll be your best shot to snap pics along the way. The guides are funny and point out all the best spots and particularities in the canyon.
2) Hike to Horseshoe Bend – If you’re dreaming of visiting another spot like the Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend is the dream location! Located just a 10 minute drive from downtown Page, this horseshoe shaped meander of the Colorado River is breathtaking. It’s a short hike 2km hike from the parking lot along the highway to get to and from Horseshoe Bend. The shape and the structure of these rock walls are what make it so stunning. A friendly note, make sure you don’t go to close to the edge of the cliff, there is absolutely nothing protecting you from the 1000 foot drop. It made my knees shake when I got close to the edge. The greatest part of it all, the access to Horseshoe Bend is free but don’t forget to bring some water with you for the hike!
3) Swim in Lake Powell – While in Page, you may want to spend time cooling off on Lake Powell, a reservoir located on the Colorado River. The National Park borders both Arizona and Utah and is a top destination for camping, fishing and boathouses. I spent a few hours relaxing on their beach that is accessible via the campground. It costs $20 per car to access the Glen Canyon National Park however, the pass is valid for up to 7 days. The views around the park are truly spectacular!
4) Eat at Big John’s Texas Barbeque – If you’re looking for an authentic southern experience, you must make time for a meal at Big John’s. If you’re a fan of BBQ, meat, southern food, music and good atmosphere, this is the spot. All of their meats are smoked and roasted on a big outdoor rotisserie. The restaurant is located on the lot of an old gas station, making the setting even more unique. If you’re lucky, you’ll even be treated to a live band who will play classic rock and country jams.
5) Drive through Navajo Nation – Page is surrounded by Navajo land. It was founded in 1957 in an exchange with Navajo Nation during the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. The rest of the area that surrounds Page all belongs to the Navajo people. The land surrounding the city is absolutely beautiful and so precious. If you have the time, I highly recommend exploring the nearby villages to and from Page.
Hope you all had a lovely Canada Day! I spent some time reflecting yesterday on how lucky I am to be living in a country where you can be whatever and whomever you want to be. Though no country is perfect, I’m definitely grateful to live somewhere where as a women you can achieve anything you put your mind to. If you believe it, you can achieve it in Canada. I never want to take that for granted.
Speaking of Canada and this beautiful country, I recently found out that I’ll be spending the entire fall touring across the country in a bus. I haven’t done a cross-Canadian tour or a Canadian road-trip since 2006, so I’m beyond thrilled that I’ll get the opportunity to do so again in the fall. Fall is also such a beautiful time to go across the country, so much to see and discover! I can’t wait to share all of my adventures with you via this blog. Definitely stay tuned!
Really happy to have finally booked my summer vacation last night. We were intially planning on spending two and a half weeks in France but due to the crazy flight prices we’ve had to think of plan b. Though it makes me really sad to not be able to go visit my family and go surf in Biarritz, we’re already planning our trip for December. What we’ve decided to do instead is a mini road trip in Arizona, Texas, Utah & California. Yes, California again… but honestly is there really such a thing as too much California time?! Don’t think so…
Today we shoot our show pilot for Season 2! There are some big changes coming to BRBR for the second season. I can’t talk about most of them just yet but I think these changes will help the show move forward quite nicely. We’ve got tons of new series, projects in the works and are also working on developping a new website 🙂 Yay!
For today’s shoot I’m wearing pops of red and organge color with gold accessories. I got these orange pointed cap toe pumps from H&M at the end of last summer and haven’t had the chance to wear them too much. I’m glad it’s finally getting warmer so I can finally whip them out! What I love about them is that they aren’t too high, so I’m not stumbling all over the place and they’re also really comfy!