This was my first adventure in Europe and boy, it was quite the adventure!
We only had 9 days and wanted to do as much as possible. We landed in Amsterdam on September 18th, and we had to get to Prague for September 27th to fly back to Ottawa. All we had booked ahead of time was a hotel in Amsterdam for 2 nights. From there, we would figure out where to go/stay and how we would get there! It turned out we could make it to Munich for the opening weekend of Oktoberfest, so we knew we had to get there! And then from there, we would get to Prague.
Day 1-3 | Amsterdam
Amsterdam was a place I’ve always wanted to visit. I had friends who were just there, and suggested we only take a few days there since it’s quite touristy. I was surprised to find myself fall in love with this city. The parks, canals, bikes and waffles, I loved it all. We stayed at the Vondel Hotel near Vondelpark. It was clean, stylish and perfectly located! I’m a fan of night life, and Amsterdam certainly has a lot of that to offer. However, I think one of the highlights was the food. It was delicious, reasonably priced and endless options! We spent our time walking around the city enjoying the sites and even hopped on a canal tour, which was a great way to see the city when you’re feet need a break! The only thing I would change would have been to spend more time to visit more of the city. But this gives me a reason to go back.
Day 3-6 | Munich
After breakfast in Amsterdam, we hopped on a train and made our way to München. The train ride was far from short, but we slept and watched movies on the ipad. Finally, 8 hours later, we made it! The only setback was that it was pooring rain. We had recently booked an AirBnB and took a taxi to the location. It was a great deal and a great experience, and I recommend anyone travelling to give AirBnB a try. Here is the link to the place we stayed! We chose Munich for Oktoberfest, so our host had left us tons of information in the apartment. We followed their instructions, and had a great time. I can’t even say how many beers were consumed, but I can tell you, the train ride to Prague was mostly spent sleeping. We spent our time pub crawling, walking around and enjoying the Oktoberfest fairgrounds. It poured rain our first day and we still had a great time! We spent day 2 (Sunday) in a few of the larger tents, they hold anywhere from 5000-8000 people, not including the beer gardens surrounding the tent, which hold anywhere from 1000-3000 people. It was a blast, we met a lot of really amazing people and we drank many litres of beer! I would certainly go back but would spend more time in Germany seeing other parts of the country.
Day 6-9 | Prague
We got up early and caught a train to Prague and 7 hours later we arrived. This was a very slow train with lots of stops. We had limited options, so we took the most direct route. We were tired and hungover so didn’t feel like having to think. Got on the train, we slept and got off the train. Prague is somewhere I will certainly return to. It was a beautiful place and was much bigger than I could have imagined. We did some sight seeing and walking, but that could only get us so far. We stayed in another awesome AirBnB apartment, but due to some circumstances out of anyones control, we had to leave early and stayed at a hotel at the airport for a night. I would still 100% recommend this apartment, it was well priced and in a great location. The building itself is old, but the apartment is very nice. Here is the link to the apartment listing! I would definitely go back to Praha, but would plan to spend more time there.
This was my first time in Europe, but I can gladly say, it will not be my last. It was a whirlwind, but we had a lot of fun. The only thing I would have done differently would have been to only do 2 countries in 9 days. That would have given us a little more time in two cities, which would have been nice. I would also recommend and use AirBnB, it was such a great option for accommodations. Until next time Europe!
It was the time of year where most Canadians are sick of winter and are looking for that sunny getaway!
And we found the perfect place. It was slightly last minute and we had our reservations about Mexico, but we thought, we only have 7 days, let’s make the most of it!
We stayed in the tourist popular hotel zone of Cancún, Quintana Roo, Mexico at the ME Cancun (by Melia). It was the most beautiful, luxurious resort I’ve ever been to. The food was amazing and the drinks were plentiful. If you read reviews about this hotel on Trip Advisor (as I did), I was a little worried, but the “complaints” I read about were far from reality.
The staff were kind and ready to help at every opportunity. I can’t say enough great things about the food! And the party was exactly what I wanted!
The nightlife in Cancun was on another level. I’ve partied the nights away in Bangkok, New York City, Montreal & Toronto – but this was different. You spend the day as you do at an all inclusive resort. Break for power nap/shower and dinner. Then party at the clubs on the strip until the wee hours of the morning. Repeat until you can’t! We met great people at the hotel bar and pool and just decided it would be easier to go out in groups to the clubs. We went to a different place every night, even though we wanted to go back to Mandala. Mandala was by far the best, but we had good nights at The City beach club, Dady O’s, Senor Frogs. We were lucky to have a hotel that hosted parties as well. Never a dull moment.
Based on this vacation, I would go back to Mexico in a heart beat! The ME knows how to make you feel like a million bucks and I only hope that I do win the lottery so that I can rent out the ME Suite and fly my friends and I down for an amazing time!
A week anywhere in the Caribbean is amazing, but Aruba was very different form anywhere I’ve been before. It was a land of pure relaxation, eating and drinking.
We spent 7 days at the Westin Resort & Casion Aruba. And thanks to the power of Twitter and SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) we got an upgrade to a partial ocean view room on the 17th floor. Room 1727 would be our home. The hotel is in an area called Palm Beach, a very tourist rich area with bars, restaurants, shops, clubs, and anything else you can imagine. The Westin is within walking distance of all of this stuff but is also just a short drive or very inexpensive bus ride into Orangestad, the Capital & largest city on the island.
Although the hotel did have an all inclusive option, we went without it. We bought booze at Duty free and picked up mix and snacks at the grocery store!
It was economical that we did this, and we weren’t committed to eating the hotel food and only drinking there. If you left the hotel with an all inclusive bracelet it didn’t matter as you’d have to pay for food and drinks, so it worked out very well.
Having been to many beautiful beaches in the past, I was excited to see what Aruba’s beaches were like. I had heard nothing but great things, and it did not disappoint. The water was beautiful and crystal clear and the sand was soft and white.