Travel by Any Means Necessary

Tag: Canada

Wordless Wednesday: Vancouver

One Day in Vancouver

View from Vancouver Lookout

The city from Vancouver Lookout

We started our one day in Vancouver nice and early being that our bodies were still in Eastern Time. We left our Airbnb in a beautiful North Vancouver neighborhood and spent several hours at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. From there we took a bus and Sea Bus (what Vancouver calls its fery) to downtown Vancouver.

JapadogWhen planning our day in Vancouver, I had no idea what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to eat at Japadog. I have no idea where I had heard of Japadog, but the concept intrigued me: Japanese flavors meet an American staple. I can’t tell you enough how delicious these hot dogs were! I wish there was a Japadog in Michigan!

Cruise Ships at Canada Place

After lunch, we headed to the Vancouver Lookout to get a bird’s eye view of the city (top). Built in 1977 by Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, the Harbor Center Building that houses the lookout was the tallest building in the city at the time. Nowadays, a glass elevator takes guests 168 meters (553 feet) up to a viewing platform with a 360-degree view of Vancouver from the 6th tallest building in the city. The Top of Vancouver revolving restaurant is also in the Harbor Center Building for visitors looking for a fine dining experience with an unbeatable view. As a cruise nerd, I enjoyed seeing the ships at Canada Place (left)!

Stanley Park Seawall

From there we took a bus to Stanley Park and walked around enjoying the beautiful day. With over 1,000 acres, there is a lot to explore in Stanley Park. The park first opened in 1888 and was named after Lord Stanley, the 6th governor general of Canada. Construction of the Seawall (above) began in 1917 and took decades to complete. There is much to do in Stanley Park including 27 km of trails, a waterpark, beaches, the Vancouver Aquarium, or ride a horse-drawn carriage, trolley, or train. You could spend a whole day exploring the park!

I definitely feel like we barely scratched the surface of Vancouver! One thing I wanted to do that we just didn’t have time for was a culinary tour of Chinatown. I guess Vancouver will have to go on the list of places to return to!

Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to stop back next week as we board the Serenade of the Seas and head to Sitka, Alaska! To read more about this trip check out my Planes, Buses, and Boats Trip Report. To read about some of our previous trips, visit my Trips Page. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page and follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my updated Gear Page.

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Wordless Wednesday: Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Wordless Wednesday: Niagara Water

Niagara Falls in Winter

Mist over the falls from the Canadian side.

Bright and early, a few days after Christmas, we headed off to the Finger Lakes area of New York. We decided to drive through Canada on the way there to be able to stop at Niagara Falls. Shortly after we arrived in Niagara Falls, dark clouds rolled in. As we walked along the path at the falls viewing area rain began to fall. It was hard to tell if this was just mist from the falls or if it was really raining. One thing I know for sure is that it made for some really spooky looking photos!

American Falls from Niagara Falls State Park

I had been to the falls once before, back in 2003. We only had a short time to view the Canadian falls from the Canadian side. It was much more crowded this time. I don’t know if it is always this crowded nowadays or if it was just because it was the week between Christmas and New Years, but it was a madhouse. It was hard to get pictures of the falls without getting other people in them. We didn’t stay on the Canadian side too long before getting in the car and crossing the Rainbow Bridge back to the U.S.

The border crossings took a lot less time than we budgeted for so we decided to check out the State Park on the New York side. I was really happy we did because it was much less crowded! I was always told you could only see the American Falls from New York, but that is not true at all! The state park puts you right on top of Horseshoe Falls and gives you a totally different perspective from the Canadian side. In the summer, you can walk practically to the top of Horseshoe Falls. Many paths close to the water close for winter, but it was still worth stopping! I would love to come back to the New York side when it’s warmer and you can get closer to the water!

Photo by Sally MowersAfter leaving Niagara, we headed to Buffalo for lunch at The Anchor Bar (left), the birthplace of Buffalo Wings. The last time we were in the area, we tried Duff’s because we didn’t have to drive too far off of the freeway to get there, but coming from Canada, it didn’t take us too far out of the way to go to the original in downtown Buffalo. Chris is kind of obsessed with wings, so this was a pilgrimage of sorts. Of course, the wings were delicious and I learned that there is an Anchor Bar in Rochester Hills, Michigan that we may have to visit sometime.

Photo by Sally Mowers

After lunch, we continued to our final destination. We took a route that took us down the west side of Seneca Lake and allowed us to stop at a few wineries on our way to Corning. This day, we stopped at Ravines, Billsboro, and Fox Run before heading to our AirBNB in Corning. I think I will talk about our experience with Finger Lakes wineries in an upcoming post. Be sure to stop back in the next few weeks to hear more about this trip!

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit

2019: Year in Review

2019 was the best year for travel in my recent memory! Before this year, the last time I had been on an airplane was New Years Day, 2014. In 2019, we took three plane trips and visited more airports than seems reasonable. I finally spent some time west of the Mississippi and even got to break out the passports a few times. We took another amazing cruise and took my family to one of our favorite places.

Today, a memory popped on Facebook that we booked our flights to Phoenix one year ago. That trip was a super busy whirlwind, but it was an experience I will never forget. It was my first time visiting a desert, it was cold and rainy so I still haven’t really gotten a true desert experience. It is still fun to joke about Phoenix being a cold and rainy place. Of course, the highlight was spending a day at the Grand Canyon. Getting there right after they had reopened due to a blizzard was amazing! Crowds were low and the snow really added something special to all of our photos. I’ve printed the above photo and it is now hanging in my living room.

Just about a month after getting home, we hopped on another plane for our much anticipated cruise. We bought a voucher for this cruise on our last cruise back in 2015. We had booked and cancelled and rebooked so many times I was worried we were never actually going to take this trip, so it was a great relief to finally get back on a ship! All of the ports were visited were amazing and we took some great excursions. I can say that I accomplished everything on that trip that I had hoped to. Of course, we also got to experience New Orleans, but I don’t feel like one day was really enough time to take that city in.

After getting home from our cruise, we had just a few short months to prepare for our trip to Maine with my family. It was good to go back and spend more time in a place that has so much to see and do. It was great to share it with my family and watch them take in the beauty for the first time. Of course, we still weren’t able to do all that we wanted to do at Acadia so we’re trying to figure out how we’re going to make it back to Maine in 2020.

Of course, we took some day and weekend trips since June. We went camping at Sleeping Bear Dunes and spent a chilly weekend by the fire in Canada. After spending all that time in airports in the first half of the year, I really do miss getting farther away. Especially with the weather getting colder, I would love to escape somewhere warm for a little bit!  I have been obsessively checking for flight deals so we can jet off for another long weekend.

We do have another trip coming up before the end of the year. We are taking my mother-in-law this time and heading back to Corning, New York. Too bad we didn’t make it back to Boston, or we would’ve hit all of our stops on our 2018 road trip again this year. We’re heading out that way because the Corning Museum of Glass has an exhibit until the end of the year entitled “How Glass Got Us To The Moon” that we wanted to check out. So, be sure to stay tuned in the next few weeks for posts about that trip.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit


Point Pelee National Park

While visiting Canada a few weeks back, we decided to make the trip to Point Pelee National Park. Point Pelee is the southern most point on mainland Canada, not to be confused with the American Southernmost Point, in Florida. It was a chilly, windy day and the waves on Lake Erie were so big it was easy to forget you weren’t looking at the ocean. As the name implies, Point Pelee juts out into Lake Erie like a peninsula with water rushing towards it from both sides. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before (below). Despite the frigid temperatures and unrelenting wind, it was easy to imagine how popular this place is in the summer. The beach would be perfect for relaxing by the water and listening to the surf under the warm sun.

Point jutting out into Lake Erie

At 5 square miles, Point Pelee is smaller than the smallest American Park (Hot Springs National Park is 8.6 square miles), but is still full of things to do. From beachgoing, as I mentioned above to kayaking and hiking, Point Pelee has something to do in every season. The park also offers a unique camping experience called oTENik, which is kind of like a yurt or small cabin that houses groups up to six. I would like to return in the summer and stay in one of these tent-like structures. I don’t believe that traditional camping is offered within the park, although I’m sure you could find a place nearby.

Even though it is a small park and it was so cold, I enjoyed exploring Point Pelee National Park and hope to return in the future. For more information about the park, visit Parks Canada.  I am very glad that we took a weekend to discover nearby Canada. It was closer than many places in Michigan and the international hassle was not nearly what I expected it to be. I really do think, weekend and even day trips to Canada will become more of an occurrence for us now.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit

Weekend in Canada

The view out the window at our AirBNB in Essex.

A few weeks ago we took a getaway for a weekend in Essex, Canada. Only half an hour from Detroit, Essex is on the shore of Lake Erie and is known as Ontario’s wine country. We rented an AirBNB right on the water. Even though it was too cold to spend time on the beach, it was nice to sit in front of the fireplace and hear the waves crashing out the window. It was a very relaxing winter weekend.

We chose Essex because of the location. It was closer than most of our favorite places on the water in Michigan. Houses in Essex were much cheaper than equivilant homes on Lake Michigan. Factor in the exchange rate that the American dollar currently gets you about $1.25 Canadian, a weekend in Canada can be a really good deal!

Windsor Sculpture Park makes for an interesting view of the Detroit skyline.

Of course, going into Canada, you have to worry about border crossings. We crossed the border so late we were the only car in line and it couldn’t have even taken 5 minutes. Coming home on Sunday was a little busier, but it was pretty quick too, maybe ten minutes. If you time it right, crossing the border isn’t too bad.

Probably the hardest thing about taking a weekend in a foreign country is having to worry about customs. Normally, when you’re on vacation its not a big deal to bring leftovers home, but crossing the border makes that tricky. We had to buy the smallest quantities of food to cook so we didn’t waste too much and tried not to have leftovers from restaurants because there are stringent rules about what you can and cannot bring across the border. I don’t know how strict they are about enforcing those rules, but I didn’t really want to find out. To find out more information about what can be brought back from Canada, visit Customs and Border Control.

Detroit Skyline from Windsor

This was the first time I had been to Canada since I was an adult. Even though it is only an hour away, the border crossing was something that intimidated me. Now that I have done it, it really wasn’t a big deal. We will probably go to Canada more frequently now that we’ve done it and realized how easy it is.

Thanks for stopping by! To read about some of our previous trips, click here. If you like my photos be sure to “like” my Facebook Page, follow me on Instagram! You can purchase prints on Etsy and Fine Art America. To see inside my camera bag, check out my Gear Page. For information about our new Guided Photography Tours, visit

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