Hope your week is off to a great start!
As I sit here in Toronto’s frigid temperatures, although today is supposed to be a balmy -8 degrees Celsius / -15 with the wind chill, I greatly appreciate the appearance of Miss Sunshine and the warmth of her rays. What a little vitamin D does for one’s spirit!
It also has me reminiscing… Thanks to my entertainment journalism career, I have been afforded the opportunity to travel to and experience so many parts of this world – Rome, Monte Carlo, Jamaica, Paris, Barbados, New York, London, Zambia, the list goes on. For this, I am forever grateful. And so, I would love to share with you some of my favourite travel destinations.
Cannes, France holds a special place in my heart. Not only is it an absolutely stunning city, but also I was blessed to be able to experience the film festival with the same two friends/former co-workers – Jenny and Dylan – for three years straight.
And THAT was an experience in and of itself. I’ll spare you the gnarly details, but Jen and Dylan, you remember right? (Ancient plumbing, leaky ceilings, gelato overload, mini-Usher, BYRON PUB!)
The weather wasn’t always the best during our stays and when it rained it poured for days on end. But when that sun finally decided to join us, it made for some brilliantly warm ones. Cannes as a backdrop couldn’t be more beautiful and breathtaking… It IS situated on the French Riviera
And the Promenade de la Croisette, which is the waterfront avenue lined with palm trees, is oh-so-pretty with its floral gardens and picturesque beaches. And if all of this wasn’t enough… NUTELLA, yes the hazelnut chocolate spread, is a staple here!
If you’ve never been to Italy, it’s a must. Even if it can only be for 48 hours. And what better way to spend those minutes than in Florence (Firenze).
It’s energetic, romantic, rich with culture, steeped in history. When you travel for work, and your time is limited, be sure to make the effort to take it all in. You won’t regret it.
In a whirlwind trip to cover Kim and Kanye’s wedding, I’m glad I made the effort because I came across some of the most magnificent sights. Considered the birthplace of Renaissance, you can imagine just how world-class the architecture, art and monuments really are. I remember an evening stroll bringing me to the Piazza del Duomo.
The magnificence of Florence Cathedral was overwhelming, so much so that I had to sit down and just “take it all in”. My eyes had never seen work this intricate… And to think that it was all designed and created by man’s hand. Extraordinary.
Another MUST is the Piazzale Michelangelo (Michelangelo Square) – a famous square dedicated to the great Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo. My goodness, you won’t find a more breathtaking panoramic view of Florence, Italy.
Now this next one may not seem as exotic or exciting compared to the first two destinations, but Los Angeles, California will always be one of my favourites.
I’ve been there countless times mostly for work, but I fall more in love with each visit. Not only is it vibrant, bustling, warm and sunny, but it’s also home to beautiful “quiet” outdoor spaces… And did I mention it’s warm and sunny.
If you’re in to hiking and taking in some spectacular views, Runyon Canyon Park is the place to be. It’s also pet friendly! Griffith Park is another “quiet” outdoor space that can soothe your soul. That being said, my last visit to the City of Angels didn’t actually include nature hikes, but rather was dedicated to reconnecting with my girlfriends and celebrating life and new beginnings!
It was a jam-packed weekend filled with so many laughs, good food and drink, great conversation, a little shopping, a lot of dancing and so much love. My Cherries and I hit up The Ivy, Soho House West Hollywood, Chateau Marmont, Ago Restaurant, Dominick’s, Hooray Henry’s and on the last day, the rooftop for a little poolside therapy.
We were also planning a trip into Malibu, but needless to say we ran out of time. It’s quite a list I know, but that’s the fantastic thing about L.A…. Aside from the brilliant weather, there’s just so much to do. There’s something for everyone.
There may be a pattern here… These destinations all include temperatures in the double digits (ABOVE zero) and lots of sunshine. Perhaps it’s because I’m a summer baby? Whatever the case, we’ve established that vitamin D does the body and mind good. Which brings me to today’s final destination – Mexico.
I’ve been to Cancun, Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Maya… Let’s just say, Mexico is very special to me.
The people I met were welcoming and friendly, my food experiences were delicious (especially the beachside fresh fish tacos and guac), the private pools and beaches were serene, relaxing and refreshing AND it’s the first place my love and I vacationed together. We’ve been to Mexico twice now.
The second being the absolute most wonderful, memorable and life-changing… On the night of our two year anniversary, we became engaged!
Hope you too are able to get out there and explore all the beauty and adventure our world has to offer! We only have one life. Let’s make it count.
Keep it shiny,