A Week Away In Ottawa | Ottawa Adventure Diary

Adam and I took a lovely road trip to Ottawa, ON. where we spent the week. For those of you who are unaware where Ottawa is (shout out to my international readers), it is the nation capital of Canada! We had so much fun exploring and living like locals (or at least trying) for the week! 

We spent most of our time in our Airbnbs. Our first three nights were spent in the neighborhood of Carlington where we stayed at Sonia's condo. It was very beautifully decorated and spacious. We spent a lot of our time here cooking, watching Netflix and YouTube on her big screen TV, and just relaxing. It was such an ideal location because it was located near several restaurants, grocery stores, and a mini-mall.

Even though we spent the first three days mostly relaxing, we had one major mission: try out some awesome local coffee shops that we cannot get back home. We visited Bridgehead Coffeehouse and The Ministry of Coffee. Bridgehead was okay (a bit over-hyped for our liking), but we really loved The Ministry of Coffee! In these two coffee adventures, we also got to spend a couple hours exploring the neighborhoods of Westboro (Bridgehead Coffeehouse) and Downtown Ottawa (The Ministry of Coffee). Both areas were so much fun to walk around and explore.

In-between check-out of our first Airbnb and checking-into our second Airbnb, Adam and I decided to take an adventure to Downtown Ottawa again. Originally, we were planning to park near Parliament, but ended up parking a couple streets down because we saw a HUGE Canada Computers. We spent an hour or so just browsing and checking out all the cool things they had that our local locations didn't have.

We, then, took a walk down to Parliament Hill and the Rideau Canal. We did a lot of walking around and sightseeing. We even took a stroll over the Rideau Canal on one of those little extension bridges over the water. We actually weren't sure if we were even allowed to walk over them, but some lady ran over it, so we followed her (lol).

Then we spent the afternoon at the Rideau Centre, browsing all the shops. We also had lunch at Umi Sushi.

Our second Airbnb (Martin & Johnson's condo) was gorgeous! The decor was adorable and it really felt like home. Adam and I were even considering finding a condo like this in the future (maybe in a better location though).

After checking-in, we decided to just relax some more, since it was our last night in Ottawa. We took a trip to St Laurent Mall, where we bought Bourbon for dinner, then spent the evening eating our take-out while watching Vlogs and Anime all night.

On our road trip home, we decided to take the scenic route, and ended up in many small cottage towns like Westport. It was absolutely gorgeous!

We also made a stop at The Big Apple, where we bought lots of treats to bring home and hung out with some farm animals! I really enjoyed the Apple Stuffed Churros and the Apple & Caramel Biscotti the most! Adam also bought a bunch of apple fritters and other delicious apple pastries for his family.

I just can't believe it is over! We had such an amazing time spending time together, relaxing, and exploring. Adam and I both work full time during the summer, so little trips like these are always the highlights of our summer vacation.


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Travel Morning Routine | How I Stay On Top Of Work While Traveling

If you don't follow me on Instagram, you probably didn't know that I'm in Ottawa, Ontario right now and will be for the rest of the week for a little summer staycation. Even though I am away from home, that definitely does not mean my week is all play with no work. I have created a little routine for myself that I use every single time I am away to help me be productive while allowing some time for exploration too.

Today I will be sharing with you my Travel Morning Routine. 

Good Morning! I tend to start my mornings at 9:00am while on Holidays to ensure I have a little time to myself to get some work done. Today, I slept in a little bit and decided to wake up at 9:30am instead. Immediately after I wake up, I head to the washroom where I freshen up, brush my teeth, go through my skincare routine, and try to at least feel presentable. 

After freshening up for the morning, I usually head over to the kitchen where I make myself a big ol' cup of tea or coffee to enjoy while I do some work. Today, I opted for some tea because I knew I was going to go out and grab some coffee later on in the day.

After making my tea or coffee, I usually sit in the living room and try to get some work done. I like to do this instead of working in bed because it gives Adam some time to get a little bit more sleep while preventing me from wanting to fall back asleep. During this time, I will usually answer e-mails, get some blog photos done, write/edit a blog post, post on social media, write a newsletter to my readers or reply to comments. I will usually go for about an hour or two, depending on how much work I have left to get done. 

After I've gotten most of my work done (or I get pretty hungry), I'll head back to the bedroom to wake Adam up. We usually say our good mornings followed by me jumping on the bed to wake him up and dragging him out of bed because I want food (lol). If we are making breakfast from our Airbnb, we just head over to the kitchen to cook but if we plan on going out that morning, we spend 30 minutes getting ready then head out the door.

Today we ordered take-out from Bridgehead Coffee Shop. We wanted to try a local coffee shop that wasn't available back home. Bridgehead seems to be everywhere in Ottawa, so we decided to give it a try. We took a drive to the neighborhood of Westboro to visit a Bridgehead and ordered 2 caramel lattes & 2 cheese, egg and ham toasts To-Go.

And now, we are ready to start our day and conqueror any adventures we have planned!

That is typically how my mornings go about when I travel. What is your travel morning routine? How do you make time for work while you travel? I'd love to hear about it all down below in the comments!


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How To Plan An Epic Roadtrip

One of my all time favorite things to do in the summer is to go on road trips. Whether it be with friends or with my boyfriend, I just love long car rides, exciting new adventures and experiencing what it is like to live like a local in a different town. Through our many adventures, I think I've picked up a thing or two about planning an amazing road trip - that I'd love to share with you!

If you're thinking of planning a road trip with your friends, your significant other or your family, check out these 8 Simple Steps that will ensure everyone has an epic time!

Step One: Pick A Destination | This is generally how any road trip starts and is pretty straight forward. Where do you want to go? Think about what you would like to get out of this experience. Is it to enjoy some bonding time with friends or family? Is it specifically to go sight seeing? Is it to experience the culture of a new city? Or is it just because? Whatever your reasoning, pick a place and let the planning begin!

Step Two: Invite Your Squad | A road trip really is made based on who you go with. You will be stuck in a car with these people for a fair amount of time, so I'd hope you'd invite people you actually enjoy being around for long periods of time and have the same level of wanderlust as you do. Who you invite really does impact the type of trip you will end up having and can really make it or break it. 

Step Three: Find Accommodations | Depending on how far you plan on going and how long you decide to be away, you may not have to do this step. Typically, though, I like to go on trips for multiple days. I find that the easiest way to find affordable accommodations are through Groupon and Airbnb. I can't stress enough how much I love using both for when I go on trips! 

Step Four: Get A Car Check-Up | If you will be driving for long periods of time, you really should be bringing your car to the shop to make sure everything is good to go. Check your brakes,  get that oil change you've been avoiding, fill your tires, and whatever else needs to get done. Doing this will really ensure that despite your long drive, your car will be in tip-top shape to endure the distance. 

Step Five: Pick Attractions | What's a road trip without a couple stop overs? I think one of my favorite parts of road trips is the journey to the destination. There are so many places you can stop along the way. Also do some research on places to visit in the surrounding area of your destination. That way you have a couple of things to do if you are staying for a couple of days. I find just googling "Things To Do In ________" is a good way to start. I also like to look for local events that are happening on the dates I am in town. That is a great way to submerge yourself in the culture of that new city or town. 

Step Six: Meal Plan | Whenever I go on a trip, I love to meal plan. It really helps me save money on groceries and makes sure I don't blow all my money at one restaurant. Yelp and TripAdvisor are really good resources to find local restaurants that are actually worth your money. I typically just use Pinterest for recipes if I am planning to cook from the kitchen provided in my accommodations. You also may want to plan meals you can pre-make at home and keep in a cooler for the drive. Because this is a road trip, you may be going some-odd miles without places to stop and eat.

Step Seven: Put Together An Awesome Playlist | You can't have an epic road trip without some rockin' tunes! Have a chat with everyone going on the road trip with you and see what kind of music they'd like to hear for the drive--that way there will be a little something for everyone. The music you pick will really help set the mood of the trip. I like to pick really up-beat songs to jam out to in the car. It really gets me and everyone else in the car super hyped up for our adventure. 

Step Eight: Pack | Packing is straight forward, but you should thoughtfully pack when planning a road trip. You may be driving for some time without places to stop at. Make sure you have essentials like a first aid kit, a paper map, a AAA kit, a car charger for your phone, and little safety things like that on top of your clothes and electronics. These will really save you in a "1/1000 situation". 

And after you've completed these eight easy steps... let the adventure begin!


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