Enjoy guest posts from IGE readers describing their best vacations ever while I’m away on mine! Check out my Italy travel page which I’ll be updating with links to videos, pictures & posts throughout my trip!
Name, Blog: Kristin, Cook, Bake, Nibble
Who, what, where, when and why: Last year in late August, My husband (then-boyfriend), Nick and I spent three days in Niagara, Ontario (Canada!) to celebrate our one-year anniversary wine tasting and having a relaxing time together. We had been living apart (as in, 700 miles apart!) for almost 6 months at this point and I missed him terribly, so this was a fantastic way to getaway and we ended up having a fantastic time! We had no plans when we got to Niagara except for two days of wine tours. So pretty much all we did was drink, eat and explore! Nothing could have been more perfect at that very time.
We spent two days with a tour guide, riding around the breathtaking vineyard in Niagara on the Lake and the Escarpments. Each day we went to five different wineries, tasted wines, toured the wineries, had wine and cheese pairings and just had an overall great experience. Of course by the end of each day we were a little biased by all the wines … I truly think it was the best vacation I have ever had, despite it being so short!
My favorite part of the vacation was: Wine and cheese pairings. Learning just a little bit about how the flavors meld and change when paired together was perfect for my foodie taste! Who knew sweet ice wine and sour blue cheese are a match made in heaven? I think Nick really enjoyed going to Wayne Gretzky estates, being a hockey fan.
My best travel tip for this location: If you’re not staying for more than a few days, don’t bother with a fancy hotel or B&B, although there are some beautiful ones. We were hardly ever in the hotel, we were always out and about! Oh, and avoid touristy areas for food- there is NOTHING but chains. Search a little bit and you’ll find some wonderful family restaurants!
The thing you MUST do at this location: Wine touring, of course! We really recommend the Crush on Niagara company.
The thing I want to do next time I return: A bike tour! We now live just about an hour away from Niagara, and we are both itching to try out more of the 60+ wineries we haven’t tried, but on a bike tour instead! That way we can burn all the wine calories off in between tastings
New York City
Name, Blog: Katrina (Clary) Kogutkiewicz
Who, what, where, when and why: I’m fresh off my favourite vacation yet! My boyfriend and I traveled to New York City last month. While traveling to NYC is always amazing, we had a secret agenda: to elope! Alex and I have been together for over 11 years. We wanted to do something fun, cheap, and easy. I planned our trip (which coincided with another trip) and our secret wedding (which included our four parents) in less than two weeks. Yikes!
We did a “guerrilla-style wedding”. If you’ve never heard of a guerrilla-style wedding; they’re awesome. You take someone to do the ceremony, a photographer, and anyone else you want (witness, wedding party, parents, etc). Then you crash the destination of your choosing. No planning. No asking permission. Just do it. We choose the Central Park Zoo.
My favorite part of the vacation was: Not counting our wedding, my favourite part of the trip was seeing a live taping of the Letterman Show. I’ve wanted to see him since I was 10-years old. (He didn’t disappoint.)
My best travel tip for this location: My best traveling tip for New York is to not over plan. The things you see wandering around are often the best parts. Travel light and carry cash. You’ll be walking a lot and pass by some amazing street vendors (fresh ice cream, fruit, and gyros!). Oh, and we made good use of our unlimited subway passes. That thing was a lifesaver. We traveled across the city and back for only $27 for the entire week.
The thing you MUST do at this location: My must for every future trip is Casellula Cheese & Wine Bar. They have an amazing list of wines and cheese flights to try. (Their stuffed peppadew peppers were crazy good.)
The thing I want to do next time I return: Next time in New York I hope to take a walking tour of Chinatown. The walking food tours are fun and you learn a lot about the area as you sample dishes.
I miss the city already!