Glamping – a Silly Word for a Great Concept


Have you heard the phrase “glamping”?  It’s a portmanteau of “glamour” and “camping”.  The concept is to try to experience the benefits of camping (being outdoors, adventure) without having to go to the bathroom in the woods. Examples of glamping include sleeping in yurts and platform tents, rustic cabins, tree houses, and caravans – usually in interesting locations.

If this intrigues you (it certainly interest me!) check out Glamping Hub, a website that indexes all kinds of glamping opportunities across the world.  There’s an airstream trailer in Brussels, a tree house in Costa Rica, and a luxury camp in the Indian Jungle.  If you’d prefer to stay a bit closer to home, they have listings for glamping in the US and Canada (although none of the listings are in Ontario or Quebec).

[photo via Glamping Hub]

[PS – don’t you love the word “portmanteau”?]

Going to Stay at the Rainbow Hotel!


I wrote about the Saguaro Palm Springs about a year ago, and now we’re going to stay there.  Squee!  I’m attending the An Event Apart conference in San Diego in May, so Ian’s tagging along and we’re turning my business trip into a little getaway.  After a few days in San Diego, we’ll drive into the desert to Palm Springs for some serious R&R – I’m talking a few days of chilling poolside with great beers and Mexican food.

With the nasty weather in Toronto today, I’m so glad I have this to look forward to.  Can. not. wait.

Post Holiday Weekend Travel Dreaming


Going back to work after a long weekend is always difficult.  Take a few minutes and daydream about exotic luxury travel – it helps ease the pain for a moment or two.

Today I’m looking at the list of 12 Converted Castle Hotels on Tablet.  I can’t get enough of the Scottish Highlands, so I’d go for this spot.  Which one would you love to stay in?

[image of Castello Banfi il Borgo in Tuscany via Tablet]

Gorgeous Beaches of Eastern Canada


I know a few people who vacation every summer in Prince Edward Island or New Brunswick, and they swear the beaches are amazing.  It’s not too hot, the water is shallow (perfect for small children) and the sand dunes are breathtaking.  Sounds dreamy on this grey rainy/snowy day in Toronto.

Have you spent time on the East Coast?  What’s your favourite beach?  Here’s a fantastic roundup of Eastern Canada’s Best Beaches, from Where magazine.  Have you been to any of these?

[top photo of Cavendish Beach in PEI c/o Tourism PEI/John Sylvester; middle left photo of Kelly’s Beach in New Brunswick c/o David Madison/Tourism New Brunswick; middle right photo of Aboiteau Beach in New Brunswick c/o Tourism New Brunswick; bottom photo of Parlee Beach in New Brunswick c/o Tourism New Brunswick. All photos via Where]

Awesome Drives and Road Trips


Today was a looooooong day – we dropped Clara off at daycare at 7:30 this morning, drove 2.5 hours north of the city to attend a funeral, and then drove back down to pick Clara up before dinner.  It was a lot of time in the car today (thank goodness for podcasts).

Do you like spending time in the car?  Going on road trips?  Check out this list of 21 Roads to Drive Before You Die from Twisted Sifter.  There are some good ones on there (the Atlantic Road in Norway, pictured above, looks particularly beautiful).  And I would love to drive the Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys, although I wonder if it would look so stunning when you’re actually in the car (as opposed to the arial shot shown in the article).

Have you driven any of these amazing roads?

Long Weekend in NYC

Wow – what a whirlwind week it’s been!  Ian and I went to NYC on the weekend.  We had originally planned to go for 3 nights – from Friday to Monday.  But then there was a snowstorm, so we called our airline and had our flight moved up a day, so we could fly before the storm came through.  We left Toronto on Thursday afternoon, and got a last minute deal at the uber-hip Hudson Hotel.


That’s the Hudson from the street, and when you enter the front door, you immediately go up this crazy neon escalator.  The hotel was designed by Philippe Starck, so it’s hip and interesting and  gorgeous.  I particularly loved the chandelier above the check-in counter.


After arriving, we walked around Columbus Circle and ended up at On Tap, the beer bar within the Whole Foods at the Time Warner Center.  Ian was pretty pleased with the beer selection, but not the food, so we went out for dinner at a restaurant across from Lincoln Center.  We watched people spilling out of the theatre after the NYC Ballet performance. Fun!

On Friday the city was gross – it was raining before the snow started, and we had to check out of the Hudson and get to our rental apartment without umbrellas.  It was cold and damp, and we didn’t have the right footwear (should have packed rain boots, not leather boots).


After checking into our apartment rental, we headed to The Smile Cafe for lunch.  I definitely recommend this place – it was hip and cozy.  You go down a few stairs to get in, and there are old stone walls and leaded glass windows.  Very cozy, and lunch was great.  We left the Smile and headed up to the United Nations building (we had booked a guided tour) only to find that it had closed early because of the storm.  Sigh.  We were wet, tired, and grumpy, so we hit up Rockefeller Center for some retail therapy (I went a bit nuts in the sale section of Banana Republic), and then headed back to the apartment.  We picked up a pizza from Joe’s in the West Village and relaxed indoors for the rest of the night.


I woke up early Saturday morning and walked around the West Village, checking out the freshly fallen snow.  It was quiet and beautiful.


After hitting up Marshalls, where I picked up some adorable Kate Spade rubber boots (with heels!) we grabbed coffees to go and headed to Central Park.  The sun was shining, my feet were no longer cold and wet, and it was gorgeous.  We walked and walked.  There were many hills with kids sledding, lots of people building snowmen, and we even spotted a few cross-country skiiers.  I wanted to go ice skating at the Wollman Rink, but it was closed.  Oh well.  Next time.


Later on Saturday we headed out on a date.  First stop was dinner at Birrera, the rooftop beer bar/restaurant at Eataly.  It was amazing – exactly what you’d expect of a Mario Batali restaurant combined with a beer bar by Dogfish Head.


After dinner we headed up to the Walter Kerr Theatre to see the closing night performance of The Heiress, starring Dan Stevens (aka Matthew Crawley from Downton Abbey), Jessica Chastain, and David Strathairn.  It was fantastic, and after the show, we waited at the stage door like total dorks, so we could see Dan Stevens.  I gotta say, he really is beautiful.


Sunday was a perfect NYC day. The snow had been mostly cleared, and the sun was shining.  We had late brunch at the Minetta Tavern (that’s Ian’s meal pictured above. He had the French Dip – it was epic) and then walked around SoHo, shopping.  We checked out the MoMA Design Store (swoon) and Uniqlo (super great) and of course headed to the Bowery Beer Room to pick up some goodies for Ian to take home.  We finished off the day with a walk around the West Village, pints at Blind Tiger, and a comedy show at the Comedy Cellar.

Monday was raining and gross again, but we didn’t mind, as it was time to fly home.  What a perfect weekend.


…And, I’m Back.

Ah, a little mini vacation was just what I needed.  Our 4-night trip to the Finger Lakes was awesome.  The days were chilly but sunny – perfect for hiking and shopping (and relaxing and eating my face off).

[photos from our trip, including Millie, the “house dog” at the William Henry Miller Inn in Ithaca.  She stays under a blanket in front of the fire most of the time.  Smart dog.]

Finger Lakes Getaway

We have some holiday time coming up in mid-November, and are trying to figure out what to do.  We’ve rented our house for 5 nights, so we have to skip town, but don’t want to spend a lot of money.  Ian’s parents have graciously offered to take Clara for a week, and my parents will take our dog… so what should Ian and I do?

We’ve been looking at the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.  It’s an easy drive, and we could hang out in Ithaca, where Cornell University is.  It’s supposed to be a lovely town with good restaurants (and a great beer bar for Ian).  There are many breathtaking waterfalls and gorges nearby, so if the weather is good, we could go for a few hikes.  Or, if the weather is miserable, I’d be just as happy sitting by a fireplace reading a book.

I’ve been looking at rooms at the William Henry Miller Inn, which is right in town.  It looks really cozy – I would love to sleep in, eat a huge breakfast, and spend the days casually poking around town. I think it could be quite romantic!

Have you been to the Finger Lakes?  Any recommendations?