Teamwork Makes the Dream

Its been a long time since we’d updated this page and to be frank, we’ve had a lot of changes come forward in the past year that warranted this lack of attentiveness.

First, the Italian half of this couple finally completed University and moved here permanently. Amidst this transition we overlapped a move to a new city in la belle province: Montreal. This required some long and hard brainstorming, planning and execution on our part, and as such we dedicated most if not all our free time to figuring out the how-to’s in that regard.

In October 2018, we wanted to go deeper into the city, closer to the subway line but our glance at the market in Toronto made it obvious that we would be limited to a 10 block radius outside of our current Toronto digs. This was not cool, we wanted the metro, food, culture and city life at our fingertips, and moving 10 blocks east or west did not even scratch the surface of those wants.

Enter Montreal. We went back in time and recalled all of the places we’d visited in the past together, what we had enjoyed and what we had not about each area. If you look back at our Instagram feed, the first photos and experiences we posted were in Montreal, Quebec. We got nostalgic, and realized this city held a pretty vibrant spot in our memories.

Montreal has just the right amount of European vibes to make us feel at home. We decided that was it, we would get out of the condo in Toronto and make our way north to Montreal.

So here we are. We’ve spent this summer DIYing our home renovations, and exploring every area of the city on our own and with visiting friends and family. I have taken a liking to demolition, power tools and custom building (our kitchen cabinets and island) from my years of childhood experience with Lego. She has painted every surface of this home, and decorated the place with mementos and tchotchkes from our travels.

Teamwork makes the dream work. Now we are sort of sitting back, looking at our home, wandering the city streets in awe of what we have accomplished in less than a year. We did it. We’ve made Montreal our home and after almost 4 years long distance, we are finally together.

Miami Life is a work of art

Miami Life is a work of art. Get it while its hot, see it before it sinks. Home of some of the best graffiti you’ll ever lay your eyes on.

Miami’s Wynwood area is its art, technology and fashion district, it’s buildings walls are decorated with murals and its people are presumably arty.

There was food, we didn’t eat any, we were too busy looking for parking. It was just before noon, and the rest of the world had woken up and come to Wynwood for brunch. We didn’t eat there, but promised ourselves we’d be back again some day for snacks, instead driving to Miami beach to eat at the Naked Taco, and soak up all its sights and sounds.

Miami, please don’t sink. We love you just the way you are. <3 IDLS

idontlikeshrimp Explore Nové Město

Explore Nové Město

Explore Nové Město, Prague with a pair of comfortable shoes. The art of David Czerny and nods to Franz Kafka are displayed prominently throughout the city.

We found a cute antique book store where we grabbed a few hand drawn maps of the arctic (you just never know when they’ll come in handy). Honorable mentions go to the crazy lineup inside the Dancing House, and the let down at the top floor when you realize the restaurant is closed and there are no stairs to get out, only one elevator ride back down. It was deflating, and the alternative over-priced coffee shop view at the top just didn’t make the cut for us. We found a nice piano bar on the walk home instead.

If you do your research, you might end up inside a mall with a real sketchy lift and a statue of a horse dangling upside down from the ceiling. Not kidding.

<3 IDLS

czech it out idontlikeshrimp

Czech It Out

Czech it out. Prague is a reasonable priced vacation destination, its got romantic medieval backdrops and pastry stands galore. Trdelník donut cakes and premium beers are sold at every street corner and its hard to be on a diet here, although the stairs more than make up for your indulgences.

A group of us met up in Malá Strana just in time for the new year. Our two new friends and locals Katya and Dmitri, showed us around and made our trip extra special by giving us historical tidbits about every area we visited.

The evenings there were just magical. Storybook fog cascaded down the stairwells and old streetlamps lined the cobblestone streets we walked each night. It was cold, but not too cold to explore.

Spotlighting: Bamboo Village Resort, Mũi Né

Bamboo Village Resort – Mũi Né, Vietnam

We’d heard of kiteboarding but had never seen it firsthand. It was fun to watch the kitesurfers from our Bamboo Resort lounge chairs with chilled drinks in hand.

“Kiteboarding” and “kitesurfing” are different terms for the same sport. “Kiteboarding” is more widely used in the States and “kitesurfing” is used more abroad. They both describe using a kite to pull you along on a board. Although, some may say “kitesurfing” is when you are riding an actual surfboard behind a kite.

Avevo sempre sentito parlare di kitesurfing e kiteboarding, senza mai contemplarlo di persona. Cosi’ e’ stato divertente osservare i kitesurfers dalle nostre sedie sdraio del Bamboo Resort con i cocktails ghiacciati tra le mani.

“Kiteboarding” e “kitesurfing” sono due espressioni utilizzate per lo stesso sport. “Kiteboarding” e’ piu’ largamente usato negli States mentre “kitesurfing” sopratutto all’estero. Tuttavia, alcuni dicono che “kitesurfing” sia quando stai cavalcando una vera e propria tavola da surf a ridosso di un aquilone.

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bamboo resort fine dining

Mui Ne restaurant entrance

North of Miami

North of Miami you will find the people-watching meccas Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale. Make use of the high-end shopping malls, boutiques, cigar bars, a bevy of restaurants to choose from, all under the gentle caress of 30 degree air.

Boca is the first and only place I ever saw ‘BOTOX 2 for 1’ sandwich boards on the street and thought I was being filmed for a Just For Laughs episode. Mizner Park is the pink “lifestyle centre” encrusted with fancy cars and classy bars, boutiques and a condo at the heart of the complex.

Racks is a long-standing establishment at Mizner Park, and they make great tacos. Grab a seat on their patio overlooking the Valet parking and you can pretend you’ve snuck onto the set of a Bond film.

Drive an hour north of Miami and explore the luxurious Florida coastline. Find parking and shopping and botox. Everything you’ve ever dreamed is here if you can afford it.

<3 IDLS

California lives up to the myth

California lives up to the myth. We took a friend’s Chevy Suburban for a road trip from Las Vegas to Los Angeles a few years ago to look at the beautiful people.

The friend had lived out her glory days in LA during the 80s and reassured me that the road signs meant something to the natives.


We ended up at the Chit Chat studio in Hollywood, smack dab in the middle of everything. Tony had the most magnificent collection of props strewn about. The Ritter Sport chocolate really spoke to me at this moment in time, but it was not mine to eat. I remember that feeling of longing specifically.

Chit Chat Studios
Hollywood Hills

orange california oranges

Parco della Tesoriera Turin

Turin

Turin has some genuine baroque gems peppered throughout its picturesque parks and courtyards. Parco della Tesoriera is a worthwhile visit. Nonnas and nonnos watching their grandkids on the lawns, runners with earbuds against a stunning backdrop of fountains and the once-upon-a-time home of the Treasurer.

Eataly is an institution in Italy. It is a foodie’s grocery wet dream. The Eataly in Turin is a grocery with several stories of traditional, artisan, Italian food-fare. Say hello to the freshest cheese, pastas, olive oils, meats, fruits and vegetables. Then descend down to the underground floor, the floor that is dedicated to the Piedmont region wines and spirits. Just a real treat.

The University of Turin faculty building completed by foster + partners in 2013 makes students privy to innovative design and architecture.

a composition of brushed metal bands and sky-reflecting glazing, the new building set to accommodate 5,000 students. the design consolidates the faculties of law and political science within two volumes linked by a single roof canopy. with a depth determined by solar path analysis, the large overhang is a particularly effective passive cooling strategy; combined with intelligent building systems and tri-generation heating and cooling, the structure requires 20 percent less energy than an equivalently-sized building sans sustainable measures. a landmark hardscaping measure employs 7200 photocatalytic paving tiles that help neutralize the movement of pollutants like dust. bordered by a meandering green ‘philosopher’s walk’, the design encourages pedestrian movement through linking pathways and easy access to local rail and bus services, while still providing roof gardens and light-filled quiet study spaces.

The Bahamas Aint Cheap

The Bahamas aint cheap. Nassau is a pricey island, picturesque and unlike anywhere else. The photographs really speak for themselves.

In all honesty, the photographs barely do it justice. Go and see it for yourselves.

<3 IDLS

Pasta e Pesto

Lugano is Luxury

Montreal in November

November is a curious time to visit La Belle Province, after the summer sun warms the ground and before the deep freeze sets in.”La Belle Province est une périphrase utilisée pour désigner le Québec en tant que province du Canada.” Come for the nightlife, stay for the poutine.

Capture the moon in #montreal #sky #night #skyscraper #nightscape #luna #cielo #downtown #hardwork #beautiful

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Inside the 1928 Royal Bank building #moody #architecture #montreal #royalbank #architecturephotography

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The climb to the top of the mountain in Mont Royal Park is well worth the trek to the chateau. If you ever wanted the perfect view its right here.

It’s cold up here at the top of the mountain #montreal #montrealphotography #montrealmoments #travels2015

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Art deco era architecture mixed with newly gentrifying areas that were once industrial make for a spectacular wander. District Griffin is a fine example of new and old converging, breathing new life into the once industrial parts of Old Montreal. The streets are lined with plenty of boutiques, art galleries, fresh condos and wall art worthy of instagram likes.

Cold & Elegant gentrification near #oldmontreal #montrealart #beautifulwall #graffiti #travel

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TuscanBrunchDomenicale @lecartet #lecartet #brunch #mmmm #hungry #eggsbenedict #eggsbenny #foodporn

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It’s so packed here on weekends @lecartet , and totally worth the wait #cartet #brunch #nofatfreehere #sundaybrunch

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World Trade Centre Montréal

Ibiza Old Town promenade

Spotlighting: Ibiza // Old Town

Ibiza Old Town is a maze of narrow streets and soft pastel walls that wrap around the castle descending towards the port.

Ibiza // Dalt Vila

Spotlighting: Ibiza // Dalt Vila

Ibiza // Dalt Vila

Dalt Vila, Ibiza means “Upper Town, Ibiza” and this is where money lives.


Mirador de Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town, Spain‎

Ibiza Old Town

Ibiza // Playa d'en Bossa

Spotlighting: Ibiza // Playa d’en Bossa

Ibiza // Playa d’en Bossa

Ibiza is a Spanish isle in the Balearic sea – where rich people and celebrities go to relax and show off their yachts. If you are looking for reviews of nightclubs and bottle service, we cannot help you. We spent our days in Ibiza relaxed, tanning, eating and drinking. There was no shiny disco balls or castles in the sky for us. We love the music but we made sure to book our holiday when the tourist season was wrapping up and all of the major DJ’s had (presumably) left town. We had the place to ourselves, or so it felt like it. It was not too crowded, or inebriated, and we still got a good feel for the island without having to squeeze between massive crowds or crazy lineups into bars or fine dining establishments.

If you want a disco party kind of holiday, look up the nightclub DJ bookings of your favorite artists and start saving up. You may be looking at 50 euros to 100 euros just for the entry into the club not including drinks. This is a baller kind of lifestyle, starting at $300 per night, a week in a hotel can run you anywhere from $2000 to $6000 for two people and that does not include flights or food and drink. Think before you book.

Castles in the Sky
Castles in the Sky

Our first stop was Playa d’en Bozza, we booked Hotel Torre del Mar, which means “sea tower” not “bull of the sea” as originally thought. It is a fancy spot, with modern and chic décor, clean white architecture everywhere. From the chandeliers to the artwork on the wall, floor-to-ceiling eye candy, and located right on the end of the beach. The cab ride in from the airport was easy, and for our first time travelling, we had a female cabbie (woohoo!) who did not haggle with us for fare or make us feel the slightest bit uncomfortable.

Hotel Torre del Mar
Hotel Torre del Mar

The bonus at Torre del Mar is the breakfast included with the accommodations. We have discovered in our travels that breakfast is truly our most important meal of the day. It sets the tone for the remainder of the day. Their breakfast is good, and you have a panoramic sunny view of Playa den Bossa and all of the hungover people coming out of their rooms to get nutrients. If you can swing it, grab a penthouse suite with a hot tub. If you cannot, there are plenty of lounge beds at the facility, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and beach nearby – lots to do. There is no making mistakes at this hotel. They do their best to make you feel your best.

Solowheel is a self-balancing one-wheeled electric vehicle for personal transportation
Solowheel is a self-balancing one-wheeled electric vehicle for personal transportation

Torre del Mar is close enough to Playa Den Bossa that you can find a beach party just wandering south along the boardwalk, or you can go north, toward the castle and find yourself in the Old Town. Every single part of this island is worth exploring and every corner you turn will be a pleasant surprise. Just wander. It is safe and beautiful and the people are beyond friendly and will help you if you get lost along the way.

The Balearic Island of Ibiza

Ibiza è un’isola spagnola situata nel mare delle Baleari – dove i ricchi e le celebrità trascorrono momenti di relax mostrando i loro yachts. Se siete alla ricerca di recensioni su clubs notturni, privè riservati e fiumi di champagne, non possiamo aiutarvi. Abbiamo passato i nostri giorni a Ibiza a rilassarci, abbronzarci, mangiare e bere. Non ci sono state mirror balls in aria per noi. Amiamo la musica e la vita notturna, ma ci siamo assicurate di prenotare la nostra vacanza a Ibiza quando la stagione turistica si stava chiudendo e i DJ più famosi avevo lasciato presumibilmente l’isola. Abbiamo avuto il territorio a nostra disposizione, o così l’abbiamo percepito. Non troppo affollato, e senza essere accalcate in mezzo a file infinite in attesa di un tavolo o di un drink.

Pacha Flower Power // Paul Van Dyk Fatboy Slim // // // Paris Hilton Dj Fresh Amnesia Sankeys Saturdays // // // Cream Sven Väth Cocoon //

Se vi interessa una vacanza all’insegna di DJ sets e clubs esclusivi date un’occhiata alle prenotazioni per i vostri artisti preferiti e iniziate a risparmiare per tempo. Spenderete tra i 50 e i 100 euro solo per l’entrata al club, consumazioni escluse. Questo è il tipo di lifestyle a cui andrete incontro, dai 300$ per notte, una settimana in hotel può aggirarsi tra i 2000$ e i 6000$ per due persone, voli e cibo non inclusi. Pensateci bene prima di prenotare, pianificate cosa fare e cosa vedere e come volete vivere l’esperienza su questa bellissima isola.

La nostra prima tappa è stata a Playa d’en Bossa, precisamente all’ Hotel Torre del Mar, che significa letteralmente “torre del mare”. E’ un luogo di lusso, con arredi moderni e chic, e un’architettura interna sontuosa e pulita. Dai lampadari ai quadri sui muri, dal pavimento al soffitto è un dolce vedere, e situato sulla spiaggia. Avere un taxi dall’aeroporto è stato facile e veloce, e per la prima volta, guidato da una donna (woohoo!) che non ha cercato di tirare su il prezzo o farci sentire a disagio.

Il punto di forza a Torre del Mar è la colazione inclusa con la prenotazione della camera. Abbiamo scoperto nei nostri viaggi che la colazione è davvero il pasto più importante e il rifornimento principale di energie per affrontare al meglio gli impegni quotidiani. La colazione in hotel è completa e continentale, con una vista panoramica del mare e di Playa d’en Bossa. Tutte le persone escono dalle loro stanze in cerca del primo pasto della giornata dopo la notte di divertimento appena terminata. Se ve lo potete permettere prenotate la suite all’ultimo piano con jacuzzi sul tetto, e se non potete l’hotel è attrezzato con confort zones come la piscina, la zona fitness, i campi da tennis, la spiaggia privata- un sacco di cose da fare. Non ci sono punti deboli in quest’ hotel. Tutto lo staff s’impegna per farti sentire al meglio.

Playa d'en Bossa
Playa d’en Bossa

Torre del Mar è così vicino a Playa d’en Bossa che potete ritrovarvi in uno dei famosi party sulla spiaggia solo curiosando a Sud della passerella di legno, o se invece proseguite a Nord, v’imbatterete nel castello e nella città vecchia d’Eivissa. Ogni singola porzione di quest’isola vale la pena esplorarla e ad ogni angolo che svolterete sarà una piacevole sorpresa. Vagabondate. E’ bella e sicura e le persone amichevoli, e vi aiuteranno se vi perderete per strada.

Stairs Forever

Adidas and Nike…a walking contradiction on the mosaic tile floors of the apartment lobby. Every day four flights of stairs greeted us before we’d explore Turin, and again four flights back up on the walk home. To her it is four flights of stairs, to me it is eight because you turn the corner twice before the next floor. These are not mindless American stairs, these steps are taller and require more focus and endurance to master.

Adidas Gazelles , Nike Leggings
Adidas Gazelles , Nike Leggings

Each time I’d lose my breath on the way up to the top floor, I would imagine a nonna climbing the stairs with bags of food. If little Italian nonnas can make it up these stairs, so can I. We both noticed something funny on the windowsill of the first floor.

We found the Biggest Prick in Turin ;)
We found the Biggest Prick in Turin 😉

Hello Torino

In September I flew to Italy to explore one-time home of the 2006 Winter Olympics, Turin. It has since become my home away from home, boasting a rich history and vibrant architecture lining the streets of the original first city of the Roman Empire.

You can tour the city by foot, or by bicycle, and there is plenty to see. From street performers to boutique eateries lining the cobblestone streets, Turin has some Italian flavor for everyone.

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Eataly wines Turin

Eataly Torino Lingotto

Eataly is everything Italian under one roof, artisinal foodstuff and wine lines shelves along with fresh fruits and vegetables in a kind of indoor market style display of goodies all designed to tickle the palate.

One of our first activities together was a trip to the grocery store Eataly in Turin, where we perused the cheese and fresh pasta, and spent a good forty minutes in the wine section downstairs. The Barolo Barbaresco wine section in Turin’s Eataly dwarfs any Canadian LCBO vintage wine rack. Turin has dedicated an entire floor of their Eataly store to wine and wine alone.

barbaresco_wine
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Baby went to Amsterdam

Baby went to Amsterdam, she put a little money into travelling…
This trip was just a stopover, there was no time to do anything, so we over-did everything.