Looking for a place to collapse after wandering the French Quarter all day? Hotel Mazarin in New Orleans is the right blend of southern hospitality and spoiled rottenness. Continue Reading →
Posts by: Michelle Holmes
Baton Rouge: Explore, Shop, Feast, Repeat!
Have you ever been an understudy, won second place, or been the runner up — lingering in the shadows cast by a shining star? When I was plotting my trip to Louisiana, I wondered if that was how Baton Rouge might feel – a child neglected while everyone fawned over Mardi Gras down the road in New Orleans. But after exploring the city for a few days, and eating everything in sight (even the ‘crawfish’), I am convinced this city is more than worthy of being in the spotlight. Continue Reading →
Beware the Crawfish – A Feeding Frenzy in Baton Rouge
I have a terrible confession to make.
Seafood gives me the creeps. I really struggle to eat anything that looks like it did when it was alive, or spends its life scuttling along the bottom of a body of water in all that muck. But, when I was invited to Baton Rouge to spend my days eating, I knew I’d have to put on my big girl panties and a brave face. Had I known, I would have also put on my stretchy pants – I didn’t just taste the local cuisine, I gorged. I’m so ashamed, there’s a whole world of eating to be discovered, and I’ve wasted decades of my life! I did my best to make up for lost time. Continue Reading →
Ethiopia?! Yes, Ethiopia. Right Now.
Close your eyes for a second, and picture Ethiopia. What did you see?
I bet you three bucks you’re wrong. I’m willing to wage such high stakes given all the people that scrunched up their faces and went “Really, why would you want to go there?” as if I had blurted out that I wanted to visit downtown Baghdad. And I get it, I really had no idea what Ethiopia was either. I had the Bob Geldof songs in my head from the Live Aid efforts in the 80s, I’d seen the heartbreaking charity commercials that make you uncomfortably change channels. Dry, dusty, dismal.
Despite my impression of Ethiopia, I was still desperately curious and inexplicably smitten. Ethiopia had been whispering my name for years. I can’t explain it – my travel cravings have always been based on a gut feeling colliding with my insatiable curiosity. I just knew I had to see it. Continue Reading →
Dancing the Night Away in Lalibela, Ethiopia
I was doomed from the very first moment I saw him.
It was late, the sky was inky black, and I was wandering alone through a sleepy village, lost. In Africa. Lalibela, Ethiopia to be precise. Oh so lovely Lalibela. I had ached to see Lalibela for years, a result of a couch bound weekend of pouting over lost love. The television, in an effort to console me, tempted me with pictures about not just Africa, not just Ethiopia, but LALIBELA. I’m not yelling, sometimes I feel like it deserves to be written in capital letters, and bowed down to. Continue Reading →
Grand Junction, Colorado: An Amusement Park for Your Senses
Colorado’s Grand Junction is certainly a treat for your senses. Whether it’s the jaw-dropping scenery dazzling your eyes, flavourful peaches, or smell of fresh air while horseback riding through a canyon. Unless of course you’re following directly behind Princess the horse. Continue Reading →
Travelling to Transnistria and the U.S.S.R. Era
Transnistria is a breakaway territory in eastern Moldova and the Canadian government says is not overly wise venture this far. The United Nations doesn’t recognize it. Basically, if all hell breaks loose, you’re on your own. Upon entering Transnistria, you have to fill out some paperwork – basically the same form twice, one for you, one for the extremely cantankerous looking Russian military guy with a gun. It comes with a stern warning – you have 8 hours to visit, any longer and you will be arrested. Continue Reading →
My Love Affair With Moldova
Moldova was an unexpected treat. A beautiful tryst that swept me off my feet when I wasn’t paying attention (I was distracted by the wine.) I’m prone to crushes when I travel – without fail, during each trip I am scooped up by two admirers – a man, and a dog. (Given some of my … Continue Reading →
Twist My Arm – One More Glass of Wine in Moldova
(Part One of Three– there’s plenty to say about Moldova!) I had a hunch when the itinerary said I’d be in a wine cellar at 9am the following day that this was going to be good. I had no idea. Welcome to Moldova. I’ll be honest – I had no idea what a Moldova was. … Continue Reading →
Long May Your Big Jib Draw! St. John’s, Newfoundland
Newfoundland had long whispered my name. I can’t decide whether it was the foggy, jagged coastlines, bohemian-coloured homes, witty humour, or I-have-no-idea-what-he-just-said colloquialisms, but I got myself sucked right in. And yep, I even kissed a giant dead fish. I’m not exactly sure why, but I blame the Screech. Oh, the Screech. It was … Continue Reading →
Ditch the Guidebook, Follow Your Heart Instead
Years before I made it to Scotland, I bought a giant guidebook hoping that it would inspire me to get there someday. I read that sucker cover to cover, highlighting, dog-earing, studying and memorizing every last detail. I knew which pub to haunt, which castle would haunt me, the creepiest graveyards to tiptoe through and … Continue Reading →
A Safari Detour: Secret Hand Shakes & New Dance Moves
Exhausted, filthy and sore, I found myself in Africa, making my way to see the lions. The main road up to the Ngorongoro Crater, a major link between Tanzania and Kenya, traveled by tourist-filled 4x4s and precariously loaded transport trucks alike, was more rugged and jarring than the abandoned logging roads back home. As the … Continue Reading →
Getting Lucky In Dubai
As I stepped into the room, a man I hadn’t noticed slipped behind me and abruptly turned the deadbolt. Well, this is it, I thought. Lost in a tangled maze of alleyways in the heart of Dubai, locked in a room with two unknown men. No one would miss me for days. I had been … Continue Reading →
Perched in Paradise: Castalia Marsh Retreat
Want a bird’s eye view? Head to Castalia Marsh Retreat in New Brunswick to sleep in a bird house built for humans. Continue Reading →
Packing Essentials Every Girl Needs
I glance over at the enormous stack of clean laundry, and my over-stuffed dresser. The task that lay before me is far too overwhelming. I should go for a bike ride instead, and it’ll sort itself out. I wish. I’m leaving in a few days for a cram packed road trip. I didn’t mean for … Continue Reading →
The Naughty Way to Catch a Havana Taxi
Thou shalt only take designated tourist taxis. That’s what my trusty guidebook had dictated in my pre-trip studies. For once I thought I might actually do some serious research on my destination prior to my arrival. I had never been to a communist country, my Spanish was limited to ‘dos cervazas, por favor’ and I was travelling solo. On day two of my trip, I left the well-highlighted, dog-eared guide in a taxi, all of my homework sped away into the streets, liberating me from such nonsense. Continue Reading →