February 20, 2014
by Stella

Calgary to Vancouver & Vice Versa $229 CAD Round Trip

vancouverImage credit: Sharp Real Estate

Looks like there is a pretty good fare from Calgary to Vancouver and vice versa with Air Canada with travel dates into June. $229 CAD tax in, round trip, nonstop flights! This is down from the ~$450 or so that the fare normally is. The perfect opportunity to visit the coast in prime time to enjoy flowers abloom and mild weather.  Continue Reading →

February 19, 2014
by Stella

5 Magical Treehouse “Hotels” in North America

Ever wanted to revisit your childhood, climb up into a friend’s backyard treehouse and spend the night? I never had a treehouse as a kid, but there is something fantastical and magical about playing out the idea of spending a night perched high above the ground, surrounded by trees and all things beautiful and natural, and then waking up in the morning with the birds.

Luckily, there are a few hotels and rental units that have already embraced this idea, and brought it to fruition. Read on to find out where they are, and what makes them special.

treehousept1Photo by TreeHouse Point

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February 13, 2014
by Stella
1 Comment

A Vibrant Collection of Photos from Vancouver and Vancouver Island

One of the things I love most about getting out of town during the winter is the welcome escape not only from frigid temperatures, but also from the monotony of the color palate this time of year. White snow is blindingly stunning when fresh, blanketing the city in soft, cottony drifts.

Soon after the snow falls, however, in a city as by as mine, the snow is decimated by salt and gravel. Dirty cars and sander trucks run through it, reducing the crisp white to shades of brown and gray. Continue Reading →

February 7, 2014
by Stella

7 Peaceful Yoga Escapes in Costa Rica

I’m back, and happy to say that my grandmother is coming along nicely. She pulled through the surgery well, and her healing has been remarkable.

This experience has proved to be an exercise in patience for my grandmother. Her whole life, she has been busy, self-reliant, efficient, and very independent, and her surgery has really forced her to slow down and take some time for herself. She is having to relearn how to do things, and while some of the worst bits are over, there are things that she may never be able to do on her own again, like driving. Time will tell.

Maybe we could all use a good dose of patience after a dizzyingly hectic holiday season, and the pressure so many of us put on ourselves trying to keep up with our New Years resolutions. It wouldn’t kill any of us to take a breath, so if you’re stuck inside, and your body and mind are craving some sort of sweet release, consider a visit to a tranquil yoga retreat amid lush Costa Rican paradise. Read on to check out my top seven.

meditationPhoto from Exotic Yoga Retreats

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December 9, 2013
by Stella

Navigating Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast by Road

Gandoca-ManzanilloPhoto from

Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast remains one of the last frontiers in the country, unmarred by the giant, towering hotels and resorts who have clear cut their way into existence along the North and Central Pacific coast. Though it generally takes longer to reach the Caribbean coast than most of the Pacific, with Liberia airport catering specifically to the Nicoya region, Limón province is well worth visiting. It is beautiful, wild, and chock full of serene beaches and other hidden gems that are yours for the taking. But how will you get there? If you decide to drive, this guide, full of tips and tricks and interesting roadside stops, was written for you.  Continue Reading →

December 6, 2013
by Stella

Banishing Winter Blues: the 10 Wildest, Most Pristine Beaches in Costa Rica

Lots of travelers are looking for out-of-the-way secret destinations that offer privacy and serenity, and have that “untouched” look and feel about them. Everybody dreams of a beach where they’re the only ones there. These are ten quiet, wild Costa Rican beaches where you can expect that that will more than likely be the case. Photo from Tourist Destinations.
Nice beach to rest after diving

We’re experiencing a bit of a cold snap up here in Alberta, and there is nothing gentle at all about this particular brush with Old Man Winter. This morning, the two coldest places on earth were both located on our Canadian prairies: Manning, Alberta at -40°C; and Kelsey, Manitoba also at -40°C. Being cooped up like this is driving me to madness. I’ve been wandering around in such a cold-weather fog all week that this morning, I got dressed, pulled on my boots, tucked my pants INTO my boots, and headed off to my new job that I just started two weeks ago.

It was so cold out that this morning, I figured there was zero value in bringing a change of shoes. Why would I bother? It’s Friday! It’s cold. Nobody is going to criticize me for wearing my winter boots indoors. I’ve been walking around the office all day, going to meetings, talking to people, and then, at about 2:00 in the afternoon, one of my colleagues who I was chatting with looked me up and down and announced that I was wearing two different boots. Wait, what?! I looked down, and this is what I saw:

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