How to experience the world without breaking your bank.

First things first… Let’s take a look at your finances.

1. Live cheaply–The main expense for most people (besides kids) is their mortgage. I live as cheaply as possible. If travel is something you have to do, and you’re not rich–you need to live as cheaply as possible. No point in spending all of your hard earned money renting or on a mortgage if you’re never home!

2. Cancel any monthly subscriptions that you don’t use/ and or need–I just cancelled an HBO Chanel I didn’t even know I had! Hey, $10 is $10.

3. Marry rich–What? It’s a legitimate option that would work. On the other hand you’ve probably been a mooch your whole life and should listen to that Destiny’s child song ‘independent women’ a few times if you’re inclined to take this route.

4. Reserve an Airbnb instead of a hotelThanks to Airbnb there is now a cheaper place to stay than your good ole Marriot. Plus, a lot of them are nicer than hotels. Hotels can be more than half of your travel expenses.

5. Camping/Glamping–Campsites are ridiculously cheap. Not. a camper? Glamping may be for you.

IMG_3450 2.jpg

7518844848_IMG_4575-2.jpg

6. Travel to a destination where you know someone–Meaning you stay for free! Or you can do what I’m doing next September/October in Germany and travel with someone who knows someone–and still stay for free! This is a seriously underrated tip. When anyone tells me something  like “Oh my sister lives in Hawaii, I need to visit her” Im like “Well, I would fly with you anytime!” lol Hiii Kaitlyn, Don’t forget me.

7. Don’t over pay for stupid tours–Although some are great, instead, I would recommend choosing maybe one tour or excursion of some sort that is highly-rated by trip advisor and affordable. Trip advisor is perfect for researching prior to any trip because it has tons of reviews, links the company websites, pictures, etcetera so you know exactly what you’re paying for and how much it will be. I always use it while “planning” any trip. I put that in quotations because I don’t do a whole lot of planning, but I do like to know a little about where I’m going and what there is to offer. Side note: if you’re ever heading  to Montreal, do the Segway tour!

Money-saving tips for roadtrips:

⇒ Split gas

⇒ Pack a cooler and drinks so no unnecessary gas station stops for over-priced water

⇒ Get an Airbnb with a kitchen so you can cook in a few times, or a campsite as mentioned above.

Processed with VSCO with a4 preset

 

Remember:

Experiences are priceless

You were not born to pay bills and die

You can get out of the nine to five mindset

You can lead an UNPOPULAR lifestyle just like me

 

Wanna keep it in your own backyard-type adventure? Check this ‘Ways to Adventure on a Budget’.

 

-E

Where you can find some of the best views in NY

This 17 mile long state park is worth all of the hype. Letchworth State Park, also known as the Grand Canyon of the east includes 3 waterfalls, restaurants, hiking trails, and no shortage of spectacular look-outs requiring zero effort to enjoy.

It was named after William Pryor Letchworth who fought until he died to preserve the natural beauty of this land. Before he passed, he gave the land and estate to the State of NY to be used as a public park to ensure its preservation.

For $10/car, I’d say we got our money’s worth. I was lucky enough to spot a double rainbow above middle falls, my personal favorite of the 3 waterfalls.

IMG_6032

Great bend look out was the first spectacular overlook that I remember and looking back at the pictures, I see why it was so memorable. I’d say don’t look down, but then you would miss the view! 😉

 

FOOD AND DRINKS:

There is a restaurant and Inn on site formerly belonging to Mr. William Letchworth himself. His old country estate is now the Glenn Iris Inn. In Greek, Iris actually translates to rainbow. The fact that I witnessed a double rainbow above middle falls, just adds to this already amazing trip.

 

Highly recommend the Almond Joy cold brew cocktail. After hiking over 300 stairs on a 90 degree day, it brought me back to life. There was whipped cream and a cherry on top, but it looks like I consumed it before I decided to snap the pic. The strawberry daiquiri was a little too icy for my taste, I prefer a much smoother blend. The cajun-style burger with bacon was phenomenal. Although there was air conditioning indoors, for some reason we ate outside on the patio (not my decision).

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Like this NY adventure? Then you would also like this ADK Island camping experience.

"Appreciating the outdoors is something I think everyone should work on. The natural beauty of the world breeds happiness." -E

Glamping

Glamping: In a nutshell, it’s glamorous or luxurious camping. Instead of sleeping on the ground, you get to sleep on an actual bed, with fluffy pillows and a cozy comforter. You have access to water, rest rooms, showers, and maybe even Wi-Fi with a continental breakfast. Though some believe it defeats the purpose of camping, I disagree for the simple fact that it’s not camping — it’s GLAMPING. The whole purpose is to enjoy the outdoors more comfortably. It is especially great for people who don’t have the skills to be out in the wilderness with nothing more than a tent and a lantern.

*This is a Sponsored post for Seneca Sol Glamping, but all opinions are my own.

7518844848_IMG_4681 2.jpg

7518844848_IMG_4592

I just had my first experience glamping right here in NY. Perfectly placed in the middle of the Seneca wine trail, you will find Seneca Sol Glamping. With over 30 wineries to choose from, there is plenty to do! 7 minutes from Watkins Glen (home to the famous Watkins Glen gorge trail), and Only a few minutes from Grist Iron Brewing Company where you will find delicious beer and a chill environment to grab food.

The check- in desk/lounge area is located in a tent, holy CUTENESS!

 

7518844848_IMG_4615-2

7518844848_IMG_4521

The cherry tent is a homemade safari tent equipped with a little stand up closet with hangers, a desk, 3 lanterns, a queen size bed, a decorative chair, a bench, a chest, AND a back patio with table and chairs.

7518844848_IMG_4527

You know you are glamping when you can charge your phone with a lantern.

7518844848_img_4681-e1509311617785.jpg

7518844848_IMG_4570

There is a beautiful bath house located a short distance from the camp with fresh water as well as individual showers and toilets. Towels, washcloths, shampoos and conditioners are all provided for you.

7518844848_IMG_4604

On site, you will find a 10 – 15 minute nature trail. SO incredibly gorgeous in the fall!

7518844848_IMG_4638

7518844848_IMG_4675

You had me at COFFEE BAR.

7518844848_IMG_4627

Other perks:

  • Includes free breakfast.
  • Each night around 7:30 pm a communal campfire is lit for glampers. Firewood is supplied.
  • Free Parking
  • Free cancellation within 48 hours
  • You can choose to stay in a Teepee
  • Free Wi-Fi

Although they are officially closed for the season, they will reopen in May 2018! To book your stay next season or for more information, check out Seneca Sol and all they have to offer. To find out which wineries are located on the Seneca wine trail click here.

7518844848_IMG_4682.jpg

Need cute glamping gear? Get this teepee vibes shirt at Reelnomadic. You’re welcome.  🙂

 

-E

 

Ins & Outs of Old Montréal

A city full of never-ending festivals, old school architecture, and French charm. ❤️ With so much to do, it’s hard to get bored. Here is a list that scratches the surface of what to do and how to get around Old Montréal. When planning a trip to Montréal in the summer time, I would suggest booking a hotel in Old Montréal.

OLD MONTREAL THINGS TO DO:

1. Segway Tour—Old Port—French: Vieux Port

IMG_3129

Honestly one of the coolest things I’ve done. A silly and unique experience including a one hour tour along the old port of Montréal on these bad boys. It was well worth the money. You get a 15 minute training session which is easy peasy, I promise. Want to know how to get around in style for around $60/ person? Schedule your segway tour here.

If you look in the background to the left you’ll see a white clock tower located at Clock Tower Beach. If you book the old port Segway tour, you will go right by it. Although there is no swimming at this sand strip in the city, it’s still definitely something you don’t want to leave without seeing. Way behind us under the bridge, you will find the only Six Flags in Canada! Add that to your to-do list while in Montréal.

2. Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal

IMG_3188

Stunning church inside and out. A must-see while roaming the streets of Old Montréal. This church is so photogenic! Am I right?! Rich in history and beauty, what’s not to love? Located in the heart of Old Montréal, making for an easy walk to nearby food afterward. For food advice read: The Best Food in Montréal.

3. The Montréal Observation Wheel

img_3170-e1508615040240.jpg

Although it wasn’t open for business when I visited, it is now officially open! For rates and details, click here.

  • 360 degree panorama view
  • Air-conditioned/ heated.
  • Open year-round
  • Anti-UV tempered glass panes

4. Scena at Old Port

img_3176-2.jpg

Right at the Old Port sign, you will find this bar/restaurant. Includes:  large outdoor patio  equipped with umbrellas and an outdoor bar. This cutesy bar also comes with wine and a view of the water. In the summer it is a chill bar/restaurant.

Not only is this a super cool spot to relax in the summer and grab a drink, but it’s also an event venue. Hold your conference, corporate event, or even wedding there in the beautiful Old port of Montréal! Definitely a unique venue for a wedding! Want more info? Here you will find what you are looking for.

img_3172.jpg

img_31561-e1508622665114.jpg

IMG_3197

The best part of Old Montréal is walking and exploring and all the city has to offer. The cobblestone streets, the views from rooftops, the unlimited places to eat and drink, the zip lining, the old port, and so so much more. Every bar, shop, and restaurant are decorated to perfection making it extremely difficult to choose where to go! We actually walked in and out of so many places, simply to scope them out. Old Montréal is the best part of Montréal. One I will be revisiting and booking a hotel in very soon.

5. Mount Royal Park

Not exactly Old Montréal, but it is certainly blog-worthy. A Beautiful park over-looking the city with views just as amazing at night as they are during the day. In the winter months you can cross-country ski, snow shoe, ice skate, tube, etc. In the warmer part of the year you can picnic, walk, guided tour, hike the 3 peaks, bike, etc. For details and to book your scooter tour of the park, click here.

HOW TO GET AROUND:

Metro – (subway ) Place-d’Armes is where you want to get off to go to Old Montréal where everything is located. It is a longer walk than we desired, especially in the heat. There are scooter rentals and bike rentals all over the place which is convenient.

Uber – I love Uber because they know exactly where to pick you up. Not necessarily the cheapest way, but 100% the most convenient. No comparison. Download app, set up your credit card info, and get rides. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Bus

Taxi

Ever been to New Orleans? You might want to put it on your list!

xo,

-E

Guide to Huntsville, Alabama

Fun Things to do:

Big Spring Park

 

This is a very well-kept park in the middle of the city. My mom took me here and we honestly had a blast! So there is a pretty large canal with a ton of fish in it! We fed the fishies for .25 cents. Before you leave Huntsville, you must see.

_MG_4308

If you follow the canal, you will run into a big staircase. There you will find The Cozy Cow, an ice cream parlor/restaurant that is just as cozy as it suggests. It has a nice little patio to enjoy your panini, burger, sandwich, or ice cream outside.

IMG_3795

If you head upstairs, you will find an Irish Pub named Keegan’s Public House with a partial outdoor  bar and a few patio tables as well. Great place to stop for a beer with a nice park view.

_MG_4254

_MG_4250

_MG_4267

At the top of the stairs, you can consider yourself downtown Huntsville! Tired from all the walking? I got you covered. Honest Coffee downtown is where you need to be. A snug little cafe with a garage door that opens up with plenty of outdoor seating. Met with baked goods and coffee with a welcoming atmosphere!

Tons of other great restaurants and bars close by, but my favorite thing we did next and it doesn’t include food (I know, surprising.)

Harrison Brother’s Hardware 

IMG_4013

_MG_4238.jpg
110 year old register (that still works!)

Doesn’t sound like much, right? Well, this is not just any hardware store — it is actually the first of its kind (in Alabama).

It was founded in 1879 by two brothers named James and Daniel Harrison and it remained in the family until the illness of John Harrison in 1983. The Historic Huntsville Foundation purchased it from the Harrison family and has vowed to preserve it ever since.  From the original creaky wooden floors to original items still on the shelves, this is certainly one of the most unique historic sites I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Nowadays, Harrison Bros. Hardware is a souvenir shop of sorts run solely by passionate and knowledgable volunteers. They sell magnets, real cotton wreaths, pottery, knickknacks, and more. The lady at the counter took the time to explain the whole history all the while showing us old pictures of the Harrison brothers.

Botanical Gardens

475F83E2-836C-4DFF-9029-79728B423684.JPG

19FAA40E-D8C3-43D8-8D35-B718824C5DA6.JPG

FACDF02A-7F76-4335-AB05-1880947CC0F5.JPG

I would recommend visiting the Botanical Gardens only if you have kids. While it is very pretty, it is definitely more kid-oriented. Lots of kids activities and attractions, hay rides, kid art, etc. My favorite part was the butterfly habitat because I have never been to one.

Nothing Bundt Cakes

7516832656_IMG_4025

d1f9933b-420b-429c-9de6-ccd879cfe9b3.jpg

Seriously clever name! If you have ever had a bundt cake, then you know exactly what they have to offer. They sell little bundtlets (mini bundt cakes) as well as regular sized bundt cakes. I bought two bundtlets — one funfetti, and one pecan praline. Both were super moist with just the right amount of frosting. I am actually really happy there is not one located near me because I would practically live there. They had a pumpkin spice to sample which was equally as good as the ones I purchased! They also do special occasion cakes which I think is awesome because it’s different from the usual birthday cake and we all know I am obsessed with unpopular ideas. Check my unpopular special occasion idea in a recent blog post: Just Donuts.

28514739-ACC6-4E7C-8B80-52364784D727.JPG

 

Green Mountain Nature Trail

_MG_4185.JPG

7DD70186-0D49-4885-AA5C-6FD583FA5463.JPG

7583945200_IMG_3928.jpg
You know you’re in Alabama when there is a chapel in the middle of the woods!

Green mountain nature walk is a 1.5 mile nature trail. So it’s a beautiful and easy trail to enjoy the outdoors away from all of the hustle and bustle. With a super nice and informative employee at the park entrance, it made this my second favorite thing to do in Huntsville. The best part? It’s free! I always love getting out of the city for a little while just to breathe in the fresh air. Another park with great reviews that I didn’t get a chance to explore is Monte Sano State Park. Let me know how it is!

Well y’all that about wraps it up for Huntsville, AL. What an amazingly clean city with plenty to do, and obviously filled with loads of southern charm! Good to know: They call Huntsville “rocket city” because it is home to the US Space and Rocket Center.

xoxo Follow my Instagram journey here.

 

-E

 

 

The Best Food in Montréal

Where/What to Eat:

Those of you who know me, know that I have a deep love for food, probably deeper than the love I have for most humans. I did extensive research and strolled the streets of Montréal to find THE best food Montréal has to offer. Remember everyone speaks french in Montréal, but everyone also speaks English — thankfully, (since my bi-lingual skills are non-existent). Some restaurant menus are not in English so you really don’t know what you’re ordering. Oh the element of surprise. First comes my personal favorite.

1. Jardin NelsonEnglish Meaning = Garden Nelson

montreal love

IMG_3160

This outdoor restaurant is called garden nelson for the obvious reason: You sit outside to enjoy the beautiful environment. Added bonus? Live jazz every day in the afternoon as well as in the evening. The food = small portions and the chef’s presentation is on point.  Helpful tip: get there right when it opens to avoid lines.  The lemon and rosemary chicken wings and maple glazed ribs were my absolute favorite. You’re welcome.

IMG_3161.jpg
You can buy a small pitcher of Sangria for $18, so make sure you bring your wallet. Not that you can tell from my duck face, but It was worth it.

 

2. Pizzeria No 900:

fullsizeoutput_1485

Pizza is definitely one of my favorite foods, if not my absolute favorite. This bar/pizzeria is comprised of a trendy bar and gold accents making it look super edgy. I’m just as big on environment as well as the food so the first impression here is awesome. This little gem lays claim to the 5th best marinara in the world. After tasting the Margherita pizza, I can see why. I love a good crispy crust that can only be achieved by a brick oven, which is exactly how they make all of their pizzas.

fullsizeoutput_1481.jpeg

 

3. Paris Crepes

FullSizeRender-3.jpg
Raspberry + Nutella, ‘Nuff said.

Crepes are a very popular french delicacy. They originated in northwest region of France, so it is no surprise Montréal stays true to its French roots. You can find crepes in almost every restaurant and café. The best place to get a crepe though — is a café that specializes in them. I give you, Paris Crepes. This place is cool for a few reasons. Its convenient location on the famous St. Catherine St. in downtown, Montréal is just one of many. It has a chill environment upstairs with giant open windows to savor your crepes while appreciating the downtown street view. This little café was packed at midnight with drunk people inhaling these things, but I decided to go in the morning for coffee. It was just as busy. It’s Safe to say this place does really well, and rightfully so. Helpful Tip: Bring your wallet, it’s pricy.

 

 

4. Comptoir400

IMG_3186.jpg

Pizza, wine, outdoor patio, and located in the heart of Old Montréal. That may have been an $18 glass of wine. Canada is a little expensive, but hey you only live once, YOLO. LOL.

Helpful Tip: **Literally every single restaurant you walk into in Old Montréal is honestly amazing. Every place is beautiful, the food is all amazing, and you can’t go wrong simply walking along near the old port and going to the first restaurant that catches your eye. You couldn’t possibly go to every wonderful restaurant.

 

5. Crescent St. AKA  Rue crescent 

Stumbled upon the BUMPIN’ street while wandering Saint Cathrine street. This is one of the coolest streets in Montreal as it relates to food. So many restaurants/bars and they are all packed out. Bachelorette parties walking by and everyone seems to be having fun. This street is not trashy in the least bit. Le Warehouse looked awesome, though I did not get the chance to go there. I did have a beer at Dundee’s, but I did not eat there. The restaurant/bar draws you in with their alligator sign and lit up torches out front. This street is a must-see.

 

6. Mlle Catherine

fullsizeoutput_14b8.jpeg

Adding this because I really like ice cream and this place is adorable and so is my bf. Plus there is a little outdoor patio to enjoy your decorative waffle cone.

Ways To Adventure On A Budget

One of my favorite quotes is “Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.” And so I shall. Quarter of a century old and having the time of my life. Every day is a new adventure. What if the best vacation, or rather staycation was in your own backyard? Sometimes it doesn’t take a trip to the Bahamas to feel like you’re winning in life. I came up with this blog because not everybody (including me) have the funds to permanently vacay, so why not explore your surroundings?

#1 Go for a drive

Sometimes when I have nothing better to do, I go for a drive in hopes to stumble across a new place to adventure. Thus far, I have had pretty good luck. I found an abandoned train and watched an epic sunset. Pink and blue skies and not a care in the world. They say the best things in life are free.

fullsizeoutput_1021.jpeg

 

#2 Waterfallin’

As it turns out, NY has a ton of waterfalls to see. So, I packed a lunch, and had a picnic right in front of a 137-foot waterfall. This picnic included a sandwich, pasta salad, mini blueberry pie, and red wine which I happily drank out of my favorite “wine bitch” glass. Who says you can’t be fancy in the middle of the woods? If there were ever a statement to describe me better than the previous one, I don’t know what it would be. My family can attest.

IMG_7157.jpg
Pratt Falls -Manlius, NY
IMG_2324.JPG
Salmon River Falls -Pulaski, NY

 

#3 Run a 5k or 10k

I love the way running makes me feel and what better way to stay in shape than signing up for a 5K? It gives you an excuse to train and gives you something to look forward to. The feeling afterward is one of accomplishment, plus you usually get a free pint of beer. win-win. Got a team of friends together for the annual cider run and had a blast! If you’re not an avid runner, I almost encourage you to try it even more because the satisfaction (and free cider) afterwards. Scenic views and running for a good cause—practically spells adventure.

IMG_1948.jpg
Chair for 3?
IMG_1946.jpg
Free cider, success!

 

#4 Explore the outdoors

Snapping a picture on a railroad track with an oncoming train? Checked that one off the bucket list. I enjoy walking around the closest downtown city and appreciating the architecture of the buildings, the graffiti, and the simple fact that there are homeless people out there playing saxophone on the streets. I also enjoy exploring the country-side just lying in a field of dandelions just for an epic picture. Leaning out on the top of a parking garage downtown? Been there, done that, and took some photos, obv. Find happiness in all things.

IMG_1881.jpg

 

#5 Try a new restaurant

New parks, new restaurants, new dessert locations, and new coffee shops as you will see in my future blogs. I’ve found some amazing restaurants in surrounding areas. I cannot wait to share them with the world. Every restaurant is unique in its own way. It is especially fun to speak with the owners just to get a taste of their different personalities. One restaurant I’ve recently discovered has a pasta man in his own little bubble cranking out fresh pasta right in front of you! It’s like they imported him straight from Italy. I love food. Exploring new restaurants every now and again is completely affordable and super fun as long as you appreciate the details of everything it takes to successfully run the place. Remember, you are paying for the environment and the service, not just the food. That being said, be sure to tip your servers!

6176674208_IMG_0457
Just Donuts: Pheonix, NY

 

6174602416_IMG_1283.JPG
Olives Eatery: Baldwinsville, NY

 

#6 Winery/Brewery

So many wineries and breweries to choose from. They are all a blast. Do some research in your surrounding area and go for it. Grab a group of friends, split a bus or limo, and prepare to have a hangover that will be well worth it—I promise. Just don’t be silly and think that you can drive just because it is just a few wine and beer samples. You cannot and should not. Some samples turn into full glasses for some reason. It is no surprise that I recently bought a shirt that has a T-rex and it is holding two glasses of wine. The wording states “WINO-SAUR.” For a taste of my style, you can look forward to unique style blogs here. 💁🏼

 

fullsizeoutput_1043

6241770320_IMG_1596

 

#7 OH CANADA

Ok, so there are so many things to see in Canada. If you want it to feel like a real vacation, what better way than technically being out of the U.S.? Niagra falls really is beautiful, especially if you walk over to the Canadian side when there is nicer weather. If you are close enough to go for the day, super cheap. If not, Airbnb.com is a great option. I did that while visiting Toronto, check out my experience in Toronto here.

IMG_3823
Niagara Falls

 

6241724400_IMG_0289.jpg
Rooftop: Toronto, Canada

 

Moral of the story: if your life is lacking adventure, make your own. While its more fun to venture out with another, it’s also fun now and again to venture out by yourself. It takes me back to green beer Sunday and my cab ride home with Mr. Osirus (the amazing ninja cab driver), if you haven’t read it—here it is.. Cab Ride With the Man-Bun. What are some of your favorite adventure spots?

Happy adventuring.

 

 

-E