Elaisha Jade visits Ford Canada's Life Hacks academy in New York City. Read her reivew of the experience and find out how she met Tia Mowry.
Elaisha Jade visits the Delta Marriott Fredericton Hotel in New Brunswick. She shares her experience biking along the St John and eating everything she could at the seafood restaurant.
One night wasn't enough. Guys, I had the opportunity to review the Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel while on my way to the east coast this summer. This location reopened after an overhaul of the look and feel of the space. And let me just say from the top, it was luxe.
Keep reading to find out whether I would recommend that you stay here for your next trip to my favourite city.
When we walked into the hotel I was exhausted. We wheeled our luggage up to the concierge after a drive in from Toronto. It was 10 pm but the hotel staff were chipper and friendly. We brought our own luggage up to the room which I was ok with. The next morning I actually had the chance to check out the lobby and I loved the space. The multi-colour scheme and tiles really gave the space a luxe feel. I felt all bougie sitting there the next morning waiting for Caleigh to get back from her TV appearance.
The first thing that caught my eye when we walked into the room was the artwork and decor. I loved the bedside table lamp (I want one for my new apartment) and the little face on the wall. It was kinda creepy and kinda cool at the same time. This might sound odd, but my least favourite part was the curtains. I felt that they fell short compared to the rest of the decor. In the grander scheme however it really didn’t matter that much especially because we were just there for one night.
Caleigh and I shared a bed and it honestly felt like we were on separate mattresses. It was plush and I felt like I was in a fortress of sheets. I slept straight through the night and felt rested enough to wake up and work in the morning before we got on the road. I felt a boost of productivity when I woke up in such a clear space. There was even a tea bar available for use with a cute Tassimo machine too.
I think the best part of this room was the bathroom. The white and urban decor was a treat. I really enjoyed my warm shower in the morning in the spacious bathroom. I wrapped in a warm hotel robe and felt kinda sexy walking around that room. There was enough counter space for Caleigh and me to spread all of our girlie stuff out.
We were able to park our RV on the street. However we had to move it early in the morning to ensure that there was no disruption to traffic (and that we wouldn’t get a ticket). Underground parking is available however we had to park outside since our RV was oversized. Checkout was a breeze we just waved goodbye, packed into our RV and rode into the sun.
If you want a more romantic Montreal experience you might want to stay a little further out in Old Montreal. However , If you plan on touring downtown Montreal, this Hotel will give you the chance to do so with so much convenience. Access to Montreal’s Eaton’s Centre is a quick walk away. As well, there are several options for the underground Metro.
I really loved my stay at the Renaissance Montreal Downtown Hotel. If you have any questions, leave me a comment below.
New Brunswick was the best part of my East Coast road trip. Maybe it was because I spent most of my time in the Maritime province. However, I remember my friend and travel enthusiast Andrew Gunadie recommending New Brunswick to me. I admittedly brushed him off. However, I wish I visited earlier.
From eating moose to riding the longest zip line in Atlantic Canada keep reading for how you can take in the best parts of New Brunswick with my 8-day road trip itinerary.
Day 1 Hopewell rocks Visit the rocks at low tide (be sure to check the schedule before you plan your trip out!). Get there a little early to beat the crowd then stroll about where the water will rise in a few hours. Nothing made me feel smaller than that!
If you head up there when it’s high tide, be sure to get there and grab your pictures but also explore the other trails. Wear comfortable shoes and make the trek to the beach. I put my feet in the Atlantic ocean for the first time and walked along the shore. It was very pretty.
Day 2 Explore Downtown Fredericton Take a bike Ride down the St John river! The Delta hotel had two cruiser bikes reserved for us to take a tour of Fredericton. That was a great advantage of staying at that central and waterfront hotel. There were over 85kms of bike paths. I noticed a lot of bikers uptown and downtown. We chatted up two cops and asked about the laws of bike riding in Fredericton. We had to wear helmets and ensure that we were biking on the street. If we wanted to dismount and walk on the sidewalk, we were allowed to bring our bike on. To take advantage of the biking ensure you map out your path beforehand.
We parked our cruises and enjoyed a quick brunch at the Lunar. The cute bar was located right off of the main street in Downtown Fredericton. When we arrived it was 11:30 am and quiet on the patio. By the time we left at about 12:30 the patio was packed. I enjoyed a delicious salmon salad. The salmon tasted fresh and was cooked very well. The salad itself was lacklustre but the delicious fish made up for it.
Another great spot to explore was the Beaverbrook Art Museum.
Day 3 Kayak the St. John River with Second Nature Outdoors + Eat Away Confession: I didn’t know how to Kayak before I got in one. I definitely recommend getting a guide on board if it’s your first time kayaking. Or if you’re on the water with someone who’s inexperienced. Thankfully Caleigh gave me the run down by the end of it I was able to fake it well enough for my GoPro footage and survived the journey.
We hopped on a shuttle that brought us a few kilometres away from the Second Adventures head location. We then kayaked up to where we started. It was beautiful! The map we were given showed us the common or ‘easy trail’ just a straight shot up the St. John river back to where we started. But the guides at Second Adventures recommended that we also dock at various islands and explore. Since we had dinner reservations and I had to get the hang of kayaking for the first time we decided to only dock once. We explored the shore of an island a few kilometres from where we started. There happened to be a summer camp trip there. The little kids were enjoying their lunch and running around in the sand.
Eat dinner at The Catch at the Delta Hotel Our three-course dinner was absolutely incredible. The standout dish was definitely the oysters. They were bathed in a white wine and covered in a fresh vegetable vinaigrette I was in absolute heaven. I also remembered the sweetness of the delicious jam served with the creamy baked brie. You can check out my full review here.
Dine at Isaacs Way This place was recommended to us a few times. While we didn't get the chance to go, I was able to check out some of their yummy dishes on Instagram.
Have breakfast in bed at the Crown Plaza Hotel While brunch was a delicious option available at the Crown, Caleigh and I felt like sleeping in a bit. I ordered brunch in bed and was pleasantly surprised. After a relaxing shower, I got back into bed and awaited our breakfast. My eggs Benedict sat on a delicious and thick biscuit with a piece of peameal bacon sandwiched between. It was dripping with hollandaise sauce and I was in heaven. I also ordered a fruit platter which was also delivered with a delicious creme fresh. While I could have taken a nap after, we set out on the road after brunch.
Day 4 Fredericton Boyce Farmers Market This farmer’s market is one of the biggest ones in Canada. The selection was actually a bit dizzying. From the indoor to the outdoor market, Caleigh and I took our time peering at all of the options. We were there pretty early (7:30am) and it was already pretty busy. I downed a delicious cinnamon stick (my favourite treat that day) and some homemade maple fudge. The fudge was so good I wished I had actually gotten more.
Day 5 Explore Miramichi
Zipline over the cove in Miramichi Dare to ride the longest Zipline in the Maritimes! The line is strung across a river and hiking trail. Riders have the chance to stroll the hiking grounds before they sprint and dive on the line over the lake. It was absolutely amazing and I was shaking. I had such a fun time
Visit the Metepenagiag Heritage Park I was invited to an incredible repatriation ceremony. The Canadian Government returned artefacts to Mi’kmaq people. The ceremony gave me the chance to visit the Heritage Park and explore the centre attached to it. I learned more about the Mi’kmaq tribe and enjoyed some delicious dishes (I ATE MOOSE GUYS!).
Dinner at 1809 I left 1809 stuffed but ready for more. While all of the dishes were sinfully delicious, I recommend the lobster. The one I ate was fresh, and it actually made a difference. Guests poured into the restaurant from a boat taxi at a dock right on the restaurant’s patio. Our server greeted us in her New Brunswick lilt and gave us a slew of recommendations. I enjoyed my first oyster there and the chef was super friendly and greeted us at our table.
The lobster was so fresh. I grabbed a claw and went to work it was so buttery and I wish I could go back in time and eat it over and over and over again. The beet hummus was incredible. I enjoyed our meal with a few drinks and definitely recommend trying a cocktail created with their local spirits.
Day 6 Visit St Johns for Blueberries and the Whirlpool I didn’t have the chance to visit the quaint St. John’s New Brunswick. However, I received a lot of advice on what to do there. One of the coolest attractions mentioned to me was the whirlpool. The other point was to find some delicious wild blueberries.
Day 7 Drive to St Andrews and Visit the Kingsbrae Garden St Andrews was stunning. The first stop was the Kingsbrae Garden! With over Over 50,000 perennials in their themed gardens, I was in heaven (and Lord was I was happy I took an allergy pill before we went). It was a cute place to spend the day and I wish we were there longer. There was a little cafe where onlookers were listening to a beautiful show with an opera singer and live orchestra. I was in bliss.
Day 8 Stroll Downtown St Andrews and Whale Watch I took a walk downtown in St Andrews. Families strolled about as they ate their ice cream cone. They walked in and out of stores and restaurants. I walked up the harbour and took a peek into some of the stores myself. I was excited to see whale watching activities available there too.
Want to visit New Brunswick? Let me know what your favourite activity was in the comments below.
Get your talons ready for the sun. Manicures and pedicures are the most basic form of pampering! While I am a fan of DIY nails, this time around I got my nails did at a salon with my aunt and cousin. Keep reading for my iconic nail colour picks.
Before I left for Jamaica, I scoured Pinterest for the perfect nail colour. To be honest, I had already decided on white nails. There's nothing like white nail polish against a golden tan. However, when I got to the salon, I still took a look at the shelf—just in case. Fingernail FOMO is a huge deal. Here are some adorable shades you can rock on your next vacation.
Do you have a favourite shade that you wear on every vacation? Let me know in the comments below.
This August I was fed up. In a previous post, I shared that I got back into the driver's seat of my life. That I decided to take charge of the chaos around me by changing the course of my life's direction. Part of that transformation involved choosing myself. Keep reading for how I did and to see some cute pics from my adventures in St Andrews and Fredericton New Brunswick! (More to come on those soon!)
When did being selfish become a bad thing? When did picking my needs over someone else's make me a monster? I looked back at certain parts of my life I can see where I put my needs and desires for my future on hold. My desire to finish school, the urge to live abroad and my need to live alone. These were all things I battled with on a deep level.
For months I felt that I was running on a treadmill. Tired from the excruciating journey but not actually getting anywhere. Just spinning my wheel hoping that soon I would be where I wanted to go. But hope wasn't enough. I listened to the audiobook version of, 'Adventures for Your Soul' by Shannon Kaiser. This book was amazing. It really opened my eyes to why I was travelling so much. I was running away from my grief, from making a decision about my life and from what it would mean if I faced both of them.
Then I made a plan. This plan involved everything I wanted to do. At the top of the list is my desire to move to a city I've wanted to call home for close to 8 years. Instead of staring forlornly at Instagram shots of this city I started researching neighborhoods. Cost of living. Taxes. Anything I could get my hands on. If you fail to plan you plan to fail right?
The plan is to move there next year in January or February! This is all a part of a grander scheme that I can't wait to unfold. The plan is to continue to travel, but not so I can escape. I want to travel to explore and really enjoy where I am, not rue the countdown to coming home.
Thanks for being a part of this journey guys. I can't wait for what's to come.
Shoes: Mark’s & Spencer, Dress Tobi, Purse Urban Outfitters
Dress: Tobi, Purse: Urban Outfitters Shoes: Steve Madden
Shoes: Mark's & Spencer, Dress Tobi, Purse Urban Outfitters