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So this update is a little delayed. I’m sorry, but I’ve just been having such a good holiday. Anyway, this is what I got up to in September. Try not to get as exhausted reading it as I did living it!
My September adventures began with a crazy, long train journey from Vancouver to Jasper. The lack of sleep was the biggest problem for me, but everything else wasn’t so bad. I had two seats to myself and the space between seats was welcome, as well as the foot and leg rest. I spent the majority of my time watching TV shows on my laptop. It passes the time, what can I say? Jasper itself was a great, little town in the Rockies.
Banff and Lake Louise
Yeah, I pretty much fell in love with Banff – the town, not a specific boy (sorry, Mum). It was beautiful with lots to see and do. And a visit to Banff is definitely not complete without a trip to Lake Louise. I don’t think I will see a lake that emerald again. Magic.
Calgary ruined my Rockies buzz when it dropped 24 degrees in 24 hours. I was stuck with summer clothes in the middle of a bloody snowstorm! People told me there wasn’t much to see in Calgary, and I was so ready to prove them wrong. Ha, didn’t happen.
My first stop in America this trip and a great city at that. I loved that there was so much to do – two days was totally not enough. But I did spend time in Lincoln Park, walked along Michigan Avenue (temptation avenue) and took too many photos of the skyline from Navy Pier. I also did a Free Tours by Foot of the Loop, ate the most amazing pizza of my life at Giordano’s that I will be talking about for years to come, and took selfies in Millennium Park. I would also just like to point out that the weather dropped 15 degrees overnight here also. I was sensing a pattern I did not appreciate.
There were parts of Toronto I liked, including the Old Town and Kensington Market. But the rest was just like any other large city I thought. However, I did a day trip from here to Niagara Falls, which was fun and pretty crazy. Have you been to Clifton Hill? I felt like it was a slice of Las Vegas, yikes!
I only had one night in Ottawa (in a jail cell I paid for, no less) but I actually really enjoyed myself, contrary to what I had heard previously. I walked around the ByWard Market, took a cruise along the Rideau Canal, strolled down Sparks Street and sat in on a session in the Parliament Building. The local members were actually discussing the minimum wage – something I could relate to.
Here I met up with my travel partners-in-crime, Amy and Michael, who I would be with for the rest of September. Amy and I had a lovely day in Montreal. We began with chocolate croissants (so flaky), a walk through the park and a stroll down to the Latin Quarter. We stopped to devour a delicious dessert that rivals my Chicago pizza for the most memorable meal so far: profiteroles with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Juliette et Chocolat people, go there. Then we meandered through the Old Town and out to the sea. A great city I could have also spent more time in.
I loved the European, small-town feel of this capital. I visited the Old Port Market, the Old Town and the forts. We also took a day trip from here to Ste Anne, an amazing basilica, and to Baie St-Paul, a small village with excellent food and fromageries! Cheap cheese!
Seriously. We were camping somewhere near the New Hampshire border. But the most important part to remember was that it was cheap and the people were friendly, I loved it. We had $3 pints in New Hampshire and huddled by the campfire in Vermont as the temperature dropped.
New York City
After passing through five states, we made it to the place where dreams are made and made my dreams come true: New York City. This metropolis had been at the top of my list forever it seems. We had a glorious week here and still didn’t see it all. The highlights included: a Yankees game, seeing STOMP Off-Broadway, discovering the Soho/Noho happy hours, taking the Staten Island Ferry, walking the High Line, visiting Central Park, seeing an Australian band perform at the Brooklyn Bowl, drinking at the Brooklyn Brewery, and shopping, of course. We stayed in an Airbnb apartment in Brooklyn, which was a great way to a) save money by preparing breakfast and dinner most nights and b) get the local experience.
On the 30th I left for Boston and my first Couchsurfing experience, which was so much fun. I met some lovely people I hope to catch up with in the future. The city was also great in many ways: from the Freedom Trail to the Harbourwalk to Cambridge and Harvard, it had it all.
So there you have it, my sensational September! October is shaping up to be just about the same: hopping, skipping and bussing across the USA. Follow along with my hashtag #BussingUSA as I will be posting regularly on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.