Hello from Vancouver !

Hi! I was up early and out the door about 5:30am, arriving in Vancouver just after 9:30am PST. Driving to the hotel it was clear today was going to¬†be beautiful! It’s MUCH different from my last visit in March when it was cold & snowy! When I’m travelling for work I try to get there with a few hours to spare so I can relax, nap, eat, get some computing done, or check out the area.

Fellow #TeamTelus friend, Christine (lifeonmanitoulin.com) was on my flight. so her and I¬†decided to check out the area. We walked along the sea wall past parks and people until we got to Cactus Club Cafe. We’d been in Van for less than an hour before we found a great patio and refreshing cocktail.¬† I have a real knack for this haha.


Our waitress said we had to check out the¬†award-winning Bella Gelateria for gelato and MY GOD IT WAS FREAKING AMAZING. I almost always get chocolate and this was truly one of the BEST I’ve had in my life. There were chunks of brownies. I can taste this photo.

The view from the Westin Bayshore is beautiful. My room overlooks the pool with mountains in the background. I popped down to the pool to sit in the shade, catch up on emails, and read my book in the pool.


Tomorrow is a full day of activities with Telus and I’m excited to see what we get up to. I’m heading out tonight to meet the team for dinner. It’s so nice out, planning to leave early and walk.

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5 Great Things to Do In San Francisco

There’s no shortage of things to do in San Francisco, you have the water, the Wharf, the city, parks the hills, and over 3,500 restaurants. The key is finding a few ways to see the city with¬†enough time to explore. If I’m on a short trip to a new city, I like to pick 3-5 things I really want to see and¬†give myself lots of time to do it. That way I can leave early in the day and take the scenic route, enjoy meals, take streets without a map, and follow¬†the sunshine.

In this list, you’ll find five great things to do in San Francisco if you’re on a short¬†trip but want to see a lot. I’ve also included my runner-up for street art and FOOD.¬†


Fisherman’s¬†Wharf & The Grotto¬†

There is no shortage of great food in SF but if you’re looking for fresh (and sustainably served) seafood, you’ll want to book a table here. The Grotto was first opened in 1935 and the first sit down restaurant¬†at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s recently been renovated,¬†restoring many of the original features, giving a modern touch to the 1930’s decor. Here you’ll find great views of the bay, the bridge, and boats while taking in the incredible menu by¬†Executive¬†Chef Paul Bruno. Make sure you check out the new beehive on the roof as you walk in the dining area,¬†it’s not be¬†missed!


Golden Gate Bridge & Alcatraz Tour

I was keen on getting to Alcatraz and biking across the bridge but found myself a bit short on time. I found the perfect way to get some sun and see the sighs from the water with Blue & Gold Boat Tour. Over the course of an hour, you’ll get a great view of the city from the bay, get up close to the bridge (by going right under it), loop around for a look at Alcatraz, and catch the sunbathing sea lions at Pier 39. Make sure you have your camera and a jacket, it’s a little windy out there!

 

 

 


Ferry Plaza Farmers Market

Each week up to 40,000 people visit the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market where you’ll find live cooking demos, great food, and beautiful views of the city. Operated by CUESA,¬†the nonprofit Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, the market features local and sustainable farmers, food artisans, prepared food, and plenty of flowers. Local chefs stop here to pick up produce and meat for their restaurants. The year-round market operates rain or shine and is open Saturday and Tuesday to Thursday.


San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Walking around the city there’s no shortage of art. The streets are lined with murals, bright coloured buildings, and beautiful architecture.¬†Located in the heart of downtown, SF MOMA holds an international¬†collection of world-renowned artwork. Around the building are beautiful spaces where you can step outside and admire the architecture, it’s also home to the largest living wall in America. Selected works include¬†Frieda and Diego Rivera¬†by¬†Frida Kahlo,¬†¬†A Set of Six Self-Portraits¬†by¬†Andy Warhol,¬†and¬†Collection (formerly Untitled)¬†by¬†Robert Rauschenberg.


SF Segway Tours 

You might not look the coolest doing it but a Segway tour in San Francisco is really fun. Don’t be afraid of the hills or railway tracks,¬†San Francisco Guided Segway Tours will¬†put you through enough training to make sure you’re ready to hit the road before they take you on a guided tour of local attractions. We stopped by the Aquarium, Comic Museum, and took in a great view of the city. Highly recommend this one with a group of friends!

 San Francisco Guided Segway Tours, SF travel, travel SF, san francisco, casie stewart, travel blogger, segway, downtown san francisco


OK,¬†one more bonus thing to do if you have a couple hours!¬†Avital Tours is a company that offer local food tours in cities around the USA. We did the Mission District Culinary Experience with Kevin Longa (also a filmmaker!). He gave us the lowdown on street art, history, the best food, and what’s cool/changed in the Mission District. I have so many photos from this that I need to do a post of jus street art! Highly recommend the walking tour!

sf travel, daily hive, san francisco, casie stewart, travel blogger


SF travel, travel SF, san francsico, casie stewart,

A version of this post was originally published on Canadian Geographic, who sent me to cover San Francisco travel on their behalf. 

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Vancouver & The Telus Innovation Centre

Earlier this year I was in Vancouver for a city planning conference and stayed an extra day to pop by the Telus office and have lunch with a friend. I’ve been working with Telus since my days at Much/MTV Canada, about 8 years ago.¬† I’ve had the opportunity to do some really neat stuff like volunteering, videos, city adventures, and making friends.

A couple years ago I helped them with some ideas to create their influencer program and it’s really grown into something awesome. Next month, they’re taking the ENTIRE GROUP of Canadian influencers (including me!) to their HQ in Vancouver.


Telus Garden

I was really stoked to visit this building. I remember when it started in 2012 and was opened in 2016. The Telus Garden building takes up an entire city block downtown Vancouver, totalling 1M sq ft. It has amazing energy saving features, a fantastic garden, and has won a bunch of awards for the design and sustainability. Unfortunately, I was there in winter so I didn’t get to see the outside areas, it snowed!¬†¬†

‚ÄúTELUS Garden is Canada‚Äôs most beautiful and ambitious LEED Platinum building, and one of the most environmentally-friendly developments in North America,‚ÄĚ Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO

 


Telus Innovation Centre

I met up with Ana from Telus (check out her IG @msanadouglas) and she took us up to the Innovation Centre where. I was amazed to see a beautiful bright space filled with technology.


One of the coolest features were the doors. Telus has created a set of doors that have screens instead of windows. Hello, why didn’t I think of that!? They’re the only 4 doors like this IN THE WORLD and they’re right here at Telus in Vancouver. A couple of them have cameras where you can host meetings and have the person you are talking with will show up on the screen. Other ones have touchscreen and heat sensors, so they can tell when there’s a person standing in front of them. This blew my¬†mind. Imagine the possibilities? Our guide said they were originally developed for hospitals (Telus Health does heaps in healthcare, telushealth.co).


The space has a number of workstations, fully equipped with pop-up monitors for video conferencing. They pop up OUT of the tables! The card with wifi details doubles as seeds you can plant later at home. As a lifelong lover of tech, this was like being a kid in a candy store! 

They also have a 3D printer where they create and test out innovative ways to make our lives easier. For example, this small purple object made with PLA plastic could never be made by hand but it is 3D printed in a way that makes it unique and super strong, you can stand on it without it breaking. It can hold up to 300lbs!

I was really impressed to¬†check out the mock apartment¬†they have to test smart home technology. I’m not just talking a couple smart lights, they’ve got smart home everything. It’s not just the appliances and light bulbs, there’s a laser that reads prescriptions in your cupboard, smart pillows, smart bed. It was like living in the future and tbh, I’m totally into it.¬†


I can’t wait to be back on the West Coast with the #TeamTelus crew. There’s some really rad people on the team, a few I’ve known for years and some I’ve never met. I’ll be documenting as I go next week and fill you in on the details.


In other travel news, in June I’m heading to Paris, then out West again to Saskatchewan and Alberta for a road trip!

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Lac-Leamy Casino Recap: Vegas Vibe w/ Canada Kindness!

Last weekend¬†Sarah and I had so much fun at Lac-Leamy in Gatineau. We took off Friday from Porter and flew back Sunday afternoon in¬†time for Easter. Overall the entire experience was super fun, our favourite was the food and great service. Awesome local getaway if you’re in Ottawa, Toronto, or surrounding¬†area and looking for a Vegassy getaway without crossing the border.

Here’s a video recap of our girls getaway!¬†

Lac-leamy Casino Recap

Here’s a little recap of our BFF weekend at Casino Lac-Leamy in Gatineau. It was super fun and relaxing! See more about our experience on the blog! Their Now Boarding theme runs till April 22. ūüôā http://casiestewart.com/lac-leamy-casino-review

Posted by casie stewart: this is my life on Friday, April 6, 2018


Casino Lac-Leamy sent me and my lovely guest to experience their ‘Now Boarding’ promotion that runs till April 22nd. All the staff were dressed in flight attendant uniforms, they had dancers performing each night, and a variety of other games and promotions happening. We tried to do it all! Sarah and I had two great dinners, checked out the cafe, learned to play table games, hit the slot machines, played Blackjack, got a massage, went to the pools, hit the club, slept in, ate chips in bed, and had brunch in the executive lounge. It was perfect.


On Friday night we had had dinner at La Baccara, a great spot for foodies. It’s no wonder they’ve won so many awards, the food and service were both incredible. Sarah had a specially prepared vegan meal (they knew she was coming) and I went for the lamb (I love lamb, I’m kiwi!). The food presentation was out of this world and our entree was delivered each with its own server on a silver platter. It was one of the best meals both of us have ever had.


After our meal, we grabbed drinks and took some lessons in table games. You can have open alcohol in the casino and there is no smoking inside (thankfully!). There was a live band and an area called The Zone where you can play a variety of table games with a live dealer running a few games at once. We played a fun airplane game and it was on ALL THE TVs IN THE WHOLE CASINO. LOL. A little embarrassing but it was totally fun haha.

The next day we both slept in and went to the indoor/outdoor pools before massages at the spa. We ate chips/takeout in our beds for lunch and watched tv/napped before dinner. It was the most relaxing day, an A+ recharge.

Our second dinner was at Ar√īme, Sarah had tofu and I¬†ate a HUGE¬†seafood platter. The service here was also really good. After dinner, we had a drink at Banco Bistro then went at back to the casino to try our hand at Blackjack (no luck!) and hit up AL√ČA nightclub. It was definitely a younger crowd in the club but it was still fun. (We were the cougars LOL!)


I would 100% go back for a romantic weekend or in the summer. The Hilton Hotel attached to the casino looks out over a small lake with a marina. In the summer people kayak/paddleboard and there’s a nice running trail.¬†


Thank you Casinos Quebec for the invite and hosting us! Travel adventures are my most favourite and it’s the absolute best when you get to bring a friend.¬†

Hope you have a great weekend!

 


This post is in partnership with Casinos Quebec I've been compensated for my time and most of the weekend was covered.

Best job ever!

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Travel Tips: Packing a Stylish Carry-on

Thankfully Thursday is here, best day of the week! I’m so excited for this weekend I’ve been counting down the days hours of what has felt like a really long week. Yesterday I posted an IG photo with the caption ‘hump day lol’ and it wasn’t until about 4pm I realized it WASN’T EVEN WEDNESDAY.

My BFF Sarah and I are flying Porter to Ottawa for a relaxing, fun-filled few days at Lac-Leamy Casino in Gatineau, Quebec. From now until April 22 they have a ‘Now Boarding‘ theme that’s all about travel and adventure. My fav things!¬†

After all these years, I’ve almost perfected the art of packing the right mix of stuff for fashion and function. With the help of 1188 Films, we created a cute video with some of my trusted packing tips. Click here to watch on Facebook or hit play below!

Travel Tips: Packing a Stylish Carry-on

This weekend I’m heading to Casino Lac-Leamy w/ my BFF. I’m so excited! Here’s a few of my trusted packing tips for a weekend getaway! http://casiestewart.com/packingtips-casinosquebec

Posted by casie stewart: this is my life on Thursday, March 29, 2018

 


I’m so excited. I honestly can’t wait. Lac-Leamy Casino has hooked us up with a great room at the hotel, dining at their 5 restaurants, a spa visit, and of course, we’ll be hitting the CASINO! Big money, baby! I mean, I hope we win some $$$ but we’ll have heaps of fun no matter what. They’ve got a whole bunch of travel¬†activities to accompany their current ‘Now Boarding’ theme and it is going to be SO FUN.¬†

I’ve been on heaps of trips and try to travel with just a carryon whenever I can. Once I did 2 weeks in Thailand with just a carryon! I still managed to look stylish the whole trip, it became ‘a thing’ with our group to see what I walked into the lobby wearing each morning. Haha.


Travel Tips: Packing a Stylish Carryon

  1. Scarves come in handy
  2. Bring a bunch of sunnies
  3. Travel pillow
  4. Travel sized essentials & ziplock bags
  5. Packing cubes are ūüĎĆūüŹľūüĎĆūüŹľūüĎĆūüŹľ
  6. Dryer sheets to keep things fresh

A couple other things, I always dress nicely when I go to the airport, you never who you’ll run into/sit beside, and it’s helpful in scoring upgrades. I usually wear all black, leggings, loafers (or whatever shoes take up the most space!), a loose-fitting black top that looks tidy, and my khaki trench coat. I take most of my tech accessories zipped up in my big black purse and throw my Mac charger in the suitcase.

The travel pillow, packing cubes, and my go-to iPhone charger are all from Amazon, I’ve linked them below. I never go anywhere without them! For this trip, I ordered Sarah and I these super cute matching robes and this disco laser light for our soon-to-be hotel dance party. I can’t wait. I’m so excited!


Follow our adventures on IG Stories and Twitter. For a sneak peek at what we’ll be doing pop over to the casino website.

 


This post is in partnership with Casinos du Québec. I've been compensated and I'm SO EXCITED to share this experience. Even better, I'm taking my BFF! So fun. Best job ever!

Check out their Now Boarding theme here and think about Lac-Leamy Casino for your next weekend getaway!

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Don’t forget this on your next trip! Very Important!

I’ve been travelling a lot this year and have a routine when I pack.¬† I never forget, a hat, an eye mask, thongs (aka flip flops), multiple pairs of sunglasses (no matter what the temperature), a couple scarves, insurance, and my passport. Wardrobe and accessories always depend on where I’m going. Something¬† REALLY important people often forget is INSURANCE.

Millennials, I’m lookin’ at you. Apparently, we’re more likely to hop on a plane without insurance (55%) than without our cell phone (45%). Raise your hand if this is you?!

In a recent TD Insurance survey,¬†more than 1/3 of Canadians forgot to purchase travel insurance at least once (37%) or said it’s the last thing they think of (36%).


SF MOMA, San Francisco, United States


Over a third of Canadians think they have travel insurance with their credit card (37%) or their job (37%), but don’t check what coverage they really have. You should definitely double check before you get on that airplane and consider buying¬†supplemental insurance if you don’t have out of country emergency medical coverage.

We’ve all heard stories of people having accidents on trips and you don’t want¬†to rely on a GoFundMe to get you home safe.¬†

Drake Devonshire, Prince Edward County, New Zealand

Sutro Baths, San Francisco, United States


Almost half of Canadians travel outside the country/province more than once a year. It’s important to have Canada-wide coverage as well as international. DYK that government health plans won‚Äôt always cover out-of-province emergency expenses like bringing a¬†family member to see you in hospital, returning you home, or ambulance rides?

If you travel heaps like me, check out the TD Annual Plan that covers you for unlimited trips of 9, 17, 30 or 60 days throughout the year. This will save you from *forgetting* insurance again and save you unwanted expenses in the event that something bad happens.


This post is in partnership with TD. I love to travel and insurance is really important. Don't be one of those people that forgets to take care of it!

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HAPPY FRIDAY!

I’m back in TO and what a great week I had. I love California and especially San Francisco. I have over 2,000 photos and so many stories to share. If you were following me you’ll know I was pretty busy. On my last day I went to the famous Museum of Ice Cream (more photos coming!), then a boat tour, and a bus tour. It was so fun but today I’m exhausted.

I’ve been switching back and forth from EST to PST for two weeks with being in Vancouver and SF and I think it’s catching up with me. Plus, we have Daylight Saving this weekend. This weekend I’m looking forward to some quality time at home with my computer writing about my adventures. I’m sticking around the city for a couple weeks before I visit Montreal and Paris.¬† I’m really looking forward to opening the cottage soon.


Sending you some California sunshine, I tried to bring back as much as I could! 

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Hello from San Francisco!

Hi!!!! This is a quick little update from the Bay Area. I just checked into my hotel in Union Square and am meeting the other journalists shortly for dinner. It was sunny when we landed then a few showers rolled in. It was raining on the way to the hotel, sunny when I got to my room, then it rained, and one second later a beautiful rainbow appeared. Magical!

san francisco rainbow casiestewart


I’m really excited to explore the city over the next 6 days. I’ve been here a couple times but mostly just quick work trips with Virgin America. I’m here w/ SF Tourism this time writing for Canadian Geographic and¬†we have a really great itinerary including a Segway tour, Alcatraz, Mission District, dinner theatre, and heaps of good food.

WELCOME TO SAL FRANCISCO!


Follow along on Twitter @casiestewart or IG @casiestewart here. I love sharing my adventures and am really excited about what the next few days will bring.


The rainbow at sunset from my balcony!!!

Here’s to a great weekend!

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Happiest When Travelling

Hellooooooo! Good morning from Surrey, BC. I’m here as a consultant for a conference and that’s all I can say about that right now. Arrived yesterday afternoon after a great flight on Air Canada. I’m staying at a pink hotel called Pacific Inn that looks like a Caribbean resort. I’ll take some photos before I leave!

Today we’re at a beautiful golf resort with mountains in the background. The view below is from the beach in White Rock, BC were I had dinner last night.

Tomorrow I’m heading to downtown Vancouver for the day and booked and Airbnb for the night. Back home Thursday.

Sending sunshine from the West Coast!

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Go Ahead, Use Your Phone! Telus Has Easy Roam!

Even though I was really glad to be home from New Zealand, I would LOVE to be back there on the beach right now. This winter seems never-ending and I even missed a month of it!

While I was away I didn’t¬†miss a beat posting things to the internet. For three weeks I used Google maps as my navigator, Stories, Twitter, and Facebook to share photos, and was able to stay on to of emails. ¬†

A few people asked about my phone data usage and what plan I had. If you have ever travelled overseas, the phone/data situation can be stressful and very expensive. That was, until now! ūü§©

Telus has a great add-on called Easy Roam where for you can use your phone’s regular data plan in over 100 countries.¬†If you’re in the USA, Easy Roam is $7/day and capped at $100 per billing cycle.¬†For international destinations, like New Zealand, the $10/day fee is capped at $150 per billing cycle.

Telus Easy Roam lets you use your Canadian rate plan while travelling in the US and 100+ international destinations ‚Äď now and on all future trips.

 


Honestly, this is such a good deal. I remember¬†travelling to the states for a weekend and a friend racked up $1,000 because she didn’t have a data plan like this.

The good things is, you’re only charged for days that you access your Canadian plan in your destination. So, if you don’t need to use your Canadian data plan (hellooo wifi!) you’re not charged.

While in NZ, I¬†had wifi at almost every place I stayed, so that helped for nighttime/morning scrolling (just like home haha).¬† Safe to say, I didn’t go over my monthly data and or get a shocker of a bill when I came home.

If you’re planning a winter getaway, you’ll find these useful:

Next week, I’m travelling to Vancouver to speak at a conference and before I head home, visiting the Telus HQ. I’ve wanted to visit Telus Garden since it was built!

The building takes up an entire city block downtown Vancouver and blends¬†architecture, art, and environmental sustainability. It has 10,000+ square feet of outdoor space on six different levels, a community garden, bike storage, electric car charging stations, and more. I’m excited!

See you next week Vancouver!

 

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Mammary Memory, Thanks Facebook!

Two years ago today I was in Cabo with Sean on a sponsored trip w/ Sunwing. It was an ok trip. We had a pretty strict itinerary and were at a remote resort but the sun was beautiful and we had a great room. When I look at this photo, I think about how I had to post a certain number of things each day and it was kinda stressful. This was one of the photos I posted to IG during the trip to document stand paddle boarding. The other thing I see when I look at this photo is the size of my boobs.

Surfing photo, hiding the boobs here again.

Six months after this trip I had a breast reduction. For years I would hide them, they never fit properly in a bathing suit, or a bra, especially a sports bra. I hated them and was at the point where I was willing to pay for the surgery myself when the phone call came in. I am so glad I went through that process and have smaller boobs now.

The biggest change, aside from¬†working out in 1 bra only is the effect it had on my mental health. I’m happier. I’m more confident. I was always a happy person with confidence but the change for me is in how I feel on the inside. I don’t stress about shirt buttons popping open anymore, I can just throw on something and get dressed really fast, I wear tighter stuff without feeling likes someone might say “whoa Tits McGee!”. That happened a few times before lol.¬†I can laugh about it now, but having huge boobs was something¬†that I really stressed about. I had a DD and was 100Lbs when I started high school, it wasn’t fun. For the last¬†few years before the surgery, I never wore v-neck,¬†low cut, backless, strapless, tank tops, or spaghetti strap. And the only t-shirts were definitely¬†baggy.

If you have ever thought about going through the process of getting the reduction, I am happy to chat you about my process. It was covered by OHIP and I saw a great surgeon in North York. I personally know a couple women who have done it for me and it’s a real life changer.

These days I love working out, the gym, yoga, and running outside. I’m working on my summer muscles already and I can’t wait for summer. There are 46 days until the first day of Spring and according to the groundhog, we’ve got 6 more weeks of winter taking us to March 16th.

Sean and I on a jetski in Cabo! You can barely see the famous archway in the distance!

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