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Mexico: Vacation Better – Sunwing Commercial!

Mexico: Vacation Better – Sunwing Commercial!

If you haven’t seen this yet on CTV, Global, or CP24, here it is! I was in Mexico earlier this month and I was a little hush hush about what I was doing there and now I can share, we were shooting a commercial for Sunwing Vacations! It’s part of their fall-winter¬†2018¬†Vacation Better¬†campaign¬†and the entire thing was shot on iPhones!

Watch Here

From finding the perfect couples getaway with the best on-site spas to booking the most Instagram worthy swim-out suites and everything in between, we want you to #VacationBetter this winter! Look for our tips all season long to help you make the most out of your next vacation! Watch on Facebook. 


We stayed a new all-inclusive resort called Riu Dunamar,¬†30min from Cancun.¬† Heaps of food variety, bars, pools, waterpark, spa, nightclub, shopping, minibar, and huge comfy beds. We were shooting¬†most the time but I still carved out a bit of time to get a massage at the spa and read by the pool and with a pi√Īa colada. One thing I learned is to always¬†bring a white outfit because white parties are totally a resort¬†thing. I had nothing!¬† On our last full day we went in on a catamaran cruise to Isla Mejures,¬†a Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea about 13km from Cancun. It was beautiful.¬†

I’m obsessed with these sunnies from Shade & Glory. My friend Mel who lives in California now started a sunnies company and sent me a couple pairs. Thank you!!! Check out other styles here and use code ‘shipit‘ for free Canadian shipping, USA shipping is free.¬†


This week I am shooting a commercial with Spin Master for a new game. A couple friends are in it as well so it will surely be a hilarious day for behind the scenes. 

Here’s to a great week!

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Mexico: A Few Days Down South Will Do You Good

Mexico: A Few Days Down South Will Do You Good

It’s amazing what a few days away will do! This week I was on a client project in Cancun, Mexico and it was so great. In between the things we needed to get done I made time for some self-care. I read my book at the pool, drank pi√Īa coladas in the sun, and went to the spa. I walked along the beach, ate great food, made new friends, and danced at the disco.¬†

I landed today in the crazy wind storm and it’s nice to be home. I’m excited to share more about this project over the next few weeks but for now, I’m looking forward to some family time.¬†I’m feeling refreshed, inspired, and ready for the weekend!

We stayed at  Riu Dunamar (via Sunwing) in Costa Mujeres near Cancun and it was so great!

Sending you love and sunshine through the internet!

casiestewart, blog, blogger, toronto, canada, travel, tech
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New Zealand: Aeroplan + Moments Worth Millions

New Zealand: Aeroplan + Moments Worth Millions

What would you do with a Million Miles? Where would you go? I visited New Zealand and Portugal #withAeroplan this year and if I had a million miles I’d be off to India, South Africa, and Japan. I’m so inspired by adventure! Travelling is the best¬†way to enrich your soul, feed your curiosity, and expand your mind.¬†Portugal #withAeroplan¬†

Aeroplan is back this summer with their incredibly cool contest, Moments Worth Millions. They’re giving away 5 Million Miles over the course of 5 weeks where 5 winners will each win 1 million miles. Think of the possibilities?

5 weeks. 5 winners. 5 million miles.



Do you know how many trips you can take with a million miles? You can take 20 friends to Hawaii in economy or a handful of besties in business. You can take 40 trips from Toronto to LA or take someone you love on a first class trip around the world. 

To enter the contest, follow @Aeroplan and share your favourite travel memory and tag #withAeroplan.

For more information see this link. 

Last summer I wrote about the Million Miles¬†contest and how I was planning to use my miles to visit family in New Zealand. Little did I know I’d be heading there so soon with mum over the holidays.

That trip created so many memories and was really special for mum and I.  Road trip sing-alongs in the car while driving the other side of the road, exploring the North Island, Eketahuna, Taupo, Dessert Road, visiting family, friends, and spending our last moments with Nana. It was an experience that enriched my life in so many ways my heart swells with love thinking about it. 

Leaving NZ with so many goodies to bring home!

If you win the contest and need a great travel buddy. I’m always here haha. Love you!¬†

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This post is in partnership #withAeroplan!

Portugal Pt.2: Sintra & The Yellow Castle

Portugal Pt.2: Sintra & The Yellow Castle

I went to Sintra, Portugal, the most romantic place!¬†The true romance was really how great this blazer matched the Pena Palace.¬† I bought it just before leaving Toronto knowing full well that it would¬†match perfectly. Ha! Aeroplan was open to me picking the places I wanted to visit for this trip and Sintra was top of my list. It’s a small resort town in the foothills of the Sintra Mountains, about a 20min Uber from Lisbon. It’s amazing¬†how close this is to Lisbon and yet so different than the city. There are a couple beaches nearby, but¬†unfortunately,¬†I didn’t make it there.

Casa do Valle

I stayed at a beautiful place in Sintra about a 10 min walk from the centre of the tourist area. I booked it almost 2 months ahead and paid $149.42 CAD the garden suite near the pool. When I check to extend my stay there, it was almost double the price. Book early! Get $40 if you use this booking.com link. 

Casa do Valle is owned by a family from Finland, they built it to have family stay with them but they didn’t come so they turned it into a bed and breakfast. We met them they were so incredibly nice. Breakfast was served in our room and we had a few different options to pick from + coffee and tea. Wifi was included and from the pool area, you can see Pena Palace and the Moorish Castle.

Pena Palace

This is the red/yellow castle. I mapped this place out and added it to my itinerary as soon right away. I was told to get there early in the day to avoid crowds but we went around 4:30pm and it was busy, but not ridiculous. I was still able to get great photos without too many people in the background. I was actually quite surprised how patient people were for everyone taking photos. Thanks, Instagram! 

I purchased ‘Park & Pena Palace: Skip the Line’ mobile tickets from tiqets.com a couple hours before visiting or 14 Euros. I really didn’t need the ‘Skip the Line’, there was no line.

The hilltop 19th-century Pena National Palace is known for its design and bright colours. You can get a great view from the mountain top and explore the beautiful park before the castle. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you have to walk from the park up the hill to the castle and you’ll really feel it in your booty.

When leaving Pena Palace you pass the Castle of The Moors, a medieval castle where you can tour the grounds to a lookout over Sintra. (You’ll need to buy a ticket!)

Sintra

Sintra’s downtown is a cute little area beside¬†The¬†Palace¬†of¬†Sintra¬†is in the heart of the old town. There are cabs, Uber, and tuk-tuks to take you around the tourist areas. I didn’t have any great meals but there’s a pastry you must have a¬†Piriquita, the most famous pastry in Sintra.


I highly recommend going to Sintra. It’s magical!

 

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This vacation was in partnership #withAeroplan. Earn miles and rewards by shopping at your fav spots (ex. Amazon) and redeem for travel almost anywhere in the world. I've been an Aeroplan member since I was 11 years old and love redeeming my miles to visit new & exciting destinations. Check out aeroplan.com!Aeroplan Logo
 

Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon

Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon

Portugal is amazing! My trip with Aeroplan¬†this month was great and if you were following¬†on social you’ll know because I posted heaps of photos!¬† The air was hot, the food was good, and¬†I found inspiration in the bright colours and kind people. I took over 2,000 photos and kept notes during the trip. I did a bunch of research before I left and have been asked heaps about recommendations, so, I’ve broken down my trip into 5 posts based on things I did, which is only a fraction of what there is to do. Next trip I’ll rent a car and drive around to see¬†the Algarve, Braga, Cascais, Coimbra, Aveiro (the Venice of Portugal), and the historic town of √ďbidos.

I’d like to take a second to thank Telus for keeping me connected. I have an Easy Roam package on my¬†plan where for the cost of a coffee & snack each day I could use the data of my Canadian plan without having to worry about roaming. It’s great to disconnect but for me, being able to still share my experience as it happens is part of the fun!

Links to other Portugal Posts are at the bottom and I’ll update as each is published!¬†Obrigada!


What to Do In Lisbon

I arrived in Lisbon with a loose plan of what to do for the next 10 days. It was my first visiting and I’d been building a Pinterest board of the things to see and do for weeks. The city is so beautiful, bright coloured¬†buildings fill the streets and the hills make it so picturesque. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk a lot.

When you arrive from the airport it can be a bit confusing, if you don’t want to Uber or taxi, there’s a green bus that will take you downtown to a variety of spots for a couple Euros (the ticket is good for 24 or 48 hours).


The main streets will present heaps of opportunities to dine on a patio, have wine, visit a museum, or go shopping. We found a great little store for clothes at a good price at the bottom of¬†¬†Santa Justa Lift. I ended up getting a 2nd suitcase to bring home all the things I bought on this trip! You can go up the lift for a 360 view but there was a line so I didn’t bother (this is included in your Yellow Bus ticket, see below).

Yellow Bus Tours

For 20 Euros I got a 48-hour ticket for Yellow Bus Tours which allowed me to take 2 bus lines and the trolley unlimited for 2 days. This worked out really great because they have an audio guide on the bus that tells you all about the history and landmarks, it also saved me paying for Ubers to get to all the places I wanted to go.

Parque Eduardo VII

One of the great views from the bus tour is¬†Parque Eduardo VII, the largest park in Lisbon. I would have loved to walk around the park. There’s some greenery that looks like a maze!¬†The park is 26 hectares and in between Avenida da Liberdade and the Marquis of Pombal Square, right in the centre of the city.

casie stewart, portugal, travel blogger, lisbon, aeroplan, withaeroplan, travel

Belem

One route on the bus tour took me to Belem and¬†Torre de Bel√©m (Tower of Belem).¬†It was built¬†on the northern bank of the Tagus between 1514 and 1520 and in 1983 was classified by UNESCO as¬†“Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.

There’s also a place in¬†Belem called¬†Past√©is¬†de¬†Bel√©m, the original spot for¬†Pastel da Nata (Portuguese¬†egg tart), since 1837.¬† Be prepared to wait but sooo¬†good!¬†

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LX Factory

This is a really cool area with bars, restaurants and shopping. It’s great for photos and has heaps of street art. This was where I saw the most hipstery people in Lisbon. There was live music and really cool shipping container/bus things to check out.

Barrio Alto District

Grab a beer at a little store and walk around, it’s really busy here!¬†(Also, you can drink in the streets!) There are heaps of little bars and restaurants. We had dinner in an alley at an Italian restaurant.¬†I was also surprised¬†by how many police and families¬†were walking around late at night. Hold onto your stuff though, if you were going to get pickpocketed, this would be the place.

Park Bar, Lisbon

If you’re looking for a great view, Park Bar it’s a busy hot spot on top of a parking garage with wooden seats and drinks. The entrance is on a small side street but they will likely be people hanging out or checking Google Maps on their phones to get there. You’ll have to walk up a few flights of stairs but the view is amazing. Unfortunately, I didn’t get there before sunset, the view in daylight is amazing.

Praça do Comércio (Yellow Square)

The Royal Palace used to be here before the Great Earthquake in 1755. The square is beside the Tagus River, it has a beautiful archway (Rua Augusta Arch) and a bronze statue of¬†Joseph I of Portugal (1750 ‚Äď 1777)¬† (King of Portugal during the earthquake).

Time Out Market

This is a HUGE market with all kinds of different food. It’s really busy at night with people eating and drinking. It’s right across from the train station if you want to get to Sintra, Cascais, or¬†Praia De Carcavelos¬†(beach).¬† I stayed at a great Airbnb just behind the market with a great host who showed me how to navigate the train station. If you haven’t used Airbnb yet, visit this link to get $45 CAD off your first stay.

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Hope you enjoyed my photos and recommendations.

Check out my other posts about Portugal below! 

Casie Stewart: Guide to Portugal

  1. Portugal Pt. 1: What to Do in Lisbon
  2. Portugal Pt. 2: Sintra & Pena Palace
  3. Portugal Pt 3: Porto (Coming Soon!)
  4. Portugal Pt. 4: Douro Valley (Coming Soon!)
  5. Portugal Pt 5: Highly Instagrammable Places to Photograph (Coming Soon!)

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This vacation was in partnership #withAeroplan. Earn miles and rewards by shopping at your fav spots (ex. Amazon) and redeem for travel almost anywhere in the world. I've been an Aeroplan member since I was 11 years old and love redeeming my miles to visit new & exciting destinations. Check out aeroplan.com!Aeroplan Logo
 

The Praries: Ford EcoSport Cross-Canada Tour

The Praries: Ford EcoSport Cross-Canada Tour

This year for Canada Day weekend I was part of the Ford EcoSport cross Canada road trip with Ford Canada. My friend April and I were Leg 14 of the adventure and driving from Regina to Medicine Hat, SK and finishing in Calgary Alerta. It was both our first time in Regina and we had heaps of fun along the adventure. Thank you Ford Canada for this experience! Scroll down to see what we got up to along the way.


The Ford Eco Sport Tour involves 14 different content creators each driving the exact same Ford Eco Sport for a relay across the country. When I first received the email I was so excited and even more so that I got to bring a friend! I‚Äôd been wanting to go on a trip with April since that great weekend we spent glamping up north a few years back.

We started in Regina, SK and it was the first time there for the both of us. We arrived late afternoon and checked into Hotel Saskatchewan, an extremely elegant hotel. Ford hooked us up with a 2 room suite and it was perfect! The hotel offered great views of the city, was walking distance to restaurants and bars, it had a nice gym and a hot tub too. We drove around and made use of the SYNC¬ģ 3 with Apple CarPlay‚ĄĘ and FordPass Wifi HotSpot.

Instead of doing typical tourist stuff on our road trip, April and I made a point to stop at different vintage and second-hand stores across the two provinces. We love to shop! I’ve always found that shops in small towns are where you really find the gems. Our first stop was T&A Vinyl & Fashion and the owner was so cool. We shopped the vintage finds/records and he gave us pins, stickers, and a whole bunch of tips for things to do along our journey.

After a busy day of travelling and some shopping, we were ready for relaxation. Instead of going out we ordered room service from the incredible kitchen at Hotel Saskatchewan and pigged out in our rooms wearing our robes.

In the morning, we woke up pretty early (with the time difference) which it earned us time to hit the gym, have a coffee, and be on the road by 9am. Our goal was to do as much driving in the early part of the day as e could so we had some time at our next destination, The Resort at Cypress Hills. The car was great to drive and features like SYNC and wifi kept us on track and connected the whole time.

We had no shortage of great places to stop along the way. A lot of the drive looked the same with wide open Canola fields of yellow, green grass, and blue skies. We sang along to 90s on 9 on Sirius XM and stopped for photos and shopping along the way. It was really fun. As we turned off the Trans-Canada highway we came across a cute stop with a goat farm. So cute. Always stop for baby goats!

It was just about dinner when we arrived to our room at Cypress Hill Resort, a nice resort in the middle of a provincial park. We had a great dinner and turned in early to watch TV in our beds. We‚Äôre a real wild bunch! haha.

It was Canada Day when we woke up on Sunday so we both wore red and hit the road for the final leg of the trip to Calgary. It‚Äôs amazing how wide and flat the Prairies are. Really makes you appreciate how big and beautiful Canda is. Especially on Canada day! ūüá®ūüá¶

We made a few stops along the way including a Sunday market. We talked to shopkeepers whoever we stopped and people asked about the Ford Eco Sport wherever we went.


Sunday night we stayed at my fav spot in Calgary, Hotel Arts. I filmed this video there with Tourism Calgary a couple years back. We had a great dinner at Yellow Door Bistro inside the hotel and watched the Canada Day day festivities from the balcony.

Althouth we were on a self-guided adventure,  we had Denis who worked with Ford to drive across Canada to make sure each participant was a-ok along the journey. He also put gas in the car overnight so we were ready to roll in the morning. Thanks Denis! 

Overall the Ford Eco Sport was a great car to drive. It’s comfortable, good on gas, nice sound system, and my fav feature was the automatic windshield wipers. It didn’t rain much but when it did, they started up themselves!

Check out @FordCanada on Instagram for some of the other people who were part of the relay. It was such a  cool experience to be part of and to explore a new part of Canada.

Thank you Ford Canada! 

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10 Great Things: Vineyard, Local Flights, Baby Goats, Italian Food

10 Great Things: Vineyard, Local Flights, Baby Goats, Italian Food

Monday was just a casual day y’know?¬†I flew to Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) with a small group for lunch & wine tasting at Two Sisters Winery w/ the two sisters. It was such a great experience!

Small groups or private adventures are a great way to get people  (media, content creators, friends) familiar with your brand. Thank you, Two Sisters (the actual sisters!) for hosting and Fly GTA for the great flight.

Can’t wait to try their Muskoka route soon!¬†

Scroll through the IG post below and read the captions below. I shared 10 great things about the day. This is an expansion of the original¬†IG¬†post.¬†I’m not sure if I’ve done before? It usually goes the other way¬†(WP->IG vs IG->WP). ūü§ď

1. Arrived at the airport I was a last minute invite so I went right to the office like HELLOOOOO. Thank you Stilez for hooking me up! ūüėä

2. The flight is 10-25mim depending on route and $99. Very beautiful!‚úąÔłŹ

two sisters winery, fly GTA, muskoka, niagara on the lake, NOTL, casie stewart, wine country, ontario

3. Hot pilot alert ūüĎ®ūüŹĽ‚Äć‚úąÔłŹ

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4. Two sisters took over a peach ūüćĎ farm 4 years ago.

5. They have a great team who takes care of the vineyard by hand.

6. I love Italian food and lunch was INCREDIBLE. Love the Burrata & polenta. Also HOT SAUCE.

7. What a voice, don’t miss this video or check out my NOTL Story on IG. Impromptu acapella performance from a band visiting from Portugal. ūüáĶūüáĻ

8. Step inside the wine cellar, theres a table for private dining. ūüć∑ (See IG¬†video)

9. Private tour of the family farm with BABY GOATS ūüźź ūüźź ūüźź

10. They also have a hidden pond on the vineyard with a family of ducks and ducklings + heaps of fish.


two sisters winery, fly GTA, muskoka, niagara on the lake, NOTL, casie stewart, wine country, ontario

THE CREW! Maurie from 92.5, Joanna Sable, Solmaz, @meetandeats.

 

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This adventure was hosted by Two Sisters Winery and I was SO MUCH FUN.  I love documenting adventures with words and photos so I can always remember them.

Portugal: Europe’s Hottest Destination for 2018

Portugal: Europe’s  Hottest Destination for 2018

I’ve always dreamed of summer in Europe and although I’ve travelled to heaps of countries, I’ve never done a Euro trip. I KNOW! Well, ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. As part of my ongoing partnership with Aeroplan, tomorrow I’m heading to PORTUGAL. We leave mid-month and we’re back on the 30th.  Have I said I’m excited, yet?

I was originally heading to Paris with Sean but that trip is a little delayed and I’m so glad this worked out. It’s a great feeling to text your friend and say ‘hey want to come to Europe this summer?’. Ahhhhh pinch me, it’s times like this I’m like omg, this is my life!

I am so excited. Portugal is the hottest spot to go this summer, just check your Facebook feed or of your fav online celebs and they’re all checking in to Lisboa, Porto, Sintra, and beautiful coastal beaches.

Yesterday I was reading this article on W Magazine and it’s one of many about how Portugal is THE SPOT to be. We’ve planned out most of the adventure but I’ve left a few days up in the air to figure out as we go. I love not having a plan and the freedom to make things up as we learn more about secret beaches, hidden hideaways, and locals only spots.


If you have any food & drink recommendations, family, friends, hotels, Airbnb, vacation properties, restaurant owner friends, anything, PLEASE COMMENT.

We have a Google doc and Slack set up to manage everything (yes, we are nerds) so I will add all of your suggestions.



So far we’re arriving in Lisbon, going to Sintra, then to Porto, we’ve got a few days with no plan, then back to Lisbon before coming home. We’re gone for almost 2 weeks. It is going to be so hot and I can’t wait.

Sintra, Portugal – we’re staying in this great city for a night!


If you haven’t checked out the new Aeroplan, I suggest popping over to aeroplan.com. They’ve got deals on getaways, vacation packages, and more. You can also earn Miles at Amazon, Costco, and heaps of other online shopping spots. I’ve had an Aeroplan credit card for years and love racking up those rewards.

Thank you Aeroplan for making this dream come true! Follow along all our posts tagged #withAeroplan. I’m so excited!

 


Over the holidays this year took mum back to New Zealand for a month with Aeroplan and it was such a  great adventure. Watch this video we made w/ 1188 before our vacation.

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Vancouver: Hello from the other side!

Vancouver: Hello from the other side!

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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San Francisco: 5 Great Things to Do

San Francisco: 5 Great Things to Do

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!

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

Vancouver: The Telus Innovation Centre

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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Ottawa: Lac-Leamy Casino Recap – Vegas Vibe w/ Canadian Kindness!

Ottawa: Lac-Leamy Casino Recap – Vegas Vibe w/ Canadian 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 https://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!

 

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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!

Travel Tips: Packing a Stylish Carry-on

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! https://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.

 

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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!

Travel Essentials: Don’t forget these on your next trip!

Travel Essentials: Don’t forget these on your next trip!

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.

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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!

About Casie Stewart

Casie Stewart is a Canadian writer, director, and entrepreneur. She’s an award-winning content creator and expert in digital. During her decade-long career in media, she’s been named Canadian Screen Award Winner (Voice Pioneer), Best Travel Blog, and Top 30 Lifestyle Blogs in Canada. Casie¬†has been a keynote speaker at SXSW, NXNE, TEDx, and spoken at YouTube Canada and the United Nations of Canada. She lives in Toronto with her boyfriend and loves summer weekends at the cottage when she’s not travelling around the world.

SHOP MY FAVOURITE THINGS

Platform Converse OX – White
MORE INSIDE Sea Salt Spray 3.38 oz
Sister of Mine
Magnetic Lashes
WISHLIST
This is so nice.
Market Tote
I love the smell of this.
Heart balloons!
For an extra white smile.
Have this one!
Love my Kindle.
For good skin.
Support your girl gang!
The best travel pillow EVER.
Old favourite!
Love this thing. Use it a couple times a week.
Gold!  I have the black ones.
These are the ones I have!
I have two of these.
Just ordered these and they’re great.
Get $40 at Booking.com
Amazing coverage, long time fav.
I wear these all the time.
Travel essential for the 10+ years!
Love love love.
Soft, quick dry, travel towel.
Instant Pot essential!
My favourite shoes.

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