friday faves: travel edition

friday faves: travel edition

Vacation is fast approaching and we’re California dreamin’ around the clock. 1. It was love at first click when we came across travel blog A Hotel Life – it’s “your really cool friend that constantly travels the world staying at the most interesting places you can lay your head.”  2. How can you not love Joy Cho? The girl’s guide to the best of the best in LA has us making all sorts of travel plans.  3. Lucky for us, Portland’s on the way. Who better to show us the ropes than the kings and queens of the castle, Kinfolk. Both guides are from the lovely Design*Sponge.  4.  They say it’s sunny down south.  We don’t dare step outside without our Warby Parker sunnies. We’ve raved about them before, and we’ll do it again.

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candid camera

Flytographer

We’ve traipsed around some pretty incredible places with some pretty incredible people, but we lack the pictures to prove it.  We aren’t interested in watching our holiday pass by through a lens, and we’re not too talented with the camera to begin with. After all, the internet offers a million shots of the Eiffel Tower, right? But what the internet can’t dish out is candid pictures of our adventures with our favourite people. Without fail, we always wish we had taken more friend and family shots to remember our vacation by.

Enter Victoria-based Flytographer, a worldwide vacation photography service. Flytographer provides travelers with easy access to vacation photographers in over 70 cities worldwide for fun, candid photo shoots that results in wall-worthy, editorial-style vacation photos – an idea that started in the city of love and spread from Amsterdam to Tokyo and everywhere in between.

Two years ago I met my best friend in Paris. We live on different continents and after years apart were thrilled at the chance to catch up. We took a few selfies, and a stranger took photos to help “capture our day” but the results were indubitably “MEH”. Then, a Paris-based friend kindly agreed to take shots as we meandered the streets. Those candid photos completely captured the spirit of our afternoon in a way we never could alone.  ‘I’d TOTALLY pay for this’, I thought.  So Flytographer was created to help others capture their special travel moments together, too.

~ Nicole Smith, Founder of Flytographer

Book your vacation photographer at www.flytographer.com.

ocean view

Hornby Island has long held a very special place in our hearts. Located in The Straight of Georgia on the coast of British Columbia, the tiny island is paradise to artists, farmers, beachcombers, and ocean lovers.  The island’s markets, bakeries, studios, and wineries thrive during the summer months when vacationers flock to cabins and beachfront campsites, but come September the only people found on Hornby Island are the very few locals.  Desolate and utterly peaceful, Hornby Island was the perfect place to bid farewell to summer and say hello to autumn.  Here’s a look at our ocean view from a recent trip to this westcoast gem.

Hornby IslandHelliwell Park

Mt. GeoffreyMt. Geoffrey

Whaling StationWhaling Station

Tribune BayTribune Bay

Find travel information at www.hornbyisland.com.

our favourite (farm) things

A few days ago we found ourselves in the country with little to do when a member of our long weekend crew recommended a visit to Morningstar Farm, home to Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and MooBerry Winery.  Goats, cheese, and wine?  What’s not to love?

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After a walk around the 68 acre dairy farm (there were many cow sightings and blackberry breaks) we stopped in at the barns for a chat with the goats, a llama, some very tiny cattle.  A three month old calf is about the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, and at two days old they’re even cuter.

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When they’re old enough these little guys will be the cows behind our favourite Little Qualicum Cheeseworks creations.  The local cheese makers offer over a dozen artisan cheeses, including firm, soft, and fresh options.  We tasted all of them (yes, all of them) at the farm store and narrowed down our favourites to the Rathtrevor Cheese (inspired by Swiss Gruyere and named after a local park), Montery Jill Cheese (a softer Jack), and the Island Brie Cheese (creamy texture, velvet white rind, and mushroomy overtones).

Any seasoned cheese lover knows that where there is cheese there is wine, and Morningstar Farm is no exception.  Within the farm store is the well-stocked tasting bar of MooBerry Winery.  This was our first venture into the world of BC berry wine, and it won’t be our last.  The Gooseberry Wine is crisp and light with a surprising smoky aroma while the Cranberry Wine is tart and finishes off with crisp, dry tones.  The berry (and apple and pear) wines are perfect for spritzers and cocktails, or lovely just on their own.

Little Qualicum Cheeseworks cheese can be purchased here in Victoria at most grocery stores, and MooBerry Wine is available at Cascadia Liquor Store.  Better yet, Morningstar Farm is only a short road trip away.  What’s more lovely than a farm stroll and a picnic of your favourite wine & cheese?  Did we mention they have sausage, too?

Find Morningstar Farm at 403 Lowry’s Rd., Parksville, BC

pack your bag

We stumbled across this little beauty while sipping our morning coffee and couldn’t help but share.

We’ve had travel on the brain for months and this was just the inspiration we needed. Whether you’re in your 20’s or just feel like you are, now’s the time to pack your bag and go.  Happy travels.