<![CDATA[adventurous alexis - Americas]]>Mon, 07 Mar 2016 10:11:40 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[the friendly town: almonte]]>Sun, 21 Feb 2016 23:25:47 GMThttp://www.adventurousalexis.com/americas/the-friendly-town-almonteRoad trip season is not upon us just yet but that hardly stopped me from ridesharing, so it didn't stop me from going to a very friendly town. Almonte is a small village with just under 5000 people living there and growing steadily which is, in part, due to the festivals that take place there but mostly due to the beauty of the people and the nature which is celebrated there.
Running through Almonte is the Mississippi River which freezes over the winter but in the summer people can kayak or canoe across and even jump off of one of the biggest bridges, which used to be a train crossing but has since been abandoned, in the village. It makes the summer's heat worth it just to plunge into the nice, clean water for me but that's because I don't have the patience to fish where as many do in Almonte because for many in the little town sustainability is important.
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If you still are wondering why else you should visit Almonte, there are so many boutiques that have such an interesting selection like Hello YellowThe Tin Barn Market or Crush Marketplace. Be sure that before you go, however, you stop by the best coffee shop in town for a fair trade, organic coffee at Equator Coffee Roasters where the staff are as friendly as can be - I should know, I used to work there! Depending on the season, there are many events that take place too like the Harvest Festival where local artisans and artists pieces are shown off to the public, one of the stops is Equator due to the art they post from local artists. It makes the stop worthwhile especially during the fall.

After a coffee and a bit of shopping, tuck in for a nice meal at one of the two best restaurants in Almonte. The Mill Street Crepe Company, is just as it sounds a creperie, which is perfect for a brunch. Be sure to get a window seat to people watch the friendly people of Almonte. My personal favourite is the croque monsieur or if you've got a sweet tooth, be sure to try the Nutella crepe. What can get better than Nutella and carbs? Not much, really! However, if you are hankering for dinner or something a little less niche, The Heirloom Cafe and Bistro brings fine dining to small town Ontario in the best of ways. Owner and Head Chef, Richard Kletnieks has an open concept kitchen and is extremely personable with the patrons - just as the waitresses are. My favourite dish is the Atlantic sea scallops because I'm a sucker for a nice charmoula. Be sure to try one of their house cocktails too!

Between all that shopping and delicious food, you'll see that there is a bronze statue of Dr James Naismith. Why would the creator of basketball be featured in a town so small? Well, he was actually from Almonte - a point of pride for many people in the village. His likeness is in the centre of the main street, be sure to snap a selfie with him. Nearby is one of the oldest buildings in the town, the town hall where you can actually rent bikes for the day inexpensively and learn just a little bit more about Almonte's history from under General Juan Almonte, the namesake of the town. This and more can be found in Old Town Hall, a place that is visible throughout almost all of Almonte.
If you happen to make your way to Almonte in winter, it's cold sure but totally worth it because the hiking trails that are beautiful in the summer are even more so with snow all around. My favourite routes are at the Mill of Kintail, a conservation area a short drive away from the town centre, where you can bring snow shoes or cross country skis and embrace the beauty of Eastern Ontario all around you.

If the cold isn't your forte, there is a museum in town as well to do with the history of Almonte and the way it was built through the textile industry. The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is a definite must-see for any visitors. With this and everything else you'll be able to see why Almonte is the friendly town.
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<![CDATA[nyc on new year's eve]]>Thu, 17 Dec 2015 03:10:19 GMThttp://www.adventurousalexis.com/americas/nyc-on-new-years-eveThe traveller's survival guide to New York City should be extensive in many ways but especially when it comes to New Year's Eve. I've spent many a magical night abroad and been to parties all over but they all pale in comparison to the concrete jungle during the countdown to the New Year. Here's how to survive it - even when you travel solo.
Firstly, you must make the key decision. Will you go to Times Square to celebrate? I didn't. Instead I enjoyed my day doing other things until night fell where I met up with people at my hostel for pre-drinks. Perhaps a few too many but it was New Years Eve and I had a flight to Ottawa at 7am so I'd have to make the night last well into the morning.

Shortly thereafter we left our hostel for another where we would tag along to Brother Jimmy's   a pub with a big enough area to dance and play arcade games all at once. We met people from all around the world and you would too. This made the night something worthwhile to be sure. However, as midnight was approaching we didn't want to be cooped inside.
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What was just meant to be my group of six people ended up with the entire bar following us to Central Park after we were, probably loudly, discussing how to get there and someone shouted into the bar that everyone should get their coats to go to Central Park. Going through the streets followed by what felt like a hundred people while singing and dancing behind and with us made me feel like I was on top of the world. Oddly enough I hadn't felt this way on the top of the Empire State Building. 

As it ticked closer to midnight we rushed to find a spot big enough for our group in Central Park and had been lucky enough to find that, on top of seeing a bunch of insane people ring in the year with a marathon which alludes me in ways I can't quite express, there was live music. I can't say it was anyone I'd ever heard of playing but it was nice to listen to as we all talked.

Within the last moments the music ended and the crowds started to become a bit rowdier as if that would hold off the cold we all felt in our bones and make 2015 a greater year than 2014 had been until the year had begun and fireworks erupted out for us all to see. The rest of my night had been equally as fun when we headed back to Brother Jimmy's and then to our hostel where we had a few more drinks before I left for the airport. 

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<![CDATA[young, wild montreal]]>Mon, 16 Nov 2015 22:30:41 GMThttp://www.adventurousalexis.com/americas/young-wild-montrealPicture
Longing for change I booked a train from Ottawa to Montreal over Halloween weekend, a city I've been to a few times but have never fully explored.

Although my train arrived late there was much to do so I dropped my bags off at the hostel and met up with a fellow traveller who I had been corresponding with briefly and went about my day, wandering the city and enjoying the street art and regretting not bringing another sweater or two. While my French is limited I was able to navigate the city quite easily which was perfect for Halloween when my aforementioned travelling friend, her friends and I all went mini-putting at
Putting Edge after a few drinks to celebrate the occasion.

The next day was much more productive with a quick bite to eat at M Montreal's complimentary breakfast I went into Old Montreal. While the iconic and oh-so beautiful Notre-Dame Basilique was closed in the morning I enjoyed the rainy sights and sounds of the people and the city on an early Sunday, something that you would be a fool to miss in such an enigmatic city. My wanderings led me to a small cafe near Mont-Royal which I was lucky enough to find was a cat cafe before I decided to walk at least some of the mountain before it turned too dark and too cold to do so.
Upon returning to the hostel there was a comedy show which we all deemed truly, truly awful but it was a reparable evening for the most part as we were lead to a salsa club where we danced with each other and strangers, who for the most part were much better than we were at it but the fun of it was not to be missed and we were glad not to have as it could've easily been so as it's a hole in the wall but as the whole in the wall didn't have a visible sign outside if you wish to go yourself it will be a bit hard to find it as well but if you can't, don't miss out on your chance to go to a local spot where you have the time of your life.

The rest of my trip was more singular as I had meetings, from family to old friends but I ended with a high! Seeing Halsey live at the Metropolis. It left me with a sore throat and an even greater love of the city as I've always felt and still do, that Paris is not a city I could fall in love with but Montreal - she has had my heart from day one. It is a place of nostalgia for a life that isn't my own but read between the pages of books or in old polaroids. It is the box of old love letter's you find that belonged to a parent from before you ever were a thought. It's true life - young and wild life. It feels indestructible as we all do when we're a teenager, perhaps because She is in comparison to Paris. This is why I've loved Montreal so much and for so long. A city you shouldn't miss on any North American trip!
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