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Goodbye winter and hello spring!
Welcome to another monthly installment of Life of Lauren. It really feels as though I just wrote last month’s recap. I only started writing these types of blog posts last month, and February’s post proved to be pretty popular. It’s a departure from my typical writing style of travel advice and tips, covering a range of topics in my life (which naturally, includes lots of travel stuff… #obsessed!).
As always, thanks for stopping by! Settle in with a cup of coffee or tea as you read this (like I did, as I’m writing this). March of 2018 was a very memorable month, and I’m happy to be living life to its fullest, as I always try to do.
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Right after returning from a Caribbean cruise in February, Justin and I headed for an overnight couples retreat in eastern Ontario. Black River Retreat is a romantic getaway at a cabin in the forest, perfect for relaxing time with your loved one.
BLACK RIVER RETREAT – TWEED, ONTARIO
We received this overnight stay as a Christmas gift a few years ago from Justin’s parents, and Justin and I finally had the chance to redeem it. Black River Retreat books up really far in advance, and we didn’t have the chance to go until now.
It’s a very exclusive place: we were the only ones staying there! It’s a getaway made for one couple at a time. The owner, Trevor, is an amazing host. Not only did he construct the building and decorate it in a perfectly rustic style, but he also cooks your meals! Trevor welcomed us to the property immediately and gave us a short tour. Then, he prepared a beautiful and delicious vegan meal for us, including the yummiest chocolate lava cake for dessert.
For the rest of the evening, we were welcome to explore the forest, wander down by the river, soak in our own private hot tub, or make s’mores at our own bonfire. It was private, intimate, secluded, and amazing. I can’t say enough good things about our trip there!
I’ll be writing about our experiences at Black River Retreat in more detail at some point on the blog.
WINTER STATIONS – TORONTO, ON
Later that week, I headed to the Beaches neighbourhood in Toronto with my best travel bud, Lindsay. We set out to explore an outdoor art installation called Winter Stations. All along the beach, unused lifeguard stands were temporarily transformed into incredible works of art. After all, they’re not being used for much here in the wintertime.
Funniest moment of the day? Racing through the “Obstacle” display while recording on my Instagram stories and getting smoked by one of the red moving parts. It might look like it’s made out of foam or something light, but the red pieces are actually planks of wood wrapped in red fabric. OUCH! At the same time, a random dog off its leash was trying to jump up on us with wet paws, so I went running into the Obstacle installation to stay clean.
It was well worth braving the cold to check out Winter Stations. Unfortunately, it’s all over by now, but you’ll have to keep it in mind for next year if this idea peaks your interest.
DENMARK AND SWEDEN
I took a solo trip at the end of March to Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as Malmo and Lund, Sweden. I was able to get a week off work without using any vacation time from this year, so it was almost like a free week of holidays! Why not jet off to a new place?
It was my first solo trip to Europe (I’ve travelled by myself in the USA and Canada before), so it was a whole new experience. As an introverted person who enjoys spending time alone, it seems natural that I’d love solo travel. However, I have mixed feelings about it even still. While it is a freeing experience to get out there on my own to do whatever I want, there’s nothing like sharing memories and beautiful places with your friends and loved ones.
I spent three days in Copenhagen and one day in Malmo and Lund, walking and wandering everywhere. I ate tons of yummy vegan food and explored these charming cities. Copenhagen is a stunning and colourful city that’s very easy to fall for.
TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Besides travel, I had the chance to catch up with two of my best friends, Shannon and Sarah for the annual St. Patrick’s Day get together. Every year, Sarah’s family and friends gather at an Irish pub in Hamilton (Ontario) for a few green beers and good times. Justin and I hung out with them that night for the festivities.
I also saw my sister at least a couple of times as she’s my workout buddy, too. Even though we live about 20 minutes away from one another, we were able to line up a couple of workouts together. She’s really into weight lifting and I’m getting into it myself lately, so it’s like having my own personal trainer, too!
BOOKS, TV, FILM, ETC.
I didn’t have too much time to read this month, although Justin and I have been binge watching our new favourite show, Silicon Valley. Thanks for the recommendation, Lindz!
On my flight to Copenhagen, I watched the movie, In Bruges. How had I not heard of this movie before? Not only was the movie great, but it really made me want to travel to Bruges, Belgium…
I also swear that I’ve watched our latest travel video about 50 times. Justin did such a great job shooting and editing this video from our trip to the Grand Palladium Riviera Maya in Mexico. Here it is again in case you haven’t seen it yet:
THIS MONTH, I’M OBSESSED WITH…
- Figuring out my taxes. And I figured out my taxes! I’m happy that I managed to crunch all of the numbers and most importantly, found a reliable accountant right down the street from me. I made some income with the blog this year, and I’m proud to have sorted it all out.
- Increasing page views and improving SEO for the blog (warning: nerdy blog talk alert!). I’m super excited to announce that I finally hit over 50,000 page views per month for the blog. Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting my writing!
- The newest location of Boon Burger opened a short drive away from home. It’s a vegan burger restaurant that originated in Winnipeg and new locations are slowly opening up all over Ontario. It’s right near our gym, so we’ve gone 3 times since it’s opened!
Well, until next month! Hopefully I’ll be raving about the fabulous spring weather and all of the flowers coming into bloom throughout my April roundup.