Toronto, Canada: Summer

image18

Last year, I had the opportunity to visit Canada for the very first time. It was one of those impromptu trips that turned out to be a great vacation.  I visited Toronto and immediately fell in love. It is a great city with a great atmosphere and  amazing people.  I am at a point in my life where wherever I go I think if I would like to settle and live there. Toronto got a big, fat, YES!

I had the idea that Canada was this beautiful, COLD country, 365 days of the year. I visited towards the end of August, and let me tell you… It was HOT! I had packed jeans and some light long sleeves and it was just not suitable, so check the temperature before you leave!

During the summer time there are plenty of cool things to do in Toronto. Some of these can even be done all year round! Here are some of my favorite!

1. CN Tower: One of the tallest buildings in the world, the views from up top are like no other! You can see the city of Toronto and Lake Ontario. Do not miss the glass floor that allows you to stand and stare at the people waaaaay down below! Don’t worry, the floor can hold the weight of 14 hippos, so you’ll be fine.

image13

2. Catch a baseball game at the Rogers Centre: Although we are now right in the middle of the World Series (GO GIANTS!) The home of the Toronto Blue Jays is a must visit in Toronto. I had the opportunity to go to a Yankees vs. Blue Jays game and sporting my beloved Yankees cap ( I am a Yankees fan FOR EVA!) , I braved through a sea of blue and got some light hearted abuse along the way. It was a very fun night out and I would totally recommend it!

image14

3. Outdoors Summer Concert: I didn’t realize until the day before, that KiSS 92.5 was presenting their annual Wham Bam concert at the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) and that Avril Lavigne and Robin Thicke were the main acts!  It is a must do in the summer! Also, be sure to check out the summer festivals in the area!

home_magic_time_lg.7bc9bf3e

4. Have a drink: Now this can be done year-round! Two places that we’re perfect for a drink before the baseball game and a fun night out with friends were the Real Sports Bar & Grill next to the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Raptors and the Maple Leafs and Madison Avenue Pub, one of the largest pubs in the world. Real Sports bar is a great place to meet before a game and if you can’t make it inside, then the screens across the bar will put you right in the action. Madison Avenue Pub is set across three Victorian Mansions, and it has good music, great beer and an amazing atmosphere.

image20

image19

5. Eat Poutine: This is an amazing Canadian dish that is perfect after a night out or whenever hunger strikes. It is made of French fries, gravy and cheese curds. One word: Delicioso!

image21

I can’t wait to go back to Canada and experience all it has to offer, and of course…eat some more poutine! What is your favorite part of Toronto?

signature

 

*some images are mine, and others were taken out of Google Images.*

What’s in my beach bag?

Screen Shot 2014-06-05 at 9.09.55 AMSummer is here, and as an island girl, my beach bag goes with me everywhere. You never know when that sudden urge to hit the sand and the water may strike. Now that I am back in Puerto Rico, my beach bag is ready to go back into action. Throughout the years, I have become an expert at packing just the right amount of things to keep me comfortable, entertained and protected while catching that tan. Here are my essentials when packing my beach bag.

Beach Bag & Towel: Well this is a no-brainer! A beach bag is the first thing to have when packing.. A beach bag! A nice, big sturdy bag is what you need that will not only help keep the sand out but also can withstand the water and wind. Weather conditions are a little harsher at the beach, therefore, the materials used for the bag should be able to handle it. The designated beach towel should also serve not only to dry oneself but also to lay in the sand. That’s why they also come in bigger and sturdier materials.

Sunscreen: Now, I am a fan of tanning at the beach, but I am very aware of the risks of sun damage, especially to the face. I have a strong sunscreen designated for this area that is oil-free and light in substance to maintain the skin blemish free as well. We all know the no-no that is to apply tanning lotion to the face! I also lightly apply sunscreen on my shoulders and upper back to further protect them from sun burn.

Tanning Lotion: My absolute favorite tanning lotion is Bain de Soleil. It has SPF 4 ( low, but my skin tone is on the tanner side, so I do not need as much coverage as fair skin types) and it provides a beautiful even tan that will last. Misting Spray: Since it gets so hot and humid at the beach, I find it very helpful to bring a misting spray to keep my face and body cool. I do tend to get very dehydrated at the beach and this is a way of giving my body some moisture. My current favorite is Avene Thermal Spring Water.

Sunglasses and Hat: Although I love the beach, too much sun can be a little annoying and can give me a bit of a headache. That is why sunglasses and a hat are essential to me, not only protect my face and my eyes, but also provide shade and prevent a headache. Remember to remove the sunglasses when tanning face front, you do not want that hilarious sunglass tan line!

Magazines, Books, Ipod: I always bring magazines with me to the beach. Whether is to do some research for my next post or to read a bit of gossip (we all love celebrity gossip, don’t lie!). I also bring my Ipod in case I feel like relaxing. A book can also keep you entertained for hours. 

Snacks: For snacks at the beach I like to bring fruit, because they do not need refrigeration and they are full of water (especially watermelon) keeping you refreshed and hydrated. I also like to bring water and some adult beverages :).

Miscellaneous: In my bag I always carry lip balm with SPF in it, since my lips tend to get dry pretty quickly. I also carry a comb and detangling spray and some hair ties, to keep my hair (prone to worst of tangling) as manageable as possible. The summer is the perfect time to recharge batteries for what is left of the year, make new friends and have some me time. Enjoy the most of it and have some fun!   Share with us, what’s in your beach bag? signature   Dont forget to follow me at:

IG: @andreap_tsc
Twitter: @andreapatricia7
FB: The Striped Complex