So, it has been three weeks living in the amazing metropolis of Tokyo, and of all the beautiful areas this city offers, I feel very fortunate to be living in Koenji, a charming and welcoming neighbourhood in the Suginami Ward, full of independent cafes, restaurants, and vintage stores tucked away in its endless maze of narrow streets.
Although I need to do a proper introduction to this little secret called Koenji, I could not help it getting ahead of myself and had to share with you what has now become my regular coffee spot in the neighbourhood. Being a coffee lover, I love roaming the streets looking for places where I can enjoy a good cup of coffee, a comfortable atmosphere, and great service. Well…at Honohono Cafe I found that and much more.
Honohono is nestled in Koenji’s main pedestrian strip, about a 15-minute walk south of the JR station. It looks very unassuming from the outside, but on the inside, the owners have done a great job to make you feel as if you are walking into your own living room…that is a living room full of beautiful vintage furniture, all of which I want to take home every time I visit.
The coffee is of course delicious and the main reason I come to Honohono. It is served in a different hand-crafted cup each visit, making the smooth cremma look even tastier then it already is. And if you are not a coffee lover per se…no need to worry. Following on the guidelines of cafe culture in Tokyo, Honohono offers a food menu full of tasty treats…salads, curry dishes, miso soup (of course) and sweets that will make your mouth water.
The experience at Honohono Cafe wouldn’t be complete without the welcoming service that the owners provide. Always friendly and with a big smile on their face, the two girls running this place are doing it right…and I am definitely sold on it.
Please do yourself a favour and visit Koenji and Honohono Café. You will not be disappointed.
For more information please visit: http://honohonocafe.com
So it seems that we are now in the clear in Canada and the bbq and patio season is here to stay. Time to finally call up your friends or gathered your loved ones and head outdoors to enjoy the endless list of activities on offer as the summer solstice arrives yet one more time.
If you happen to be in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario and are trying to figure out which festivals not to miss this season, then pay close attention. Your to-do list must include the Hamilton James Street Supercrawl. You heard right…HAMILTON!
Heading into its 6th season, the Supercrawl showcases the local artistic and cultural community of this historic and up-and-coming neighbourhood. Having set a record attendance (100,000 people), the Supecrawl hosts musicians, artists, local business owners, chefs, and an all-ages crowd of people just looking to have a good time. Just wonder up and down good old St. James Street and you’ll be sure to find a delicious treat, a compelling art performance, some folky tunes, or just a wall to draw on and really get involve.
So mark down your calendars: September 12-14, 2014. Believe me…you don’t wanna miss it! For more information on these year’s music and performance lineup visit http://www.supercrawl.ca
Visiting Barichara in Santander, Colombia, is like traveling back in time…a time when happiness meant enjoying the simpler things and really taking it one day at a time. It is a town that embraces the future without letting go of the past.
Nestled in the middle of the Colombian Andes, Barichara is a place to disconnect from the fast pace that we have become so accustomed to. A leisurely walk around its cobblestone streets will let you discover most of what this Andean gem has to offer. You can wonder around in search of the perfectly hand-crafted art piece, peak through the half-opened wooden doors of the town’s endless colonial houses, chat with the ever so charming locals (including the mobile baker), or take the time to enjoy the delicious treats this oasis of creativity and peacefulness has to offer.
If you do decide to make this a stop during your Colombian journey, I highly recommend you drop by the School of Arts and Trades. The school has wide assortment of crafts made by locals during free workshops offered in-house. Or if typical and mouthwatering food is what you are after, try the goat glazed with ant sauce at the Las Cruces Restaurant, also within the School of Arts and Trades.
And if you are in Colombia or are planning to visit…please go to Baricharaa…taste of paradise awaits!
Driving along Highway 10 in Ontario, Canada, one is sure to come across some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. During the summer as the sun sets, the bright colours of the fields come alive and create the perfect backdrop for nature photography.
After 15 years of living in Canada, I figured it was finally time to grab my backpack and my camera and head out to the East Coast of this vast and beautiful land. For some time now, I have been determined to get out of the comfort zone – Ontario and explore the many other to-be-discovered places that the land of the Maple Leaf and the Moose has to offer.
With the car all packed-up and ready to go, my girlfriend (traveling confidant) and I embarked on a week-long road trip to the east coast…final destination, Prince Edward Island (PEI). With our expectations high, our minds imagining dishes full of oysters and fresh lobsters, and our butts unprepared for 2 days of driving, we were set to experience the PEI way of life.
From the moment we got on the Confederation Bridge, I knew we were in for quite a treat. Crossing the Abegweit Passage onto the Island, felt like entering a faraway and imaginary place. But there was nothing imaginary about were we had arrived…PEI was now real. I loved the freshness in the air and all the greenery that surrounded us. You read correctly…GREENERY! Not only is PEI surrounded by water but it is also full of hilly fields and lots of agriculture.
On the first day on the Island we headed straight to the beach at Rice Point to check off “clam digging” from our to-do list. At Rice Point we confirmed why PEI is recognized for its red sand and long beaches. As the tide pulled back, it gave way to the best spot on the beach to catch dinner. A dip in salty waters and a couple of hours later….a dozen clams ready for dinner! The tide started to rise and we had just enough time to head back to safety as the red sand disappeared back into the ocean. The day activities also included a quick visit around Charlottetown to get a refresher on canadian history and the first settlements back in the day, and a drive around 9-mile Creek where we discovered that life as an Islander has a lot to do with working on the land and being self-sustainable.
For the second day, our friend and local tour guide, Natalie took us to the Penderosa Cottages (www.penderosacottages.ca) for a glimpse of the North Shore way of life. On the way to the North Shore we had to stop at the birth place of Anne of Green Gables and visit L.M’s Montgomery’s home. You definitely feel like you are a part of the story when driving through the hills and creeks. At the cottages we had the pleasure of meeting the Pendergasts, a very sweet couple and the proud Islanders who have made the Penderosa land what it is today. We couldn’t leave this land without some apple picking, swimming in the Atlantic ocean, and cooking up fresh lobster and oysters bought straight from a local fisherman near by.
As our stay on PEI came to an end, I could not help it and felt a bit nostalgic. This is definitely one of the most beautiful places I have visited in the world and one to which I will go back. If you are thinking about making this trip I highly recommend taking more time off then we did and stay for at least a full week. Two days was not enough to see everything this island has to offer.
Until next time PEI!
Ever had a moment where you sat and wondered…”what the heck am I gonna do on my day off work?”? Several ideas might have come up in your head; tackle the pile of laundry colonizing your bedroom, finally clean the bathtub, pay some past due bills and eventually go shopping, head down to the nearest swimming pool and work on the tan, or simply sit on the couch and catch up on some reruns. I recently found myself in this exact situation and, after thinking it over, I decided I was going to take full advantage of my day off by making a 1-day road trip. Destination: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.
I heard from friends about the beauty that P.E.C. has to offer; so I had some good expectations set in my mind. With my girlfriend, we planned to checkout some wineries, go for a dip at the Sand Banks Provincial Park, and take a some photos along the way. The trip was not exactly as we planned but it definitely exceeded our expectations.
We started at the Norman Hardie Winery where we stumbled upon some delicious and very refreshing white-Chardonnay and Riesling, and a very friendly sommelier named Lucie. As per Lucie’s suggestion we skipped the dip at the Sand Banks and, instead, headed over to a public yet secluded beach…such a great call! We had the whole beach pretty much to ourselves and enjoyed a dip in warm, clear blue water for as long as our fingers began to wrinkle! And yes, believe it or not, you can find amazing swimming spots in Lake Ontario. For the rest of the day we drove around the County, enjoying the landscapes, exploring the hidden roads, and discovering the magic that this land has to offer. Great wine, beautiful beaches, colourful and lively agriculture, and amazing people.
I now have a new place on my list of favourite destinations in Ontario. I also have a new alternative for my next day off. So if you are ever in the area, do take the time and visit Prince Edward County, you will not be dissapointed!