Summer Great Escapes at Aventures Plein Air in Laurentides

Jeep Tour – Aventures Plein Air

Located in the Laurentides region at Saint-Hippolyte (50-minutes away from Montreal), Aventures Plein Air offers a full range of activities and packages all year long. With over 16 years of expertise, their guides are specialized in various outdoors activities such as water sports, snowmobiling, ATVing, jeep and much more.

In collaboration with 4-star Auberge du Lac Morency, Aventures Plein Air proposes several long and short term packages including meals and accommodations for a full experience. Among the summer great escapes, you have the choice between: Off Road & Spa, Laurentian Living, Corporate and Summer Fever.

Lake Morency

In partnership with Aventure Écotourisme Québec, I was invited for the weekend to live the adventure Off Road & Spa. This summer great escape is the perfect package to explore the Laurentians area, to take advantage of all the free activities offered by the Auberge (pedal boats, kayak, tennis, etc.)  and to pamper yourself at the Nordik Spa.

The package include a driving lesson, half day of quad or 1h30 of Jeep with guides, accommodations for 2 nights, meals, 60 minutes Swedish massage, access to the Nordik Spa, all equipment for the activities and much more.

 

Auberge du Lac Morency – Massage Room

Auberge du Lac Morency – Spa

The Aventures Plein Air weekend getaway was a great experience and I strongly recommend this place to anyone who wants to enjoy amazing outdoor activities this summer. I met a passionate and devoted team who took good care of me.

Moreover, the stay at Auberge du Lac Morency was relaxing and very comfortable. The area offers a stunning view which makes every instant memorable. Also, I had a notable gastronomic experience by choosing the vegetarian menu at the Auberge restaurant. From starter to dessert, each dish was tasty and delicious.

Auberge du Lac Morency – Pedal boats

Auberge du Lac Morency – Vegetarian menu

For more informations about the packages and activities please visit aventurespleinair.com.

Aventures Plein Air

42 Chaumine Street, Saint-Hippolyte (QC)

Travel Destination: Cuba

Havana – La Bodeguita del Medio (Bar Restaurant)

Throwback to our last holidays in Cuba! Located in the Caribbean Sea, Cuba enjoys a tropical climate ideal for activities both in and out of the water. Discovering Cuba is to encounter history, to endlessly wonder at breathtaking landscapes, and to discover an unique culture!

Heading Havana,  the capital of Cuba, which immerses us right in the heart of the history sharped by its very famous revolution. Havana is principally characterized by its art and architectural heritage. Both vintage and modern, Havana won’t leave you unmoved…

Havana – Street Art

Havana – San Francisco de Asís Square

Havana – San Cristobal Cathedral, Plaza Vieja

To mix enjoyment and adventure, we booked the Jeep Safari excursion with Transat to explore the core and historical values of the Matanzas province. Planning of the day : Jeep excursion in the heart of the nature, strolling at La Dionisia (the ruins of Old coffee plantation dating from 1820), snorkeling along the colorful coral reef, horse riding around the farm, boat trip on the river and much more…

Matanzas – Matanzas Bridge

Matanzas – La Dionisia

Matanzas – Forest and River

Also, we recommend to book the 3 Cities excursion which allow you to visit Santa Clara, Cienfuegos and Trinidad. We did this excursion during our first trip to Cuba in 2013 and it was incredible. If you prefer to explore the turquoise water, there are daily excursions aboard catamarans where you can relax and snorkel. Find more pictures of those excursions on our instagram account.

After emotionally charged days, what’s better than laying out on white sand beaches, while gazing at crystal-clear sea waters and recovering with drinking delicious cocktails? We chose to book an all-inclusive package with Air Transat which included plane tickets and hotel stay at Mercure Playa de Oro 4 stars resort located at Varadero to conciliate comfort and adventures.

Varadero – Mercure Playa de Oro

Varadero – Mercure Playa de Oro (Beach)

Anytime of the year is a right time to travel to Cuba! For more info about Cuba, visit Cuba Tourist Board of Canada website.

Vegan Food: 3 restaurants to try in New York City

Gallow Green Rooftop Bar (Chelsea, NY)

New York City is one of our favorite destination for a weekend getaway near Montreal (1 hour flight away). We recently spent an amazing journey in the Big Apple and would like to share with you 3 must-eat vegan restaurants.

1. Seasoned Vegan

Seasoned Vegan (Brunch and Dinner)

Seasoned Vegan (Raw Appetizers)

Cuisine: Soul Food (organic/gluten free options)

Menu: Brunch and Dinner

Our choices…

Fried Fermented Soy “Chicken” Drumsticks with Old Fashioned Pancakes

Pizza Quesadilla (marinara & vegan mozzarella on a flour tortilla, extra mushrooms)

Stuffed Avocado (sliced, pitted and filled with almond meat and topped with cashew cheese and pico de gallo)

Baked Mac & “Cheese”

Nori Roll (almond meat, tomatoes, avocado, onion and greens wrapped in a nori seaweed roll with side of peanut sauce)

Seasoned Vegan

55 St. Nicholas Av., Harlem (NY)

2. Délice & Sarrasin

Délice & Sarrasin – Starters

Délice & Sarrasin – Main Courses

Cuisine: French

Menu: Dinner

Our choices…

Homemade “Foie Gras” (tahini based) with fig jam

“Cheese” (cashew based) Plate served with bread

“Poulet” Basquaise (vegan chicken legs slowly cooked with vegan chorizo, melted peppers, onions & tomatoes served with couscous)

Tagliatelle aux “fruits de mer” (tagliatelle with vegan squid, shrimp & scallops made of tapioca and potato starch with Mediterranean olive oil)

Délice & Sarrasin

20 Christopher St, West Village (NY)

3. Blossom restaurant

Blossom Restaurant – Country Breakfast

Blossom Restaurant – Blossom Benedict

Cuisine: International (organic)

Menu: Brunch

Our choices…

Country Breakfast (tofu scramble with onions, mushrooms, spinach, tomato, and bell pepper, served with seitan sausage and mesclun greens)

Blossom Benedict (steamed tofu, soy ham, Hollandaise, whole wheat English muffin, roasted rosemary potatoes, grilled asparagus)

French Toast (strawberries, bananas, maple syrup and tempeh bacon)

Blossom Restaurant

187 Ninth Ave, Chelsea (NY)

Travel Destination: Senegal

Dakar - Park of Remembrance

Dakar – Park of Remembrance

Never been to West Africa before? Why don’t you start by visiting Senegal? Senegal is an excellent choice for a first trip in West Africa. You will be able to discover a diversified culture, friendly people and amazing landscapes.

The city of Dakar is well known all over the world as a host place for international exhibitions, conferences and entertainment activities. During our journey, we visited museums and monuments while enjoying relaxing time at the beach. For those who like to enjoy the night life, you will find a vibrant scene out there.

Dakar - IFAN Dakar Museum

Dakar – IFAN Dakar Museum

Dakar - African Renaissance Monument

Dakar – African Renaissance Monument

Dakar - Beach at Hotel Terrou Bi

Dakar – Beach at Hotel Terrou Bi

Dakar - Little Buddha Lounge

Dakar – Little Buddha Lounge

All along the coast, Dakar is board by islands accessible to the public by boat (cost may vary depending the destination) such as Madeleine National Park, Ngor and Gorée.

Madeleine Island National Park

Madeleine Island National Park

Ngor Island

Ngor Island

Gorée Island

Gorée Island

To visit others cities, the smart choice will be to take a mini-bus (12 to 14 people) available at bus stations. The bus is the cheaper way but it is very less comfortable. From the station Baux Maraichers, we went to the city of Saint-Louis.

Saint-Louis - Oceanfront

Saint-Louis – Oceanfront

Saint-Louis - Langue de Barbarie National Park

Saint-Louis – Langue de Barbarie National Park

Some destinations are not accessible by public transportation or it could take you too much time to get there. In this case, it is recommended to opt for a private taxi (do not hesitate to negotiate the price). This is how we went to Bandia Nature Park for a safari tour and also enjoy a race in desert at Lac Rose.

Bandia Nature Park

Bandia Nature Park

Lac Rose Desert Race

Lac Rose Desert Race

Lac Rose

Lac Rose

Let’s conclude on a foodie note to mention our favorite Senegalese dish: the Tiep Bou Dienn. This is the national dish of Senegalese cuisine and it is made of rice, fish, tomato sauce and vegetables. During our stay, we always ordered local drinks such as bissap juice (extract from hibiscus) or corossol juice.

Tiep Bou Dienn

Tiep Bou Dienn and Corossol Juice

For more info about Senegal or to prepare your trip, visit Senegalese Agency for Tourism Promotion website.

Travel Destination: Israel

Akko - Sea Port

Acre – Sea Port (Akko)

Summer is about good memories, sun and fun! Israel gives you more than that with his unique historical and cultural background. We deeply fall in love with this country which is easy to visit and rich with his diversified population. We met warm and welcoming people around the country which makes the journey incredible.

Haifa - Baha'i Gardens

Haifa – Baha’i Gardens

Nazareth - St Gabriel Church

Nazareth – St Gabriel Church

Tiberias - Sea of Galilee

Tiberias – Sea of Galilee

Within 10 days, we were able to visit a couple of city by using bus and train transportation: Haïfa, Acre, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ein Gedi and much more. To prepare our journey, we bought a Lonely Planet guide book and did some research on Google. Also, we decided to book an apartment on Airbnb instead of a hotel room to embrace local daily lifestyle. Moreover, to be sure to have the best fares, we booked our flight tickets more than 3 months prior the departure on Air France website.

Ein Bokek - Dead Sea

Ein Bokek – Dead Sea

Ein Gedi - Wadi David Waterfall

Ein Gedi – Wadi David Waterfall

Jerusalem - Dome of Rock

Jerusalem – Dome of Rock

Kafr Cana - Cana Church

Kafr Cana – Cana Church

On top of the highlights of our stay, we have to let you know that the local food is delicious! It was very easy to find a place to eat but it was difficult to decide where to go. Most of the restaurants are generously rated and have good comments on Tripadvisor. Even by using HappyCow to filter vegan and vegetarian places, it remained a challenge for us to select just one! Among the restaurants we have tried in Tel Aviv, let’s mention Lima Nippo for fancy dinner and Benedict for brunch.

Fancy Salad @ Lima Nippo Restaurant (Tel Aviv)

Fancy Salad @ Lima Nippo Restaurant (Tel Aviv)

Brunch @ Benedict Restaurant (Tel Aviv)

Brunch @ Benedict Restaurant (Tel Aviv)

Also, here are some must-eat during your stay in Israel: watermelon and cream at any snack bar along the beach (this is how watermelon is eaten in Israel!), fresh made hummus (Ali Caravan Abu Hassan is the number one in Tel Aviv), falafel pita, middle east pastries and Mediterranean breakfast. Find more pictures on our Instagram account.

Tel Aviv - Banana Beach

Tel Aviv – Banana Beach

Breakfast @ Camel Beach (Haifa)

Breakfast @ Camel Beach (Haifa)

IMG_6133

Middle East Pastries @ Acre Turkish Bazaar (Akko)

For more info about Israel or to prepare your upcoming stay, visit Israel Travel website.