Please Nominate me for the Kerala Blog Express 2019

Hello to all my lovely, loyal readers! I am coming at you today with a little, tiny, very simple request, and I sure hope you can find it in your hearts to help me out!

It was this time last year that I begged, plead, and grovelled for your votes in a press trip competition called the Kerala Blog Express. This press trip to Kerala, India is a two-week bloggers dream, taking writers, vloggers, and photographers from one end of Kerala to the other, visiting tea plantations, cultural sites, luxury hotels, beaches, and more. I'm so in love with the idea of blogging and vlogging my way across Kerala, but I can't get there alone.

Cruising the Canals: A Gondola Ride through Venice, Italy

One of the most iconic activities to participate in when visiting beautiful Venice, Italy is undoubtedly floating through the narrow canals and waterways on a graceful gondola. Seeing Venice from the seat of a boat gives travellers a view of the city that can't be seen from just strolling the streets.

In October of 2018, I was lucky enough to find myself in historic Venezia, and of course, made sure that I had the chance to ride in a gondola at least once during our stay.

If you were ever wondering, "Is a gondola ride worth the cost?" or "Are gondola rides just cheesy tourist traps?", I beg you to take the time to read this post in order to help you answer those questions.

Riding the Rails: Train Ride from Vienna to Venice

I am a proud Canadian, loyal to my country, in love with its beauty, aware of its size and the variety of landscapes it boasts from coast to coast. Because Canada is so big, travelling from one province to the other, or from Canada to its neighbouring nation of the United States, either requires a multi-day road trip or more commonly, a few hours flying time.

Hopping from place to place via train is not something you do in Canada.

Which is why, when we visited Austria in October of 2018, I was more than ready to ditch airports and car rental shops in favour of cruising to Venice, Italy on a smooth and sleek Eurorail high-speed train.

If you've never travelled around Europe by train, then I highly suggest (next time you find yourself hopping from one European country to the next) that you give it a try.

Vienna's Schönbrunn Palace: Imperial Splendour

Our first morning in Vienna, Austria, my husband and I were booked by his company to tour the majestic Schönbrunn Palace. The tour promised to expose us to the "Imperial Splendour" that Austria, and Vienna in particular, is famous for.

(The day's agenda was literally titled "Imperial Splendour" so that there would be no mistaking what we were about the experience that morning!)

The incredible Schönbrunn Palace is well-worth a visit if you are ever in Vienna. It is so impressive that it has made it onto the UNESCO World Heritage Site list of attractions, and sees up to 8 million visitors a year - so don't expect to be puttering around the grounds alone! However, just because Schönbrunn Palace is busy does not mean you should skip seeing it.

Attending a Ball at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria

As a little girl growing up under the influence of Disney princesses and romantic musicals, I always pretended to be a lady of culture attending a fairytale ball. I'd put on my best dress or costume gown, slide into my mother's high heels, and waltz around the kitchen while my parents did their best not to trip over me while they made dinner.

As I aged, I realized that in our modern society, princes inviting all maidens in the land far and wide to cha-cha though his castle is not exactly a common occurrence. In fact, dances of any kind can be a bit difficult to find. In my community, there are lots of charity auctions, gala dinners, and special events, but very rarely do these occasions include a dance of any sort, let alone a ball that matched my vision as a wee girl.

"Do balls even exist anymore?" I wondered, and I truly believed the answer was NO.

But then I went to Vienna, and I attended what felt like a royal ball inside a true-blue palace, where I wore a legitimate ball gown, and for the first time in my life, I actually felt like a Disney princess come to life.