North America

Canada, Mexico, and USA travel guides, tips, and stories to help you plan your solo vacation from a cross country road trip to a weekend getaway.

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Epic Cross Canada Road Trip – Calgary to Nova Scotia

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Public Art in Ottawa – Outdoor Gallery of Art in Streets and the River

Public Art in Ottawa – Outdoor Gallery of Art in Streets and the River

On my recent solo trip to Canada my favorite public art in Ottawa was the sculpture Maman by Louise Bourgeois. The giant spider stands in front of the National Gallery of Canada at 380 Sussex Drive. I first visited Maman on my way back from a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint and returned a second time when I viewed […]

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Rideau Canal Walk from Dows Lake to Ottawa Locks

Rideau Canal Walk from Dows Lake to Ottawa Locks

Ottawa is a great city for outdoor activities. On my solo trip to Ottawa I chose an overcast day to walk from Wellington West to Dows Lake and along the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa Locks near Parliament Hill. I wanted to visit the Rideau Canal since I was a kid in Calgary Alberta. I […]

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Jamming with Montreal Tam-Tams Music Jam Mont Royal

Jamming with Montreal Tam-Tams Music Jam Mont Royal

Jamming and dancing to the Tam Tams on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Montreal’s Mont Royal Park was a perfect finish to my solo travels in Montreal and Ottawa. What are these Tam Tams you ask? Tam Tams is the name given to the weekly summertime drumming festival that takes place on the east slope […]

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Solo Travel to Ottawa Best Things to Do in Canada’s Capital City

Solo Travel to Ottawa Best Things to Do in Canada’s Capital City

My first solo trip to Ottawa was in August and it’s the perfect time to visit the capital of Canada. I took the train from Montreal and stayed in beautiful Wellington West, a neighborhood just south of the Ottawa River. It was easy to get around on the local buses and I did a lot […]

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Hotel vs Hostel – Ritz-Carlton vs Montreal Central Hostel

Hotel vs Hostel – Ritz-Carlton vs Montreal Central Hostel

Hotel vs hostel – which is better for a solo traveler – hotel or hostel? I recently spent one night at the Ritz followed by a night at Montreal Central Hostel. Disclosure: “Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will […]

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Montreal Graffiti Street Art and Murals Around the City

Montreal Graffiti Street Art and Murals Around the City

Montreal graffiti and street art is easy to find while walking around the city. I love street art finds while strolling around a city like Montreal – murals and graffiti are plentiful. My third solo trip to Montreal began with a welcome coolness in the air. August in Austin TX brings hot dry weather and […]

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Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa Ontario Tours Daily

Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa Ontario Tours Daily

In this post I’ll tell you about my tour of the Royal Canadian Mint in Ottawa. Tours are offered daily starting at 10 am with the last tour at 4 pm. Allow 45 minutes for the tour. On my recent solo trip to Ottawa I visited the Parliament buildings and wandered around the ByWard Market […]

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Fabergé and Faux Fabérge at MMFA

Fabergé and Faux Fabérge at MMFA

In Montreal my favorite museum to visit is the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and yesterday I attended the fabulous Fabergé exhibit. I used to make jewelry and do cloisonné enamel work so I have an idea of the craftsmanship required to create these fine works of art. The extraordinary Fabergé Imperial Peter the Great Easter […]

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Montreal Quebec – Public Art – Memory Gaps

Montreal Quebec – Public Art – Memory Gaps

My third solo trip to Montreal begins next week and I started thinking about things to do and see on this visit to one of my favorite cities of the world. Previously I have stayed at Montreal Central hostel which is next to the central bus station and near St Catherine Street – a great […]

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Big Bend National Park – A Solo Road Trip to West Texas

Big Bend National Park – A Solo Road Trip to West Texas

  I never gave too much thought as to why the West Texas park known as Big Bend National Park was so-named. I found out when I took my first solo road trip to West Texas in December 2010. The trip would take me from Austin to Marathon – Alpine – Big Bend National Park […]

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Ammolite – Colorful Gemstone of Alberta Canada

Ammolite – Colorful Gemstone of Alberta Canada

Ammolite is a gemstone made from fossilized shells of the extinct ammonite mollusks, squid-like creatures, found primarily in Southern Alberta. The shells could grow to as large as 1 meter (39 inches) in diameter. Wouldn’t it be wild to find one of these amazing mollusks while out hiking in Alberta?! Alas, ammolite is not so […]

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Zilker Botanical Garden – A Little Zen in Austin Texas

Zilker Botanical Garden – A Little Zen in Austin Texas

Zilker Botanical Garden is a little piece of Zen in central Austin. I often stopped by in-between client appointments to take a meditative break in my favorite Austin botanical gardens. To have an escape from a busy metropolitan area within the inner city is rare. Zilker Botanical Garden one of the many gems of Austin […]

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