Exploring Ft. Lauderdale & Miami

If you’ve been following my blog these past three weeks, you’d know that I just arrived in Denver about six days ago from Atlanta. Now I know I said my last destination of my trip was Fort Lauderdale, but my connecting flight from Fort Lauderdale to Denver was Atlanta. Long story short, my flight was delayed, and this caused my family and I to stay over night in Atlanta and catch the morning flight the very next day.

But anyways, the good news is that I’m here in Denver writing you this post about my fantastic stay in Florida. So sit back, relax, and enjoy!

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After landing in Fort Lauderdale from a three-hour flight from Montreal, I could already feel the great Florida humidity, which was great! So after getting my luggage from baggage claim, we went directly to our vacation home located in Pompano Beach; a good 20-30 minutes from the airport with no traffic.

And what’s great about where we stayed, was that the beach was right in front. So naturally I went, and it was great!

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The weather was gorgeous, the water was perfect … it was amazing!

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But what was even more amazing than the beach and the weather, was the restaurants. One of them being California Pizza Kitchen, a great restaurant with great service and great food! Here is the view around me (nothing special).

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But during my stay in Fort Lauderdale, I did many things like going to the movies, jet skiing, shopping, EATING…It was nice. But the highlight of my trip was going to Miami for the afternoon because it was unexpected.

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… and please excuse the blur on these three pictures. I had trouble focusing my lens.

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And now I’m on my way to the artsy side of Miami (10-13 minutes from downtown), somewhere not to touristy.

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And by the way, I think I’ve spent longer than I ever have before trying to whittle down the number of pictures to include in this post. As a result, this post has 20 photographs in it. Just what I needed to make this post.

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But seriously, this art is original and very creative!

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Every building was filled with color. It was beautiful!

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But all good things come to an end. And though I was sad to leave Miami and Fort Lauderdale, I left with a ton of wonderful memories and a whole lot of photographs (hundreds to be specific) to help me remember the glorious experience.

These two cities I visited were simply amazing! So much to do and so much to explore.

 Florida, I’ll see you again one day! ❤

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Camera: Images captured with a Canon EOS Rebel t6 paired with an EFS 18-55 f/4-5.6 lens.

Note: I guess that concludes my summer adventure. I had so much fun visiting new parts of Canada and the US, I enjoyed every second of it. I’m definitely looking forward to my next future destination! But in the mean time, stay tuned for more posts!

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

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A Day In Montreal

I awoke after a great day exploring the streets of downtown Montreal bubbling to the brim with anxiety and excitement. Anxiety, because I wouldn’t be able to see this gorgeous view for a very long time and I would definitely miss it, and excitement because I would have the entire day to explore alone.

But before I did anything, I had to take a moment on the balcony to appreciate this fantastic view of the water. And this view is coming from the 12th floor (one floor below the penthouses), so I guess it was a luxury in itself and a good way to kickstart the day.

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It was a glorious sunny day, the humidity was quite high, but it didn’t matter since a gentle breeze accompanied it…

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…but where I was staying, there was so much greenery (which was nice) and of course, an outside swimming pool (even better)!

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So to begin the day, I decided to take a walk in the forest located right outside the building.

There were many beautiful features in this area –  but the many trees were my favorites.

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After walking for a good hour, I spotted this “lonely” bench facing the water…

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After reading a few chapters of this book, I decided to head back home after I realized how far away I was from my apartment. When I got back, I went straight to the pool and then I took some pictures of the building and its property.

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I couldn’t get enough of the gorgeous view and greenery!

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Here’s a picture of the back of the building.

 

So after a great day, I’m here writing this post to you after a delicious meal that my sister and I cooked (brie fondue served with a few slices of baguette and chicken skewers).

I want to end this post by saying that I lived here when I was very young and since then my family and I have been coming back and forth from our home in Ottawa and now our new home in Denver (where I’ll be living for the next three years). So Montreal is no doubt a beautiful city, but it’s also a city full of culture, diversity, and life!

If you’re having thoughts of visiting Montreal, I highly recommend you do, because it’s a city like no other and you won’t regret it.

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Tomorrow I’m leaving Montreal to go to Fort Lauderdale (my final destination), so be prepared for AMAZING posts!

Hope you’re having a great day / evening!

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

A Colorful Day In Vancouver

I freaking love wildlife, but I also love marine life. So when I was presented with the opportunity to visit the Vancouver Aquarium, with no plans and weather that was pretty dull, a trip to the aquarium seemed like a pretty good idea.

And what was impressive about this particular aquarium is that it has been voted as one of the top ten best aquariums in the world! So you could say that this greatly influenced my decision to go.

Anyhow, with over 50,000 animals from across the globe, there was no shortage of beauty at the Vancouver Aquarium, and I was lucky enough to see it. Here are some pictures I took of the magnificent animals.

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I saw many exhibits throughout the aquarium illustrating the wonders of aquatic light in action, but this particular picture showed two jellyfish pulsing rhythmically in spectacularly backlit tanks. It was very cool!

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Here is another species of jellyfish I saw at the Jellyfish Exhibit: A small group of purple jellyfish pulsing its way through the water.

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But as much as I enjoyed watching the various species of jellyfish pulsing its way through the water, I also enjoyed watching this steller sea lion making its way across the water, putting on a small show for his “audience.”

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Every animal that I saw was very colourful…very imposing! But what was even cooler than their vibrant colours was witnessing their behavior in their natural habitats.

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A small group of African Penguins
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Two Frogs enjoying the humidity

Overall, I had a great experience at the Vancouver Aquarium, and it’s very understandable why it’s been voted as one of the top ten best aquariums in the world.

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Furthermore as I came out of the building, the weather was no longer dull; instead, it was sunny and beautiful. Thank god!… And what better way to enjoy the weather than by visiting the beautiful Stanley Park.

From the aquarium to Stanley Park, it was a short five minute drive, so really, it didn’t take long at all.

As we were getting higher in altitude, we decided to park in a designated area to take a few pictures. Here’s an amazing view of the water and mountains!

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While I was taking a few pictures, there was an elderly Chinese man just a few feet away playing some songs on the chinese violin, and I’m telling you, the music that came through was absolutely beautiful! So for a while, I sat to listen to his wonderful music.

After Stanley Park, we decided to drive all the way to Earnest, a famous ice cream shop located on the other side of the city, where I had a green tea ice-cream cone. And as much as I enjoyed the cone, I also admired the interior of the shop, because I found it to be very trendy and lively.

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Second day in Vancouver, and I’m loving every second of it! If you find yourself in Vancouver or if you want to visit Vancouver, I highly recommend it. Vancouver is a city full off diversity, nature, and fun things to do, you won’t regret it! As for me, I have yet to discover more of this beautiful city.

Camera: Images captured with a Canon EOS Rebel t6 paired with an EFS 18-55 f/4-5.6 lense / EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM lense and an HD 0.43X Wide Angle Converter W/MacPro Japan Optics
Note: Unfortunately, I have two full days left here in Vancouver, and then my next destination will be Montreal. I hope to continue to post daily, so stay tuned for more epic posts!

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

 

A Trip To British Columbia

After spending six incredible hours in Vancouver, I became quite anxious that my Canadian adventure started off too marvelous, and that everything following Vancouver would be a letdown. But luckily…it wasn’t!

In fact, entering Vancouver by plane, I had a pretty epic view of the water (which I was so glad to see, considering that Denver is the dryest city I’ve ever been too and there’s literally no water to be found)!

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Vancouver is a coastal seaport in Canada, located in the lower region of British Columbia.  It is home to around half a million people! From Denver to Vancouver, it’s a total distance of about 1,783.15 kilometers, so by plane, it would take a good two and a half hours.

After arriving in Vancouver and checking in to the Holiday Inn Hotel, it didn’t take long for me to lie down and relax!

After relaxing for a bit, I knew I couldn’t spend my afternoon lying down and doing nothing, so, my family and I decided to head over to a nearby seafood restaurant, the Blue Canoe, which was located right beside the water. It was incredible!

For dinner, I ate the most scrumptious, the most flavorful fish tacos I have ever eaten in my entire life! It consisted of fresh fish, a tomato and basil paste, avocado, greens…all wrapped up in freshly hand-made tortillas…YUM!

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And for dessert, I ordered a delicious lemon tart topped with fresh local berries and powdered sugar!

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After a delicious dinner, my sister and I decided to take a few pictures of the view and water!

In front of us was an incredible view of the dock and the beautiful sky.

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Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better way to end the day. I can sum it up in three words: Beautiful. Stunning. Amazing.

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Getting to Vancouver: United Airlines from Denver to Vancouver
Hotel: Holiday Inn Vancouver Airport
Camera: Images captured with a Canon EOS Rebel t6 paired with an EFS 18-55 f/4-5.6 lense and an HD 0.43X Wide Angle Converter W/MacPro Japan Optics
Note: I’ll be posting more travel-related posts during my vacation. Stay tuned!

© Benjamin Lessard – TheBenLessard

 

 

Red Rocks Park

Where: Red Rocks Park, Colorado, USA

Besides visiting Garden of the Gods, I found this park to be quite incredible.

As you may already know, last year I visited Garden of the Gods located in Colorado Springs. I went on that fun little trip with my sister Jasmine who was visiting for the week. Well just last week, my sister so willingly decided to fly down from Ottawa to visit us. This was now her second time visiting Denver so by request, I figured she would love to see more of the city and the nature surrounding it.

We did various things while she was here. One thing she did was explore downtown Denver and its attractions. She also had the opportunity to eat at some great restaurants offering superb food, and not to mention that shopping was always on her to-do list. Furthermore, we all went together on a hike to Red Rocks Park which was pretty exciting. From our house to Red Rocks Park, it was a good 45-minute drive and 34 minutes coming back.

Once we arrived, we were immediately struck by the gorgeous scenery and the mountains surrounding us. The air was so crisp as we were getting higher in altitude, and the sun was shining so bright which was fantastic. Unfortunately, we picked a day where it was a bit chilly but nevertheless, the most important part was experiencing the stunning scenery and hiking the red rocks!

Here are a few pictures that were taken by my sister on her visit.

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As I mentioned before, the view really was beautiful! If you so happen to be in Denver, why not visit Red Rocks Park? A national park definitely worth visiting.

Since this was my sister’s last day in Denver, I hope she made the most of it, and surely she enjoyed her visit as much as I enjoyed her visit with us.


Photo Credits: Jasmine Lessard – @jasmineklessard

Haven’t seen Garden of the Gods post? Click the link!

Garden of the Gods

Where: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

This is no question the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited in Colorado.

Before even going to Colorado Springs, I’ve been debating on many cool places I would like to take my older sister to. Why you may ask? Well, my sister just arrived from Ottawa to visit my family and myself in Denver. It was her first time visiting Denver so I figured she should make the most of it during her stay.

What better way to do so by visiting Garden of the Gods located in Colorado Springs. From Denver to Garden of the Gods, the total distance is about 112 kilometers away which means by car it would take a good hour and a half with no traffic.

So my family and I all agreed on taking my sister to Garden of the Gods. On our way there, I looked out my window and saw plenty of gorgeous mountains and red rock formations (which I’ve never seen before).

When we finally arrived in Colorado Springs, we decided to eat at a good burger joint not too far from our destination. After we gorged ourselves, we went directly to Garden of the Gods which was a ten-minute drive from the restaurant and already you could see the incredible red rock formations from far as well as the kilometers of mountains and greenery. Not only was there an incredible view but the day we decided to go to Garden of the Gods, the weather was absolutely fabulous. What I love about Colorado’s weather is that it’s dry, maybe a little too dry for me but it’s definitely not humid. And I’m guessing you don’t like humidity either.

Once we arrived, we took a long beautiful walk to explore the scenery and appreciate the magnificent view.

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Isn’t the view beautiful? I mean seriously it was breath-taking. If you so happen to be in Colorado Springs, Colorado or would like to visit, I strongly suggest you visit Garden of the Gods because firstly you won’t regret it and secondly it would make great pictures.

After a fantastic and long day, we drove back home to hit the sacks and surely my sister enjoyed it as much as I did.

Stay tuned for my next post!