While there are many reasons for my lack of articles this month (including my recent addiction to Game of Thrones -- is winter ever going to arrive!?), the most prominent reason is because I took a vacation. I wanted to go somewhere new, but wanted to go somewhere that wouldn't be too expensive. Montreal, New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro were all options, but once I saw the beautiful Notre Dame in Montreal, my decision was made.
For the first time since I began traveling, I decided to chronicle my trip on social media. It went fairly successful. Other bloggers do this so I thought I would give it a try. I took pictures of places I saw, gave reviews of restaurants and snapped videos of my journeys throughout the winding streets of Montreal and Quebec City. Both cities were incredible, but I was the most surprised by Quebec City, and just how beautiful it really was! While my time in Montreal was very muggy and hot, and I was feeling like my vacation would have been better had I just stayed home, Quebec City changed all of that and made the whole trip worthwhile.
Backtracking a bit, last month also brought out my very first newsletter! It went to all 9 recipients and I heard nothing but positive feedback. I'll have to start promoting my newsletter more, as I was told it's one of the best ways to get more traffic and keep people interested in my blog. I might even consider doing a newsletter post with every blog post.
Speaking of traffic, due to my minimal blog articles and week-long vacation, my blog saw very little traffic last month. June 1st to June 10th (10 days) saw 4,799 people. June 10th to July 10th (30 days) saw 1,154 people. Ouch.
I plan to write more articles this month, and hopefully regain some of my lost followers. In fact, while June kind of sucked for traffic, I have a feeling July will be much different. I have several articles in the work as I write this and will cover everything from religion to politics to censorship. Yes, I too have felt the muffling of censorship, and it's about time I talked about it!
I also have a very much awaited "Liebster Award" I won several months ago that I need to do. And, of course, I have to write more about my trip to French Canada!
As I write this, my fingers twitch to write another, so I will bid you adieu.
As always, keep on traveling!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
"Have you ever been to Medicine Hat?" Abby Czibere from the Visitor Centre asks. I feel bad when I tell her no, unless you count stopping to fill up and grab fast food. In short order, I realize that's a big mistake as there's a vibrant food and arts scene and beautiful riverside parks to explore in this city of 65,000 people.
The Hat (the city's nickname; its residents are Hatters) has experienced a renaissance in recent years thanks to innovative entrepreneurs. Trendy eateries, indie coffee shops, and craft breweries have opened, attracting like-minded businesses, while enticing young people to stick around after college. Even the museums add to the up and coming feeling with their unique exhibits and events. Smell the smells of war at Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, or attend a concert in a massive kiln at MedAlta Potteries (Tongue on the Post Music Festival).
A few weeks ago Jessica and I decided to go on a shopping trip to Moose Jaw. Now that the snow is gone and the roads aren't so messy, I plan to get back on the road more often. I also took this opportunity to try out some video creation. After seeing some of the awesome content people like The Saskatchewanderer are putting out, I decided to try it out for myself.
Moose Jaw is about 45 minutes west of Regina, and is famous in Saskatchewan for its old brick architecture, small-town vibe and myriad of underground tunnels. Two tunnels tours exist in Moose Jaw. One is based around the famous gangster Al Caopne (whose cell I visited while in Eastern State Penitentiary) and the other is about Chinese immigrants who were forced underground by the Canadian government's "head-tax". Both tours are fascinating and I've done both several times. While we visited them on this trip, we didn't actually go on any the tours.
Although Regina is a larger city that Moose Jaw, downtown Regina lacks the quirky mom-and-pop shops you'll find in Moose Jaw. For the past few decades, much of downtown Regina has been transformed into either banks or big box stores, all which pushed the smaller boutique shops away. The past few years have seen a resurgence of them, but there isn't nearly as many as there used to be. Moose Jaw, on the other hand, has very few big box stores in its downtown area and still has scores of quirky boutique shops and restaurants.
Among the tombstones of the Regina Cemetery are little blue and white flags. In 1993 the Regina Ethnic Pioneers Cemetery Walking Tour put together their first tour, which focused on the city's founding fathers. In 1999 they then put together the second tour, which focused on the diversity of immigrants that live within the city. The blue flags mark the path of the first tour and the white flags mark those of the second.
The walking tours are self-guided, and can be purchased at the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery for $2. Together, they offer over eighty different locations to visit.
For this project I teamed up with Patti Haus from I Heart Regina. She's another local blogger that has just broken into the scene and blogs about food, drinks and things to see around the Queen City. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She provided many of the pictures for this article.