Creemore, a Day Trip from Toronto

This headline is a little misleading, because Mom and I didn't technically come from Toronto to visit Creemore (we drove from Barrie, which was a pleasant 30 minutes). However, you can get to Creemore from Toronto in a brisk hour and a half, which still makes it a great day trip from the city. 

The time between Christmas and New Year's can turn into a vacuum of blank, dead space where time is just slipping through your fingers and you start getting a little stir crazy. Cue blogTO's article (read here) which inspired Mom and I to get our butts off the couch and enjoy some of Ontario's natural beauty and one of its cozy towns. 

Cordoba, a city of surprises

White washed houses squeezed together, forming alleyways and secret pathways. Greenery and flowers draped over windows, all the colours spilling onto the street. Private patios, made for private conversations and public admiration. Blazing blue skies, golden-dusted streets, lush royal gardens. This was Cordoba, and it surprised the heck out of me.

The last leg on our Spanish journey, Mom and I had zero expectations of Cordoba. All we knew about the city was that it was famous for its Mezquita. But beyond this tourist site, we had no idea what else there was to do – seriously, our itinerary for here was just “Mezquita” and a giant bold question mark for the rest of our time.

The Alhambra, Eight Tips on Visiting Spain's Most Beautiful Palace

Visiting the Alhambra is like a strange hybrid between going to Disneyland and eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant. You have to prepare months in advance, buy your ticket, reserve your table. Everyone and anyone is there and wants to be there. You stand in lines, you fight the crowds. But by the end, you're rewarded with a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

I messed up hard by not realizing that the online purchase only gives you a ticket confirmation. You have to pick up the actual tickets in person (so annoying! get with the online times, guys!). You can pick up the tickets at a tourist centre in Granada the day before, but since we didn't realize we had to do this, cue Mom and I waking up at before the crack of dawn. So, Tip #1, get your tickets (not just the confirmation!) in advance.