Best Travel Gems of 2016

You could fairly say that 2016 was the year I got around. From tagging along on my boyfriend's beer convention business trip to New York and Philly; frolicking around for a hot weekend in the Pacific Northwest gem that is Portland; witnessing my best friend get married in my old Toronto stomping grounds; and escaping to sunny California to snap photos of cacti - I was very fortunate to get to go on many adventures. As I stare out my window on this chilly Vancouver winter day, I figured I would share my favourite moments from the year. 

Oh hey guys, that's me, just casually turning my head towards my pal Alison, who snapped the photo on the Brooklyn Bridge last April. Sometimes you just HAVE to be a tourist.

Oh hey guys, that's me, just casually turning my head towards my pal Alison, who snapped the photo on the Brooklyn Bridge last April. Sometimes you just HAVE to be a tourist.

One of my favourite memories from this same trip was venturing out to the sprawled out hip area of Greenpoint, Brooklyn for cocktails and blood sausage on toast at Achilles Heel. Gotta love those Bon Appétit city guide recommendations. 

I'm a sucker for feel-good inspirational messages, especially plastered on random walls. This was snapped while walking through the Fishtown neighbourhood we stayed while in Philadelphia. 

Another favourite in Brooklyn was brunch at Cafe Collette , thanks to a friend's suggestion. The prettiest retro décor, which reminded me of 1940s Cuba (or something like that). Throw a handsome bartender wearing an anchor-print shirt and I'm in. 

TORONTO! So many feelings in this city, where I went this summer to watch my best friend have the dreamiest wedding and bachelorette party. The iconic CN Tower just gets me every time. 

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I always shop for pretty outfits with the intention that I will get an opportunity to pose with the background it was meant for (don't you?). Thank you, random Venice house with the ridiculously awesome yard.

I adore the bright, colourful details at La Cubana in Toronto. The cuban lunch plates ain't too bad either. 

Favourite graffiti at Sorauren Park, near my old hood in Toronto's West End. 

There are way too many beautiful plants and flowers and succulents in California. It's just not fair. The whole time I was in L.A., it's pretty certain you'd find me taking photos of scenes like this one. 

A little Italian dream in Portland, Luce was the perfect place for a pre-dinner pasta and glass of rosé before hopping across the street to gorge on fried chicken at Screen Door. And yes, all I ever do in Portland is eat. 

Continuing on the food photo obsession, these were the delicious sorrel-pesto rice with poached eggs we waited in line for at L.A.'s insanely hip Sqirl cafe (and yes it was worth it. The HAIM sisters were sitting next to us! Swoon).

Betcha you wouldn't have guessed this tropical scene is in Portland! A little known secret (well maybe not so secret) is the soaking pool at Kennedy School, a former school-turned theatre, bar, restaurant and hotel. 

Waiting an hour and a half for over-priced food just so I could snap this dream worthy shot from Mailbu Pier? Okay, Malibu Farm, I guess you were worth it. 

Hands down one of the greatest Flea Markets I've been to, the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles takes place in a high school parking lot. So. Many. Gems. 

Meagan Albrechtson