Category: Adventure Stuff

beach glass title image

Frozen Beach Glass

At this time of the year it is really so wonderful to get out into nature, breath the fresh, cold air, and move your body. When you live in a snowy place half the year you learn to either find things to do outside or you are miserable while you wait for spring. My husband and I like to head to the beach to check out the waves - they take on a whole new character in the winter. The beach is my happy place and somewhere I feel connected to the planet. I can think about life while listening to the tides go in and out rhythmically or just look at the pretty colours of the rocks while shutting off all thoughts. It's easy to meditate there.  My husband and I enjoy beach glass hunting amongst all the rocks and driftwood and one day I plan to do wonderful things with the many bits and pieces we have collected. I'm not sure exactly what yet but it'll all become abundantly clear soon enough. In the meantime they wait patiently in glass jars. Yesterday was wonderful. It was -8°C on the north side of Lake Ontario and the waves were fierce…

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KINGSTON winter adventure

A Kingston Winter Adventure

Magical Lights and Sounds Recently we had one of our favourite experiences in Kingston - the Lumina Borealis at Fort Henry. It runs until February 4th Thursdays to Sundays and you have to go to see it! Fort Henry is a World Heritage site where the St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario. We have enjoyed visiting it a few times since my son started going to school in Kingston last year and if you'd like to see more, you can find a few more details about those visits here. "Hearts warmed through frost and snow, will be the ones to see and know..." Lumina Borealis is the current exhibit and it is wonderful. Set outside in a winter wonderland we were dazzled by the beautiful and mesmerizing lighting displays. Music and animations add to the magical effect of this mystic and playful display. Running around the walls and inside the parade ground of the fort, we appreciated the variety of scenes that were set up - including stories and paths that lead you through the displays. "A coloured symphony paints the sky, each time a heartwarming song goes by..." The colours were beautiful and I really enjoyed the fire pits scattered throughout. We were there…

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Family Bonding with the Toronto Marlies

Toronto Marlies Guest poster Paul Harris, World's greatest Leaf fan and my partner in crime, shares his experiences at a Toronto Marlies game last week: Recently, I had the pleasure of joining my wife and family on another sports adventure. This time we got to see the Toronto Marlies - the farm team of the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs, play the Devil's from Albany (yes, New Jersey's farm team). Most home games are played at the Ricoh Centre, however this game was played at the Air Canada Centre - home of the Leafs! Like our experience with the Raptors 905, the staff did a great job engaging the fans, with young players having a game during the break, T-shirts thrown into the cheering crowd and other fun games & trivia allowing fans to win prizes. Unfortunately, the home team did not enjoy the same result and instead mimicked their big club's recent efforts, namely losing 3 to 1, despite outshooting their opponents 35 to 25 and thoroughly dominating the second half of the game. There was plenty of excitement, including a disallowed goal (which appeared to go over the goal line and instead of a video review, a penalty shot was…

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Dale Chihuly Exhibit at the ROM

Prepare to have your mind blown Last year my brother introduced me to the glass artist known as Dale Chihuly. I saw a few pieces of his work in Gantineau in the lobby of Hotel Lac-Leamy. I always wanted to see it up close and personal and I finally got my chance recently at his exhibit in Toronto at the Royal Ontario Museum. You can see it too! I was like a little fan girl when I first saw this row boat and my daughter laughed at me for having tears in my eyes when we walked in. I've cyber stalked the work of Dale Chihuly and all his videos for the last 18 months and you just can't imagine the size and impact of these beautiful pieces of glass. I love his row boats and water balls. What a spectacular show it is! Best news ever is that you have until January 8th to see it yourself! Take a trip with the family to experience the amazing display the museum has put on for your viewing pleasure. Better yet, get your family an annual pass to the ROM as the family gift this year.  This little house was very interesting. The teams…

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Raptors 905 at the Hershey Centre

Guest Contributor! Back again is my husband talking about sports stuff! He was pretty impressed with a couple of games we saw lately and here will tell you what he thinks of the first one and the facility it is in. The Raptors 905 team has only been around since 2015 and this was our first time enjoying one of their games. Check out their website here: Raptors905.  A few short years ago my wife, Carin, made the decision to go back to school. She took a program at Durham College called Internet Applications and Web Development. That experience has led to the creation of this site, where Carin can, and has, expressed her thoughts on life, the universe and everything. One kind of post is where she will try out a product or service and write up her opinion of it. I had the opportunity to join her for one of these, to see the Raptors 905. This court is so shiny and protected - we had to walk a thin line to get to the centre. The Raptors 905 is the farm team to the Toronto Raptors NBA basketball team. As a life-long Toronto Maple Leaf fan, its been hard to stay…

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It’s Worth the Drive to Watertown

Watertown, NY Before you start your engines to head down to Niagara, New York, consider going the other way first. That's what my daughter and I did recently when we were hunting down awesome deals on clothing, shoes, gift items and also looking for some exploring. I can only imagine how amazing it would be in Watertown, NY for their Black Friday sales.  We live on the eastern edge of the GTA so it's about equal distance for us to Niagara or Watertown. But here is one of the best parts of going to Watertown - it took us 3 minutes to get across the border! Not even kidding. I've waited up to 2 hours to cross at the Queenston Lewiston bridge, the Peace bridge or the Rainbow bridge - it's a roll of the dice how long you will be. Plus I find all those bridges really intimidating - especially when you get stuck waiting on one - the swaying is nauseating. Check out the official wait times website here to see for yourself.  If you go via the Thousand Islands bridge you'd be laughing. I asked when we were going into the US and then again coming home when the worst…

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- anniversary trip

Cheers to 24 Years

A Good Long Time #24years  I can't believe it's been 24 years since I met the man of my dreams. Ironically we grew up within a dozen blocks of each other in Toronto, Ontario but never met until we went out of town to celebrate Oktoberfest in Kitchener that fateful night. It seems only fitting that this anniversary be celebrated with beer – it being a 2-4 and all. We were invited by Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island to explore the area and enjoy some of their excellent selection of fall delights including canoeing, beer, great food and culture. This area is rich with culture and has many unique and diverse establishments. It was so nice to be able to explore it fully with all our senses.  On our trip we visited restaurants with their own breweries and breweries with restaurants. We found two things in common with each - their determination to be unique, and their pride in their offerings. (Click on the green or underlined words - they are links - if you want more information.) Our First Day We began our #falldrivesYQG by stretching our legs after a 4 ½ hour drive at the Ojibway Nature Centre. While we were walking on one…

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Muskoka Getaway Feature Image for Couples Resort

Our Romantic Getaway

My husband and I recently returned from an amazing trip up in the Muskoka Region in Whitney, Ontario.  The Scenario This was one crazy insane summer. My husband had two jobs, I had two jobs, both our kids had a job each. Very different schedules and hours with no public transportation and only two cars that both ended up dying half way through the summer. To say it was stressful would be a terrific understatement. I love my husband and having been with him for 24 years this month it’s pretty obvious I like him too. But things had been alternately strained and toxic between us lately. It was time to reconnect away from kids, cars and jobs. Our Solution I’d heard about the Couples Resort in Whitney, Ontario and when we were invited up for a mid week mini vacation, it seemed like the perfect idea. Muskoka Getaway And oh wow was it ever! We had the best 3 days we’ve had in a long time. Let me tell you all about it… It would have taken us less than 3 hours to drive directly to the resort but you can’t just go from A to B in the Muskoka area. There…

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tow truck

Tow Truck Adventures

Stories from the Tow Away zone... This summer both kids were licensed, working full weeks at their jobs and were on different shifts. My husband and I were both working too. Between juggling taxiing and letting them take the cars, things became quite complicated. Maybe that is what led to the ultimate demise of our BOTH our cars this summer, or maybe it was a coincidence. That will remain a mystery...  In any event, I was involved with a tow truck on three different occasions this summer - all within five weeks.   The first time ...was because my husband's ignition stopped working while we were at a friend's house. The truck took about 35 minutes to arrive and the driver was very nice. He towed it to a local Canadian Tire where it was repaired the next day. The second time ...I was driving home in rush hour on the hottest day of the year from my last day of a contract job 40 minutes from home. The car started slowing down and bunny hopping. I managed to hop into a quiet side street and waited. The truck only took 45 minutes in this case and I thought I was pretty lucky considering…

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Visiting the 8th Wonder of the World

Brought to you by Niagara Canada and The Co. The Niagara Region in Ontario, Canada is one of my favourite places to visit. There is such a diverse selection of things to do, places to see, and experiences to have that you need to go for at least a few days each time to do it right. Visits with family or friends you can’t go wrong. I am so grateful to live only a few hours away from the 8th Wonder of the World. We are currently planning our next trip and it will include investigating local history of the region in several of the amazing museums in Niagara Canada. I’ve always wondered about how the historical lands around this incredible natural wonder of the world came to be developed and how Canadians and Americans ended up settling the land ownership. With such a wondrous and fertile agricultural area, there must have been much ‘discussion’ about where to draw the national borders. History Our family had a large debate over who won the bloodiest of battles that took place on Lundy’s Lane in 1814. We intend to find out the answer on our day at the Niagara Historical Society and…

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5 Tips for Road Trips

It's almost the end of summer and I was looking back on all our road trips this year. It's amazing what you can fit into two months! I love getting to know places around me and enjoy the whole 'road trip' adventure - it's not only about the destination but it's also about the journey.  I was invited to write this post (Groupon has sponsored it,) and that inspired me to come up with some travelling tips.  Here are some of the things I do that make road tripping much easier: Make sure you unpack your fur babies before you leave - unless they are coming with you. I am not sure if these two find my suitcases very comfortable or really don't want me to leave them at home but they do this every single time. It sure is cute and I do miss them when I go. They never seem to want to crawl into the suitcases when I get home for some reason.    Bring silicone ear plugs! And if I am to be completely honest, these are not for me to wear so much as my roommate. Yes I've become a snorer. Make sure to use the soft silicone ones that you can warm up by rolling in your hand…

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Family Bonding in Burlington

Bonding Time During Our Staycation We've had a big change this past year - our oldest child went away to university and lived in residence in another town. (Click here to see more of this.) bonding As a very close family, this adjustment was not an easy one for any of us but we survived. Now, after a year of our son being independent, we need to make another adjustment to this adult who came home to live with us for the summer. It's another big one too. I have felt a bit of distance between the three of us and my son. He's grown up so much this past year and we have to figure out our new roles. My husband and I need to learn to become the parents of a young adult and the siblings have to stop long enough in their individual lives to get to know each other again. That is why I jumped at the chance to take a family "Staycation" recently in Burlington. I fell in love with Burlington last year when I visited to explore some awesome family destinations here and here. It was time for some bonding in Burlington! This year, the whole family was invited to…

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5 Places to Take Your Chocoholic

The Burlington Chocolate Trail A few weeks ago I was invited to preview what will be the Burlington Chocolate Trail - happening the whole month of May. All I really noticed when I saw the invitation was CHOCOLATE. (How did they know I was a chocoholic?) I LOVE sweets, cakes, chocolate, marshmallows, gooey stuff. So d'uh of course I was very excited to go.  Last year I visited some great spots in Burlington and had a blast. I had no idea prior to that trip how amazing this town to the west of Toronto was. It's a great place to bring your family for a Staycation. Back to the Chocolate Trail - It was amazing. I'd recommend taking your chocoholic loving Mum, self or otherwise loved one to check into the following places: Molly Cakes  Chocolate cakes, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate dipped yummies, and chocolate macaroons. Be still my heart! Here I learned how to make macaroons. Pronounced MA-CA-RON - you have to wrinkle up your nose to pronounce it correctly. Now that is how you stuff a macaroon! I also found out this creative and delightful bakery only uses natural ingredients - as they say: We use real lemons and not artificial lemon flavouring. We use butter, and not butter flavoured shortening. We…

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Title winter adventures

Winter Adventures at Cedar Grove Lodge

It’s fun to mix things up and get away now and then. In Ontario we are lucky to have so many places to visit and staycation in. Recently I headed north for a week of R&R with some friends for winter adventures. We were invited to stay at Cedar Grove Lodge in Muskoka. I heard the agenda for the first time as we were driving up there. Our winter adventures would include snowshoeing, cross country skiing, an art gallery, dog sledding, restaurants and visits to local businesses. In this post I will be focusing on the amazing place that hosted our wild week of adventures - Cedar Grove Blue Heron Cottage There was a decent amount of snow on the ground as we headed up through some of the most beautiful terrain you will ever see. We found Cedar Grove nestled in the hills and forests of the District of Muskoka. Recognized recently by National Geographic as one of the “100 places that can change your child’s life,” I have to agree. I've visited many places around Muskoka since I was a child and with my own kids, and it does affect you. Cedar Grove offers many things to do, see, eat, drink and photograph…

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Mom’s Unplugged Invades Kingston

Girls Weekend When you are a parent working your ass off to keep your sanity in check, your kids alive, and your world moving along you tend to need to force the issue of chilling out. It's important to get away and breathe different air around different people once in a while. Recently a few friends and I decided to get away from our kids. We needed a little help justifying it so we called it work and are spreading the word about some amazing adventures you can take with your pals. Follow along with us at #MomsUnpluggedCa beginning with a trip to one of my favourite cities - in my opinion the undervalued treasure known as Kingston, Ontario.  I've had the pleasure of getting to know this town a little bit over the last year as my son has become a student at Queen's University. (#QueensUmum) When we pick up or deliver our child, we try to spend some time checking out his new stomping grounds. We live approximately 2 hours away and it's tiring to make two trips in one day so we will usually spend the night. What a great reason for an adventure! On this occasion though, it wasn't…

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