Posts Tagged ‘adventures’

I’ve updated my Life List and now that we’ve decided what our trip will be for 2017 (Italia, here we come!), that helped identify which Life List items I’ll be crossing off the list this year – see below:

  • Travel to Italy
  • See the Sistine Chapel (Rome, Italy)
  • See the Colosseum (Rome, Italy)
  • Tour Tuscany (planning on San Gimignano, Siena)
  • Train ride in Europe (we’re planning on taking a train between Rome and Florence)
  • Have gelato in Italy
  • Enjoy pasta and wine in Italy
  • Eat pizza in Naples (planning a day trip from Rome to Pompeii, Naples, Mt Vesuvius)

And the non-travel related items to tackle in 2017 are:

  • Grow a fruit tree
  • Picnic in a vineyard
  • Have a proper English tea
  • Make a craft for every season/holiday for 1 year
  • Cook a whole fish
  • Have a home emergency kit
  • Learn 5 homestead skills (in progress – will continue)
  • Read 30 books
  • Cook 30 new recipes
  • Watch 50 movies

Not too shabby 🙂 I better get moving!

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2015 in pictures

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We’re on vacation this week and my sister and her two daughters spent 5 days with us. On Thursday night, we went to Red Lobster for the traditional supper. The gang spent the day shopping on Friday since Chris and I were working, then we picked them up, did the groceries and watched Harry Potter 5 – the girls are going through the HP phase and are obsessed with everything to do with Harry Potter. Since the party, it’s been a HP whirlwind. So, for the movie viewing, we decorated with all sorts of HP paraphernalia including props we had fun with at the party: the Sorting hat, McGonagall’s hat, Dumbledore’s wand, a HP themed magazine, candies, a rememberall, a crystal ball… You get the picture.

Saturday we had a farm day planned. We started out at Andrew’s Scenic Acres and visited the farm animals and picked up some berries and baked goods (apple pie, butter tarts). We headed over to Springridge Farm for lunch and shopping where I ended up buying a gorgeous wrap (getting ready for fall a bit early).  After that, we went to Terre Bleu, a lavender farm – our first time and it was amazing! We took the guided tour and learned about lavender, visited the distillery and the apiary, enjoyed some lavender lemonade and bought some goodies in the boutique (lavender essential oil, massage oil and honey). It was a great place and we look forward to returning.










Lavender drying in the distillery:




The bee hives:





Friends on the farm:



After this, we went home to prepare for dinner and our Hippie Beach BBQ party, the theme of the day. 🙂 I made grilled salmon and pork chops, antipasto skewers and corn on the cob.



For dessert, I made quasi-smore-skewers with strawberries, marshmallows and mini brownies, with marshmallow ballerinas and flip flop cookies (on a bed of brown sugar):



After dinner, we waited for the sun to go down to go out and play glow-in-the-dark ring toss – which was awesome!







On Sunday we packed a picnic lunch and headed over to Hilton Falls Conservation area for a hike to the falls and campfire area. It was really nice – the weather was variably cloudy and not too humid. We headed to a nearby park that had a cool splash pad for the kids, then headed downtown to the Taste of the Danforth Greek festival – had dinner at Christina’s, an amazing restaurant, and the kids enjoyed some of the fair rides.

Monday we headed up to Collingwood for a short visit and lunch at Blue Mountain village then went to the Scenic Caves which was AMAZING. It was pretty physical and some of the caves were pretty cramped quarters, but it was a fantastic experience with beautiful scenery. The girls absolutely loved it. At the same place, we visited a suspension bridge (well, everyone except me – I just can’t do suspension bridges) and the girls panned for gems. It started raining in the middle of the afternoon but that didn’t deter us! We stopped by a local Italian restaurant for dinner and started watching Harry Potter 6 (got through about half before we hit the sack – we finished Tuesday morning).

Pictures at the Caves:








Chris and the girls were the only ones who braved passing through this one, the widest point was 36 cm!!






The girls enjoying a Beaver Tail at Blue Mountain village:



We dropped the troops off at the airport Tuesday after lunch.

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We spent the morning hiking in the Hilton Falls Conservation area. It was a beautiful day – about 20C degrees (working towards an expected high of 24C), not too hot or muggy. We started out at 10am and followed the Bruce Trail that runs parallel to the Red Oak trail (red) south of the reservoir, then followed the west side Beaver Dam trail (orange) all the way up to the fire pit, took a 15 minute snack break, continued the east Beaver Dam trail back to Red Oak and took the north trail back to the car. We hiked 12.5 kms total and it was great – we took 3 hours including a 15 minute break. According to the trail map, it should have taken us 3.25 hours so we did good time with 2.75 hours. My legs are feeling it now as I write this after returning home and making some lunch. But it’s a good tired. 🙂

See trail map here.



Some parts of the trail required more agility:


Cool tree (right) and mushroom (bottom left):



There’s just something about water rippling by… so calming….





Nice shot of the creek and waterfall in the foreground and the reservoir in the background:


Some parts of the trail were packed dirt and very easy to navigate:



No swimming!






Cool rock:


The reservoir:



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We went out on our first walk “in nature” today. This time we headed over to Lowville Park which is on Guelph Line in Burlington, just north of Britannia Road. Bronte Creek meanders through the park which has lots of picnic areas, trails, a playground for the kids and lots of grass and trees. Today many families were out and the smell of barbecue was everywhere. No complaints! 🙂 The best part – free parking!

There are a few woodchip trails throughout the park and several bridges that cross over the creek.



We saw a few people fishing in the creek. And we came across these pretties out of nowhere:



Woodchip trail:


The weather was nice enough to go out in capris, a tank top and no jacket. Finally!!

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Now that the good weather has arrived, it’s time to start exploring again. Yesterday we headed over to Port Credit and walked along the Lakefront Promenade. We strolled along the waterfront trails, checked out all the boats in the marina and enjoyed the fresh air. You gotta love it when the web site provides directions by land and by water. 🙂

It was sunny before we arrived and after we left but got cloudy during our walk so my pics are a tad grey. And there must have been something strange in the air – most of my pics have something unexpected in them that I only noticed after I uploaded them at home!

Where we began our walk – this is a small inlet/beach off of Lake Ontario

Unexpected sight #1: If you look closely underneath the left-most boat, there’s a line of ducks flying very close to the water. Not to mention the bird in flight.

Closer pic of the ducks flying

Boats at the marina. Unexpected sight #2: The bird!!

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Today, we headed down to High Park to enjoy some nature and get some exercise. We just walked, but it was pretty hilly so it counts. 🙂

It’s a very large park by Grenadier pond, with ducks and geese. There’s also a zoo, tons of trails and paths, gardens, picnic areas, sporting activities/facilities, etc.

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Today’s activities started out with a 2pm Luminato show: One Thousand and One Nights. We bought tickets for part 1. Unfortunately, it didn’t live up to what we had hoped and we ended up leaving at intermission. But on the bright side, we got to do some spontaneous exploring in the area. 🙂

First, we walked over to the Historic Distillery District which was just down the street from where we were.

The Distillery District is an internationally acclaimed village of brick-lined streets and dozens of vibrantly restored Victorian Industrial buildings. It’s one of Ontario’s hottest tourist attractions and home to live theatres, galleries, fashion, design and jewelry boutiques, unique cafes and award-winning restaurants. It’s all completely closed to traffic and just a few minutes walk from downtown Toronto.

We strolled around, snapped a couple of pics:

We then headed over to the St. Lawrence Market – Chris had never been so I wanted him to check it out. This is a haven for meats, cheese, fruits and veggies, all kinds of yummy stuff.

On the way home, we stopped for lunch at Fionn McCool’s – an Irish Pub-type place. We had never been and wanted to try something new – glad we went since the food was awesome.

Back home with sore feet, a bit of a sunburn, enjoying a glass of 2009 Ravine Chardonnay Musqué and watching 13 going on 30 – Jennifer Garner is hilarious.

Good day. 🙂

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