Bottle It Up

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I’ve recently been on the road for work for what feels like weeks and weeks. When in fact, its only been two weeks of travel. The travelling life is not as glamourous as Instagram makes it out to be. The airport shots of our luggage, the Starbucks coffees, the perfectly manicured nails…. yea, it is far from that. I don’t take for granted the opportunities I’m being afforded with my business and how travelling makes me feel (when there are no snow storms and flight delays/cancellations which has been my travelling life as of late). I really do love travelling. Just the right amount of it.

I get some of my best ideas when I’m travelling. I’m not sure if its because the time on the plane without a phone allows my brain to fully relax. Or because when I travel, I’m taking in new sights and experiences so my brain is on creative overdrive.

In my recent trip to Ottawa, during a snow storm around dinner time, I put on my winter parka and went for a walk and man, despite the blowing snow in my face and the crazy looks I was getting by drivers passing slowly by me, were the ideas ever a swirling around in my head.

I find this too whenever I’m travelling with Andrew down the 401 in our hauls from Guelph to the farm. The long stretch of highway, knowing how far we’re going and how much time I have to just ‘be’ makes me feel at ease. The ideas come rolling out of me when I have time to process my thoughts.

I (finally) have time to read all those open tabs on my laptop, read 100+ pages of a book in one sitting or take in hours of a podcast that I’ve been dying to listen too.

I wish I could bottle up this energy I seem to harness when I’m travelling. I wish I could also bottle up all of these ideas I have floating around in my head since I started my business late last summer. The notes pages I’ve ended up scribbling down are far too many and its not the ideas I come up with that I’m in love with – it’s the action I want to take out of them. I want to actually DO something with all of these ideas I’ve seem to have bottled up.

Anyone else with me?! #BottleUpmyBrain

Side note: this highway photo above is one I snapped from a recent trip to Mont Tremblant with Andrew. MT is one of our most favourite places and this was one of the BEST trips we’ve taken in years. There is just something about those Laurentian mountains that sets our souls on fire and makes us feel at ease. 💕

Where is the Pause Button At?

Say it with me... where is 2016 going?! Can we just push the pause button so we can slow this year down? And then on the other hand, I think of all the things I've did so far in 2016 and I'm not surprised we're already into August.

2016 has been an incredible year of travelling and 'firsts' for me including trips and experiences enjoyed in Mont Tremblant, Quebec; Banff, Alberta; wine tours to NOTL and discovering new little towns across Ontario like Jordan. And there are so many more towns and adventures I want to see and do before the summer begins to wind down.

My husband and I typically get a chance to visit my in-laws over the holidays back home in Manitoba but this summer, we were able to head to the prairies to take in the beauty of the western skies and canola/sunflower fields during the beautiful summer months.

Another first I got to experience with my in-laws was visiting their cottage on Lake-of-the-Woods near Kenora, Ontario. The views were spectacular.. as fellow blogger and friend Jen commented on my social media accounts when I posted the top photo, it looks like a photo from the group of even artists. Experiencing the beauty of the wilderness in the heat of the summer was so refreshing.

One of the best parts about my recent trip to Manitoba and cottaging in northern Ontario, besides seeing family and friends of course, was enjoying Lake-of-the-Woods and the outdoors without internet connection. I'll blog about this in a follow up post to elaborate more but the thrill of not having to answer emails and social media accounts was a healthy blessing in disguise for a society of people that now depend on these devices and mediums to keep us stimulated throughout the day.

Because of that, I was able to fish, canoe, finish the summer-fiction best seller 'The Nest' in two days, enjoy Ontario craft beer at the local famous brewhouse, Lake of the Woods Brewing Company, hike to Rushing River provincial park, and see the Northern Lights for the first time in my life! The pictures don't do these moments justice.

Hope you all are enjoying this beautiful summer... I think I can smell fall in the air already!

 Manitoba 2016

Savouring Summer 2016

Savouring Summre 2016

Happy belated Victoria Day, my Canadian friends!

The weather to kick off our first (unofficial summer) long weekend of the year was a beauty! I enjoyed a weekend with both friends and family in cottage country and at home on the farm... what could be better than that?!

I always look forward to the summer-like weather that finally embraces us come May 2-4 weekend. But I know that this weekend also means that I won't have the same focus and energy on weekends relating to my side business as I do in Fall/Winter/Spring. Once summer weather is here and the outdoors are to be enjoyed, I just don't have the same drive. Is anyone else with me on this?!

Summer also means wedding season, patio drinks, late-night warm weather walks, reading on the deck, cattle show season for my family and travelling/enjoying the outdoors - there really is so much to look forward too. Oh, and did I mention work in there too?!

Because my family lives along the Trent River in Hastings, we are fortunate that in the summer, the views on the water are so beautiful and calming (the photo above was actually taken yesterday by moi, enjoying a day on the Trent). It makes it hard to explore other places when you know you have access to views like this, but I'm always up for exploring new places across our province because there really are so many untouched jems Andrew and I want to visit and need to see.

Makes sense, after seeing views like these in Banff, that to want to #exploreOntario and whats in our own backyard. Thinking of heading out this summer to savour summer 2016 in Ontario like we will be?

Here are some ideas to help plan your trips and getaways for summer 2016 from our #ExploreOntario Travel Bucket List:

  • The emerging wine country of Ontario, Prince Edward County (just enjoyed a weekend there with my girls recently, such an awesome area of the province!)
  • It would be remiss of me not to mention my own hometown of Hastings - a quaint town that is home to 1,200 + people with some awesome views, a well-known local coffee shop and Kawartha Dairy icecream shop, some great eats and of course, fishing (voted the Ultimate Fishing Town in 2012). Because the Trent River runs through the town (the same river my family lives on) there is also a great lock system which boats use to cruise through in the summer time!
  • We've visited Elora Gorge Conservation area for a day before, but we really want to camp there and do the lazy river tub ride
  • Right down the road from beachfront Grand Bend, there is Pinery Provincial Park which made for awesome camping for Andrew and I. I'll be heading back to GB in June for a weekend away with my girls, can't wait!
  • On Sunday's in the summer, you can find me here at the Aberfoyle Antique Market, so many amazing finds each time I visit!
  • The 3+ hour drive from Toronto to Tobermory is one of the best kept secrets of the province. The Bruce Penninsula has so much to offer, it was one of the best trips we've taken!
  • Another touristy spot that uses the phrase, "One of Canada's Best Kept Secret" is Canada's southernmost populated point,  Peelee Island, which requires a ferry ride to get there. Maybe you recognize the name because of the well-known Peelee Island Winery? Haven't been there before but would love to make it there this summer and enjoy a glass of Peelee Island ON Peelee Island.
  • While I haven't spent that much time in the Muskoka's, I've always wanted to re-visit Deerhurst Resort after visiting as a child and I've also heard awesome things about the J.W. Marriott 'The Rosseau in northern cottage country.
  • Algonquin Park has always been on my bucket list but I can't seem to find a weekend to make a camping trip there. Maybe a visit one weekend to Adventure Lodge Cabins this fall would make for some awesome hiking, camp fires and and smores.
  • Two places close to home that Andrew and I often take a drive too when we're visiting my family and the farm close to Peterborough are Elmhirt Resort, located on Rice Lake which funnels from Trent River and Viamede Resort on the picturesque Stoney Lake.
  • An earlier trip this year to Mont Tremblant made for the perfect winter ski getaway that we needed but we both said while we were there that we would love to come back in the summertime to enjoy the awesome activities available when the snow has disappeared.
  • One place I actually had never visited with Andrew before was downtown Niagara-On-The-Lake which we recently crossed off on our travel bucket list! We brought our own bikes with us and did a tour of the town before heading out into the countryside to see the many well-known wineries.

Photos from our recent trip in early May to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

NOTL