Things I Love About Our Country #Canada150

Happy belated Canada day, friends!

Now that I am (somewhat) caught up on sleep from what was an epic Canada day long weekend, which included celebrating my little brother's wedding, I wanted to share 6 of the things I love about our country to commemorate #Canada150. Hope you got to celebrate what was uniquely yours on Canada day!

[1. Food and wine]  - strawberry picking, pumpkin patches, cherries, maple syrup, lentils, there are so many amazing things I've been surprised to learn we grow, produce and harvest within our very own country. We truly have one of the safest, most sustainable food systems in the world with the abundance and variety of yummy foods we produce. We should also be proud of our emerging wine industry - we may be a few hundred years behind Europe in our wine production but our wines from BC and Ontario are still incredibly tasty too! The photo of the cherries above is actually our neighbour's cherry tree. Talk about eating and enjoying local?! #HowCoolIsThat

[2. The views and our 4 seasons] - I think it is fair to say we may have some of the most diverse, vast landscapes of any country in the world in part because of the 4 seasons we get to experience. From the mountain views, to the prairie flats, our waterways to the red dirt on the east coast, you can experience so much in just one country (even though it takes a far distance to get from one end to the other and 4 changes of clothing for each season!). I feel fortunate to have visited almost all Canadian provinces - the only two provinces I have yet to visit are Newfoundland and Saskatchewan which I have added to my travel bucket list! Some of my favourite views (of so many in our country) that I've been able to personally savour include mountains views from Sidney, BC and Banff/Lake Louise, AB; rocky shores in Lake-of-the-Woods/Kenora, ON; watching the northern lights in the prairie, Manitoba skies; harbour ocean-front views in North Rustico, PEI and one of my absolute favorite views, the calming, scenic views from my family's cottage on the Trent River in ON. Oh and fall is still my favourite season of them all :)

[3. Innovations and creations] - I didn't realize how many incredible innovations our country and Canadians are responsible. Some of them are life changing and some are the simple pleasures we and so many millions enjoy - things like insulin, peanut butter (one of my absolute favs!), the life vest, the electric wheelchair, backup lights on modern cars, garbage bags and the paint roller. You can read more awesome inventions here. Who knew how truly awesome we are?!

[4. The Great Lakes] - Being raised on the water, I've always been attached to the water and love a good deep breathe of fresh, water air (it could also be the fact that I am the water sign Cancer). Being from Ontario, I love how close we are to the Great Lakes, all 5 of which are just a drive a way to enjoy. I'll never forget learning in grade school how to remember the names of our 5 Great Lakes - remember the acronym HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior!) You are welcome :) Side note, my girlfriends and I thought the Great Lakes are so awesome that we got the sweatshirt I'm pictured in above, made last summer when we were all in Grand Bend #BestIdeaEver

[5. The Canadian game of Hockey] - The photo above of the goalie is of my very own husband Andrew in his glory days as a goalie for the University of Guelph. He has since hung up his pads, but I love how much we enjoy the game of hockey together. I've always been a huge fan (of not only him) but the game of hockey itself. I have loved being a fan in the stands since a young age and understand the game enough to rock our family hockey pool which I won this year ;)

[6. Our 'Canadianisms'] - There are so many awesome things that make us known as Canadians that I'm calling these our 'Canadianism's. Things like the iconic Hudsons Bay brand of colourful stripes (I have the paddle above!), maple syrup, poutine, Tim Hortons, the red maple leaf, our manners/politeness - these are just a few of the things that make us so uniquely known around the world as Canadians.

[Photo Source]
[Photo Source]

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