Category Archives: travel

Lac Philippe

We manage to find ourselves at Lac Philippe at least once every year for a walk or a hike.  It’s a beautiful little lake in the National Capital Commission (NCC) ‘s Gatineau Park.  This weekend we camped there for the first time!  We arrived Thursday around 5:30 (after a very very stressful work day)….the weather was beautiful and it wasn’t long before we were cooking beans on the Coleman stove and sausage over the fire.  We only saw one other couple that night and they weren’t camping anywhere near us.  We were all alone in our sector of the park.  It was idyllic, quiet, dark – oh so peaceful!

Friday we rented little kayaks and paddled around the lake.   We paddled around the entire perimeter of the lake, saw many beaver huts (no beavers though), a loon happily diving for fish, a big blue fish which we have no idea what kind he was (coloured fish are fairly unusual in Canadian lakes that I know of), birds galore!  At the far end (near the entrance to Lusk Caves) we banked the kayaks and had a picnic on the beach, then headed back down up the other side.  We stopped at a little island and did some exploring and took the kayaks back.  It was a great day…oh so quiet out there!

Saturday was big hike day – we hiked to Lac Taylor (another lake within the same area), passing Lac Renaud on the way.  We picnicked at an empty campsite overlooking the Taylor Lake and then looped back through the forest trail and old logging road back to our campsite.  We think it was about 11 k altogether.  Lots of wildlife along the way (as is evidenced below).

Our evenings consisted of reading by the fire (with our geeky headlamps on)!  Nights got COLD….down to about 9c (with the day times in the mid to high 20’s).  Sunday morning we awoke to a lot of sounds..weren’t really too aware of what it was…and then it started to rain…once we looked out we realized that everyone who was near us (those that arrived Friday night) had all been smart enough to pack up and head out before the BIG RAIN started.  Needless to say we left with a lot of wet gear.  It was only 9:30 in the morning, so we grabbed Tim Horton’s breakie and coffee near Wakefield and decided to go for a drive up the valley to Maniwaki.  If you live in the Ottawa area and haven’t driven up there it really is a nice drive (in spite of the crazy drivers).  I had no idea that Maniwaki was so large, with traffic lights, Canadian Tire.  A section near the main street was cordoned off with police blockade and a huge police bus.  When we got home we read that a young man had been found dead in the area.  Sad 😦

Once home we stowed the gear, showered the wood smoke off and headed to Murray Street kitchen for a delectible meal!

That’s it – no more camping until July 7th.  City work & fun until then!

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Beaver Hut in the background

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A2 was our home for the weekend

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Rented kayaks on site for 4 hours and paddled around the perimeter of the lake.

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Melva

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Wee fish near the beach where we rented the kayaks

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More wee fish

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Mom? Dad? & Goslings…

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Oh Deer

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Cute little guy

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Ants at work

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Same Goslings with Mom? Dad?

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The biggest, tallest trilliums I’ve ever seen (above and below)

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the requisite selfie – I shouldn’t wear hats or go without make up…OR do closeups – Johnny’s good though 🙂

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I’ve never seen caterpillars at this stage before..not sure what the heck is next (above & below)

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I should have left some space between our last hiking photo and our dinner the next day 🙂

Below – Johnny’s meal on top – Fred’s Pork – my meal below – Joe’s Fish.  The menu has changes/additions almost daily.  The ‘names’ of the dishes stay the same – but the dish itself may change.  My walleye (pickerel) was amazing..YUM YUM!

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Mexico/Belize 2016 – Day 4 of 18

February 23, 2016

 

Accommodation:  Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize

At Banana Beach February 22nd t
o February 29th, 2016.

Wifi is holding me back. My laptop wont connect to the net and my phone is not great for typing. So giving phone a shot. Thinking they may have blocked my Pc due to my attempt to do big photo upload….sigh. I will continue to try to upliad photos….but not sure if it will work.

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Winter Vacation!!

There comes a day in the lives of many Canadians where they either yearn for or discover the WINTER VACATION.  I was in my late teens when I first started going on trips to Florida and Mexico.  For a period of time when I was raising my children and involved in other aspects of life this activity was curtailed.  When my girls were in their teens this blessed (I use the term loosely) activity was resurrected.  Since then we have managed to sneak off to Florida, Mexico (numerous times), Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, British Virgin Islands, St. Martin (twice), Saba and Costa Rica.  Mexico is definitely my ‘go to’ place when looking for a quick get away.  I love Mexico and still haven’t found another country that presents the vitality and beauty this country has to offer.

Pictured below – the reason I travel.  Today is the last day of a 3 day POLAR VORTEX.  A Polar Vortex freezes your nose hairs, hurts your lungs when you breath and the moment you walk outside it makes you feel like you’ve been popped into one of those freeze dry machines.  Over this past weekend our ‘low’ was around -28 c with wind chills between -38 to -40c.  Click here for the real definition of Polar Vortex.

This is the reason Canadians go on Winter Vacation.  This is the reason that Canadians can live happily through daily temps ranging from zero c to -20 c for months at a time because one 3 day weekend of Polar Vortex weather makes ya strong, builds character and generally numbs you into the realization that we shall survive whatever Mother Nature has to offer.

Saturday (Feb 20th, we head off for 17 days in Mexico & Belize.  Heeee Hawwwww!  Let the warmth begin!

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Road Trip 2015 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

What can I say about Halifax, Nova Scotia other than that it is a VERY special city and I loved it!  It has a very relaxed atmosphere with a cosmopolitan flare!!!  Johnny & I arrived on Thursday afternoon and checked in at Homewood Suites on Brunswick (beside The Citadel).  Awesome hotel in a lot of ways, only one year old, nice sized rooms all with kitchenettes.  Our room had a view of the Harbour.  The only downside to this hotel was that the elevators were crazy busy and although the breakfast wasn’t bad for included buffet, there were just way too many people there and it was difficult to move around and find a place to sit.  In spite of that I would certainly recommend it.  We hurriedly got settled and then headed down to the Pier for a nice long walk – all the way down to Pier 21.  The weather wasn’t wonderful – overcast with a cool wind and it was pretty quiet but it was great to stretch our legs after our drive from Saint John, NB.  After much deliberation we decided to have dinner on the patio of Waterfront Warehouse where we feasted on Nova Scotia, New Brunswick & PEI oysters to start followed by lovely big lobsters!  We were actually freezing to death, so ordered hot toddies after dinner and took them inside to warm up!  We then headed off and found ourselves at a great little dessert & cocktail place called The Middle Spoon – YUM 🙂  A friend had recommended that while in Halifax we should stop by the Split Crow for a little music and that we did!  We were a bit on the tired side by then so only stayed one set, then headed back up the hill to our hotel.

Next day I had lunch with friends (one of whom wahhh had just broken her foot)….we ate at a great little restaurant called The Stubborn Goat – yum again, I had Lobster Mac n’ Cheese!  The weather was great so Hilary, Andrew & I sat on the patio!  After lunch Johnny & I found each other again and we headed off to a nearby beach at  Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park, took a walk and caught a few rays!  After that we went for a drive, crossed over to Dartmouth & headed out to Lawrencetown Beach/Park where we watched some kite surfers!  Chloe & Kyle arrived from Saint John around 8 pm and we immediately headed out for dinner at Durty Nelly’s Irish pub where we managed to nab a patio table.  Food was great and the place was jammed with people having a great time on a Friday night.  After that we headed off to  yet another Halifax music experience and spent the rest of the evening at The Old Triangle where we danced & enjoyed the entertainment!  After that we made our way back up the hill to the hotel.  Admittedly, our Saturday was somewhat sluggish *blush*, Halifax had offered us much too good a time for two nights running.  Once breakfast was over we again walked the Harbourfront and the weather was much warmer.  My English Mum had arrived in Canada aboard the Queen Mary at Pier 21 in Halifax in 1946, so we went to the Pier 21 Museum and I was able to get a copy of her arrival documents.  Later that day we went back out for more lobster and had a pretty early evening 🙂  The next morning we headed off bright and early to our next destination.

All in all, I loved Halifax, really didn’t take many photos that didn’t involve food or cocktails and know for sure this is one city I will visit again!!

Road Trip 2015 – Quebec City

After a very long drive we arrived in Quebec City.  I hadn’t been there for over 30 years….Johnny, who is from Europe had never been and I think he was surprised at how old world Europe it was.   We stayed in a wonderful little hotel Chateau de tourelles that was once an 8 room B&B, but had grown to 12 rooms which qualified it for hotel status while still retaining the features of a B&B.  One has to ring the doorbell to get into the building and moments later a tattooed, pierced fellow named William with a wool cap on greeted us and carried our luggage upstairs where he proceeded to check us in.  There is no on-site car parking but William directed us to the hotel parking about 2 or 3  blocks away.  Once back to our 3rd floor front of the building room which we reached by ascending wonky and wonderful stairs with oriental style carpeting over old wood we arrived at our room which had 3 big windows that we flung open as soon as we arrived…love my fresh air and light!  We hastily unpacked, cleaned up and changed our clothing and headed down St Jean to the gated walls of the old city!  We stayed at Chateau de tourelles for 2 nights nights and enjoyed wine from its roof top terrace with commanding view of the city.  A yummy breakfast was served daily in the rustic style breakfast room.  William`s friend was our server and from Japan so Johnny was able to practise his Japanese with her!

Our two days in Quebec City was comprised mostly of just wandering around but we did do a double decker bus tour to learn the history of the old city from Plains of Abraham to Chateau Frontenac, we try to do these types of tours whenever available in a new city, gets you off on the right foot.  Saturday evening we did a ghost tour of the city, it was a chilly night and the tour a bit too at 2 hours and not really as polished as it might have been, it took us from the top down to the lower city and had us creeping through alley ways and encountering the ghosts of historic Quebec City.  Overall, a lovely place to visit, lots of great places to eat & drink, shopping galore….but for us, not the type of places we need to go to often.  We far prefer the more rural and rustic settings.  When in Quebec City I highly recommend your most comfortable walking shoes as you are up and down the hills and through the cobble stone streets always!  The very strange photos we take below…not sure they are all that representative of Quebec City 🙂

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