5 Tips for Your Toronto CN TOWER VISIT

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  • Make sure you charge your phone, and check that it is working well before your visit.  You can capture the most amazing photos of the City, or take a selfie with the Toronto skyline.   Take tons of photos if you can, (my phone which was having technical issues at the time, sighh).  
  • Take a backpack with some water and snacks.  Or if you are like me and didn’t bring any snacks and beverages with you, check out the new Bistro with food and drinks.  We had a chance to sit down at the new bistro and watch the world go around, it was fun.  Last time we were there, we dined (burgers) at the 360 restaurant experience, it was great and not too expensive.
  • Buy an Express Pass for the Elevator – It will cost you $7.00 per person, but it was well worth it.  Our wait times went from 1.5hr to 30 minutes.  I really liked this option, we thought it was great value.
  • Go as early as you can, (they suggest before noon is the less busiest time of the day).  
  • Have FUN, walk across the glass bottom floor if you dare! My kids ran across, I was a little nervous and did not.  Walk all around the observation decks (both indoors and outdoors) and check out all of the amazing views. Wear comfortable shoes.

 

Here is the link to purchase tickets and to check out more information about the CN TOWER, https://www.cntower.ca/en-ca/plan-your-visit/tickets.html  Maybe take the new Edgewalk?

 

Talk soon ~

 

Nancy

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The Drayton Entertainment Disney Beauty and the Beast

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Photo By: Hilary Gauld Camilleri

The Drayton Festival Theatre, a renovated 1902 Opera House was at full capacity last evening for the opening night of the Disney classic, Beauty and the Beast.  Entering the former Town Hall and Opera House the building was lit up ready for its audience to watch “A tale as old as time”.

The Drayton spin on the old tale was magnificent.  The audience was captivated from the very beginning until its final bows.  Entering into the old building it was bustling with preshow activity, 50/50 draw tickets, people purchasing admission at the box office, as well as patrons having a few beverages before the show.

Hearing the bell we knew it was time to quickly find our seats.  The theatre is very accessible with one of our attendees who required the elevator to bring us to the balcony seating.  As always we found the staff to be so welcoming and helpful during our evening.

The show began with the iconic voice of Lloyd Robertson narrating the opening act where we met the handsome looking fellow who played the beast by actor Tony Edgerton.  Within minutes the Prince is transformed into a hideous beast after a spell is cast on him. 

The tale begins when we are introduced to Belle, played by Jessica Gallant who discovers her father is missing so she sets out on a search to find him.  

Later at the castle we find the beast staring at the enchanted rose wondering how he will ever return to normal.  Meanwhile in the basement of the castle Belle’s father is trapped in a cage.

The set was ever-changing with quick scene changes that brought the tale to life.  The set designer Christine Peters, definitely utilized the magic of Disney in all her designs.   The costumes were colorful and added to the fairy-tale appeal, including the debut of Chip, who played the cup of tea. 

The first set was a full of musical acts and we enjoyed the antics of Belle’s hometown.  There were the Village silly girls, Gaston, Lefou and lots of singing and dancing of course.

We watched Gaston’s flex his muscles throughout the show all the while trying to win the beauty’s heart to no avail. 

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Photo by: Hilary Gauld Camilleri

Belle gave up her freedom for her father, we knew little about the journey it would take her on.  The musical stirred all the senses and emotions like any good fairy-tale does.  Like all good ending we hoped that love would be found.

The Drayton musical adaptation of the Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is wonderful for all audiences, including both younger and older.  We were transformed into a magical fairy-tale world for 2.5 hours.  The cast, crew and director Jayme Armstrong certainly deserved the standing ovation. 

Go see this creative performance playing until August 31st at the Drayton Festival Theatre. You can purchase tickets here at 1-855-DRAYTON or check out the website to purchase tickets, https://www.draytonentertainment.com/Online/default.asp.

You will have to come and see for yourself if love will safe the day!

 

Talk soon,

 

 

Nancy

 

 

Washed Ashore Exhibit at the Toronto Zoo

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During a recent trip to the wonderful Toronto Zoo this past Month, one of the first things you see when walking into the gates is a larger than life-sized Marlin.  

Looking closer you could see it was made of recycled materials, reading the plaque by this huge fish was my first time learning about this travelling project called “Washed Ashore”, “Art to Save the Sea”. Here is the link about this project found on the Toronto Zoo, http://www.torontozoo.com/washedashore/.

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Walking around the Zoo in the warm sunny skies, I had an opportunity to explore all 10 of these amazing larger than life sculptures. 

Of course like many visitors, I too had snapped photos of the gang standing beside these friendly characters.

A travel friend commented on one of my social media posts.  She mentioned how much she had loved this artist.  She first saw these creatures at an exhibit in Palm Beach Florida several years ago. 

This lead me to do some more research and learn more about the artist and realized how lucky we and the visitors to the Zoo are to know this is the Canadian Debut of this thought-provoking exhibit.

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The lead artist and founder of this organization is Angela Haseltine Pozzi.  Each sculpture is designed and created by a team of people who love the Ocean and the mission of this amazing project. Pozzi said the first step is to let people know there is a problem with plastics and garbage in our Oceans.  

“The friendly characters are giving a voice to what needs to be done, better than what a statistical chart can do”, shares one of the artists on a YouTube video.

Here is the CEO of the Toronto Zoo sharing about the Canadian Debut of the project on the Zoo’s FB page, https://www.facebook.com/TheTorontoZoo/videos/716042262151443/

Help get the conversations started about our environment, share these great images which are taken from the Washed Ashore Website or better yet go see them yourself, they are only on display until November 17th, 2019.

 

Talk soon ~

 

 

Nancy

 

A Birds Eye View of Toronto

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Toronto a City of almost 3 million people, just 1 hour West of Wellington County is a great City to go day tripping.  We finally had the opportunity to take the amazing hop on hop off City SightSeeing Toronto bus tour the other day with a friend and our kids. 

My 12-year-old daughters dream of riding a double-decker bus had finally come true!  We hopped on the last ride of the day at the habourfront pick up point at 249 Queens Quay West.

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What a view, if you have never had the opportunity to go on an open air double-decker bus it is highly suggested from my daughter Meaghan!  Our travel friend Dawn always takes the bus tours when traveling, and knew the City of Toronto well.  It is always great to go with someone who can add their favorite comments about your travels.

The bus departed and we were off!  The tour of the City, took us about 2.5 – 3 hours (normally a 2 hour tour), to take the whole tour and it was well worth the ticket price. 

It also includes access for 48 hours and a boat tour.  The boat tour is so amazing, we set sail from the Toronto Harbourfront around the Toronto Islands.  The photos we took from the boat tour on the Serendipity Princess Cruise added to our wonderful memories of our day in the City!

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Having taken the tour, which included a commentary it allowed us to walk away with much more knowledge of this amazing City.  Here are my 5 things I learned on the tour.

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  • Toronto has 140 ethnic neighbourhoods in the City.
  • The St. Lawrence Market has been a culinary focal point since, 1803.
  • The Distillery district has no car access, looks like its own little Village.
  • John Graves Simcoe moved the capital of Upper Canada to Toronto, which he named York, not wanting an aboriginal name.
  • The R.O.M. Royal Ontario Museum, only has 5% of their collection on display, with the other 95% at a secret underground location.

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We got to see sights and sounds you wouldn’t normally be able to see driving on your own.  Such as when the bus stopped we all watched a band play in front of the Eaton’s Center. 

It was an amazing way to just sit back and relax and not worry about the crazy rush hour traffic.  It was a beautiful warm sunny day, however there was a lovely breeze to keep us cool as we drove along the scenic streets.

We got to see all of the major sites in the City which included a little history about each of the sites.  I loved all of the architecture and the different ethnic communities we traveled.  Here is the link to the tour, https://citysightseeingtoronto.com/

Talk soon ~

 

Nancy

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Revitalization of the Elora Mill

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  • To read the full story, click on the link for Guelph Today (Nancy is a freelancer for Village Media).

The quaint village of Elora has been revitalized by the revitalization of the Elora Mill & Spa.

Pearle Hospitality rescued the Mill from bankruptcy in 2010 and restored the 175 year old iconic building and added a spa, all at a cost of roughly $27 million.  

The Elora Mill Hotel & Spa officially reopened its doors to the public last July.

Newly appointed general manager Geoffrey Wild, who hails from South Africa and whose resumé includes management of large world class hotels, was engaging, professional and had a good sense of humour when he spoke about his role at the inn.

To read more, click on the link for Guelph Today (article was first published)…

https://www.guelphtoday.com/local-news/new-look-elora-inn-spa-helps-revitalize-the-village-1152692

Talk soon,

Nancy

Summer Adventures In My BackYard

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Grand River

With the official kickoff of Summer happening tomorrow June 21st, many of us are busy planning our summer vacations.  What plans do you have this summer?  It is such a short season, and we have had alot of rain and not as warm as usual.

Some of us will be jumping on a plane and travelling to far away distant lands.  For others like myself, we will be staying around locally and discovering the many hidden “adventures in my backyard”.

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to feel like you are in a far away land.  Often times just travelling around the neighbourhood can feel like a new escape.  It is all a mindset, or perhaps taking a different road on your daily commute.  We are so lucky to have so many beautiful places in this little part of the World.

Elora, Fergus, Elmira, St. Jacobs and Guelph are just a few of the great little Towns and Villages to go exploring this summer.  Pack a picnic, test out the local cuisine, farmers markets, jump in the local Lakes, or take in an event there are hundreds and watch the world go by.

Here are some great links to place in the area to discover, https://www.wellington.ca/en/business/EDVisitWellington.aspx.  Follow us this summer as we go exploring discovering new places and people this season!

Talk soon,

Nancy

Summer Trail Adventures

ADVENTURE AWAITS

The Man Who Shot Chance Delaney

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It is so great to have a night out; especially a date night with your 12-year-old daughter. 

My daughter luckily still likes to hang out with her Mom on a Friday night, I am not sure how much longer that will last.  Meaghan and I were excited to watch the performance of  The Man Who Shot Chance Delaney together as she performed in a Western play with the Centre Wellington Children’s Drama Club in Fergus not too long ago.   

We settled into our seats and were transported back to the 1900’s to a small town in Kansas where the majority of the play took place in the Lucky Dollar Saloon along with several other locations.  

This two act play was written by Canadian playwright Ian Weir.  I had read about Weir he had a dream of being a writer when he was young, but was told like many artists, “Yes but what will you do to earn a living?” 

We watched the 6 experienced actors who all had multiple roles in the play with delight and awe as they quickly transformed from one character to another mostly without even leaving the stage.  The visual effects of the lighting and set design all made for a great Wild West gun slinging story.

I especially liked the quick flip of an apron strap which changed the lead actress Molly into a totally different character once the strap was properly fastened on the apron. There were the many voices of Perkins, the fast talking Brewster and Abilene who changed from a young women to a little boy with just a flip of a hat.

The storytelling began with a stranger who entered the Saloon and started to share his tales.  Meanwhile at the same time the tales were told by each actor helping to get a better glimpse of how the story unfolded.  The story included like any good Western shootouts, bar fights, and broken hearts.

Chatting with my daughter on the way home she commented, “It was as if there was multiple layers to the characters and you had to listen really closely to see what would happen next!”  I agreed and said “It sure was an evening of great storytelling and was so well done.” 

From the experience my daughter had in a live production, it give us a glimpse of the many hours of rehearsal required for a production. 

Many thanks to the Director of the play Denise Gismondi, Judi McCuaig the Producer and Bev Maintenay the Stage Manager and Assistant Director. 

The GLT has many volunteers that help make the productions run smoothly and I am told they are always looking for more people to come and help them share the love of arts and the Royal City.  

The entertainment continued after the show when we walked into the lobby and a dance party had begun with the Range Riders band playing country music.

If you want to find out Who Shot Chance Delaney and how the story ends you still have time to attend a show, it is running until June 2, 2019. 

Bring a date to either next Friday or Saturday’s evening performance and you can kick up your heels to the Dan Badger Band playing both pre show and post show with the bar open later.    You can purchase tickets at the Guelph Little Theatre, http://www.guelphlittletheatre.com/.

Talk soon ~

Nancy

This Girl would have been 101 Today!

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There are some benefits of social media, such as the memories feature on your Facebook.  While sipping my first coffee of the day I checked out my social media.  I am not so sure this is the best use of my time, or if it is the most beneficial way to start the day.  

I hear yoga is a great way to start the day with a little meditation.  It sounds good, but I am privy to my FB and checking out what’s going on in the world of my friends updates, and news updates.  I admit I am forgetful and don’t always know when someone’s Birthday is.  I like FB for that type of reminder.  

This morning this picture showed up of my Grandmother.  It was taken on May 16th, 2014, she had turned 96 that year.  She so wanted to join the 100-year-old club.  Sadly she didn’t make it.  However she did live 96 long years of life and today would have marked her 101 year Birthday!

Grandma I thought of you today and I remember when I snapped this picture of you above.  The silly Birthday hat, and colourful balloon and few little things to make you feel special.    Here are 50 thoughts I have today on your 101 Birthday.

  1. Happy Birthday Grandma
  2. Life is awesome
  3. We Miss You
  4. Love you
  5. Meaghan and Noah are getting so big
  6. The weather is finally getting better
  7. The birds are coming now
  8. I bet your squirrel will be coming soon to see you
  9. Do you want to play scrabble
  10. Did I say we miss you
  11. Your house you lived in for all those years has a young happy family in it now
  12. Miss those Christmas’s at your house
  13. Remember when we went swimming in the summer
  14. I loved your raspberries
  15. You were a great gardener
  16. I love your toastites
  17. Sandy was the best Dog ever
  18. I ll bet you miss going to Midland
  19. How did you have 5 kids, 5 years apart
  20. What was your greatest fear
  21. You never really liked a lot of affection, not kissy feely
  22. You always listened to every word when people spoke
  23. You were the best scrabble player 
  24. You love big
  25. You were so kind
  26. Big hearted person
  27. I remember your funky Nissan van
  28. Thanks for all the great memories with David and I
  29. You took my other Grandma places, she loved it
  30. Thanks for the “special Nancy, David, days”
  31. You would not believe your house now
  32. The Airport sold
  33. You loved a big lunch, it was your meal of the day
  34. How did you have so many kids
  35. You were the same age as me, when you had your last 2 kids
  36. I know I was your favourite oldest Granddaughter
  37. I am writing in the Guelph Today
  38. I bought a house finally
  39. We are so happy now, Meg, Noah and Me.
  40. Matt always talks so fondly of you.
  41. Mom and Dad are good
  42. I wish I could take you out a Rocky’s hotdog
  43. Len was your greatest love
  44. We loved you fiercely
  45. You kept the family together
  46. It is not the same without you
  47. How come you didn’t have more comfortable things
  48. Did you have a party when you went to Heaven
  49. I loved reading to you
  50. Simple Abundance

Inspired by Keynote Speaker Lisa Lisson

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I had the opportunity to attend the Guelph YMCA – YWCA, Women of Distinction Awards for the 2nd time last night at the Guelph River Run Centre.  

I jumped at the opportunity to get a quick photo of  the keynote speaker Lisa Lisson when I saw her walk by.  Her daughter in attendance was gracious enough to snap the photo.  The annual event celebrates 20 amazing women doing incredible things in the Guelph and Wellington County communities.

Lisson began her talk by checking her watch and said she would only take the 20 minutes alloted for her to speak. Everyone chuckled when she said, “I will be right on time!”  For those who may not know Lisa Lisson is the first women President of FedEx Canada.

The theme of the 2019 Women of Distinction awards was, “MY JOURNEY”.  The packed audience was very attentive when Lisson shared her amazing journey with us.  Her motto she lives by and shares with all of her employees at FedEx is “you can have it all, family and career without sacrificing one for the other.”

Lisson was just 21 years old when her father passed of brain cancer just 2 weeks before she was to graduate at the University of Guelph.  Lisson shared her soon to be Mother In Law was diagnosed with brain cancer as well so her and her fiance Patrick decided to bump up their wedding date so Mother and son could share a dance at their wedding. Her Mother in Law passed soon after her wedding.

Lisson shared she was living a dream life.  She was married to her highschool sweetheart,  4 beautiful daughters, a loving home and a successful career. 

Her world came crushing down when one day she heard a thump and when she called for her husband he didn’t answer.  She found her 38-year-old husband was on the ground unresponsive he had suffered a major heart attack.   She tried CPR and he was rushed to the hospital where he was seriously ill and was in a vegetative state.  

Immediately her response was “does this hospital believe in miracles?”  He survived for 2 years after his heart attack with her trying every method and idea she could research to try to bring him back to her.  Sadly he passed 2 years after that fateful evening.

She didn’t realize at the time this would lead her to learning more about resiliency and how it would change her life journey.

Within a year of loosing her husband, then Vice President of FedEx Lisson said she received a phone call congratulating her. Her response was “on what?”  “You are the first women President of FedEx Canada!”  She couldn’t believe what she heard, she said “but wait, don’t you want to interview me!”

Lisson found strength with her Mother’s help.  She certainly had her share of dark days but over and over she would try to believe that “everything would be OK!”  She shared that one of the things that she really values is carving out “whitespace” for herself to recharge.”  She said without that she doesn’t know how she could function.  She said she would tell her daughters, “don’t knock on the bedroom door unless the house is burning down, Mom is reading for 2 hours.”

I loved everything this incredible women shared. Her wise words and her suggestion of putting one foot in front of the other despite all of the challenges she faced has inspired me and countless others to keep going and to always BELIEVE and to live a life of GRATITUDE!

Lisson is the author of a book called Resilience, here is the link to purchase, http://lisalisson.ca/resilience-the-book/  Last night the proceeds of the book were donated to the #GuelphY.  For more information about this event, check out this link, https://www.guelphy.org/en/community-events-and-programs/women-of-distinction.aspx.

 

The Lovely SMILING Crossguard Mary-Ellen!

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I like to watch people from a distance.  Having watched this crossing guard at my children’s school for the past few years at J.D. Hogarth Public School in Fergus.  I have always thought this women must really enjoy her job. 

Mary-Ellen is that kind of person who always has a smile on her face.  You know those kind of people who are always so cheerful no matter what the weather is doing.  I see her standing in the rain or snow in the early morning hours and she is always bright and cheerful despite the weather.  I have watched her and she seems to have that natural ability to chat with others and always has something kind to say when you see her.

I had more of a chance to chat with her recently while waiting in line a the local post office.  While tapping my toes trying to wait patiently for the elderly women in front of me, I turned to the lady behind me who was staring patiently out the window with a smile.

The lady behind me in the line was certainly recognizable with her bright yellow jacket on and her infectious smile.  Like many others to pass time we began to chat about the weather and she mentioned she “had that cold going around”.   She said “she didn’t want to get out of bed that morning, but always feels better when she puts her smile on and gets going!”  

When asked if she wakes up like that she chuckled and said, “she has been asked that question often before.”  Mary-Ellen said,  “No I have to remind myself you can go thru life either smiling or frowning.  She said, “she chooses to smile!”

She said she “loves her job, and loves working outside”.  I told her how much I appreciated her happy disposition and that she just puts a smile on my face every time I see her. 

Well time didn’t permit me that morning to take care of my business in the post office that morning, but I was sure glad I had bumped into “My favorite crossing guard” as she just made my day, as I needed a reminder on how I could choose to smile or not thru-out my day!

I had asked her when she would be dressing up again and she said, “Oh, I am sure I will be getting the bunny ears out for Easter, the kids love them!”  As you can see in the photo, today was the day she wore the bunny ears. 

Thanks for always making my day brighter Mary-Ellen and keeping our kids safe!

Talk soon~

Nancy