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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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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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

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

Creating

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  • Thomas Merton. “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

The colours in this piece of art I created remind me of water.  Maybe it is the Pisces in me?  Whenever I am painting or decorating my house I seem to be drawn to these colours.

I find solace in different types of art forms.  It always amazes me when people create amazing things with their hands.  I don’t consider myself an artist but really enjoy creating things with my hands.  I imagine a builder has that same feeling.  Or a potter, weaver, painter, when they are in the midst of a project.  I simply cannot image what the feeling of someone wanting to purchase your art would be like! 

When I create things with my hands I sometimes have that moment when time seems to stand still.  It seems like all the world stops and you are just in the moment.  That doesn’t happen very often for this girl, my mind always seems to be in thinking mode.  Perhaps you understand that feeling?

Or perhaps you know that feeling of gardening and getting your fingernails dirty and watching your tomatoes grow.  Maybe you’re a writer and you have a story inside you.  Company is coming over and you pull out your recipe book and are inspired to prepare a meal for family.  Creating comes in many forms and it is a gift to cherish when it appears.  

This was one of the best workshops I attended.  It was just me, the instructor Beth and those beautiful colours with an afternoon of creating!

Spring is a great time to start a new project.  What will you create?

Talk soon ~

Nancy

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A Walk in the Park

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One of my favorite things to do is take a walk in the park.  Anytime I am feeling life’s stresses or wanting to just take a few moments to remember what is really important, I love to walk around my favorite park in Guelph.  Riverside Park is my park, it is the Park I grew up in, it is the park I like to watch bridge to-bridge as my father calls it.  

I always love to think of the various conversations that take place on one of the many park benches I walk by.  I love the park in all seasons, with Winter just upon us, I love the stillness and the quietness of the image of this lonely park bench set amongst the river bank. 

When I take time just to spend 30 minutes in nature, I always feel better for doing so.  Why is so hard to get going sometimes, I often spend more time thinking of doing something rather than doing it at times.  This happens often on weekends when my paper arrives at its doorstep, coffee in hand and I plan my day.  My plans always include a little walk or two but often the day floats into night and I am still on the couch serving the internet or changing the channels on the TV.  

Why is so hard to get outside in the Winter weather at times when you know you will feel better after a little stroll around the block.  I put pressure on myself at times when the wind is howling and the snow is blowing to get outside for a little fresh air, as I know I will feel better for even the most basic of steps in the Winter months.  Clearing the car of snow, and oh the drag of shovelling can be overwhelming at times.

I am already counting down the days till Spring but know that we must first endure the quiet and stillness of the Winter.  Maybe just maybe I can be OK with not being so hard on myself this time of year to get outside more.  As it just looks so much prettier from inside.  The snow glistening on the fence, or the kids building a snowman.  

I have some gift cards for the ski hill which I know the kids and I would really have fun at.  I just have to find the courage to get outside and get going on those days when it just seems simpler to stay inside.  I used to ski but have not been in many years, and last year I had promised my Mother I would take the kids downhill skiing this season.  I guess I still have a few more months to accomplish this task.  Or maybe I could make it a fun outing rather than a task.  I guess it is all how you look at things.

Winter I LOVE YOU, I WILL EMBRACE THIS SEASON!

 

“When you change the way you look at things…. the things you look at change.” ~ Wayne Dyer

 

Talk soon~

 

Nancy

2019 Goals

 

2019 Goals for the New Year

The New Year is here, it is January 2nd, with just a few days into the year.  I have been silently thinking of some goals for the New Year.  Since I am not one for setting New Years Resolutions I thought it would be a good idea to perhaps jot a few of my plans for the New Year.

1. More Contentment

I want to be more contented with my everyday activities. I want to feel more grateful, and be happy for what I have in my life today, rather than scrambling around trying to fill that emptiness or that void in the soul with more stuff. I am not sure how or what I will do but this is just something I am throwing out there into the universe. I was reminded of this statement when my favorite New Years Eve host Anderson Cooper said he wanted more contentment.

2. Get more Active and Fit

I am turning a certain age this year, and really want to focus on getting more fit and more active. Mmmmm… that late night gobble of that 3 pack of Lindor last night may need to be kept out of sight. Trying to fall asleep last night, tossing and turning I remembered that I had a small red 3 pack of those delicious Lindor chocolates which where in my stocking at Christmas. I slowly devoured all 3, I did my best to melt each one slowly in my mouth to make that feeling of late night chocolate last longer. Mission accomplished I know don’t have any chocolate left in my room, now I have to actually walk downstairs to get a bite. This will allow me to become more active as stairs are a good way to get some cardio in.

3. Read More Books

I really want to read more books. I have a bad case of staring at my phone too much, looking up useless information and causing endless google searches which amount in a whole lot of wasted time. I want to delve into more books which are sitting in my box just waiting for me to take me out of myself and transport me to another world. That is the power of books and I am so grateful when I find a good book as it is such a great escape from reality.

These are my TOP 3 GOALS……….. What are yours for the 2019 Year ahead?

Talk soon,

 

 

Nancy

2019 Goals for the New Year

2019 Goals for the New Year

Be Kind to Each Other The World Needs It!

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The busy holiday season is upon us with just one week before Christmas Day.  Lunch hour came and went however the memory of what made the day still lingers.  Much can be accomplished on a one hour lunch break, thoughts of going for lunch with friends, last minute shopping or a walk around Riverside Park in the sunshine. 

Choosing the latter option was a great chance to stretch the legs and clear the mind with a little time in nature.  A favorite path at Riverside Park which has been referred to the, “Bridge to Bridge walk”.  The walk started from the East side of the Speed River walking trail accessed from the Speedvale Ave. Bridge towards the Woodlawn Bridge.  As the footsteps rounded the pathway just meters from the low lying woods near the Woodlawn Bridge, there it was glittering in the sunlight. 

The beautifully decorated 3.5 ft. small pine tree was easy to spot just to the left of the path. Tiny red bows, a set of battery operated colorful lights, and a few ornaments adorned this tree in the woods. Underneath the tree lay a few presents marked with a Christmas tag which read, “To:  You, From: Secret Santa” A card dangled on the tree in a plastic sleeve marked, “PLEASE READ ME!” 

Looking around to see if anyone else was around besides the birds flying above.  Nostalgic feelings of past Christmas’s were brought up which brought a smile.  The card read, “Season’s Greetings to EVERYONE WHO READS THIS…..”  It spoke about random acts of kindness and Christmas being a time of giving.  “If you receive a gift, please enjoy it and consider doing a little something to pay it forward.  I hope it brings delight to all who notice it.” 

The world can be such a very busy place, Thank you to the kind soul who took the time to leave this very thoughtful message.  “Be as Kind as you can as the world needs it!”  This certainly made the day and helped to restore joy in the holiday season.  Hopefully many will benefit from this beautiful Act of Kindness!

 

Talk soon, 

 

Nancy