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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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

Fergus Highland Games

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This community is so amazing there is just always something going on!  Centre Wellington was once again hosting the Annual Fergus Highland Games this August weekend.   I had the privilege of attending the opening ceremonies on the Friday evening. 

Ahhhh… the sound of those bag pipes, it was truly soul-stirring and when the Tattoo began, my heart seemed to have skipped a beat.  I found myself getting rather emotional, almost in tears which surprised me, however I don’t think I was alone in my thoughts as I looked around everyone was standing still and appeared to be just as in awe as I was.

I had the honour of meeting and chatting with Graham McTavish,  the Scottish Actor who portrays Dougal MacKenzie in the popular Outlander series.  Check out my chat with him on my FB social media, https://www.facebook.com/wanderingwellingtoncounty/?hc_ref=ARQNbIui3YV67rLi_OYe7MeqChO8gLxPQwWHonNU2InD-bhxNFeaiHNgHhgw6PeBSig

Last year when I attended the Fergus Highland Games I had the opportunity to meet the popular author of the Outlander series who was a special guest, http://www.dianagabaldon.com/ Diana Gabaldon.   She was full of grace, elegance and appeared humble amidst her immense popularity. Meeting both of these two talented public figures I believe is definitely the universe’s way of sending a message;  it is time to dust off the book I had purchased at last years event and delve into another world.

Another bonus of attending the Festival, is of course learning more about the culture and customs of different countries.  When one of the speakers shared some of his insight into the various clans in attendance, it is like I had a light bulb moment! I am rather embarrassed to admit this, however I had never seemed to fully comprehend the meaning of the Scottish Clans.  He explained it in a way I finally could understand a little more about this interesting culture.  Clans as I understood it for the first time in the Scottish context is another word for family.  If you are like me and need to understand a little more about the definition of the word, here is the Wikipedia definition below. 

A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship[1] and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. Clans in indigenous societies tend to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. Clans proceeded more centralized forms of community organization and government, and exist in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan. The kinship-based bonds may also have a symbolic ancestor, whereby the clan shares a “stipulated” common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan’s unity. When this “ancestor” is non-human, it is referred to as a totem, which is frequently an animal.

The word clan is derived from the Gaelic clann[1] meaning “children” or “progeny”; it is not from the word for “family” in either Irish[2][3] or Scottish Gaelic. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was introduced into English in around 1425, as a label for the nature of the society of the Scottish Highlands

As I sat at a table with people watching the Tattoo, I felt more welcomed as the night was nearing its end.  Perhaps this is a glimpse into what the Scottish call a Clan, as it felt like we were part of a family.

As I have learned this life, there are various types of family,  not always blood.  What ever you call it, I love my “CLAN”.  You know who I am talking about, “those people who get you!”, “they have your back, they fight for you, they cry with you, they are family, they are your clan!” 

 Sláinte or until we meet again!

 

Talk soon,

 

Nancy

 

 

Adventures In My Backyard

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Why do I sometimes think I should travel far & wide to discover more about myself?  With the end of the school year upon us and the kids beginning their summer holidays, I pondered this thought.  I was brought back to reality when after the kids were safely on the bus, I stepped out onto my backyard which has a forest like feel & look to it.  It is in on the outskirts of the City limits and we are moving shortly to a new home.

I know already how much I am going to miss this fabulous backyard, but thinking of the new place, it does have a pond close by and I have always wanted to live close to the water.  I am getting closer I guess, although it is an irrigation pond and it located by the kids playground area.  I did discover one of my favorite birds flying overhead as I was walking around the pond.  It was the Blue Heron(s) who were flying back and forth and may live in the vicinity. 

Summer officially began yesterday, (June 21, 2018) and with that came the longest night of the year.  My mother was eager to inform us,  that yesterday had 15 hours and 36 minutes of daylight.  She then said, “After today the days are going to get shorter”.  OH no, not shorter days already, we just had winter with blowing snow and cold.  OK back to today, it was a gorgeous summer day and night!

I sat on the sidelines of the CW Sportsplex along with my parents cheering my 11-year-old daughter, who truth be told needs a few soccer tips.  I was a proud Mom, as this is the first sports team she has ever wanted to join.  She is building her confidence and is blending into the group nicely. I am becoming a sports Mom cheering her on the sidelines. She is getting a little older now and when we arrived she immediately got out of the Jeep and went over to her team, not even a see you later.  It seemed as if she didn’t want us to even be there, but we had to say a few cheers when she kicked the ball.  We tried to respect her coolness factor and not make a spectacle out of her or us. 

Her grandfather and I chuckled and I understood how she must have felt, I was that preteen girl not long ago.  Ok maybe it was quite a long time OK, but who is counting?  That one who when I got dropped off at high school dreaded the thought of my father and brother blowing the horn and yelling out the window “Bye, Have a Good Day at School Nancy!” 

AHHH….summer so darn short and sweet, the sky looked like a photo from a postcard by the end of the night.  The thought of wanting to travel to far away lands disappeared because when I looked around I realized I had everything I needed, right in my own backyard!

Amazing what a little perspective can do, and sometimes it can be a little more economical than booking an airline ticket.  Although they just introduced a new economical airline flying in Canada this June.  That’s another story.

Talk soon ~

Nancy

Dreaming of Far Away Places

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It is the start of March Break, and this is one of the first years in a while my daughter and I are not going South.  I know what your probably thinking, BOO HOO.  I just spoke with my daughter and said, “Are you excited for March Break?” Her response was, “OH yeah… March Break…”  I think the little people will probably be happy just to stay home and take a break from the day-to-day busyness of school life and extracurricular activities. 

It is always nice to go away for a little adventure and a little break from reality if even for a day or two.  When I read this little gem of a quote, it really made me pause and reflect.  Today  I choose HAPPY wherever I am and today.   I am in Guelph at work.  Tomorrow I will be in Fergus for the weekend, and then Guelph for the work week next week.  You know what, that’s OK, because, that is where I am supposed to be for the time being.  You know what I am kinda of excited the workday is almost over.

I have a night to myself.  My plan is to put the Tea Kettle & Fireplace on, grab my cozy blanket, light my candles and watch a few episodes of my current favorite Netflix series, “Grace & Frankie”.  

You might catch me dreaming of faraway places this weekend; climbing mountains, discovering little treasures on the beach, or drifting off into the sunset holding my daughters hand in a hot air balloon.  Or maybe that was Grace & Frankie carrying on with their antics?

Life is good!

Talk Soon ~

Nancy

Macaroons & Paris

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BONJOUR! 

“You stumble, and you soar.  And, if you’re lucky, you make it to Paris for a while.” ~ Amy Howard

Have you ever wanted to visit Paris?  I have heard many times from my daughter all about the fine pastries, the hotels, landmarks and ohhhh the food.  My 11-year-old daughter announced months ago, “Mom, I am doing my speech on Paris this year!”  I thought well good for you, but why Paris?  She really didn’t have an answer.   Perhaps I  have mentioned once or twice,  I would like to take her there one day!

This girl really has done a great job writing, preparing & presenting her speech.  I may be a proud Momma, but I think her teacher agreed too, as she was one of the top 2 students in her class.  She practiced for weeks, talking into the wall and flipping her cue cards, and learning to pronounce the Louvre, Pierre Cardin & the The Arch de Triomphe.    Yesterday she was one of 10 to speak in front of her school.  She could be in the running to be one of the top students in Ontario and win $1000.00.  Proud Mom, thought MMMM…. this could be your ticket to Paris kid!

When I spoke with Meaghan about how her day went, she said “My legs were shaking, I am sure everyone saw them, and I think I talked really fast.”  Oh how I wished I could have been there to hold her hand, and to cheer her on.  She had asked me the night before, “What do I do when my friend makes a funny face at me and sticks her tongue out and waves her hands in the air”.  Dare I tell her my true thoughts, I came up with “just pretend everyone is in their underwear!”.  She said of , “OH MOM, don’t be so silly!”

My girlfriend and I have been talking for years about taking her granddaughter and my daughter to visit Paris on their 10th Birthdays.  Their 10th Birthday’s have come and gone, and this year they will both be 12.  I hope we can take them before they turn into teenagers.  Time has a funny way of passing quickly and before you know it, within a  blink of your eye the kids grow up and are out of the house, (so I am told).  

Meaghan said to me, “What you never ate Macaroons when you were in Paris?”  Sadly I didn’t, however I found a great place I would love to go to and partake in tea and maybe a few macaroons.   One of Meg’s line in her speech, “You don’t want to forget about those baguettes, when they come out of the oven, they are hot and taste just like……”

Perhaps this speech on Paris has a purpose to refuel the travel bug in me, and make concrete plans to get to Paris?  I have fortunate to have been twice in my lifetime and know that it is an amazing City.  I know Meaghan & I will get there one day, do you want to come with us?

Auviour ~

 

Nancy