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A Long Weekend at Long Point Eco-Adventures

Look at me, mom! I'm flying at Long Point Eco-Adventures!

We've been hosting Thanksgiving dinners at our home since we moved in, but this year, my parents were travelling and we will be fortunate enough to have an aunt from overseas visiting next weekend. So, we pushed out our big family gathering until next weekend and instead decided to take advantage of the additional day off of work to squeeze in a roadtrip. With an invite in hand from Attractions Ontario, we jumped in our car as soon as we could … [Read more...]

First Camping Trip of the 2015 Season!

Arriving and setting up.

It will come as no surprise to some of you that we chose Achray campground in Algonquin Park for the location of this season's first outing with the pop-up tent trailer. (If you've never heard of Achray and want to learn more, click here and here for details.) Nature was so kind to us! We had beautiful weather, with beautiful people and left with beautiful memories. So, I'd thought I'd share some of this beautiful with you ... … [Read more...]

Why is it still Monday? This calls for a giveaway! How about LEGOLAND Discovery Centre passes?

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We are likely some of the only people I know who have yet to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, just outside of Toronto. It's really quite inexcusable considering how cray-cray my whole family (including the Hubby) is about Lego. In fact, you might recall that we took the kids to New York City and the Empire State Building and Central Park didn't make their list of Top 5 NYC Highlights -- but the LEGO store sure did! But perhaps we'll … [Read more...]

And … We’re Back!

A pic from the University of Melbourne campus.

It's been six weeks, more than 32,000 kms in the air, and another 6,000 kms by car since I announced that we had landed in Australia. I had great plans for blogging as we travelled, since I prefer to write while it's all fresh and exciting. But alas, I ran into troubles accessing WiFi and paid outrageous amounts of $$ to my cell phone provider for service and then finally just had to give up and accept that I would not be "connected" with all … [Read more...]

Checklist: 10 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Home for Vacation

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  Going on a long trip and wondering where to start? Here's our family's checklist for what to do before leaving for vacation. I hope you find it helpful! 1. Hire a house sitter or someone to check-in on your home regularly: It's important to keep up the regular maintenance such as grass cutting, plant watering, pet care, and mail pick-up. If you are not going to have someone living in your home, then be sure to read #2 below. 2. … [Read more...]

Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Australia

Despite the winter weather, there were some beautiful buds.

It's hard to believe that these amazing grounds in the Victoria state of Australia were once unusable swamp land outside of the city of Melbourne. Now, these beautiful and calming gardens, which are the Royal Botanic Gardens of Melbourne, are the perfect place to raise the spirit of the groggy, jet-lagged traveller. While the locals will tell you there's not much to see in winter (June to August in this hemisphere of the world), we … [Read more...]

Our Epic Adventure: 6 Weeks in Australia

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Wondering what's up with the radio silence around here? I've been itching to write and share .... but just haven't had a spare moment to do so between end-of-school events with the kids, packing, and then actually doing the travelling bit! And, now -- yes! -- we are here in Australia for our epic adventure. It's something we've been wanting to do for some time now. But as you can imagine, it takes a lot of planning and saving to actually pull … [Read more...]

My Top 5 Product Picks for Road Tripping!

This post is sponsored by Snuggle Bugz. Starting today, Snuggle Bugz is celebrating Canada Day by offering 5 days of Daily Deals. These deals won't last -- each day there will be one amazing deal – but just for that day!   Our family is heading out on a road trip to spend Canada Day up at a cottage. We’ve got our share of travelling under our belts, but I always find I can use a few extra things to keep things rolling smoothly. So I took … [Read more...]

Beaches Boscobel, Jamaica: A Tween’s Perspective (Day 4)

At the entrance to Mystic Mountain

Stella, who is almost 10 years old, and I have just returned from Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica, where we were invited to experience the resort. If you’re a parent and you travel to the Carribean during winter, then you’ve likely heard of Beaches Resorts. This chain of resorts is known for providing an above-and-beyond experience to families and their young children. But what about the “tween”? When your child is not a “little kid” nor are they a … [Read more...]

Beaches Boscobel, Jamaica: A Tween’s Perspective (Day 2)

Sandals Golf & Country Club, Jamaica

Stella, who is almost 10 years old, and I have just returned from Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica, where we were invited to experience the resort. If you’re a parent and you travel to the Carribean during winter, then you’ve likely heard of Beaches Resorts. This chain of resorts is known for providing an above-and-beyond experience to families and their young children. But what about the “tween”? When your child is not a “little kid” nor are they a … [Read more...]

Beaches Boscobel, Jamaica: A Tween’s Perspective (Day 1)

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Stella, who is almost 10 years old, and I have just returned from Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica, where we were invited to experience the resort. If you're a parent and you travel to the Carribean during winter, then you've likely heard of Beaches Resorts. This chain of resorts is known for providing an above-and-beyond experience to families and their young children. But what about the "tween"? When your child is not a "little kid" nor are they a … [Read more...]

Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy

Hello my lovely bloggy friends, Stella and I are now in Jamaica (my Jamaica 101 post)! We were invited to come and visit the Beaches Boscobel resort in Jamaica and it's actually our first "girls' trip" together. Beaches Resorts cater specifically to families, so we are here to experience the resort and its activities to the fullest. I will be telling you all about it ... but first, I want to tell you about the trip to get here. To fully … [Read more...]

Reader Review of Great Wolf Lodge (Part 1 of 2)

Photo credit: Sarah McCormack

This week, I am so happy to introduce you to one of Coffee with Julie's regular readers and commentors (bloggers love their comments!). I first met Sarah when long-time friends were proudly sharing their professionally taken family photos. I immediately asked for the photographer's contact info, because the photos were just that good! (Warning, one look at Sarah's newborn portfolio makes me clucky and might do the same to you!) I booked Sarah for … [Read more...]

Day 2 at Smuggler’s Notch Resort, Vermont

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This is a post is a continuation of a short series on Smuggler's Notch. To catch up, you can find the first post in this series here, and the second one is here. Our family's accommodation and activities were provided by Smugg's, while extras like food and whatnot were paid for ourselves. (Image below, credit: Smuggler's Notch, Vermont.) Gooooood morning Smuggler's Notch! In contrast to the first morning, when the kids had been up early and … [Read more...]

Day 1 at Smuggler’s Notch Resort, Vermont

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This past weekend, we were hosted at Smuggler's Notch Resort in Vermont. The whole family had been eagerly looking forward to this trip -- some family time is always welcome, and Hubby and I were very keen to share some great outdoor winter experiences with the kids. Since Smugg's is known for its award-winning children's programs, we thought this would prove to be the perfect place to be able to do so. Below, I've tried to note down as many … [Read more...]

Winter: If you can’t beat’em, join’em!

Photo credit: Jean Tanguay

Photo credit: Jean Tanguay I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but winter is just around the corner. My husband thinks this is fantastic news indeed and has already equipped the kids with snowsuits and good hats and mitts. You might recall that I, on the other hand, am not quite as fond of winter. In fact, I spent most of last winter trying not to hate it. And although I still don't love it, to say the least, I did find that joining in … [Read more...]

Travel with Baby

Unlike most adults, babies can sleep just about anywhere.

There is many a parent I know who choses not to travel when their child is a baby. I completely respect this decision. But this post is for those who would like to continue travelling, even after baby, and might be looking for some tips. The tips here are a combo of practicality and inspiration ... 5 Tips for Travel with Baby Tip #1:  Try and keep your bedtime rituals going for the evening, but flexibility is the name of the game during the … [Read more...]

Staycation? Um, no thanks.

I keep hearing about the popularity of the "staycation." The idea is that because of tightened family budgets, we're choosing to stay home instead of travel on our vacation time. I don't know about you, but if I have to sit around my house and look at the do-it-yourself projects we have yet to do and the growing clutter caused by two growing children, well, I'd rather stay at work, thank you very much. Plus, I do work from home so the allure of … [Read more...]

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