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The Winter Resolution: A Weekend Away in Ontario’s Highlands

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In my last "Winter Resolution" post, I shared that I had bought myself ski gear for the first time. Yep, at age 42, I am now the newbie owner of downhill ski gear! It's my way of committing to this "love like the winter" kick I've been on since I first posted about my struggles with winter back in December of 2009. Downhill ski gear is the most recent in a list of commitments I've made since 2009. The others include: A warm down-filled … [Read more...]

Downtown New York City with Kids (Part 2 of 2 of NYC with Kids)

Chelsea Highline park in NYC.

In Part 1, Sarah shared so many awesome things to do with kids in Midtown New York City with kids that I'm not sure I'd ever even make it out to Downtown! But all that means is that I would need to schedule another trip to NYC ... darn, I would hate that. ;) Here, she share her favourite spots for kids in the Downtown region of New York City.  DIGGING DOWNTOWN NYC WITH THE KIDS (by guest poster: Sarah McCormack) Depending on what part of … [Read more...]

Winterlude’s Snowflake Kingdom

Standing back, here is a view of the ice slides.

Ottawa is my home. And yet, for most of my life, I thought that Winterlude only took place on the Rideau Canal -- you skate, you look at snow sculptures, you have hot chocolate and a Beavertail! These are very fond memories and stand as some of my favourite things to do during this winter carnival. Over a number of years though, there is somewhere else that has edged its way to the top of our Winterlude-heart. It's Snowflake Kingdom. … [Read more...]

Ottawa Staycation: Cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park

Fluffy snow!

For a second outing during our Ottawa staycation (you can read about our first outing here), we decided to head up to the Gatineau Hills for a cross-country ski. It would have actually been a sin not to go cross-country skiing with all of the snow we had over the Christmas season here in Ottawa! Everywhere around us, as far as one could see, the world had a bit of a magical gleam to it with mounds of fluffy snow hanging upon the tree … [Read more...]

Ottawa Staycation: Canadian Museum of Nature

Dinos at Canadian Museum of Nature

We rarely do a "staycation," but last week our whole family stayed home in Ottawa on holiday. It did involve chores around the house (like mountains of laundry) and items on the to-do list that never seem to get tackled (like organizing the kitchen cupboards), but we also did some really nice outings to break things up. Plus, lots of hanging out in jammies all day too, of course. One of these outings was to the Canadian Museum of Nature. We've … [Read more...]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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No, I'm not talking about the Christmas decor slowly seeping into the malls ... I'm talking NOW. Autumn. Fall. And more specifically, October. It is THE most wonderful time of the year. I've always loved the Fall. As a child, this was easy to explain -- it is my birthday after all. As I got older, there was a birthday plus the family gathering of Canadian Thanksgiving. But there's also the crispness that comes in the air. That feeling of … [Read more...]

Photos from our East Coast Family Vacay

Huge deck, right on the water

We enjoyed our family vacation to the East Coast of Canada. The people were friendly, the seafood was amazing, and the coast line was beautiful. But my most fave thing of all was enjoying a glass of red on the dock and breathing in the fresh, salty sea air. If you're interested in visiting this area for your next vacation, I've shared our week's itinerary up over at Road Trips for Families. The Cottage at Hubbards Cove The Shore … [Read more...]

Cool Cafes: Jimolly’s Bakery Cafe, Truro, Nova Scotia

Jimolly's Bakery Cafe

After a half-decent roadtripping sleep in a roadtripping hotel, a parent needs -- NEEDS -- a good coffee before hitting the road again. Hubby and I were up and circling the streets of Truro on just such a hunt when we spotted a sign for Jimolly's Bakery Cafe. We had come here to witness a tidal bore (this did not happen) on our road trip from Ottawa to Hubbards, Nova Scotia, and we did not have high expectations -- just a spot of caffeine and a … [Read more...]

Family Road Trip: Ottawa to Hubbards (Part 2 of 2)

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So in Part 1 of this post, I had just left you at when we'd crashed into a deep sleep in Truro. The big attraction for us in coming to this town in central Nova Scotia was to see the tidal bore -- a natural phenomenon that happens twice a day, where the tide sweeps in from the Bay of Fundy and forces the Salmon River to flow in the opposite direction. Apparently Truro is one of the only places in the world to witness this and Hubby was keen to … [Read more...]

Family Road Trip: Ottawa to Hubbards (Part 1 of 2)

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View Larger Map Well, friends, I've been road tripping it big time since I last checked in with you here at Coffee with Julie. 16 hours and 47 minutes of road tripping to be precise, according to Mr. Google. But, naturally, it's actually taken us much longer than that since we've made stops along the way. On Thursday night, we left right after work and put in a few hours to make Friday more enjoyable (or a little less painful, depends how … [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 3)

Writing in her journal on our balcony at Beaches Boscobel

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. This resort is all about providing a full family experience, so I am sharing Stella's journal -- spelling mistakes and all -- with you so that you can get an older child's perspective, not just an adult's.  On Day 3, we had a really special experience because we left the resort and had a visit to 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...]

Jamaica 101

Stella, my 9-year-old daughter, and I are going to Jamaica next week. I know ... awesome, right?! We are really excited, despite the realization that we actually know very little about this country. So, won't you join us as we teach ourselves a touch of geography, history, and social studies? Where in the world? First of all, the WHERE! Below is map showing the island of Jamaica in red. From our home town of Ottawa, if you were to catch … [Read more...]

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

Photo credit: Sarah McCormack

This is post is a continuation of this one here if you'd like to catch up. Coffee with Julie reader Sarah McCormack of Photos with Sarah is sharing her recent experience at Great Wolf Lodge with us! ************************* The water park itself was incredible, lots of slides for all age groups. I would recommend it for children ages 3-13.   Although there are some big, thrilling slides, they may not be as thrilling for … [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...]

Cool Cafes: The Sunrise Cafe, Jeffersonville, Vermont

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Just outside of Smuggler's Notch, a bright yellow building beckons you in for a coffee. Naturally, we accepted! We walked in the door and entered into a hallway. To our right, we could peer into a window and see a yoga class taking place in a lovely looking studio. To our left, we could see a homey cafe to grab some brunch. As we opened the door, three children's faces glanced up at us. All three faces then returned back to the laptop they … [Read more...]

On Children, Travel, and Inclusion

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In our North American society, children are often considered to be annoyances in air travel, restaurants, grocery stores, and even when they are quietly feeding. I think that as a parent, now used to life with young children, I have far more tolerance than I might have had when I was child-less. In fact, it barely even registers with me that a child is making loud crying noises unless it is the specific crying that I recognize as one of my … [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...]

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