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School for Bloggers: Some fellow travel bloggers I’d like you to meet! (#BlogHer10)

Julie Henner

I'm really thrilled to be hosting a guest post tomorrow by Julie Henning of Road Trips for Families! But let me back up a little in order to introduce her ... While I was at BlogHer, there were "Birds of a Feather" lunches that we could join. I dropped into a seat at the "travel" table and met some really cool women who run really clever blogs. These included (and please let me know if I've forgotten someone!): Traci from Go BIG or … [Read more...]

Postcard from Bar Harbor, Maine: Humans and the creatures they love


While in Bar Harbor, I took in a tourist attraction to see a much-loved creature. "I stood shuffling nervously. Nervous because I really wanted a lucky glimpse of the creature and also, because I hoped that the motion-sickness pills I had gulped down would work." The experience left me wondering about the finicky nature of human love ... Please click here to read the full piece as featured in the e-zine Life As A Human. … [Read more...]

Snapshots from Jonesport, Maine

Early morning fog on Jonesport Beach

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Postcard from Jonesport, Maine: Are Fishermen Lonely?

We had had only one criterion for our holiday: an ocean view. So I simply searched the internet for all cottages that met this criterion and then booked the one at the best rate, which happened to be in a small fishing town called Jonesport ... [to read more, please click here to read the full post on Life As A Human] … [Read more...]

When will he learn?

We'd hardly cut into the long drive ahead when my hubby asks if we could pull into the Canadian Tire he'd spotted. I knew what he wanted. "Oh, come on," I pleaded, "We really don't need a bike lock. Your bike is the only one worth anything and we can bring it into the hotel room if we have to." He countered saying that it would be really quick -- he could just run in while I drove to the Tim Horton's for a caffeine fill-up. "No ... these … [Read more...]

Camping lesson #1: If there’s no nature, it’s not worth it


In an attempt to bring ourselves back into the camping spirit now that we have children, we bought a pop-up tent trailer this spring. I admit that we swallowed our pride when we parked it in our driveway. It really put a damper on our camping "street-cred." Just as we defiantly swore we'd never buy a minivan just because we had children (and, for the record, we still have not succumbed ... yet), we also swore to never "car camp." Our first … [Read more...]

Tom Thomson knew a good thing when he found it

Jack Pine by Tom Thomson (1916), from National Gallery of Canada

The celebrated artist Tom Thomson and his comtemporaries in The Group of Seven spent a great deal of time in Algonquin Park. The Park was more rugged then, and more quiet I'm sure. But despite the changes over the years, this Park remains as inspiring as ever. Hubby and I have had a long-lasting love affair with this Park. So much so that I wanted to name our son or daughter Quin (short for Algonquin). We've spent countless hours alone in … [Read more...]

Personal style: Sacrificed at the altar of family


Most of the folks in our circle started out strong. We wouldn't sacrifice our personal style just because we were starting a family. Hell no! Just because we'd be parents didn't mean we'd have to give up our sense of "cool." But, one by one, we've all slipped into family-dom. Some jumped in whole-heartedly, while others -- like my husband and I -- tried to hold on stubbornly to as much as we could. Here are some flashing signals that you … [Read more...]

The March Break Highlight


So, all the Ontario kidlets are now back to school. I hope most of you were able to enjoy some March Break relaxation. Things here have been busy for me (as I'm sure it is for other Ottawa local readers since government fiscal year-end = lots to do and all on by an immovable deadline of March 31st). Wouldn't it be great if the kids' spring break started on April 1st? My 7-year-old, Stella, and hubby, however took some time off for quality … [Read more...]

Need to getaway? Make a break for Montreal.


If one day at home with the little cherubs on March Break has you swilling wine tonight, it's time to consider a getaway. In all seriousness, I do find it hard to feel like I've had a "break" if I don't leave home, don't you? And I often think children must feel that way too. I've got a getaway idea for you that won't break the bank: Montreal. When I brought my daughter to this city, she really did feel like she'd travelled to … [Read more...]

The Winter Resolution series: Bush party! (shhhh … pass it on)

Keogan cabin, Gatineau Park

When I was a teenager, every so often word would spread that a "bush party" was going to take place on the weekend. Unlike the "house party" which took place at some poor unsuspecting parent's home while they were away, a "bush party" involved no house, just a location in the woods somewhere. The two types of parties still shared some commonalities -- no parents, underage drinking and police showing up. The last item on the list being why the … [Read more...]

An Ode to a Teacher

If you live in Ontario, you still have a few days left to submit a nomination to the Premier's Teaching Awards for Excellence. Just being nominated means the world for a hard-working teacher! Below is my nomination and a public shout-out to a special teacher in our daughter's life. Please feel free to use my comments section to share your thoughts or memories of teachers that have made an impact in your life or the lives of your children. … [Read more...]

I buzzed over to Montreal this weekend

mantis sma

To push myself up into the higher ranks of the Mother-of-the-Year contest, I took Stella to Montreal this weekend. Yes, we went shopping and got Mommy & Me pedi's & mani's! Did I have you convinced -- even momentarily -- on that one? Okay, okay. We know my Stella would never entertain such notions. But I did go to Montreal. And I just may be up for Mother-of-the-Year, too! Because, surely, spending the weekend looking at tarantulas, … [Read more...]

Onward & upward! 250 of the best places to stay, cities to see and finds worth finding in 2010


The Christmas frenzy is now over and I love looking forward to a fresh new year full of possibilities. To get yourself dreaming for the year ahead, check out today's Ottawa Citizen's Travel Section (print). Laura Robin, the paper's Travel Editor, does an annual roundup of "best lists" -- 250 of the best places to stay, cities to see and finds worth finding. In the past, I've contributed "5 best men's rooms with a view" (don't ask me how I … [Read more...]

Caffeinated MacGyver to the Rescue!


If you're of my vintage, you'll likely remember the MacGyver television series. If you've never heard of him or if your memory would simply like a little jog, each episode went like this: Cute-guy lead character (i.e. MacGyver) would face a huge crisis without breaking a sweat. He'd calmly concoct a solution such as a bomb de-fuser from a paperclip and a piece of gum stuck on the bottom of his shoe. In our family, we like to refer to my … [Read more...]