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Great Bear River Canoe Trip: The First Day was Hard. Real Hard.

Fly fishing at the mouth of Great Bear River, NWT

This post will be one a several that will share my experiences on a recent trip to the Northwest Territories. In this post, I answer readers who asked questions such as: "I want to know the low-lights, in addition to the highlights"; "Could I do this trip?"; "How hard was it?" Contrary to many trip reports that I read, there is no such thing as a trip that is all rainbows and unicorns. Usually, I don't get too personal in my blog posts. I'm going … [Read more...]

Back from Great Bear River Canoe Trip!

Canoeing on Great Bear River

We're back! And what an experience it was! So, first of all, where in the world were we? Our canoe trek with Canoe North Adventures started on Great Bear Lake, at the mouth of Great Bear River. You can see where Great Bear Lake is on the map below. … [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...]

Midtown New York City with Kids (Part 1 of 2 on NYC with Kids)

Herckscher park in NYC

I really admire people who not only manage to travel with their kids but to do it on a reasonable budget (because let's be real, it's easy to do amazing vacations if money is no option!). Sarah is just such a person. She just amazes me with how she is able to plan fabulous trips for her family. This year, she went to New York City with her husband and her two boys. But it wasn't the first time she'd done this -- it was the 5th time she and her … [Read more...]

Top 5 Strange Facts about Ants (+ Ottawa Giveaway to see “The Hidden Life of Ants” at the Canadian Museum of Nature)

Weaver ants

Most of us have heard of some strange facts about ants. They are a curious species, with their queens and workers. But you can learn some of the lesser known facts about ants at an exhibit opening in Ottawa TODAY, July 26th, at the Canadian Museum of Nature. For the first-ever stop in Canada, an exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian that features 39 captivating large-format images from Mark W. Moffet's body of work. So, if at this point in the … [Read more...]

Ready, Set …

Great Bear River, NWT

You know how the Super Bowl half-time show is actually more fun than the football game? Well, that's kinda how it's going to be around here while Hubby and I are off in no-internet-land on a canoe trek in the Northwest Territories. I've ensured that everything special to me is in excellent hands while we're away, and that includes my little space here on Coffee with Julie. Some fabulous online friends are pitching in to keep you entertained, … [Read more...]

What to Pack for a White Water Canoe Course: At the Campsite

what to wear at the campsite

Okay, we already covered what to pack for the water in this post. And now that the course is over, I can say with certainty that the gear for water worked out very well. The only thing I didn't enjoy were the "dork straps" for my sunglasses because they hurt my ears. (I have very delicate and petite ears. They're like butterflies really. Precious, special butterflies.) Here's what I packed and wore at the campsite:  1. Hat for sun … [Read more...]

What to Pack for a White Water Canoe Course: On the Water Gear

Gear and Clothing for On the Water

Tomorrow morning, Kerry is picking me up bright and early for our Introduction to White Water Canoeing Course (called Groovy Moves! with Pure Life Adventures). Two bloggers, white water, one night in a tent ... we should have some good tales to tell when we get back! I am teaching myself, with a great deal of help from Hubby, how to pack independently for camping. When we go family camping, he is the "gear guy." I really don't touch a thing. … [Read more...]

Cute vs. Practical Clothing for Camping and Canoeing

The Cute Outfit

I might not be ready for my canoe trek yet. But I will be! I am now diligently cramming for my introduction to white water canoeing course this weekend and the big trek to come in the Northwest Territories. After going out for a canoe via Britannia Bay on Monday night with Hubby and the kids, I swooped into Bushtukah, a local outdoors and sports store in our neighbourhood, one hour before closing. I wanted to find some clothing for camping and … [Read more...]

No, I’m Not Ready for My Canoe Trek.

Groovy Moves course, Pure Life Adventures

These days, the most common question I've been getting from colleagues and friends and a few strangers is: So, are you ready for your big trip up to Northwest Territories? Well, it's on my list. And to be fair a lot important things don't get done on my list. I run out of time. Or energy. Or a combination of both. Plus, I've been really busy getting work done so that I can actually take a holiday. Oh, and there were the birthday parties, … [Read more...]

The One Thing I Never Travel Without

Suitcase_woman1

  What would you guess is the one thing I have never traveled without … My cell phone? Well, no. I was a backpacking gal long before people carried cellphones. I have an addiction problem now, but it hasn't always been this way. My passport? Not always. It’s only recently that Canadians need to carry a passport to enter into the United States. A companion? Nope. I travel alone all the time. … [Read more...]

When One Door Closes …

when-one-door-cloes-another-opens

Lately, I've been thinking about this expression: "When One Door Closes, Another One Opens." The full saying actually goes like this: “When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”~ Alexander Graham Bell I've also heard other variations, like "When one door closes, use the window," reinforcing the notion that there is more than one way … [Read more...]

Canoe Trip in the Northwest Territories: It’s Happening!

I told you how I won a trip, but I also promised to tell you all about our upcoming trip to spectacular Northwest Territories. And you know me, I like to keep my promises! (You know, mostly.) All up, our Northwest Territory adventure will end up being 9 days in total. One day for travel there and one day for travel back via First Air, which is one of the only air carriers with regular connections to 30 northern communities. We'll be flying … [Read more...]

Now It’s Your Chance to Win a Trip! How does Sandals Jamaica Sound to You?

CTS #FeelGoodMovies Contest

Yesterday, I told you I won a trip. So, it's true, people actually win these things!  Today, I was going to tell you all about my trip to Northwest Territories. But since we (in Ottawa) just got a massive dump of snow, I thought you all might want to know about this contest as soon as possible! Remember how much I loved going to Beaches Boscobel in Jamaica? Well, Sandals is the cousin to Beaches. Where Beaches if ultra-family, Sandals is … [Read more...]

Spectacular Northwest Territories: Seeing Stars and Lucky Stars

aurora

Seeing the Aurora Borealis up in Canada's Great North has always been a dream of mine. (And Hubby's ... but his also includes winter camping, whitewater canoeing, and a whole bunch of other adventurous deeds.) So when I received an invitation from MJW Communications to a kick-off event for the Spectacular Northwest Territories Days at Ottawa's Winterlude in February, I immediately accepted. Normally, I go to these travel-writing/blogging events … [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...]

Saturdays with Stella: Have you been to Halifax?

800px-Citadel_hill

Stella is my 10-year-old daughter and on Saturdays, I let her rent this space from me because she thinks blogs are cool. It is her hope that her writing will appeal to kids her age as well as to the adults who read here too. (For the intro to Saturdays with Stella, click here.) This week, Stella wants to tell you all about Halifax, which we visited last summer on our holidays. source Halifax: A Wonderful Place to Visit! If you ever go to … [Read more...]

Arriving into Chicago

Reception - Hotel Sax Chicago

On Saturday, I flew to Chicago. I am attending a trade show on Tuesday for work, so I thought I'd arrive early and see some sights. I've never been to Chicago, and I always feel like it's a real shame when one travels for business and never gets to see anything but the hotel and the meeting rooms. So whenever possible, I try to book a vacation day before or after and take in a little bit of the atmosphere. Before arrival, my knowledge of … [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

airstream3911

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...]

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