There is no place like Grandpa’s

Crystal blue water, white sandy beaches and some of the best sunsets you will ever see anywhere on the planet. That is what you can expect to find along the banks of Lake Huron.

There are many beautiful spots along the shoreline of my favorite Great Lake.  In the spirit of  Fathers Day, I am going to tell you about my favourite place, Kincardine Ontario.

Kincardine, is a quint  town in Grey Bruce. Some may know of it from the Bruce Power Plant, or the Scottish Festival they host each year. For me it was to visit one of the greatest Dads ever… my Grandpa.

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Kincardine is my favorite place to dip my toes into Lake Huron. From exploring remains of the Erie Bell at Boiler Beach to Station Beach and everything in between.  Kincardine offers beautiful, welcoming, family (and dog) friendly beach access.

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One word of caution as it comes to any spot along Lake Huron, do not underestimate the undertow. The waters are quite shallow along the shoreline but if you find yourself unable to reach the sandy bottom be wary of the waves. Keep close to shore and wear a life jacket if you are young or inexperienced swimmer.

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Kincardine boasts a strong Scottish heritage.  Above the annual Scottish Festival, you can expect to see the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band Parade every Saturday night during the summer through to Labour Day Weekend. Every night (accept for Saturdays), you can hear the Phantom Piper, piping in the sunset in memory of early Kincardine Piper.

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My Grandpa lived to be 95! I repeat 95! When he left us, it was a shock. To me that is a true testament to a life well lived. The community, energy and lifestyle afforded him in Kincardine had everything to do with his longevity. And of all the places I have travelled in my lifetime, I am positive I will follow in his footsteps making Kincardine my final nesting place.

 

Pike Bay

In celebration of Fathers Day, I want to introduce one of my favorite everyday adventurers.  He is a lover of family, all things Scottish, boats, cottaging, hunting and fishing. My super awesome father in law Ernie.

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Taking Ernie’s lead and getting out of dodge was always a pleasure. He knew how to have fun and where to do it.  One of his favorite places to enjoy the great outdoors Pike Bay Ontario.  A beautiful spot along the Bruce Peninsula.   Many a summer was spent enjoying the beautiful waters, lovely summer weather, relaxing fires and supreme company.

As an avid fisherman, Pike Bay had just want Ernie needed, the likelihood that you will catch a fish!  From boys weekends to family holidays, the clear, deep blue waters of Lake Huron are definitely a fisherman’s friend.  Fishing off the dock or downrigging in the deep waters you are bound to enjoy a catch.

There is one thing this fisherman did not do… swim!  He loved the water, but preferred to be on it, then in it.  But as you will hear me say over and over, Lake Huron offers some of the best swimming, ever, anywhere!  No Salt, No Sharks, No Problem!

The proximity of Pike Bay to Wiarton, Tobermory, Manitoulin Island affords visitors all the splendors that Mother Nature provides.  From exploring  The Bruce Caves to Flower Pot Island you will run out of time to see it all before you run out of adventures.   Check out the Bruce Grey Simcoe site for a plethora of things to do.

With so much to do, staying one day is hard.  Luckily staying longer is easy.  There are cottage rentals, B&B’s, hotels and camp grounds.  If we were not at the cottage with the Stevenson’s, you would find us camping at Cape Croker, a hidden gem on the Eastern Side of the Peninsula.  I suggest checking out the Discover the Bruce Peninsula website for a list of suggested accommodators.

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The next time you are looking at checking out a new spot and a new perspective, ask your favorite Dad where he would go, then pack your bags and go for it!

Summertime Adventures with Benefits

Like many, my goal is to improve my health.   Yet that can prove to be problematic since I like to eat and drink.  Particularly in the summer, when the most consistent part of my diet is calories!

To offset my guilty pleasures I earn my sins in sweat equity.  Or that’s my plan to maintaining health.  I choose to do this at Anytime Fitness, but struggle during the summer.   I can’t even say the word gym in June, July or August.  Maybe it’s just me, but every time I try, it comes out like Samantha Bee’s description of Ivanka Trump.

Instead of cursing or throwing in the towel, there is a fix.  It’s going to seem obvious but needs to be said.  Get your butt outside!  Crazy right?  Everything you have at the gym is outside waiting for you.  Get off the treadmill and take a walk.  Trade the elliptical in for a hike up Mount Nemo in Hamilton.  Instead of the rowing machine try Canoeing the Grand in Kitchener.

My favorite way to get out, get active and explore is by bike.   There are many benefits but here are the top reasons I love biking;

  1. You can do it anywhere at anytime.  Even in the winter get on the fat bikes built for our seasons.
  2. There are awesome places to ride, like the G2G trail.  A re-purposed rail line for cyclist use.
  3.  You do not need a black belt in bike riding to start.  There are options for everyone at every level of experience.
  4. You can go tandem!  This is the best way to hit up the wine tours.
  5. You are not an island, in the Province of Ontario we have an  awesome network called Ontario by Bike.  In this site you will find all kind of cycle tours, bike friendly communities, trails, maps and rental.
  6. It’s environmentally friendly.
  7. It doesn’t have to cost you a cent.
  8. It can be pet friendly.
  9. The wardrobe is completely up to you.

If you like to enjoy the outdoors consider this.  Instead of avoiding the gym, get outside and try a summertime adventure with benefits!

 

 

 

 

Long Weekend Vibes

Victoria Day, known as May 24, has come and gone yet its vibe remains. Being Canadian on May 24 means summer has started!

To date May 24 has always meant a camping trip with friends and family, rain or shine!  Mother Nature isn’t always cooperative, officially speaking, it is still spring after all.

After one time too many packing up our tent and gear in undesirable circumstances, I decided it’s time to something different. How about gardening instead? I love getting my hands dirty and starting our bounty, who doesn’t love fresh veggies? Yet, I still craved a short trip overnight to celebrate the arrival of summer.

I decided to go against the grain (and the traffic) and head west. Not to camp, cottage or even smell the roses but to see a comedian, Jim Jefferies, in London ON. For another shocker, my only travelling companion…my husband!

Now, I am not sure about you, but on travel day my hubby and I usually end up in a nasty row. If you ask him, he calls it divorce. It’s always the same, I am on a schedule and he is on his schedule. To avoid this, I bought us time. I purchased tickets for the late show.

We left Waterloo at 5:15pm and arrived in London by 6:30pm, no traffic! We stayed at the DoubleTree By Hilton only a few blocks away from the venue. Everything we needed was within walking distance. We had plenty of time to explore, eat and have a bevvy or two before the 10 O’clock show.

This was one of my favourite getaways EVER! We had a marvelous time. We ate, drank and laughed until it hurt, and not only from celebrating our cover story to get away from the kids.

The moral?  Try something new, like getting along with your spouse or keeping dry! That May 24 vibe is still there, trust me.

No matter what you did or where you went there is only one thing wrong with May 24. It reminds us that during the summer, the weekends are never long enough!

May 24

Whats in your backyard?

For many the idea of taking a trip means getting on a plane and going somewhere, but what if somewhere was your own backyard?  Planning a trip close to home can be equally as fun, memorable and beautiful as setting off to a distant, unknown land.

Where to begin if seeking adventures close to home?  Since we live here (wherever home may be), we are often unaware or take for granted some of the attractions others journey to us to see.  While there are several ways to find these hidden gems, I have listed my favorites;

  1.  Trip Advisor is an excellent source of information.  To point you in the right direction search top 10 things to do in your city or community.  What I love about Trip Advisor is the story is often told from those that are visitors.  Seeing your world through their eyes can truly bring to light a perspective you may have never considered.
  2. Call the local hotels and ask them.   The teams working at hotels are constantly being asked about things to do, must see’s while in town, places to eat and how to get there and can be a fountain of knowledge.  They may also sell tickets/passes to some of the points of interest helping you save money!
  3. Turn to your local tourism office.  Many may not even realize there is a tourism office for your community.   If uncertain simply search  local tourism office for your city, in my case I have selected Waterloo, which lead me to Explore Waterloo Region  within their site they have everything needed to help plan a trip close to home

Experiences are what make a trip memorable, not the distance to get there.  The next time you have the itch to get out and see something ask yourself this, what’s in your backyard?