Dreaming of a Summer… Lost in the Lavender Fields….

Visit to Bleu Lavande in 2007 in the town of Magog, Quebec – beautiful 160 acres of different hues of purple melting into one another at a distance – a sweet aroma carried on a breeze…. such a peaceful place to visit!

https://en.bleulavande.com/

Algonquin Adventures of the Amateur Hiker….

We have had a tradition the last two years of heading up to Algonquin Park one of our closest provincial parks- for some fall hiking. We love doing hiking- but with the busyness of life-we don’t always get out as much as we like- We spend alot of time outdoors-but this is an opportunity for the kids to explore nature in the fall- and Algonquin is one of the best places to do it! We go with another family- the couple is friends of ours -and their kids- and our kids are friends too- so perfect situation. It is so nice to get away from it all – and head north- even for only two days. The sense of calmness and clarity that comes from being among the trees, wildlife and breathing the fresh air is simply awesome. The park has camping opportunities and lodgings as well throughout the park- but we have always just spent the day driving from one end of the park to the other – stopping along the way to do some trails- what a great way to spend the day. The main reason why we have not camped or stayed at a lodge on our last two year visits is mainly because that time of year is so busy- with the changing of the leaves for autumn, that it is almost impossible to get a hotel room or place to stay without spending lots of money. Truth be told, we have not explored the camping option yet, perhaps that is something we will do in the future as our kids get older. We began this tradition two years ago when my daughter was much younger and was carried around in a child carrier during our hikes, so we never thought to camp since she was so young. Although camping is something we are interested in – we have a tent and sleeping bags at the ready. I think its an issue of cost and also available space.

In the last two years in our adventures we make our way to about 3-4 trails during our day- sun up to sun down and really make the most of being out in the wilderness- for our kids and well, for us too. Not to mention, the chance to take pictures of the area and the astonishingly beautiful surroundings and landscapes is always there- Algonquin has a website- called the ‘Friends of Algonquin’ who give a count down to the peak fall leaf season- so you can time your visit just right to be at prime time for colours changing in the park.Peak season for leaves changing is usually the end of September/ beginning of October- but can obviously vary depending on the weather and climate before and during the lead up to the fall season. As you drive into the park you can turn your radio to a specific radio station, to get updates and information about the park while you are there.

We like to go to one particular trail to start off- the Logging Museum Trail- it is so informative for kids and adults about the logging past in the past and shows how difficult of a task it once was for those log drivers- sometimes a matter of life and death. They have log cabins and some of the tools that they used and signs and pictures showing what the logging process was like using horses and brute manpower. Its awesome and the kids love it- even though we have done it both years we have gone.
Last year we paid close attention to the forest bed around us- and were able to point out to the kids all different kinds of vegetation and life on the forest floor- that we may not realize or recognize- This year perhaps we will do a forest scavenger hunt with the kids…. so much fun!

They have a visitors center as well with a museum inside about the wildlife of the park, separated into areas ( ex. forest dwellers, or those living in water etc) and a focus on Native artworks and history from the area. This is always a always a great place to stop for a rest and a chance to see something indoors and learn more about the area.

We look forward to this weekend every year as a chance to be outdoors and spend lots of time together – and doing something to benefit our mental and physical health!

Adventures in Poznan, Poland

I have decided that sometimes I may just post photos of places I have been, things I have experienced or trips I would like to go on one day. These photos are from a 2008 trip I took in Poland with my husband – Poznan Poland was particularly impressive- colourful buildings- and beautiful courtyards and churches- architecture both majestic and magical!
Here is some Poznan for you to see….

Watching the world go by on the Rocky Mountaineer…what a dream!

https://www.rockymountaineer.com/.

This trip looks absolutely amazing! This is one on my bucket list for sure – we haven’t done it yet but plan to – maybe for a milestone marriage anniversary- I originally saw this train trip on an episode of the Discovery Channel show ‘Mighty Trains’ – and fell in love with the trip right away!
webmap_all_2018

This image above is the map that comes right off the Mountaineers website- and you essentially travel these distances with large windows that curve into the ceiling- all glass- amazing views- the experience is no doubt awe inspiring! The amazing imagery and video that even their website shares is wonderfully enticing! For fun, my husband and I just put in some dates to check prices for the route we would like to take- and well this will be a trip we will have to plan and save for- but what great sights you get to see! Traveler take note- if a trip is for example 8 days- not all 8 of them are spent on the Rocky Mountaineer. For example out of an 9 day trip- 3 of them are spent traveling on the train. Good to know. Makes sense since we, the traveler, cannot stay on the train for a week at a time- just like a cruise getting off the mode of transport needs to happen. The city highlights (depending on the tour of course) are magic- Banff, Jasper, touring the ice fields, Lake Louise, a panoramic helicopter tour etc.. Those sound AMAZING!! If anyone out there in blog land has taken this trip before- let me know how it was! This is a total trip on our list- and perhaps one we would like to do on our own- without the kids- anyone reading ever go on this trip with kids? Interested to know your thoughts about it.
Can’t wait for this trip! All Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer!!!!

All Aboard! Visiting Canada’s Railways Museum- Expo- rail

We have visited this treasure more than once- and the amazing collection that has kept us coming back! This place is filled to the brim with everything a train enthusiast, history buff,, or just anyone interested in seeing different things- could want! Located in St Constant Quebec Canada, not far from Montreal, the Expo-rail Museum welcomes visitors from all over- and allows them to walk among the rows and rows of cars, street cars, mail trains, school trains, steam powered trains, and even allows visitors to take a trip in the vintage train around the grounds. I must admit that before I visited for the first time, I did not know such a place existed- but I have to say its pretty cool. I like trains, I find traveling in them relaxing. There is something intriguing about sitting back and watching the world go by outside your window. I have always taken them in my childhood to get to Ottawa or to and from my home and visit my parents- and I am a history lover- putting these two things together has made this quite an interesting stop for me!
In looking at their website(https://www.exporail.org/), they have quite a few exhibitions open for visitors to experience: a permanent exhibition for rail safety aimed at kids age 3-7 years old and their parents called “Stop, Look, Listen: Train in Sight”, an exhibit in the Grand Gallery called “Live the Railway Adventure in Canada”, which I believe is the one we saw- and I totally recommend! They also have an exhibition examining rail classes and rail traffic control centers and “Roussillion Cradle of Canadian Railway” ( the 1836 territory/railway that was an important Canadian trade route) , as well as showing guests a wonderful exhibit of miniature trains- the work they must have done to prepare each miniature scene! I did not get to catch all of the exhibits on our trips – some of which are new since our last visit- but that only means another trip is in order! You can walk aboard the trains- see the engines and how they shoveled coal into them to make the trains go so quickly- and learn all about the different responsibilities of the workers, who fixed trains and ran them every day.

One of the highlights for me, was seeing the trains that the National Hockey League players-the original six- used to use to go to their ‘away’ games. In the museum is one of the trains the Montreal Canadiens used to take to get to their destinations.
Truth be told, one of the train trips I would love to take- and plan to take – perhaps in my retirement or one day – is the train with the glass ceiling traveling across British Columbia Canada- The Rocky Mountaineer- I am going to write a future blog on this train ride I think- it looks AMAZING!!! Book My Ticket- Im in!