All posts by TravelSaver

“TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES 2018 SEASON

ONE OCEAN EXPEDITIONS’ 2018 SEASON INTRODUCES AN EXCLUSIVE “TRIP OF A LIFETIME” CRUISE SERIES

Vancouver, March 15th 2017: The spotlight shines on Canada’s North this year as the world is invited to discover epic locations in Canada celebrating 150 years of confederation. This event has inspired Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) to introduce more in-depth Canadian Arctic exploration…

 

The intimate and immersive nature of OOE’s small ship expedition cruises impacts travellers’ lives, while enhancing their appreciation for the Arctic and other Canadian destinations. Exploration of the Arctic is slowly becoming a journey of choice and a “Trip of a Lifetime” for Canadians and global travellers. OOE has been developing sustainable Arctic tourism for over a decade and are consistently innovative in creating itineraries taking visitors to some of the most unspoiled places on earth with programs that focus on education, science, history, arts & culture and exploration.  OOE’s small ship adventures take travellers further afield providing access to archeological sites, remote Inuit communities and wildlife viewing opportunities few often experience.

 

OOE’s 2018 cruise season continues to inspire, with the introduction of a ‘Circumpolar Art in the Arctic’ program that bridges the Norwegian High Arctic and the Canadian High Arctic through visual art. Internationally acclaimed visual artists include Cory Trepanier, David McEown, Bruce Pearson, Christopher Cran, wildlife documentary producer Karen Bass, internationally award winning photographer Daisy Gilardini, as well as polar scientists, historians and ambassadors of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

 

A new and exceptional voyage for 2018 is the inaugural Canada’s East Coast Golf Expedition.’ The seven-night expedition cruise invites guests to experience some of the best golf courses along Canada’s East Coast.  Passengers enjoy the luxury of waking up every morning to a new course and the ease of boarding an expedition zodiac to take them ashore for their next round of golf. With additional expedition stops to Sable Island and Iles de Madeleine, this program offers unbeatable golf and cruising memories for golfers and non-golfing partners alike.

 

From early July to the end of September, OOE operates several 12-night ‘Classic Northwest Passage voyages emphasizing early Arctic exploration. Along with an historical focus, guests travel to some of the last remaining great wilderness regions on the planet with sightings of polar bears, whales, and myriad bird species.

 

The 11-night ‘Baffin Island – Jewel of the Arctic trip that was introduced in 2016 has already become one of the top selling voyages. The stunning nine-night ‘High Arctic Explorer voyage commences in Resolute, Nunavut, one of the most northern outposts in the Canadian Arctic. This trip offers the perfect blend of wildlife, history, culture and scenery.

 

The 10-night ‘Labrador and Torngat Explorer cruise departs from the historic town of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and explores two iconic National Parks, Gros Morne and Torngat Mountains. Exploring the rugged Newfoundland & Labrador coast provides an abundance of wildlife experiences that can be seen all the way up to Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit. This itinerary is special and a gem of new offerings launched for the 2017 summer travel season.

 

A number of early booking offers are in place for 2018 summer travel. On Canada’s East Coast Fins and Fiddles and Golf Expedition a complimentary pre-voyage hotel and US$100 shipboard bar credit is provided. For all other Arctic and Labrador voyages, early bookings benefit with a flight credit ranging from US$500 to US$1000. All offers expire May 31, 2017. ONE CLUB Loyalty Program members (past travellers with OOE) can apply their 10% loyalty savings to any current booking offers.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Launches Transformational Travel Series

FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE

 

FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE LAUNCHES POWERFUL TRANSFORMATIVE WELLNESS PROGRAM

– Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise adds holistic wellness experiences
to the magical setting of the hotel –

LAKE LOUISE, March, 2017

Guests come to Lake Louise to enjoy endless outdoor activities, including world-class skiing, snowshoeing, ice-skating, guided hikes, horseback riding and canoeing. There is also a luxurious day spa, exceptional dining experiences and upscale accommodations with gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains and Lake Louise.
A few years ago, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise began offering wellness retreats throughout the year that complemented the guests’ stay in a truly breathtaking and spectacular setting. The wellness retreats struck a chord with the hotel’s international guest base, which, like more and more people around the globe, are looking for transformative travel experiences that leave them inspired, invigorated and renewed physically, mentally and spiritually.
In Spring 2017, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will launch an extended wellness program with a new series of centering, holistic wellness experiences that will bring a deepened sense of Zen and mindfulness to the magical setting of the hotel.
The transformative wellness retreats are based on the pillars of mindfulness, meditation, creativity, authentic happiness, resilience and optimum wellbeing, that help guests find their true center and live in a more balanced and authentic way.
The retreats will be presented by renowned health and wellness experts including:

  • Tracy Delfs, passionate yoga & mindfulness instructor and long-time student of world-renowned Zen and mindfulness master Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Dr. Eva Selhub, internationally known medical doctor, author, stress management and resiliency coach
  • Shannon Kaiser, author and life coach, named “Top 100 Women to Watch in Wellness” and “Top 25 most influential wellness writers” by MindBodyGreen
  • Sean Murphy, author, Zen meditation teacher, creative writing coach
  • Kim Roberts, yoga instructor, psychotherapist and author
  • Cynthia Morris, acclaimed creativity coach, writer and artist

Wellness retreats are all-inclusive, two to four night packages with deluxe accommodation, healthy, delicious cuisine, daily yoga sessions, morning and afternoon wellness programs and plenty of time in between for guests to explore Lake Louise at their own pace.
To view the full wellness retreat calendar visit: fairmont.com/wellness

Add Some Light to Your Holiday

KITCHENER, Ont. — Get ready to pack the whole family into the car and drive through a Christmas
wonderland this season as Bingemans gears up to bring some spark and light to the holidays by hosting
the very first Gift of Lights exhibit in Southwestern Ontario.
Gift of Lights is a drive-thru holiday light display that has attracted many people to several cities across
the United States. This year for the first time, Gifts of Lights is coming to Southwestern Ontario and
Bingemans is proud to be the first to present and bring the luminous spectacle to Waterloo Region.
“Christmas is one of the best times of the year, and we are excited to bring this spectacular holiday
experience to the people of Waterloo Region and surrounding area. We’re excited to be hosting Gift of
Lights first-ever appearance in Southwestern Ontario,” says Mark Bingeman, President of Bingemans.
“We’re looking at this as the kick-off to many more new and exciting holiday experiences in future years.”
The display will stretch two kilometers through the Bingemans campground, featuring a combination of
30 static and animated displays and close to one million sparkling lights. Another prominent component
of the light extravaganza will be a 200-foot twinkling light tunnel.
“This will be a display of holiday lights unlike any other,” says Bingeman. “Best of all, you enjoy the lights
without ever having to leave the warmth and comfort of your car.”
Admission prices are $20 for cars, $40 for limos and $100 for buses and limo buses.
The grand opening of Bingemans’ Gift of Lights will be the weekend of November 18th from 5-10 pm. Preholiday
opening dates will include November 24th-27th and November 1st – December 4th. Regular holiday
hours begin December 8th.
For more information, please visit bingemans.com/gift-of-lights.php. Join the conversation on social
media; follow Bingemans on Instagram and Twitter @Bingemans, Like it on Facebook and watch exclusive
video on YouTube.
About Bingemans:
Waterloo Region’s leader in entertainment and hospitality, Bingemans is a multi-use amusement park and
campground located in Kitchener, Ont.,that provides the very best in family fun, recreation and family
camping. Explore FunworX all year long, a three-level indoor playground for children of all ages, boasting
an arcade, climbing wall, ropes course and more. Bingemans is also home to Canada’s largest Boston
Pizza, 28 lanes of 10-pin bowling at Kingpin Bowling, billiards, ping pong, outdoor beach volleyball and
outstanding banquet and catering facilities. And don’t miss Bingemans this winter season at their Annual
Holiday Gala, Christmas Day Buffet, Kids New Year’s Eve at FunworX and Gift of Lights – an absolute must-
Media Release FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY – Not for Distribution Page 2 of 2
see this holiday. The camping resort features sites for tents, trailers and RVs, seasonal camping, yurts and
cabins. With a heated wave pool, Spray “n” Play for kids and huge waterslides, Big Splash Waterpark is a
great spot to cool down in summer’s heat.

Road trip to Perth for 200th anniversary celebrations. Summer 2016

Adventures during our Perth-Ottawa Road Trip. Summer 2016

 

We left Toronto early in morning and after about an hour on 401 as usually stopped over at Big Apple. The place is well known for cute cafeteria, large giftshop, children`s outdoor pet zoo, and clean washrooms.

After arriving to Perth, we first stopped over at the Fairgrounds where the place was already prepared for the 200th years celebrations. One could see the rib grillers’ stands from all over Lanark county and the vendors offering foods and drinks to all tastes. There was a mini amusement park for young children with bouncy castles and a climbing tower. The stage was ready for musicians and singers; close by the stone carvers were competing in their art – the winners’ sculptures will become part of the new stone bridge being constructed in Perth and funded mainly by donations.

Perth lanark County
Building a New Bridge in Perth, Lanark County, Canada

 

Late afternoon we headed to the McReary’s beach resort. The resort has beautiful and spacious cottages and we stayed in one of them for the next 3 days. The resort is located on the beach and at the same time not far from the main road; that made it convenient for our local day trips exploring the area. Our cottage had fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms, living room and the deck with BBQ. The environment is really family friendly and kids were allowed to go around by themselves.

McReary Beach Resort
Paddling in McReary Beach resort

Once settled we all headed for a boat tour that was so much fun!

Water Fun on the lake near McReary Resort
Fun time at McReary Beach resort

We swam in warm lake water, did spectacular jumps from the boat and raced each other. On the way back to the cottage we saw two eagles high up on a pine tree.

Eagle nest near McReary Beach resort
Eagle nest near McReary Beach resort

Next to the beach there one can find a boat house with many canoes and kayaks to borrow, but we were too tempted to relax in the indoor pool; under same roof there is a sauna and hot tub. After dinner we played for a while and later enjoyed a beautiful sunset and the marshmallows roasted on the campfire right behind the cottage.

Family Nights at McReary Beach Resort
Marshmallow Party at the Cottage in McReary Beach resort

The next morning we went to Perth to see the 200th year anniversary parade, which was very well organized and included a lot of various performances. After the parade   we stopped by the ice-cream shop before heading to the park.

Not far from the park there was a farmers market where we bought local maple syrup and some homemade jams; the stands were also filled with crafts and flowers. It was a fine place to browse…

Perth Farmers Market
Farmers Market in Perth

 

200th Perth Maple Syrup
Special edition “200th anniversary of Perth” Maple Syrup at farmers market

In the park the speeches were already underway and we could see the Mayor and other city officials on the stage. At the end of the ceremony the Mayor handed the special capsule with the money collected for the construction of the new stone bridge to the builders.

After the official part everyone headed across the park to the spacious lawn where the dressed up musicians and dancers were getting ready to perform. The Scottish kilts in different colours, traditional musical instruments and actors were all mixed with the arriving public.
For the next hour we all could watch the scenes from the past brought by the musicians and actors to show the history of Perth from 19th century. The show ended by the guns’ salute and marching of the bands.

Perth 200th
200th anniversary of Perth Celebration

On the way back to the cottage we stopped again at Fairgrounds to have some ribs, check out the stone carving competition and listen to some music.

The day was almost done, we only had enough time to get back to the cottage for some swim in a pool and dinner.

The next morning we left early for the Blue Heron Golf club. The club house was already busy with the arriving golfers, so we quickly got ready and headed out to the course.

Blue Heron Golf Club
Playing Golf in Blue Heron Golf Club, lanark County, Ontario, Canada

The course has nine holes which makes it suitable for those new to the game or seasoned golfers. The beautiful landscaping adds to the natural surroundings creating pleasant environment – mix of water, forest and green lawns… after golf we all were ready to have good lunch, and decided to go towards Perth.

Perth, Lanark County
Beautiful Perth

On the way we stopped by the General store to buy sandwiches. Forget the sandwiches – in the middle of the store there was a small table where a lady was painting the large egg… The painting reminded us some fine antique porcelains, Easter eggs and may be Christmas… the paintings were filled with very fine details such as flowers, birds, butterflies, little bunnies and colourful ornaments. Hard to resist – we bought two beautifully painted eggs and then turned to sandwiches – we were hungry!

Tatlock Quarry
Observation Deck in Tatlock Quarry in Lanark County

After Perth our destination was Ottawa. Instead of staying in the city hotel we stopped at the Generations Inn., which is about thirty minutes away. Even before we open our bags right away kids went to swim in a lake… The Inn has three rooms with private bathrooms located in the old estate. The place is quite well known for the fact that the chief for the Ottawa Senators sometimes cooks his famous dishes for the guests, but you have to call in advance to find out when; we didn’t and so had to visit nearby restaurants.

Generations Inn
Funtime at “Generations Inn”

Next morning we were in Ottawa. First we visited The Museum of History, Children’s Museum and Parliament Hill, later the Airspace Museum and we finished the day watching the amazing Light Show that is projected right on the Parliament building.

In the Museum of History “Napoleon” and “Gold Rush” special exhibits were well worth to visit. Going back in times of Napoleon and learning about his personality and various projects was really like visiting France and Europe of that time. In the halls of “Gold Rush” we were able to wash some golden nuggets and learn about gold mining history. At the exit the special scale displayed the value of your weight as gold equivivalent in $$ – so we all got on! Worth millions!!

Children’s Museum is always full of kids and their parents. It’s a wonderful world of real things scaled to toy size. One can be a banker, another a salesman of Turkish rugs or spices, be a sailor or mechanic or dress up and go on stage!

After lunch on the French side in a small lovely café and some rest we headed to the Airspace museum. And that is where we spent a lot of time learning about airplanes, history of aviation and space exploration.

Ottawa Aerospace Museum
Aircraft tourbine in Ottawa Aerospace Museum
Fighter jet Simulator
Fighter jet Simulator in Ottawa Aerospace Museum

A bit tired we went back to the city to have dinner. And again we went to the Airspace Museum this time for the conference to meet the real astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Robert Thirsk.

Canadian Astronaut Robert Thrisk
Precious moments! Robert Thrisk autographed a book!
Jeremy Hansen and Jonathan
Canadian Astronaut Jeremy Hansen autographed my book

They were presenting the launch of the new recruitment campaign and there were various officials and a lot of fans. We even got a chance to chat with them and get autographs.

Jeremy hansen and Robert Thirsk
Children and Canadian Astronauts Jeremy Hansen and Robert Thirsk in Ottawa Aerospace Museum, July 2016

After such an exciting evening we were back to the Parliament Hill for the Light Show that presented the history of Canada in projected images accompanied by narration and music.

Parliament Hill Light Show in Ottawa
Parliament Hill light show, Ottawa, Canada

Tired after such a long day full of events we were ready to go back to Generations Inn for a good night sleep…

Next morning we were on our way back home. We decided to stop over in Peterborough and visit the unique lift locks. Dated back to 1900 the locks operate based on the natural powers created by the weight of the water in the tubs – this is the largest hydraulic lift lock in the world that raises boats up to about 65 feet high! It was a lot of fun to watch the boats go up and down – they looked so small compare to locks’ structure!

Before getting back on the road we stopped over for pizza lunch and then drove all the way home talking about places we liked most…

Let’s Go to Perth celebrating 200 anniversary together! July 22-24 weekend

Suggested itinerary:

Day One: Friday, July 22

  • Arrive in Perth between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. for the BBQ Block Party http://bbqblockparty.com/ at the Perth Fairgrounds (50 Arthur Street)

Directions from Toronto (3hrs 46 mins):

https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Toronto,+ON/Perth+Fair,+50+Arthur+Street,+Perth,+ON+K7H+3E3/@44.2698707,-78.9357309,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x89d4cb90d7c63ba5:0x323555502ab4c477!2m2!1d-79.3831843!2d43.653226!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a443bbdbc8b:0x63becdf201c85aee!2m2!1d-76.2464385!2d44.892452

  • Lunch at festival food stations
  • Canadian Stone Carving Festival http://canadianstonecarvingfestival.com/
  • Dinner
  • Drive 17 minutes to McCreary’s Beach Resort to check in anytime after 4:00 p.m.

Directions: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Perth+Fair,+50+Arthur+St,+Perth,+ON+K7H+3E3/McCreary’s+Beach+Resort,+McCrearys+Beach,+Perth,+ON/@44.9570316,-76.3101839,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a443bbdbc8b:0x63becdf201c85aee!2m2!1d-76.2464385!2d44.8924522!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd2725b1659098f:0x32b0fe57cb669651!2m2!1d-76.2192498!2d45.0213694

  • Relax and enjoy the beach!

Day Two: Saturday, July 23

  • Breakfast
  • Travel for 14 minutes to Perth for Blast from the Past (Opening Ceremonies are at 11:30 a.m.) Full Event Schedule: https://perth200.ca/signature-events/homecoming-weekend/homecoming-weekend-schedule/
  • I suggest parking at Café Bean, 1 Sherbrooke Street East, Perth

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Restaurant_Review-g499284-d8067083-Reviews-Cafe_Bean-Perth_Ontario.html

Directions: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/McCreary’s+Beach+Resort,+McCrearys+Beach,+Perth,+ON/Cafe+Bean,+Sherbrooke+Street+East,+Perth,+ON/@44.9621085,-76.3101839,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd2725b1659098f:0x32b0fe57cb669651!2m2!1d-76.2192498!2d45.0213694!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a68a8055c4f:0xffaacf4efb660bd6!2m2!1d-76.246822!2d44.903985

  • Walk about 4 blocks for 8 minutes to Stewart Park (80 Gore Street East) to see the parade. Map: https://www.google.ca/maps/place/Stewart+Park+Festival/@44.8988287,-76.250517,15z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x41185e3fc910fbd2!8m2!3d44.8988287!4d-76.250517

Directions: https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Cafe+Bean,+Sherbrooke+Street+East,+Perth,+ON/Stewart+Park+Festival,+Gore+Street+East,+Perth,+ON/@44.9014106,-76.2506273,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a68a8055c4f:0xffaacf4efb660bd6!2m2!1d-76.246822!2d44.903985!1m5!1m1!1s0x4cd27a5d1804a2d3:0x41185e3fc910fbd2!2m2!1d-76.250517!2d44.8988287

  • In the afternoon, you may wish to return to the Perth Fairgrounds. Enjoy the Festival!

Day Three: Sunday, July 24

  • Check out
  • Travel home

Upcoming Local Food & Drink Events in Norfolk County

Upcoming Local Food & Drink Events

July 15-16: Port Dover Fish Fest, by the beach
July 23-24: Ice Cream Fest, Simcoe
July 24: Feng Shui, Whistling Gardens
July 29: Dinner in the Park, Lynn River Music & Arts Festival
Aug 18: Simcoe Farmers Market Farm to Table Fundraising Dinner, Norfolk County Fairgrounds
Aug 20: Pig Roast, Win Del Park
Aug 29: Travelling Kiln Series at Lago Trattoria, Port Dover
Aug 31: RCMP Musical Ride with Food & Fun Fest, Norfolk County Fairgrounds
Sept 12: Lakeside Soiree Collection with Matz Fruit Barn – David’s Restaurant
Nov 7: Lakeside Soiree Collection with Woolley Lamb – David’s Restaurant

Toyota Cambridge Assembly Plant Tour

Toyota Visitors Centre
Toyota Visitors Centre

Toyota Cambridge Assembly Plant Tour

It all started with the usual long, one-hour drive out of Toronto, but soon we were there. As we headed in to the visitor centre we discussed our first impressions. Inside the centre we found many exhibits of the Toyota history and models of the past and present. After a short safety video in the conference room we made our preparations to step in to the factory.

Toyota Plant Tours in Canada
Toyota Plant Tours in Canada

As we began the tour we immediately took note of the extreme cleanliness of the factory. Sadly though visitors and employees are not allowed to bring any of their beloved personal electronics into the factory (no selfies), we are not able to show you the amazing robots and technology that were within the factory. Shortly after we climbed in to the trams that would drive us around the plant. The first stop was the west stamping area where they would take massive sheets of steel and use a multi-ton weight to stamp them (these where not in action when we were there).

 

Informative Free Tours to Toyota Plant near Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada
Informative Free Tours to Toyota Plant near Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada

The stamper had to be supported by concrete to prevent a mini earthquake every time they where in action. After, we visited the main assembly where we saw cars hanging above us as they were coming fresh out of paint, soon we headed to the west weld where the 10 thousand pound “Godzilla” robot moved multi ton cars around. The welding section impressed us with 600 separate robots. After seeing the sparks fly, we headed down to the final assembly line where the cars are started up for the first time. This one-hour super informative trip felt too short as we headed through the final corridor and back to the visitor centre. We where impressed that the Toyoda family built up from being a automated sewing business.

You can arrange the Free tour only week in advance by visiting TMMC.ca webiste or by phone:(519) 653-1111 x 2270 Keep in mind no walk in tours. Printable map of TMMC

Downloadable Toyota Tours brochure

Exploring Sint Maarten with kids.

Traveling to Caribbean Sint Maarten, always was an expensive adventure, especially traveling with kids.

Calculating expenses, we found out that airflight takes half of budget.

Knowing that usually prices drop in October/November, then first week of January, and after April 15th, trips could become affordable with  Westjet, Sunwing, or Transat… We use mostly www.travelation.com or selloffvacations.com, or direct websites from airlines www.westjet.com, or aircanada.com, aa.com

Marigot Harbour in Saint Martin
Marigot Harbour Saint Martin

Last year our family stayed in villa on French side in Concordia district in Marigot.

Marigot
Marigot, Saint Martin , French West Indies

It was good immersion into local life, and good practice of French for kids.  We hiked on Fort Louis in Marigot, Tree Top Trekked at Loterie Farm, took windsurfing lessons on Galleon Beach (nearby is Butterfly Farm), fine dined in Grand Case, snorkelled and sun bathed on Friars Bay. The shopping we did in “U” supermarket, and fresh bread in local boulangeries. Few times we visited Grand Case for a nice evening stroll, beach comb and fancy dinner combination.

Saint Martin
Marketplace in Marigot, Saint Martin

From nearby Marigot Sea Port we took day trips to Anguilla and St.Barth. One day we spent in LoterieFarm. It’s a place to spend a whole day, first to go on Fly Zone (like Tree Top trek), and then soak and rest in the pool. We noticed many local families spent time on weekends here. I think our favourite beach in St.Martin is still on Happy Bay, and the runner up will be Friars Bay Beach.

Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Philipsburg- the capital of Dutch side in Sint Maarten.

The choice and variety of hotels is also great in Dutch St.Maartten, from casino hotels, down to small boutique inns. We chose Joshua Rose guest house this time, cause of the good balance, price , location, and facilities.

Guest house located in the heart of Philipsburg, with easy access to transportation, beaches grocery stores and good restaurants. For dinner our favorite was “Green House” restaurant, with it’s great service, good variety and price combination. One evening we visited acclaimed “L’Escargot” with classy service and beautiful ambiance. Yes, it’s pricey, but you pay what you get, once for the trip is great. For lunch there are good places to eat like “GUSTO”, and few Chinese restaurants nearby.
I should mention the trip to “The Carousel” ice cream shop it’s well worth after lunch, and explore sophistication in ice cream variety. (Actually I tried once “Heineken Ice Cream”. It tasted good!). There are lots of photographs on display with famous people eating ice cream. Our kids, 8 and11, are too big for the Carousel to sit on, but they still enjoy the rides.

On the property of DIVI Resort, there are ruins of Fort Amsterdam, from there is a nice view of Philipsburg and Point Blanche Cruise Ship Terminal,. We spent hours there watching pelicans catch fish in blue waters down the cliff.

Sint Maarten
3D view of Maho Beach in Sint Maarten

Yes, we have to mention famous “Maho Beach”. The best time is after 1pm, when KLM / Airfrance jumbo jet is landing. It is really spectacular moment, quick and scary. Expect to see lots of tourists with cameras there.

 

PADI Open Water Certification in St.Lucia

Ah…beautiful St.Lucia…

Pitons from Anse Chastanet
Beautiful Saint Lucia. View from Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our son, after receiveing PADI  E-learning Diving Certificate wanted to get an Open Water Diver Licence.

Dive Saint Lucia
Dive Saint Lucia

We planned to visit St.Lucia in November, and found it will be a good option to combine vacation with 3 day practice diving course with DIVE SAINT LUCIA. We booked Bay Gardens Inn. It’s in walking distance to Dive St.Lucia facilities, where our son for three days was training to pass Deep Water Diver Licence. This state-of-the-art facilities with modern pool, and own moorings, offered good price for licencing. Actually it’s also fun for the day trip with divers..

YYZ_6703SLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_6810SLU www- YYZ_6922SLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_7447ASLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_7696SLU www-On the last day of practicing, we booked a diving trip for the whole family. This was a good treat for all. We enjoyed the speedboat trip down to Soufriere, snorkelled and suntanned while our son was diving. Actually I did one dive with my son and instructor at the foot of Petite Piton. Lots of coral reefs and fish. The other dive was at Anse Chastanet, and my son had a chance to encounter with two turtles. The views of Pitons from the boat as much spectacular as from nearby expensive resorts. YYZ_7705SLU DIVE-SLU www- YYZ_7733SLU DIVE-SLU www-

 

 

For the second half of our vacation we moved to South East, Praslin Area, where Mamiku Gardens and Piece-of-Paradise , to our family favourite Fox Grove Inn, our home-from-home. This time we got two bedroom apartment ( for the price of one room in Bay Gardens Inn). It was our special treat… We spent time in the pool (which is double size than in Bay Gardens Inn ) ,or playing ping pong, billiards, chess and puzzles , or hiked the road to beautiful vistas.

The owners, Esther and Franz as usual were sweet and helpful at any our request. If traveling as a couple , or alone, the best option will be to have a room with breakfast, and have optional lunch and dinners, but if traveling with children, especially for longer period, we prefer to book two-bedroom apartment, and have full independence, having equipped kitchen.

Fox Grove Inn
Fox Grove Inn

At Fox Grove Inn we usually enjoy hiking into tropical forest, while birdwatching, find and photograph some exotic flora.

 

 

Experiencing Grey County in winter

We’re all familiar with winter above ground but heading underground during the winter months is a truly unique experience. The experts at Free Spirit Tours will take you on a 3-hour caving expedition to Metcalfe Rock. You’ll snowshoe to the caves, where you’ll un-strap, don headlamps and head underground. Jennie and her crew know all the cracks and crevices at Metcalfe Rock inside and out and will support your every move. Take the plunge and book with them now!

Indulge in Moonlit Winter Fun

Night time excursions under the twinkling stars take Grey County’s winter activities to another level. Take a guided snowshoe through the silhouetted evergreens with Free Spirit Tours or Scenic Caves Nordic Adventures. Grab some sticks and a group of your best mates for a round of moonlit hockey on one of our outdoor rinks, then thaw and unwind in the Nordic bathes at Scandinave Spa. To find other night time options visit our website.
Photo Credit Blue Mountain

With record breaking lake effect snowfall and 3,500kms of groomed trails in Grey & Bruce, its little wonder our region is a snowmobile destination. All local trails are managed by OFSC District 9 and riders need a trail permit and insurance to ride. Don’t have your own sled but want to try the sport? Homestead Resort in Durham offers rentals with guides and Ride on Rentals near Collingwood also offers tours. To learn more about where to buy your permit and to check on trail conditions, www.ofscdistrict9.ca

Winter Warm-ups
Après Ski Food and Drink

All winter lovers know that half of the fun of going out is coming back in. There’s nothing better than taking off all those layers and sitting, rosy cheeked by the fire, enjoying a well-deserved treat. If you’re looking for a winter drink that will hit the taste buds, try the Mexican spice hot cocoa at Casero Kitchen Table, in Owen Sound. Warm up from the inside out with Meredith’s Ginger Elixir, which can be picked up at any bakery, local general store or farmers market within our region. For great après snacks, try the wood-fired pizza at the Bruce Wine Bar in Thornbury or a meal overlooking one of our frozen cascades, Walter’s Falls – The Falls Inn, in Walters Falls. For a full list of eateries in Grey County go to visitgrey.ca

Looking for the best place to take the family tobogganing, Google maps recently pinpointed Canada’s best toboggan hills, and two of our regional hills made the cut. Harrison Park in Owen Sound and Indian Falls Conservation Area in Georgian Bluffs. Bring your family up this weekend to try the runs out for yourself! For other great hills to experience in Grey County, click here.