Category Archives: Travel Savings

Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube!

Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube

Gloria-puppet character from Noreen Young Show "Under the Umbrella Tree"
Gloria-puppet character from Noreen Young Show “Under the Umbrella Tree”

Gloria the Gopher, from CBC’s vintage “Under the Umbrella Tree” children’s series, is very happy to tell everybody that she and her friends Holly, Iggy the Iguana and Jacob Blue Jay, are now streaming on Canada Media Fund’s new channel, Encore+ on YouTube.  This is a channel that features Canadian television classics that viewers will enjoy seeing again and again.

Just in time for March Break!

26 English episodes.

26 French episodes.

For more information about Noreen Young, please see Wikipedia

Please note also:

A Puppet Retrospective comprehensive exhibition of Noreen Young’s puppetry creations and art works over the years.

The exhibit will run from July 14 to September 22, 2018 and the official Opening Night will be held on August 4 from 2 – 4 at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte.

Saturday August 25, 2 pm. Rock the Arts performance

Rock The Arts puppets performance will perform at the museum on Saturday August 25, starting at 2 pm to complement Noreen Young’s Puppet Retrospective exhibition, which runs July 14 to September 22. They will perform “Animal Adventure.” More details on the website rockthearts.ca

 

Saturday September 22, 2018, 1pm. Come play puppets with a PRO

Ever wonder what it would be like to puppeteer on a TV show? Always wanted to give it a try?

Well, here’s your chance.

Puppeteer, Bob Stutt, has decades of TV and film experience including seven years with the Friendly Giant, ten years with the Muppets and ten years as Basil Bear on Canadian Sesame Street where he was also lead writer. He performed Iggy Iguana on CBC’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” and also “Molly Doll” on The Big Comfy Couch. Bob has also filmed over 100 TV commercials in Denmark for the Danish National Railway.

And now he would love to spend some time playing puppets with you!

We’ll provide the cameras, monitors and a few puppets. You provide enthusiasm, imagination and any puppets of your own that tickle your fancy.

Come be a star for a day and experience first-hand the challenging, inspiring, silly world behind the puppets you see on TV.

Admission is $20 per person. This three-hour workshop is open to adults and kids over the age of 10 with a limit of ten to twelve people.

‘Celebrating Our Traditions’ Mas Domnik 2018

Dominica Launches Mas Domnik 2018 Under the Theme ‘Celebrating Our Traditions’

Roseau, Dominica – (January 9, 2018) – The Official Media Launch of Dominica’s Carnival – Mas Domnik 2018, which took place last Friday, placed the minds of Dominican patrons and visitors alike, to comfort, as details of what is expected to be one of the most traditionally spontaneous Carnivals were made available to the public. Post Hurricane Maria, many Dominicans have set out to rebuild and reaffirm relationships with a determination that demonstrates Dominica’s event and cultural tourism product is alive and well. While the devastation suffered has caused us to make adjustments to the scale of the celebration, the need to continually embrace our cultural heritage is ever present. This enabled a captivating and exciting tagline for the 2018 edition – ‘Celebrating Our Traditions’!

Attendees at the Launch included Senator Robert Tonge, Minister for Tourism and Urban Renewal who presented the Feature Address, further expanding on the way forward for Dominica’s Carnival. Senator Tonge stressed the importance of Carnival by describing it as one of the most creative and imaginative aspects of the Dominican life. Senator Robert Tonge reminded the public of the economic benefits of hosting such a national event, “Mas Domnik provides a unique opportunity for our creative community – costume builders, song writers, music producers, seamstresses, tailors and performers of varying kinds to rise to the occasion and present their craft in a unique and distinct manner”.

Colin Piper, CEO of Discover Dominica Authority and Director of Tourism made a solid call to Dominicans both here and abroad to visit Dominica and experience a unique and spontaneous Carnival, the reasoning for it being dubbed ‘The Real Mas.’ Mr. Piper further strengthened the need to celebrate tradition, “Tradition means a lot to us and we intend on celebrating it honorably and safely.”

The launch of Mas Domnik 2018 came alive with other invited guests which included Mr. Raymond Lawrence – Chief Cultural Officer of the Cultural Division and Mr. Kareem Guiste – Regional Marketing Manager – Business and Government, FLOW, both of whom expressed assertiveness, commitment and just cause in working assiduously to ensure materialization of this national product.

The 2018 Carnival Calendar, though scaled down tremendously, still boasts six weeks of calypso shows, celebrations, parades and fetes for every age group.

Mas Domnik, The Real Mas, is considered the last remaining fortress of true authentic masquerade in the Caribbean, and will run right through Carnival Monday and Tuesday on February 12th and 13th, culminating on Wednesday February 14th 2018 with the Taway Vaval in the Kalinago Territory, home to the largest indigenous population of Caribbean peoples in the region.

BARBADOS’ 2018 Annual Event Lineup

Barbados’ 2018 Annual Event Lineup

There are many festivals, marathons and events in Barbados that make any time of year worthy of a visit. Visitors will be completely immersed in Bajan culture by checking out some of the events below:

Known as one of the Seven Magnificent Festivals of Barbados, this fun festival has showcased the Holetown region’s unique culture since 1977. From a variety of music performances such as Gospel, Classical, Tuk Band and Calypso and Folk Dancing, to The Queen of the Festival Pageant, there are many exciting features that make the festival a must-see. ​

 

Barbados’ equestrian season is popular for good reason – there are many incredible horse races on the island that stand out beyond any other Caribbean destination. The Sandy Lane Gold Coast Race is a prestigious horse race and attracts thousands of visitors each year and is incredibly fun to watch. Since its inception in 1982, international athletes have taken part in this race as the Gold Cup is one of the most sought-after awards in the equestrian world.

 

The charming, north-western Speightstown is filled with life and celebrations each Saturday in March. Visitors and locals come together to enjoy freshly prepared Bajan fare while dancing the night away with incredible entertainment. while enjoying the sweet sights and sounds of the hottest in Barbadian entertainment. Visitors can watch the sun set on the west coast and enjoy the incredible views, while taking in a unique piece of Barbadian life.

 

This week-long music festival has received international acclaim, with performances from leading regional and local reggae artistes. The 2018 Reggae festival includes the Reggae Beach Party, Vintage Reggae Show and Dance, Reggae Party Cruise and the popular Reggae on the Hill which takes place at the historic Farley Hill National Park.

 

Dubbed as The World’s Greatest Soca Party, Soca on De Hill is an annual event that brings music lovers together for a day of picturesque views on Farley Hill and incredible entertainment. Guests can listen to top local and international soca artists – past acts include Lil Rick, Edwin Yearwood, Stiffy and Marzville.

 

The most popular festival of Barbados, this months-long celebration honours the 200-year old tradition of the end of the sugar cane season with an exciting extravaganza of live music and traditional dancing. The festival now celebrates all that is Bajan with dusk till dawn parties, arts and crafts markets and culinary-driven street fares. The final week includes the island’s most colourful and spirited celebrations. Grand Kadooment Day, the final day of the festival, sees masquerade bands making their way to Spring Garden highway with revellers dressed in decorated costumes dancing behind music trucks and moving bars.

 

Headed into its 5th year, this jazz music festival is headed by renowned contemporary jazz saxophonist, Elan Trotman, to celebrate Barbados’ musical history and diverse culture. Past performers include Grammy award-winning artists Will Downing and Norman Brown, as well as Barbados’ “Queen of Soca,” Alison Hinds. The festival on Columbus Day weekend also includes fun for golf enthusiasts with events taking place at some of Barbados’ finest golf courses, including Sandy Lane Country Club, Barbados Golf Club and Apes Hill Golf Club.

 

Taking place in one of the top racing circuits in the Caribbean, Bushy Park, this one-day festival promises spectators an exciting day of circuit racing, drag racing and karting. This event is a family favourite that brings international racers such as Former Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button to take part in the activities and showcase Barbados’ love of sports.

 

Premiere surf competitions take place in Barbados over these four days as the island one of the best surf spots in the world. The beaches along the Barbados coast of Bathsheba will brim with excitement as these high-performance events showcase the best athletes competing for the top spot. The festival also has an Independence Bikini Contest, live music, local food, arts and crafts and much more.

 

Run Barbados, a marathon that began in the 1980s, is one of the oldest series of races in the Caribbean. From a 5k to a full marathon, visitors can participate in one of the hottest and most scenic runs in the world. The marathon weekend concludes with a Beach Party, filled with entertainment, food and drinks where runners, their family, friends, supporters and all the public are encouraged to come down to the Bay St. Esplanade for a good time.

 

For more information about Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. and their industry partners, please contact Tania Kedikian at +1 (647) 256-1916.

Toronto musician Gerry Shatford combines poetry and piano

Toronto music lovers will have a rare opportunity to hear “When I Sat Down to Play the Piano” performed live at Gallery 345 on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the poetry of Al Purdy, the collection of compositions (several of which appeared in the 2015 feature-length documentary “Al Purdy Was Here”) will be presented by East York pianist and composer Gerry Shatford, accompanied by Neil Swainson on bass and Barry Elmes on drums. Toronto poet, editor and educator Paul Vermeersch will also be on hand to provide introductory narration for each of the pieces, reading the Purdy poem from which its inspiration was drawn.

Proceeds from this concert will be donated to the Al Purdy A-Frame Association which has overseen the preservation and restoration of Al Purdy’s historic residence in Ameliasburgh, Ontario. During Purdy’s lifetime, the house was a gathering place for famous Canadian writers including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering, Lynn Crosbie, Dennis Lee, Margaret Laurence, and numerous others. The A-Frame Association continues this tradition by financing a residency program for aspiring writers.

Gallery 345 is at 345 Sorauren Ave. Tickets cost $20 for general admission, or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only), and can be reserved by contacting info@gallery345.com

Schedule of Christmas Activities in Laurentian Region, Quebec

Come and enjoy a new way to do your Christmas shopping in the Laurentians!
Pay a visit to one of our numerous crafts displays and Christmas markets where local artists,
producers and craftspersons await you.
Discover the exceptional work of these talented creators and pick up some very original gifts.
You can also sample the fine regional produce of the Laurentians and take some of it back home.

November 10 to 12
Arts and Crafts Show in Saint-Jérôme
Saint-Jérôme Old Train Station and Hôtel de région
160 and 161, rue de la Gare, Saint-Jérôme
450 436-1511 | vsj.ca/fr/salon-des-arts.aspx
Friday: 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 10 to 12
Salon des métiers d’art in Lorraine
Laurent G. Belley Cultural Center
4, boulevard de Montbéliard, Lorraine
450 621-8550, extn. 255 | ville.lorraine.qc.ca
Friday: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 11 and 12
Salon des artisans
Recreation Centre
110, rue du Collège, Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard
819 327-2626 | stadolphedhoward.qc.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 16 to 19
Art Exhibition in Rosemère
Maison Hamilton
106, chemin de la Grande-Côte, Rosemère
leregroupementdesartistesderosemere.com
Thursday: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 18 and 19
Gifts and Craftsmen Show
Community center
1, chemin Fournel, Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs
450 224-2675, extn. 225 | sadl.qc.ca
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 23 to December 10
Maison des métiers d’art
in Sainte-Thérèse
Maison Lachaîne
37, rue Blainville Ouest, Sainte-Thérèse
450 434-1440 | sainte-therese.ca
Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 24 to 26
Salon des métiers d’art in Blainville
Community Hall
1000, chemin du Plan-Bouchard, Blainville
450 434-5275 | blainville.ca
Friday: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 24 to 26
Christmas Fair – Arts and Delights
of Argenteuil
Lavigne High School
452, avenue Argenteuil, Lachute
450 562-2474 | argenteuil.qc.ca
Friday: 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Arts and Crafts Fair
Val-des-Monts Elementary School
872, rue de l’École, Prévost
450 335-3037 | diffusionsamalgamme.com
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Oka Christmas Market
Oka High School
1700, chemin d’Oka, Oka
450 479-8333 | municipalite.oka.qc.ca
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Cercle de fermières Sainte-Thérèse
Christmas Expo-Sale
Maison du citoyen
37, rue Turgeon, Sainte-Thérèse
450 420-0417 sainte-therese.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Sainte-Sophie Christmas Market
Lionel-Renaud Hall
2181, rue de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, Sainte-Sophie
450 438-7784 | stesophie.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25 and 26
Artisans and Agrifood Fair
Cœur-Immaculé-de-Marie Church
570, rue Panet, Mont-Laurier
819 421-2346
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

November 25, 26,
December 2, 3 and 9,10
Christmas Market
Nominingue Old Train Station
2150, chemin du Tour-du-Lac, Nominingue
819 278-3384 | municipalitenominingue.qc.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

November 30 to December 24
Christmas Market at Place Rosemère
(Laurentides j’en mange)
401, boulevard Labelle, Rosemère
laurentidesjenmange.ca
Monday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 1 to 3
L’Expo-Art
Sports and Cultural Center of Vallée de la Rouge
1550, chemin du Rapide, Rivière-Rouge
819 275-1745 | riviere-rouge.ca
Friday: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

December 1 to 3
Le Noël des métiers d’art
Place Lagny
2, rue Saint-Louis, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts
819 326-0457 | ville.sainte-agathe-des-monts.qc.ca
Friday: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 1 to 3
Salon des métiers d’art in Mirabel
Cultural center of Val-d’Espoir Complex
(Saint-Janvier sector)
17700, rue du Val-d’Espoir, Mirabel
450 475-8656 | ville.mirabel.qc.ca
Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 1 to 17
Sainte-Thérèse Christmas Market
Place du Village
Corner of rue de l’Église and rue Blainville, Sainte-Thérèse
450 434-1440 | sainte-therese.ca
Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 2
Morin-Heights primary school
Christmas Bazaar
647, chemin du Village, Morin-Heights
facebook.com/groups/MHESEventsGroup/
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

December 2
Arts and Crafts Fair in Notre-Dame
du-Laus
Centre des Loisirs
15, chemin du Ruisseau-Serpent, Notre-Dame-du-Laus
819 767-2759 | notre-dame-du-laus.ca
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Arts and Crafts Fair
Community Hall and Pavillon Maurice Monty
2490 and 2492, rue de l’Église, Val-David
1 888 322-7030, extn. 4235 | valdavid.com
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Salon Anneplain’Arts
Jean-Guy-Cardinal Center
156, 3e
Avenue, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines
450 478-0211, extn. 2021 | villesadp.ca
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Magie de Noël – Arts and crafts
expo-sale
Chalet Pauline-Vanier
33, avenue de l’Église, Saint-Sauveur
450 227-2669, extn. 420 | ville.saint-sauveur.qc.ca
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Christmas Market
Place des citoyens
999, boulevard de Sainte-Adèle, Sainte-Adèle
450 229-2644 | ville.sainte-adele.qc.ca
Saturday and Sunday: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 2 and 3
Saint-Colomban Gifts and Craftsmen
Show
Saint-Colomban recreation and community center
323, montée de l’Église, Saint-Colomban
st-colomban.qc.ca/fr/page/63e-groupe-scout.html
fr-ca.facebook.com/stcolomban.63scout/
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

December 8 to 10
Christmas Market in Rosemère
Rosemère Community Center
202, chemin de la Grande-Côte, Rosemère
450 621-3500 | ville.rosemere.qc.ca
Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

December 8 to 10
Salon des métiers d’art
in Saint-Eustache
Chevaliers de Colomb Hall
109, rue Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Eustache
450 974-5000 | saint-eustache.ca
Friday: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

December 9,10 and 16,17
Val-David Christmas Market
Saint-Jean-Baptiste School
2580, rue de l’Église, Val-David
819 322-6419 | marchedhiver.com
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On the Chemin du Terroir

For great ideas and special gift basket, follow le Chemin du Terroir,
and discover the boutiques of our regional producers.
Laurentians Tourist information
Bureau at La Porte-du-Nord
450 224-7007 • laurentians.com
info-tourisme@laurentides.com
Labonté de la Pomme – Verger & Miellerie
labontedelapomme.ca | 450 479-1111
Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde
fromagiersdelatableronde.com | 450 530-2436
Les Serres Stéphane Bertrand
serresbertrand.com | 450 432-2629
Marché fermier de Lachute
marchefermierdelachute.com | 450 516-2779
Microbrasserie Dieu du Ciel!
dieuduciel.com | 450 436-3438
Négondos, vignoble biologique
negondos.com | 450 258-2099
Route des Gerbes d’Angelica
gerbesdangelica.com | 450 258-1648
Tarterie du Verger des Musiques
tarterieduvergerdesmusiques.com | 450 623-4889
Verger Richard Legault
vergerrichardlegault.com | 450 623-6306
Vignoble et Microbrasserie Les Vents d’Ange
vignobleventsdange.com | 450 623-4894
Vignoble Rivière du Chêne
vignobleriviereduchene.ca | 450 491-3997
Moulin Légaré
corporationdumoulinlegare.com | 450 974-5170
Aux Cassis d’Argenteuil
cassisargenteuil.com | 450 562-0897
Aux saveurs du printemps
auxsaveursduprintemps.com | 450 475-8998
Boucannerie Belle-Rivière
boucannerie.com | 450 258-3412
Boulangerie GaRou
facebook.com/BoulangerieGaRou/
450 594-9004 | 450 432-8000
Cabane à sucre Constantin
constantin.ca | 450 473-2374
Cabane à sucre Lalande
lalande.ca |450 473-3357
Cidrerie Les Vergers Lafrance
lesvergerslafrance.com | 450 491-7859
Gaspor – Fermes St-Canut
gaspor.com | 450 504-8443
Intermiel (Le monde des abeilles)
intermiel.com | 450 258-2713
Jardins Michel Corbeil
jardinsmichelcorbeil.com | 450 472-4358
La Bullerie
labullerie.com | 450 472-2722
La Magie de la Pomme
lamagiedelapomme.com | 450 623-0062

Group of Seven in Stone Cellar, Perth, Ontario

Every summer we try to make a few local trips to explore our province and  one of the regions we love to visit is Lanark County, which offers perfect combination of small towns, cottages on the beach and wild life. And after spending couple days in the cottage (“The Dancing Bass” Lodge cottage) we went to Perth for some shopping and lunch.

That lunch was a very special treat for us! Based on the art of Famous Canadian Group of Seven Chef Jamie Troutman from “The Stone Cellar” created the menu that interprets various elements present in paintings in “edible art”. Hours of research made it possible to reflect the famous Canadian art in the fine Canadian cuisine. In his creations Jamie is using the true Canadian ingredients coming from local farms. Chef Troutman, as per his own words, using the “deconstruction of the elements” from art into cuisine.

Lawren Harris, Icebergs by Chef Jamie Troutman

The shot glasses made of clear ice represent the art of Lawren Stewart Harris, who was criticized as being cold, but in fact deeply spiritual and one of the skilled abstract painters.

From ice and cold we suddenly surrounded by flowers and greenery of “Tangled Garden” by J. E. H. MacDonald –  Jamie Troutman’s sunflower salad full of summer colours and fresh herbs… MacDonald’s art is distinguished by dark palette, tough, rich and at the same time elegant design. And Jamie is using the dark of the stone slab as background for the splash of colours…

Group of Seven MacDonald Tangled Garden
“Tangled Garden” in sunflower salad by Chef Jamie Troutman

From flowers and greenery of the garden we travel to Nova Scotia with help of another Jamie’s culinary creation based on “Nova Scotia Cove” again by J. E.H. MacDonald.  Scallops and wild rice combined in a beautiful setting with shells to represent seashore…

Group of Seven, edible art
Chef Jamie Troutman, Scallops  served with Wild Rice – “Nova Scotia Cove” by J. MacDonald

We keep our taste buds tuned as next we get served Canadian beef – so tender! …accompanied by some root vegetables… chef’s creation based on the painting by Arthur Lismer “Habitant Farm”…

"Habitant Farm" Lismer and Chef Troutman
“Habitant Farm” by Arthur Lismer and Chef Troutman

Lanark County is well known for Maple Syrup producers and it would be logical to find this unique Canadian product in local cuisine and famous art.

J. Troutman "Maple Glazed Pork" based on "The red Maple" by A. JacksonJ. Troutman “Maple Glazed Cheese” based on “The Red Maple” by A. Jackson.

Our experience would not be complete without the dessert!Apple dessert based on "Asters and Apples" by J. MacDonaldApple dessert based on “Asters and Apples” by J. MacDonald

If you decide to indulge in creativity and fine cuisine make sure to make a 48 hours reservation, and if so, you may need to find a fine place to stay. Luckily the area offers a good variety of hotels – one of our favourites is “Perth Manor” which offers classic architecture, cozy rooms, beautiful garden and friendly atmosphere.

The Stone Cellar Restaurant                                                                                   Address: 71 Gore St E, Perth, ON K7H 1H Menu: thestonecellar.com                                                                                       Reservations: opentable.com                                                                                 Phone: (613) 267-0200

Perth Manor Hotel                                                                                                 Address: 23 Drummond St. West, Perth, ON                                       Phone: (613) 264-0050 and if this one is not available –

Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa                                                   Address: 82 Peter St, Perth, ON                                                                 Phone: (613) 326-0082.

Farmstead experience on Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County, Ontario

After the four and a half hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Blue Hen Farm.  Right at the turn we saw an old cupboard filled with jars of homemade preserves and a sign “Honk for Service”…  And we saw the farmhouse in the opening between trees.

Farmers Jeff and Leslie greeted us and as we entered the house we were amazed by the old fashioned setting of the rooms – furniture, chandelier and even the old upright piano that produced some wonderful melodies after our evening meals…

Executive Chef, Costas preparing dinner for Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

Leslie and Jeff used to live in Ottawa and have jobs as many of us do… The idea of farming came up after some changes in jobs and also as a result of research of the food industry, commercial farming and agriculture.

Executive Chef Costas

Later, after getting settled in our rooms we headed down for dinner made by Chef Kostas who came out to tell us about the ingredients he used in his cooking, the dinner was amazing and filling.

As farmers do every day after dinner, we went into the barnyard to help with evening chores.

 

 

We found all the work surprisingly entertaining; we unloaded some 20 stacks of straw that will be used as bedding for the animals, fed the calves and pigs, brought the sheep and goats back to the barn and herded the chickens into their coop.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

There was a special place where hens lay eggs, so we picked our breakfast! The eggs were dark and light brown, white and even light blue…

Once the chores were done, tired we went to our bedrooms; may be the mattresses were so comfortable or the day was long – falling asleep was no problem at all.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

In the morning we woke up around half past six to the mouthwatering smell of bacon and eggs…

Breakfast during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

And after breakfast we went to the yard to do morning chores which repeats the evening in the back order – letting the sheep and chickens out,  showering and feeding pigs… and saying hello to all of the farm animals.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Evening chores during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

The goats are very young and new to the farm and don’t know the barn yard, so they we carried to the pasture  like babies!

Calf is sucking a finger, Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

Although all of the chores seem like quite a lot to do, they were our favourite part of the day. We also found that doing chores and waking up that early in the morning was very refreshing which was useful since we had a long day ahead of us. We found all of the animals so cute… and especially the three kittens that roam around the barnyard. There are also two dogs that help farmers by guarding  the barn yard from foxes and other invaders.

Leslie and Jeff ask that visitors do not  bring or wear any fragrances on the farm including mosquito spray, however they do supply their own free of charge so that you do not get bitten by pesky flies.  Leslie makes her own natural soap – I found it very smooth and took a little piece home as a souvenir. Around the house we also found natural fragrances, bug spray and soap – all handmade from natural ingredients that smell like summer fields…

Their mission statement is free range thinking, meaning all of the animals are free to roam the field and raised with no antibiotics or chemical supplements at all. “Being a novice in such a tedious business as farming should be challenging for city folks” – I asked… yes, and they learn every day.

We also had a chance to learn – about how to feed pigs and chickens and how to take care of sheep and goats;  we would join Leslie to let the animals out of the barn with the first rays of sun and get them all back in the evening…

For us it was just two days – but these days were filled with smiles and laughter, delicious homemade meals and that feeling of love and happiness…

After Dinner Chat

We took a lot of pictures that will remind us about this wonderful place and people that are so enthusiastic about  what they do.  Thank you Jeff and Leslie for teaching us some very basic skills that we miss in our city life!

So, time to leave The Blue Hen Farm… I think I  saw tears in some eyes…, we hope to come again.

Exploring Waterloo Region – Bingeman’s Big Splash

After lunch at the (nearby) Boston Pizza, we came in to the Bingeman’s Big Splash. After changing into our bathing suits we stepped out on to the deck exited about all of the slides that awaited us. They had many slides to choose from and better yet, the height restrictions are very reasonable so that everyone can go (most of the required heights are around forty inches). My personal favourite slide was the Cyclone.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Over all, the park quite fairly spread out which makes it feel like there is less of a crowd, there also is a big wave pool

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

which has a shallow end

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

and a deep end however the tubes have to be rented for five dollars each and Cabana rentals are also available, another thing to note is that most of the rides are one person at a time, however there are a couple that two people can ride on at the same time.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

We highly recommend that you try it out especially if traveling with young ones.

Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario
Entertainment Area in Bingman’s Splash Park, 425 Bingeman’s Centre Drive, Kitchener, Ontario

Overall it is the most fun water park in the region.

By Jonathan K.

Ctrl – V Experience in Waterloo, Ontario

As soon as we knew that we are going to CTRL-V we were so impatient that could not wait for 8 pm! The dinner took so long… Finally at 8:10 pm we arrived at Ctrl-V  – Canada’s first virtual reality arcade that was opened in Waterloo just recently.                                       We walked in the first set of doors… First the parents  had to sign the waver for safety reasons… after the wavers we watched the helpful demonstration video… and finally were ready to start!                           My first game was “Climbey”.  I had a tutorial, also the staff helped me to figure out walking and climbing techniques.  After playing “Climbey”, I choose a game where you pick a song and with your controllers you bump to the beat of the song – I chose “Shake it off” By Taylor Swift. It was a good exercise. My  about an hour experience felt like ten minutes…

By Anna Sophia

Family trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

 

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

By Jonathan K.

 

 

Family Travel & Tourism