Tag Archives: summer

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.

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.

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.

 

 

Schedule of Events in Laurentians Region

JUNE 30 and july 1
Festival brassicole des Laurentides
Parc de la gare
420, rue de la Gare, Saint-Faustin-Lac-Carré
819 688-2161, extn. 234
festivalbrassicoledeslaurentides.com
The Laurentian Beer Festival invites all fans of microbreweries
to discover and taste craft beers and
meet the artisans behind these products. Product
presentations, entertainment, shows, music and
booths serving local and regional food.

 

july 1 to 29
Nostalgia evenings in Sainte-Adèle – Concerts
Parc de la famille
Corner of Morin and Émile-Cochand, Sainte-Adèle
450 229-2921 | ville.sainte-adele.qc.ca
Series of free outdoor musical concerts, on Saturday
nights, at Parc de la famille. 8 p.m. First part at
7:30 p.m.
• July 1: A tribute to Peter Gabriel
• July 8: All Access Showband – Songs from the 50s
• July 15: Nicolas Pellerin et les Grands Hurleurs –
Moderne traditional music
• July 22: Lobster Country Band – Country
• July 29: Gregory Charles

july 1 to 9
Lac Masson en fête in
Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson
Ville de Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson
1 855 228-2545 | ste-marguerite.qc.ca
• July 1 and 2: great annual bazaar in favour of the
church, on the parish grounds. Rain or shine.
• July 8 and 9: local products fair and sailing festival,
in the heart of the village, SUP tryouts with Echo
Aloha, big BBQ, pontoon rides, animation, storytelling
and concert.

july 1 to december 3
Série Ça Me Dit Concerts Rona Dagenais
Parc Georges-Filion – Saint-Sauveur
1 877 528-2553 | valleesaintsauveur.com
The Rona Dagenais «Ça me dit» concerts (concert
series) has really changed since its beginnings. Now
it offers much more than concerts: exhibitions, circus
performances, thematic weekends, open-air cinema,
an urban dance competition, two sidewalk sales and
many free outdoor concerts.

july 2 to august 27
Les dimanches sur la promenade
Sunday Concerts
Promenade Paul-Sauvé – Saint-Eustache
450 974-2787 | saint-eustache.ca
Free concerts, Sunday afternoons, on Promenade
Paul-Sauvé, behind the Saint-Eustache church, on the
shores of Rivière des Mille Îles.

until august 6
It’s peak season at la maison lavande
La Maison Lavande – Culture et parfumerie
902, chemin Fresnière, Saint-Eustache
1 877 780-3009 | maisonlavande.ca
It’s finally peak season at La Maison Lavande. The
summer activities resume with a bunch of little extras:
bistro, entertainment, guided tours, picnic area,
new terrace, a family area and more. You can bring
your own picnic. Open daily, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(the fields are open until 4:30 p.m.). Applicable entry
fees.
july 4 to august 1
Place du Village en spectacle in Sainte-Thérèse
free outdoor concerts
Place du Village
6, rue de l’Église, Sainte-Thérèse
450 434-1440 | sainte-therese.ca
Various outdoor music concerts presented on Tuesdays
at Place du village. 7:30 p.m. Animation at 6:30
p.m.
• July 4: Fanny Bloom – Pop
• July 11: Riot and The Blues Devils – Blues rockabilly
• July 18: Jojo et les Sixtease – Retro
• July 25: A tribute to Bob Dylan, with Alain Lépine –
Folk-rock

• August 1: Frédéric Lapierre, Angèle Courville and
the Alternatim Vocal Ensemble – Francophone

 

july 6 to august 6
Festival International Hautes-Laurentides
1 855 776-4080 | concertshautes-laurentides.com
Music festival. Artistic director: Alexandre Da Costa.
This year, festival organizers have decided to modify
the event and innovate by having more of a presence
on the regional cultural scene, thus creating a more
significant impact than the last 18 years. This 19th edition
will mark the beginning of the new «international»
era, with its new name: Festival International HautesLaurentides.

july 7 to august 13
1001 pots
2435, rue de l’Église, Val-David
1 888 322-7030, extn. 4235 | 1001pots.com
The largest exhibition of ceramics in North America.
25,000 original pieces. Workshops and special
activities. Daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission $2.

july 7 to 16
Tremblant international blues festival
Tremblant Resort
1000, chemin des Voyageurs, Mont-Tremblant
819 681-3000, extn. 46643 | tremblantblues.com
More than 100 concerts, mostly free, on multiple
indoor and outdoor stages. Ten days of blues,
ranging from its purest roots to R&B, soul, funk,
country, folk and rock influences. More varied than
ever, this year’s program will be presented in a series
of intimate settings so you can get up close and
personal with all the performers.
july 8 to august 26
Outdoor musical concerts in
Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts
Place Lagny
2, rue Saint-Louis, Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts
1 888 326-0457 | ville.sainte-agathe-des-monts.qc.ca
Free outdoor concerts at Place Lagny on Saturday
nights. 8:30 p.m., first part 7:30 p.m.
• July 8: A tribute to Les Colocs
• July 15: Cherry Chérie
• July 22: Annie Blanchard
• July 29: Loco Locass
• August 5: Qw4rtz
• August 12: Marco Calliari
• August 19: Pierre Kwenders
• August 26: Raphaël Torr – A tribute to Joe Dassin
july 13 to 16
Lachute fair
Lachute Fairgrounds
399, chemin Gougeon, Lachute
450 562-3741 | expolachutefair.com
The oldest agricultural fair in Québec! Agricultural
exhibits, rides, demolition derby, various shows,
diverse contests, exhibition of farm equipment.

july 14 to 16
AIM Electronic Music Festival
Parc Carillon
Rue du Plein-Air, Saint-André-d’Argenteuil
aimexperience.com
AIM is a new, outdoor electronic music festival presenting
over 50 artists on 3 stages (techno, house,
deep house, pop electronic and chill out) held at Parc
Carillon in Saint-André d’Argenteuil. With a focus on
live and DJ performances, interactive multimedia
art, sound and digital technology, AIM proposes an
ultimate and intimate set design in a festival environment.

july 14 to 16
Festival Manitou: Celebrating indigenous
cultures
Domaine Saint-Bernard
539, chemin Saint-Bernard, Mont-Tremblant
819 425-3588 | domainesaintbernard.org
First edition of the event Festival Manitou: Celebrating
indigenous cultures. The event is part of the
celebrations planned for the 150th anniversary of the
Canadian Confederation, and aims at the demystification
and reconciliation of past and present Aboriginal
and Canadian cultures. Musical and dance performances,
culinary discoveries, forest walks, stories
and legends will be among the highlights of the day.
july 15 to 23
Route des Arts
Southwestern Lower Laurentians
450 533-6360 | routedesarts.ca
An open doors event in the workshops and ateliers.
Come and admire the artists’ beautiful creations
and learn about their techniques in the intimate setting
of their studios and, perhaps, find a high quality
work of art to suit your taste. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
july 21 to 30
Festival Nuits Blues Laurentides
Parc Adolphe-Jodoin – Saint-Adolphe-d’Howard
450 745-3212 | nuitsblues.ca
Festival for blues aficionados presented in
the enchanting atmosphere of Saint-Adolphed’Howard
village, on sponsored stages and at
Parc Adolphe-Jodoin.

Bombardier Museum of ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

We arrived in Valcourt QC to see the place where the man known as the  pride of Valcourt created his company that would be renowned by the  world. The visit begins with the simple garage where  Joseph Armand  Bombardier decides to overcome the challenges of driving in the deep  snow.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

By adapting the tractor wheels into treads and skis to become parts of  the vehicle he was able to make the first snowmobile- the B7 – that  within a very short period of time became in great demand not just in Quebec but all over Canada. In the garage there is still his officefilled with tools and papers, as if he just stepped out for a moment.
And you can see the first original snowmobile that looks quite bulky, since it was made of wood and various parts from other machines, stands in the middle of the garage.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

The new creation became so popular that the company moved to the new larger building and was supported by the whole community of Valcourt. The larger sized vehicles followed and the business was prospering until… after World War II, the Quebec government passed a law that required cities to  remove the snow from highways and streets and the need for the snowmobile as a transportation quickly faded. The creativity of Joseph Armand Bombardier never stopped and he
brought new ideas into growing the business… a few months later the “Ski-Doo” comes out of his production and quickly gives raise to the new sport and gives all new outlook for winter fun.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec
Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

From section to section we could see the machines created in different times for the variety of purposes – snowmobiles of all sizes, all terrain vehicles, the rail transport – here you can get on the actual streetcar and image being on the streets of the busy downtown.
In the next hall we were impressed by the original subway wheels that are used in Montreal Metro – and these are produced by Bombardier Inc. as well.

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

One of the expositions is dedicated to the aircraft industry, here the imagination will take you up to the skies – yes, you can fly! And feel like a pilot of the commercial aircraft, which destination is any place of your choice!

Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

And not just the destinations you can reach here, you can build the totally new vehicle of your own creation. In the room filled with I-pads there is big screen with the images of all sorts of surrealistic machines moving, floating, flying, zooming… it’s a wonderful world of imagination; and no matter the age – it is a great fun for all!

FabLab, Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

One more surprise at the end of our tour – so called ‘’ FabLabs’’. Anyone who likes to create, is in need of tools and good technical advice can come here and for a very reasonable fee get it all including materials, software and a helping hand! Really impressive and well done! And so encouraging!

Bombardier Original Garage, Museum of Ingenuity, Valcourt, Quebec

Granby Zoo, Quebec

During the last couple of years the topic of visiting Quebec was coming up several times in our discussions. Finally in May 2017 we booked a hotel and planned out the itinerary that would include some of the places that we thought would be interesting for everyone in the family.

The main destination was Quebec City and its beautiful downtown was so well preserved and such a distinct French heritage. We spent most of our time just strolling the streets, window shopping and watching the street performers who  really amazed us with their skills – fire jugglers, drama characters and musicians…

One of the destinations that excited our kids most was the Granby Zoo, which is about 3 hours drive from the downtown Quebec, and about an hour from Montreal. We were welcomed in the nice reception hall, got our tickets and went to explore the animal world.

Granby Zoo, Quebec

Right as we entered there was a gigantic size dinosaur’s head and a line up of kids willing to climb inside of it! No matter how big or small – they were very about the opportunity to see the real size dinosaurs! And there 21 of them right in front of you, so be very careful  – but don’t try to feed or pat these creatures!

Dino fun in Granby Zoo

Enough of the dinosaurs  – the kids forgot about dinosaurs right at the sight of the farm animals. And there were lots of them  – pigs, sheep, and goats – so friendly and ready to make friends!

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Children are enjoying time at the Granby Zoo. Petting a piglet

After some hugs exchange with farm inhabitants we decided to go see some of the exotic creatures on display.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Up close encounter with tropical fish via aquarium glass
Watching the turtles in Granby Zoo
Granby Zoo Aquarium

Oceania seemed to be a good place to start – first the stingrays and the variety of tropical fish and then all way around the Australian continent to see black swans, parrots, emus, and kangaroos.  Stingrays seem to be attracted to the hand emerged in the water –  some of them will come and allow us to gently touch their backs…
The Kangaroos were too busy to discuss any matters of their life, so the visit to the Oceania Garden was quite interesting as it is extremely rare you get to see kangaroos that close and with no fence!.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Australian Pavillion, Granby Zoo, Quebec

We entered the aviary and right away we were surrounded by many colorful parrots! For $1 you can buy a special nectar – just hold the cup tight and they will sit on your hand and drink it!

Granby Zoo Aviary, Quebec

We spend some good time  there – the parrots are so colorful and it is such a great experience to see them so close.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec

But there was a lot see and the time was  limited.
Our next destination was  Africa! Who doesn’t like to observe the grace of big cats, see elephants shower using trunks, slowly moving zebras and giraffes, and the hilarious monkeys?

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Meerkat, Granby Zoo, Quebec
Zebras, Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec

One of our major observations about Granby Zoo was the  design of the areas, nice fences that imitate greenery and well maintained grounds. We later learned that Granby Zoo received an Award for the Energy Consumption Reduction Efforts project that was implemented during the renovation of 2005-2010.

The Zoo is well mapped and organized – it was no problem to find any continent or animal of interest. And yes, the zookeepers definitely speak many languages, no worries if you don’t speak French!
After Africa we had just a bit of time to make a short tour of South America. We stopped by llamas who stretched out their necks asking for treat…

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec
Llama, Granby Zoo, Quebec

it was a lot of fun to feed them some green leafs that we found on the trees  around; we were impressed by the spread of the wings of the Andean Condor and spent some time waiting for the alligators to wake up from the afternoon nap; finally one of them yawned and slowly moved towards the water… at the end of the South American trail we saw a powerful jaguar,  at the moment it was quite relaxed and not interested in any aggression.

Granby Zoo, Quebec
Granby Zoo, Quebec

On our way to South American continent we made a snack stop at “Le Marcher”. The restaurant offers a variety of foods and drinks and nice dining area;  there is also a large area outside with tables under umbrellas.
Next to the Restaurant there is an Amusement Park – where kids found some free rides while we were resting our feet; there is also an Amazoo Water park that offers quite the  variety of water rides, not now however… we may visit it some other time when the day will be hot enough for water fun…so long for now, the Zoo is closing and we are tired enough to get to our hotel and have some dinner.

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