Category Archives: Adventure

Experiences of 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  I hope you had a great Christmas if you celebrate, and a wonderful holiday overall. Ours was a whirlwind of family and friends which pretty much did not stop until New Year’s Day, but it was a really good time. I have some recapping to do but first I want to talk about 2016.

Back in 2014 I started doing a recap post of all the activities I got up to over the year and it really made me appreciate my life. 2016 wasn’t all great – the world got super weird, we lost Evan’s grandmother, our little kitty Winnie and a lot of wonderful and talented people. But no year is all great, and I like having a spot on here of all the good things that happened. So, in keeping with my New Year recapping theme, here are my favourite experiences of 2016!

My 33rd birthday surprise dinner, that I actually had zero knowledge of. It was a very well executed surprise.

It was especially a surprise since I had already planned my own birthday dinner a week later at the Sultan’s Tent, a Moroccan restaurant with belly dancers. Also a good time.

It was the year of concerts. I kicked it off with Death Cab for Cutie and Metric at the ACC with Sherrie.

Then just a few days later Evan and I saw Garth Brooks with Emily and Corey.

Emily gave birth like a week later.

Then Mumford and Sons, again with Sherrie.

Bryan Adams with Evan!

The Lumineers for my bestie’s birthday.

Collective Soul and Goo Goo Dolls with Evan and my dad for my dad’s 65th birthday.

Blue Rodeo with Evan…

Sam Roberts and The Killers with Sherrie and Will.

And finally Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth with a bunch of our friends.

That is 9 concerts! I don’t think I’ll be topping it this year, but I am seeing Kings of Leon in a few weeks and I have a gift card to Ticketmaster that is burning a hole in my pocket so there will at least be a couple more!

For Valentine’s Day I got Evan tickets for a birds of prey experience, and that did not disappoint.

We adopted little Tilly!

Who is just the best and is such a wonderful addition to our family.

I started going to Choir! Choir! Choir! and had some great times there, including singing Hallelujah with Rufus Wainwright.

I can’t believe that video has more than 5 million views. I’m not in it but I did make it in the holiday one!

And when I got my brother, Kenya, Dixon, Dawn and Emily to come out with me one night and we’re all in the Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows video.

Evan and I went to my first Leafs Game.

They lost but I wasn’t expecting them to win so that’s a-okay.

We had THE BEST trip to Cuba.

Where Evan proposed to me while we were swimming in the ocean at sunset.

Getting engaged is obviously the highlight of my entire year but it was a really great trip aside from that also.

I ran my first 10k with my friend Melissa and my blogger friends Casey and Michelle.

Hoping to do that again in 2017!

My nana turned 102!

Just incredible.

My bestie and MOH threw me a fantastic bridal shower.

Which ended with a boat ride on the lake we grew up in and a hot tub party.

We had some really fun cottage times, the highlight being when we had our friends over and my brother and friends were visiting from out west and were able to make it. That was a really fun night.

And then we took my brother and friends for adventures around the city.

Evan and I went camping a few times this summer, including our annual friends camping trip near Algonquin Park. I don’t think I ever ended up blogging about that but it was a time!

I did the CN Tower Edge Walk for my friend Casey’s birthday!

Which was just as crazy and exhilarating as it looks.

I had the most amazing Alberta/BC road trip with Sherrie, Lisa and Yamina where we met up with my brother Eric, his girlfriend Kenya, his best friend Dixon and my mom in Kelowna…

Then camped at probably the most beautiful campsite on earth in Revelstoke.

Cheers to that.

Then there was the yurt camping and adventuring in Jasper.

And the trip ended with my bachelorette party in Banff!

Which was, I can’t lie, one of the most fun nights of my life.

And finally we have my and Evan’s trip to Florida, where we got to spend a whole weekend with Paula and Fabian.

And had some other adventuring thrown in too.

It was a year. I think one of the best of my life. And I am so excited for 2017 because aside from more concerts, it’s the year we’re getting married – TWICE!!!

Hope you all had a great year and if you didn’t, I hope next year is 10 times better!

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Florida Gators

Ahoy! Evan and I are back from sunny Florida! I didn’t blog while I was away and we did a whole lot (and ate a WHOLE LOT) so I have a ton of adventure recapping I wanna do.

My dad and stepmom Mona have a condo/townhouse in Bradenton (gulf side) and they may not have it forever so Evan and I figured we should take advantage of not having to pay for a hotel while we can. The last time we did a Florida vacay was in March 2013 so we were due. It’s only about a two and a half hour flight from Toronto (if you fly direct, we had a stopover in Atlanta on the way over and in Detroit on the way back) and flights are also relatively cheap, so it’s an easy vacation. It cost less for both of us to fly, with a rental car, than it does for just me to fly to BC.

Anyway, we arrived around noon in Tampa last Friday, picked up our rental car (and we got a free upgrade with a sunroof so that was a nice bonus) and made our way south to Bradenton. I was so happy to be in the sunshine!!!

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And see the palm trees!

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We had wintry weather here the week before we left so I was excited to escape it (I heard it was beautiful here while we were gone though, of course).

Our first stop was Target.

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We no longer have Target in Canada (it was only here for a year, just a taste!!) and I am sad about it. Even though it wasn’t quite the same as the US Target when it came to prices and selection (this is actually why I think Canadian Target failed – they were always low on stock) they still had stuff I liked that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I really like their purses, for example. We happened to be visiting on Black Friday and I got a great deal on a new Fitbit (the Alta), a new purse (which is the same as a black purse I already own from target but in brown) and some other random things and various trashy snacks including candy corn Oreos.

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I can not believe how many different types of Oreos there were! We have a few now but nothing like that. We also stocked up on our beer for the week, which we hardly drank any of because we were so full from all our eating. Oh well, I’m sure my dad will appreciate arriving at the house this winter to a stocked beer fridge.

Our next stop was the Olive Garden!

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GIVE ME ALL THE SALAD AND BREADSTICKS!! And once again, the Olive Garden used to be in Canada and is now gone. I miss it and was happy we were able to fit it in. We picked up Jimmy John’s for dinner and spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and hanging around the house.

Saturday morning we were up early to drive to Orlando to meet up with Paula and Fabian. Paula and I met through our blogs and decided that we wanted to be real friends, so we met for the first time in 2013 when Evan and I were in Florida.

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And Paula and Fabian also came out to visit us last spring.

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I love how Paula has switched up her hair a bunch of times over the years, but mine is still the exact. same. She is an adventurous minx.

I was really excited to see them both. I freaking love Paula, Fabian too, but Paula is like my kindred spirit and I’m so glad our blogs brought us together. I’m sad she lives so far away, but it is a good excuse to visit Florida in the winter.

We first stopped at Bradenton Donuts because we heard they had the best donuts of all time and we didn’t want to show up empty handed.

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Definitely a bit of a dive, but it’s the donuts that matter.

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I actually do think they’re the best donuts I’ve ever had. They’re made with potato flour or something. I don’t know but they’re spectacular and I wish I was eating them right now.

If you read Paula’s blog the rest of this might be a repeat for you, but hopefully you still enjoy yourself. Since we showed Paula and Fabian such a great touristy time when they were here, they wanted to return the favour. We dropped our stuff off at their place and then we all headed out to Black Hammock to take an air boat ride on Lake Jessup, one of the most gator-infested lakes in Florida!

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The lake was actually super beautiful and I wanted to swim SO BADLY, but I also didn’t want to die. Our tour guide was saying that problem gators are brought to this lake from other places in Florida so, much danger on the gator front. Fabian told us that some guy didn’t believe the gators in the lake were that big of a threat so he tried to go swimming and got his arm bitten off. I don’t know if that is just an urban legend but needless to say there was no swimming here.

We had some time before our boat left so we checked out the area a bit, had a drink, and took a bunch of pictures (another reason I love getting together with fellow bloggers, they are also all about the pictures!)

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At first I didn’t understand how that gator cutout worked and I put my head between the gator’s jaws, which meant my chest area was sticking out directly above the head spot. Thankfully someone told me to get myself together before they got a picture so that embarrassing image of my nungas isn’t floating around.

But this embarrassing picture of Evan is.

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He kills me.

And from the front.

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Then it was air boat time.

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I have always wanted to ride in one!!! Paula and Fabian were making my dreams come true. I did not realize that air boats are so loud you have to wear ear protection.

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Hair twins.

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We only saw a few gators, I guess because of the time of year, but still, the ride was awesome. I loved it. It is amazing the places you can go on an air boat that you wouldn’t be able to on a boat with a regular outboard motor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on a boat that had to stop to remove tangled weeds from the prop, but that was not a concern on this ride.

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We were able to just go right in between the trees in the super swampy areas like it was nothing.

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Our tour guide was awesome and very informative and told us a bunch of facts that I can’t remember now. He was also a character so I quite enjoyed him and his magnificent American accent.

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Crossing the lake the boat went so fast that when I opened my mouth to say something to Evan a bunch of drool came flying out. Attractive.

Can you spot the sneaky gator in the grass?

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Here’s a baby gator that was just chilling by the shore.

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Just a little muffin.

After our ride we all got a chance to hold a baby gator.

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Fabian and his beautiful smile.

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Evan was a definite no on the gator holding. We had the chance to hold a crocodile in Cuba too and he took a hard pass on that also. Evan does not appreciate a reptile of any kind.

The Black Hammock restaurant is right there so afterwards we hit that up to eat some gator. I guess hanging around all the gators makes you hungry for gator. It was amazing in there, I felt like I was in Crocodile Dundee.

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It was also two for one margaritas so you know that’s a good time. Evan got the catfish nuggets to start and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be a fan – I had some really terrible catfish once and haven’t tried it since, but I ended up really liking it!

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10/10, would eat catfish again.

If you’re going to eat alligator I feel like this is the place to do it, so Evan and I ordered a two 1/4 pounds – blackened and cajun.

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My first time trying gator and I have to tell you it was delicious. It tasted similar to chicken but was chewier. I really enjoyed it and would also eat it again. Though probably not in Canada ’cause I don’t think it would be our forte…

Fun, fun times with Paula and Fabian!

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And that was just the beginning of our shenanigans!

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Livin’ on the Edge

Back in the summer (and I’m sad it’s over) my pal Casey asked me if I would be interested in doing the CN Tower EdgeWalk with her this year for her birthday. If you are not familiar with the CN tower, it is the giant focal point of the Toronto skyline.

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Pretty sure I mentioned this when Evan and I went up there with Emily and Corey a couple years ago but it is the tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere and the fifth tallest in the world (it was the tallest until 2010). It’s about 1,800 feet, so it’s tall. It is large and in charge. You’ve always been able to go up inside the tower. It’s a pretty big tourist attraction and it has a revolving restaurant and a glass floor and a few other things happening. But in 2011 they started the EdgeWalk which is a walk OUTSIDE – around the circumference of the roof. You are tethered the entire time so it’s not quite as scary as a free walk. But it is still scary.

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It’s kind of been on my radar to do for a while, but it’s expensive and I live here so I figured one day, but I’ve never really had an excuse. Evan can’t even walk on the glass floor up there so there’s no way I would ever be able to get him to do it. When Casey asked me it was all the encouragement I needed! So a few Sunday’s ago I met up with Casey, her mom and her friend Erika and we got suited up for our adventure. We were looking goooood.

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They take you out in groups of eight, so we had some new people with us. The two guys on the right in the above picture were visiting from Sweden (here for the World Cup of Hockey) and the couple on the left were from San Diego. We were the only Toronto natives!

I read reviews beforehand and the main point that kept coming up was that they take safety extremely seriously, and I have to agree on that. They are super super safety conscious. We had to be wearing rubber soled shoes, we could not bring anything out with us that could potentially fall, any jewelry we had on needed to be stored in a locker, and they triple checked our suits and harnesses. Once we were suited up in our attractive red jumpsuits they took us up a dedicated Edge Walk elevator, double tethered us to a track that goes around the entire building outside, and we were walking out over 1,600 feet in the air above the city.

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Pretty crazy.

Heights are not really a fear of mine, but that feeling of falling sure is. Evan is absolutely not a heights fan and he thinks it’s so funny when I say that I’m more afraid of falling than afraid of heights, he’ll be like “But that’s the whole point!!!!” But I mean that just standing up high doesn’t get me. The feeling of free falling though, that terrifies me so bad that I worry I’m going to die of anxiety on the Drop Zone at Wonderland. So for me I think I found it easier to do something like this as opposed to jumping out of a plane.

But even though heights have never really bothered me, when we first walked out I felt breathless when I looked down. It was an adrenaline rush for sure and it was a pretty weird and unsettling feeling. The very first activity we did was called toes over Toronto, where you walked to the very edge and kept only your heels on the platform. Eep. I think that was the toughest for me. But after that I started to trust my equipment and feel comfortable with the height.

The next activity was where we walked backwards to the edge and leaned back. We got a video of our entire experience afterwards so I made a short clip of this…

Did the CN Tower #edgewalk today, and it was a time! Thanks for organizing @wafflingblog! 😬😅

A post shared by Lindsey Evanoff (@happyorhungry) on

The first time was definitely scary, but by the time I did it again I felt like an old pro!

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We were outside for a good half an hour walking around the tower, pointing out our city’s landmarks and and doing activities. Another one was leaning forward over the city as opposed to backwards. Our guide was fantastic and I’m kicking myself for not being able to remember her name – she remembered all of ours after a very short time and that was really impressive.

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I would definitely recommend the EdgeWalk whether you are visiting the city or live here. And if you don’t like being up high, we had a guy in our group who was super afraid of heights and he didn’t do all the activities but he was okay, and I think even he was feeling more comfortable towards the end. It is expensive at about $200, however I feel like it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was definitely worth the money. We received a couple printed photos and a full DVD of our experience, all included in our package. We also split the photos package between the four of us – It was only $20 extra so $5 each for all the photos taken of us that day, so that seemed worth it to us.

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It was a good time! Super cool experience that I can cross off the ol’ bucket list. Thanks for inviting me, Casey! I don’t know how you’re going to top this on your next birthday…

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BAM(nff)!!! and Lake Louise

On Friday morning we grabbed Tim Hortons (road trip essential) and said byeeeee to cute Jasper!

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Definitely going back someday.

And then we hit the road to Calgary to pick up our friend Kim from the airport – she was in for the weekend for my bachelorette party on Saturday! We were all excited to see a new face. Once again long drive, but once again mountains.

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The entire way.

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So y’know. It’s beautiful and it goes by quick!

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Yamina was still in rough shape. I guess we broke her. She was actually headed to the Vancouver area after our Banff weekend so she didn’t want to overdo it and make her injury worse. She decided to stay at Lisa’s place for the weekend, hang out with Charlie and rest up. I think it was a good call – our weekend ended up being pretty crazy, with a lot of walking which would have further killed her. So we dropped off Yamina, picked up Kim from the airport, and drove back to Banff for more mountain time. But first! Lake Louise. The quintessential Alberta vacation spot. I went a couple years ago with Evan, Eric and Kenya, but Kim and Sherrie had never been and you can’t go to Banff without checking out Lake Louise!

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It is gorgeous, and the water is the bluest of blues.

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Lake Louise is also home to the most expensive hotel in all the land!

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We didn’t have a ton of time for exploring as we wanted to check into our Banff hotel and go out for dinner, but we did a quick jaunt along the trail around the lake. So here’s a bunch of pictures without a lot of commentary because I don’t really know what I can say other than it’s beautiful. It’s beautiful!

 

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One day I would like to continue to Moraine Lake in that area, but unfortunately we didn’t really have the time. We headed back to Banff, checked into our hotel and then went to the Magpie & Stump for Mexican!

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I think I could probably eat Mexican food every day. Highly, highly recommend Magpie & Stump if you’re in Banff. Freakin’ delicious tacos and a really great atmosphere in there.

After tacofest we walked back to our sweet hotel. I can’t even remember the name… Some-type-of-Canadian-animal Lodge, but that’s pretty much any hotel in Banff. Our hotel was great though, really nice, inexpensive, right on the main drag. And do you know how excited I was to see this after camping and the yurt after the last several nights? A real bed with actual blankets and sheets! No sleeping bag in sight!

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It was glorious. We had a pretty decent view from our balcony, too.

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And free breakfast in the morning!

We noticed we had two fluffy white bathrobes in our room so we requested two more and then slipped into those suckers for a robe party.

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We fancy!

We sat on our balcony in our robes and looked at the mountains and drank wine and told Kim all about our trip and laughed really hard. It was a dream night.

The next morning we decided to do the gondola on Sulphur Mountain before the rest of the girls arrived.

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I love a good gondola. I’ve done it a couple times before, once with just Lisa in the winter a few years ago and again the last time I was in Banff with Evan, Eric and Kenya, but I didn’t mind doing it again. Kim and Sherrie had never been up there, and again, it is a must-do Banff activity. One day I’d like to actually hike up the mountain, ’cause the gondola be expensive, but it was not the day for that.

We got to the top and blew Sherrie and Kim’s minds.

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You can see all of Banff and several mountain ranges, for ages and ages.

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Selfie stick for the win.

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So that was a time. So pretty! The lookout is quite an adventure in itself. It’s huge and wraps around Sulphur Mountain, and there are so many stairs that I felt like I was actually hiking a mountain.

After the gondola we did a little bit of the Banff touristy shopping thing, going in and out of the shops on the main strip. I got some souvenirs for my lover.

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We made friends, as we do.

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I think he may have been a mountie impostor…

And then we set up shop on a rooftop patio and grabbed some beers. Not a bad view and it was finally a beautiful day!

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About 16 degrees and sunny. After the 1 degree Banff weather I will take it.

It was a good start to bachelorette day. And then we met up with all the girls and the real shenanigans started, so actual bachelorette activities will be a separate post. Gird your loins.

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Kelowna Road Trippin’

Ahoy ahoy! I am back from my trip out west!

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It was nuts – I feel like we were everywhere. We did so many things and I have so much to update on. I wish I blogged some stuff during our adventure because now I have so much to say it feels daunting, but half the trip was camping with no internet (or cell signal sometimes), so it was not exactly ideal blogging conditions. I’ve never snapchatted so much in my life though, so if you were following that you’re probably pretty caught up.

I try to get out to Alberta/BC about once a year, since my mom and brother live in BC and my bestie Lisa lives in Calgary. Ideally I like to hit them all up in the same trip. This year was a bit different because I had my good friend Sherrie with me. Earlier this year Sherrie told me her friend Yamina would be visiting from Switzerland so she was thinking of taking her to explore the rocky mountains and asked if I would be interested in coming along. I barely hesitated in my yes. When I told Lisa about it she cleared her schedule for the week so she could come adventuring with us. YES! It worked out really well. We had originally planned on renting a car but with Lisa coming that wasn’t necessary, so that was an awesome bonus.

The plan was to fly to Calgary, stay a night at Lisa’s then drive to Kelowna in BC to my brother Eric’s house where he lives with his girlfriend Kenya and best friend Dixon. My mom was going to meet us there as well and we would all stay for two nights with them. Then our original foursome would drive back to Revelstoke, camp there for a night (near the dream site a bunch of us stayed in last year for Canada Day), then drive to Jasper, Alberta and stay in the sweet yurt we booked in the National Park for two nights. We were going to finish our trip with two nights in Banff with a few of our other friends before heading home, the last night being my bachelorette party! Here’s our route.

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A lot of driving but it’s the most beautiful scenery ever so it’s a road trip I think everyone needs to do at least once in their lives. 

We left early last Saturday, arriving at the airport around 5am for our 7am flight. Going through security in Toronto was probably the best security experience I’ve ever had. Sherrie was first and the man said to her “Are those natural?” and if you are a woman and you’ve heard this question before I’m sure know what we assumed he was asking about. Rude. But no, he meant her eyes! He just wanted to tell her how beautiful her eyes are. I was next and he looked at me and said “Wow, you have really beautiful eyes too! You all have beautiful eyes!” And then another guy told Yamina how much he loved her tattoos. Then when we were leaving there was a security lady inspecting a dollar bill so we asked what it was and she said it was a British pound and then handed it to us. So airport security complimented us and then gave us money. Pretty sweet deal.

After that pleasant experience we were off!

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We were pumped! Sherrie really does have beautiful eyes.

I find it so much easier to get up early for a trip than I do for work. When I’m traveling I like to leave as early as possible so I have the majority of the day once I arrive. It’s about a four hour flight and Calgary is two hours behind Ontario so we ended up getting in at 9am Calgary time, which was great. Lisa and her boyfriend Scott picked us up from the airport and the five of us went out for brunch. We had a big day ahead of us on Sunday so we spent the rest of Saturday just chilling out at Lisa’s place, drinking wine on her sunny balcony (Calgary was colder than here but in the sun it was really nice) and hanging with Lisa’s hunk of chunk Charlie.

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I have missed him. I was very careful not to lock him in my suitcase this time.

I’m so glad we got that leisure time before we left. It was good to catch up. Lisa and I ALWAYS drink more than we expect to the first night we get together. We plan to have one glass of wine and suddenly the entire bottle is gone. This was no exception, but we were exhausted and in bed sleeping by 9:30 so I felt pretty fantastic the next day.

We got up super early in the morning and packed up the car for our big adventure. We were planning on camping for a few nights so with our camping gear in addition to our luggage we had SO MUCH STUFF.  Scott tetris’d the crap out of it for us and somehow we were able to fit it all in the car.

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Who needs windows anyway. In hindsight a trailer might have been a good idea… Sherrie took over the car packing for the rest of the trip, which I was very happy to let her do.

So on Sunday we drove from Calgary to Kelowna to see Eric and friends. It is about a seven hour drive, and as you can see from the above map we did a lot of driving on our trip, but this was the longest haul in one day. I’m glad we got it over with early while we were still fresh, because if that seven hour drive was on the last day I would have wanted to kill myself. Even though it is the most beautiful drive I have ever experienced.

The entire way is just mountains and more mountains and some of the bluest lakes I’ve ever seen. I have driven that route by myself and had the best time ever. It was super foggy from Calgary through Canmore and Banff that morning and the mountains were quite misty, so the mountain visibility was definitely not what it usually is.

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But it was still beautiful, and the fog lifted a lot after we got to Revelstoke area.

We sang at the top of our lungs for pretty much the first six hours, all our favourite road trip songs. Poor Yamina. She said she enjoyed herself but her native language is Swiss German so listening to us yelling our English songs that she doesn’t know had to have gotten annoying after six hours. Can you imagine being in a car with a bunch of Swiss Germans listening to them blasting their music and yelling along to it? I can’t even.

After about six hours we were all done with the car, the last hour was getting painful. But we made it to beautiful Kelowna!

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And BC is an hour behind Alberta so we actually gained an hour. The gang was all there, so the four of us hung out with Eric, Kenya, Dixon and my mom for a bit before we all headed out for tacos. Best of all, they were surprise tacos! Sherrie had asked me a couple weeks ago out of sushi, Indian and tacos which I would go for. It was a tough decision but I don’t think I could ever pass up a good taco so that’s what I told her. She planned a special taco outing for me as part of my bachelorette trip, so that was really cute.

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Yamina had never eaten tacos before so she was pretty excited.

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We started with a few bowls of chips, salsa and guac for the table.

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And then got two platters of assorted tacos, with refried beans and Spanish rice on the side.

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I had four of those tacos and they were SO GOOD. Ah I want them again right now.

After the tacos the owner brought me some kind of tequila shot, also as a surprise for bachelorette things.

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I am not a fan of tequila shots usually but that one was actually quite tasty. It had a ton of sugar in the bottom, so that’ll do it.

I was so happy to have my mom there for a sort of bachelorette activity. She really enjoyed hanging out with all of us.

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After the taco fest it was back to Eric and friends’ for some games.

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We played beer pong on their custom made table (that is triple varnished, they were very proud of this).

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And also slap cup, which I had never played before. They were teaching us old dogs new tricks!

And then we played spoons, and then we set up our air mattresses in the living room for a slumber party and fell asleep watching Tangled.

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Which happened pretty early. Sitting in a car all day somehow makes you exhausted, I tell ya. So that is day one of epic road tripping, and it was pretty awesome. More adventures to come!

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Canada Day Camping

Happy belated Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! #proudtobecanadian

And happy belated Fourth of July to all my American chums. We had Friday off so I was envious of you as I sat at my desk yesterday. I hope everyone had a great long weekend! We went camping with my friend Sherrie and her boyfriend Will, and sadly not in the beautiful mountains above where I was last year, we went to Silent Lake, where my family always went when I was a kid and where Evan and I went to last Labour Day weekend. The weather this time wasn’t wonderful but we had a gooood time.

The reservable sites at Silent Lake booked up really early and were gone by the time we decided we actually wanted to go camping, but there were several sites reserved for walk-ins that you couldn’t book in advance. I called them and they said it was first come first serve for those sites and we should be good if we got there as early as possible. So on Friday morning I left my house at 6am (Evan was coming later with Will), booked it to get Sherrie, left there at 7am, and made it to the park just after it opened.

A lot of people had arrived Thursday night and taken sites so when I checked in the morning there were only a three sites left. It was almost a two hour drive from Sherrie’s place so we sped up there and prayed the sites wouldn’t be taken when we got there. We were super lucky and got the second last available site. A guy in a truck came just after us and got the very last site, and a lady came just after him and was SOL. If we had been even 10 minutes later we wouldn’t have gotten a site, so we were pretty happy about that and raved on about how lucky we were. There were only walk-in campsites left, which meant we had to park offsite and walk our stuff in, but we are resourceful. We made friends with a ranger with a golf cart who let us load up all our stuff.

My tent (on the left in the pic below) is a complicated beast but we were able to get those puppies and the dining tent set up pretty quickly.

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Which was a good thing because as soon as we finished it started raining annnnnd it continued to rain for almost the rest of the day. It figures. We’ve had a bit of a drought lately and have had beautiful sunny weather for the past few weeks, but Canada Day weekend comes along and of course it rains. We still thought we were so lucky though, first snagging the site and then getting everything set up before the rain. Typical Canadians raving about their good luck when it rains all day.

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We got wet but what can ya do. It wasn’t bad, Sherrie had an extra pop-up tent that is meant to be used to shield from the sun, but we set that up over our chairs in front of a fire we built and it kept us pretty dry. Even with the rain I’d rather be camping!

Our first meal of the trip was not extravagant but it sure did hit the spot.

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Sherrie makes the best Kraft Dinner. You can’t get more Canadian than eating Kraft Dinner while camping on Canada Day (it’s our national dish and we eat 55% more than Americans, take that Paula!). I love it. I need to eat more of it.

The rain eased up a bit in the afternoon so we walked down to the lake and then went on a little hike.

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It is a beautiful park. One of my faves in Ontario!

The boys arrived together around 6pm and I’m glad they came when they did even though they missed the day. Evan was pretty sick on Thursday (I think he had the bug I had the week before, it was no good) and it was Will’s first time camping, so if they sat around in the rain all day I think they would have hated their lives. Thankfully by the time they arrived the worst of the rain was over.

I was on dinner duty and made us some tacos.

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Camping tacos are the best tacos.

Evan still wasn’t feeling 100% so he had a spectacular napular in our tent.

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Poor muffin. He’s a trooper.

It rained on and off until about 9, but we got a little sunset break!

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We spent the rest of the evening hanging out by the fire.

In the morning Will cooked us breakfast.

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And it was probably the best camping breakfast I’ve ever had.

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Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, fried tomatoes, and potatoes. The potatoes were the highlight. He had boiled and seasoned them before he left so he just had to throw them in a pan and brown them up. Excellent idea and so, so good.

After breakfast we headed down to the lake to rent kayaks for a lake adventure.

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Evan and I kayaked the whole lake last year in a couple of hours — we also walked around the whole lake in about five hours. It was 15k on uneven hilly ground and it was torture, this was not the weekend to do that again. But the kayaking we knew was a good time. There are no motorboats allowed on the lake so it is perfect for kayaking and canoeing, and it’s small enough that you can see the entire lake.

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I love the rocky shoreline and the little islands you can explore.

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Evan picked us water lilies! Romantique!

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Mine had bugs all over it so it went overboard pretty quickly…

At the far end of the lake it gets pretty shallow and narrow. It’s a fun area to explore.

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It was a windy day and it was quite choppy in the main part of the lake, but the little channels were calm.

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It’s so pretty.

After our kayak adventure we headed back for burgers (homemade by Will and delicious) and then hit up the beach. It was not the warmest of days but I really wanted to go swimming. That was basically the entire point of leaving the city for the weekend. You can’t have Canada Day weekend without swimming! So, we swam.

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We also played some beach bocce ball.

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We stayed at the beach for a few hours before going back to hang at our site. I was feeling pretty groovy in my camping attire.

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The lake was really close to our site so we walked down for one last hurrah before it got dark.

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And then Will made us the most amazing dinner. Corn on the cob cooked over the fire…

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Shrimp skewers, chicken and vegetable skewers, and coleslaw.

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It pays to be friends with a chef!

And we had some spider dogs later that we cooked over the fire.

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We also went down and looked at the stars over the lake once it got dark, and they were some of the best stars I’ve ever seen. I’m so glad we had a good day on Saturday, it made up for the Friday rain.

We all had to work on Monday so on Sunday we just packed up and headed home. It was a real good time camping with these guys!

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And we didn’t even have one noise complaint! There was a group in their early 20s who had two sites just down from ours and they really took the attention off of us. We were walking by them in the dark on Saturday night and one of the guys yelled “HEY do you guys want to come hang out with us? …or are you cougars?” I said “Maybe we are…” and we kept walking back to our old people site with our old people music (70s/80s rock — probably not cool to them). Ah to be young. And then they got a noise complaint, suckers.

We actually have a big group camping trip coming up in a few weeks which I am really looking forward to, even more now. I have the camping fever for sure.

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