Category - Travel

1
You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend
2
Centreville—A New Family Tradition Starts Now
3
Wonderland Then and Now
4
Ten Wishes
5
Falling For the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls
6
Cross-Eyed Cats and Smelly Schnauzers
7
Disney Planning for Newbies
8
Making Disney With Your Child With Special Needs Even More Special
9
Muskoka Woods
10
Trippin’

You Don’t Want To Miss The Fall Fit Women’s Weekend

Last year when a friend invited me to a fitness retreat I was all, “Um, it’s not one of those meditation retreats where you can’t talk, is it? I wouldn’t last thirty minutes. And what kind of fitness are we talkin’? Are you sure you have the right vowel? I’m sooooo out of shape.”  As you can see, my comfort zone has solid borders and tall walls. It’s also comfortably decorated, so I find it hard to leave.  Sometimes the only thing that can force me out is a swift kick in the butt.  This post is me kicking you. But only if you want me to. (Don’t worry, I’ve removed my shoes.) Have you heard about She Getaways’ Fall Fit Women’s Weekend? If not, I’d love to tell you about it. Not because I’m trying to sell it to you. It sells out very quickly on its own, so they don’t need my help.  But, I found the experience to be life changing. I know, cliché, but I’m serious. During the doldrums of winter I find myself fantasizing about it—me on a paddle board pondering life, breathing deeply, laughing by the campfire, noticing the soft earth under my flip-flops[…]

Read More

Centreville—A New Family Tradition Starts Now

My husband is big on tradition. Every month is marked by specific annual family adventures. I used to mock him for this, but now I just go with it. Actually, I do more than that. I embrace it. It’s unique traditions that make families tick. Plus having something to look forward to keeps things interesting. So now we’ve added a new annual outing to our activity roster for May and August. It’s something I wish we’d done years ago. I have no idea why it’s taken us until now to discover Centreville. I mean, it’s practically right in our backyard. If you live in the GTA, you know about Centreville Amusement Park—nestled right in the centre of Toronto Island Park. If you’ve never been, you must put it on your “To Do” list for this summer. One reason for not yet visiting Centreville is my false assumption that getting there is difficult. Getting there is actually very simple—it’s a 15 minute ferry ride which turned out to be one of the most enjoyable parts of our adventure. We parked in a public lot directly to the east of the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (which is located at the foot of[…]

Read More

Wonderland Then and Now

   When I moved to Ontario from B.C. in 1987, I left my best friend behind. In body that is, but not in spirit. We’re still best friends ALL these MANY (I can’t even do the math) years later. Every summer Tiff would fly out East and we’d always hit Wonderland.   Let’s discuss my 80s outfit, shall we? What it lacked in shirt length, it made up for in oddly high waisted cut-offs. And the puff of hair atop my head? Seems I may be partly responsible for global warming as a result of my excessive use of Aquanet. Even though photographic evidence screams dork, I’m convinced I was hot at the time. We strutted around the theme park like we were all that and a bag a banana clips. We’d arrive when the park opened and were the last to leave. One year it absolutely poured. They shut down most of the rides, but we didn’t let it stop us from having fun. We ran around singing and splashing in the puddles like idiots. To avoid catching cold, we drove home in our bras and underwear—more comfortable for us, not as comfortable for the truckers passing us by[…]

Read More

Ten Wishes

 I sang, “We three kings of Orientar” for ages until I realized that Orientar isn’t a place. I eventually figured out that “Paper Bag Writer” isn’t correct either. Seems I’ve been mangling song lyrics for decades. Anyway, the time my girlfriends and I rode camelback through the desert, I felt like one of the Three Kings of said song — we were three wise-ish woman on a quest. Sleeping under a blanket of stars, I made a wish and hoped it would come true. And it has. *looks toward my happy family* As Christmas day and the new year approach, I have new hopes and wishes… I wish: For her to always be loved and accepted for who she is. For him to continue to feel confident and loved.  For her to get the “all clear” … this is the news we all long to hear. For him to make the best decision because decisions like these are hard. For her to find her voice. For them to find their groove — to make a difference and feel important. For her to find love.  For him to find peace. For her to find a resolution. For him, I wish health[…]

Read More

Falling For the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls

Recently my husband and I spent a night away together. I can’t remember the last time we were without our two children. What a treat to stay overnight at the Courtyard by Marriott Niagara Falls. I love this hotel so much I want to marriott. Get it? Oh you DO get it, but it’s just not that funny… We had stayed here over a decade ago and were interested in seeing the newly renovated digs. The entire hotel has been remodeled from top to bottom. Speaking of sprucing up, I was so happy about spending a night out with my spouse that I actually fussed with my hair and put on make-up— an occasion as rare hen’s teeth. We dropped the kids off with the grandparents and hit the road, albeit the wrong road. We turned around and got on the correct road and were off, for real this time. In just over an hour, we were checked in to our room where we sat, savouring the quiet. We sipped a glass of Niagara wine and chatted about adult things, uninterrupted. This alone was worth the trip. But there was more. Our package included a voucher towards dinner at the[…]

Read More

Cross-Eyed Cats and Smelly Schnauzers

If you think staying in a B&B seems slightly odd, you’re right. But always up for an adventure, my husband and I stayed at a B&B in Muskoka a few times. We loved the quaint setting and got to know the owners a little. How can you not? You’re sleeping down the hall from them and sharing their bathroom.   Our first time at “Top House” was memorable. We got engaged that weekend. On one knee in the forest, outside the little cedar church where we would get married, my husband proposed.    We spent the weekend poking around little shops, lounging on a patio over looking Lake Rosseau, exploring nature and enjoy hikes in the woods. One afternoon as we returned to the house after a long hike — punctuated by several periods of hot and heavy, er, nature appreciation — we were greeted by the owners. As one of them commented on our flushed and healthy complexions, their dog bolted toward us from the living room. He made a beeline for my husband, jumped up and started enthusiastically sniffing and licking him. My husband mumbled an explanation which to this day makes me laugh out loud EVERY time[…]

Read More

Disney Planning for Newbies

    Our family just went to Disney World for the first time and it was spectacular. Here are a few planning tips and suggestions that helped make our Disney vacation a trip of a lifetime.   The Disney website is a great place to start. The site has lots of great info like where to stay, attractions, where to eat, park pass options, a Planning Centre, etc. There’s a lot to consider and it can feel overwhelming but don’t panic! Here’s the process broken down for you.   1. Pick your dates: Based on your availability, seat sales (flights) and possibly free dining. We bumped our trip back a few days in order to take advantage of free dining when it was offered. You can read about that option here. Essentially, your dining plan is included if you stay on site and also buy a minimum of a 2-day park pass during “Free Dining” periods.   2. Decide where to stay: If you decide to stay on site you can opt into the meal plan (paid or free depending when you go), your transportation to Downtown Disney and to all of the parks is included as well. The shuttle buses come every few minutes all day/night long and you can[…]

Read More

Making Disney With Your Child With Special Needs Even More Special

   When you wish upon a star, sometimes your wish really does come true and you end up sitting beside a princess in the Orlando airport. When we arrived in Florida and boarded the Magical Express to our hotel, it started–the happy tears. Each seat on the bus had its own T.V. playing images of Disney. I challenge even the coldest heart not to melt during a “Let the memories begin” video. Seriously.   So while her sappy mum indulged in a misty moment, a little girl looked out the window pointing and laughing, bouncing up and down unable to contain her excitement. “I so happy!” she shouted. The lady in front of me turned and smiled warmly saying, “How sweet. She’s so excited.” Then my daughter added, “I on a bus!!!” Sigh. Perhaps we could have just stayed home and ridden around town on the city bus a few times? But then we would have missed the magical moments that followed over the next few days. Avery soon realized that though the bus ride was fun, riding the Tower of Terror, going on safari, and meeting Mickey Mouse IRL were more fun than any bus. Even a double decker. My husband[…]

Read More

Muskoka Woods

  Camp songs and campfires, silly skits and the Tuck Shop. I remember camp fondly and know this is something I want to share with my son. Eventually. The issue is, I’m somewhat over-productive. Fine, just put an “s” in front of mother and that’s me. The thought of sending my baby off into the wild without his mama to check on his well-being every fifteen minutes? The horror. When the two of us were invited to visit Muskoka Woods on a media tour, I was disappointed that we wouldn’t be able to go. It would’ve been the perfect opportunity to let my son get all campy WHILE keeping my eye on him. But, his birthday party was scheduled for the same weekend. Details had been arranged, RSVPs had been returned. Our S’more making hands were tied. A friend suggested that I at least give him the option. So I told my son we could either keep the party plans as is or reschedule and go to camp. Upon hearing the camp itinerary he said,  “We get to go on a bus?! Is it the kind with a bathroom on it??” Oh dear. I had him at bus. The kid[…]

Read More

Trippin’

  I love everything about traveling; the logistics and planning ahead, stumbling upon something new and unexpected, exploring the unknown. I used to travel a lot in my single days. It was carefree and liberating. Those days seem to be over now. At least until our children are older. Taking a trip with kids is a lot different than traveling solo. There’s a whole new set of concerns and elements to consider. As we drove along the highway this summer on our family vacation, I had time to reflect (thank god for dvd players and stacks of Disney movies) about my favourite trip of all. It was an experience that both terrified and thrilled me. It was one of those soul changing, life shaping adventures that you never forget. This post is more of a personal scrapbook page than an actual blog entry, so please excuse the indulgence. I wanted to preserve some of my favourite pictures online…just in case. As I was looking through my old travel albums, I came across a poem I wrote. It’s corny and an amateur effort, but it makes me smile. Here it is….with pictures. Oh What A Long Strange Trip It’s Been ~[…]

Read More

All images and text are copyright © 2018 Forever In Mom Genes