Friday, August 18, 2017

A Muskoka Boat Trip always includes some Boathouse Pictures

It is a beautiful day, the sky is blue, the water is calm, the Captain is ready and it's a Tuesday, one of my favourite days for a boat ride - no traffic on the lake :).  Yes Lake Muskoka can get quite busy on a weekend especially up by Port Carling, it can be like trying to find parking in Toronto when the Blue Jays are playing in the playoffs, NUTS.

Off we set, as we leave the safety of our channel, and hit the big lakes the wind and the waves start to pick up, the ride may be a little bumpy but we aren't turning back.

There was a lovely surprise for us when we pulled into Port Carling, the Peerless was getting ready to go on a cruise down the river.  The Segwun and Wenonah go by our cottage all the time, but it is very rare for us to see the Peerless.  Into the locks we go and as the water goes up we enter Lake Rousseau, from there we are off to Lake Joseph.

Wow, it has been awhile since we have been up here and WOW, cottages have been torn down and huge ones built.  With lots of toys to keep everyone entertained.

I could definitely be talked into buying this toy.  It is almost as big as our cottage.  LOL

Amongst the old traditional boathouses a crop of new shiny boathouses with lots of windows, sitting areas, bars and yes a place to keep your boats.
Sorry to tell you, but that little extra cash you have in the bank - too late this cottage just sold for $8.5M.  

My favourite golf course - the Lake Joseph Club.  We have actually driven up once in the boat with our clubs, such a fun experience.  It is a 1.5 hour boat ride depending on the locks and well worth it, definitely something we will do more often when we RETIRE!!!!!!!!!!

This is the Water's Edge, a lovely place to have a bite to eat and a glass of wine after a boat ride or a game of golf.  Always a good chance you will meet a hockey player there, this time it was Wendel Clark.

Port Sandfield joins up Lake Rousseau and Lake Joseph, you go through here to get back to Port Carling.  This is a swing bridge that allows sailboats and the Segwun and Wenonah through.  They try to make a couple of trips up to these lakes in the summer.

Port Sandfield is also famous for the marina where we bought our 1st boat.  It was an Edson and a great boat that gave us lots of miles of tubing, touring and skiing.  I am trying to talk Jim into buying a pontoon boat.  Thinking maybe if I get this shark painted on it Jim might get onboard.  :)

Lots of fun as we pull out of the lock back in Lake Muskoka the Peerless is heading home for the night.  As you can only go 9 km through the river, we get to follow it down into Lake Muskoka.  

Back home to our 3 cats who are patiently waiting for us to let them back out.  A great day, Thanks Captain.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wandering around beautiful St. John's Newfoundland

Image result for Canada Day images

I was 11 years old in 1967 during Canada's Centennial.  Although I was an immigrant and had lived here for 9 years, I always felt this was my home.  We were all born in Britain.  Other than the odd Italian that we used to curse at through our elementary school fences everyone we knew was British.

100 years old, who would have thought.  I belted out CA - NA - DA and ON-TAR-RI-AR-O as loud as the next person.  Multi-culturalism - had no idea what that was.  I cursed the French along with my English mother, and then slowly the country began to change.  (btw we cursed everyone especially during soccer games, hockey was still a strange sport).  I didn't even meet my first black person until I was in high school.  This was all taking place in lower Etobicoke.  Friends started to comment on how my dad had such a strong accent - "my dad!!!" - you're kidding me.  I was shocked when I met my future husband and realized he was born in Canada - and so were his parents - like WOW.  

Now I am a wee bit Older, Wiser and more Mature (well at least 1 of those is true) and here we are celebrating Canada's 150th, and I am so proud of the way this young country has grown.

4 years ago Jim and I started discovering different areas of the Maritimes.  To celebrate Canada's 150th we headed to Newfoundland, the last province to enter confederation and so far my favourite.  Our last day there was spent just wandering around St. John's, the prettiest, friendliest little/big town you will ever visit.

As I wandered around I came across the Terry Fox Memorial Garden.  In 1980, along with millions of people around the world, we watched this ordinary young man face a challenge that turned him into an extrordinary human being and inspired so many of us.  He moved so many people in so many ways and he will always for me be the meaning of the Canadian Spirit.
"I just wish people would realize that anything is possible if you try, dreams are made if people try". 
 This is the quote on his memorial and Canadians have shown time and time again, how true this is.  On a personal note, he inspired me to quit smoking and I thank him for that every day.

I love this quote too:  "His run continues always in our naton's soul".

Thank you Terry and the 1000's of volunteers who keep his spirit alive.

Here are some final pics of St John's and their amazing colourful landscape.

As July 1st approachs, I am feeling very blessed.  The world is a changing place and so far Canada has remained a peaceful oasis, I hope that never changes.  My parents brought us up to be free thinkers, religion was never forced on us, it was just there.  We happily argued politics and religion until the wee hours of the mornings.  As Canada starts to hit a few growing pains I wish the following for our fellow Canadians.  "Remember that immigrants from all over the world have helped to grow this country and build it into what it is today.  May our children, especially our daughters and grand daughters always feel safe as they grow into adulthood.  May we always be able to express an opinion without fear.  May our opinions be without prejudice.  May we respect each other."  O Canada - strong and free I thank you.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Wedding Shower for Kathleen

Little Kathleen Williams who we met around 1991 watching her brothers play hockey and soccer, just waiting for her turn.  Didn't take long by 1993 Kathleen and Rachel were fast friends and had joined the same soccer team "the Lightning".  HA HA now their brothers had to watch them.  Amazingly they had picked up a fair bit of skills from watching their brothers play and their fathers coach.  Next was dance recitals, you can imagine the boys reaction to going to these LOL.  Before we knew it they were prom dress shopping together, Spice Girl concerts continued to cement their friendship.  Kathleen was a bridesmaid at Rachel's wedding and now here we are today celebrating the upcoming wedding of Miss Kathleen Williams, less than 2 months away and we are all so excited for her and her groom Michael.

Rachel and Stephanie putting the final touches on the Champagne and Cupcake table.  Definitely my favourite table.  Stephanie made some fantastic Champagne Cupcakes.  Rachel picked the "bubbly" theme for Kathleen, so fitting, she might be the bubbliest person I know.

Included in the bubbly theme was a bottle of Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne which everyone signed and is to be opened at their 1st annivesary LOL.  Our giveaway was little bottles of Henkell Trocken so Kathleen's guests could enjoy a wee toast to her.

We decided on a "Travel" theme to help them with their honeymoon.  Such fun for Rachel and I as everyone donated cash and we then went out and spent it on fun stuff.

The guests have started arriving and we are ready to share a glass of bubbly with Kathleen.

Kathleen is surrounded by her bridesmaids Rachel, Hailey, Kathleen and Tamara.  Missing are Celeste and Reanne.
We also needed a picture of the beautiful mother of the bride, Mary Jo, with a couple of her BFFs, Lindsey, Cathy, ME and Dale.  We are so excited for her and can't wait for August 26.

The guests have arrived, had a cocktail and lunch is ready.  A wee bit rainy today, but still warm, so we went with a cold salad theme.  

I gather I'm not allowed to take pictures of people when they are eating.  
Kathleen loves the Toronto Islands, and we are looking forward to her wedding there.  What better than to play a Picnic Themed Game.  Everytime she answered a question right she received a little gift for the picnic.  We couldn't leave Nala out, so there was even a little bowl and treats for her.  I am pretty sure she answered every question right.  LOL

Time for a little cupcake and then the present opening began.  

Couldn't have a Travel Themed gift without a piece of lingerie for the honeymoon.
The groom arrived near the end of the presents opening so was able to help with the luggage.

These 3 ladies were definitely the most excited ladies in the room.  Mother of the Bride Mary Jo, Bride Kathleen and Mother of the Groom Teri.
Cheers Kathleen, we can't wait for August 26, it is just around the corner.  xoxoxoxo


Brocolli Salad

Greek Salad

Salmon Pasta Salad with Cucumber Dressing

Chicken and Fruit Quinoa Salad