The Valley Town

I’ve teamed up with AutoShare this summer to #discoverON. I’m taking six road trips with their cars and sharing my experiences online. Follow #discoverON along onTwitter and Instagram. In my fourth adventure, I grab my friend L and we head west to hunt waterfalls.

Ever hear the song “The Valley Town” by Elliott BROOD? One of my favourite songs from the band. The song is about Dundas, ON aka The Valley Town. I’ve been told by several people (not all natives of the Dundas/Ancaster/Hamilton areas) that this side of the GTA provides a tonne of sights to be seen. Specifically, the largest concentration of waterfalls in the world.

Webster's Falls

Webster’s Falls (above), probably the most famous of the waterfalls in the area is absolutely gorgeous. There’s a path that will lead you to the bottom of the waterfall, some great shots to be had there. Unfortunately, our visit was a little early in the season and the path was still closed. Which really just means that we’ll have to make another visit before the summer is through.

A short 20 minute walk along the Bruce Trail brings you to another stunner, Tews Falls. Note that parking in the park will cost you about $10 for the day. The walk to Tews Falls is an easy one with proper steps and an easy dirt path.

There are some great farmers markets in the area, as well. We stopped by Dyment’s Farm and The Dutch Mill for some local treats, mostly asparagus related… because I am obsessed with asparagus. Come to think of it, I’ve got a fresh bunch I picked up from another farm yesterday morning – DINNER.

A few other members of the #discoverON team made their way to the falls in the Hamilton area, check out their ‘grams here.

#discoverON Trip 3 – Girls Weekend in Niagara-on-the-Lake

I’ve teamed up with AutoShare this summer to #discoverON. I’m taking six road trips with their cars and sharing my experiences online. Follow #discoverON along onTwitter and Instagram

AutoShare, along with Stratus Wines and The Shaw Club sent me and fellow #discoverON teammate Morgan to Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL) with two girlfriends in tow for a rainy weekend out of the city and enjoying the sights of the town. I had never been to NOTL and falsely assumed it was much like it’s neighbour Niagara Falls – wrong. VERY WRONG. As our Toyota Rav4 drove toward the main street, I couldn’t help but feel like I was in some sort of southern state. Gorgeous Victorian homes, a bustling downtown and the lake with a nice view of Toronto on the other side.

We were spoiled from the moment we arrived. Our abode for the evening was a gorgeous suite with our very own fish. The folks over at The Shaw Club were kind enough to give us a lift to the winery and brewery in the hotel shuttle so all of us could take part in the tastings. I cannot wait to go back to NOTL, such a gorgeous town, with so much history and tasty food. The night life is pretty great, too as a couple of us went out on the town to enjoy a night cap or two.

Check out the sights:

Packed up for a rainy weekend with the girls. Off to Niagara-on-the-Lake we go.

Packed up for a rainy weekend with the girls. Off to Niagara-on-the-Lake we go.

The tasting session at Stratus Winery

The tasting session at Stratus Winery

Walking through the vineyards at Stratus on our way to Oast House Brewery

Walking through the vineyards at Stratus on our way to Oast House Brewery

The fermenting cellar at Stratus Winery

The fermenting cellar at Stratus Winery

Kayla at Oast House

Kayla at Oast House

With my takeaway of Mayor's Craic from Oast House.

With my takeaway of Mayor’s Craic from Oast House.

Dinner at Zees Grill at The Shaw Club. So darn good.

Dinner at Zees Grill at The Shaw Club. So darn good.

Heading out for a night walk ghost tour. Geez.

Heading out for a night walk ghost tour. Geez.

An evening of haunts. All previous versions of this photo were ruined (by spirits?). I wish I were kidding.

An evening of haunts. All previous versions of this photo were ruined (by spirits?). I wish I were kidding.

An extension of the ghost tour. This house is rumoured to be haunted. The owner boarded it up and vowed never to sell it.

An extension of the ghost tour. This house is rumoured to be haunted. The owner boarded it up and vowed never to sell it.

You can read more about this haunted house here.

That's a wrap on girls weekend in NOTL.

That’s a wrap on girls weekend in NOTL.

Thanks to AutoShare for the wheels, The Shaw Club for the food in our bellies and the overnight and Stratus Winery and Oast House Brewery for the afternoon of fun.

Want to get out on your own adventures? Join AutoShare right now for $29. Your first year membership fee is waived ($45) and you get a $30 driving credit. Not too shabby. Visit: http://autoshare.com/discoverON

#discoverON Trip 2 – Toronto’s East End

Scarborough Bluffs

Walking along the Scarborough Bluffs.

I’ve teamed up with AutoShare this summer to #discoverON. I’m taking six road trips with their cars and sharing my experiences online. Follow #discoverON along on Twitter and Instagram. I had a brief stint in the east end (The Beach, specifically) a couple of years back. I enjoyed it but didn’t really learn to appreciate it until I move way west and wasn’t steps away from all the goodness the east end has to offer. I picked up my friend, Solange, and we headed east along Bloor to check out some of my favourite east end spots. What we did:

  • Stopped at Rooster Coffee House for one of the tastiest lattes in the city and the best view of Toronto (check out this Google Image Search for Riverdale Park to see what I mean).
  • Picked up perhaps my favourite croissant in Toronto at Zane Patisserie. Pro tip: get the ham and cheese one and have them warm that bad boy up.
  • Visited Scarborough Bluffs for the first time. Pro tip: dress warmly, that wind is something else.
  • Made our way back up to the Danforth to grab another coffee at Red Rocket Coffee. Pro tip: their house blend is perfecto.
  • While not east (the east end sweet spot we had originally planned to visit closed :( ), we wrapped up the afternoon at Bunner’s Bake Shop in The Junction for some vegan cupcakes. Pro tip: Carrot is the way to go.

Check up all of the photos from this trip on my Facebook page.

I forgot to pack my iPod car dock, so my music selection was limited to whatever was on the radio, which means we heard about five songs on repeat throughout the afternoon. I call this one, “Many Radio Stations, All The Same Songs”.

1. Dark Horse – Katy Perry

2. Hold On, We’re Going Home – Drake

3. Fancy – Iggy Azalea ft. Charli XCX

4. Team – Lorde

5. Counting Stars – OneRepublic

Up Next for #discoverON: Niagara-on-the-Lake for a girls weekend.

#discoverON Trip 1 – Muskoka

Brewery Tour, Good Eats and Falls

A little summary of my Muskoka trip

Muskoka in the Spring? I know, definitely not primetime but I had a visitor, Chris, in town from Boston who’s only visited Windsor and I needed to give him a great (second) first impression of this province. I wanted to show him a great spot in the city, stick us together in a car for a few hours so we could listen to an awesome playlist we put together and get to know each other a bit better. I think we accomplished that mission.

What we did:

Since Chris and I spend some time making playlists for each other and our friends, we created one for the trip. Mine was for the ride up (upbeat and fun) and his was for the ride home (mellow and lovely). I picked out a few favourites from both of our lists, I’ve titled it, “I Like You, Let’s Road Trip”.

1. Lost – Scavenger Hunt

2. Allie Jones – Mayer Hawthorne

3. Anna Sun – Walk The Moon

4. Swing The Cellar Door – Hey Rosetta!

5. My Best Friend – Hot Hot Heat

6. Prehistoric – Now, Now

7. In The Airplane Over The Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel

8. Isn’t It Time – The Beach Boys

9. Postcards From Italy – Beirut

10. Heart In A Cage – Chris Thile (awesome cover of The Strokes song)

Up next for #discoverON: The Hammer. Why? Because all of the waterfalls.

I See Me Rollin’

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I’m working with AutoShare over the next few months to help you Discover Ontario. Follow #discoverON on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, The World to see what me and the rest of the #discoverON team is up to (meet them all here).

I’m whittling down my road trip list to the final few but I do have some awesome spots in Ontario to check out and share with you. Especially now that the weather if (finally) becoming tolerable again.

So This is Happening

Holy Heck that was quite an extended break from the site, n’est pas? I’ve been working on a few side projects that have prevented me from updating this blog here. Perhaps I’ve got the itch to get more involved in this or maybe I’ve got Olympics fever but I’ve got some goods to share. I want to be a triathlete.

I purchased my first adult bike in mid-April. See, isn’t it pretty?

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I had 1.5 months to prepare my legs and butt for The Ride to Conquer Cancer – a 220km bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls over the course of 2 days. Funds raised from the ride benefitted the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Suddenly, I became a cyclist and pretended I never uttered the words, “I never want to ride a bicycle again” a few years back.

So, the Ride came and went. It was an amazing experience, my team was so supportive, the event well-organized, I could have done with less rain and that last leg up the mountain to Mohawk College in Hamilton but c’est la vie. Proof I completed it:

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Yes, that is a different bike. Good eye!

After the Ride, I got wind that the first-ever Toronto Triathlon was happening this summer and one of the charitable partners was near and dear to my heart. I rounded up 2 ladies and was created our own Toronto Triathlon Festival relay team. I worked on increasing my riding speed and was really impressed with my time, a personal best. My teammates and I looked super cute in our team gear, too.

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That race is what did me in, I’m hooked and want in on full triathlon action. I’ve committed to completing my first full tri at the Toronto Triathlon Festival in 2013. I’ve got a year of training, which may seem like more than enough time to get my butt into gear, but you haven’t seen me swim. Wait, you haven’t seen me attempt to swim, then ride, then run. This could end terribly.

When Parents Email

I’ve decided to briefly resurrect this blog with something I found somewhat entertaining, my folks bought a new car. My Mom shared the news with myself and my brother over email. I tried to make a joke, which went promptly over her head.

I guess she’s never heard this song.

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