Okay – so – SUMMER…FALL! That happened, and now it seems so far away it’s hard to imagine. And Christmas is on its way! It’s funny how time seems to feel like it moves so slowly when in the thick of things, but once you take a step back you see just how quickly life has just flown by before your eyes. Anyway, I had started writing another post (which I have now stopped, and will post shortly after I finish this), but realized there is a HUGE chunk of time missing between everything that happened since my last post and now. For now I’ll just keep it to highlights as I look back on the incredible memories I’ve made over the Summer and Fall!
Well, here are my updates… (currently going through Instagram to remember what on earth happened LOL).
- I went to the Multi-Cultural Festival in Kitchener with mom and pops to hear Alysha Brilla perform – she’s a local musician that I’ve really taken a liking to! We’ve seen her a few times this year and she really is so incredible. Puts her heart and soul into all her performances, and her songs. And the way her brain works… it often reminds me of myself, which I think may be why I appreciate her so much.
- The Mac and Cheese Festival in Toronto was one of the most fun little getaways this Summer! I went with Katelyn, Adrian, and Zoe – and tried so many local mac and cheese concoctions. My favourite was easily a butter chicken mac. The strangest was a steam bun filled with it – still not sure how I feel about that, to be honest ahaha!
- I also attended Kitchener’s Rib & Craft Beer Fest with Madison and Travis (joining up with the parents later on). I think we tried more of the beer and drinks than we did the ribs (they were so filling). Definitely came out with a few new summer favourites (Gin Smash <3).
- I had a really great time attending the Kitchener Blues Fest with Kestra, her family and my own to hear The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer play, with The Sheepdogs headlining. I had never been before, and can guarantee I’ll be going in the future.
- I stopped in at the Jazz Festival in Uptown Waterloo one of the nights to hear Matt Dusk, as the location of the venue was only 5 minutes from my place. Honestly wasn’t a huge fan of him live (much to my disappointment), but while there I discovered Barbra Lica – and she was so wonderful to hear – I’ve continued to listen to her over the past few months. Definitely been a summer of appreciating local talent, food, drink, and friends!
- Pelee Island Winery wine tasting with ma and pa. Found a couple new favourites that I highly recommend (Lola Blush – super nice summer sipping wine, Forward Crisp Pinot Gigio, Vinedressers Meritage 2012 – a beautiful red). We went hiking around Pelee National Park as well. The boardwalk in the park was particularly beautiful with tons of baby starlings around. A couple of the mamas went flying at my Dad’s head though, when he accidentally got too close.
- I’m so happy that I was able to go on many hikes throughout the summer! My favourite day trip hike easily being the one spent with my parents at Little Cove, Tobermory. It’s quite rugged – with the entrance at a small rocky beach. And on the trail, there are many rocks you have to climb up. The biggest treat though, is the fact that throughout the hike you can look out over the water and have some of the most beautiful views of Tobermory. It was one of the first times either of my parents had done a hike like this also – something more comparable to the backcountry style hikes that I’ve done. And I was thrilled to share this kind of adventure, and love of mine with them – and to see them enjoy it to was just so wonderful. We all definitely challenged each other. So special. Of course, we went for a well-earned beer and fish and chips afterwards too (Dad made sure of that haha).
- Bruce’s Caves, Wiarton with Julia and Noelle. Was a wonderful day trip with the girls. We spent the day climbing the caves (and Noelle going up trees), picnicking, and hiking the Bruce Trail above. We spent hours playing “Categories” … which eventually led to the most in-depth game of trying to name every sport we could think of… I believe log rolling, and parkour was on that list LOL. As we were driving home, we randomly decided to message our friend Kevin and his family (who we were very close with, growing up – but he had moved to South Hampton). We ended up spending a few hours with them and had one of the most fun nights crashing a party they were hosting for their local friends!
- And of course, the beach days with Kestra at Grand Bend were always special. We always have such a great time together reminiscing on our childhood, and just being goofy!
- Toronto! I was able to spend a lot of time this summer visiting the brother! We went to a Jays game together and checked out a little Hawaiian themed bar in the city one weekend. Saw Jack Johnson with Ro (ahhhhh!!!!) another. Got together with Emilia and Emilie and had our own little personal party at Adrian’s place one time! Saw Rick McGhie at Steamwhistle with Katelyn, Sean, Adrian and Zoe! I was lucky to be able to make it up every few weeks to the city, and spend some quality time with Adrian. I’m always so grateful for this since he isn’t able to come home as much now that he’s working.
- London. London’s been a bit of a funny place for me this summer. It’s a place that brings me both a lot of sadness, but also where I feel most at home. So going there has been conflicting for me. But I’ve also had some of the most wonderful times there with my old roommates, and friends such as going to Emily’s place in St Thomas for her birthday and being able to catch up with so many people there. I loved hiking around Rock Glen Conservation with Lauren, and having many a vegan meal together. Spending time with Laura for her Grad Dinner, and many weekends going out with Lauren, Andrea, Julia, Charlotte, Kate, Pat, Sean, Eric etc. Spending Homecoming with Hayden, and seeing Rick McGhie with her for the first time in a year! It’s my place – I will always love it.
- Lauren’s Cottage! This was my second summer going up to Lauren’s family’s cottage up near Sauble Beach. It’s easily been one of my favourite weekends that I think back on often. This time we spent a lot of time with her sisters and family which was such a blast – having fires together, cruising in their convertible, beach walks, canoeing around their lake, paddleboarding, going for boat rides… I think I was in my little version of heaven.
- I think it was in the same week that Julia, Noelle and I went up to the Kawarthas and spent the weekend camping at Balsam Lake in one of their walk-in sites (this was an adventure and a half – we couldn’t find the site and ended up lost in the middle of the night). Eventually, we found it the next day, after setting up camp at a random site the first night… but we had the best time! Went tubing at Kawartha Provincial Park (highly recommend). Ate so much Kawartha dairy (my favourite flavour being cherry). And a lot of dancing terribly around the fire with coolers, and singing terribly….and laughing. My whole face hurt from smiles.
- Okay, last one! I had the most lovely, relaxing girls weekend trip with my Mama to celebrate her 50th! We had gone up to Collingwood and stayed at the Blue Mountain Inn for a spa getaway. We had an amazing time at the Kalola Spa and Scandinave Spa together. And had an amaaaaazing hike at the Nottawassaga Bluffs, exploring the caves there. We also got in some early fall apple picking together.
Okay – I could write an extended blog on this one. Algonquin is a special place for me, and I was so happy to have been able to spend some time with this one there, as it’s equally as special for Pat since he’s spent summers working there as a counsellor and canoe tripper guide. AMAZING time. Equally scary. I seem to have a knack for going to Algonquin and shit going down, but having an incredible time because of it. Basically – the first day; we are taking a route off of Canoe Lake – planning to stay on Little Joe, Teepee, Burnt Island, Little Otterslide. We had a great first night, and an easy canoe in… made friends with a little chipmunk friend. But – middle of the night Pat and I wake up to the sound of a bear outside our tent, who spent over an hour knocking down our food barrel from the bear hang that Algonquin Park had built in. This all happened around 15 meters from our tent (if that). I’m not sure I’ve ever been so terrified. But the next morning we found our destroyed food barrel, and all the leftover packaging from the food (everything was eaten – wine included) all over the site. Needless to say, we cleaned up at 5:30 am and got out of there as fast as possible. This brought us back to Canoe Lake, where we quickly changed our route to the south -where there hadn’t been any bear warnings. We went back into town to buy all of our groceries again… and devoured a massive breakfast and Kawartha Dairy. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so happy lol! After that though, everything went incredibly smoothly other than the terrible weather on our way back (the wind was really bad, making it a rocky trip across Smoke)! Took a route off of Smoke Lake all the way down to Porcupine. If you’ve never done the south I highly recommend heading this way. BEAUTIFUL sites, and views with a lot of privacy.
With all my recent posts lately on social media about Italy, I don’t want to go too in depth on here (I’ve bombarded you all enough haha). But I think I was permanently euphoric for the whole ten days while travelling – being with family the whole time, eating incredible food, seeing some of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever encountered, wine (Chianti), and being surrounded by ancient, medieval, renaissance art and archithometownerywhere. Holy moly. Just amazing.
As much as I love leaving my hometown, I also should mention just how special it was to be home again this summer, and to be able to spend so much time with friends, and my family! As well as be able to reconnect with old friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.
OKAY! So basically…what I’ve gotten out of this summer is the importance of spending time with those that help you grow, and surrounding yourself with environments that challenge you! Immersing yourself in things that make your brain excited! It was amazing to have been able to experience that this summer!