A week or two ago I saw this awesome post by my friend Vicki over at Florals & Teacups about her summer bucket list. While I may not be able to be as ambitious as her due to work constraints (I have to work the odd weekend, the joys of the travel/tourism/hospitality/entertainment industry – yes my work has many facets), I decided to make a list of my own! Especially since lately I’ve been feeling very trapped and contained in my new 9am-5pm(ish) lifestyle. Having a full time job has made me realize just how much I depended on (and took for granted) my freedom. But alas, my dwindling bank account meant it was time for a dose of reality. While I miss being able to piss off whenever I wanted, I do appreciate a steady paycheque and I get some pretty sweet #workperks. Anyways, here’s my somewhat-adventurous Ontario summer mission list – let’s see how many I can cross off!
Hike in Bruce Peninsula National Park Completed July 10, 2016
After unintentionally hiking in Fathom Five National Park the day before, I made the trek back to Tobermory to explore more of Georgian Bay’s coast! Took more than a lackluster Airbnb stay, two back to back four hour drives, and a full parking lot to stop me! By the way, if a baby black bear crosses your path – is it bad luck like it is when a black cat does?
Visit More of Hamilton’s Waterfalls Completed July 16, 2016
Had an absolute blast exploring both Albion and Buttermilk Falls with a fabulous rag-tag group of gals, including Steph from The World As I See It and Lauren from Justin+Lauren! I’m slowly making my way to all of Hamilton’s waterfalls, so check out my progress so far here!
Visit A Local Conservation Area Completed July 17, 2016
After living in Kitchener-Waterloo on and off for 5ish years, I finally made it to the Elora Gorge Conservation Area! I’m planning on checking out more conservation areas that are nearby, but this one’s been on my list for a long time. It’s definitely a hot spot for summer weekends – there were tons of people!
Break Out the Tent & Go Camping Completed July 21, 2016
While this wasn’t a ‘enjoy nature and get away from it all’ type of camping, we got some good use of the tent at WayHome! With some air mattresses and a memory foam buffer, we sure slept like babies when we did sleep!
Attend a Music Festival Completed June 4-5, July 22-24 & July 30-31, 2016
This was the summer of festivals for me as I attended not one but THREE, with one of those being by surprise due to my new job! I had a blast at Ever After, WayHome, and Veld, but I’m definitely still catching up on sleep from the last two being on back to back weekends. Find out what I learned at WayHome as it was my first festival where you also camp overnight!
Take A Scenic Cruise Completed August 6, 2016
An early wake-up call isn’t so bad when you get to enjoy views like these from the Rockport Cruise. I highly suggest booking a cruise of the 1000 Islands when you visit as it’s a great way to see the beauty of the area! Don’t go for the 10am or 11am cruise though as it will be packed with buses of tour groups. Ours at 9am was fantastic, or I’d suggest a later one like 3pm or 4pm.
Kayak the 1000 Islands Completed August 6, 2016
After seeing them from a distance, it was time to hit the water and explore them close up! Our half day kayaking excursion was absolutely fantastic. Great for beginners like myself, our guide was fantastic at keeping us together as well as educating us on the area – there are so many little areas to see and enjoy!
Visit a New County in Ontario Completed August 7, 2016
What better way to round off a busy weekend than with leisurely exploring a new county in my beautiful province? Prince Edward County is absolutely adorable and has a similar feel to that of the Niagara Region. This makes sense as PEC is another of Ontario’s fruitful wine areas! It was fantastic to explore a few of the wineries as well as a surprise sculpture garden! One day to explore was nowhere near enough, but we’ll take what we can get… and be back sooner rather than later!
Spoil Myself with a Spa Day Completed August 20, 2016
After some very busy weekends, it was time to unwind a little with a little downtime at the Scandinave Spa in Blue Mountain! I had heard a lot of good things about the spa, however it still took my breath away. The area is so tranquil (with absolutely no technology allowed in the baths!) and you’re fully immersed in the relaxing atmosphere. They suggest the sequence of hot soak, cold plunge and then relax. We did this a number of times to fully enjoy each of the baths and boy does it do wonders to your body! I felt so refreshed afterwards! I’ll definitely be returning again soon.
Do an Adventure Activity Completed August 21, 2016
Nature wasn’t cooperative and decided to get her gale on so we couldn’t head out to Flowerpot Island for our cruise… which meant time to knock one more item off the list! Scenic Caves Nature Adventures is a fantastic spot to go if you’re looking to get the adrenaline pumping – even if you’re supposed to be having a ‘relaxing’ weekend. We participated in their eco adventure tour where you admire the ground from above with some treetop trekking, fly like a bird with some ziplining, and explore some beautiful caves. I highly suggest it – Robin and I had an absolute blast despite my vertigo challenging me at times!
Explore More of My Home Region of Niagara Completed August 27, 2016
I lived in St Catharines for 20 years of my life and I’m JUST getting to see the Niagara Rapids now! Better late than never though, right? With this being the centennial for the Whirlpool Aero Car, I had to hop on for a ride – and an amazing view – of the Whirlpool Rapids! Then we got a bit closer with Niagara Parks’ White Water Walk. Both are fantastic attractions for getting a glimpse of just how powerful the Niagara River can be!
Seeing as we’re already almost a week into July… I think I might have my work cut out for me.
And with that I’ve successfully completed my Summer Mission of Exploring Ontario – and with a weekend to spare! Did you follow me on my adventures either here (I’ll update this post as I go!), on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on my newest social media avenue – Snapchat? What did you do this summer? Did you do everything you wanted to? If not, you’ve got a few weekends left so get out there and explore!