As much as I love exploring the world, a large part of my heart is devoted to traveling around Ontario. We have so many amazing places and spaces. One of my favourite things to do in the summer and fall is to explore Ontario Parks. With 330 parks to explore, it can take quite a while to put a dent into that list. Especially if you’re like me, and keep visiting parks that you fall in love with.
This summer, I headed to one of my favourite parks, Awenda Provincial Park. Awenda is near Midland Ontario on the Georgian Bay. The park has 2,900 hectares of land and pristine shoreline.
The park has 6 campsites to choose from. We chose to camp at the radio-free Bear campground. I love radio free campgrounds because I’m a grump and like silence when I camp. Our campsite (#142) was rated average. It was shady with lots of trees, and was close to the comfort station. (more…)
As we drew closer to the island, a few birds here and there circled the sky, some diving into the ocean to capture fish. Eventually, these few birds became hundreds.
As our boat docked on the island, only a few birds remained to be seen. Welcome to Bonadventure Island. The island is a short hop away from Percé, Quebec. What makes this tiny island unique are the two hundred thousand birds that live here. Of these, a colony of 110,000 northern gannets attract visitors from around the world. (more…)
Off-roading in a safari vehicle down a bumpy, winding dirt road on the outskirts of Yala National Park, I wasn’t sure what to expect when we arrived. I was in Sri Lanka, heading to a safari camp, Yala Sanctuary. Half an hour earlier, we had been picked up from Tissamaharama by Dinesh.
I wanted to be adventurous and stay in the park. I wanted to go camping, but not in a rustic way. Glamping definitely fit the bill for me. Yala Sanctuary is a new safari camp that opened in November. It looked magical, and I knew I wanted to experience it.
When we arrived at the camp, we were greeted with a roadway lined with tiki torches and a beautiful straw tent. We were greeted with the cutest coconut drinks, and immediately felt like we were at home.
Before opening his own camp, Dinesh worked in the park as a guide and at other parks. He’s passionate about animals, and takes great pride in his work. (more…)
After a whirlwind trip in Sri Lanka, where half of my travel party ended up getting severely sick from the flu (and in once case,hospitalized), I was more than looking forward to my stay at the Le Grand Galle hotel by Asia Leisure for our last two days on this tropical island.
Le Grand Galle is located in the town of Galle, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It has a stunning location, perched on the edge of a cliff, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the historic Galle Fort. This 5 star hotel is brand new, with beautiful design elements and a relaxing pool.
We arrived in Galle well after dark (after driving 4 hours from Columbo), and were immediately impressed by the service that we received and the property itself. The hotel lobby was large and airy, with a beautiful view of the pool.
We had a deluxe room on the second floor, with views of the pool and the Indian Ocean. I could hear the waves lapping at night, it was very peaceful. The room itself was spacious, with a huge soaker tub, king sized bed, Japanese toilet and a balcony.
The bathroom was open concept, but you could regain privacy by sliding the Japanese stye door shut. It was very stylish and gave the room a nice aesthetic.
Because we had arrived late, we had ordered room service for dinner with a pot of strong Sri Lankan tea for dessert.
In the morning, we headed down to the restaurant for the buffet. I loved the breakfast buffet because they had so many options.
At the grill, you could choose to get a custom omelette, crepes, pancakes or eggs benedict.
There was a large selection of fresh baked breads, juices, nuts, pastries and more.
My favourite part of the breakfast was the fresh fruit. You could request a bevvy of fresh fruits that would be carved up and served to you right there, or brought to your table. They had delicious pineapples and mangoes.
After breakfast, we headed to town to explore Galle Dutch Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a storied history, and was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese and then built up by the Dutch in the 17th century.
You can easily walk to the fort and hang out on the walls taking in the view of the sea. You can go into the fort to check out all of the shops and restaurants. I bought some jewelry with Sri Lankan gems, and also some spices from the lovely Galle Fort Spices.
I enjoyed walking around the town, but it was hot! When we went back to the hotel, we decided to go for a dip.
The hotel has a small private beach that was amazing! We hung out there and dug our toes into the sandy beach and swam in the warm Indian Ocean. Then we switched it up and visited the pool.
In the evening, hotel guests can choose to dine at Blue, a Japanese inspired seafood restaurant, or dine at the hotel’s restaurant. The food features fresh seafood, housemade breads and traditional Sri Lankan dishes.
There were also stunning desserts with unique flavours.
All in all, I had an amazing stay at Le Grand Galle. The staff were friendly and professional, the amenities amazing and the location can’t be beat! If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Sri Lanka, I would highly recommend that you stay here.
Kingston, Ontario is one of those cities that I always end up stopping in on my way to another place, and always end up saying, I need to come back here! I was in desperate need of a winter staycation, and I decided to finally make Kingston my destination…and I already can’t wait to go back.
Where to Stay
Kingston isn’t too far from Toronto, just a 2.5 hour drive. We stayed in the ultra modern Delta Waterfront hotel, perched right by the water.
Who said winter is for hibernating indoors? Bundled up in my warmest down-filled winter coat and boots, I took the Parkbus, along with other bloggers, journalists and photographers, to Arrowhead Provincial Park in Hunstville. In celebration of Ontario Parks 125th anniversary and the Arrowhead Visitor Centre grand opening, Ontario Parks arranged the tour. Just over two hours north of Toronto, Arrowhead is the perfect getaway to explore nature and beautiful scenery without venturing out too far away from home. (more…)
The Aurora Winter Festival has blown into Ontario Place, filling it with holiday magic. I checked out the festival just a day before it opened. So, what can you expect to see at the festival?
The Aurora Winter Festival inspires the festive spirit through magical winter experiences. Escape into a hidden village by the North Pole filled with captivating Christmas light displays and magical characters, and enjoy the market huts, food gardens, amusement rides, live entertainment, and plenty of other exciting activities. From visiting Santa’s Workshop to lacing up your skates on the Frozen Pond, there is something for every age at the Aurora Winter Festival.(more…)