Hiking: Thousand Islands National Park #Canada150 #DiscoveryPass #hiking

I realized that we’ve been having a ton of movie reviews lately. So, for my sake and anyone else who drops by here not for reviews, we’re having a review-free day! During my vacation, we headed off to Thousand Islands National Park to take advantage of the Canada 150 Discovery Pass to do some hiking.

Thousand Islands is wildly known for its cruise around the beautiful Thousand Islands area to see all the lovely residences on the different islands scattered about and eventually for the longer cruises and those with passports can head on to see the castle. We’ve never been to the castle but its on our bucket list however, Thousand Islands National Park was somewhere that popped up on our radar to check out. We ended up heading into the park and while one of the three locations to go hiking were closed, we ended up going to check out the other two trails locations.

The Visitor’s Centre is located at the Mallorytown Landing Trail area which is kind of like walking around in someone’s backyard as a good bit of the beginning and end rounds around some houses in proximity. However, the trail is pretty nice and easy. Its mostly flat and goes up a small hill in the back roads.

Thousand Islands National Park

It turns out I did take some pictures but nothing was quite as memorable as finally seeing the toilets here which were in little cabins like this and had this Phoenix composting system or something. It said to close the lids on the toilets when people were done but of course, no one does so as I was in there, I kept imagining that the whole Snakes in the Plane scenario would happen or some frog would hop out at me. Stupid since its crazy deep but hey, overactive imagination can be a curse sometimes.

Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park

Here are two shots that I liked of the Mallorytown Landing trail.

Just down the road for about a five minute drive was our next location with a network of over 2 hours worth of trails if you really wanted to do it and it was the Jones Creek Trail. We headed over there and figured out a way to at least reach the other side of their boardwalk and the lookout spot and then head back. The trails have all these animal names and it was pretty cool. For those looking for those trails, you can find the map HERE. we started on the eel and kept going right to follow Turtle which keeping right lead to Heron which leads to the Boardwalk and we did a part of Snipe to the lookout point and headed back. The trails are marked pretty well with the colors of the trails on the map so its easy to just spot where the trail is by looking for those little tags hung on the trees. The trails were relatively easy and its mostly lookout points at marshlands.

Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park

Thousand Islands National Park

As much as it was a flat course, it was still really comfortable to walk in. The trails were nice and it still had the nature trail that the trails weren’t always really defined so the hunt for those colored signs happened at times. Some of the lookouts aren’t exactly great but its still a milder walk which turned out for the better since we don’t get the chance to hike as much as we’d like.

Thousand Islands National Park is a decent spot. There are some nice scenery around. Although, you should definitely go for the cruise if you are in the area. As for us, we’ll probably see if the leaves are still around and hunt down another location to hike up in the mountains to catch some leaves before the weather gets cooler and we only go hiking in the spring after the snow has melted and/or when the parks open up again.

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My Weekly Adventures #52

Its Sunday and we’re halfway through the month. We’ve had a really good Halloween marathon run full of events and movie reviews and even managed to finally get a TV Binge out. The second half of the month will hopefully see those dwindling book reviews (for books I’m working hard on finishing right now) as well as wrapping up the Saw franchise and hopefully seeing a ton more movies. I absolutely have another TV binge coming up and maybe two if my second binge works as planned. Things don’t go always as planned here. The first half of the month crossed over with Thanksgiving in Canada as well as the actual Moon Festival. Its been a fun time especially since the last week, my husband and I have been on vacation, or more accurately a staycation, so we’re just chilling out, doing some fall chores to prepare for the season and having fun. Oh right, and we also happened to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary. Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Moon Festival Dinner

Moon Festival

The last Weekly Adventures ended with a look at the Battle of Ingredients which was Moon Festival themed and then even had dinner with my husband and my mom for the first part of Moon Festival. On the day of, I went over to hang out with my mom for Moon Festival. We made chicken and salmon and we had some lovely moon cakes. It was a ton of fun.

Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village

Pumpkinferno

Vacation started half day for myself on the Friday before last. I was supposed to have the full day off but I had to wrap up some loose ends. However, that is okay since I felt much better about going on vacation knowing the majority of the stuff was taken care of. There’s still some stuff to work on when I get back and its a huge deadline. However, vacation is always refreshing. The second day of vacation was the weekend and we had plans to meet up with family and friends to head to Upper Canada Village to see PumpkInferno. I had a post for it last week some time. If you missed it,  you can check it out HERE.

Visit from Friends

There’s no pictures but if you all remember, Butterflymumma used to be one of our fellow bloggers. She’s no longer in the blogosphere but she remains in contact with me. Whenever I head into her area, I’ll call her up and for Thanksgiving weekend, she came to Montreal to visit with her family. We had dinner and hung out a little. It was lots of fun. Its always a nice time to hang out with friends.

Theatre Visit: IT

IT 2017

Its always great to have a change in plans sometimes. We ended up losing track of time on Tuesday and ended up postponing hiking for that day and instead caught the matinee Cheap Tuesdays screening at the local theatres for IT. I’ve wanted to see that one for a while and had thought that I’d give it up due to finances but I’m happy to finally have that sorted it out and it work out and we got to see it. We did also see the preview for Jigsaw so we’re debating to see whether we want to see it by the end of the month and maybe add it to the horror marathon. It all depends. Anyways, you can expect the review for both the 80s IT and this new one soon.

2nd Wedding Anniversary

We’ve decided that hiking is our anniversary event. This year, we went out to Thousand Islands National Park to go for a hike. Its a pretty nice area and I’ll be posting about that very soon. It was a pretty flat path so there was no leaves changing colors to see. However, this year is cotton-themed. We gave pretty generic and useful stuff. My husband was great and he gave me a Teeturtle Cat Mom shirt. Here it is!

Belated Thanksgiving Dinner

We had my in-laws come over last week to celebrate a belated Thanksgiving. I’m not great at making turkey and it was a busy day of chores and catching up with the blog and editing so we ended up picking up the food to make from M&M Meat Shops which is a pretty cool place with some delicious food when in need for a quick meal to put together.

Noctambule at Granby Zoo

#Dinozoo at #Noctambule at #GranbyZoo. #dinosaurs #quebec #granby #zoo #animals #canada

A post shared by Kim (@tranquildreams) on

Granby Zoo is a place we haven’t gone back in a long time. This year, they added a Dinozoo area which is full of animated dinosaurs. Its pretty cool. I actually think its probably more effective at night than in the day.

Cute Kitty Pic

Upcoming:

–> MORE HORROR MARATHON/TV BINGES/FALL ACTIVITIES

That’s it for this Weekly Adventures!
I know it was a little overloaded. Its just because of vacation having more time to do stuff. 
We continue the horror marathon tomorrow!

Whats up with you?

Casual Fun Date Ideas!

Date are fun, be it in the day or night! Its Saturday and some of you might be heading out for a little fun time with your companion (or even friends). I have friend dates all the time too. I have dates with my girl friends. Of course, I also have dates with my husband. Living in Montreal (or metropolitan) has tons of great ideas because we are pampered with access to lots of cool locations and new stuff to try out.

With that said, let us talk dates.

Movie and Restaurant

An oldie but a goodie because if its not broke, why change it, right? Being a movie blogger, movies are the constant fall back and many reasons of why we’d go  out for a date. A lovely date night doesn’t fail with a movie of our choice. 2017 looks like the year of guilty pleasure sequels, by the way. Before the movies (or after), its always great to choose a restaurants. Normally, we go to our normal favorites but there are also times when we grab a discount voucher online that peaks our interest to try out some restaurants we’ve never been to before. These vouchers have opened our eyes to many cool ideas.

A budget friendly way, and one we’ve been doing frequently, is just having our meal out, or making our own pizza/hot dogs/burgers and fries (or perhaps ordering in if we’re feeling particularly in the mood to take it easy), and pop in a movie from the trusty movie collection, rent a movie from Play store or pick out a movie from Netflix!

Checking out Local or Nearby Events

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Every big city or small town has stuff going on, no matter big or small. There’s always something happening. Or at least a lot of times there will be and these events are perfect ways to go out on a date night. It gives a nice change to the weekly routine and gives a chance to go out and reconnect with the outside world together. Its exploring and trying out something new. Even an event that you’ve been to the year before will most probably have something new to offer, even if its just the weather being colder or warmer. It can be a date to a wine festival or food festival or film festival. In the walking around and waiting in lines, its a time to chat and see new things. The point is the experience and the change in pace. Its memorable and fun and refreshing. Sometimes, if the city doesn’t have something going on, perhaps a nearby city or suburban area will have something to offer and it’ll be even a nice road trip.

Hiking

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

We’re outdoorsy people. Maybe less than most because of crazy schedules but one of our favorite dates is getting up on an early morning, grabbing our car and heading out take a hike. Sure, its all frantic and crazy in the packing phase but the preparation of it is also fun as we look through the area for what national parks have hiking trails and what locations are feasible and worth the hike. The one thing in hiking that really kills is spending all that effort and the payoff is a lackluster scenery. Luckily we’ve never had that experience, except for one time. However, its nice to add a little twist to this formula and try something new, like renting an SUV or Jeep from Turo, a peer to peer car rental company in their “Backroad-Ready Cars” selection. You can find more info on their rentals page here. It could make the trip up the off-road/steep gravel paths more durable. We learned that after a recent experience where our hatchback had to inch up the mountain to where the trail started in the most painful way. Its hard to find a balance between city life and our leisure activities but for these special occasions, it could open up a lot more areas and authentic natural hiking trails.

Leave it to Spontaneity

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One of my first projects when we bought the house was to make sure that our lives were never going to be boring. I soon realized that we really do love our routines incredibly a lot however once in a while, we like to let things go its course, and that is why I made this easy little DIY craft. Its our spontaneous date/activity ideas glass. Different color popsicle sticks will have a different category of something different or new to do. There are some generic choices but as we think of things, we pull out a popsicle stick on the side and add it in if we have something to add, that way we both have our ideas in there and on the nights when we can’t decide, we just pull one (or two) out and choose from what destiny has set for us.

This post is inspired by Turo, a peer to peer car rental company that helps you connect with others to find what you need in whichever area you are in and can also be a source of income if you have a vehicle that you can rent out as well.

These are a few of our date ideas for whenever you like: day, evening, night.
What do you like to do for your dates?

Hiking: Owl’s Head

More hiking was set for us on that week of staycation we had. With a little research, we found our second location which is rather nearby to Montreal also at a offseason ski resort, Owl’s Head. I’ve only ever heard of it before. Owl’s Head, just like most ski locations but hiking spots in the summer/fall, are really another type of beast. They have some designated paths but mostly, its a free walk uphill. Owl’s Head was no different. In fact, the trek up was pretty intense. it was incredibly steep and pretty tiring for such a short walk. We didn’t make it all the way but we did get almost there except for a winding path that went up to a booth or ski station or something. However, the view along the way opened up over a lake and with the leaves changing colors, it was really breathtaking.

Here are some shots of what we saw. It gives an idea of how steep it was and also the views we saw. On our way down, we actually encountered a cute little fellow and I took a little video of it.

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

Owl's Head

And for our little porcupine encounter. This porcupine is definitely not full grown but then I’m not a porcupine expert. It was adorable as heck as it walked around forward and in circles and forward more and then went up the hill. It was a slightly windy day so sorry about all the windy  noises.

A lovely  little location for a short but challenging hike. It was getting cooler that day and on the hills near where we saw the porcupine, there was frost forming on the grass. Still, we enjoyed it a lot. Sometimes, hiking can really get to us and we want to give up but when we turn around and see all the natural beauty around us, it gets us all pumped up again to go higher and makes it all worth it!

Hiking: Parc Regionale des Sept-Chutes

It has become a tradition to go for a hike on Thanksgiving Day to hopefully catch the last bit of fall colors that October has to offer. This year’s prolonged summer helped the leaves change colors later and stay on the leaves longer. This year, we also took a beautiful staycation to just relax and take care of stuff and spend some time together while also celebrating our first year wedding anniversary. We particularly wanted to do more hiking to bask in the quiet time. Last year this time was tons of fun but it was also crazy busy for last minute wedding preparation. This year is much different and one that we enjoyed a lot. Regardless, the first little trip out was perhaps two hours out of Montreal. It turned out to be quite the hot spot because we almost didn’t have anywhere to park and had to turn around. Luckily, things worked out in the end and after registering at the office, we set off for the hike.

This is actually a pretty challenging trail because its part of climbing up rocks and lots of up and down slopes. There are waterfalls along the way to see and the view at the top is absolutely worth it as you will see. Here is a few shots I thought turned out really nice!

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

Parc Regional des Sept Chutes

The trail was pretty long. It took us about 3 to 4 hours to go through the entire hike. It actually was a lot of fun as well to have to climb up and down. There are various trails here and we took a little shortcut to make it back down a little faster as we started out on the hike only in early afternoon and we needed to make it back before it got dark. The summit is the shot with all the trees and the road going through it. In the other side, you see the lake from up top. As we go down, we hit another waterfall and lots of water pictures which are my personal faves. Plus, there was that whole area with the yellow trees that was captivating to walk through.

This is really something and definitely a trail I’d want to go back to explore eventually! If you are in the area and enjoy some fun and challenging hikes, this one is a great choice! 🙂

Vancouver & Kelowna: Vancouver Aquarium & Lynn Canyon Park

We’re finally here! The recap of the final day of vacation over on the Canadian West Coast. For this one, we took up our courage and headed to the Vancouver city central towards Stanley Park to go to Vancouver Aquarium and get an indoor activity before heading out to Lynn Canyon Park & Suspension Bridge. We talked with some of the locals there (my mom’s friends) and they told us that Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is almost as pretty as Capilano Suspension Bridge which charges more and is higher. This is a great choice for it being free and having just a lower canyon but still really  nice to walk through.

Vancouver Aquarium

As you can see, Vancouver Aquarium has all sorts of stuff, its not just fishes and rays and giant turtles and sharks. It also has monkeys and birds, etc. It is a pretty cool experience. Something else I like is that they don’t do a lot of shows with the animals. Only the dolphins are in these shows. The porpoises and belugas up top are actually in a training session which is like the trainer talks about these animals and how they came here and their story while giving them a little workout explaining why certain moves helps them to make sure they are healthy. In other cases, they also talk about the wildlife preservation centre that people can call if they ever believe that a marine animal is in danger and needs their assistance so that they can get them healthy and send them back to the wild. While I haven’t seen the documentary on Blackfish, I like the fact that it may be because of things like that documentary which make aquariums more aware about their transparency on how they are treating the animals with them.

Regardless of that, I like going to aquariums quite a bit and Vancouver Aquarium isn’t exceptionally different but they have their forte and is a rather educational process. They have a few different species of animals. My favorite is always the jellyfish tank and also seeing the porpoises and also going to the touch tank and getting to touch rays.

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Park

As I mentioned above, we indeed skipped the really well known Capilano suspension bridge. I have been there before when I was around eight years old. However, in my mind, Lynn Canyon Park was really beautiful. It was a rainy day but everything was absolutely lovely just with the rainforest and the tall trees towering over us. It was a great place to go. And a nice way to round up our vacation with a nice light hike around. It didn’t  take too long but was good enough to give us time and energy to head back to the hotel and pack up for our trip home the next day.

Overall, the Vancouver and Kelowna trip was a lot of fun. We had some fantastic scenery and we had an enjoyable time seeing all the relatives. We got to hike and eat some great food and even fangirl over Storybrooke. There are still a ton of activities we didn’t get to do because of time and hopefully we will return again eventually.

This vacation’s post is done now but as we speak I just got back to work this week after a week off for a lovely staycation where did also went out to do some hiking so that will follow for what seems like Vacation Tuesdays here. 😉 We do have some day trips planned before winter hits so hopefully this segment will go on for at least another few weeks.

Vancouver & Kelowna: Hiking in Whistler & Squamish!

How fast does vacation go by, right? We’re looking back at Day 6 of vacation over at Kelowna and Vancouver this year. It is funny because I am on a staycation as this post goes up and just taking it easy. Still, looking back  at this vacation still makes my heart flutter with joy. We went to some amazing places especially Kelowna having some incredible scenery. Day 6 of vacation that we are recapping today is also one of our most emotional and awesome days of the trip. We headed out to Whistler and Squamish but not before forgetting my coat at the breakfast place we went to and realizing an hour or so into the trip. Luckily, we were heading to Whistler village so at least there would be a possibly of finding something to wear if it got chilly and man, did it get chilly!

Whistler Village

After the shopping priority and picking up a North Face Sweater and Eddie Bauer cap to fight the rain and cold, we walked a little more around Whistler Village.

Whister Village

Whistler Village

Whistler Village reminded us heavily of Mont Tremblant village near Montreal.

Lost Lake Park

With that done, we headed off for a hike. Actually Lost Lake Park was more of a walking trail with a little bit of hills here and there. A part of the path was blocked off to preserve wildlife, aka toad migration. So we took a detour, got a little turned around, the rain got heavier and then we finally figured it all out and went back to our car for the next spot.

Lost Lake Park

Lost Lake Park

Sea to Sky Gondola, Squamish

Next stop is heading back towards Vancouver where we pass through Squamish and took the Sea to Sky Gondola. Note to all of you is that my husband is REALLY not comfortable with heights. I am also and gondolas make a little nervous especially at the steepness of this one at the beginning portion so we both picked up all our courage to do this and let us just say that it was extremely worth it even with some heavy rain and fog. Plus, we somewhat got stranded there as they investigated a potential issue which turned out all good thankfully. I like these companies being safe so it didn’t bother me too much when they told us they had to stop it for a while.

Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola is so worth it. I didn’t really put a lot of the trail but it is really fun to walk through it and the plants and trees are cool. Plus, there are a few lookout points. We encountered a lot of fog as you saw that came in really thick and dispersed later on but it was still fantastic scenery. I totally recommend it. Its a little pricey but really worth it.

That’s it for Day 6 of vacation!
Check back next week for the last day of vacation in Vancouver! 🙂