This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always you you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting and rewarding all at the same time.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.
<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • Friday, April 21, 2017 2:28 PM | claire (Administrator)

    If I had to choose just one place to recommend all Canadians visit it would be Newfoundland. Newfoundland's beauty cannot be summed up in a few words. You will feel the strength of the Long Range Mountains, and the depth of the fjords. You will breathe in the rugged beauty of the water crashing against the rocky shores. You will soak in the bustle of St. John's and sigh as you walk along Jelly Bean Row. But most importantly you will feel at once at home wherever you are in Newfoundland and with whomever you speak. Because at the core of what makes Newfoundland such an amazing place is it's people. If what you are looking for is relaxation go somewhere else but if you want adventure, to explore something new and exciting, to see mountains on one side and the ocean on the other, to stand in the spot where Canada begins & ends all at once. Go to Newfoundland.




    This was our crazy Itinerary, we only 7 days and wanted to see as much as possible. I'd recommend 10 days if you were doing this trip, or if you are adventurous and your kids are good travelers you can do what we did. 

    With this itinerary, you're hitting several of the top tourist destinations without having to spend too much time driving each day. It also helps to be staying in the one area for more than one night so you don't always have to pack up and leave again!

     

    Day 1 - Exploring St. John's

    We stayed at the beautiful Sheraton St. Johns, which had some great restaurants, walking distance to one of the largest kids playground and splash pad I've ever seen, and a great pool.  This was the view from our room.   Stunning, yes?


    Begin the day with brunch at one of the many local restaurants with kid friendly menus like Bagel Café, Blue on Water, or Smitty's. 

    Visit some of the main tourist attractions the oldest City in North America has to offer like; Signal Hill, The Rooms Museum, The Basilica Cathedral, Commissariat Provincial Historic Site, Johnson Geo Centre and the Railway Coastal Museum, or the MUN Botanical Gardens.  We chose Signal Hill. My recommendation is to go in the later part of the day so you can view stunning sunsets.  




    In the evenings the Ghost of the Hill Series run, where you can join the dashing Lieutenant Ranslaer Schuyler by lamplight inside the historic Queen’s Battery Barracks on Signal Hill. Step inside, take your seat, and prepare for the thrills and chills as local lore and legends unfold.  At the end of the stories the cannons go off. We walked around the area, the other lieutenant that was outside told us some history of the area. I recommend the full activity for families without little ones, but the modified version worked really well for us. 



    About 10 minutes away from Signal Hill is Petty Harbour, where you can visit the Petty Harbour Mini Aquarium which has several touch tanks so the kids can actually hold many different sea creatures.  This is a small aquarium but it is worth the visit. The best part is that all the fish are caught in the spring and then released back to the ocean in the fall.   Have you ever seen a blue or gold lobster?  We did! 



    After Petty Harbour, continue driving until you reach Cape Spear which is the most Easterly Point in North America.  Standing in the spot was such an amazing feeling. I think the best part was that we did it as a family.  The weather changes quickly here so you'll want to have your winter stuff in the car just in case :).  When we left St. John's we were in shorts. 


     

    Day 2 - The Irish Loop

     

    The boat tours in Bay Bulls or Witless Bay is said to be one of the best whale watching and puffin viewing areas in the Province.  We did a tour with O'Brien's Whale and Bird Tours. Matthew was our guide and he did a fantastic job of keeping us entertained throughout the tour.  We didn't see any whales but learning about the puffins and seeing them up close was awesome! They were much smaller than I anticipated. 

    In the afternoon we visited the Cape Race Lighthouse which has one of the most powerful lights in the world.


     

    Day 3 - Trinity Bay

    We drove approximately 3 hours (270kms) Northwest to Trinity
    where we visited some of the local historic attractions like the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, Cooperage, the Green Family Forge, The Hiscock House Provincial Historic Site, The Mercantile Building Provincial Historic Site. It's a very small village but was worth the visit, as we wanted to explore as much of Newfoundland as possible.

    On our way we saw a sign for Dungeon Provincial Park, how could we not do a detour.  We spent much of the time exploring the area which is fascinating. If you are lucky the horses will stop by and visit you.  



    After exploring around the park we went drove around the air and visited the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse - Provincial Historic Site. 




    We rented through Airbnb for our accommodations as there are only a few Bed & Breakfasts in this area and they were all sold out. 



    Day 4 - Twillingate

     

    We really wanted to see icebergs so we drove  about 4 hours (310kms) to Twillingate (The Iceberg Capital of the World) just in case there were any sightings, but alas they were all melted.  

    Even though we didn't see any icebergs it was absolutely worth the drive though because this area is stunning! Very rugged and beautiful.  The food was amazing! Some of the freshest fish and chips and other fish dishes I ever had was from here. 

    In the evening we took a blanket and dinner down by the beach (mostly rocks) and listened to the water crashing against the shore.   We rented through Airbnb again and I cannot tell you how accommodating and lovely our hosts where.  They set up a bonfire for us on the beach. My daughter collects seaglass and when the host found out she gave my daughter her collection.  


    There is lots to do in this small town such as the Beothuk Interpretation Centre Provincial Historic Site, the Long Point Lighthouse, the Moreton's Harbour Museum, the Twillingate Museum, or any of the local walking trails

    If you are able to, consider taking a day trip to Fogo Island and Change Islands (this is where you will see the Newfoundland Pony Refuge), it's only an hour drive east to Farewell where you can catch the ferry.  


     

    Day 6 - Gros Morne National Park

    Our last leg of the trip! We drove about 4.5 hours (426kms) to Rocky Harbour which is at the beginning of  Gros Morne National Park.

    We spent the afternoon taking the spectacular Western Brook Pond Boat Tour through the glacial fjords in the Park. This is a must!  



    Some other options in the area are: the Bonne Bay Marine Station, the Cow Head Lighthouse, the Jacob A. Crocker House, the Lobster Cove Head Lighthouse, the Mattie Mitchell National Historic Site, etc. OR visit some of the local sandy beaches along the coast (some options include Shallow Bay near Cow Head or the beach located in Trout River - which happens to be located next to an excellent seafood restaurant)

     

    Day 7 - Gros Morne National Park / Corner Brook

     

    We spent the morning exploring the  Tablelands Trail (this trail is very easy for beginner hikers and children as it's only 2 hours to complete and isn't extremely elevated), it's one of the most unique trails in the Park

    We spent the rest of the day relaxing and preparing to head to Port Aux Basque where we would board the ferry and make out back to to Nova Scotia.

    Newfoundland, we cannot wait to see you again. 



  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 3:54 PM | claire (Administrator)

    The Leafs are doing great! The Leafs are doing great!!!  If you live in Toronto you can't help but get caught up in the excitement. If you know me, you already know I'm a Sens fan first, Leafs fan second and because of that, I'm glad that it's not the usual battle of Ontario where two of my favourite teams are battling it out, and most of the country is disappointed either way. This year BOTH the Sens & the Leafs are doing well, and it's exciting!

    Toronto, what better way for the biggest and littlest Leafs fan to share their excitement than with these ADORABLE bodysuits. For a limited time, Carter’s | OshKosh and the Toronto Maple Leafs are offering a FREE Limited Edition Lil’ Leafs Bodysuit to celebrate the Leafs and Canada's 150th year. This fun collector's item is available exclusively to Torontonians and families in the GTA until April 30, 2017.



    How do you get one? It's super easy!

    1. Register online at Mapleleafs.com/hockeydreams to redeem a FREE bodysuit at supporting GTA Carter's | OshKosh stores.

    2. Take the coupon to the nearest Carter’s | OshKosh  participating store and pick up your item. Easy.

    The bodysuit is a fun gifting idea to celebrate newborns and hockey fans alike (because of course, if you are a fan…they will be too, right?) It also aligns with both the Leafs and Canada’s 150th year, so what better way to say Happy Birthday than with Canada’s favorite sport.

    Don't have a little one in your family THIS year? Well, there is always next year, and as collector's item, it's definitely a great gift idea. It's unisex, so it makes a great baby shower or new baby gift.

    Get yours before they are gone. They are only here until April 30th.


  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017 11:34 AM | claire (Administrator)

    Guest Post from Ann Douglas

    My kids inherited a whole bunch of different things from me: blue eyes, brown hair, an edgy sense of humor, and an increased likelihood that they will experience an episode of mental illness at some point in their lives.

    While I was immediately okay with the first three pieces of the genetic puzzle (blue eyes, brown hair, and a typically underappreciated sense of humor aren’t the worst things you could pass along to a kid), it took me a long time to come to terms with that final piece of the puzzle—the mental health piece.

    Perhaps you’ve been grappling with some of these issues yourself, as a result of your own mental health struggles. After all, it isn’t easy to accept the fact that your child faces an elevated risk of struggling with anxiety and depression simply by virtue of being part of your family. Whether it’s an issue of nature (genetics) or nurture (family environment) or, more likely, a little of both (what scientists refer to as epigenetics—that multigenerational cocktail of genetic and environmental factors), growing up with a parent who has struggled with anxiety or depression or both does increase the likelihood that a child will experience a similar struggle.



    I have seen this play out in my own family tree, repeatedly.

    Not only am I the daughter of a mother who struggled with bipolar disorder and who experienced a devastating episode of postpartum depression following the birth of her youngest child. I also happen to be someone who lives with bipolar disorder. And I am the mother of four children who have been diagnosed with a variety of mental health, neurodevelopmental, and behavioral challenges (experiences I write about in my most recent book, Parenting Through the Storm).


    No one wants to see their child experience these types of difficulties, let alone someone like you or me who has experienced it firsthand. We know how difficult and painful it can be to struggle with mental illness because we’ve been there and lived through that. It’s only natural for us to want to protect our children from those very same struggles—and so we yearn for some sort of epigenetic magic wand that would make our kids’ increased vulnerability to mental illness magically disappear….

    Of course, medical science has yet to produce that kind of magic wand, so we’ll have to settle for the next best thing in the meantime: making peace with our families’ genetic legacy. Accepting that reality while also committing to doing everything in my power to help my kids have the happiest, healthiest lives possible is what ultimately allowed me to flip my mindset from feeling sad and guilty to feeling hopeful and optimistic instead. Here’s my best advice to other parents who are trying to work through these very issues, too.

    Treat yourself with self-compassion. You didn’t choose to develop a mood disorder, so stop beating yourself up for developing an illness that was beyond your control. Think about the kind and supportive things you would say to a friend who was feeling badly about the fact that diabetes or heart disease runs in her family—what this might mean for her kids. Then say those very same kind words to yourself.

    Spot the silver lining. Think about how much you would have to offer your child, if she were to end up struggling with a mental illness—and recognize that this would be because of your earlier struggles. You’d be kind and empathetic. You’d be able to suggest practical strategies for living well with a mental illness. You’d be a built-in mentor, guide, and cheerleader, in other words.

    Be prepared. Know how to recognize the early warning signs of mental health difficulties in children and adolescents. Then figure out ahead of time where you could turn for diagnosis and treatment services in your community, if the situation warranted it. You’ll feel less hopeless and less scared if you have a game plan in place. And, of course, you can continue to hope that you never actually need that game plan.

    Tap into support from other parents. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to support that parent. So don’t be afraid to turn to your parenting village for support. Reach out to friends and family members who are dealing with with these very same issues or join a parent support group (either in your community or online). You don’t have to face this on your own.

     


    Ann Douglas is the author of numerous books about parenting including, most recently, Parenting Through the Storm. She is also the mother of four children who struggled with a variety of mental health, neurodevelopmental, and behavioral challenges during their growing up years and who are currently thriving as young adults. In this guest post, she talks about how she came to terms with the fact that mental illness runs in her family—and what that means for her children.



  • Tuesday, April 18, 2017 11:29 AM | claire (Administrator)

    When we first decided to visit BC, I was looking at a brochure about the town of Golden, and I saw an image of a hiker standing over in front of a glacier with the heading "Not all those who wander are lost." I knew then I had to make a stop that was a bit off the beaten path.

    When I think of our visit to Golden, BC the phrase Nothing Ordinary comes to mind. Located in a sweet spot where it's close to 6 National Parks you have a lot of options if you are making Golden, BC your base for a few days.


    There are lots of accommodation options from the large Kicking Horse resort to cozy family cottages. We stayed at the Hillside Lodge & Chalets located 13 kilometres west of Golden in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Hillside is known for friendly hospitality and spectacular views with 20 acres of quiet, pristine wilderness to enjoy. Be sure to take the trail directly off the property and explore along the river.

    Whether you are strolling around downtown, mountain biking at Kicking Horse Resort, or paddling the Columbia Wetlands the options in this area really do feel limitless. Some of our favourite things to do with the kids are listed below.


    Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge

    Get your favourite treat and stroll around downtown Golden. The town square is very picturesque. We walked along the trail that led to the Kicking Horse River Pedestrian Bridge, the longest freestanding timber frame bridge in Canada. In the summer there is often a free concert in the square on alternate Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Go to the movie theatre and get the most delicious ice cream! Yum.



    The World's Largest Paddle & Columbia Wetlands

    With many paddle options to choose from, you can explore the beauty of the Columbia River with the Columbia Wetlands Adventures. From self-guided canoe or kayak trips to a guided float tours, you can explore the heart of the wetlands. The fave here was the dock with interpretative boardwalk, suspension bridge, and pirate ship. We all spent over an hour just exploring this little area.




    Kicking Horse Resort

    You really have to allocate at least 6 hours to exploring at Kicking Horse Resort. If you we had more time in the area we would have spent the whole day.

    We started the day off with an early morning guided visit to see Boo, the resident Grizzly bear who lives in the Grizzly Habitat the resort. The habitat is the largest in the world with over 20 acres and was created to prevent the orphaned bear named Boo from getting euthanized, as that was the custom for orphaned bears at the time. The interpretive tour was a one of a kind opportunity to see Boo up close in his habitat and learn more about grizzlies.



    After our tour, we took the Golden Eagle Express Gondola to the top of the mountain. At 7,700 feet above sea level, we stepped off the Gondola to another world. One that is definitely off the beaten path. Here you will see gorgeous panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies looking over five National Parks. We explored at our own pace soaking in the majesty of the place and explored along the CPR Ridge Trail. There are many hiking options, and if we had more time, we would have done the Via Ferrata. Lots of very safe and easy walks for families with little ones.




    After giving our camera a workout and exploring as much as we could with the kids, we stopped in at the Eagle's Eye Restaurant for lunch. The food was delicious to the point of our five-year-old licking his bowl. On the menu, you'll find Salmon, Buffalo, Elk and other native specialties. We had the Chef's special for the day which was a Buffalo sandwich and Bison vegetable soup. The views from the restaurant are spectacular, and you'll find yourself lingering.  



    Eventually, and very reluctantly we took the Gondola back down as we were looking forward to hiking the afternoon away.  There are many options for hiking close to Golden; we decided to Yoho National Park as it's often described as a hiker's paradise. With over 400km of trails, it was hard to choose, but we decided to Explore Wapta Falls. With a 5 and 9-year-old traveling with us, we felt it was the best fit. The highlight is the at 98 feet high and 490 feet wide it's quite impressive and well worth the 2-hour hike.


    Golden, British Columbia exceeded all our expectations.  While summer is a gorgeous time to visit, the kicking horse mountain is known as a gem for snow lovers as well. 

  • Friday, April 14, 2017 1:48 PM | claire (Administrator)

    This is guest post written by Iryna Zlobin, retired Grandma of 2 little ones. 

    Traveling the world is a passion of ours as it gets us to experience other cultures and new things. It's been a dream of ours to go to Malaysia, Philippines, Bali, Hong Kong, and Australia for quite some time. Every time we attempted to put the trip together there was always something. Too much time, too many flights, too expensive and then we thought - why not a cruise. Cruising was new to us, and we did not know what to expect. Would we be bored? Would the rooms feel claustrophobic, would the food be good? There were four of us traveling, on vegan, one vegetarian, and one with a variety of food sensitivities. In the past, we traveled for a week or so at a time, and in total this trip was 24 days. Naturally, what to eat was a big concern.


    Luckily we had booked with Royal Caribbean "Legend of the Seas." From the moment we entered our worries went away. The ship is enormous and gorgeous. We purchased the outside cabin with ocean view, and it was perfect. Lots of natural light, beautiful room that was maintained 3-4 times a day.


    The food options were very varied. There was more than enough of anything that we wanted. Everything was delicious, fresh tasting, and presented in a pleasing manner. The staff were always very friendly and accommodated our dietary restrictions as if they had already anticipated our needs. It didn't matter what we asked for; they provided it with a smile.


    The entertainment on the ship was excellent. On the days that you were at see, you didn't even notice because of the amount of things that were available to try: golf, climbing wall, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, to name a few.

    In addition to the on board entertainment, the wonderful welcome that we received at each port was a joy. There was always some entertainment from the country we were visiting upon arrival and departure.


    We loved cruising with Royal Caribbean "Legend of the Seas, " and it gave us the opportunity to see many beautiful places without the constant going from airport to airport. All four in our party would highly recommend cruising as an option if you want to explore many countries on one trip.



  • Friday, April 07, 2017 10:27 AM | claire (Administrator)

    We spent three days and two nights at Viamede Resort in earlier this year. The resort is right on beautiful Stoney Lake.  If you love being outdoors with 165 acres of unspoiled wilderness, you won't be disappointed. There is 6 km of private forest trails, indoor and outdoor pools, a working on-site farm, and a play structure.




    For your accommodations, you can choose from an inn type room or the lovely cottages that give you gorgeous views of Stoney Lake. You have direct access to the small beach where kayaks, canoes, and in the summer months, the water trampoline is easily accessible.



    The jewel of the resort is Mount Julian Restaurant. Let all foodies rejoice - this is your spot! Mount Julian is a fine dining restaurant housed in the original Inn where the chef creates incredible gourmet tasting menus or a-la-carte dinner options. We went for the 7-course tasting menu and were not disappointed. We would have chosen the 9-course menu, but since we went with the kids, we were conscious of the time.



    We had debated going to the Boat House restaurant again instead of Mount Julian because children under age 12 are not allowed at this restaurant, but luckily they had a kid's Pizza and Movie night on Friday and, we were able to leave the kids for 2 hours. If you go to this resort, you must try Mount Julian.



    Let's talk relaxation. The new addition of the indoor/outdoor pool is gorgeous. It offers stunning views of the lake and includes both a wet and dry sauna, as well as a gym. There isn't a spa on the property, but you can pre-book massage treatments that can be done in your room.


    Overall we enjoyed our stay at Viamede Resort. The only downside was the housekeeping could have been better, but it wouldn't deter us from going back since everything else more than made up for it.


  • Monday, April 03, 2017 11:50 AM | claire (Administrator)

    I recently visited the Intergrated Kindergarten Program at Bloorview School Authority. The program was created by Dr. Eric Jackman Laboratory School (University of Toronto) and Bloorview School Authority more than 20 years ago.

    The IKP program is unique in that it's made up of a class of typically developing JK/SK students enrolled in the Jackman Institute of Child Study and a class of JK/SK students with disabilities from Bloorview Integrated Education and Therapy Program.

    The goals of this program are to promote confidence, self-esteem, and self-advocacy, to address inclusion, stereotyping and discriminatory behaviour, and to prepare students with physical disabilities for successful integration.

    This program is focused on helping children to advocate for themselves, to be inclusive, and an early immersion in understanding people who are different from them.



    Even though, I only spent 2 hours in the classroom, I could see that this program is fulfilling their goals. I love that the school offers a real play based learning but was still equipped with some of the latest technologies like smart boards and iPads. The day I visited the kids were performing a play. They had been fully immersed in what goes on with a play, from putting together the set, learning lines, helping with the costumes. The week before was the Dino Fair where the classroom was turned into an excavation site, and the children could be scientists exploring all things dinosaurs.

    I absolutely LOVED how this program lives and breathes inclusivity. The program is teaching children how to see the difference and embrace it. From an early age the program teaches children that regardless of our abilities and our differences we can all take part in a project, or a game, or society. While the focus of the program is on how to be inclusive of children with difference abilities, in the long run, these will be the same children who are inclusive of different race, ethnicity, culture, gender. These kids will grow up into adults with the traits that we want out future generations to hold.



    "The IKP classroom has been a transforming experience for my son Gabriel, who has cerebral palsy. All learning is hands on, and through play, he is building self-confidence. The uniqueness of the program is the integration of typically developing children, who learn from a very young age to respect the differences and experience true inclusion. This program has been creating human beings who are compassionate and able to truly make a difference in our communities" Said Fabiana Bacchini, parent

    My kids are too old for this program, but I wished I had known about it earlier. While it's not free to participate, it's is a lower fee that most private schools. You can find out more about this incredible program here. And check out the feature on Global News Making A Difference show


  • Monday, April 03, 2017 9:28 AM | claire (Administrator)

    You may have seen the news!!! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is keeping his campaign promise of extending parenting leave to 18 months! That means if you qualify and can afford to stay home with your little one for 18 months your job will be secured and your benefits will be allocated over 18 months instead of 12. This will not be effective right away; there still needs to be some changes to the Employment Insurance Act. Unless something drastically changes, you should see the changes in about a year.

    Here are the key points.

    Parental leave (yes, applies to dads) is now 18 months instead of 12. Maternity leave can start 12 weeks before the baby is born instead of 8 weeks.

    What to expect for payment? Whereas with the 12-month plan you would be eligible for 55% of your income up to $543 per week. The new plan will be lower. The first 15 weeks, you will still receive the 55%, but after that, it will be reduced to 33%.

    Which begs the question, will parents be able to choose to do 12 months and have the regular top up?

    Qualification requirements still stay the same. You must have worked at least 600 hours in the last year. To qualify, you need to have worked at least 600 hours in the last year.

    What does this mean for you? Could you afford to stay home for 18 months? Will you want to?


  • Wednesday, March 08, 2017 8:07 AM | claire (Administrator)

    So, the snow is back with a ferocity and you and wondering what to do with for Spring vacation. Should you go south to the sunshine? Should you explore some unique places not too far from the GTA?

    Well, with the rising exchange rate you may want to explore some places in your own backyard.

    These are my top 5 places to consider spending Spring vacation this year. Why these places? These are places where you can go on a vacation without feeling like you are stuck with your kids.



    Blue Mountain Resort

    From the picturesque village to the slopes, to Plunge! This is a great place about 2 hours drive from the GTA where the whole family can explore. Don't ski? There is Iwa Spa for relaxation including yoga classes. Have little ones? There is tons of activities and places to explore like Crock A Doodle, Glama Gal Tween Spa, lots of family friendly restaurant and my favourite. Snow School! You may not want to be on the slopes, but I guarantee you that your kids will want to be out playing in the snow.


    Kingston, ON

    I used to live in Ottawa and do the drive from Toronto to Ottawa about four times a year to see family and friend and I never knew what I was missing in Kingston. We had a chance to explore this city, and it is glorious! If you love food, who doesn't? You will be happy to hear that Kingston has the most restaurants per capita in Canada. Honestly, there is a new and wonderful place ever few feet. From the eclectic to the historic, you will love exploring this city with your family.

    There really is so much to do including a visit to the theatre, a visit to Lumina Borealis - which is a MUST! Go, you will not be disappointed.


    Fern Resort

    They had me at all inclusive. Pack the kids up and go for a relaxing trip to Fern Resort for Spring Break. The list of activities that are available with their daily programing is impressive. What I love most about Fern is their children programming. My kids always want to go which leaves me with some guilt-free time to enjoy the adult programming. Whether that is Yoga, painting, snowmobiling, or enjoying a visit to the spa.

    This is a truly a place where you can have a relaxing family vacation. With tons of activities, you can do together including dogsledding, bingo, ice fishing, indoor pool, curling, really the list does go on. Find our more about their programming here.



    Mont-Tremblant Resort

    This is ski lovers paradise! Similar to Blue Mountain resort, the village is very picturesque, they are lots of things to do with the family. The kids will love Aqua Club. The snow school is honestly one of the best I've seen so far. Both my kids stayed outside all day in -20 weather and even saw me on the slopes and didn't ask to go in or stay with me. My kids are 9 & 5.

    What I love the most about Tremblant is the Nansen run on the south side. It is the longest run on the mountain (around 6k) but also the easiest green run. This means that if you are not a strong skier and you want to practice getting those turns and improving your skiing, you have lots of turns before you get to the bottom.

    Ottawa, ON

    Canada's capital city is a must to visit in winter. Whether it's walking the Byward market, exploring the many museums, cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park. 2017 is a particularly great year to visit Ottawa because it is the home of the Canada 150 celebrations. Whatever month you go, there will be something unique and exciting happening for you to explore. Many of these events during the Canada 150 celebrations are free.


  • Sunday, February 26, 2017 1:14 PM | LWAB (Administrator)

    Continued from our post about RIU Montego Baby

    Again, as is the standard with RIU Hotels and Resorts, we were greeted with a cold and refreshing glass of fruit punch and lemonade upon or arrival at the front desk for check in which again went as smoothly as before.  Once our suitcases were brought to our Deluxe room with a magnificent pool facing/ocean facing view, we prepared for dinner at one the 5 a-la-carte restaurants at this location.  Tonight, we decided to experience Japanese cuisine complete with sushi, sashimi, tempura, and a teriyaki steak entrée.  The evenings’ entertainment consisted of live music, followed by a performance that chronicled the history of Jamaican music from merengue to dancehall and everything in between.  After that, the dancefloor opened up and the more adventurous and energetic of us (namely our 22 year old adult daughter) spent the night at club, our 16 year old stayed in the room with the younger children giving us a chance to try our luck at the on site Casino.



    The next day began early with a full breakfast on the patio to replenish our energy, followed by an excursion through the Jamaican countryside to visit the Bob Marley Mausoleum in 9 Miles which is the birthplace and final resting place of the late great Reggae Music icon.  It was quite a fascinating place to learn about the early family life of the Robert Nesta Marley whose family maintains and curates the mausoleum.



    On our final day, we took the time to say goodbye to our home away from home for the duration of our trip, the fabulous RIU Ocho Rios.  We had just about enough time for one final excursion and ventured to the famous Duns River Falls where we got the chance to climb the falls and traverse the rocks, the rushing waters as it makes it way from higher elevations to the mouth of the river as it returns to the sea.  It was the experience of a lifetime which we all thoroughly enjoyed. 



    We bid Jamaica a fond adieu as our vacation had come to an end; however what I think we’ll miss most is our luxury 5 star accommodations provided by the RIU Montego Bay and the RIU Ocho Rios.  I can truly say that the staff of the RIU Hotels and Resorts took excellent care of our family and I thank them for going above and beyond in making sure our family trip to Jamaica was a joyous and memorable experience all round.  One day hopefully (and without the kids) we would love to experience the RIU Negril which we hear is fabulous.


    Written by Roger Grubb. Husband, and father of four kids. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 





 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software