Saturday, 27 September 2014

Touring the Kawartha and Haliburton Highlands

Travel...a journey...a trip for pleasure
With so many impressions of travel it is easy to resort to the obvious image of boarding a plane, flying to a faraway land, tasting exotic food and immersing oneself in a new culture. Yet often we are remise to appreciate that the very aspects that make travel intriguing can be sometimes be replicated in our own regions. For getting away from it all, escaping the every day stressors and responsibilities, feeling a sense of peace and rejuvenation does not have to include a passport stamp but rather a commitment to making time for one's self, appreciating the local landscape and taking pride in the country we call home.
At this time of year many of us begrudingly viewing autumn all as the season between summer's warm embrace and winter's relentless elements. As one of the most majestic seasons unveils itself we have the opportunity to appreciate leaves changing colour, fall fairs, heartwarming holiday celebrations designed to give thanks, and the crisp weather that leads us to snuggly clothes, fireplaces and the aroma of home cooking. Perhaps rather than wishing we were somewhere else we should embrace the beauty of the moments we have at our very fingertips instead.






Friday, 19 September 2014

How to keep fit on vacation

While many of us have not been blessed with a maintenance free physique, having to watch what we eat and attempting to stay fit just to maintain our weight, there are ways to maintain that balance while on vacation. While we have tried the 'resort' route we have found the combination of buffet meals and cream based cocktails can create havoc with spare ribs, hamburgers and french fries as afternoon snacks being geared only to the metabolically gifted.
If you have read any of our prior posts you are probably getting a clear image that we prefer to pursue the `local experience` as much as possible, allowing us the option of shopping at local markets and making some of our own meals where we can both control the ingredients and cut down on costs. Some of the best and worse vacation meals originate out of experimenting with ingredients you cannot read on the label, leading to either a tasty experience or hilarious story.
Try packing Ziploc baggies so when breakfast is provided, or you have your own apartment, snacks can be easily transported helping to stave off  those mid day ice cream cravings.

With regard to exercise walk, walk and walk some more. Many communities are endowed with hills  so keeping fit can be effortless. We carried a pedometer on our last trip and, after viewing at the end of each day, felt a sense of accomplishment and a little less guilt from the recent indulgence of turamisu. Whether you choose a day trip, fitness class, dancing or any other activity you enjoy keep moving and have fun.

So while a vacation should be just that, a time without rules and an opportunity to exercise your palate with foreign dishes some of us still need to have a few tricks up our sleeve so we can still fit into our clothes for the flight home. 

fitness, vacation

This Bell Tower is Split, Croatia beats any stairmaster on the market.

The incline of this hill leading to the town of Civita, Italy makes one appreciate the water and wine offerred at the top.

Walking the walls in Old Town, Dubrovnik is a great way to increase your heart rate and work those buns.

Fitness facilities provide a variety of workout options while you enjoy  tropical surroundings in an air conditioned environment.

If you want to get your heart rate up zip across the rainforest in Costa Rica.

Whether a brisk walk, disciplined jog or leisurely walk few things beat the serenity of walking on a tropical beach
(Playa del Coco, Costa Rica).

The abundance of hills in most communities serve as a quick and efficient way
to burn calories in a short period of time.

Yet another church tower to strengthen the heart, calf muscles and resolve.

Killer stairs for a killer view from the Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Italy

The 800 steps leading from the town of Anacapri to the town of Capri, IT
serve as  a great fitness and photographic opportunity.

Add caption

Three days of hiking through Plitvice National Park, Croatia was a nature,
fitness and photography lover's dream come true.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Strength and community conquer in the face of adversity

With so many things to experience, places to see, dining and entertainment possibilities New York City is a vibrant. playground for all ages. We have visited Manhattan three times enjoying Central Park, Hop On Hop Off bus tours, Rockefeller Centre, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park and live tapings of the Jimmy Fallon Show to name a few.

Yet every time we visit I am drawn back to the World Trade Centre site where on the fateful day of September 11, 2001 the rest of the world looked on in horror witnessing the senseless loss of so many. Since then there have been timelines and memorials created in various building for blocks around the site, buildings reconstructed and architectural dominance renewed.

St. Paul's Chapel, across from the World Trade site, not only survived the attack but also served as a place of refuge for recovery workers for months to follow. Inside bestows a wondrous tribute to the their dedication including a bench so damaged from firefighter equipment while they took a brief nap before returning to the wreckage. I have yet, after three visits, not to cry for the horrific loss of human life of the workers in both towers, for those who perished during rescue and recovery efforts, and for the families and friends that lost their loved ones in such an inconceivable manner. On our last visit I was able to visit the new site, witness the engraved names of the deceased and feel a renewed sense of optimism. No matter where you go in New York, the sense of strength, determination, pride and patriotism leads one to understand that in spite of the intention for destruction, that day in fact brought New Yorkers together as a community, a city, and as part of a country.

With that in mind I would like to dedicate this post to those who have lost loved ones unnecessary at the treacherous hands of others, to the response, rescue, recovery and rehabilitative personnel that not only rebuild communities and structures but also souls and, of course, to the victims. May we learn to live in harmony, create a hate free world for our children, and give our loved ones an extra hug today in honour of that dream.
September 2014

NYC, StPaulsChapel, WorldTradeCentre, community