Tag: foodie

Travel Swellness: 10 things to do in Norfolk County

Long Point Eco Adv Wilderness Pod

Road tripping was the theme for my summer 17 and I thought I’d challenge myself in trying something new-ish to me: glamping! I have glamped before once, in Chile, but it was so luxe I actually wasn’t quite sure if it is considered glamping… but I suppose it was!

Little did I know that before I made it to my glamping trip in Norfolk County that I’d go camping twice, which is way more challenging.

I’d never been to Norfolk County before. Coined Ontario’s Garden, the area boasts fields where all sorts of produce is grown, everything from ginseng to cabbage. It is a quiet and cozy getaway that I feel hasn’t quite hit the super trendy status of Prince Edward County, which makes it more low key and relaxing. I drove there from Toronto  in a Chevy Equinox and it took about three hours because we hit traffic.

With three whole days to explore, and some good weather, we got to explore much of the area. Planning a getaway to Norfolk? I think you should! Here’s how you should fill your time.

Long Point Wilderness Suite

Stay at Long Point Eco Adventures. I love being in nature and Long Point Eco Adventures makes it an easy go for urbanites who want to try camping. I did one night in an adorable Wilderness Pod (that’s the cute wooden pod at the top of this post) and two nights in a Wilderness Suite tent. Both feature a bed with linens and electricity and a washroom (for the pod, you shower in an outdoors shower nearby). The Suite had a king-size bed and a very nice outdoor shower attached to the tent; don’t you love showering in fresh air? It’s the best. The breakfast, which is included with your stay, is a buffet and it includes some kick-ass breakfast potatoes and bacon. I looked forward to those every morning!

Long Point Eco Adv breakfast

There’s a food truck on site, so you don’t have to fuss with a camping stove or anything like that. The lunch we had from the food truck is tied for my favourite meal of the trip. We had this awesome, very flavourful salad and steak frites.

Long Point Eco Adv lunch from food truck

Drink and eat at Burning Kiln Winery. Right across the street from Long Point Eco Adventures is Burning Kiln Winery and you’ll see the tobacco kiln out front. The winery has repurposed the tobacco kiln to dry grapes, which enhances the flavours and brings out different nuances to the grapes. I really enjoyed the tasting here, and the food is superb, too. The food truck at LPEA is actually from Burning Kiln, so it’s no surprise that the dinner here is my other meal tied for fave meal of the trip. Portions are substantial so go with an appetite (or ask for a doggy bag — your pod or suite has a mini fridge!). My favourite was the Pinot Noir (and I’ve got a bottle of it at home now to break into, can’t wait!).

Billie Jean hiking at Long Point

Take a hike. My dog, Billie Jean, and I both love to hike and we took advantage of the trails on the Long Point property. A few of the trails the start near the Wilderness Suites can get steep so proper footwear is a must. We also hiked in Waterford by the Black Bridge, but the trail we found there was mostly a paved path, so it felt more of a walk in a park than a hike in the woods, so there are options if you’re more keen on an easier stroll.

Long Point Eco Adv ziplining

Zip line at Long Point Eco Adventures. There’s a really free and joyful feeling that comes with zip lining. I’ve done it several times now in both North America and the Caribbean and while it doesn’t give me an adrenaline rush in the places I have done zip lining, that familiar whirring sound and the lush forest below is great as an unexpected way to enjoy the beauty of Norfolk County.

Blueberry Hill

 

Enjoy a cider tasting at Blueberry Hill Estates. Stop into Blueberry Hill Estates for a cider tasting to whet your appetite. Better yet, pair your cider tasting with a cheese tasting. It’s a great way to test your tastebuds and learn more about cider. There are also some incredible baked goods for sale (hello, butter tarts!); take some to go to enjoy back at your pod.

Mountain biking at Turkey Point

Go mountain biking. Remember how I said zip lining doesn’t really give me an adrenaline rush? Well, mountain biking does. In that I’m-so-terrified-of-crashing-and-my-heart’s-going-a-million-miles-a-minute way. I’ve never tried it before and I think our ride in Turkey Point Provincial Park was the perfect first attempt. Paul Meiklejohn from Elevation Mountain Bike Camps & Coaching is a former pro mountain biker and he was very patient and gave me clear instructions and was very encouraging — even when I had to try three times before I made it over a very little bump. The trails are so narrow (to me, at least) and I was terrified of my handlebar catching on them, which they eventually did. So I wiped out a few times, but nothing serious, and while I can’t say I truly found it fun (OK, well, it was fun but tied to a whole lot of fear!) I was very proud of myself for trying something new and out of my comfort zone. I can definitely see why people love mountain biking, I’m still too much of a chicken to embrace it.

Inasphere Wines

Go for a wine tasting and the views at Inasphere Wines. This jaw-dropping view is what greets you as you drive up to Inasphere Wines. I recommend going in to get your wine tasting and then stepping outside to grab a Muskoka chair to sit in as you take in this spectacular sight (those are cabbage crops, btw).

Port Dover Beach

Visit the beach at Port Dover. You guys, there’s palm trees in Port Dover! Real palm trees! They’re definitely not native, but it’s a fun addition to the beach here. It was very windy the day we ventured here, but this sandy beach was lovely and there are a charming retro diner in this beach town that I definitely want to check out the next time I’m in the area. 

Pigs at Ralphys Retreat

Say hello to the animals at Ralphy’s Retreat. Call head to arrange a visit to the animal sanctuary, Ralphy’s Retreat, where you’ll find mostly pigs. Those mini potbellied pigs? Lots of people get them as pets, only to learn that they grow up into large pigs. Some of those abandoned pigs end up here at the Retreat (there were also some horses, too) where they are well cared for while they await finding a good home.

Billie Jean at Long Point Beach

Spend a day on the sand at Long Point Beach. There’s a dog-friendly section of the beach, and the lake is warmer than Lake Ontario, so on a nice day, even I (not a fan of cold water) would consider venturing in for a dip.

This is just a taste of what Norfolk County has to offer. What else is there? Well, I didn’t have time to try axe throwing at Long Point Eco Adventures, and there are a few restaurants I didn’t have time to check out (there’s only so many meals one can cram into each day!). The weather meant we had to cancel stand-up paddleboarding and the other watersports, and it also meant we couldn’t check out the observatory (too cloudy!). What’s this mean for me? Well, I’m pretty sure this means another visit is a must!

Billie Jean in Long Point Wilderness Suite

And yes, fellow folks with dogs, Long Point Eco Adventures is dog-friendly. Billie Jean was a very happy camper exploring the woods and searching the grass for scraps near the food truck and taking advantage of the king-size bed in the Wilderness Suite. I highly recommend this for you and your pup, and for anyone who wants the nature and outdoors fun of camping but with zero of the task of packing up loads of gear and supplies nor the work of making a fire or pitching a tent.

Have you been to Norfolk County? Would love to hear about your recommendations!

 

 

1 Comment October 11, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Hello, Absolut Lime

Absolut Lime

I’ve been slacking on the beverage posts. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t slacked on the drinking and enjoyment of them this summer (erm, sometimes before I have a chance to photograph them, oops!), but am just behind on the posting about them!

Absolut Lime mojito

One of my new faves is Absolut Lime. It’s the latest addition to the core flavours from Absolut, and I’m surprised it took so long for them to add lime, especially since it’s the leading flavour profile for many cocktails!

For those watching your sugar, there are no added sugars to this flavoured vodka (although if you’re truly watching your sugar, you wouldn’t be drinking this at all!); I think it’s all about moderation, anyhow, obviously since I drink these cocktails on occasion. This Absolut is smooth and offers a refreshing hit of fresh lime. I’ve been using it to make the Absolut Lime Mojito, but once I pick up some ginger beer, I’ll be making some Mules, too. Here are the simple recipes for both of those cocktails, cheers!

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Absolut Lime Mojito

  • 1.5 oz. Absolut Lime
  • 0.5 oz simple syrup
  • half lime
  • 6 mint leaves plus one mint sprig
  • Soda water (I used my Bonne O for this)

Muddle mint leaves and simple syrup in a  highball glass. Fill with crushed ice. Add Absolut Lime. Stri, Toip up with soda water.

Absolut Lime Mule

  • 1.5 oz. Absolut Lime
  • 5 oz. ginger beer
  • 1/3 oz. fresh lime juice

Fill a mule cup with ice cubes. Add Absolut Lime and lime juice. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wedge.

Leave a Comment August 15, 2017

Foodie Swellness: 3 ways I maintain my on-the-go schedule (including Good & Simple Muffins and Bars!)

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When you work freelance like I do, and you make your own schedule, it can be both a blessing and a curse. Sure, if I want to take the afternoon off because it’s a gorgeous sunny day, I can…but it also means I’m always juggling my schedule and fitting in meeting, events, fitness and a social life however/whenever I can.

As much as a 9-to-5 job can be a drag, sometimes I envy the structure it gives your life. Although that does mean you have to cram everything else outside of those hours, doesn’t it? So life can get chaotic for all of us–whether it’s kids, fitness, travel, friends, work–we all have times we feel like we’re just struggling to stay ahead of it all.

How do I juggle my responsibilities and make it work? It’s not rocket science by any means but here are three ways I’ve found have helped make my busy schedule more manageable.

Snack on the go. I try to eat three meals a day, and snack as needed depending on my workouts and how hungry I am. But sometimes i legitimately forget to include time to grab a meal because I’ve scheduled my day to run from one meeting to another. And often, since I’m not a morning person, I’m running out the door trying to get to an early workout or event, and I haven’t eaten a thing. This is why ready-to-go snacks like Good & Simple Muffins and Bars are a staple in my house. I’m partial to the Bars (they’re just easier to eat and I find they taste slightly less sweet than the muffins); Walnut and Grains is my fave but the Blueberry Oatmeal is a close second. Made with real ingredients such as whole grains (in the blueberry oatmeal bar, for example, there’s 13 grams of whole grains in each bar) and no artificial flavours or colours, Good & Simple offers a wholesome and tasty quick way to fuel up quickly and when you’re on the move.

Create some routine to your day to day. While I love making my own schedule (although I do curse that very same thing when I’ve taken a few hours off in the day to go to a sample sale and I’m typing away on my computer at 2 a.m.!) , going through each day with zero structure can be taxing mentally. So I try to have some routine to my day: I try to do a quick journal entry morning and night (this is still a work in progress), and now walking my recently adopted dog, Billie Jean, a minimum of three times a day helps me break up my schedule into distinct chunks of time, which makes managing my time easier to do.

Find a calendar that works for you. My smartphone calendar is my bible. I use the Informant app to keep track of my events, meetings, phone calls, deadlines, workouts, appointments and plans with friends. It’s all colour-coded, and I’m very, very lost without it and refer to it a few times a day. I didn’t find the iCal had all the functionality I wanted, which is why I purchased Informant. Before I bought it, I was forgetting about deadlines from time to time. It remains the most expensive app I’ve ever bought but it was worth it (and that’s even without using it to its full capabilities, I still need to learn how to make use of all of its features).

I’d love to know if you have ways to streamline your busy life! And in the meanwhile, to learn more about Good & Simple, which are now available in Ontario, here.

(sponsored)

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Leave a Comment July 27, 2017

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