Tag: PEC

Travel Swellness: Dog-friendly road trip to Prince Edward County

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With my recently adopted dog, Billie Jean, who I adopted from Save Our Scruff, much of my life now revolves around whether she can be included in my plans. In fact, she’s part of the inspiration behind the road trip series I’m doing this summer.

Bun in Chevy Equinox

For my second visit this summer to Prince Edward County, I went with one of my girlfriends (like the last visit in early June) but this time, I planned a dog-friendly trip so both my girl Billie Jean and my bestie’s adorable silky terrier, Bun, could join, too.

The County is, yes, a little bit country, but it’s also more than a little posh with its wineries and great food, and with two girls and two dogs, thanks to General Motors Canada, I got the Chevy Equinox to test drive for this trip and it was the perfect vehicle for us. Roomy (for road trips, I often lean towards overpacking, plus Billie Jean doesn’t travel very light as there’s her crate, giant bag of food, toys, and more). Also, the Equinox is, in my opinion, both practical for my lifestyle but also quite refined — just like me (I’m the picture of refinement, no?!)! I love, love, love its luxurious interior — they had me with these leather seats. And as you can see, both Billie Jean and Bun got very comfortable and relaxed in the car.

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Of the cars I’ve driven in the past year or so, I think it’s the Equinox I feel most comfortable driving. I guess I’m partial to SUVs (I like the height of them) but this crossover seemed more easy to maneuver than others I’ve driven. Also, since I usually road trip with one friend along, I loved that we could each control the temp of our space in this Equinox. It’s key for us both to be comfortable when you’re on the road for a couple of hours or more.

One thing I did notice: Either we toured around more than we realized (there was our last day when we had the hardest time finding a spot open for lunch, so we did roam around a lot!) as it would say it seemed the Equinox isn’t as fuel efficient as other crossovers I’ve driven recently (although it is 5.7 L/100 km hwy). I will have to pay closer attention to this from now on.

For those of you with a dog in your brood who are looking to visit Prince Edward County, here are some of the things you should add to your itinerary.

The Ferg The Loft

Stay at The Ferg

Finding accommodations that accept pets isn’t the easiest, so when I came across The Ferg and it ticked off both boxes for beautiful and cozy (and a great location!) and also allows dogs, I knew I had to visit. And coincidentally, one of the owners, Jaime, is someone whose book I copy edited some years ago! Small world.

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We stayed in the Loft at The Ferg and its two floors fill with natural light during the day, and it’s decorated in the prettiest cottage chic. Spacious for us with the two dogs, and just off of the main street in Picton, and most key, it’s within walking distance to my favourite ice cream shop, Slickers Ice Cream (have the Campfire!). And for late night or early morning quick jaunts outside, there’s a grassy backyard that both dogs enjoyed.

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Eat and drink at Norman Hardie Winery

You may have to wait a little longer as they seats guests with dogs on the tables by the outside of the patio, but the wine and pizza (I’m in love with both the mushroom and the margherita) is well worth waiting for.

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There’s usually a special side dish you can order as well (last time it was a gorgeous asparagus with burrata cheese dish) and it’s always superbl; this visit we had the green salad that is on the menu, and it is quite possibly the best green salad I’ve had (so fresh and with a lovely vinaigrette). Norm Hardie is pretty much always my first stop in the County, as we plan to arrive there around lunch as our first stop and are usually ravenous after the two-hour drive.

Visit the alpacas at Shed at Chetwyn Farms

Introduce your canine to some adorable alpacas at Shed at Chetwyn Farms. I’m a little obsessed with interspecies friendships, and how cute would a dog and alpaca friendship be? I actually didn’t get to stop by this trip at Shed because it was closed the day we were nearby, but I do usually pop by to say what’s up to the cuties and to check out the beautiful knit goods in the shop.

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Visit Prince Edward County Lavender

For $2, traipse around the beautiful lavender fields at PEC Lavender and breathe in that lovely, relaxing scent. If the fields are not in bloom, pop into the shop to buy lavender souvenirs to make your home a soothing oasis. The dogs visited the fields with us, but it was hard for me to get Billie Jean to pose for pictures. I don’t think she “gets” Instagram yet :)

Enjoy taco time at Guapo’s Cantina

I was introduced to Guapo’s Cantina on my foodie tour of PEC last summer and I think we taste tested each type and they were all incredible. So you can imagine how devastated I was when we drove all the way there on our way home only to find it closed that day (we were in PEC in June, so it wasn’t high season yet, so many businesses were closed Tuesdays). It’s set up outside of Traynor Family Vineyard, so you can easily grab some tacos with your four-legged buddy along with you and grab one of the tables outside.

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Play at Sandbanks Provincial Park

There are two dog-friendly beaches in the Park, and we set up ourselves at what I think is the smaller one that’s not on Sandbanks Beach. There were a handful of dogs off leash and splashing about in the shallow water, which Billie Jean ventured into (she doesn’t mind getting wet, but doesn’t seem fond of swimming, so likes to have her feet on the ground). She was in heaven, as was Bun. It was my first time spending time in the Park and next time I hope to explore Sandbanks Beach more.

Perfect Lil Bakeshop with BJ

Buy dog treats at Perfect Lil Bakeshop

I discovered the adorable Perfect Lil Bakeshop during my visit in early June and Billie Jean loved the dog treat I brought home for her last time. So we made a point to go again to get our dogs some treats, except they were all out! Not to worry, as we picked up plenty of treats for ourselves, including a delectable strawberry rhubarb pie to share.

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This dog-friendly trip marks my fourth visit to the County and I feel like I’ve gotten to know a lot of the great spots in PEC, but I’d love to hear about your favourites (Especially of the dog-friendly variety, because Billie Jean is just dying to visit again!)

 

 

Leave a Comment August 8, 2017

Travel Swellness: Girlfriends road trip to Prince Edward County

IMG_2903Two years ago, I visited the County for a quick getaway, and despite the rainy weather we had, I loved the one-night trip, but it was a pretty quick visit. I visited again last year on a food tour, and that was fun and delicious but it was a whirlwind and I was overwhelmed by a food coma.

So I was super keen to head back now that summer is here. For my first visit this summer, I grabbed one of my wine-loving girlfriends and got to test drive a Buick Envision for the trip. I drove this car before in Alberta, and maybe it was the quiet and wide open roads there that made the difference, but I did find that the Envision felt rather large (but that’s probably just me and having not driven regularly in awhile — my friend didn’t find it felt like a large vehicle) but I did get more used to it the more I drove it.

The more I test drive different cars, I’m noticing (and appreciating) features I may have overlooked in the past. And since I’m lucky enough to get some pretty nice wheels to try out, I’m getting used to these features and finishes — I recently had a “regular” car rental, and I thought, “Where’s my Blind Spot Assist??” and the interior of this rental car felt more plastic-y.

Buick Envision in Picton

So, yes, I’m turning into an luxury car tastes girl on a regular car budget. Totally getting accustomed to the great features these cars have. A new feature (well, new to me) that I noticed? On the dashboard of our Envision, it shows the speed limit. I find this super helpful because I often find that on country roads, the speed limit can change pretty often and I used to always find myself wondering, “Wait, so what’s the speed limit here?”

Another feature I thought was interesting? The driver’s seat vibrates to warn you if you get too close to the car in front of you; it’s called Safety Seat Alert. I’m not sure if I found it super helpful (and I know my friend found it too jarring); at times I did find it on the sensitive side (it’d alert me with a light on the dashboard and the seat vibrating, but the vehicle it was warning me of was quite far away–but I guess the point is to give you enough time to avoid having an accident).

Possibly the feature I discovered this trip that I found most useful is Rainsense. The window is equipped with a sensor that measures how much rain is coming down, and it automatically adjusts the frequency of the wipers.

The Envision turned out to be just right for my girlfriend getaway to Prince Edward County. Sleek enough for us city girls, but with loads of safety features that I appreciate as an only semi-frequent driver.

3 must-stops in Prince Edward County

As for what to do once in the County? I have several must-dos on my list, such as eat pizza at Norman Hardie Winery, but here are three of my top recos I discovered on this particular trip to Prince Edward County :

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Stay at The June Motel. The wine bar in the lobby and all of the rooms I’ve seen at the June Motel (we stayed in two different ones during our visit) have me plotting to completely revamp my space at home. If you don’t stay here, at least pop in to enjoy a glass of wine at the wine bar. Besides the motel being gorgeously decorated, the owners, April and Sarah, are two great girls in their 30s who’ve totally started brand new lives for themselves as moteliers in Picton. How cool is that? I’ll be blogging about them and the June soon.

Perfect Lil Bakeshop

 

Shop at the Perfect Lil Bake Shop. Just up the road from The June is this adorable red shack that is the Perfect Lil Bake Shop, where there are fresh homebaked goods (including pies, squares, cookies, bars, dog treats and more) and you pay by the honour system. That’s right, there’s a jar with cash and you pay just like that. For a city girl  like me, that’s fascinating. I love their pecan squares, and the strawberry rhubarb pie I shared from there is great, too. And Billie Jean gives their dog treats two thumbs up (do dogs have thumbs?).

Do a tasting (and buy) of wine and cheese Lighthall Vineyards. We stopped into Lighthall Vineyards, which you’ll find on the more low-key side of the county east of Picton because April and Sarah at The June recommended it. We did the cheese and wine tasting; forgive me, I did not take notes–but I believe we tried four cheeses, each paired with a wine, and then one more additional wine. I wanted to buy everything, but I limited myself to the manchego-style cheese and a bottle of their Progression sparkling wine. I’m admittedly easily wooed when wineries have food you can ejoy while at a tasting; I love the crepes you can purchase at The Old Third, to name another fave.

I have a running list of recos if you’re visiting the County and looking for some suggestinos, so let me know if you’re heading that way!

 

 

Leave a Comment July 13, 2017

Foodie Swellness: Taste Community Grown in PEC (and I’ve got tickets to give away!)

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I’m a huge fan of The County (aka Prince Edward County) so when I was invited a few weeks ago to spend the day exploring the area and eating and drinking my way through some of the amazing vineyards and purveyors who will be taking part of TASTE Community Grown (the County’s annual wine and culinary fest taking place September 24, 2016 — this is it’s 15th year!), there was no question I was going to attend. I’d last visited the County last year (and my previous visit was probably a good 10 years ago!) and fell in love with it all over again. (I wrote about last summer’s jaunt for Vitamin Daily).

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This time around, I got to check out a slew of places I hadn’t been to before. We made our way early in the morning on a luxe private shuttle from Foley Bus Lines (and I was very much appreciative for the chance to stretch out and catch some zzz’s). We didn’t hit much traffic, though, and our first stop was at Pyramid Ferments where a tasting of their kombuchas and kimchis jolted us awake in the most delicious way. My favourite, though, was these sun-aged lemons, which are beautiful to look at and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. Oh, and btw, their Gut Shots? I hear they’re good as a hangover cure.

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Next, we stopped into Three Dog Winery where the dogs weren’t available to greet us but the lovely John and Sacha Squair were, and we tasted wines (my favourite was the Dog House Red), and we nibbled on pizzas (one featuring some delectible Seed to Sausage sausage) on the lovely verandah. I’m definitely adding a stop here to my itinerary the next time I visit as I’d love to take one of Sacha’s yoga classes in the enclosed desk being built; the view of the vineyard during sun salutations will be fantastic (and, well, so will enjoying some wine after shivasana!).

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Bellies full of pizza, that didn’t stop us from eating on. We popped into Pink Lunch Pail, where apple pie lovers will need to try their version (I adored the shortbread crust). The bakery is also known for their lemon desserts, and I’m saving my appetite to try this next time.

Karlo Estate

From there, we stopped into two wineries, Karlo Estates and Trail Estate. Karlo Estates is the first vegan certified vineyard in the world (and the grounds are beyond pretty and romantic, check out the beautiful bridge in my first photo on this post).  Trail Estates I enjoyed because their focus is on small batch craft wines, and by small, that can mean even smaller than a barrel; so there’s always something new in the lineup as they’re always experimenting.

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OK, so I’m a lightweight when it comes to wine…but the tour continued!

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Thankfully (as I was in need of some food to balance the wine), our next stop was at Guapo’s Cantina, which is at Traynor Vineyard. And I think after my trip to Sayulita a few months ago, I’ve become pickier when it comes to my tacos, and I was a very happy camper here because the tacos at Guapo’s Cantina were incredible, and the yucca fries were just the perfect crispness, and the couple behind the cantina (Lance and Ashley) just so fun and friendly. And since we had been drinking wine all day, Traynor Vineyard served up some icy cold cocktails including margaritas, sangria and a paloma. This is a definite PEC must-stop for me.

I know, you’re probably thinking how much more can one girl eat and drink in one day? But we all persevered and visited Keint-He Winery & Vineyards (I enjoyed the balance of acid and sugars in their Voyageur Riesling)  and finally, dinner at East & Main Bistro, where it’s nice and cozy (and we all shared the bison special and a bunch of appetizers as we were plenty full from the day of tasting).

The good news is you can taste from all of these lovely PEC purveyors (along with upwards of 40 others) at Taste Community Grown, and I’ve got a pair of tickets to give away! The prize includes two tickets (valued at $40 each) along with tasting tickets for the event. Taste Community Grown takes place on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at Crystal Palace (Picton Fairgrounds). You can get more info on the fest here.

To enter this Taste Community Grown giveaway, which is open to Canadian residents (but you’ll have to get yourself to PEC on the 24th for the event), you can enter once in each of the four entry methods:

  1. Email: Write me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and phone number. Please put “Taste Community Grown” in the email’s subject line.
  2. Twitter: Follow me @healthswellness on Twitter, and then tweet:

I want to #TastePEC at TASTE Community Grown by winning these tickets from @healthswellness and @PECwines! http://bit.ly/2chlCXU

  1. Instagram: Follow @healthandswellness Instagram; like my Instagram post for this giveaway (posted on September 7th), and tag a friend you’d like to attend Taste Community Grown with.
  2. Facebook: Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook (at the top of the page), and then leave a comment on the photo of this Taste Community Grown giveaway — tell me what your favourite thing to do in PEC is!

This giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. EST, Wednesday, September 14. 2016. Please note that this giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. The one winner will be chosen at random and their name will be announced on this blog post once confirmed.

Cheers and bon appetit! (Wish I could join you at TASTE, but I’m traveling that weekend!)

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Leave a Comment September 7, 2016


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