Why Bonhomme, bikinis and snow baths make for great entertainment

When you first hear the words ‘snow bath’ what comes to mind? For me, it’s a cold dip at a Scandinavian spa but for Carnaval Festival goers in Quebec City the term has another meaning … just as literal.

About a month ago I found myself alongside fellow journalists Molly Watson and Kathleen Broadhurst, braving the chilly Canadian weather in nothing but my bikini and singing Bonne Fête (Happy Birthday) to Bonhomme, Carnaval’s famous ambassador in front of a massive crowd of strangers.

Why you ask?

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From water to ice art, Hôtel de Glace is a masterpiece

Have you ever wanted to try sleeping outside in the winter? Maybe you have considered a tent or even a quinzhee if you are more the adventurous type. Quebec City’s well-known Hôtel de Glace is a common choice for those thinking of trying a different type of winter accommodation. And for good reason.

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Eco-Odyssée water maze > 1 Candice and Jenn > 0

A Friday funny for you.

While in Outaouais, Quebec, me and Candice Walsh set out on our water maze journey at Eco-Odyssée overly optimistic. We were sure we had it cased.

Unfortunately as this video Candice put together will prove, we sucked. Hardcore. We were lost in a paddle boat, in a marsh trying to master a quiz based on easy observations.

Go ahead and laugh, we deserve it.

Thank you Candice for allowing me to also share this delightful video of our adventure!

6 must have items women (apparently) need for a wilderness getaway

There is always something to be learned when travelling. A recent stint had me shacked up with 19 other ladies summer camp style (with a good dash of luxury!) for a fly-in fishing getaway called ‘Women in the Wilderness’.

This isn’t your average outing. The setting was Pine Island Resort on Black Bear Island, a remote destination in beautiful northern Saskatchewan. The getaway promised relaxation, the opportunity to connect with the environment and each other, loads of fishing, great food and regular bouts of laughter. Scratch laughter and insert multiple moments of hilarity. With a mix of women of all ages; mothers and daughters, friends, solo travelers – and generous amounts of liquor, good laughs were easy to come by.
IMG_6437I certainly also learned a thing or two about how other women ‘get by’ in the wilderness. Here are the top 6 items that would have never occurred to me to take this type of excursion with the exception of #2.
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I kissed a fish and I liked it

Is that wrong? Well, my lips didn’t actually make contact but it nearly did happen. This little dogfish was cute, at least in my eyes. So cute in fact that I promptly returned him back to his icy cool water. Just thought you might enjoy some insight into my crazy animal loving nature.

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The photo above was taken during my time discovering a beloved Saskatchewan pastime.

Embrace winter. Get up and get out.

I did something different this weekend. I made a concerted effort to stay and play outdoors in the cold. Plus I chose where I thought would be a beautiful winter playground, Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park, Saskatchewan. I couldn’t have been more right. I had found Saskatchewan’s winter wonderland.

Heavy snow laden pine trees, windy white roads and animal sightings a plenty, Waskesiu  boasts a perfect winter landscape to get outside and reconnect with nature while trying out some fun winter activities.

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Moose Jaw: More than expected. Surprisingly.

Moose Jaw is a city that has a lot going for it in terms of tourism. In this month’s travel spread for Pink magazine, I go beyond the obvious hot spots and unearth some other gems found in this great southern Saskatchewan destination.

Pink Moose Jaw

 

 

 

 

Read this month’s magazine here.

Take a lesson from the birds

So after a couple of days in Uganda I know a couple of things to be true:

1. It is hot here and I hear we are just coming off of the winter season.
2. There are a lot of people here, albeit, friendly, warm people (35 million-ish, comparable to the population in all of Canada in the space of about 1/2 the province of Saskatchewan).
3.On a journey to discover how highly functional co-operatives can be in a country such as this I have I already learned that even the Ugandan birds co-operate.

Yes, I have found a way to sneak the birds into my Uganda stories. But there is a point, I promise.
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Riversdale revitalized, a trend around these parts

It’s a trend that can be seen across the province. Areas, neighbourhoods, towns and cities of Saskatchewan have experienced record growth, rejuvination and revitilization. Why?

Well, with a leading economy comes a healthy increase in population growth. People have been drawn to our lovely province for jobs, quality of life and the opportunity to start their own businessess and follow their dreams. These of course are just a few reasons.

On a recent visit to Riversdale, a Saskatoon neighbourhood, revitilization efforts were well underway. Ideally located minutes from the beautiful South Saskatchean River - hip restaurants, galleries, young people and innovative entrepreneurs have moved in and set up shop in the neighbourhood.

Here are a few pics from just a few of my favourite pit stops in Riversdale and a link to the article I wrote that appears in the December issue of Chatelaine.

http://www.chatelaine.com/living/travel/hot-hood-riversdale-saskatoon/

The Hollows Restaurant

Any restaurant that holds onto and cherishes vintage interiors is a winner in my books. The Hollows is a very hip restaurant specializing in food to table meals. It is located in a heritage building that used to be a Chinese restaurant. The owners have chosen to adopt some of the former retro interior and by add their own flavour. From the recycled glassware to the bathroom decor, any hippie or hispter for that matter would feel at home here.

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