Fairmont hotels and resorts just get ‘dog people’

“Where’s Monte?” I asked excitedly as I enter the insanely stunning lobby of the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello. I pause for a minute to take in my surroundings and continue to skim the room for the three year old golden retriever. The massive fireplace commands my attention and I immediately assume (which would later be confirmed when I made it up to my suite) that I am in some sort of glorious castle – cabin hybrid.

Le Chateau Montebello Lobby

The Fairmont Montebello lobby has the most impressive fireplace I have ever seen!
Photo courtesy of the Fairmont Montebello

My room at the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebelloe

The room blew my expectations out of the water. Rustic chic meets high end luxury.

His house! I see it. Now where is he? I continue to scan nervously.

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50 Shades of Hay

Yes it is true. I have had an affair and indeed, there is a new man in my life. He’s not my usual type – tall, dark and handsome. Rather, he is short, heavy and freckled. His name is Gus and he’s 17 years old.

Now don’t be so quick to judge me. 17 is like mid-life for Gus. Plus, I know I am not the first woman to fall for him. And hey, I am barely a cougar.

We met at La Reata Ranch last weekend. I knew instantly that we were going to be together. The first time he walked by I gave him a nice stroke on his rear and he came in closer for more. His skin was so soft. I found him instantly irresistible.
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Stepping in front of the camera for Uganda

More coverage for Uganda! Although this was painful for me as I prefer to be behind the camera I lent my side of the story to Pink magazine for their April issue. Here you will get to learn a little bit more about me, how I got into storytelling and of course my great adventure in Uganda. Enjoy!

Pink cover

Read the full story here: Cover story Pink.

Remebering Waskesiu

The trek up to Prince Albert Park to explore Waskesiu was a memorable one. As you will recall I blogged a while back about wolf trekking and dog sledding.This month’s article I wrote for Pink goes into more detail on how I went about finding winter in Waskesiu. And I sure did find it. It was -20 to -30 all weekend long! Read the full article here.

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The intention behind the travel spread I write for Pink (and for my blog in general) is to inspire exploration, whether that be in your own backyard or beyond. You won’t regret it.

Personally speaking, travel truly nurtures my soul and provides me with constant inspiration. I have also learned that travel with children proves not only to be fun, but such an amazing opportunity for little ones to learn.

Beyond sharing and writing about these experiences capturing them is a great way to look back and remember how much fun was had. If you are interested, I have  just posted more photos from the beautiful Waskesiu region on my Facebook page. Here is a sneak peek at one of the very lovable sled dogs from SunDogs.

Sundogs sled dog

Always an opportunity for birding in Saskatchewan

With over 350 species of birds, Saskatchewan is a solid destination for birding activities. That seems to be ringing true throughout the chilly winter months and is evident even in my backyard. As I learn more and more techniques for attracting certain types of birds into my yard, they seem to come a ‘flocking’. And they bring their friends.

I think I have even been able to get my neighbors on the bird train and there may even be some friendly competition going on for the most attractive yard for the feathery visitors.

At any given time I can see large families of sparrows can be spotted nestling contentedly in the pine tree; juncos cleaning up the fallen seeds in the snow; a downy woodpecker rapping on the maple tree; house finches hopping along the fence link; beautiful red polls who pose for me; and of course nuthatches and chickadees who have fierce speed competitions through the branches. Those are the most common yard visitors this year but certainly not the full extent. Winter birding in Saskatchewan has not disappointed.


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9 tips for the tube on the other side of the pond

Navigating London underground

This post is not intended for seasoned travellers who have many times over had to discover how to figure out big city underground transport, nor those who live in cities with subway systems. But rather for those, who like me who are newer to the game and may want some navigational pointers. As well, for us overly polite “sorry abusers” and space sensitive types (yes Canadians I am looking at you), this post should better prepare you.

This wasn’t my first subway. No, I was introduced to my first underground system in New York years ago, which admittedly I found quite simple. And this too was not a complex system to understand. But, I found there was definitely a protocol in London.

Below are tips based solely on my first time visit to London and how it could be made easier for new travellers to quickly acclimate to the tube system, with a few simple considerations.
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Travel inspiring creation

Those who travel know how very inspiring it can be, in fact for many it leads them into some sort of creative process. This certainly is the case for me. As a writer one of the greatest gifts is the ability to write about those who truly inspire me.

Enter in Nicole Valentine Don. I was fortunate enough to be able to tell the story of this very talented friend of mine in the February 2013 issue of Chatelaine. Nicole, a native Saskatchewanian who now calls Australia home is featured as Ms. Chatelaine; which can be described as a woman of style and substance. Nicole is both of those things and more.

She came to mind immediately when I was asked to think of who could possibly fit the Ms. Chatelaine profile. I have been inspired by her work from afar and relate with how her travel experiences clearly inform the aesthetic she draws upon to transform creative spaces. Plus she is always on the pulse of all things cool, making her a true leader of the pack.

I love seeing her creative process in action on her blog and you will too. Check out her visual diary at www.thetranscontinentalaffair.blogspot.com. This is a woman who is going somewhere. Without further adieu, I introduce you to Nicole via the article I wrote about her.

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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.

Hard times, big hearts in Uganda

Today the story of the Candian Co-operative Association’s international development work and highlights from my own personal adventure were the subject of an article in local paper, the Leader-Post. Many thanks to the Leader-Post and to Will Chabun for sharing this (and to the Saskatoon Star Phoenix for adding it to your paper).

http://www.leaderpost.com/search/Hard+times+hearts+Uganda/7746635/story.html

Uganda article LP