Thursday, 2 October 2014

Mind, Body and Spirit Fair

If you are in the area come celebrate wellness at the 3rd annual Mind, Body, Spirit Fair this Saturday, October 4th from 10am-5pm at the Quality Royal Brock Hotel & Conference Centre in Brockville.
Here you will find an eclectic blend of fascinating people with some interesting services, products, and energy! Come see what's out there, you never know what you might learn or who you'll meet! Crystals, books, jewelry, wellness products, readings, teas, gluten free foods, & more!

Stephanie Forgues, owner of New Leaf Wellness, started the wellness fair three years ago to bring awareness to the natural aspects of living well. She wanted to focus on heart centered people doing what they love and loving what they do, helping people. She also wanted to showcase products and services that are not so recognized and mainstream.
Admission is FREE however, donations to the Leeds & Grenville Interval House are warmly appreciated! Brought to you by Natural Presence Magazine and New Leaf Wellness.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Trees for Children ready to make a difference!

Children's mental health (and mental health causes overall) are very important to my family and I for various reasons. I have been diagnosed with general anxiety disorder since the age of 17 and since then have been an advocate to end stigma and raise awareness. Since becoming a mother, I have been touched with children's mental health issues and continue to learn and evolve- while hoping to continue to raise awareness.

Through this journey, I have met some wonderful families who face the same daily challenges as we do. Both Nick and I are members of a local mental health support group, board members of Friends for Autism and continue to host the Trees for Children charity event, in hopes to lend our support and help where we can.

This past week, I met with Maplehurst Manor, located in Maitland, On. to discuss the upcoming annual Trees for Children fundraiser. Last year was the inaugural event for this children's mental health fundraiser and was received well by the community. Money raised this year will be split between Friends for Autism and A Dog for Drew (which will help a local child receive a therapy dog). The venue - Maplehurst - is sure to wow visitors, supporters and guests of our celebration party!

When I met with Josie (owner of The Brockberry Grill and new owner of Maplehurst Manor) to discuss the event, I asked Ashley Yeldon and April Kuhlman, who head Friends for Autism to join me. Neither had been to the manor and were both floored from the moment they walked in. Maplehurst has undergone some extensive renovations and decorating over the past few years, all while keeping with the tradition and history that it is known for. April and Ashley couldn't get over the elegance and glamour the home exuded and were not only very excited that Trees for Children would be hosted there, but the ladies also made plans for future Friends for Autism events.

That is the thing about Maplehurst Manor, once you have a tour of the main house, carriage house and grounds, plus take in the view- you understand why so many people can't stop talking about this venue.

I look forward to connecting with many people and businesses over the next month, gaining support for the upcoming event. I believe that once the trees, mantles and stunning staircase is decorated to incorporate many festive themes- the manor will come alive with holiday spirit and will be something to marvel at! If you are interested in lending your support to two very deserving local children's groups, please contact me directly to reserve your tree or to purchase tickets to the celebration reception.


Thursday, 28 August 2014

Let's be Earnest

As many of you know- I am a huge fan of Twitter. One of my favourite things about this social media platform is that it makes it incredibly easy to connect with local people, business and keep informed on what's going on. Recently I had the pleasure of chatting with Riverstone Gananoque and through a Twitter contest, I won tickets to their event at the 1000 Islands Playhouse. What luck!

I had heard rave reviews of "The Importance of Being Earnest" and stoked when I had won two tickets to the closing night show on Saturday evening. Riverstone Gananoque was one of the show's sponsors that evening and was hosting a pre-show cocktail hour. This was a great chance to meet with their Gananoque office team, discuss the plans for the new condos and enjoy an overall great evening. On display were photos of the site plan and various models to showcase this visually stunning development. Nick and I poured over designs and were very excited about this project.

If you're not familiar with the project, I encourage you to check out Riverstone Gananoque's website and also familiarize yourself with The Ivy Club, located in Ivy Lea of the 1000 Islands Parkway and also Gananoque's newest dining experience- Riva (which I've recently blogged about). Both these businesses are a great example of what owner, Joe Pal's completed vision looks like.The team that is bringing you Riverstone has now paired up with  Brennan Custom Homes to continue it's top quality finished product.

I've been to the 1000 Islands Playhouse three times now and each time exceeds my expectations. With a packed house, Creative Director Ashlie Corcoran let us know that "The Importance of being Earnest" has been the highest selling performance over the past five years! Now, after seeing it for myself, I can completely understand why. The characters came alive and took you on an adventure of hilarity and relationship turmoil. Every detail was perfect- including the set changes which were met with much laughter from the entire audience. Earnest was easily the best show I have seen at the playhouse yet and both Nick and I are thrilled to have had the opportunity to go.

Once the entertainment wrapped up, we headed to Riva for a quick drink with one of our good friends, MP Gord Brown. Gord has always been a champion for the town and was happy to hear of our great evening out. The atmosphere at Riva was once again welcoming and the perfect spot to share laughs and stories. If you are headed to the theatre, I recommend it for dinner prior, drinks after- or even both!

I have to say- I am extremely excited for Riverstone to break ground and become part of the Town of Gananoque. Not only will this be a magnificent place to call home - waking up every morning on the famous St.Lawrence River, but it will also increase tourism in the area, help grow the economy and truly showcase what a stunning place Gananoque truly is!

Friday, 15 August 2014

Liana’s Ransom Held Us Captive!

If you are looking for a unique experience on the mighty St. Lawrence River- you have found it with a tour on the Tall Ship “Liana’s Ransom”. Set sail with Captain Tilly and 7 of his crew members for an unforgettable pirate adventure.

Today, I had the pleasure to board the tall ship for their first tour of the day. I was a bit worried with the weather- looking cloudy and as though the sky may open up at any moment- but it held off and the 90 minute tour was incredible. I boarded Liana’s Ransom, an 85 foot, steel hulled schooner and eagerly awaited to set sail from Blockhouse Island on our excursion. Along the way I met up with friends Deidre and her wonderful husband Warren, who were celebrating their anniversary with the tour.

   Many of the people on board were visiting from our Nation’s Capital -Ottawa and area. One lady I spoke with had always wanted to board a Tall Ship and try one of these adventures, she stated it was on her bucket list and was thrilled that this had come to the city of Brockville. Throughout the tour, the captain and crew kept us entertained by telling us the history of the ship, pirate stories and even performing tricks, such as swinging out over the water on the rope! 

I went with my Aunt, Mary Lynn – who is a cruise specialist and travel consultant. I figured she was the best one to check this out with, as she has been aboard many ships and boats. I think she was even more excited than I was- as she volunteered to help hoist the sails, load and fire the cannons and dress up like a pirate! It was way too much fun and I’m really happy that we were able to check it out together.

If you are in Brockville or area, the Liana’s Ransom Adventure is worth the trip. The crew is hilarious and make the voyage an absolute experience-get your tickets today!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Great Waterfront Trail has gotten me hooked!

Our area has seen a huge increase in cycling tourism over the past few years. As someone who has never cycled much farther than my neighbourhood, I always admired from afar when I saw large groups come to town. I hadn't given much thought to the sport until recently, when a friend mentioned a cycle tour she was doing for the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure.

Kaitlynn Dodge had reached out and let me know about the upcoming cycle tour she was doing. Riding from Brighton, On. to Cornwall, Ontario- a total of 331 KM over a five day period, this ride was going to be a tough adventure but unbeatable when it came to the scenery and experience. There were around 150 registered riders who are taking part of this adventure, which is in it's 7th year. Each year has highlighted a different leg of the trail, with this year being no different. This year is a shorter ride to help accommodate families and less experienced riders- like myself! When the daily leg of the tour was complete, riders would settle at camp (or in hotels for those who wish) and explore the communities. It is a great way to get to know this beautiful area we call home!

When Kaitlynn mentioned the tour and asked if I would ride with them for some of the journey, my heart stopped! I am not physically fit or active on a daily basis. That, and I am also an anxiety sufferer. When you combine all those things, it was terrifying to even think about even taking a leisurely ride. For some reason though, I agreed to join the ride from Gananoque, On to my hometown of Brockville, On - a ride of 47 KM. I suppose it was my competitive nature that made me jump at the challenge, but I am sure happy that I did. Kaitlynn is blogging about her trip at  - which will give you more insight into a beginners guide to cycling. 

I started training right away, going to Gananoque and riding as far as I could on the trail. The first evening I rode 5.2 KM and couldn't breath when I was finished. My legs felt wobbly, I was sweaty and had no idea what I had just committed too. The next evening I rode again and made it past 7 KM. I was less tired and more eager to get to the next night and beat my personal best. I found that I started looking forward to my nightly rides and to see how far I could ride. 

To date my personal best is 18 KM (which is from Gananoque to the United States Bridge) and I am extremely proud of myself. I am not ready to do the ride tomorrow- as I feel I wouldn't be able to complete it but I am going to continue training on the Great Waterfront Trail until I am able to complete the 47 KM ride. I have learned so much about cycling during this time - the difference between a mountain bike and speed bike, the importance of a helmet, proper stretching and hydration, etc and am looking forward to learning much more! 

What impressed me the most about the Great Waterfront Trail was how serene of a ride it really was. There were parts that were tough for me, but all in all - I found it was a great place to start cycling and highly encourage anyone who is interested in the sport to check it out. Cycle Tourism is gaining popularity and I now know first hand why!  

If you are interested in donating to the Waterfront Regeneration Trust or want to learn more about the Great Waterway Trail Adventure, please check out their website:

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Newest Destination Hotspot: Gananoque

I have had the pleasure to travel throughout Eastern Ontario, New York State and Quebec over the last few years with my family and for my blog. I have documented some of my favourite restaurants, festivals, hot spots and overall spectacular places to visit- but this past weekend I found my newest favourite and guess what? It’s in our own backyard- Gananoque, On.

Nick and I have driven as far as 8 hours in search of the best food, accommodations and attractions for our date nights. As he travels a lot for work and I’m busy blogging, supporting community events, being a mom and running a business- we truly do covet our date nights. As busy as we are, those who we trust to leave our children with are equally as in-demand. Time is not frequently available, so we make the most of it when we do get it.  That’s why, when my fabulous Aunt offered to take our girls for a night at their farm- we jumped at the chance to book at the newly renovated Comfort Inn and Suites in Gananoque.

I've been eyeing this hotel for months now, seeing it undergo an amazing transformation- I couldn't wait to check it out. We booked a Jacuzzi suite (why not!?) and jetted off for the evening. Upon check-in we were greeted by very friendly staff. The ladies let us know the amenities of the hotel and also informed us of some wonderful near-by attractions, restaurants and other town favourites. We checked into our room and had a short rest before heading to dinner. The room was spacious, immaculately clean and very romantic. We had a fireplace, Jacuzzi tub and wonderful big windows with lots of natural light. Best of all- the King-sized bed! It was so comfortable and full of pillows. I could have stayed in bed all night, but we had dinner reservations at another local hot spot- Riva. Also worth mentioning is their fabulous INDOOR POOL. We didn't get a chance to take a dip, but the pool was always well-attended and looked great. Next time!

Riva, also newly renovated- was a stunning restaurant next door to the Comfort Inn and Suites. This stone building has undergone extensive renovations in the past few years and the completed project is worth the visit alone. Nick and I started with the antipasto platter and spirits. It was complete with local cured meats, cheese and Italian favourites such as olives and spiced green beans.

Next we moved onto the main course, I ordered “brasato di manzo” which is Tuscan-style braised beef short rib, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. Writing about this dish simply does not do it justice. If taste could only leap off the page, you would understand how flavorful and tender this dish was. It fell apart as I made my way through and each bite was a taste of heaven. It was THAT good. Nick ordered the ravioli stuffed with ricotta and spinach in a fresh, local tomato cream sauce. He is a huge fan of fresh pasta and said this was the best he has ever had.

Although comfortably full, we had to try dessert (I mean, who wouldn’t?). I ordered the flour-less chocolate cake with walnuts and Nick wanted to try the tiramisu. Both, like the proceeding courses, did not disappoint. It seemed that every detail was important to Riva. From the exceptional service (Thanks Emma!) to the delicious food, laid back and trendy atmosphere - we were very well taken care of and will definitely be back.  

After dinner we had plans to meet with Leeds Grenville MP, Gananoque Businessman and good friend, Gord Brown. Gord had arranged a tasting at the newest attraction, The Gananoque Brewing Company. As he has mentioned great things about the Brewery in the past, we were really looking forward to checking this out. I had never been to a Brewery before so I had no idea what to expect. I have read countless blogs on Brew Pubs and the entire culture that seems to be popping up around them but this was different.

The Gananoque Brewery is not a restaurant or pub. In fact, they don't ever want to be. When talking with Bruce Davis, the owner – he mentioned how the area has a tremendous amount of wonderful eateries that carry his beer and he would never want to compete with them. To Bruce, it is all about supporting local. Even the ingredients in most of his beers are local.  The hops, Wheat and rhubarb (Yep- they have a rhubarb beer!) are all sourced from local farms. Although you can’t eat at the Brewery, you can certainly sample their different brews and soon will be able to see production first-hand. You can find their Beer in the LCBO, GananoqueInn and Spa, Stonewater Gastro Pub, The Socialist Pig and quite a few other great local places. There is also a very cool festival (Gananoque Brewing Company Festival) happening August 22nd to September 21st.  You can tour the farms involved, the brewery, check out the markets, the historic mills and enjoy entertainment and local cuisine. It is a “Must-see” on my list of attractions.

After the busy evening, we decided to head back to the hotel, enjoy the room and rest up. The next morning we had planned to check out the Socialist Pig, which in my humble opinion- has the BEST coffee around. We ordered a delish breakfast to share (spiced sausage, fresh eggs, and sautéed potatoes with onions, bacon and ham). It was plentiful, so we were very happy to share and we enjoyed that famous French-pressed coffee. It was the perfect end to our stay in beautiful Gananoque.

I was very impressed with the whole stay. Gananoque has a renowned theatre, popular boat cruises, helicopter tours, great beaches and parks and the Harbour District that we stayed in was the icing on the cake. If you pick one spot to travel to this year- make it Gananoque, Ontario- The Gem of the 1000 Islands!

Monday, 28 July 2014

Some southern cooking and time at Meech Lake!

With the many events and activities we do as a family, Nick and I find it equally important to take time out for ourselves as a couple as well. Our community has a great selection of theatre, dining and entertainment ideas for date nights but every now and then, we do like to travel to nearby cities and take in what they have to offer as well.

One of our favourite “hidden gems” is Meech Lake, in Old Chelsea, QC. It is just over an hour drive and a small piece of heaven on earth. Nick is originally from British Columbia and has always known a landscape with rolling hills and breathtaking views. When we found Lake Meech it felt like something from his childhood.

With two beaches, boat launches, beautiful homes and of course the Prime Minister’s cottage – Lac Meech draws many tourists from all over the country. With so much to see, I was surprised at how private the beaches felt. They were full of course, but not packed like the many “popular” destinations of Wasaga or Sandbanbanks. The entire atmosphere was very tranquil.

Before we hit the beach for the day, we stopped into the famous Chelsea Pub. This is one of the oldest heritage buildings in the municipality of Chelsea and has an incredible history behind it. There is an extensive list of craft, domestic and imported beer and a delicious array of tapas, lunch items and mains on the menu. Add the laid back atmosphere and sunshine on a hot summer day- it was the perfect start to our date weekend!

We paddled around the lake for a few hours, stopped and swam at the beach and took some time to catch up with one another (which is harder than it sounds with three small children!). Once we were “beached out”, we headed back into Ottawa as we had booked a room at the Lord Elgin Hotel for the night.
 I've stayed in a few places downtown and was always curious about the elegant Lord Elgin. It is in a perfect location- close to the Parliament buildings, shopping and the Byward Market. It had been on my list for a while and I was not disappointed once we checked in. From the grand entrance, that immediately makes you feel luxurious and at-home at the same time, to our suite – everything was perfect!

One of the reasons for our stay in Ottawa was to head over to Fatboys, located on Murray Street in the market. It is owned by one of my dear friends, who had been telling me about their different events that they host monthly. One of the events was the Capital Tease “Smoke and Garters” Burlesque Show on the first Friday of every month. Neither Nick nor I had ever seen a Burlesque show, but I knew if my friend was raving about it – it had to be good.

We walked up from our hotel, found the perfect spot on the patio at Fatboys and ordered dinner. I had the pulled pork poutine and Nick had the Brisket with their amazing mac and cheese on the side. Let me tell you- if you want down home, southern cooking that won't disappoint – you HAVE to go to Fatboys! The service was wonderful, the burlesque show was incredibly entertaining and the food is second to none. I can't wait to head back soon (I am currently planning a girl’s night – as it is the perfect location for a date or to grab drinks and have fun with friends)!

I always love to support local, but every now and then it is important to support your neighbouring cities as well. We have made some great memories in and around the capital region and look forward to many more years to come!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Kayaking in the 1000 Islands!

Guest Post by: Kendra Lorimer of Brockville Tourism

Recently, due to the great relationship that our office has with Parks Canada and Thousand Islands National Park, I was invited to tag along with one of our summer tourism ambassadors on TINP’s annual kayaking and camping trip. This isn't just any camping trip, it’s a 2-day guided kayaking adventure in the 1000 islands with an overnight stay camped out on an island with the chance to test-drive one of the new Parks Canada "oTENTiks". An oTENTik is a permanent tent-like structure that sleeps six that was introduced to the region just last summer and has been a buzz word in our office ever since. An opportunity to try one out for myself was too good to pass up.

The morning of our trip we met up with Parks staff at 1000 Islands Kayaking in Gananoque to get outfitted with our kayaks and gear. Luckily the Parks boat was taking our camping gear across to our campsite so that we didn't have to pack lightly – otherwise I would have had an issue stuffing my “essentials” into my kayak to take with me. We were a large group, so the kayaking company provided us with two guides to take us on our paddling tour. After a brief lesson on water safety and what to do if our kayaks flipped (yikes!), we were ready to get out on the water. Our guides led us quickly out of the harbour and to a more secluded area near the shore where we were taken through Kayaking 101 to get us all more comfortable in our kayaks.

After Kayaking 101 we crossed the channel and went for a light paddle around a number of small islands, finally coming to a stop on McDonald Island for lunch, which would also be where we would be camping for the night. While our guides prepared us a delicious gourmet, local flavours lunch, we took a tour of the island and started setting up our campsites. McDonald Island has boat docks, a picnic shelter, a number of campsites including two oTENTik sites, and green composting toilets. With well-worm paths, access to the water on all sides, and plenty of picnic tables and docking for boats, it is easy to see why this would be a popular island in the summer for both day use and camping.

After lunch we got back in our kayaks and pushed off for the second half of our paddle and guided tour. We paddled around more islands, a mix of privately owned and National Parks islands, making our way to half-moon bay, affectionately referred to as the “cathedral with the highest ceiling”, where islanders meet in their boats for a Vesper Service on Sundays in July and august – a tradition since 1887. We paddled back towards McDonald for the night, stopping to learn about ship wrecks and island history from our guides, fighting high winds most of the way back. By this point most of our arms were getting tired, and I was quite envious of the guides who seemed to coast along with very little effort.

Back on the island for the night we settled in for the evening and unpacked our belongings. Our oTENTik not only had room to sleep six, it also had an indoor table and chairs, plenty of floor space, and wall hooks to keep your items out of the way. Thinking back to the days of camping trips with my family, that amount of space would have been very luxurious in comparison; it would have been so nice to play cards in there on a rainy day instead of on top of our sleeping bags on the floor of our tent! The oTENTik also had lights, and each sleeping area had its own thick mattress. All you had to do was roll out your sleeping bag and pillow and you were done. That’s it. Makes camp life a lot simpler and it really cuts down on the gear and equipment you need to bring with you (If you don’t have your own gear, you can now rent everything you would need, and even hire a shuttle from 1000 Islands Kayaking to take you and your gear over to the islands).

After a full day of fresh air and exercise, I slept very well that night, but I certainly enjoyed sleeping in the oTENTik. It was clean, warm, had comfortable mattresses, and best of all – no bugs! (There is nothing worse than being trapped all night in a tent with a rogue mosquito). In the morning we had a lovely breakfast, packed up, and got back out onto the water. Soon after we got out there it started to rain, and we were all thankful that we had gotten in while everything was still dry and we were now protected inside of our kayaks. The rain wasn't a deterrent; in fact the water was much calmer than the day before which made for a much easier and smoother day of paddling, and the grey water and sky really made our bright kayaks stand out on the water. The senior Parks staff took us west to one of their favourite islands, Beau Rivage (or “Beau” as they called it), to show it off to us and to their new summer staff. It was a beautiful island with picnic shelters, trails, and campsites and was a nice island to stop on despite the rain. Unfortunately, after we stopped our kayaks and seats were all wet from the rain, but at that point we were all soaked anyway, so it didn't really matter. After that we headed back to the mainland to turn in our kayaks, finish our trip and most importantly, change into dry clothes!

I am so glad to have been invited to tag along. While I have been out kayaking in the beautiful 1000 Islands before, I am always happy for an opportunity to get back out there, and having guides share some of the history of the islands really added to the experience. It also helps to have people with you who are familiar with the area to keep you from getting lost! I am looking forward to my next opportunity to get back out on the water.

For more information on the islands we visited, contact Thousand Islands National Park, and use the Parks Canada Reservation System to reserve your own oTENTik or campsite. To rent kayaks, camping gear, or to find out about a shuttle out the islands, contact the 1000 Islands Kayaking Company.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Carrying on a dream…

On a very humid Tuesday evening, the courtyard at Maplehurst Manor and Carriage House was filling up with people from near and far – all hoping to pass along their well wishes and congratulations. There was a “changing of the guard” happening with the business and there was nothing but support in the air.

Three years ago, Maplehurst Manor was purchased by Ann Cox and her husband. It was their dream to turn the Manor into a destination Bed and Breakfast to promote Maitland, the area they now called home. With much hard work, Ann was able to turn her vision into a reality and made Maplehurst Manor THE destination for weddings, events and getaways in the 1000 Islands region.

With many life changes and new visions, the time has come for Maplehurst Manor to switch hands. Having worked closely with Ann over the past few years, it was only fitting that Josie and Seth O’Hara purchase Maplehurst and carry on Ann and her late husband’s dream. The event was to thank Ann for her work with the manor and let her know that she will always be welcomed with open arms in our community upon her visits. The event was also to welcome Josie, Seth and their wonderful staff at Brockberry Grill to the Maitland community and let them know there is much support as they embark on this new journey!

If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit Maplehurst Manor, it is a must see! Josie graciously gave guests tours of the home and carriage house- which have all been lovingly restored over the past few years. Upon entrance I immediately fell in love with the high ceilings, large windows overlooking the rolling lawns of the property and the majestic St. Lawrence River and the décor that resembles a spread from House and Home. The Suites are exquisite and not a small detail has been spared.

There have been talks of many new and exciting events planned for Maplehurst and with the success of The Brockberry Grill, one can only anticipate what is to come. Make sure to keep updated on events at 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Smugglers Glen: Paradise in our own backyard

One of the things I love most about Social Media, is the connections you make with others. I am very loud and proud about my love for Facebook, but what you may not know about me, is that Twitter is my absolute favourite social media platform. 

Recently, I was searching Twitter for more local business owners and came across Smugglers Glen. I was drawn in by their profile picture and fun tweets! Smugglers Glen is a golf course on the 1000 Islands Parkway between Brockville, On and Gananoque, On. although I recently found out it is more than just a gold course- it's paradise in our own backyard!

Yes...THAT is the view from the stunning veranda at the clubhouse. Can you imagine teeing off there? Do you see the Adirondack chairs awaiting you? Admittedly, I am not an avid golfer, but this view alone will make me book a tee time with some friends and go back. 

Let's back up a step. Back to my love for Twitter and how it helps connect us to one another. Once I found Smugglers Glen, I started conversation with Jason Boyce, Director of Golf. We tweeted a bit about the course, golf and then we messaged about a tour. Jason was extremely welcoming and easy to chat with and by the time I had actually met him a few days later, it felt like we were old friends! 

Kim Barr, Owner of Set the Barr (Social Media Marketing) and I set off to visit the clubhouse, tour the course and chat all things golf. We immediately hit it off with Jason and of course- took a #Selfie!

This course was so elevated in places, that I was sometimes fearing for my life on that golf cart! When I wasn't breathless from the views- I was excited by the natural way the golf course was blended into the terrain and encompassed it's surroundings. The designer really knew how to show off the beauty of the 1000 Islands and still make this a challenging and fun golf course. 

I really look forward to returning this summer to play a round of golf, reconnect with my new Twitter friend Jason and trying out this course for myself. I have connected with others who have golfed here and they have sang the praises of this course! 

As a bonus- a place I didn't tour but am excited to check out- is The Glenhouse Resort, across the road. I have heard their prime rib dinner is amazing and the ambiance along the St. Lawrence River is unmatched. Perhaps a place to "stay and play" for the future. 

Monday, 30 June 2014

Breakfast and Wine: Welcome to the 1000 Islands

How do we kick off tourist season in the world-renowned 1000 Islands? With Breakfast on Refugee Island, an afternoon at the hydroplane races and then top it off with the Food and Wine Show!

Friday evening was the beginning of the 1000 Islands Wine and Food Festival. This is an annual event that started out being hosted by the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce's Tourist office and is now being successfully run by the Leeds and Grenville Volunteer Centre. Over the course of the five year event, there have been a few different venues- including the kickoff at the Brockville Country Club (BCC) and then moving to the Memorial Centre for years following. This year, the festival made it's return to the BCC and in my opinion- was the BEST one yet!

With only four main ladies organizing this community-wide festival, I was blown away by the finished product. The Brockville Country Club has never looked so elegant and classy. Yes, there were less vendors then years past, but this is a prime example of Quality vs. Quantity. From the moment you walked in and were greeted by the many happy volunteers, to the guest speakers, delicious treats, tantalizing appetizers and the variety of beer and wine- this event was a HUGE HIT! Bravo to everyone involved, I'm already looking forward to next year!

Saturday morning my girls were up at the crack of dawn- literally...the sun came up and they were at our bedroom door asking if it was time to go. Why were they excited? We were headed to St.Lawrence Park to board a boat to Refugee Islands and check out the return of "Breakfast in the Islands", hosted by Brockville Tourism. As their resident blogger, Tourism was gracious to offer my family and I passes to check out their event. This has been held in past years, but took a brief hiatus due to a lack of volunteers and organizers. I believe the entire community was anticipating the return of this breakfast, as the dock was already packed 8 am when we arrived.

We had a brief wait to be chartered over to Refugee Island, one of the many stunning Islands on the majestic St. Lawrence River and then we were off! The boat ride itself was a highlight for my girls- especially Remy, now two years old and taking it all in. When we landed, we were greeted by many happy volunteers and the smell of bacon, maple syrup, fresh local berries and other delicious food smells wafting through the air.

Breakfast was incredible and when we were finished, we decided to take a short hike on the Island and check it out. There was yoga being offered on a scenic and relaxing point overlooking the water, but my girls were more interested in the glitter tattoos being offered by Tourism staff! When it was time to head out, we were greeted back at the dock- this time by the very cool "Wild Cat" boat, owned and operated by Captn. Andy Neteeson of the Blockhouse boat tours. The girls (and I think Nick too)- were so excited to have the chance to board this boat. Needless to say, it was the perfect end to the perfect breakfast.

We had an absolute blast at this event, and I really hope Tourism continues to host it. It is the perfect way to showcase what our area has to offer (and eat some great local food!).