Archive | Travel Writing RSS feed for this section

Resorts of Ontario | Winter vs. Summer Loving Vacations

21 Apr

I was super excited to write another travel article for the Resorts of Ontario magazine ‘Go Resorting.’ This time the challenge was to find a winter get-a-way that can live up to a hot summer beach chair and Corona romance-fest. You can click HERE to read the PDF of the article, or just scroll down for the transcript including pictures! Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 4.13.38 PM

The morning of the great Toronto ice storm of 2013, I got a call asking to take a last minute gig doing improv comedy on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. 

The warm, warm Caribbean. 

IMG_1630

Caribbean

Meaning I wouldn’t be able to spend Christmas with The Fella’s family in Minneapolis. 

Cold, cold Minneapolis.

Screen Shot 2014-04-21 at 4.29.27 PM

Not Caribbean

I fantasized about whisking The Fella away to open presents under a Corona bottle on the beach, but quickly realized I wasn’t allowed to bring a guest. Plus, I really like his family. 

But it did get me thinking. The Fella and I could use a couple of days together decompressing from the holiday madness before returning to work. But could a quick winter get-a-way be as romantic as the summer-like trip I just turned down?

Continue reading

How to be Romantic in Winter | Resorts of Ontario

4 Jan

Super excited to be writing a second ‘Romance’ themed travel article for Resorts of Ontario Magazine. The Fella and I spent two nights in two different Ontario resorts that knocked our sexy socks off.

The article will come out soon, but in the meantime, I thought I would repost last year’s article…just in case you’re looking for a little inspiration on how to heat up your relationship when it’s too cold to move in Toronto.

Click HERE to read the article that was published last year in Resorts of Ontario (My article starts on page 25)

Or, read below where I added pictures!

Not our actual hands or robes.

Not our actual hands or robes.

IMG_1628

My fella and I have been in a long distance relationship for a year and a half. I lived in Vancouver and he was in Chicago, so we were also international. If you ever get tired of having money in the bank or regular human contact, try a long distance relationship! You will become an expert at packing, customs line-ups, airline reward programs, Skype freezing your face in unflattering positions and misreading tone in emails.

He got a job in Toronto, so we made the leap from long distance to close quarters and are now living under one roof. We’ve never spent more than a month at a time together, so we’re still learning those quirky little idiosyncrasies that make us adorable and annoying. (His favourite movie is Avatar! I’m an insomniac!)

This image is keeping me from sleeping.
This image is keeping me awake at night.

As we get to know each other better, we also need to shake hands with this province we now call home. I was born and raised in Vancouver. I look at Toronto with a cautiously raised eyebrow, waiting to feel inferior. He is from Chicago and already wants to fix the TTC.

We’ve spent so much brain power organizing the move that we’ve barely taken a breath to celebrate the success of finally living together. So what better way to bond with each other AND Ontario than a romantic night away?

I wanted to find a resort that would re-boot the romance-o-meter, and in my books that means cozy quarters near water. Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Park, Sir Sams in Haliburton and Irwin Inn on Stoney Lake looked to have it all. Cabins by a lake, nature and country dining. After much deliberations, I finally decided on The Millcroft Inn & Spa in Caledon. It was originally built in 1881 as a knitting mill and sits on the edge of the picturesque Mill Pond

Continue reading

My Romantic Travel Article for Resorts of Ontario

26 Apr
Not our actual hands or robes.

Not our actual hands or robes.

Within the first week of moving to Toronto, I was asked by Resorts of Ontario to write a travel article on a romantic getaway in Ontario for their brand new magazine ‘Go Resorting.’

Why yes please! My fella and I are both new to Ontario so it was the perfect way to find out if we were going to fall in love with this new province like we fell in love with each other.

Click HERE to read the online magazine article! (My article starts on page 25)

Or, read below where I added pictures!

IMG_1628

My fella and I have been in a long distance relationship for a year and a half. I lived in Vancouver and he was in Chicago, so we were also international. If you ever get tired of having money in the bank or regular human contact, try a long distance relationship! You will become an expert at packing, customs line-ups, airline reward programs, Skype freezing your face in unflattering positions and misreading tone in emails.

He got a job in Toronto, so we made the leap from long distance to close quarters and are now living under one roof. We’ve never spent more than a month at a time together, so we’re still learning those quirky little idiosyncrasies that make us adorable and annoying. (His favourite movie is Avatar! I’m an insomniac!)

This image is keeping me from sleeping.

This image is keeping me awake at night.

As we get to know each other better, we also need to shake hands with this province we now call home. I was born and raised in Vancouver. I look at Toronto with a cautiously raised eyebrow, waiting to feel inferior. He is from Chicago and already wants to fix the TTC.

We’ve spent so much brain power organizing the move that we’ve barely taken a breath to celebrate the success of finally living together. So what better way to bond with each other AND Ontario than a romantic night away?

I wanted to find a resort that would re-boot the romance-o-meter, and in my books that means cozy quarters near water. Killarney Lodge in Algonquin Park, Sir Sams in Haliburton and Irwin Inn on Stoney Lake looked to have it all. Cabins by a lake, nature and country dining. After much deliberations, I finally decided on The Millcroft Inn & Spa in Caledon. It was originally built in 1881 as a knitting mill and sits on the edge of the picturesque Mill Pond

I wish I'd taken this picture.

Millcroft Inn & Spa. I wish I’d taken this picture.

This is the picture I took.

This is the picture I took.

The resort is less than an hour drive from Toronto, but more importantly, it’s easy to find. This weekend needed a ‘no-bicker guarantee’ and nothing makes a new couple argue faster than confusing google map directions. As we pulled up to the main building it was immediately clear that this place knows romance. In fact, it looked like they had the perfect garden for weddings. Probably due to the sign that said ‘Wedding Gardens.’ We slowly backed away from the sign (which I assume was planted by my mother) and checked in at the front desk.

The sexy sexy loft.

The sexy sexy loft.

The Millcroft Inn has several different room options. The Main Mill has king and queen sized beds that overlook the pond and Shaw’s Creek Falls. The Manor House boasts slightly larger rooms with two person jet tubs. We were in The Crofts, which are two story chalets with ground level patios. Seeing the wood burning fireplace in the living room made me do a jig on the radiant heated floors. The clever people in charge even primed the fireplace with a piece of wood tightly wrapped in newspaper next to a tiny firestarter log. Ensuring that the ‘no-bicker guarantee’ extended to our fire building abilities.

How to make a romantic fire. Step 1: Add fire...

How to make a romantic fire. Step 1: Add fire…

Step 2: Add wood to fire.

Step 2: Add wood to fire.

Step 3: Add wine and enjoy!

Step 3: Add wine and enjoy!

The queen size bed was in the upper loft, and I have yet to understand why lofts ooze sexy. Is it the voyeuristic nature of that one exposed wall? Regardless, I was tickled that we’d be able to lie in bed and hear the crackle of our fight free fire. The romance-o-meter was rising.

As we went in for dinner, we were surprised to run into a work colleague of my fella’s. He was there with his lady for, you guessed it, a romantic weekend away. Clearly we’d picked the right place if one of the only humans we know in this province brings his wife here on the weekends. At least I think it was his wife. Oh dear.

This is the 'pod.' However, this is NOT the back of my boyfriend's head.

This is the ‘pod.’ However, this is NOT the back of my boyfriend’s head.

We sat in the part of the dining room known as ‘The Pod.’ Which is a lovely nook overlooking the waterfall, and not as my fella hoped, where he would be put into cryosleep before meeting his Avatar. The ambience of the restaurant was a lovely mix of fancy and unpretentious. A gentleman quietly played classical guitar in the corner. His jam consisted of everything from Blackbird to Stairway to Heaven…but just the slow part. Romance-o-meter hitting red!

The meal was absolutely delicious, even though mine was seared scallops followed by a main dish of more seared scallops (with blue crab stuffed ravioli.) Apparently I really enjoy scallops. My fella had the confit lamb shank which came with what I can only describe as the first lamb ‘hot dog slider’ I’ve ever seen. Desert was equally as tasty. We shared the apple butterscotch cake and the white chocolate crémeux and even did the classic ‘eat from each other’s fork’ move.

There was a sad lack of scallops on the desert menu.

There was a definite lack of scallops on the desert menu.

The wine list had everything from a ‘within my price range’ Angels Gate Pinot Noir from Niagra for $49 to a ‘let’s burn my inheritance’ Chateau Mouton Rothschild 2003 for $1500.00. We took our unfinished bottle of Pinot back to the room and quickly lit up the idiot proof fireplace. To complete the sexy time atmosphere, we slipped in our favourite episode of Game of Thrones. Except the internet was too slow to download it, so we were forced to make out on the couch. Romance-o-meter blushed and looked away.

Nothing to see here, people.

Nothing to see here, people. Look away.

The next morning we enjoyed the breakfast buffet with freshly baked pastries, eggs Benedict and a selection of fruits. The easily accessed walking trails provided light exercise to work off the previous night’s scallopalooza. Breathing in the crisp air and smell of wood smoke, we shook off the months of planning, packing, and standing in line for OHIP cards. It may have only been a single night away, but not once did I miss the Vancouver rain or did he complain about subway tokens. What we did do was pour over maps and pamphlets on the area to see what other fun adventures we could get up to next weekend.

Thanks Ontario. I think we’ll stay.