So after making my 2019/2020 Winter Bucket List and posting it on the blog my life got flipped upside down with the imminent move out West… so I’ve redone my 2020 Winter Bucket List based on west coast living.
My mom is going to fly out to Vancouver Island with me at the beginning of the new year to help me get settled while Mike wraps up some things in Ottawa and then manages our move across the country.
I’m going to rope her into as many winter activities that will be fun to do with someone and then I’ll tackle a bunch of items on my own before Mike joins me. He may fly out in February so I may book a cabin weekend in Tofino and hope to cross off storm watching at the same time. I love that I’m going to be so close to one of my favourite places in the world!
Stay tuned for all the fun. You know I’ll capture it and share it on the blog and Instagram!
So how do I plan on accomplishing some of these items? This year I’ll give you a little bit into the planning of my buckets lists.
Step 1: Make List
Step 2: Count how many free weekends you have in the winter
Step 3: Schedule events out
Step 4: Go enjoy winter!
Ice Fishing: I’ll simply google ice fishing Ottawa when it’s cold enough to go and then start researching different outfitters around the area.
Build a Quincy: I spelled it wrong in my photo above but didn’t have the energy to change it. I found this fun video on youtube so we’ll attempt this in our backyard!
Cross-Country Skiing: My gear is so old, I’m going to attempt to trade it in for newer gear or just donate it and then rent equipment with MEC to go out since it’s not in the budget this year to purchase new gear. I have so many trails near our house, this I can easily do on a weekend where we don’t have a ton of things going on.
Winter Camping: My husband, Mike and I only like winter camping if the temperature is between -10 and -20 celsius. Colder than that and it’s uncomfortable, warmer than -10 and you actually get a little damp in your sleeping bag in the tent. So this one we’ll have to play fairly by ear and watch the weather network.
Snowshoeing: I’ll probably get out and do this way more than skiing since we have our own pair of snowshoes… Let’s see how many times I can convince the hubby to leave the warmth of our house to go snowshoeing this year!
Snowball Fight, Make A Snowman, Snow Angels, Make a Puzzle, Bake Cookies and Make Apple Cider: These are all impromptu things that we can fit in at any time.
Cabin Weekend: There are several amazing places in and around Ottawa. I may try to book in with Cabin Escape in March if they have weekend availability. Unfortunately, the Raven House cabin we stayed at last year isn’t renting out this year (they said maybe late winter) so I’ll just scour AirBnB for amazing finds. We had an amazing time winter camping in a yurt a few years ago at Terra Perma so I went ahead and booked their Earth Ship for the Family Day long weekend! I’ll share a link after we stay there.
Winter Photo Shoot & Sparkler Photo: This is going to take coordination, hiring a photographer and ensuring they can pull off the sparkler photo!
Snowboarding: My friend Jess has already volunteered to come with me, so we’ll just have to coordinate which weekends she’s here in Ottawa and get that planned!
Le Nordik: Same friend, Jess is coming to visit this coming weekend and since I haven’t been to Le Nordik in a while we’re going to head there for a day to relax.
Ice Skating on the Canal: Winterlude happens from January 31 – February 17 so we’ll just have to go down one evening or on a weekend to participate in the magic.
Ice Skating Trail: We headed out to River Oak skating trail last year. The photo background for the winter bucket list image is from our evening skate there. We brought headlamps and had the whole trail to ourselves that night.
Games Night: Last but not least, winter can usually be pretty isolating so I’m going to try and organize a games night for our friends and have everyone over for a few rounds of everyone’s favorite games.
My first Adirondacks mountain summit and I managed to do 2! We hiked up Cascade Mountain and since the trail marker near the top of the trail said Porter Mountain was only 0.7 miles away we went for both.
This was technically my first mountain summit in the Adirondacks since a few years ago, the weather didn’t let my Mt. Marcy adventure happen completely.
We drove down after work on Friday, arriving at the Lake Placid KOA around 8:30 pm. After setting up my friend Shannon’s new 4 season tent we quickly ate dinner. Shannon planned all our meals for the trip which were amazing.
Dinner by headlamp, on the first night, was lettuce wraps with bacon, chicken & mustard. Shannon had prepared all our food on Weds night and then threw it in the freezer so they thawed out by the time we got to camp.
The perfect alarm clock was a really loud campsite neighbor who woke us up at 7am. Shannon started making us coffee and then heated up ground pork and broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
We think we started out on the Cascade Mountain trail around 9am. We easily found a parking spot in one of the lots along Highway 73. However, when we got off the mountain, we saw all the cars parked along the side of the road. This was definitely a busy trail so we’re glad we got out their early.
The trail was very rocky and muddy but nothing a pair of great hiking boots and hiking poles couldn’t tackle. We really hoped the sun would come out in time for our summit to burn off the clouds and I’m so glad I was able to manifest that. As we climbed out on top of Cascade the clouds started to open up and we got a view!
We enjoyed a mountain top coffee and then headed back down to the trail to head over to Porter Mountain.
The view from Porter was spectacular. The Adirondacks definitely don’t compare to the Rockies but I still appreciate them to be amazing.
4 Season Tent
Stove & Fuel
Fire Starter & Firewood
Headlamp & Batteries
Hand & Foot Warmers
Coffee & Apple Cider
Swiss Army Knife
First Aid Kit
Map & Compass
Power Bank & Charging Chord
Dinner on Saturday night after a full day of hiking was delicious. Shannon made us beef meatballs, zucchini noodles & a faux cream sauce!
Enjoy the hike if you add this to your adventure bucket list!
Another weekend, another summer bucket list item checked off. Stand up paddleboarding in Wakefield, QC was so lovely! I absolutely love stand up paddleboarding (SUP) so when I find a newish friend, Karen Yaworsky (we’ve known each other for over a year now) that has her own board, I suggest a SUP date on a weekend she’s in town. She’s usually off van camping with her husband.
So stand up paddleboarding has been in our calendar for a few weeks now and I’ve always wanted to go see the Wakefield Covered Bridge from the water so that was the plan.
We started out the day at Cafe Molo (down at the bottom of the map) for breakfast and coffee and then drove and parked near the cafe pot-au-feu on the map below. I love Cafe Molo because we can sit on the patio and look out on the water and I can get a gluten-free breakfast sandwich 🙂
We blew up our SUP boards (we both have inflatables). Applied sunscreen and off we went. We had a bit of fun watching me inflate, try to put on the air stopper and then having to re-inflate it. I just seem to struggle with taking off the pump nozzle and putting on the stopper. So much air gets loose and then I have to start pumping again. It’s a bit comical really.
We paddled over to the Covered Bridge, had some fun paddling through the current and pulled up on the side of the water to relax. While catching up and chatting about life and business we sat in the water for a bit to cool down and then paddled around some more.
Karen did some SUP yoga and I as the official photographer with a wet bag for my camera took all the shots.
This is definitely a must-do if you’re in Ottawa. It’s such a fun way to spend the morning or afternoon being active and relaxing. If you have your own board it’s super easy but there are also rental places in Wakefield if you want to try stand up paddleboarding for the first time as well.
When we started planning the 2019 Summer Bucket List I asked my husband, Mike, if there was anything new he’d like to tackle this summer and he suggested Glamping.
So I broke out my trusty Google and looking up Glamping near Ottawa. I found some pretty pricey high-end resorts with multiple tents on location but we love privacy and space for our pups to roam without having to worry about them. So that’s when I turned to Google and I’m pretty good at finding exactly what I’m looking for on Airbnb. The place we found really didn’t have the best pictures on the listing but I trusted my gut and it was far better than we expected.
Over the weekend, as I was sharing pictures of this place on IG, the questions started coming in asking where this place is. I joked about not wanting to share this place so it doesn’t become too popular. So I promise to share the link ONLY if you don’t go and book this place up solid and we can never find a weekend to go back… Deal? Deal.
The glamping location is near Perth, Ontario in Lanark country about an hour drive outside of Ottawa. This glamping spot comes complete with an outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower, and an outhouse. You have the privacy of an island to yourself. While the river surrounding it is pretty shallow, our dogs could explore to their heart’s content and we managed to keep them contained to the island quite easily.
We were there in the middle of a heatwave. It was around 40 C / 104 F so pretty humid for us. We stayed cool by napping in the shade, the outdoor shower or the swimming hole right beside the island.
Meals for the weekend consisted of leftovers and tried and true camping recipes.
Friday Night Dinner: Leftover Chicken Burgers, Brown Rice Pasta & a “Cream” Sauce made of Nutritional Yeast & Coconut Milk
Saturday & Sunday Breakfasts: Pancakes
Saturday Lunch: Leftover Spaghetti Squash & Liver Faux-mato Bolognese Sauce and Saturday Dinner: Buddha Bowls
We had wifi the whole weekend so I was able to work on my Autoimmune Thriving Program launching this August. Mike listened to audiobooks and I curled up to read Jen Cincero’s new book “You Are a Badass Everyday” which isn’t really a read the book in one sit down as it’s more of a daily devotional or daily spiritual gym set up instead so I’ll be adding this to the pile of reading material by my morning meditation cushion.
The sunrises and sunsets were simply divine.
And finally, our adventures wouldn’t be complete without a tidbit of information on how we used essential oils to stay comfy. Here are some staples for camping (glamping) trips. I brought TerraShield for the bugs, OnGuard Sanitizing mist to use after trips to the outhouse and Lavender for bug bites.
If you end up booking this place let us know how much you fell in love with it! Happy Glamping!