We have been in Ontario for an entire year! (well, just over). Toward the end of 2012, we decided to purchase and live in Prescott, Ontario. A tiny town situated on the St. Lawrence river, across from the equally quaint town of Ogdensberg, NY. Small town living took some getting used to, as neither of us had experienced it prior to this.

However, it has been such an exciting experience and we have done so much. Living in a small town, although not always as idyllic as we had (naively) hoped, has provided us the leisure to enjoy each others company, to be away from The Canadian’s job and to develop our relationship, setting the foundation for our growth individually and as a couple. It’s just small changes, like developing a garden, planning to decorate, filling in the big gaping pool in our back garden and just generally making plans and enjoying each others’ company, but to us they are precious.

 

lake superior on a hiking trail
Ontario Facts:
Provincial Flower: White Trillium
Provincial Bird: Great Northern Loon
Provincial Tree: Eastern White Pine
Ontario was by far the most visually pleasing province to drive through. The reduced speed limits, although annoying (and difficult to stick to) at first, allowed for better enjoyment of the scenery.
welcome to Ontario

turtle lake, ONadvanced hiking trail, ON, between wawa and sault saint mariecross canada road trip ONTARIOkakabeka falls Road Trip Ontario

We stopped more often and enjoyed the rock, trees, water and richness of Ontario.
When our road trip brought us to Lake Superior I couldn’t comprehend that it was a lake and not an ocean. Even today, knowing that it is a lake (I had to check by looking it up), I’m still not sure of the ‘lakeness’ of Lake Superior. Surely it should be classed as an ocean?! Beyond this small bafflement, the rest of the journey was brilliant, much of my time was spent looking out for further glimpses of Lake Superior.
We travelled from Fort Frances to Thunder Bay and then onwards to Wawa. From Wawa we pushed ourselves to Petawawa, where we collapsed and spent a slow afternoon with Amanda and her family, who were posted here a few years ago.
From there, we braved the Queensway in Ottawa, during rush hour, and promptly became lost on the side roads of the city.

Some 3 hours later, we made it to Prescott, where my mother-in-law took us out for even more restaurant food. Although some what tired of restaurant food over the 9 days of travel, the restaurants in Prescott offered far better food than the falafel burgers of Nipissing or the dodgy burgers of Sudbury. instagram road trip canada

If you’re on a road trip that takes you through northern Ontario, stop in Wawa and see the world’s biggest goose statue, Lake Wawa and Magpie falls. Stop at Kakabeka falls and when in Thunder Bay, drop down and drive through the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, which is the first real experience of Lake Superior, it is a bit of a circular trip but a pleasant drive, nonetheless.
Between Thunder Bay and Wawa, we left the beaten trail and headed for Turtle Lake Landing. Beyond having great photo opportunities, it provided great amusement. It was a ridiculously long drive down dirt roads and steep hills and a lot of judgement from locals who did not approve of our little hatchback, apparently these roads were for trucks only (eek!). Thank goodness we were able to make it back up the hill, I don’t think I could have stood the embarrassment of having to ask for help pushing it up the steep inclines!
Between Wawa and Sault St Marie, there is a hiking trail of …an advanced nature. It’s worth pulling over for, because, well: chipmunks. There are also some historical cave and wall drawings accompanying stories of sea monsters. It was only after finishing the hike and scaling the rock face above a very turbulent Lake Superior that we discovered that it was an ‘Advanced Hiking Trail Only’. Still, we managed it and enjoyed it, the photo opportunities were amazing and it was one of the biggest joys of the road trip. I also learnt that converse, designer skinny jeans and hiking are not the best of combinations!
Finally, be prepared for unpredictable weather on the roads of northern Ontario. Or, in fact, anywhere in Canada. Our road trip was blessed with fantastic weather, however, there were moments when we had to pull over on the highway because the rain was pounding and making visibility impossible.
I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Ontario
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

I decided to join in A Beautiful Mess’ photo challenge, which involved 30 days of self portraits. Kind of awkward, I’ve never been a big fan of self-portraits or taking my own photo. There’s something incredibly…vain and self-absorbed involved in taking selfies. Especially every day and especially publishing them…or, so I thought.

Initially, I was a bit worried that I’d come across as weird and that my instagram friends would lose interest, but I persevered. The ladies at ABM had assured everyone that taking self-portraits was a great way to improve photography, and who am I to turn down a free photography lesson?!

I used my iPad and, eventually, my android phone to take the pictures and what was, initially, a really awkward challenge, eventually blossomed into a really exciting project. The Canadian even started asking if I’d ‘taken my photo’ for the day and whether he could see it (I think it’s because he was excited, but deep down I think it’s because it bemused him).

Here’s what I learnt:

1. Everyone has bad face/hair/body/[insert whatever thing you hate] days. 
The best thing about taking selfies was discovering that I had so much to share without having to really be in the picture. This is my favourite picture, taken the day I woke up, unwell and stayed in my pyjamas all day. It was an indulgent day but it was the first time I truly appreciated how great a knee would be for a photograph, and not just any knee but MY knee!

lessons from self portrait challenge

2. Selfies allow for camera play with a subject that’s always available
I love taking photographs. For me, it’s a pretty intense hobby. I take a lot of still life and landscape photographs, not because I hate people but because I don’t get to practice taking pictures of people all that often. The Canadian is not a reliable model and there’s only so many pictures you can take of a cat. Taking part in the self-portrait photo challenge allowed me to make mistakes, try new things and experiment with lighting. They didn’t all turn out great but it was fun.
3. Developing story telling
When I started the self-portrait challenge, I just took pictures of me. That’s it. As the time went on, I realised that just taking a picture of me wasn’t satisfying. My first pictures were taken during mini time outs during the day, but I wanted more. I didn’t want ‘time out’ pictures, I wanted pictures that encapsulated my day, and thus developing a way of telling a story started. Finding ways to include meaning, background and memory in the pictures became my main goal.
4.It doesn’t have to include just you
I tried to keep the photos limited. I wanted to be the only one in them. I mean, it’s called a selfie for a reason. But the more I tried this, the less I liked it. If anyone had to sum up my life in one photo it wouldn’t just be me, there would be others (at least one other) and many cats. So, I stopped trying to limit it and just accepted the presence of other people. Have you ever tried taking a selfie with you and a cat? Now that’s a challenge that would improve photography skills!
5. Be Brave
Take a picture of yourself after you just wake up. Or a picture of yourself with no make up. For me, these are the bravest photographs. Just do it! Two of my photographs are without make up and one involves some serious bed head. These are my favourite selfies from the entire project. I loved having the courage to take them and I loved how much they made me giggle trying to take them. I felt good and I wanted to capture that memory regardless of how I looked. It can be incredibly liberating to take pictures of yourself that under any other circumstances you wouldn’t take.
What are your tips for successful self portraits? What do you do to get over the embarrassment of holding a camera out in front of you?
If you would like to follow me on instagram, you can do so by following this link or searching for @lemonhive on instagram.
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5 ways to improve photography without a fancy camera without a DSLR

Manitoba Facts:
Provincial Flower: Prairie Crocus
Provincial Bird: Great Gray Owl
Provincial Tree: White Spruce

 

We arrived late into Manitoba. Having visited Manitoba in the winter of 2010, we hadn’t planned to spend much time in the province during our cross-country road trip. The day we arrived, we were met with thunder and heavy rain. After settling into the hotel, we went out for dinner at a rather posh restaurant and relaxed for the first time on our journey.
The next day, we met up with The Canadian’s old school friend and enjoyed an afternoon with him before exploring some of the downtown delights of Winnipeg.
Before crossing the provincial border for our Ontario section of our road trip, we stopped in Falcon Park and enjoyed the last of the flat land and rolling clouds. The weather was beautiful and provided a fitting day to say goodbye to the prairies.
If you’re in Winnipeg on your road trip, or any visit for that matter, be sure to drop by the Winnipeg zoo, which is fantastic. We visited that in the dead of winter, and minus the -40 C cold, we had a fantastic time, as a bonus all the sensible visitors had stayed away so we had the park to ourselves. Other things to do in Winnipeg, when you’re short of time and looking for ‘free’ or cheap days, include visiting the British sweetie shop, Candy Mountain, located in an old train carriage in “The Forks”. The Forks also houses a mall, which is definitely worth a wander.
I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Manitoba
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

Saskatchewan Facts:
Provincial Flower: Western Red Lily
Provincial Bird: Sharp-Tailed Grouse
Provincial Tree: White Birch

We didn’t take the Trans-Canada Highway all the way from Edmonton, as most people would if they were embarking on a road trip across the country, instead we entered Saskatchewan from the south. We were heading for Regina when we found an information centre, which made us aware that a winery was a 40 minutes drive in the wrong direction. Having never been to a winery before, I persuaded The Canadian that it would be a good idea to take a detour, so we headed to Maple Creek.

The Canadian still insists that the mead was his best experience in Saskatchewan to date. We bought bottles of mead and white wine, enjoyed a walk around the vineyard and ate a fantastic lunch. We even saw wild deer, which, to a city girl like me, was exciting!

The drive through southern Saskatchewan was amazing. It looked almost untouched in places. I drove this stretch so there aren’t many photos of this province, but I am not exaggerating when I say that it was breathtaking. For a while, it was boring, flat, farms then all of a sudden the scenery melted into large dusty hills and winding roads, with sporadic placements of blue water in valleys, surrounded by low trees. This area of Saskatchewan was reminiscent of something from a film. The Canadian was delighted when we stumbled across a remote T-Rex museum in Eastend, SK. He wasn’t so delighted when I bought him a t-shirt that was too (!) geeky for his tastes.

Our journey through Saskatchewan was against the background noise of Tina Fey’s “Bossy Pants” and Terry Pratchett’s “Witches Abroad“. I cannot over recommend having an audio book or two for a long distance road trip. Especially for road trips across Canada. Although there really is some beauty to be found in this country, some of the driving can be particularly arduous, and having some distraction for 9 hour days of driving can be a useful tool.
The audiobooks really added to the richness of our road trip and, as an added bonus, they made up for the grumpy moment that came from me needing a chocolate break, only to pull into a convenience store that turned out to be the “Corner Gas” set just north of Weyburn. For those of you not familiar, this was a big Canadian TV show set around a petrol station, honestly, the premise of the show surpasses my description! Needless to say, they didn’t sell chocolate.

Saskatchewan was a thoroughly enjoyable drive. I’d recommend exploring the vineyard just east of Maple Creek, enjoying the drive around Eastend (and even visiting the museum!), enjoying the massive horizons and the fantastic cloud formations, and visiting “Rumors” cafe in Assiniboia, which was definitely a great place to stop, albeit rather remote.

Where are you favourite places in Saskatchewan?

I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Saskatchewan
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

road trip alberta lake louise

Alberta Facts: 
Provincial Flower: Wild Rose
Provincial Bird: Great Horned Owl
Provincial Tree: Lodge Pine Tree

 

For 2 years, we lived in Edmonton, Alberta. Our first house was home to many exciting firsts. We experienced condo living (boo!), living next to dreadful neighbours, and a whole host of military induced experiences (including a deployment).
Giggling on the bathroom floor after eating too many gummy bears is one of my best memories, as was the road trip around Alberta, after the Canadian returned from Afghanistan. Although, The Canadian will probably argue that the time I fostered 1 cat and 8 kittens for 6 weeks was up there on the list of memories (sorry!).
Leaving Edmonton was bittersweet, we had made some amazing friends and great connections. We were close to mountains and had may a great time exploring the smaller towns of Alberta. However, we were ready to move on, having found Alberta too restrictive for our own personal tastes, we desperately wanted to be posted to Ontario. We decided to drive to Ottawa and kept our road trip to within Canada. Often people decide to drive the U.S., however, this was my first time to explore Canada properly and I didn’t want to to turn down the opportunity to see my new country in its entirety.
military move from Alberta to Ontario
Alberta collagedrumheller alberta road trip
Alberta is a beautiful province, filled with absolutely breathtaking scenery (don’t worry, there’s also a lot of bland scenery to balance it out!). If you’re ever in Alberta, be sure to visit Calgary zoo, drive the Iceland Parkway, explore the trails surrounding Lake Louise and Jasper, have a photograph taken outside the world’s largest dinosaur structure in Drumheller, visit the hoodoos and generally get lost amongst the great expanse of fields and greenery (in the summer!). I would recommend an Alberta road trip to anyone who wanted to see natural beauty.
Where would be your ‘go to’ places in Alberta? Do you have any ‘must dos’ for road trips that keep you from divorcing?
I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Alberta
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities

honeymoon road trip Canada

In 2013, we were informed that we were to be posted from Edmonton, Alberta to Ottawa, Ontario. We flew out, scoured real estate and ended up deciding to live in Prescott, Ontario. Upon returning to Edmonton, we entered a whirlwind of packing, organising and planning.
We are not very good at turning down the opportunity to turn any event into an adventure, so we decided to drive the 3,000+ km to Prescott. Ultimately, turning a mundane moving trip into a belated honeymoon-getaway road trip experience. Despite having been told that we could do the drive in 48 hours through the USA, we opted for a comparatively leisurely 9 days through Canada.
Camera in hand, we started our first real adventure since getting married. We took an alternative route, going south from Edmonton and then up through Ontario. We stuck close to water sources and went off the beaten track to find waterfalls, lakes and hiking trails, at one point we found ourselves scaling a rocky edge of a very choppy Lake Superior.
We baked in the hot sun and played catch with storm clouds. The journey was amazing and, although we arrived in Prescott stiff, tired and adrenaline filled, we were delighted to have taken this trip together. Exploring some of the most beautiful areas of Canada with each other has, thus far, been one of the most pleasurable aspects of our married life.
If some countries have too much history we have too much geography w.l. mckenzie king canada quote
I’ve broken our Canada road trip into a series of blog posts, which can be found here:
Canada Road Trip Series
What are your tips for making a mundane trip into an adventure? Do you have any road trip hints and tips for smooth travel?
In 2012, I travelled across 3 Canadian provinces and completed my first major ‘road trip’. Road trips are a new concept to me, so my excitement was intense. Follow the Road Trip Journey and discover places to visit and enjoy in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, as well as hints and tips on the best way to make a road trip romantic, enjoy each others company and find great photo opportunities