Category Archives: Whirl-Wind Weekends

Ottawa’s Army Run

I just got back from a fantastic weekend in Ottawa. Jeka and I became friends through our blogs…and shared experiences of living in Nunavut. She lived in Kimmirut while I was living in Pangnirtung. She even did a guest post here on Sarah on the Road a few years ago.    We talked online often over the two years we lived in Nunavut and I got to ‘meet’ her in person the day she was flying south…in the Iqaluit airport.  I was so excited to see her again this weekend and hang out in person…where we didn’t have to use technology to talk.  army-run-ottawa_0016

Two years ago, she posted on Facebook all about doing the Army Run in Ottawa.   I was still in Nunavut–enjoying life and flying everywhere for business…but thought to myself, I wish I could do that…it looked really fun! Well fast forward 2 years…it was my turn! 

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Friday night we had an awesome girls night- (Chris was working a night shift…so it was just us girls!)… Dinner and a movie–we saw Bridget Jones Baby…it was so good, so many funny lines go see it!

After sleeping in a wee bit on Saturday we headed down to the city hall to pick up our race bibs and shirts.

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We checked out the Expo booths.. saw Vimy–the Invictus Games mascot! The next Invicutus Games will be held in Toronto September 2017.  army-run-ottawa_0001

We headed outside to check out the live music…and it started to pour! We didn’t let that stop us from having some fun….and have a little dancing in the rain. armyrun 18

Then we realized we might have to run in this weather the next day! army-run-ottawa_0015

…but we realized we wouldn’t melt…and once you are wet, you are wet! So might as well dance or even run in the rain!?

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My new running shirt… all shinny and pretty…ready for the morning! (I didn’t end up running in this though because with the long sleeves I would have melted.)

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After listening to the POURING rain, hearing the thunder…and dreading that it would continue until the morning…. I woke up to no rain! Which was the best gift of the day… army-run-ottawa_0009

…while waiting for the start what else does one do but take a few selfies! army-run-ottawa_0008 Lots of excitement from the start line… we were in the Red Coral and were the last to be let out onto the course! There were so many people on the sidelines cheering us along.  My race last fall that I ran on the Downsview Race Track-–which didn’t have the same feeling along the course…so that was a first for me… and a welcome surprise.

I was never more happy to cross the finish line… I was even happier to have finished it the fastest I have all summer during any of my practice runs. I really need to train a wee bit more consistently…now that Fall has brought some cooler temps!

army-run-ottawa_0004Check out the cool ‘dog-tag’ medal….I can totally see how this running/racing thing gets into your blood. I’ve already tentatively talked with a friend about signing up for another 2 races this fall….and am already registered for the Resolution Run on December 31st which I’ll do with my friend Michelle! army-run-ottawa_0007

We went at our own pace for the 5km…so I was excited when I found my friends at the finish line so quickly! Well done for doing it even though you weren’t feeling 100%!

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This race was so much fun! Can’t wait to do the next year with you Jeka and Chris… it was such a fun weekend.  Now that we are living a road trip away—we totally need to meet up again…let me know if you want to come my way to explore Toronto!
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After the race we went down to the Market to have brunch…  Then we went next door to The Cupcake Lounge and then I picked up a Red Velvet Cupcake (which I think I’m going to eat tomorrow for breakfast!).  The perfect end to a fabulous weekend! Thanks so much for hosting me this weekend Jeka it was fantastic. army-run-ottawa_0010

Coming home was another story…had an extra 2 + hours added to my trip because of an accident.  It seemed like I just got onto the 401… and all the traffic stopped around 2:30pm. There was a really bad accident... and for the first time ever—I was standing on the side of the highway…and joined everyone  as they got out of their cars, and tried to see what was going on. We watched the fire trucks, ambulances and police cars arrive on scene…and eventually the other side of the highway traffic stopped as well. After waiting about 45mins… the police came back to the front of the cars and started turning them around… so we could back track on the highway and get to a spot where we could cross to the other side.

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This just reminded me about how you need to live for each moment…because you never know what is going to happen next. You need to live life today, because  yesterday is gone and tomorrow is never promised.

Night Nation Run: Toronto

Last Saturday night I participated in a FUN RUN…it was so much FUN! Way back in February….I saw that the Night Nation was coming to Toronto…it was cold and dark so I thought why not sign up for a fun run? Then bring on the actual day… Saturday was a HOT and Muggy night…but there was a nice warm breeze…but it was SO HOT.

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At the last minute the friend I was suppose to go with texted me and told me she was sick! So I put a FaceBook status out there asking if any friends would like to come join me in 5 1/2 hours to run a race? My friend Michelle…figured out childcare and drove down from Barrie to join me! (Thanks to Michelle’s Hubby for rearranging his day… so they could swap off the child care duties.)
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So what is a Night Nation Run?

The Night Nation Run is the world’s 1st Running Music Festival. A 5K musical voyage filled with live music, lights, lasers, and celebration for the lover of Electronic Dance Music. Run, walk, skip or dance your way through this electrifying adventure with music carrying you every step. Your journey will take you through an illuminated racecourse to multiple on course DJ stages, each with its own unique exhilarating party, finishing with an explosive main stage after party featuring top EDM DJ’s and special guest celebrity performers.

We started off with a dance party at the main stage… then started to make our way to the start line!  Michelle and I actually randomly bumped into people we knew… (me from my university days) and Michelle use to run with them before she had babies! (then a random guy in orange photo bombed our selfie!)

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Michelle kept track of our distance…apparently it was just under 5km… but it was a fun run, so distance didn’t really matter!

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All the route markers were in ‘miles’…even though we are in Canada and run ‘kilometres’ but…that’s ok! (never did see the 3mile or the finish line marker….there was one, but it was dark by the time we got across the finish line.) Nation Night Run_0004

All over the course there were dj stations to dance, selfie stations for photos…and well just lots of people having fun! I must admit I did run a wee bit…but most of this ‘race’ was walked…with a really great friend!  It was pretty cool to actually get onto Woodbine Race Track…and run where the horses do…. even though some of the tunnels really were pretty ripe… heat + humidity + horse poo = a fast sprint through those tunnels! LOL

Once we got across the finish line it was time for the after party! (Reminder: sometimes your friends will take videos of you, if you hand them your phone and ask them to take a photo…)

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This is true… I am really enjoying running…but I do RUN for the AFTER party for sure!!!! Thanks again Michelle for joining me…it was fun to party with you!  

I just hope there is a break in some of this heat soon…because I have learned that I don’t enjoy running in the heat and humidity…and I need to keep on running for my next run that’s happening in September!

Making Artisan Bread- Dough for $$$Dough$$$

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Today I ended up doing something I wanted to do for over 4 years!!! My friend Pat started doing Artisan Bread workshops in order to raise awareness and money for Seva Canada.   This was way back in 2012.  I was up in Pangnirtung seeing all Pat’s Facebook posts about making awesome bread in Winnipeg—even though I couldn’t smell it drove me crazy!

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Pat decided to combine her love of baking and teaching by giving something back to people that need the gift of sight. Seva has been working to do this…and a $50 donation can help change someone’s life! It blows my mind that something so simple can totally change a life… anyways.

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In the fall of 2014 Pat put out a Facebook message to her friends to see if they wanted to donate to help her reach a fundraising goal at that time.  I decided after researching a bit more about Seva it was something I wanted to support so did an online donation.  Pat so far has raised $18, 290  for SEVA by offering workshops! She promised me a bread making workshop the next time I was in WInnipeg… fixed (1 of 1)

I was so excited to join 3 other friends to learn how to make bread.  Pat did not disappoint!! We were Pat’s 58th bread workshop and numbers 211, 212, 213 and 214 that have baked in Pat’s kitchen.

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Pat had pre-made dough to make a seeded oat bread.  She started off with the teaching… how to slash bread, why we need to do that (to let steam escape) and then how to ‘throw’ a loaf into the oven onto the stone… (3 different ways)! At times I felt so overwhelmed with the information…but Pat was there step by step to reassure and help us out!
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Cloaking the dough was another new term I learned—basically it’s getting handling your dough ball to get all the gluten lines in a row. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0006 Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0007 Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0008

Perfect dough… now to flatten it out to make Focaccia.  So yummy… or as Pat said, “Pizza dough without the cheese and sauce!” Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0009

Throughout the workshop we all took turns doing different steps of the process.  When it was my turn to ‘cloak’ the dough it was quite the experience.  I was nervous—because you shouldn’t handle the dough too much… and it was too sticky…(I didn’t put enough flour on it). But I got through it…with Pat’s calm help and guidance and ended up with a perfect dough ball. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0010

It was fun when we moved onto the tasting portion of the day!!! OMG-this bread is so yummy… I can’t wait to get back to my own kitchen to make some more bread. Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0011

It was an awesome 4 hours of talking and learning… something that was well worth the wait! Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0012

 

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UPDATED (July 12th):

I thought that the workshop might be the end of my baking journey…but as luck would have it one of my assignments in my classes was to “learn something new”. I talked with Pat and went over to her house to bake in her kitchen again. She was gracious enough to take these photos of me baking a 1lb loaf and an orange-cranberry swirl from the master dough recipe!

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It was so awesome to see that I had remembered a lot of the steps. If I had a question Pat was quick to help out…but for the most part I proved to myself that I could do it!

Making the master bread recipe… 4 ingredients…so easy!

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…this danish dough whisk is awesome… I need to get me one of these bad guys! Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0019

After it’s all mixed up it had to rise for 2 hours in the bucket…then you can bake with it….OR keep it in your fridge…the older the dough is the more ‘sour-dough’ taste it gets!

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…it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… when you have an excellent Bread Mentor and teacher! Once you have the master bread made…you can do so many things with it!
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The Cranberry-Orange Swirl is such an amazing bread…Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0016

…you just have to add the extra stuff.. then roll it all up, then let it rise for an hour! Then pop it into the oven.
Dough for $$$Dough$$$_0017 Thanks again Pat for your help and opening up your kitchen for me.  You have such a huge heart and I’m so glad I can call you my friend. If you are in Winnipeg and interested in a workshop let me know…I can see if Pat’s available!

Montreal Mayhem: Bagels & Jazz

This past weekend I had a blast visiting family in Montreal.  I went to visit Sarah and Craig and their boys in December of 2009…it was a stop in Montreal on my way back up to Sanikiluaq, Nunavut. However, that wasn’t the last I had visited them…I saw them a few summers ago at the cottage on Haliburton Lake.  I went up to spend a night with them while they were there.

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0014 Needless to say, I was pretty excited to go and spend the weekend with them… and catch up!  I decided to take train from Toronto to Montreal.  Then when I was looking at the ticket prices…it wasn’t that much more to splurge and go ‘business class’.  So I must say, when you travel business you have this fantastic lounge to wait in at Union Station.

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0001…it was a HOT Friday night. I’ve been slowly adjusting to the ‘summer’ temps after my years in the Arctic but honestly am struggling.  Leaving Toronto it was a bit rough for the first 2 hours or so…(until just after Kingston) our train didn’t have any AC. It was a HOT sticky mess…I was so thankful that they got it working as we left Kingston!  It is fun travelling in that first class car–because they feed you…and the food is actually really yummy.
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I arrived around 10:45pm…and Sarah came to pick me up.  We hurried off to a pub where Craig was playing a gig with one of the jazz bands he is in. (He plays in quite a few bands–one is a corporate band that has done gigs around the world). But tonight it was a gig at a fantastic Irish Pub.  I was so excited to finally see him play live!

Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0004Years ago when I was a kid, I remember listening to him practice at the cottage… sometimes my little brother and I would sit outside the window and look into his cottage to watch him play. It was a totally different and amazing experience sitting in an Irish pub listening to him play enjoying an ‘adult’ beverage! This was one of the best parts of my trip to Montreal to FINALLY get him to see him play. Craig you are so talented…thanks for sharing your gift of music with me! Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0003When you have a household of 5 boys…there’s always something interesting going on in… (I didn’t have any set plans for the weekend other than to hang out and catch up with everyone…sometimes the best visits and adventures happen without any plans!–and this trip I totally wasn’t disappointed).

On Saturday, I ended up going to see Alec play hockey…it was fun to see him play! It was totally easy to spot him with his yellow helmet! When I visited before he was too young to play but saw his older brothers play instead.
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Overall the theme of the weekend was studying… Noah, Caleb and Liam…all were studying for their finals.  Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0013

So while Sarah stayed home to help make sure studying time was ‘focused’…Craig, Ethan and Alec & I went into Old Montreal to explore and see what we could find.  Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0006

As we were walking by Craig pointed out this spot where he FIRST played Jazz when he started doing gigs…it has long since closed…but the windows in the lower unit still had the signs!

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Second cousins having fun…wandering the streets…waiting for me to randomly take photos! (Thanks Craig for snapping this awesome shot of us…) Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0008

I know I shouldn’t be so juvenile–but when I saw this delivery car for fast food chicken…it made me laugh! (I had to snap a photo…) Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0009

…having fun exploring and enjoying some ice cream.  (It was the BEST ice cream…I can’t remember the name but it had maple sugar bits and carmel in it…OMG—I thought I’d died and gone to heaven! Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0010

Had to stop to take a selfie of all of us… honestly this one hour walk was a highlight of my trip. It was awesome to spend some time walking and talking with you Craig! Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0011

…they still have horse drawn carriage rides in Old Montreal.  My first visit to Old Montreal with my friends Erin and Amanda we decided to take a ride in one.  Montreal-Sarah & Craig_0012

Sarah and Craig…it was so awesome to visit your family.  Our conversations over the weekend have left me thinking about so many different things…and one thing I know I’m blessed to have such a large family that you are part of.  I also have come to realize that nobody will understand the craziness of your family better than your cousins!!

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I promise my next visit will be sooner than the last 6 1/2 year gap of this visit…especially now that I’m living back in Southern Canada! Enjoy your summer…and keep on smiling.

Exploring Prince Edward County

This past May 2-4 weekend I went to visit my friend Johanna in Trenton, Ontario.  I had visited her last in February when I finished up my quilt and also have experiments with crazy cold weather and boiling hot water!  

The weekend was jam-packed and we had a blast visiting, going to yard sales and exploring Prince Edward County! (We even had time for me to start my next quilting project…but more about that later!)

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The Crab-Apple trees in front of Johanna’s house were in full bloom… so gorgeous!!! It was the perfect time to have a little photo shoot.
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The next day a lot of these blooms were covering the sidewalks and ground….seems like our photo shoot was perfectly timed! May 2-4 Weekend_0002

On Sunday we got up and decided to check out some yard sales…we decided to go on a bit of a road trip to Prince Edward County.

Prince Edward County is located in Southern Ontario at the eastern end of Lake Ontario. It is an island community encompassing less than 700 square kilometers (270 sq mi), with over 800 kilometers (500 mi) of shoreline.The permanent population is approximately 25,000. We share our spectacular natural beauty with over 100,000 visitors each year. A popular attraction is Sandbanks Provincial Park, attracting thousands of visitors on hot summer days.

The island community has retained a unique character that evokes fond recollections of days long past.  Idyllic country roads wind through historic towns and villages, countryside dotted with farms and vineyards, past artists studios and antiques shops,  and along shorelines that border Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte.

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We took some back roads and enjoyed the views… (stopped to talk to people along the way…) and took heaps of photos! We stopped for a picnic lunch overlooking the water (view on the photo below on the left) in Picton… May 2-4 Weekend_0005

We continued on to Bloomington.

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One of the things that Prince Edward County has started is a Barn Quilt Trail…it was so cool to see so many colourful blocks up in front of homes, businesses and barns as we drove by!

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We wanted to stop in the antique store called “Dead People’s Stuff” .  The name of the store is perfect…and the store did not disappoint! May 2-4 Weekend_0008

So many fun displays and signs… I love visiting antique stores and finding one thing that is the treasure I didn’t even know that I needed to have! May 2-4 Weekend_0011

…this shopping experience started off as a window shopping only trip.  However, Johanna found a fabulous basket…and I found an adorable kids table with two chairs.  (It reminded me of one that I saw as a kid….right now it’s in my apartment and the perfect table to hold my printer!) May 2-4 Weekend_0009

…so many treasures!May 2-4 Weekend_0010

…If I ever have a fence… I think I’ll be doing this to it!! May 2-4 Weekend_0012

At the beginning of the day I told Johanna at some point I needed to shoot a new header for my blog.  So that became one of the projects of the day…I always like to have some sort of header with Me on a Road.  So we decided to keep our eyes open to see if we can find something “spring-like” for a little photo shoot.  Johanna is an incredible photographer so I was excited that she was game to help me out.  Near the end of the day we drove past this LONG driveway with this random YELLOW bike on the side…. it just was perfection! I said–STOP the CAR!!! and we backed up and then walked down the road… Thanks so much Johanna for being my photographer! I LOVE these photos…

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Road Tripping with another photographer is always fun…because they get when you see a cool barn or some run down buildings.. and say STOP let’s get some photos!
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I can’t wait to come back and explore this area of Ontario…so many awesome Bed and Breakfasts and places to explore… May 2-4 Weekend_0016

We had to stop at theMurray Canal/Brighton Swing Bridge so that a boat could pass… it was pretty cool to see the swing bridge in action…and of course Johanna and I had time to steer our boat along the side of the water! May 2-4 Weekend_0018

Even with all that fun outside exploring in the evenings we did some planning.  I did some cutting, sewing and piecing…starting my next quilted project! I will return in the summer to finish up this project. May 2-4 Weekend_0019

It was a perfect long weekend…the first in awhile I haven’t had to deal with snow!  Thanks so much for your awesome company this weekend… I can’t wait until we see each other next!

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