Tag Archives: Ontario

A day of arts, music and hype crawls into Hamilton’s summer event listings

So it seems that we are now in the clear in Canada and the bbq and patio season is here to stay.   Time to finally call up your friends or gathered your loved ones and head outdoors to enjoy the endless list of activities on offer as the summer solstice arrives yet one more time.

If you happen to be in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario and are trying to figure out which festivals not to miss this season, then pay close attention.  Your to-do list must include the Hamilton James Street Supercrawl.  You heard right…HAMILTON!

Heading into its 6th season, the Supercrawl showcases the local artistic and cultural community of this historic and up-and-coming neighbourhood.  Having set a record attendance (100,000 people), the Supecrawl hosts musicians, artists,  local business owners, chefs, and an all-ages crowd of people just looking to have a good time.  Just wonder up and down good old St. James Street and you’ll be sure to find a delicious treat, a compelling art performance, some folky tunes, or just a wall to draw on and really get involve.

So mark down your calendars:  September 12-14, 2014.  Believe me…you don’t wanna miss it!  For more information on these year’s music and performance lineup visit http://www.supercrawl.ca

A Day in the County

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Ever had a moment where you sat and wondered…”what the heck am I gonna do on my day off work?”? Several ideas might have come up in your head; tackle the pile of laundry colonizing your bedroom, finally clean the bathtub, pay some past due bills and eventually go shopping, head down to the nearest swimming pool and work on the tan, or simply sit on the couch and catch up on some reruns.  I recently found myself in this exact situation and, after thinking it over, I decided I was going to take full advantage of my day off by making a 1-day road trip.  Destination:  Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.

I heard from friends about the beauty that P.E.C. has to offer; so I had some good expectations set in my mind.  With my girlfriend, we planned to checkout some wineries, go for a dip at the Sand Banks Provincial Park, and take a some photos along the way.  The trip was not exactly as we planned but it definitely exceeded our expectations.

We started at the Norman Hardie Winery where we stumbled upon some delicious and very refreshing white-Chardonnay and Riesling,  and a very friendly sommelier named Lucie.  As per Lucie’s suggestion we skipped the dip at the Sand Banks and, instead, headed over to a public yet secluded beach…such a great call!  We had the whole beach pretty much to ourselves and enjoyed a dip in warm, clear blue water for as long as our fingers began to wrinkle!  And yes, believe it or not,  you can find amazing swimming spots in Lake Ontario.  For the rest of the day we drove around the County, enjoying the landscapes, exploring the hidden roads, and discovering the magic that this land has to offer.  Great wine, beautiful beaches, colourful and lively agriculture, and amazing people.

I now have a new place on my list of favourite destinations in Ontario.  I also have a new alternative for my next day off.  So if you are ever in the area, do take the time and visit Prince Edward County, you will not be dissapointed!

B&B Heaven in Haliburton

 

I recently came back from a weekend get-away in Haliburton, Ontario, and  my very first Bed & Breakfast experience courtesy of Akané B&B.  Oooh my…how fortunate I was, having found this wonderful and homey wood cabin in the middle of the Algonquin Highlands!  From the moment I pulled into Akané, I knew I was in for a treat.  The dream-like winter scenery of its surroundings, the comfort of its wooden architecture, the exquisite food (Shabu Shabu dinner, oven-baked eggs and waffles for breakfast), and the unsurpassed hospitality of the wonderful hosts Mieko and Gary, made my long weekend vacation perfect.

To all the B&B lovers out there, it would be wise to add Akané B&B to your list (www.bbloghome.com).  You will not be disappointed.  As for me, I’m already looking forward to visiting them in the summer!

Translation: Acabo de regresar de Haliburton, Ontario, y de mi primera experiencia en un Bed & Breakfast cortesía de Akané B&B.  Wow…que afortunado fuí al haber encontrado está maravillosa y acogedora cabaña en medio de la región de Algonquin Highlands.  Desde el momento en que estacioné sabía que lo que se venía era de lujo.  Los paisajes invernales de ensueño, la comodidad de su arquitectura, la comida exquicita (cena Shabu Shabu, huevos al horno y waffles al desayuno), y la insuperable hospitalidad de sus anfitriones Mieko and Gary, le dieron el toque de perfección a mi fin de semana largo.

Para todos los amantes de los Bed and Breakfast, sería muy sabio agregar a Akané B&B a su lista (www.bbloghome.com).  Les aseguro que no se arrepentirán.  Por mi parte, no veo la hora de regresar en el verano.

Finds at the Hamilton Farmer’s Market

Recently, my quest to visit as many farmers market as possible this year, took me to the historic Hamilton Farmers Market (HFM).  Lately, I have been curious about what makes “Steeltown” tick, and being only about a half hour drive away, it seem only fitting to pay a visit to this popular community gathering.  Although, the HFM is missing the quaint and country-style character unlike other markets I’ve visited, I found a very special community feeling and a warm atmosphere in this market.

The vendors at the market were very friendly and the product offerings were culturally diversed.    Two vendors that stood out the most on this visit and for which I will definitely to go back are Vinnie’s Fresh Pasta Factory and Odessy Olive Oils and Vinegar (http://www.odessyoliveoilsandvinegars.com/index.html).  Vinnie’s fresh pasta is a mouth-watering treat (spinach-red pepper fetuccini) for a very reasonable price of $4 per lb; not only is it made fresh right in front of your eyes, but it is also made with a smile.   At Odessy you will find a wide variety of organic olive oils and vinegars (a yummy sicilian lemon balsamic) and the expertise and great service of Robert Lalla.

Farmers market are all about the people that gather every week to showcase their goods and about finding those special treats that give visitors joy.  Based on these two factors, the Hamilton Farmers Market is worth the drive  and a visit!

Market Saturdays

 

Saturday has arrived again and with it a new chance to visit one of my new favourite places, the farmer’s market!  Although I have been visiting these markets for a while,  only until recently have I started to fully appreciate the beauty of the community gathering, the freshness of the produce, and the excitement of indulging on a new treat never tasted before.  I recall how much of a hassle it was, as a kid in Colombia, having to stop playing with friends to accompany my grandmother to the market…fortunately I have grown up!

Today I would like to share with you a small collection of photos from some of the recent farmer’s market that have caught my attention:  The “Mercado Municipao” in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with its electric atmosphere and filled with perfectly displayed product.  The Farmer’s Market at Union Square, being an oasis of freshness in the middle of bustling Manhattan.  And, the more quaint and historic St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market, with the special touch of the mennonite tradition.

More markets to come…stay tuned!

Be careful what you wish for…! (cuidado con lo que pedimos)

Although I am sure in two months time I’ll be wishing for the snow to go away and dreaming of warm weather,  I cannot help but enjoy the beauty and freshness of the first real snowfall (10 to 15cms) of this winter in Toronto, Canada.
Aunque estoy seguro que en 2 meses estaré deseando que desaparezca la nieve y soñando con el clima cálido, no puedo evitar disfrutar de la belleza y frescura de la primera nevada (10 a 15cms) de este invierno en Toronto, Canadá.