In July, we took a weekend trip to Prince Edward County with some friends. We had beautiful weather, and loved checking out the wineries, a cider company, and breweries.
Saturday night we went to the Drake Devonshire for our 5-a-7. The location was beautiful. So great.
It’s got the same cool, mid-century feel as the Drake Hotel in Toronto, but more Palm Springs inspired with all the outdoor aspects due to it being right on Lake Ontario. I would absolutely love to stay there and wake up with their yoga classes on the waterfront, and a phenomenal brunch.
They had some delicious mixed drinks. I got their Wanderlust (grapefruit, cucumber, mint, raspberry, lemon, seltzer water, and added tequila). We also had their “loaded potatoes” with a delicious spicy sauce.
Wouldn’t that be an awesome view for your morning coffee?!
Certainly a boutique hotel and restaurant is a little more expensive than others, but I’d say it was worth it. The Drake was wonderful, and I’m looking forward to trying it again next time we head out that way!
Nic and I got married June 20, 2015 in Ottawa, where we grew up. For our first anniversary, we decided we would go to Toronto Island for a beach day, and then have a delicious dinner out. Our original plans were much more grandiose-weekend hiking trip in Algonquin or on the Bruce Peninsula, bed & breakfast and a show in Stratford… But we realized that with a grad student and and under-employed-future-grad-student income, it made more sense to stick close to home.
Neither of us had been to the Islands before, so this was a lot of fun. We packed up all our essentials, and spent a really hot, relaxing day in the sun. Yes, I got a terrible burn despite repeat applications of sunscreen.
Since Nic had strained his shoulder, we knew we wouldn’t be able to play any sports at the beach. We decided to pick up a bucket and some shovels to make a sandcastle-it was a lot of fun. People kept passing by it and saying how awesome it was, probably thinking it was made by children, not two twenty-five-year-olds. We had some good laughs.
Boardwalk from Ward’s Island to Centre Island
Fresh pineapple juice in a pineapple
I bought Nic some Godiva chocolates to share
We walked from Ward’s Island to Centre Island, which was much busier, and got some fresh pineapple juice.
Byblos is a Mediterranean restaurant in the Entertainment District, and they’re phenomenal. We each got a fancy cocktail (my cucumber, mint + vodka was perfect) and then shared some plates.
Our last dish arrived after I took this picture, and we had eaten too much of the food for me to take another one. Oops! We had the best, spiciest olives, cauliflower, fried chicken, and pide.
The waitress brought us some Turkish ice cream because she knew it was our anniversary-so sweet! The booth we sat in was also super romantic. I’m so glad we went there.
Our first year of marriage has been so wonderful. First and foremost, obviously it’s been awesome living with Nic-we don’t have to be long-distance anymore, or be worried we’ll miss the last bus home because we’re having a great conversation, and there’s always our favourite person to hang out with when we get home. Second, it’s been really cool to see our relationship evolve-we’ve seen each other through tough times, dashed hopes, and joys, and have learned how to be humble about our mistakes. Third, we’ve gotten to explore places together-not just our temporary city of Toronto, but our honeymoon in Nova Scotia, bringing Nic to Manitoba for my Grandpa’s funeral, and our dream trips (B.C., New Zealand and Australia…). I’m so happy we found each other, and I can’t wait for every single anniversary after this one.
After dinner we walked (I limped, I haven’t worn heels in months, and those four-inch babies were killing me) to the waterfront, shared a drink at the Amsterdam Brewery, and watched the sunset on the first day of summer.
Is anyone shocked that I over-pack for the beach? Nope. You never know what you might need!
My number one is obviously snacks. Our friends always love to have fresh watermelon at the beach. Chop it up into cubes so everyone can share! Nic and I also love to buy dried mango strips from Dollarama. Other good greats are chips, granola bars (make sure your cooler stays cold so it doesn’t melt) and a can of pop-or a radler. No one in Toronto seems to care if you drink on the beach, it’s pretty funny.
Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sarong, sunglasses
Entertainment: phone, KOBO, magazines
Anything else: towel (if you’re smart, get one of those straw mats from the dollar store so you don’t get sand on your towel), bathing suit, water bottle, and I love my waterproof pouches for my phone and KOBO
What do you need at the beach?
We’ve loved being so relatively close to Woodbine Beach in Toronto, so beach trips are super easy with our friends 🙂
Last week we got to go to Gloryhole Doughnuts, and we want to continue to check out all the cool coffeeshops in Toronto, because there are SOOO many.
On the topic of desserts, we’ll keep on checking out other ice cream and specialty dessert places. Keep your eyes peeled for a gelato trip or two!
Woodbine Beach is very easy for us to get to (though a little long, since it’s an hour by subway and streetcar) so we like to go as much as we can. It’s also pretty easy for our out-of-town friends to drive in to see us.
We also are planning on going to the Toronto Island for a beach trip for our anniversary. I’ve never been, so I’m excited to see what it’s like!
Continue to visit more patios and try out all the local alcohol. I recently discovered Brickworks Cider, and their 401 cider is delish!
Bike rides along the lakeshore and elsewhere (once my brakes are fixed, of course).
We’ll also bike out to High Park again to enjoy Shakespeare in High Park, which was a lot of fun last year. They’re putting on Hamlet! Pay what you can, check it out and bring some wine and cheese!
More camping with friends, and finally going rockclimbing outside! Last year my back’s health wasn’t the best, so I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. This year? I’m in.
Also, lots of hiking if possible (though I do work weekends).
Spending time at the cottage! We’re definitely going to be there for a couple days in July, and hopefully once we’ve moved back to Ottawa in August. I miss that place so much.
Check out random stores – we went to the Toronto Designer’s Market and lots of antique stores last week. It’s super cool to see all the stuff there.
This August long weekend Nic and I went camping with my brother and sister-in-law, Deanna. We didn’t plan very far ahead, so most Provincial Parks only had drop-in sites available, so we weren’t guaranteed a spot. Ryan ended up reserving a site at Conestogo Lake, which is about 30 minutes from Waterloo.
While we were driving there was a huge downpour. When we arrived, there was a beautiful rainbow. We set up the campsite, started a fire, and then it started to pour again. We were prepared to go to bed at 9:15, but after a while it stopped. That was nice.
Saturday we went on the “nature walk” which took about 15 minutes, and then went to the beach. It was really, really hot. The water was pretty nice.
Fresh watermelon is always great.
Sunday morning breakfast was oatmeal on this beautiful tablecloth.
We had a really great family camping trip, I can’t wait for more!