‘Tis Skating Season! Little Gem at Arrowhead Provincial Park

Oh Canada. In the last 72 hours alone the Greater Toronto Area went into an extreme cold snap with temperatures dropping below -20 (feeling like -40) over the last 72 hours.

^ You can tell that when one resides in Canada, one knows the words cold and snow all too well.

We recently moved up to Barrie which is a good hour and 30 minute drive north of downtown Toronto. As you can imagine, our urge to go down to the city does not come very often. Toronto is beautiful but growing up in very close proximity to the city you get used to seeing the same sights and entertainment that it has to offer. With our move I am pretty excited about how close we are to cottage country and all of the different activities that awaits especially during the winter months !

Finally, the extreme cold warning was dropped today and what better way to celebrate than to play!

Skating season ’tis here!

First stop: Little Skating Gem at Arrowhead Provincial Park 

Aside from visiting Christmas markets, skating trails are definitely the new “it” thing to do during the winter for many Ontarians. The most notable one I have read about yet has to be the skating trail located at Arrowhead Provincial Park in Huntsville Ontario.

Nothing short of picturesque, this trail offers a 1.3KM  fairy tale skate surrounded by fluffy and perfectly white mounds of snow and a towering green coniferous forest. If you are looking for something fun to do outside of the city this winter I highly recommend visiting this skating trail! (I’d even say the sooner the better. This trail has been a best kept secret but the popularity of it has increased immensely in the last couple of years so try to visit before it becomes impossible to!)

Lastly but not least, this is the most romantic place to take a date ;). Just thought I’d give the pointer.

So as much as I’d like to go on I will let my pictures do the rest of the talking. If you have any questions regarding this provincial park and the trail please visit the site below:

http://www.ontarioparks.com/parksblog/tips-for-checking-arrowhead-off-of-your-bucket-list/ 

6 Signs You’re Getting Old

You may want to throat punch me for this but I’m feeling old. Cue the backlash and hate.

In the last couple of years alone I lived abroad for almost a year, I backpacked with my boyfriend for two months in Thailand, Malaysia and Bali- Indonesia, moved back home to Toronto, Canada and spent what felt like forever finding a new job, reconnected with friends, spent a lot of my time eating…ALL THE FOODS, went on another couple of trips to Mexico and Nova Scotia- woo travel and even bought a house with the boyfriend!

With my life changing so drastically due to the aforementioned I feel aged haha. Sure I’m only 26 but I feel like I have encompassed a newfound maturity. Ladies and gentleman I’d like you to give me a round of applause, I am growing up. So maybe obnoxiously stating that I feel old is a slight exaggeration but I’ll tell you, certain things have changed. Boy, have they changed. Maybe for the better & maybe for the worse. Either way life at this age is different, confusing and I’m not sure if it’s empowering, just downright scary or annoying AF?!

Lets be real for a minute, I am still the same youthful knob that I have always been. I laugh when I shouldn’t, I have the attention span of a gold fish, I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached, I secretly sneak around the house late at nights with spoon in hand to indulge in a jar of peanut butter and no matter how hard I bloody well try I cannot seem rid my self of my closeted/ not closeted infatuation with Justin Bieber (feel free to unfriend me now). However, things that never used to matter or I hated are beginning to take on a whole new meaning in this stage of my life and I am almost positive you will agree.

  1. Sleep is the time you long for all day. From the moment you wake up for work you are ready to go back to bed. Bed is your end goal EVERYDAY.  If you can manage to make it past 11:00PM without yawning I salute you. In fact you are a champ! For as long as you can remember you have always been a night owl. Now you are lucky if you can stay up long enough to finish a movie on Netflix. Who is this stranger that stares at you in the mirror?! Anyways sleep is bomb and you realize your cozy time spent in bed is WAY more desirable than going out to a club or bar. End. Of. Story.
  2. People you called your friends will out of the blue stop talking to you. & sometimes for no real reason at all. People drift apart and that’s all there is to it. Truth is, you are at a point in your life where you don’t even care. If they care about you enough they won’t be going anywhere. Otherwise, “hasta la vista baby.”
  3. Coffee is life. Listen to me. Coffee is and always will be the life of the party. By “life” I mean the magical warm liquid that turns clouds into rays of sunshine & by “party I mean work. Coffee has become more of a necessity to you than it probably should. At this age your coffee addiction has gone into beast mode. 3 cups in and it’s only 9:30AM POUR ME ANOTHER ONE JOE. Mornings are your worst enemy. Well guess what? I have a cure for you. BAM coffee. Feel free to thank me later… with a coffee.
  4. You are still unsure of what you want to be when you grow up… But… You are grown up… Well sort of? Friends are getting married, having kids, having careers and you’re over here trying to figure out how much laundry detergent you would really need to make the washing machine explode with bubbles… Anyways, you feel like everyone has it figured out but you. This never bothered you up until now. The pressure is on, but what you don’t realize is that almost all your peers feel the EXACT same way.
  5. You don’t like people. Okay maybe that is a bit extreme but you go through periods where you just don’t want to be social. Leave me the frig alone, let me be will ya! The reality is… You deal with people all day long, whether it be work, friends or family and sometimes you just get burnt out. You treasure your alone time but find yourself in a continuous and annoying conundrum. You struggle between the desire to be invited out to social gatherings (due to fear of damn well missing out FOMO) and acknowledging that you wouldn’t go out even if you were invited- but it’s nice to feel wanted ;). Overall, why be social when you can (once again) get cozied up at home watching and eating whatever the heck you want, as much as you want and as long as you want without any interruptions?
  6. Last but no way in heck the least that entitled sense of self that you have potentially encompassed throughout your young millennial life is starting to shatter…and I mean EVERYWHERE. You experience the harsh realization that entering your career and making BANK almost immediately after post secondary was nothing but wishful thinking. You thought you couldn’t afford anything while you were in school only to find out it’s even worse once you’re finished. LMAO the struggle is real. The older you get, the more responsibilities and obligations you have- hence being broke 99.9% of the time.  You actually have to work hard to climb the ladder. If this hard realization isn’t a shear indication that your brain has matured I don’t know what is!

xo Chaylavie

ChayAdventures #2- Niagara Gorge Hiking Trails

With nothing extravagant planned for the May long weekend there was a fun opportunity for us to try something new. Mike and I decided to take a day trip to Niagara Falls and try to find some hiking that exists in the area. I am such a clumsy person it is a huge surprise that I enjoy hiking at all lmao. I can trip over my own two feet. Give me a hill to climb, stairs, broken branches and water and I can practically kill myself ten times over. Either way, with a quick Google search, sure enough we discovered the Upper Whirlpool Trails. Having lived in Toronto for my ENTIRE existence and only discovering this gem now concerns me. What other beautiful places are being hidden from me?!!!

These trails are anything but disappointing and gave me a completely different view on the typical expectation of Niagara Falls. Not that the falls are not beautiful, but how many times can you climb Clifton Hill, go to Ripley’s and visit the Casino? It gets tired after a while…

Anyways, we got up early on Saturday and began our drive over. After a long drive due to typical long weekend traffic we finally found what we believed to be the trail. It seemed to be situated across from a beautifully kept golf course which is where we decided to park. Following anyone who looked like they were hiking we began on our way, unsure where to even start. There is more than one entrance to the trails and I can only speak about the way we entered and exited. Finding the way to get down to the trails was a little confusing at first. These trails are in the Niagara Gorge and along the Niagara River so in order to get there you must climb down a huge amount of stairs. Once you get down into the gorge it is kind of up to you which way you want to go and how far. There are trails for all types of levels. With that being said we threw that all out the window and decided that we wanted to be closest to the water regardless of how hard it would be to get there. We hiked for about 3 hours total from one end to another and loved every second of it. We were even lucky enough to find ourselves at the mouth of the Whirlpool and all its rapids.

Basic tips:

  1. Stay on the trails. Mike and I tried to veer a few times only to realize its not safe (well at least for me and my two left feet)… I’ll be honest though, many of times we felt like the trail had suddenly ended only discover it again after looking around a little.
  2. Wear hiking appropriate clothing. This is not rocket science. It’s common sense. Unfortunately common sense isn’t always so common. Upon leaving the trails you will not believe how many people we saw enter the trails in dressy attire… I’m sorry but leave your sandals, dress pants and collared shirts at home. Unless you don’t care to get dirty and potentially loose your balance that is?
  3. Watch out for snakes! No for real. We scared the crap out of one that was chilling on the trail. We didn’t even notice it there until it jumped up like a mad man and hauled itself into the bushes.
  4. This is not a tourist trap! Take your time and enjoy the beauty. Put your phone down for a bit and allow the scenery to swallow you whole.
  5. This one is specific to all my fellow juice heads out there. Do not under any circumstances DO NOT come here after leg day in the gym. My legs were in for a real shocker.
  6. Also, bring snacks… I wish we would have done the same. There are some pretty spots you can definitely picnic on.

Overall, this has got to be one of the best hiking experiences I have had in a long time. What shocked me the most about this is that I never knew they even existed!!! Now I’m feeling pretty determined to discover other hidden beauties in Ontario this upcoming summer. I may just have to make a thing of it. Stay tuned there will be more!

 xoChaylavie

ChayAdventures #1- Devil’s Tears

There are days like today, well actually everyday, where I sit and daydream about everywhere I have been. I definitely like to reminisce, I guess it is kind of my specialty. With that being said, I am going to start posting a picture a day of my favourite places I have visited and include a little blurb about it. I’ve done this with my Instagram account but it is a shame that I have not done it here. So without further ado here is my first post.

Numero Uno

This picture I discovered yesterday on my boyfriends Macbook. It was taken in Nusa Lembongan, Bali Indonesia. We spent two incredible weeks on this remote island last April. This particular spot is called Devil’s Tears and is probably one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. I’ll be honest, this picture does not even do it a quarter of justice. Either way, Mike and I were obsessed with this part of the island and spent quite a bit of time motorbiking along the coast here. Love, love, LOVEED it here.

More Than

Love your life more than you love to hate it.

Love your family more than you love to forget them.

Love your accomplishments more than you love to self criticize.

Love your body more than you love to destroy it.

Love your ideas more than you love to ignore them.

Love your imperfections more than you love to self hate.

Love you more than you love not to ❤

-Chaylavie