‘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/ 

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

 

Loy Krathong 2015 Late Post

With the new school term I have been quite busy, which many of you could imagine. As a result, I never did get around to posting my pictures of the Loy Krathong festival that I had the honour of celebrating in my wonderful Thai town, Banphai. It was an absolutely incredible experience to say the least. What made this experience extra special was the people that I was surrounded by. I was taken to the festival by my lovely Thai friend Nok (who feels almost like an aunt to me now) and my new co-worker/Chinese teacher, Joanna. Nok made sure Joanna and I had the chance to participate in the activities that make Loy Krathong so magical. I bought 2 gorgeous enormous paper lanterns for 40 baht each (about $1.50 Canadian) and was then shown the neat process of how to get them to float! At the bottom of the lantern there is an opening with a round coal looking thing that is attached by wire. That is the object that you have to light! When lit, you must hold the lantern as close to the ground as you can in order to allow the flame to heat the air that is inside the lantern. As a result, the lantern rises beautifully into the air. It really was a fantastic sight to see. After, Nok brought us to buy Krathongs from her cousin who was hand making them at the festival! We each bought one for the small price of 35 baht (roughly $1.30 Canadian), brought them to the pond, lit the candle on them, made a wish with the hundreds of others there and set our Krathongs to float away.

Anyways, without further ado here are my pictures from that gorgeous evening.

xoChaylavie