5 road trips from Toronto you should do this summer!


By: Jim Bamboulis

After a very long and cold winter (in Toronto, anyway), warmer weather is finally here to stay. And although many people love to travel anywhere, no matter the weather, for many, summer is the season to take a trip or two. That includes road-tripping.

And who doesn’t love a good road trip? Unless you’re crossing international borders, there are no security delays or hassles, no extra fees (other than gas) and no need to worry about whether your carry-on baggage meets weight and size requirements either. Solo or with some friends, road tripping is liberating. All you really need is some food, music (including that Milli Vanilli CD from ’91 you have buried somewhere), an adventurous spirit to meet new and interesting people, eat in some cool diners along the way and maybe even re-discover the country that you call home.

In Southern Ontario, there’s no shortage of great road trips. There’s so…

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Exciting Things Happening in Hastings, Ontario


We’ve now spent just over a month back in our new “home” town of Hastings, one of several towns and hamlets that make up the City of Trent Hills. It’s a great little town of friendly, welcoming people who we meet on our daily walks. Everything is within a short walking distance from our condo, along the Trent River and over the bridge.

Our Condo

Our Condo

Walk along the river

Walk along the river

And there is lots going on too! Last weekend a number of plastic wrapped cruising boats that had been stored behind the Marina for the winter, were finally all unwrapped and launched.

Boats Being Launched

Boats Being Launched

Boat Slips Filling Up

Boat Slips Filling Up

Then there was the Midnight Madness Fishing Derby marking the opening of Pickerel fishing season. Enthusiasts from as far away as Oshawa, or beyond, gathered along the bridge, their hooks bated and rods ready, waiting for the call of midnight, when the season officially opened.

Midnight Fishing Madness

Midnight Fishing Madness

Those who didn’t stay up too late were able to participate in the Community Yard Sale at the Ball Diamond the next day, either as vendors or shoppers. We could have been vendors, but purchased some motorcycle gear instead.

Ever since we got home from Arizona, Jim has been watching for signs of the new Field House Sports Dome coming to life. We’ve walked by nearly every day. He’s anxious to get involved in the Pickle Ball Club, a planned activity for the dome. This morning we were excited to look out our patio door and see the giant white balloon rising on the horizon.

Dome Rising

Dome Rising, as seen from just off our deck.

We grabbed our cameras and joined Councilors, media, Board members and volunteers who were already there, watching the proceedings and chatting about the long wait finally coming to fruition. The fire department even brought in its big aerial ladder truck and permitted enthusiastic photographers to rise above the activity to take pictures. We, of course, accepted the offer.

Aerial Ladder

Yes, that’s where we were!

Aerial view of the dome

Aerial view of the dome

Grand Canyon South


Grand Canyon South

During our trip to Las Vegas I told you about our magnificent trip to the Grand Canyon. That was Grand Canyon West. One request of Jim’s daughter and son-in-law on their visit with us in Arizona this spring was an overnight trip to see the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon South is much more accessible, especially from Arizona. We put together a plan.

We left by car early enough in the morning to arrive in Sedona at noon hour. It seems like we are often there, or passing through, but there is always a new perspective and this was Anthony’s first trip to Arizona, so we spent a few hours climbing again. This time it was Bell Tower Rock that received our attention, rather than Cathedral Rock. Being early in March we expected the weather to be still cool and we dressed for the occasion—well at least I did. However, the sun was hot that day. The hike was much easier going for the most part, but enough for me to work up a sweat. About three-quarters of the way I had to take a rest on a shady ledge, and the others carried on until the climb became too shear to navigate. I took the time to snap more pictures, of course!

Karen & Anthony, ready to start

Karen & Anthony, ready to start

Bell Tower Climb

On the path

Follow the sign

Follow the sign

View from my perch

View from my perch

Looking Up

They’re up there somewhere!

Found Them

Ah, hah! Found them!

Williams Arizona was our final destination that day. We had rooms booked at the Marriott Hotel. A stop at the Railway Station, where we could have caught a train to the Canyon, revealed a kiosk where admittance tickets to the Grand Canyon National Park could be purchased. These not only would enable us to by-pass the line up at the gate, but were much less expensive. We opted out of taking the train, which might have been fun, because of the limited time allowed at the Canyon before the return. After dinner at the hotel restaurant, we called it an early night.

There wasn’t much in the vicinity of the hotel to explore, so Williams at first seemed unimpressive, but when we drove through the main street on our way out the next morning we thought it might be an interesting place to spend more time.

By mid-morning we were in the hub of the park and looking at maps to decide which way we wanted to hike. We stocked up on sandwiches, water and snacks at the store before taking our path of choice. Before long, we had reached the breath-taking South Canyon Rim. It was an entirely different view than that we’d seen from the West Rim. Needless to say, we were busy closing our dropped-jaws and snapping pictures.

Risky Business

Risky business! Notice the fellow way out on a ledge by himself?

Another brave soul

Another brave soul

Sitting on the Edge

Sitting on the Edge

Guy laying on the edge

Looks like a good place to rest to me…not!

Lunch Break

Lunch Break

Breath-taking View

Breath-taking View

South Rim IMG_4564 IMG_4580

It was well after dark when we arrived back in Mesa and soon crawled into bed, exhausted but happy.

Pick a Card. Any Card.


What a great idea!

Felice Cohen

donnie and marieI remember many gifts I received as a child. The purple clad Donnie and Marie Osmond dolls, my first bike with the banana seat, and the pink cassette boom box. But the most memorable gifts were the ones that had my name on them. Like the pencils ordered off the back of a cereal box or the pair of barrettes I wore in middle school, even when the “e” at the end peeled off and my friends called me “Felic” with a hard c. (Some of them still call me that.)

But my favorite were the personalized business cards my dad got me when I turned ten. This was way before VistaPrint. In 1980, business cards were a big deal. Well, they were to me. They weren’t for networking or to give to clients (I was ten, remember?), but they did represent my likes. And at ten, those were Math…

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