When I was in my mid-twenties I was diagnosed with HPV. Precancerous cells were found in my cervix and that led to many uncomfortable pap smears and years of worry. At the time I’d never even heard of HPV and I certainly didn’t know it was sexually transmitted. It was a horrible way to find out.
Advances in modern medicine though have changed the landscape. Now we have a vaccine to prevent HPV and there is no way I would deny my children the chance to have it. Much like I made a conscious decision to vaccinate my girls against other harmful diseases like measles, mumps and rubella, I decided the HPV vaccine was a must. I wanted to keep them safe from HPV even if how they could get it made me squirm a bit.
Let’s face it, nobody likes to think of their kids being sexually active. It’s the equivalent of thinking about your parents having sex. Ewwww. Burying your head in the sand about it though will not change the outcome. They’re going to have sex and you have the power to protect them before they do.
Here’s What You Need to Know About the HPV Vaccine
HPV is Common
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is a very common virus that is spread during sexual activity through skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. There are different types of HPV and they can cause cervical, vulvar, vaginal, penile and anal cancer.
HPV is not just a female issue
Getting boys vaccinated does not just protect girls against it. Men can develop HPV as well, which can lead to cancers. This year the Ontario government is offering the HPV Vaccine to boys for the first time. The free vaccine will be offered to all boys and girls in Grade 7.
The HPV Vaccine is Safe
The HPV Vaccine has been available in Canada for ten years now. Like all vaccines, it has been rigorously tested to ensure it’s safe and effective. Canada’s guidelines for making vaccines are among the strictest in the world and Health Canada regulates and ensures the safety of all our vaccines.
In Ontario, physicians and health care providers are required to report any reactions to vaccines. Any adverse reactions are monitored by Public Health Ontario and reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada. While all vaccines can cause side effects, the most common for the HPV vaccine are mild pain, swelling and redness where the injection was given.
The Time To Vaccinate is BEFORE Your Kids are Sexually Active
It’s hard to look at your sweet 12-year-old and imagine them having sex. It seems so far away. So breathe, it is. You’re not sending them out on a date, you’re preparing them for the future. Just like vaccinating your kids against measles prevents developing it for years down the road, as does the HPV Vaccine.
You can find out more about the HPV Vaccine in Ontario by visiting The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s website.
This post was developed in association with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The opinions of the author are their own.
Raisons pour lesquelles les filles ET les garçons devraient recevoir le vaccin contre le VPH
À la mi-vingtaine, j’ai reçu un diagnostic de virus du papillome humain (VPH). Des cellules précancéreuses ont été trouvées dans mon col utérin. Elles ont donné lieu à de nombreux tests de Papanicolaou désagréables et à des années d’inquiétude. À l’époque, je n’avais jamais entendu parler du VPH et ne savais certainement pas qu’il était sexuellement transmissible. Ce fut une façon atroce de le découvrir.
Les percées de la médecine moderne ont toutefois modifié le paysage. Nous disposons maintenant d’un vaccin pour prévenir le VPH, et il est hors de question que je refuse à mes enfants la possibilité de se le faire injecter. Tout comme j’ai sciemment décidé de faire vacciner mes filles contre d’autres maladies dangereuses, comme la rougeole, les oreillons et la rubéole, j’ai décidé que la vaccination contre le VPH était essentielle. Je voulais les protéger contre le VPH même si son mode de transmission me contrariait un peu.
Soyons francs. Personne n’aime à penser que leurs enfants sont sexuellement actifs. C’est comme imaginer ses parents avoir des relations sexuelles. Euh! Ce n’est toutefois pas en pratiquant la politique de l’autruche que l’on obtiendra d’autres résultats. Ils auront des relations sexuelles et vous pouvez les protéger avant que cela ne se produise.
Voici ce que vous devez savoir sur la vaccination contre le VPH.
Le VPH est courant.
Le VPH (virus du papillome humain) est un virus très courant qui se transmet pendant les relations sexuelles, par contact peau à peau avec une personne infectée. Certains types peuvent être à l’origine du cancer du col de l’utérus, de la vulve, du pénis ou de l’anus ou du cancer vaginal.
Le VPH n’est pas seulement un problème féminin.
Le fait de faire vacciner les garçons ne protège pas seulement les filles contre le virus. Les hommes peuvent aussi contracter le VPH, qui peut causer des cancers. Cette année, le gouvernement de l’Ontario offre pour la première fois aux garçons la vaccination contre le VPH. Le vaccin gratuit sera offert à tous les garçons et à toutes les filles de 7e année.
La vaccination contre le VPH est sans danger.
La vaccination contre le VPH est offerte au Canada depuis déjà dix ans. Comme tous les autres vaccins, il a été rigoureusement testé pour s’assurer qu’il est sans danger et efficace. Les lignes directrices relatives à la fabrication des vaccins du Canada sont parmi les plus rigoureuses au monde, et Santé Canada réglemente et garantit la sécurité de tous nos vaccins.
En Ontario, les médecins et les fournisseurs de soins de santé doivent signaler toutes les réactions aux vaccins. Toutes ces réactions indésirables sont surveillées par Santé publique Ontario et signalées à l’Agence de la santé publique du Canada. Si tous les vaccins peuvent avoir des effets secondaires, ceux qui sont les plus courants pour la vaccination contre le VPH comprennent une douleur légère, un gonflement ou une rougeur à l’endroit de la piqûre au bras.
Le moment de la vaccination est AVANT que vos enfants deviennent actifs sexuellement.
Il est difficile de s’imaginer son adorable adolescent de 12 ans avoir des relations sexuelles. Cela semble encore loin. Comme ce n’est pas le cas, lâchez donc prise! Vous n’enverrez pas vos enfants sortir en compagnie de quelqu’un, vous préparerez leur avenir. Tout comme la vaccination contre la rougeole, la vaccination contre le VPH empêche vos enfants de le contracter pendant bien des années.
Vous pouvez en apprendre davantage sur la vaccination contre le VPH en Ontario en consultant le site Web du ministère de la Santé et des Soins de longue durée.
Ce poste à été développé en collaboration avec le Ministère de la Santé et Des Soins de Longue Durée. Ce poste représente uniquement l’opinion de l’auteur.
If you have ever stumbled upon any of my social media feeds, you will quickly come to learn that I love food and love taking pictures of it. Yes, I am one of ‘those’ people. I do not stand on chairs or set up tripods, but my friends and family know—picture first, eat second.
I decided to attend a food photo workshop that just so happen to be located at a winery, #WINWIN … The workshop was put on my Niagara Culinary Tours hosted at Stratus Winery in Niagara on the Lake. Our fearless workshop leader was the ever so lovely Jen Chan. A talented self taught food photographer from Toronto. A glance at her Instagram Facebook or Twitter feed is sure to make you lick your screen.
The agenda was kept light and was perfect for the beginner to intermediate photographer and geared to both traditional and phone camera photography. We were all asked ahead of time what we used to shoot our pictures, what we wanted to learn, what our biggest issues were with our photography. We covered things like composition and the rule of thirds, setting your scene, cropping, lighting, depth of focus, post processing and of course FOOD!
Once the first part of the ‘talkie’ was done it was time to eat? NO NOT YET! Foodie photog rule #1 — pictures first, maybe more pictures, then eat. It was so amazing to watch this room come alive and people move and pose the food and squat or climb to get the best angle for the best shot.
Then, it was time to eat…and drink of course…
I would love to share everything I learned at this workshop however that would make this post far too long and rambling. So here are a few of my favourite tips and take aways…
- When shooting on a smart phone be sure your ‘grid’ is turned on to help you find focal points. Simply Google how to do this with the phone you have and you will find easy step by step instructions.
- When doing side shots of food always push the food right up to the edge of place closest to you. Best for depth perception in pictures.
- Always allow extra room around your photo for cropping.
- Natural light is always best and morning is best for soft light. If a bulb is needed buy a daylight bulb with around 5000k…you can google that as well.
- When shooting in a restaurant hold you hand over the table under the light source and see where the shadows fall..Choose the seat with no shadows for best results.
- When shooting groups odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye. Use a prop to create an odd number like a fork or glass.
- If using an iPhone tap on the object you want to focus on and a little sun appears and if you move it up or down with your finger it gets lighter and darker…Thank you to @ClBuchanan for this tip…I had no idea… #Clueless
My FAVE tip of the day was about the App Snapseed available for android and iPhone. I have used this add on my iPhone for ages and love it but had no idea about ‘Masking‘ and it has totally changed the look of my food pictures…I screamed and hugged Jen when she showed us this and she may now be seeking a restraining order on me.
The look I am going for is that bright white glow surrounding the food and the food being the focal point yes still maintaining the vibrant colour of the food. However masking can be used to make any portion of the photo you chose to really stand out in your shot.
Here are some more before and after(s) using ‘Masking’ on the Snapseed App.
Masking and some cropping and rotation…
Please do not blame me for the hours you may spend on this. If you are a photo app nerd like me however you may thank me.
There are many tutorials available on YouTube for Snapseed to help you get the most out of the App. If you have an iPhone there is an actual iPhone editing academy that has videos on the app and the masking process. If you are looking for a fun, free easy editing app for your computer I suggest trying Pic Monkey. You can upgrade to a paid product but the free version allows you to get great edits on your photos.
Thank you to Niagara Culinary Tours for Hosting such a FABOOSH event! Be sure to check them out, they do amazing food tours all over the Niagara region. HUGE love to the deelightful Jen Chan from @Foodpr0n …sorry if I scared you with my excitement…and do Stratus Winery for the amazing venue and tasty wine. Big love to Chef Jason Dobbie from Oban Inn and Spa Restaurant for the amazing food and Chef Catherine O’Donnell from Willow cakes and pastries for the amazing dessert.
**This is not a sponsored post. I paid my own way to the workshop and receive nothing from anyone or any product mentioned in this post.**
For many years Costa Rica was thought of as a travel haven for backpackers and thrill seekers. There were very few all-inclusive resorts and it was just not a “Family Travel” destination.
This’s all changing! Central America has become a much sought after travel destination and Costa Rica is leading the way.
Several years ago my husband and I spent two weeks in Costa Rica seeking ultimate thrills and experiencing every adrenaline rush possible. We loved the country and it’s people so much we brought our youngest children back last November.
When travelling to a new country it’s important to do a little research. The internet is a great place to start, however my favorite resource is Rough Guides travel books. And best of all, the guides are now available to download, which is a great way to prepare and get the most out of your next adventure.
We spent a fun-filled week at Dreams las Mareas, an all-inclusive resort in the Guanacaste region of Costa Rica. I love that it is the ONLY resort in this part of the region! Unlike many tropical destinations where the resort beaches are jam-packed full of giddy tourists, when you make your way out to the beach at the Dreams — no matter what direction you look — there are nothing but stunning and peaceful views of nature. You truly feel like you’re in your own private paradise.
When we stayed the hotel was fresh off it’s one year anniversary. It has two amazing ocean from pools with a steaming whirlpool, an adults only pool, a kids pool, and a fun water slide for the whole family. Both the beach and the pool have full bar service, and there was always an empty lounge chair available and plenty of towels on hand. It’s the little things that make me happy on vacation.
There are many options for room types in this resort, which I like. There’s something for everyone no matter your family size and needs; from the junior suite with its own terrace hot tub to the presidential swim out ocean front. They are all large, as far as resorts standards go, very well-appointed, and tastefully decorated for a natural, calm atmosphere. Don’t expect turquoise turtle tile with palm tree headboards; the rooms are finished in natural tones and a very zen-like decor.
We stayed in a Preferred Club Junior Suite Swim out Tropical View. Although we hesitated at the extra cost for the private swim out pool, it was worth every penny. After a long day of hard-core relaxing and dining, it was so great to have the pool for the kids to swim and play before bed while we sat out on our deck and had a night-cap.
For pictures of the room itself be sure to check out their website as I couldn’t get one with our room actually tidied! We were there to play, not do housework.
There are a ton of things included with your stay here, plus the option to upgrade to Preferred Club Privileges. We upgraded to the Preferred Club, but I’m not sold on the value of this because visitors already get so many great amenities with a regular booking.
The Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica amenities are as impressive as the options for activities:
- Limitless access to gourmet à la carte dining options without reservations required
- Unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits
- Unlimited natural fruit juices and soft drinks
- 24-hour room and concierge services
- Pool and beach wait service
- Daily refreshed mini-bar with soft drinks, juice, bottled water and beer
- Daily maid service
- Endless daytime activities and live nightly entertainment
- Theme parties, oceanfront bars and entertainment venues
- No wristbands required
- All taxes and gratuities included
- Enjoy free Wi-Fi and free international calling to the US, Canada and Costa Rica with Unlimited Connectivity. The mobile app also allows you to view the schedules of all events, activities and restaurants at the resort, plus to learn about local destinations, excursions, and much more
Preferred Club Privileges:
- Concierge services
- Preferred Club rooms and suites in premium locations
- Plush bathrobe, slippers and pillow menu
- Upgraded mini-bar service
- Upgraded bath amenities
- Complimentary newspaper in suite every day (English or Spanish)
- Private Preferred Club lounge
- Daily continental breakfast service in lounge
- Afternoon hot and cold hors d’oeuvres in lounge
- Exquisite desserts and fine liquors in lounge
- Complimentary computer access in lounge
TIP Let your concierge staff in charge of the mini bar know at the beginning of your stay what you want to see more of in your fridge.
The food throughout the resort was very good. The buffet was always fresh and offered different selections and the A-la-Cart restaurant options are well done too. Unlike most all-inclusive resorts where you have to reserve dinners on arrival, here you get a little more freedom. The only problem is no reservations means wait times at the restaurants. If you go when the restaurant opens it is not a problem, if you want to dine a little later, it can be up to a 45 minute wait. There are a few adult-only restaurants, which is great if the kids have dinner at the kids club while you enjoy a romantic dinner together. We loved the room service menu! We tried it for lunch and dinner time and it was delicious and fun to sit in our own space and enjoy a meal.
The never ending VAT’O’BACON, daily Crepe station, and smoothie station is also kid approved. Obviously.
And that brings me to the subject of cocktails! I am never a fan of the cocktails at all-inclusive resorts as they either typically lack any flavour other than cheap booze or they come out of a giant slushy machine that’s then topped off with a large splash of simple syrup and cheap booze. I was so pleasantly surprised at the options and creativity the bartenders provided. They had daily drink specials and were willing to make just about anything. The Green Monster was my favourite and I’m almost positive it was healthy. Green=health food, am I right? The champagne and citrus juice bar at breakfast was a wonderful treat even if I did skip the juice most of the time.
There was even a “refueling station” set up on your way to the beach. Ready made libations complete with selections for the kids. Oh, happy day!
When we have travelled with any of the kids we’ve let them decide if they wanted to check out the Kids Club or not. None of the kids ever lasted more than half a day in the past, which we loved as it’s always more fun to hang out and swim with them on family vacations. On this trip though, we couldn’t get them out of the kids club.
The Dreams Costa Rica offers an Explorer’s Kids Club and a Core Zone Teens Club. The kids ventured out to the club on day three and never looked back. They ate lunch there and even dinner on some nights, which gave us the opportunity to check out the adults-only restaurants. The kids watched nightly outdoor movies with popcorn and snacks, they fed howler monkeys, rode bikes, tried out the trampoline bungee, played soccer on the beach, and basically owned the water slide.
In the evenings we sat together and watched wonderful stage performances. I loved the fact that when we checked the kids into kids club we received a buzzer, like in many restaurants. It would vibrate if our kids needed us or wanted to leave the club. The staff at the kids club were beyond amazing. Tip them accordingly if your kids are ever in a kids club, they earn it! My kids keep asking when they get to go back to see them all again.
Normally we like to do a day at the resort and a day out exploring, however on this vacation we were not all feeling our best since we left home a bit under the weather. This time around we spent more time swimming and chilling out, however we did get out one day for a hike and zip-lining. We went on the Spider Monkey Canopy Tours in La Cruz Costa Rica. It’s a 45 minute jungle hike where we saw sloths and monkeys, including babies, in the wild, spectacular trees and flowers, and wrapped it up with an 11 line zip line. On an adrenaline scale I give this outing a 5 out of 10. Great for kids and zip lining beginners. On a service scale I give it a 9. The amazing staff helped my son who was still feeling off have a great time and feel safe and we all learned so much about the rain forest. The drive is over one hour long and quite bumpy as roads in certain parts of the country are not well-developed, so be prepared.
This was a week well-spent in an beautiful part of the world. I loved this resort for many reasons, but the size and location are my top two reasons. There are no high-rise buildings, no lounge chair-cluttered beaches, and I didn’t see a single selfie stick! You truly felt the beauty of your surroundings. There’s a lot of attention to detail at this resort and it would be a great getaway for couples and families alike.
The country and the people of Costa Rica are amazing. I’m drawn to this country and will go back for sure! If you have been thinking about expanding your travel destinations and getting a new stamp in your passport, put Costa Rica on the list.
There’s nothing I love discussing with friends more than travel. People light up when they speak of past destinations they’ve visited, or of places they can’t wait to get to. Talk of travel unites us. That’s why I’m looking forward to the #TDInfiniteTravel Twitter Chat this Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 8PM EST.Go through your photos and come ready to share some great travel moments. What was your most memorable travel moment? Where are you longing to go? What place would you recommend everyone visit? We want to hear all about it.
By the end of our chat you may even find you’ve added one or two or TEN new destinations to your bucket list. You’ll also learn how the TD Visa Infinite Card is the ONLY credit card you need in your wallet for travel.
Of course, we want to give your next travel adventure a little nudge, so we’ll be giving away FIVE $50 Amazon gift cards during our discussion. Maybe a new guide book for your next adventure? Or a gift for your favourite wanderer perhaps. No matter how you spend it, with the holidays right around the corner we know these will come in handy!
There is no RSVP for this party. Simply tweet during the party using the hashtag for your chance to be entered to win.
No matter what, one thing is for sure after this #TDInfiniteTravel chat. You should definitely make sure your passport is up-to-date because by the end of our one hour chat, you are going to have a serious travel itch. See you Thursday!
Part of the reason I love being self-employed is that I can make as many trips to the washroom as necessary without raising eyebrows. I am the owner of the world’s teeniest, tiniest bladder and a washroom must always be close. While this has always been a problem for me, it only got worse after my children were born. There were a lot of things that got worse after my children arrived now that I think of it. Like the utter and complete loss of sleep for the last 13 years, the wrinkles that have formed from my best “don’t-even-think-about-it” scowl and the extra padding around my middle.
I’m not bitter about these things, they actually make me laugh, because I know I’m not alone. They are initiation rights into the sisterhood of the motherhood—a sorority that is all-inclusive and only asks that you have a sense of humour about the things your body will go through after child birth.
Like my friends that experience LBL (light bladder leakage). Yes, I have been with friends that have laughed so hard they peed their pants (and then laughed some more), sneezed a little too hard (and peed a little) and jumped on a trampoline and you guessed it, peed a little. In fact, one time a friend of mine laughed so hard, she peed causing another friend to laugh so hard, she peed. You know who invented the expression “I laughed so hard, I peed my pants”? Moms, that’s who.
Ain’t no shame sister, because once you’re in, you’ll quickly realize that 1 in 3 women have LBL. My friends have no problem talking about it either. In fact, what surprised me more than anything once I joined this group was just how common it is.
So how do my friends manage LBL? With poise of course, because we’re ladies here, and Poise Thin-Shape Pads help too. My savvy friends know that period pads don’t offer the same protection that Poise pads too, especially when it comes to odour and absorption. In fact, Poise is the #1 brand in the LBL category and can be found in the pharmacy section at Walmart.
Poise wants you to try for yourself to find out how comfortable their ThinPads can be during pregnancy, immediately following, or for whenever the need might arise. Don’t stop laughing now, because we have a lot of funny things to talk about in the coming years. Visit the Walmart coupon page for a 2.00 off coupon for Poise products, and enter below to win a $100 Walmart gift card!
I love cookies.
I mean, what’s not to love about cookies, really? They’re cookies. They probably mean love in nine out of ten ancient languages, and I’m inclined to believe they’re mostly magical. Even if they’re not technically magical, the time I spend with my son baking them is (mostly) magical. When the weather warmed up for summer, baking dropped low on my priority list. It got lost somewhere between finding the time and being too tired or hot to do anything other than lay in front of the TV with a fan pointed towards me. But I digress.
After a highly entertaining drive from my parents’ home in Cape Breton on Labour Day, I decided I would bake oatmeal cookies. Chewy, delicious, hearty oatmeal cookies, oatmeal cookies to replace any other version — the definitive oatmeal cookie.
The more I thought about them, the more I wanted them. By the time I unloaded my suitcase and unpacked my clothes, I could taste them. Have I mentioned how good they are? And that’s about the moment I realized I had no flour. But my desire for chocolatey, perfectly chewy and happy-making oatmeal cookies stayed with me all night, and all day at work. So the minute I was out of the office, I was in the Baking Needs aisle buying flour.
These oatmeal cookies are quick to whip up, perfect for customizing and – best of all – easy to eat and then eat some more. They’re a favourite after school baking project and after school eating project. I have a sneaking suspicion we’ll be making more by the weekend.
- 1 c coconut oil, melted
- 1 c light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 c granulated (white) sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp honey, molasses or jam *optional
- 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 c quick or old-fashion oats -> baker's choice!
- Flax seed
- Chopped walnuts
- Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C)
- Using a hand-mixer, stand mixer or your muscles, cream coconut oil and sugars together on medium speed until smooth; add the eggs and mix on high until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add vanilla, honey/molasses/jam (optional) and mix on high until well-combined. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add wet ingredients and slowly mix until combined. Beat in the oats and your "add ins" on low speed. The dough will be thick, but sticky.
- Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Roll balls of dough (about 1-1.5 tbsp per cookie) and place about 2" apart on the baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, or until *very* lightly browned and let cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, before transferring to wire rack.
- Make ahead tip: These cookies will stay fresh for up to one week, covered at room temperature - if they last that long. Frozen, they'll survive about 3 months.
- You can also freeze dough balls for up to three months, and simply bake for one extra minute - no need to thaw 'em out first!
Stop! Don’t put those suitcases from your summer travels away just yet. The best time for travel is just around the corner. Fall is my favourite time to get away for several reasons. Crowds are significantly decreased, the weather is not too hot and pricing is spectacular. Plus, who can resist the gorgeous fall colours?
That’s why I’m excited to join in the #TDAeroplan Twitter party this Thursday night as we discuss the best Canadian destinations for fall travel. After all, why would you want to leave our amazing country at what is probably the best time of the year to see it. From PEI to Vancouver, Canada is brimming with amazing destinations to visit. The best part of course is you can leave your parkas and sunhats at home — the weather is perfect!
To thank you for participating, we’ll be giving away some pretty amazing prizes! RSVP below for a chance to win, and we’ll see you on Thursday night.
*Please be sure to enter your Twitter Handle “@yourTwitterhandle” in the Link/Blog Title field, and your Twitter URL “www.twitter.com/yourtwitterhandle” in the Link Field*
I grew up in Southwestern Ontario, so a last-minute trip to one of the many area beaches was an easy outing for my family. Now that I’m raising my own family, going back to those beaches always fills me with a wonderful nostalgia. We don’t live close enough to make it a day trip though, so camping at the Pinery Provincial Park has become an annual summer trip for us and something we look forward to when the snow is still on the ground.
The Pinery Provincial Park is a family friendly park located about two hours west of Toronto. It is found along 10 kilometres of shore on gorgeous Lake Huron and offers three large campsite areas. We prefer to book a site that’s close to the beach, but you really can’t go wrong in any of the beautifully wooded campsites. Each one is unique in its layout and you won’t know the best place to pitch your tent and hang your hammock until you pull up and check it out—but that’s part of the adventure.
When you are making a reservation (note: we book our site six months in advance), you can look for ratings and notes about shade. You can also choose sites with or without electricity (we rough it and go without) and have the option of an RV-friendly site or an accessible site. If tents aren’t your thing, Pinery Provincial Park also offers 12 yurts, two soft-sided tents on wooden platforms and one new camp cabin—all of these options include some basic kitchen amenities.
There are comfort stations throughout the park that provide showers and laundry facilities, too. There are also accessible comfort stations located within close proximity to the accessible campsites and yurts.
Hiking, Biking and Paddling
When you aren’t on the beach (which I’ll get to later) or roasting marshmallows over the fire, there is plenty to keep you busy and active. Pinery Provincial Park offers 10km of hiking trails and 14 km of bike trails, all allowing you to enjoy the unique Oak Savanna and Coastal Dune ecosystems found in the park. There are also over 300 bird species to be found and many other creatures, including turtles, that make their home in the area. You can rent bikes in the park or use your own.
When you’re ready to hit the water, you can rent canoes, kayaks and paddle boats and take a leisurely trip down the Old Ausable River. Life jackets are also available to rent. There are bridges and areas from which you can fish for warm-water fish (licences are required for anyone over 18), too.
There are guided hikes offered to families interested in learning more details about the natural setting. And every evening, the outdoor amphitheatre provides a show. For something less structured, a trip to the camp store to buy candy or an ice cream cone is never a bad idea. While there, you can find any necessary amenities for making your camping trip a success, including extra ice.
Last, but most important for our family, is the beach. The shoreline of Lake Huron is what brings us back to Pinery Provincial Park every year. You walk over beautiful dunes to be greeted with a view of the lake as far as your eye can see. The sandy beach is perfect for relaxing, digging, and burying your family members (so pack your sand toys!). Although there’s a rocky entry to the water (water shoes work well), long sandbars let you go out quite far in waist-deep (and warmer) water.
And the fun doesn’t stop when the sun starts to set. We have a family tradition of heading back to the beach after dinner. Lake Huron was named one of the Top 10 Best in the World Sunsets by National Geographic. And we have never been disappointed by what we see when we go.
Even though we make our reservations well in advance, there are often last minute cancellations that come up. If you think Pinery Provincial Park is a place you would enjoy with your family, you can click here to look at reservation availability. If you live on the west side of Toronto, you can also make a day trip and buy a pass that allows you to access all the same amenities for the day.
Oh Summer, how are we already half way through you? We haven’t had enough time together yet; not enough time swimming, entertaining, grilling, sitting around campfires and definitely not enough time picnicking. I’m on a mission to squeeze as much fun into you as I can though, so watch out August, here I come!
That’s why I’m super excited to join the #LetsDoPicnic Twitter Party this Wednesday, July 29th at 8pm EDT. We’ll be talking about all the fun summer has to offer as well as all the delicious food we enjoy. Come have some fun with @MapleLeafFoods, @PepsiCanada, @LaysCanada, @TostitosCanada and @WonderBreadCA for the #LetsDoPicnic Twitter Party on Wednesday, July 29th at 8pm EDT!
Of course, what’s a party without some great prizing! With over $1500 in prizing, this party is guaranteed to be fast moving and lots of fun. Hope you’ll join us!
RSVP below so you’re eligible to win and I’ll see you there!
*Please be sure to enter your Twitter Handle “@yourTwitterhandle” in the Link/Blog Title field, and your Twitter URL “www.twitter.com/yourtwitterhandle” in the Link Field*