Missed Autumn

Missed Autumn

Hello friends,

Welcome to 2020! I hope your year has started of fantastic! We (Nugget and myself) have been a bit slow rolling with the new year and the new starts and all, hence why this is my first post.

This year I decided to not make any resolutions. I know, oh my what? No resolutions?

Yes, no resolutions for this gal. Instead I have decided to create a few goals for myself regarding ideas I have been wanting to work towards for a while now, just never dedicated enough time, energy or research into. I am quite excited and beginning to get into a decent groove over this last week. I always feel there is an extreme amount of pressure regarding the fresh start and resolutions, so I will be keeping mine to myself and quietly hustle away. Obviously, if any major goals get achieved I will write a post to keep you all in the loop of my life!

Even though I didn’t post really at all last year, I still feel like the family we have created here is a close one and I am excited to share my 2020 with you all and grow this family!

So to start the new year off simple, I have put together a few photos from one of my fall drives to the more “Northern” part of Ontario. I hope you enjoy them! It was a very gloomy fall day so keep that in mind, raining on and off as well!

So in closing out, I am going to make it a priority to post on here at least once a week this year. That is a goal I will share with you guys 🙂

How has your new year started out? Do you have any resolutions or goals you would like to share with me? Tell me down in the comments below! Let’s start the new year with positive vibes together!

Until next time,

xoxo

Picture of the Week #8

Picture of the Week #8

Hello friends,

If you didn’t know I had a facebook page where I share pictures and links to my blog anytime I a new post goes up! You can click the link to like and follow the page if you want! 🙂 https://www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/ 

You can also follow this blog by going to the home page and clicking the 3 dots in the top corner and hitting follow!


Here is my picture of the week!

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We have recently gotten our first little snow fall in Ottawa, ON, but I did not get any pictures of it so I thought I would bring back an old picture with a bit of snow! I love the first snow fall, it gets me all excited for winter! And with winter comes Christmas! haha I know its early, but its the best time of the year!

Have you gotten your first snowfall yet where you live?

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Until next time,

xoxo

The Black & Red Swan

The Black & Red Swan

Hello friends,

Todays post is about an amazing swan we saw while touring around the United Kingdom.

The day started off touring around like most days do when you’re in a new place. It was mid-afternoon at this point and it was a bit chilly and windy! We were walking around in a residential neighbourhood and looking at all the old mansion houses – there were a lot of them! haha

Eventually we came across this really cool house. Not a stone mansion like we have been seeing, but probably my favourite house yet. It looked like a house out of the hobbit movies with a thick straw roof!

It intrigued us so we went up to it. The backyard/side of house was full of thicker brush jutting out in all different directions. We saw that there was a pond in the backyard and there was movement in it! We kept trying to poke our heads over the fence and between the fence to see what was back there. That’s when we spotted the swans. There was a couple white ones but then this black beauty appeared.

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This swan was the most gorgeous swan I have ever seen. Beautiful black feathers with a bright red beak. When it rustled its feathers and raised its wings, lush bright white feathers were revealed. This somehow amazed me even more. Such a beautiful animal.

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It was hard getting any clear pictures because the brush was so thick, but I tried my best haha because my mom fell in love with this little guy. All she kept saying was “take a picture take a picture” and I replied with “I’m trying!” haha it was a comedy show to see.

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Have you guys ever seen a swan that looks like this? Or one that isn’t white in colour? I would love to know in the comments below! 🙂

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Until next time,

xoxo

Thankful

Thankful

Hello Friends,

I know all of you aren’t Canadian, but this past weekend was Canadian Thanksgiving. This day is a time to share with your friends and family and remember how grateful you are for everything you have in life. Even if you don’t have much.

This year I am thankful for:

  • my family & friends
  • new adventures I was able to experience
  • life changes that are making me grow as an individual
  • my  health & overall wellbeing
  • my brain, which is becoming more impulsive and allowing me to get out of my comfort zone

What are you thankful for? ♥

Even though you probably think of everything you are grateful for each day subconsciously, it is important to bring these thoughts into reality every now and then. I find if they sit there in the back of your brain and never get said to anyone they become less present in your everyday thoughts. I have been attempting to practice being more thankful in life instead of just being critical and too harsh on everything that is not perfect at the moment. You won’t look back and think that you were wishing for something else in this moment, you will look back and remember all of the memories and people you were grateful to have in your life and the ones who made the most positive impact on your life.

No one cares if you are a few dollars richer or have accomplished a certain list you have for yourself. Your family just loves you and wants you to be happy. Its about time that we all try to spread more love and joy into everyones lives rather then negativity and competition. I guess in saying this, I am thankful that by nature I am not an extremely competitive person.

I hope you all reflect on what you are thankful for today and every other day of your life. Feel free to share them in the comments below to brighten peoples days  🙂

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Peaceful afternoon walk in Hog’s Back Park in Ottawa, ON.

If you are Canadian I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends. If you’re not Canadian, when do you celebrate Thanksgiving or do you celebrate it at all?!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Peaceful Mornings in Small Towns

Peaceful Mornings in Small Towns

Hello friends,

Have you ever just woke up one morning and gone for a little wander? I have and that is what this post will be about today.

At the end of August I was visiting my grandparents, parents, etc. at camp. Now I call it camp, but I know most people refer to these places as cottages. I always felt like cottage was too fancy to describe our camp. Camp is a place where we hangout outside, go fishing, swimming, biking, etc. and just have a great time.

This one particular morning I woke up and it was still so foggy and misty out so I decided to grab my camera. I was up pretty early so it was still quiet – all the loud ones were still sleeping. I know my mom was up and in my grandmas camp though because I could see her sitting in her corner spot on the couch with a fresh cup of black coffee – in her words the only way to drink coffee is black or you ruin it. (My dad and I like a wee bit of cream in it though)

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Of course the puppies need to follow me around anytime im doing anything. They are always so curious. This one here is Molly. She is ten and grows random lumps that shrink and increase in size whenever they please. We have gotten them checked out and its nothing to worry about the vet says so don’t be alarmed!

Another fact about Miss Molly here is that she brings her ball everywhere. She has multiple tennis balls and eventually we have to throw them out because she plays with and chews them so much they break. So here she is in her natural habitat watching dad come out of the boat house with her ball of course.

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Eventually I wandered down to the dock. The clouds hung low this morning as I crept through the dewy grass in my moose pyjamas and bright teal gwacks (crocs for normal people – my dad has us all in a habit of calling them gwacks and to be honest it took me a few second to remember their actual name).

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Next I try to get an artsy shot of our 20+ year old boat called Bike. He is the real deal. He has pulled more people behind him then you could ever count. Countless trips back and forth with someone strapped to the wakeboard or waterskis, or trying to hold on for their dear life on the tube whilst being peed on by whomever is on top.

Such a great majestic boat. Anyone, mostly the younger cousins, who come to camp and sees Bike in the water knows that a good time will be had. Cold or hot, rain or shine, Bike the boat will still take you for a ride.

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Now this tree is beautiful. It is hanging right beside the dock. When I was young it did not look like this. The river water has increased for many years now and with that the bank has eroded and has become unstable. It needs to come down in pieces soon because once its in the river it will be much harder to get out!

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The next spot I wandered to in my now grass covered gwacks was in front of my parents property. The water was like glass and if you only look at the reflection it would be hard to tell which way was up or down.

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Now, as I was bent down petting the puppies I noticed some undisturbed blades of grass with water droplets still in tact. So, I decided to attempt for pictures. It was a bit difficult because when you get right low the dogs swarm you with love and puppy morning breath. I was battling the wagging tails away before they knocked the precious droplets to the ground.

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Next I was just playing around with focus and ended up capturing a few pictures I liked. I enjoy how the yellow is so vibrant against the darker morning mist in the background.

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Now by this time I have been wandering around for a while. As I venture back to the boathouse to put my camera away before heading to grandmas for coffee and breakfast, I can see the lost boy (aka my boyfriend) talking to my dad asking where I am. I just look at them and laugh.

The warm cup of coffee fills my cold body with caffeine and then the pancake making commences.

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Until next time,

xoxo

Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Our First Fall Activity! | Apple Picking

Hello friends,

Todays post will be about my boyfriend and I’s first fall activity that he actually brought to my attention… I know eh, what boy brings up fall activities! In all fairness to him, it was a client at his work who told him about it so I won’t go too hard on him!

First Fall Activity of 2018: Apple Picking!

 

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The place we ended up going to was called Log Cabin Orchard. It was only about a 25 minute drive from our apartment at the South end of Ottawa, ON. As we were getting closer to the location, we noticed all these cars lined up along the side of the road. I thought wow this must be a pretty good spot to get some apples!

The first thing you do when you arrive is figure out which driveway to go into! Hint: its the one by the big sign. Then you wander down it and if you are anything like me you stop and take a million pictures of their cute little cabin! (star of my picture of the week last week – click here to see!) Once we made it down, we wandered into the cabin from the back door. That is where you pick out what size of bag you want to fill up with apples and pay for it before you go out picking! They also had a food/drink area outside the cabin where they were selling fresh apple cider and churros!

As you make your way into the orchard area, they also have a little petting zoo for the kids. Even though it was mostly for the kids we checked it out too … always a kid at heart!

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The older man who owns this orchard tells you that you can walk in and follow the orange cones to the trees that are ready to be picked or you can take the tractor ride in! We chose to walk for a bit of exercise on our relaxing/lazier day, but that tractor ride sure looked like fun! Well at least all the kids looked like they were having a good time 😀

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The orchard was absolutely beautiful. Everywhere you looked the trees were lush with all types of apples. It was a very hot and humid day, however when the clouds covered for a bit it was a nice break from the direct sunlight!

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So, I have never been apple picking before but it sure was fun! This is the view you get when you arrive at the trees you’re allowed to pick from. Its amazing how straight the lines of trees are! The first apples we picked were Macintosh. We filled up half our bag with these ones. They were hanging low enough on the trees that you could still reach them – although the ones up higher were bigger!

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Next, we scampered across to the other size where the Lobos were. Now the lower apples were picked over here so they had ladders set up so we could reach the higher ones! And yes, the ladders were the old school wooden ones – very cool.

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It was a bit sketchy climbing up those ladders though because they weren’t the most stable! The apples were calling my name though so we went up anyways – sorry parents! haha we got our apples in one piece I promise!

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Photo credits go to the boy – he took over the camera whilst I was picking!

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We ended up with our bag full right to the top and had a lot of fun doing it! Now we had to walk back to the car with this heavy bag of apples in the +30C heat – safe to say I has a sweat stash going on and the boy was kind enough to point it out.

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In conclusion, I would highly recommend going out and picking some apples this fall! It is a very fun activity to do with yourself, a friend or even the whole family! I know I will be going out picking apples every fall from now on!

Also, the best part about it is that you get to take home and eat these delicious apples! We still have a few left but I have been having one or two everyday!

Have you ever been apple picking before? If you haven’t, would you go try it now? Let me know in the comments below!

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Until next time,

xoxo

Traditional Dog Sled | Fort Chip

Traditional Dog Sled | Fort Chip

Hello friends,

I have seen a few dog sleds in the past, but they were always on the go. You only caught a glimpse – a few seconds of magic – and then poof! Off into the distance it goes, over the beautiful white snow.

However, I had better luck this time 🙂

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On our way home from Fort Smith I made my dad stop at Fort Chip (about half way back) so I could pee haha if you’ve ever travelled with women you know we have small bladders! And I also like to stay hydrated! Anyways back to the dogs!

My dad was a bit of a grumpy pants at first because of course it would add like 15-20 mins to the drive and whatever else he could come up with. Now he thanks me for making him turn into Fort Chip because we got to see this! And not only see it, but we pulled over and talked to him about the dogs and everything! It was so cool.

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The dogs were super cute too! I missed my dogs so much already (firstly because I only get to see them when I come home to visit, which is rare now that I am a legit adult – kind of 😉 – and secondly they were put in the kennel while we were on this trip so I didn’t even get to see them yet!) all I wanted to do was get down and cuddle with them – pretty sure I am not allowed to do that though!

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So this guy here laying down is the leader of the pack. Anytime his master stops the sled, he is trained to lay down. So as you can see he was being a real good boy.

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And a very handsome one too I might add 🙂

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Now this one here was stunning as well. He has the rare gene, found in a few dog breeds, that allows him to have the beautiful mixed eye colour. I have always loved these eyes!

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The guy was so happy talking about his dogs, you could feel the love he had for them. Just by looking at his dogs, they responded with the same amount of love for him.

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Well that was my short and sweet post on the dog sled that we saw when we headed for a pee break! I had to make this separate from my next post because it will be the last one of my ice road journey and it is probably the one I am most excited to share with you all! It will be up soon!

If you haven’t read the previous parts of this trip click below:

We drove on Ice?! |Part 1

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

Exploring the Northwest Territories | Part 3

The Tiniest Town You’ve Ever Seen! | NWT

Was that a Lynx?!

Have you guys ever been in a dog sled before? I think that would be so cool to do one day! Let me know down below!

Until next time,

xoxo

Was that a Lynx?!

Was that a Lynx?!

Hello friends,

** I just wanted to let you all know that I have made a facebook page for my photography! (Click here www.facebook.com/phoenixraayphotography/) I would love for you to like and follow the page, this way you will be able to see what this new project brings in the future! Let me know in the comments if you joined the fam! **

I have never seen so many grouse in my life. On our drive back from Fort Smith every 20 minutes or so there would be a patch of grouse in the middle of the road. We beeped at them and slowed right down to a crawl and then they would finally hobble off the road – some of the more athletic ones would fly.

This particular bunch were just out for a leisurely stroll in the middle of a shear ice road and they weren’t concerned with our big truck coming their way. I actually got out and walked right up to them to get some pictures haha a few of them were sassing me as I was trying to make them get off the road so we could pass!

 

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Pretty early on in our drive home my mom spotted something. We were all so excited and then we realized what it was and got more excited! I quickly whipped out my camera hoping to catch this amazing lynx running across the road and into the bush.

Once he was in the bush we watched him. He stayed far enough away, but still within eye shot. I was attempting to take pictures but as you can see the brush was quite thick. We think he was eating something he had buried there previously because he had his head in the snow a lot. He was absolutely magnificent to watch in his natural habitat. The picture of the tracks in the snow don’t do them justice, they were huge!

 

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Once we calmed down from the lynx all we wanted to see was a wood bison – sadly it never happened.

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Driving down these beautiful wintery roads was relaxing. Looking into the forest on the hunt for our next animal sighting while chowing down on leftover pizza from the previous night and other snacks!

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Just driving across some ice, no biggie

When we got to our next ice bridge I took a picture of the gps. For most of the time we were driving on this trip there was no roads for the gps to show or pick up haha we were just driving on water as far as it was concerned!

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This day did turn out to be beautiful though. As you saw in the map picture, it was only -7 outside! The sun was shining through all the scrub brush and it made these ice roads look more friendly, which I wasn’t mad about!

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There was frost all over the brush near the water almost as if it were crystallized onto the branches.

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I hope you enjoyed this shorter post. I have two more posts about my ice road trip and they are probably the most exciting of them all! Lots of really cool pictures to come so stay tuned! 🙂

Other parts to my Ice Road trip:

We drove on Ice?! |Part 1

The Journey to Fort Smith Continues | Part 2

Exploring the Northwest Territories | Part 3

The Tiniest Town You’ve Ever Seen! | NWT

Until next time,

xoxo

 

Mont Tremblant | Day 2

Mont Tremblant | Day 2

Hello friends,

Todays post is about our second day in Mont Tremblant for the May long weekend! If you haven’t read part 1 click the link down below:

Mont Tremblant |Day 1

This Monday morning we actually slept in, which never happens especially when we are on a trip! It felt really good to just have a chill morning. When we finally rolled out of bed and looked acceptable to step out into the world, we looked up good brunch places to start the day off right. Now I was excited about actually eating brunch because usually we are up too early and too impatient so it ends up being breakfast.

My boyfriend actually found this place called Charlotte Cafe and it was incredible! We got to sit on the patio too because it was a beautiful morning. Their menu was only in french, but with the few years of french I took in elementary school we figured it out haha Both of our meals came with a little shot glass of fresh juice too! I think this one was watermelon and strawberry – it was a nice refreshing surprise!

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Literally the best eggs benny you will ever have

Once our tumies were full we headed out for a hike. The sun was out to play on this beautiful day. We hit up a different info centre today, this was their “main” one we were told. We asked the lady about going canoeing however she said they weren’t doing it yet because the water was too high and fast. So we settled for another hike.

Actually I wouldn’t call this too much of a hike, more like a hard walk haha We did walk up and down some hills but nothing too extreme. It was just under a 2 hour walk which was perfect for us. It was hot and we also had to drive back home later this day.

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At the very beginning of our walk we spotted this little guy. There are literally squirrels everywhere here I have noticed – he posed and hung out with us longer then they normally do!

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Now this is what I call planking

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When we came across this map of all the trails and the bridge we decided to turn around. We could have walked another hour and made it into the resort, but after doing some calculations we figured it would be smarter to get home a little bit earlier that night. So we turned around after admiring the water.

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On this hot day, looking at the water all I could think about was jumping in for a swim!

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After the walk we headed back to the resort to explore once more before the drive home. We ended up stopping to get ice cream, as obviously it was needed on such a hot day. The shop was called Oh la Vache! It was a tiny shop with a big line up. When we went inside I was looking for a menu and they didn’t have one. They also did not have a list with prices so I thought that was weird – however now I understand their reasoning. After we ordered our ice cream the total was $16!! Isn’t that crazy! For literally two cones. We were both shocked by this. (They also had a very tiny selection just an FYI)

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The most expensive ice cream cone in the world

It was good, but just normal. I would not pay $8 for this ever again! After this we walked back up the hill and realized that duh of course we should have went to the rocky mountain chocolate factory for ice cream! Lesson learned.

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I took some more pictures of the resort this day since it was a beautiful sunny day. This shot above is what I would call the “main stretch” of the resort. There are stores along both sides and at the top are restaurants.

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I love how colourful this place is I must admit. They created a good vibe within this small town.

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Here is where the gondola is to ride up the mountain. A bungee jump thing and rock climbing wall were also here for the kiddos to burn off some of the $16 sugar they just ate.

There was a nice open flat area at the top of the hill which had chairs set up to relax in. In the little wooden booth to the right of the picture they were playing music – not a live band or anything, but still very nice!

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In conclusion, I had a good time on this trip. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much because I knew it would be not Banff or Jasper, but Mont Tremblant was beautiful in its own way. It was definitely weird to go somewhere and have people speak to you in french right away until you give them the “i’m sorry I have no clue what you said” look.

If you are visiting Quebec, I would recommend checking out Mont Tremblant. There are lots of hiking and biking trails as well as kayaking and canoeing in the summer months. The food that we had was all very good, so no complaining in that department! The one thing I will say is that it is expensive. Everything is more expensive then I expected and the tax is high!

Have you ever been there or would you go if you were in the area? Leave me a comment below!

Until next time,

xoxo