Parenting/Life · Travel

5 Reasons You Should Have A Girls Weekend

Although items for our Girls Weekend were provided to us, all comments and opinions are strictly mine.

Hey Moms, you how we all hypothetically talk with each other about taking a Girls Weekend getaway trip but never actually do?  I know I am definitely guilty of it.  Well it’s time you actually make your plan a reality.  I was lucky enough to have the opportunity a few weeks ago to take a Girls Weekend trip with of some of my favorite gals to the incredible Viamede Resort and I came back feeling like a whole new Mama.  Here are my 5 tops reasons why you should do the same.

Girls Weekend Viamede Sign

  1. 1.  Laughter

  2. They say that laughter is the best medicine and it is something I definitely agree with.  From the moment the trip started to even after I got home the girls had me in stitches.  My stomach hurt for days afterwards from laughing so hard.  Thanks to Clarington Toyota, we all loaded up in a brand new 2019 Toyota Highlander and were able to make the journey up together.  It was super spacious and comfortable and easy handled all our luggage.  The weather was less than stellar that weekend but with all the safety features on the vehicle, our trip was a breeze.  That is saying a lot because I am often a nervous passenger/driver in the winter weather.  None of us grew up together so sharing stories of our pasts and youth had me pretty much crying from laughter instead of worrying.
  3. Girls Weekend outside of car
  4. Throughout the entire weekend, whether it was being forced to watch some pretty crazy reality TV, freezing our butts off taking photos, or just unexpected moments of pure hilariousness, I always had a smile on my face.  This kind of happiness is good for the soul especially in our normal, busy lives.
  5. 2.  Relaxation

  6. Having to share custody of my son means every other weekend he’s at his Dad’s.  Sure this means I have the opportunity to wake up a bit later, but I still wake up with the same laundry to wash, floors to vacuum, home to clean, etc.  Being away from your daily responsibilities means you can sit back and take the actual time to relax.
  7. There a lots of activities to enjoy at Viamede Resort and even with it being close to -30°C that weekend, we still were able to get outside even if only to enjoy a glass of LaMarca Prosecco or a brief visit to the hot tub.
  8. Girls Weekend pool
  9. And if you don’t want to go out in the cold, there is always the fireplace to curl up in front of to read a book or just enjoy a hot cup of coffee.
  10. 3. Adult Time

  11. We’re all Mom’s and sometimes you just need a day or two not wanting to change your name to anything but “Mom” or having to worry about the next Lego brick you are going to step on.  Again, sharing custody of my son, it’s a bit different for me but in all, it’s nice to have some time with adults, not having to be checking the clock until it’s time to get home and back to reality.  We were able to talk about a lot of things that were on our minds and not having to worry about kids overhearing things they shouldn’t or being able to openly talk about things we normally wouldn’t on a simple dinner out or over coffee.
  12. We also were able to experience things that we normally wouldn’t with our kids.  Upon arrival to the resort, we were able to partake in their Dark Winter’s Feast which was held in the resort chapel and the entire meal was a throwback to the late 1800’s prepared in pioneer fashion and eaten over candle light.  The food and experience was amazing.
  13. Girls Weekend food
  14. 4. Growing Relationships

  15. Regardless if you’ve been friends for decades or only a few years, a lot times we only get to spend a few hours with our friends at any given time.  Being able to spend an entire weekend with these ladies allowed for our friendships to not only grow stronger but an entirely new level.  We learned things about each other that you simply don’t learn over dinner or coffee.  Being forced to watch some crazy reality TV that you never would have watched on your own with a bunch of close friends definitely brings out the laughs and the ability to let loose sometimes.
  16. It’s a reminder of why we became friends in the first place and why our friendships continue.
  17. 5.  Life is too short not too!

  18. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about being a Mom and hate being away from my son, but I am also a Mom that needs to have a life as well.  And life is way too short not to take time for myself and being able to enjoy it.  After being away, I came back refreshed, full of smiles and with a totally different energy.  This is not only good for me as a person but as a Mom.
  19. Instead of pushing off a Girls Weekend to another month, another season, another year, bite the bullet and book it.  Life will always be busy, you’ll always have “life” getting in the way, but you need the time away to be a better you. You won’t regret it!
  20. So girls, when is our next Girls Weekend getaway?

Girls Weekend Pinterest

Travel

Our Trip to Legoland Florida

Disclosure: Although tickets were provided to us by Legoland Florida, all comments, opinions and photos are strictly mine.

Anyone who knows my son, knows that he is completely obsessed with all things Lego.  So when we started planning our vacation this past summer, I knew that one of the places that was at the top of his list to visit would be Legoland Florida.  And for weeks leading up to our trip, my son could not stop talking about our impending arrival. I wish I could have been able to take a picture or video of his sheer delight as soon as he saw the sign as we arrived at the park.

I have to say, the best tip we got prior to going on our trip was about the ability to trade minifigures with the Model Citizens (park employees).  All Model Citizens wear badges with their names on them and have minifigures that attach to them and will trade them.  I think this was the one thing my son was most excited about and happily made his first trade with the parking lot attendant before we actually even made it through the park gates.

Legoland Florida Entrance

The park is definitely the mecca for all things Lego.  I was impressed about all the different things made out of Lego throughout the park. One of my favorites was the gorgeous waterfall area with all the animals that you might typically find there, all made out of Lego.

Lego has done an amazing job of incorporating a lot of the most popular Lego themes throughout the park and rides.  There was the Ninjago area (my son’s favorite), Duplo, Heartland, Technic, etc.

In the Technic area they have an awesome ride called the Great Lego Race that combines  Virtual Reality technology with a roller coaster.  As this is a fairly new ride to the park, there was a bit of a line up but luckily they had these great areas with Lego for the kids to keep occupied while they waited in line.

When we first went on the ride, the VR component of the ride had a technical glitch and did not work for my son.  When getting off the ride, he made a comment to one of the Model Citizens working the ride and they allowed him back to the front of the line and experience the ride with a working VR.  This was great of them to do as I would have had a very disappointed boy on my hands had he not gotten to experience the ride as it was meant to be and especially after quite a wait in line.

In the center of the park is Miniland USA.  An entire “city” made entirely out of Lego with such attractions at Kennedy Space Center (which we had visited just the day before), Dayton Speedway, the Las Vegas strip. etc.  I can’t even imagine how many bricks it took to build all of that.

Unfortunately early into the afternoon, it started raining quite heavily and the majority of the rides had to be shut down.  But that didn’t dampen our spirits.  There were quite a few things to keep us occupied and dry.  There is a 4D theatre that runs and number of movies throughout the day and there is Imagination Zone that was indoors and had a number of different building stations and activities to keep my son happy and me dry.

And of course, our trip would not have been complete without a trip to the gift shop for my son to get some souvenirs to take home.  He was definitely looking forward to that part of the day and would have taken the whole store home if he could have.

The only part of the park we didn’t get to partake in was the water park due to the weather.  It was a bit of a disappointment as it was something were were looking forward to but in the end, it just gives us a reason to come back again and maybe next time even stay a night in the Legoland Hotel on site.

If you are planning a trip to the Orlando area and have a Lego lover in your family, I would definitely be adding a trip to Legoland Florida to your trip agenda.

Travel

Viamede Resort – a hidden gem in the Kawarthas

Disclosure:  Viamede Resort invited me to come and stay at the resort in return for my unbiased, honest review.

I am not going to lie, prior to our stay at the Viamede Resort I had not heard of it.  But after our stay, I can not imagine why everyone doesn’t know about this hidden gem of a resort.  Taken over by Ben Samann in 2010, this century old resort on Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas is exactly what it’s slogan states – Boldly Different.  Viamede on the lake

Located within 2 hours of Toronto, with 24 rooms and 18 cottages, 3 restaurants, indoor/outdoor pools, a beach with play structure, a wedding chapel and a working farm,and all-inclusive packages,  there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy.  It is also very pet friendly.

From the moment we arrived, we knew this was our kind of resort.  The staff treated us like we were family coming up for a visit and had known us for years.  And with a daily activity schedule filled with all kinds of activities for the kids, there was never going to be an “I’m bored” moment.  Even without the scheduled activities, there is a beach with all kinds of kayaks, stand up paddle board, and a water trampoline in the lake, I knew my kid would be begging to be in the water 90% of our trip.    Even this Mom took a round on the trampoline.

Viamede Trampoline

Viamede Paddle Board

Viamede Beach

It was raining upon our arrival, but with their indoor pool, DVD library, and games room, there was plenty for us to do until the weather cleared up and were able to get outside.

Viamede Indoor Pool

We stayed in the main lodge and the rooms were very similar to your typical hotel room but with amazing lake views.  There are also cottages and suite style rooms available in the Hilltop building.  Being just the two of us, being in the main lodge was the perfect set up for us.  When we wanted to watch a movie in the evening, we were able to walk down and pick from their DVD library or we could head down to the games room area and partake in a game of table tennis or Foosball.   And in the morning we were able enjoy an amazing buffet breakfast in the 1885 Restaurant.

Viamede Room

There are 3 restaurants on the resort.  The 1885 where we enjoyed our breakfast and at night they stoked up the huge fireplace and had a s’mores station set up for the kids (and this adult) to enjoy.  Normally there offer a campfire for the kids in the evening but due a open fire ban in place, they brought it inside.  There is also the Boathouse, located right on the water with a lovely patio with lake views where area boaters can sail up and enjoy a meal.  This restaurant is only open Canada Day thru Labour Day.  We enjoyed our lunches and dinners here and if you are a cheesecake fan, definitely save room for this one.  Mount Julian is their fine dining restaurant and although I did not get a chance to eat there, in speaking to other guests it is one to try.  Reservations are required and is an adult only restaurant but as part of the activities, there are Kids Pizza and Movie nights scheduled so that adults can fine dine and kids can enjoy some fun.

Some of the other activities that we enjoyed was visiting their onsite farm.  There were chickens, pigs, turkeys and quails to visit.   They have tours daily and the kids really enjoyed it.

Viamede Chickens

Viamede Pigs

I have to say the highlight of the trip for my son was the tubing they offer on Tuesday.  This child has no fear and was the first to volunteer to go out on the lake to be pulled behind the boat commandeered by “Captain” Ben (the owner, himself).   I think Ben enjoyed it as much as the kids did.  I really commend him for being out and interacting with the guests and not just “running” the resort.

Viamede Tubing

Viamede Ben
Captain Ben

When our visit had come to an end, I have to say we didn’t want to leave.  We were having so much fun and relaxing all at the same time.  We met another family that we got along famously with and have even discussed returning at the same time next summer.  My son has already asked when we were going to go back.

If you’re looking for a family friendly, all inclusive resort within 2 hours of Toronto with great views and so much to do, I highly suggest looking into Viamede Resort.

Viamede night view

Parenting/Life · Uncategorized

Explore the world with Little Passports

Disclosure:  Although items in this post were provided to me, all opinions and comments are strictly mine. This post contains affiliate links.

 

I don’t know about the rest of the parents out there, but I am really tired the constantly being asked by my son “Can I play on my tablet?”.  Just this past weekend, I told him that I sick and tired of talking to the top of his head, as it’s all I see of him when he’s playing on it.  If he is going to be using his tablet, I would much rather he be using it to explore and learn about new people, places or things, rather than aimlessly collecting jewels or points in a game.

That is why I really enjoy the Little Passports program.   It’s get the kids away from the tablet games and gets them learning about the amazing world we live in.   Little Passports is a monthly subscription with different programs for children starting as young as age 3.

We received the World Edition for 6-10 year olds and my son is loving it.  And what kid doesn’t love getting things in the mail for themselves?  In our first delivery, we received the starter kit that contains the signature blue suitcase, their very own passport, Wall-sized world map, a welcome letter, stickers and other activities plus access to online games in the Boarding Zone.

sticker-on-suitcase

In each subsequent month, we received a package highlighting a different country around the world with activities, fun souvenirs and information about that country. You get a sticker for your suitcase, one for your passport and then a “pin” sticker to locate that country on your world map and a fact sheet about that country.  Geography is not my strong suit, so I am learning just as much as my son.

sticker-in-passport

sticker-on-map

Each time, there are also fun activities included for your child to enjoy.  This past month we got to explore Japan.  My son loved learning about origami.  There were instructions and origami paper included so he could make some pieces of his own.

origami

My son enjoyed using his tablet to explore the games in the Boarding Zone but he also wanted to lean more about the countries.  I would help him find the information and increased his knowledge about these areas of the world quite a bit.  Exactly how I want him to use his tablet.

This holiday season give the gift of adventure.  It’s a gift that will last the entire year and get them learning about the world we live in.  Also, it might just tear them away from those tablets or at least use them a little differently.