My top five of summer 2014

By September 4, 2014Blog, Etcetera, Photography


As summer comes to a close, and we head into fall, I thought I would share my top five favourite things from the last few months. I’m curious — what makes summer fun and interesting for you? If you were to list a top five, what would they be?

My job can get busy and stressful at times, so to keep calm, I try to fit in as much relaxing as possible. For me that means reading or napping in my hammock (at work over lunch hour, in my backyard, at the park with a friend’s hammock hanging nearby, or while camping). It also means cozy chats with family and friends, and short or long periods of sketching and doodling. I also started busing to work instead of driving, and that has been a really good thing. Aside from the environmental benefits, it gives me a break period between work and home, and allows me to get more walking/outdoor time in. It is so much better than sitting in traffic. The bus still sits in traffic, but at least I don’t have to pay attention, and can lose myself in a good book.

I’m a yearly attendee of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and although Sunday ended up rainy and cold, the rest of the festival was lovely. I always camp with a wonderful, relaxed and interesting group of people (this year, including the kids, there were about 35 of us) and that is a huge part of what makes the festival fun for me. From wandering around festival camping late at night playing big games like glow bowling and Connect 4, to sitting and listening to music with friends, to dancing like crazy to great bands, this was truly when I started to feel like it was summer. My favourite musical discovery for this year would have to be Elephant Revival (one of the band members plays a mean washboard). As for the dancing… I’d have to pick the Strumbellas and Palenke Soultribe. One of the best things about Folk Fest is the daytime stage workshops, and this year, the one that really resonated with me was called “Up Where We Belong”, with Buffy Saint-Marie, Frank Yamma and the Martha Redbone Roots Project.

Check out the Folk Fest wrap-up video here… it brings the memories back!

Rob and I have figured out over time that one of the most relaxing holidays we can pick is renting a cabin for a week. So this year for the second time in a row, we found ourselves out at West Hawk Lake in the Whiteshell Provincial Park. The cabin that we rented is about a five minute walk from the lake, but our main reason for going there is West Hawk’s proximity to good bike trails. We biked almost every day, usually on the portion of the Trans Canada Trail that runs between West Hawk Lake and Falcon Lake (lots of curves and hills), but also on tougher trails at the Falcon Ridge Ski & Recreation Area.

I had a pretty active summer, which I’m really happy about because it meant I was outside a lot. I went for long walks with Kato, with friends or my sister. Rob and I tried paddle-boarding while we were at West Hawk Lake. I went for hikes while I was visiting my family in the country. I even did a little canoeing. I rollerbladed up and down the street, I ran the Manitoba Marathon relay for the second year in a row. I tried a 7k trail run at Birds Hill Park and was the fourth female to the finish line (12th out of 25 overall). I bought a single speed, powder blue, basket-toting bike to ride around the neighbourhood. I rode my other bike on trails around the city and to work and back (10 miles one way) a few times. I brought my bike out to my hometown over the September long weekend and went for a 12 mile bike ride with my Mom, as well as a ride down to the river (with wading and skipping stones in mind) with three of my nieces and nephews. It was all good fun! My only wish is that I had also eaten consistently well/healthy all summer… that wasn’t the case though. Oh well, something to improve upon.

Last but not least, I spent time with my dog — walking, rollerblading, biking, exploring, wandering through the forest, running around the backyard, sitting on the front steps. She’s good company.

Now what will fall bring?

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