Your own backyard.

When you have moved as much as I have in the past 3 1/2 years, settling down and liking where you live is close to impossible. It took me over a year to appreciate living in the sparse and flat province of Manitoba, but I learned to love it’s differences from the East coast where I am from. There was no ocean in sight, hills and trees were far and few between, and the population is spread out like butter on toast. But I loved it and I will always have an appreciation for Brandon, MB, the city we lived near.

Now, I find myself trying so hard to like my life in Southern Ontario. There is water, there are trees, there are hills, and yet, I am having a hard time liking it. We bought our very first house here, I have a job here, but still, full happiness with this place seems out of reach most days. But there are some days, like the Sunday we went to Zwick’s park for a walk with our pups that made me see the beauty and potential for a place that I could appreciate! The lake was frozen solid which allowed for the ice fishers of the area to gather and enjoy a Sunday afternoon on the frozen water. There were families walking and skating along the white tundra of ice. And the best part about this park: the swans. We were lucky enough to capture some shots of these beautiful birds enjoying one of the few spots of flowing water. I always wondered when I would have the perfect photography moment, as if it was made just for me! This was that moment.

I am taking this moment as a sign to get out more, to see what is in my own backyard that I can capture, see, appreciate. It may not be Nova Scotia or Newfoundland or the east coast, but all of Canada is home to me.

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Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge.

Just North of where we live in Ontario is just full of spots to venture to. The little town of Campbellford lies along the Trent river and is the location of Ferris Provincial Park. Along with it’s beautiful scenery, this place is also home to the Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge.

The bridge itself is a masterpiece but the view over the river, of the cliffside, the trees… wow! And on top of all of that, the bridge leads to multiple trails for running, walking, snow shoeing, etc. This may be a little spot but it has a lot of beautiful things to discover!

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September 24+25, 2016 (Life Post).

Since moving to the Quinte West area, I haven’t met too many people BUT everyone I have met has mentioned places to go and things to see. The first weekend of Fall seemed like the perfect time to venture out to these spots (and dress up a little)! First stop: Healy Falls. Now, we didn’t have our hopes to high for this spot so when we arrived and saw that the water level was pretty low, we weren’t disappointed. The area itself is quite beautiful and lots of fun to explore. It is also great for photos 😉

Second stop: Bleasdell Boulder. This one was actually a lot cooler than what I thought. I have always been a fan of rocks and collecting them was my jam growing up. This boulder is said to be around 2.3 billion years old and you can find it just sitting comfortably in the woods. Yes, the woods. This big rock stands out like a sore thumb but in the most beautiful way! Along with the super old random boulder in the woods, there are some beautiful bridges and groomed walking trails that connect to even longer walking trails that are lined stunningly with maples, pines, etc. This is definitely one of my top spots in the area because not only is it in the woods but it is only a 7 minute drive from where we are living at the moment!

It is Autumn, so expect a lot more posts on this page because the leaves are changing which means that every photographer will have their camera in hand at all times! 🙂

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September 18, 2016 (Life Post).

Ontario: The giant province with a gazillion beautiful little towns! I mean, this place has an endless amount of places to explore. And we are only in a small section of it all! One of the most recent finds is the gorgeous town of Cobourg- Ontario’s Feel Good Town! It sure does make you feel pretty awesome! It’s beauty starts as soon as you reach it’s “border” and only increases as you enter the town. It has one of the nicest beaches in the area, a huge boardwalk, lush parks, and a stunning downtown scene. We were only there for a quick visit because we were curious but a longer visit in the very near future is currently being planned.  🙂

September 5, 2016 (Life Post).

If there is one thing I like about living where we do, it’s the colourful little towns that are scattered around. Picton is found in the Prince Edward County and reminds me a lot of Wolfville mixed with a little bit of Mahone Bay back in Nova Scotia (if you haven’t been, go!). I have been missing home and missing Manitoba – yes, not many people will openly admit such a thing – but visiting this place and taking in the scenery, made me feel a little bit better about the chaos that is to come and the bothers that are currently on my mind. We had the dogs with us on this visit, so we weren’t really able to truly take in the downtown vibe but just walking up and down the street washed all of my stress and worries away for a little while.

Picton is such a cute little spot and if you are in or find yourself in the Southeastern Ontario area, definitely make sure to plan an afternoon visit to Picton!

August 28, 2016 (Life Post).

Since 2010, August 28th has been my favourite day of the year. Yes, it beats Christmas and my birthday. Why, you may be wondering? Well, it is the day the love of my life asked me to be his girlfriend! Now, I know that this day loses it “importance” once you get married, but we just can’t let it go. This day, sometimes, means more to me than my wedding day… Is that weird? This is the day that Mark chose little ol’ me, of all people, to be his lobster (Friends anyone?). Our wedding was amazing and beautiful and definitely my favourite celebration, but I loved Mark with every inch of my body by the time he asked me to be his girlfriend. That day definitely wasn’t the most magical day – it was actually quite an emotional day, but I won’t get into that. But I feel like maybe that is why it means so much to me… It was a hard day that would lead to even harder days but during that time of sadness and loss, we were there for each other. And since then, we have grown and made each other stronger individuals.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my wedding anniversary and look forward to it as well, but this day has been around longer and means just a little more to me. ❤

August 27, 2016 (Life Post).

So, if you ever find yourself in Southern Ontario, especially in the Quinte West area, it is guaranteed that more than one person will mention Sandbanks Provincial Park Beach. Since we moved here three weeks ago, I can’t even count on my hand how many people have mentioned this place to us. Finally, we took the plunge and made the drive to Sandbanks. And we were not disappointed!

The white sand was hot underneath our feet, the seagulls were plenty, and the crashing of waves from Lake Ontario was such a beautiful sound. Everywhere you looked, people were laughing, smiling, or dozing off with the warm sun on their skin. It was such a fun and positive experience. After wading in the waves, we grabbed a snack at the Grill and then headed home.

It was such an amazing day in a beautiful spot with the greatest of company! I cannot wait to go back and maybe try out some camping in the area!

August 15, 2016 (Life Post).

Welcome to my life (cue Simple Plan)! Since moving to Southern Ontario, I have found a new appreciation for leaving the house. Haha, it may sound silly but when we lived in Manitoba, home was the final and only destination (other than the movie theatre). Mark and I were so boring / bored and never knew what to do or where to go. But here, in Quinte West, these is an endless list of possibilities! It is almost to the point of overwhelming but we have accepted the challenge of seeing as many cool places as possible. This week, we took a trip to Brighton, ON, to Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Having the dogs with us and the humidity limited our ability to see more of this beautiful spot, but what we were able to see, we were smitten with. The trees, the trails, the beach, and the lighthouse. It felt a little like the East Coast/ home to us. It was pretty rad!

Vanessa + Aaron | Presqu’ile Prov. Park, ON