So 2017 is fast approaching and I’m sitting here at my desk going through some photos that I took this year. First of all I can’t believe that I usually take about fifteen photos of the exact same bowl of soup, but then there are others that remind me of just how amazing the summer of 2016 was.
There were some fun times at a cottage in Wasaga beach that was better furnished than my own house, there were barbecues on a beach in Hamilton, there was a family getaway to Stratford to take in some Shakespeare and there were many memorable meals.
While the summer of 2016 as a whole is one that I’ll look back on for a long time, there were a few moments that stood out among the rest. These moments made the summer what it was, and gave me experiences that I’ll not soon forget.
Enjoying #LifeIn4K with the Blue Jays
Last year the Blue Jays electrified the city of Toronto, and the rest of Canada, by almost going all the way to the World Series all the while giving us some “jump out of our seats” moments like the famous Jose Bautista bat flip.
This year the Jays made things even more exciting when their parent company, Rogers, started broadcasting all of the Blue Jays home games in super realistic, 4K quality. This meant that even the tiniest of details was crystal clear. Slow motion was especially beautiful when you saw just how close some plays were.
As part of the Rogers Social Insider team I was provided a Samsung 4K TV and their new Nextbox cable box so that I could experience the games in 4K and share my thoughts with my audience. The only time I’ve seen a 4K broadcast was when Rogers announced that they’d be broadcasting the Leafs home games in 4K.
As part of the RogersSI team I was invited to the #LifeIn4K suite for a game and I even got to head down to the bowels of the Rogers Centre to visit the 4K broadcast truck. I expected all the technology to be in a massive room in the stadium itself but I was quite surprised to see that all of technology was actually housed within one truck.
The good news (for me) is that my 4K experience didn’t end with the baseball season. Rogers has confirmed that upcoming Raptors and Maple Leafs games are also going to be filmed in 4K, So that news along with the fact that I now have a 4K PVR cable box means that I can record to my heart’s content and I’ll never miss any of the DeRozan slam dunks that everyone is talking about.
Surprise trip to Thunder Bay
When 2016 started one of my goals was to get on a plane for a sponsored trip. Thankfully the stars aligned perfectly and I was able to make it on to three of them. I started off by heading across the border to Detroit for the North American International Auto Show with Ford Canada.
My second trip was the highlight of my summer. I was one of twelve lucky bloggers from Toronto chosen by Ford to fly to various cities within Ontario. I was sent to Thunder Bay along with three others for a weekend, and, we were provided with a brand new 2017 Ford Escape for us to explore the city.
Thunder Bay isn’t a huge city but it’s surrounded by all this natural beauty which included the forests along Lake Superior, the roaring Kakabeka Falls and the monumental Mount McKay.
The other thing that really surprised me about this city was the food. We ate at three different restaurants and those meals really showcased the diversity of this city. Breakfast was at the famous Hoito Restaurant which is known for their super thin Finnish pancakes. Lunch was at Bight Restaurant and Bar who uses local and seasonally inspired ingredients for the dishes on their menu. Dinner brought us to Caribou Restaurant & Wine Bar. At Caribou you’d find Italian, Asian, Cuban or any other style of cuisine that looked new and exciting at the time. I had an amazing rack of lamb. I hate to admit this but Thunder Bay was never really on my radar to visit but I’m so damn glad I did.
Flying to Quebec for an epicurean getaway
One night I was with some friends at a cottage in Wasaga Beach and I happened to notice this post in a Facebook group that I belong to. The post asked if anyone would be interested in representing the website This Lil Piglet on a media trip to Quebec. I wasn’t very confident that I’d be selected but I replied asking for more information. Boy was I shocked when I was contacted by the owner of the website saying how she spent some time on my site, she liked what she saw, and she’d like me to represent her.
To be honest that message sent my ego through the roof. I’ve had people mention how it’s a nice site, but to hear someone say that they liked what I’m doing and be selected because of it was a great feeling.
The trip started in Mont Tremblant where we participated in Tremblant Gourmand. Billed as the largest festival for active epicureans, this festival mixed eating with lots of physical activities. The main event was the mountain hike where we hiked up Mont Tremblant and stopped at various stations for some gourmet snacks.
We spent two days in Mont Tremblant then headed down the mountain and spent time travelling the Chemin du Terroir, a 226 km trek through back-roads discovering and tasting products from small family run farms, wineries and orchards. We also attended the Mirabel Maple Festival. There were vendors with stalls selling everything maple and also chefs preparing scrumptious amuse-bouches.
I know this post is long overdue since summer officially ended a while back but I just wanted to share these memories that came flooding back while I was reviewing fifteen photos of a bowl of soup. I’m not a winter person so lets see if I have anything to share come April 2017.