Week 54 – Jack-o’-lanterns so bright, it’s worth the drive for the night!

It’s fall, it’s chilly and it’s the perfect time to involve pumpkins in everything you do. For instance:

– In the morning, enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

– At work, have roasted pumpkin seeds as a snack.

– After work, there is no shame coming home to a massive display of pumpkins inside and/or outside your house.

– At night, there is one place you really should be…

Week # 54 challenge – Visit Pumpkinferno at Upper Canada Village

What is Pumpkinferno? It’s a large outdoor night time pumpkin exhibit that is entirely lit up! It’s a unique site with 7000 carved artificial pumpkins on display.

Important things to know

Location: Pumpkinferno is located at Upper Canada Village! From Ottawa, it’s just over an hours drive to get there. Directions are available here.

Duration: It’s an annual event from end of September until October 29th. It’s open between 6:30pm and 10pm.

Cost: Without taxes the 2017 prices are shown below:

  • $15.95 – adults (13 to 64)
  • $13.95 – senior (65+)
  • $11.95 – youth (6-12)
  • Free – child (5 or under)

Tickets can be purchased on site, however, to avoid having to wait in line simply purchase your ticket in advance online. Please note, there is a small additional fee per ticket when purchased online.

We started our journey to Pumpkinferno early afternoon to be able to slowly make our way to Upper Canada Village!

We arrived around 4:30pm at which time only the Upper Canada Village store was open! It had all kinds of items, but we only left with candy! I recommend the watermelon flavour, it was really good.

For dinner, it’s important to note that reservations must be made in advance by phone. Since it was the last night of the season and a quiet night, Julia the coordinator was kind enough to let us access the cafeteria without a reservation! We got lucky..

The darker it is out, the better the view! When it was dark enough we started our tour! I didn’t take too many pictures as I want to maintain the mystery of the event but these were my favourite:

This beautiful tree reminds me that Christmas is near!
I know it’s corny but I think it’s a cute picture of us!

It turned out to be a really fun night, it’s a must see next year if you haven’t been! In the meantime, the Festival of Lights Alight at night will be taking place December 1st, 2017 to January 6th, 2018!

On a side note, if you can get your hands on Angie’s limited edition Candy Corn flavoured popcorn 🍿it’s a must try! They are so good and a perfect Halloween movie night snack!


Week 53 – Finding Ottawa’s Hidden treasure!!

If you are curious, competitive and game for something different, I have a perfect opportunity for you to bring out your sleuthing skills. Maybe this comes as a result of spending far too much time playing Nancy Drew games on my laptop in the last week (it’s what I do best when I am sick), but I was compelled to explore and discover hidden treasures in our city!

The National Capital Region, in honor of Canada’s 150th birthday, has done an amazing job at advertising and exposing local residents and tourists to activities and events never seen before! It’s really created an incredible opportunity for us to experience new things but what I was looking for this week required further digging…

Week # 53 Challenge: Join Ottawa’s Treasure Hunt!

This map was made for me as a joke a while ago!

Believe it or not, there is an opportunity next summer, in 2018, for you and up to 3 other friends to compete against other teams in solving challenges and following a map that will lead to an actual Treasure in Ottawa – “Yes, yes and yes, I am so in!!” 

Adventure Hunt is a US company that coordinates these races in various cities throughout the world, including Ottawa. By signing up and downloading the necessary app, you will be able to participate in a unique adventure meant to challenge you….. and let’s just say finding a treasure at the end isn’t a bad incentive either!

When is the Treasure Hunt in Ottawa?

August 4th of 2018, start time is 9am (exact date may change)!

What is the cost of the Hunt?

$59 US a person, however they have a current promotion for $25 US for early birds! By using promotion code “isabelle” you get an additional 20% off your order!

Which means right now the cost is $20 US per person, sign-up here!

What do you need to Hunt?

  • comfortable attire such as running shoes and light clothing;
  • a smart phone with the iOS or Android app;
  • a vehicle to move around the city;
  • your team of 2, 3 or 4 members;
  • water and snacks.

Of course, I haven’t completed this race myself yet but I fully intend on participating during the summer of 2018! Another cool option would be to consider completing a hunt in another city since they host them in Montreal, Calgary, Buffalo (NY) and Seattle (WA) just to name a few.

In summer of 2018, let’s go searching for that treasure!

Week 52 – What better way to celebrate a birthday?! 

Fun little fact, it’s the eve of my birthday and not just any birthday… I am turning 30! It’s slightly scary and let me tell you I got so nervous when I realized that I was soon entering a different age bracket in surveys – 30 to 34 and I’ve seen 30 to 39 ahhh!!! I ended up munching on a whole lot of candy that night! Funny thing is, life found a way to change that perspective entirely.

What made me change my mind? This shift in thinking is the result of 3 recent events:

1) A few months ago, I almost lost my best friend.. It was hours of waiting in the ICU that felt like years and the disbelief that she may no longer be part of my life was unbearable! 

2) The Las Vegas Shooting is another, feeling devastated for all those who lost their lives and those who were injured during that horrible event!

3) Even more recently, a fellow childhood acquaintance tragically lost his life!

These traumatic events and so many others make one thing clear, life is so precious and every year you get to celebrate is a joy and a blessing in itself! Why be embarrassed that you are turning older? It just means you get to cherish so many more memories and I wish that for you and all those you love as well xo

Now, what new activity could I tie into this?! Well, how about donating blood? It’s so important to do so, you can save a life! There is no better gift 🙂

Week #52 challenge: Schedule your blood donation

So today, I booked my appointment. Are you ready to book yours? Book Now

Yes, I am incredibly scared of needles and losing blood but it can’t be worst than a tattoo, right?!