Travelling With Mom

Some of the best memories my sisters and I have with our mom are while travelling. Whether this was a surprise trip to Disney, a road trip throughout eastern Canada or tagging along with her on a business trip to Montreal, mom always made the trip special for us…and our exchange students too!

We love travelling with our mom, however there are a few things we’ve learned throughout the years regarding her travel preferences for a smooth trip. For example, if you are travelling with your mom for an athletic tournament and your team is terrible, make sure there is a place for her to pick up an excellent cup of coffee so she can make it through the game.

Alison DurtnallWe also learned the following while travelling with mom:

1) It takes an extremely long time to cook a roast in the oven of a motorhome

2) Make sure you have a backup photo of everything your mom wants a photo of because hers are guaranteed to be blurry

2) Underpack your suitcase as your mom will overpack hers and then purchase items while travelling that she will then need to store in your suitcase

3) Our mom can arrange an awesome picnic so definitely have a picnic day while travelling and catch up on some traditional family time in a park

We love you mom, never stop travelling and we will continue to tag along. Happy Mothers Day! 

New Mills, England

New Mills, England

New Mills is a town we will never forget! After visiting the area three times in the past year, it was our home away from home and a refreshing escape out of the city. We stayed with family New Mills Kitchenand each visit reminded us of being back at home. We would watch movies together with plenty of snacks and find new recipes to try in the kitchen. David also learned some new cooking techniques that I will make sure he puts into practice soon. We will miss our family in New Mills when we move back to Canada and are looking forward to them visiting us in the future. Other fun things about New Mills are 1) they have a candy factory 2) they have the best Fish n Chips place 3) they have beautiful walking paths through the Torrs and 4) they have an old school railway station.

Swizzles Matlow Ltd. (the candy factory), has been located in New Mills since the 1940s after relocating from the London Blitz during WWII. During this time the factory was being used to make water purifying tablets for the Ministry of Defense. In 1957 they launched my personal favourite candy of theirs, the Drumstick lolly, the only chewable lollypop available at that time. Today they are one of the largest employers in the area with their sweets being constantly in demand from the public.

For the outdoors type, Torrs gorges, created during the ice age, are beautiful to walk through in New Mills. The area is known as the park beneath the town with rivers Sett andTorrs, New Mills Goyt intersecting. New Mills has a history of being a leader in renewable energy with 18 mills once surrounding the area. Today they have the Archimedean screw (they call it Archie), a rotating turbine attached to a generator used to produce clean, green electricity. They are the first town in the UK to own and run community hydro, Torrs Hydro.

Fish and Chips in New MillsFinally, the Fish n Chips in New Mills are fabulous. It’s the batter that make them stand out from the rest, and of course making sure the fish is fresh. Our family took us to two places where they are amazing, 1) the golf course and 2) The Crispy Cod. The railway station in New Mills is also picturesque and a great viewpoint. The railway was opened in 1868.

Nissen Plantage

Nissen Plantage, Denmark

This past week we have had the privilege of David Shootingstaying in a renovated farm house (originally built in 1775) out in the countryside of Kølstrup, Denmark. The original beams on the exterior remain however the thatch roof has been replaced due to high maintenance costs. The home belongs to one of our family’s exchange students, Anne, who stayed with us in Canada. For some fresh whole milk in the morning they walk over to their neighbour’s farm. After living in a city for so long it sure is great to get out to the country! David even went out shooting and hunting with Anne’s dad, an experience I’m sure he will never forget. I made for them a Canadian favourite among exchange students, pancakes with maple syrup. Anne’s youngest brother however just spread Nutella all over the chocolate chip pancake and ate it that way.

Walking distance from their house is Vikingemuseet Labdy, a Viking Museum, Ladbyviking ship burial mound from 1,000 years ago, the oldest in the world. This is the only ship grave in Denmark from the viking period. The King of Ladby was buried in his ship with all his possessions including animals. When you visit the ship underground the skeletons of some of the horses remain. The original anchor is in the ship and iron curls used to decorate the “dragon’s mane” are on display in the museum.

Also Cherry Farmwithin walking distance is an amazing cherry farm, Selleberg. We walked through the different types of cherry trees, picking them from the tree to taste. They have a small little shop where they sell cherry products such as jam, syrup and ice cream.


Canada Day International

Canada Day International

No matter where you are in the world, on July 1st,Canada Day International VolunteersCanadian spirit will surround you. Weeks before Canada Day, I was searching for a place my husband and I could go to celebrate and meet some fellow Canadians when I came across Canada Day International. This is an all things Canadian event that takes place in Trafalgar Square showcasing some of Canada’s best in technology, arts, culture, education and of course, food.

Overwhelmed with excitement over this event I signed us up to volunteer. Our orientation night took place at Canada House in the square. This is where everyone asked if they had found cNanaimo Barsheese curds for poutine, the most popular question asked every year. The answer was, ‘as close to cheese curds as you can get in the UK’ and had been taste tested and approved by the Canadian staff organizing the event. We took the early shift, getting things ready and talking to people as they walked through the area. We also had the privilege to sample some of the Nanaimo bars from The Maple Food Company, a Canadian desserts company based in the UK.

It was an amazing day and we are so proud to be Canadian. As we have traveled throughout the year to many great places in the world, the more we appreciate our home country.


Snow in London

Today felt a little bit like home as snow covered the ground and everyone in the house set out to build a snowman. It was the nice kind of winter weather where it’s not too cold, so the snow is good for packing, and not too warm, that the snow turns to slush.

We collectively decided that we wouldn’t cresnowomanate the stereotypical snowman and instead a snowoman in a bikini just soaking up this winter weather. We placed her in the middle of the pathway, ensuring no one would miss her as they walked by. We used leaves found around the yard as the swimsuit and some loose branches as the eye lashes and hair. Trying to maintain some tradition we kept the classic carrot nose. After a bit the guys in the house came out and added her lovely Budweiser hat. She looks like she drank one too many.

Happy winter! FINALLY.

Christmas Tree Decorating via Skype

Christmas Tree Decorated via Skype

Today my family went out to find that perfect Christmas tree to fill up the front hall. This is my first year ever being away for Christmas but thanks to Skype, Whats App and Facebook, I don’t miss a thing! Sure the time change doesn’t really help for the evening events back home but David and I just take up our family traditions by doing similar activities only 5 hours earlier. We still decorated our place with lights and stockings, started watching Christmas movies and I have started the countdown with my Cadbury chocolate advent calendar David got me. Christmas Outfits

We dressed in our Christmas outfits while the family decorated the tree to add an element on our end of the camera to the festivities, pictured right. The final tree is pictured above as the featured image. My family’s tree is always full with new and old ornaments. About 1/4 of the tree is Winnie the Pooh themed ornaments collected throughout the years, then about another 1/4 of the tree is mom’s owls, polar bears and random fruit decorations. We have a tradition where Grandma will place an ornament on everyone’s gift each year. So, if you do the math, I will have 23 ornaments alone and then I have 2 sisters and parents as well. That’s a lot of ornaments for one tree!!! Every year Grandpa will have to fix a few that fall off the tree as the dogs walk under it and after a few days the tree will start to tilt and we will tie it up to the stairs. A few years ago David was watching us decorate our tree while he was working on a cruise ship and he even watched our tree actually fall over.

Decorating the tree is like the kickoff to Christmas! So thankful for technology and not missing a thing while being away.

Student Life & School Contests

I love contests and I love school so when schools have contests it’s just an overwhelming amount of excitement for me. Greenwich School of Management (GSOM) has a contest going on right now asking students to submit photos representing their “student life” here at GSOM. Of course I began to brainstorm about my student life here and how really it only consists of about 3 things: 1. Eating with friends in the common room downstairs 2. Reading/Studying in the library with friends and of course 3. Sitting in the classroom taking notes while the professor chats up a storm.

KayKay, who is pictured to the left is one of these friends. Knowledgable in her field and here to learn from others while succeeding in her studies. This is why for the contest I entered a photo of her and I together studying in the library. She’s one of the most dedicated people in the program and working towards her MBA in Strategic Planning. Together we share the same birthday and are both passionate about our home countries. GSOM has students from all over the world which adds to your experience here. KayKay has an extensive background in customer service and without a doubt I know she will have a successful future. As an MBA student the friendships you build here are different then when you’re getting your degree. Everyone you meet knows the direction they are headed and how they are going to get there. The MBA is just a stepping stone and every one of us brings past experiences from the work place to the discussions in the classroom.

I participated in the contest to try and win this iPad mini for Christmas. The contest goes until December 7th and you can vote once every 24 hours. If you want to help me out and vote for my photo just click here. Wish me luck! Thank you for your votes.