The Ingersoll Cheese Museum will inspire you to new poetic heights. It's the perfect thing to do in Oxford County, Ontario!
In Oxford County, Ontario, all roads on the cheese trail lead to Ingersoll. The cheese trail isn't just my personal list of delicious spots, it's an actual real thing that anyone can experience! Restaurants, food producers, farms, inns, and gift shops all come together to honor the area's heritage as one of Canada's leading diary and cheese producers.
Of course, to REALLY appreciate the awesomeness that is Oxford County cheese, you have to do more than sample it (or, in my case, inhale it). You have to follow the cheese trail all the way back to the beginning and pay a visit to the Ingersoll Cheese Museum.
Updated in 2022! Step inside Ryan's trip to the Southeast Turkish cities of Urfa and Mardin
It's unlikely that you're familiar with the southeastern Turkish cities of Urfa and Mardin. I'm ashamed to admit that we hadn't heard of them ourselves until a few weeks before Ryan visited the region. But like most of our readers, we had seen these cities dozens of time before on the news without really realizing it, for this part of Turkey is within a stone's throw of the Syrian and Iraqi borders.
The tragic circumstances of its war torn neighbours have thrust Urfa and Mardin into the spotlight and it was with some trepidation that Ryan went to see the area for himself. What he discovered was a region that prides itself on old fashioned hospitality and tolerance, and extends a hand of welcome and generosity to all its guests.
And to say the hospitality is old fashioned isn't just a cliche. This is one of the oldest inhabited regions on earth, the birthplace of agriculture. Once the home to Abraham and virtually every religious and ethnic group in history, it's now home to thousands and thousands of refugees seeking safety and sanctuary.
So what was it like to step into a real life news story? Here's an insider's look at Ryan's visit.
The John Harris-Simon Cameron mansion is one of Harrisburg's most intriguing buildings.
What do you get when you combine an over-the-top bathroom, a secret closet filled with forbidden liquor, and a monstrous mirror that's a bit too big for its britches? It's one of the most unusual historic homes in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and a hotbed for political history.
The John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion was built in 1766 by John Harris Junior. Harris was the son of the first European immigrant to the area and the family made their fortune in trade and industry. Harris was determined that his family have a substantial home that reflected their prestige and chose the location for both its prominence and its practical position above the flood line of the adjacent river.
Balmy Bears at Port Rowan's Best B&B
Update: Sadly, this business is now closed.
Have you ever liked a place so much you felt a bit reluctant to share the details because you don't want anyone else to go there? It's selfish, I know, but sometimes I can't help but feel protective about some of my favourite travel discoveries. What will happen when the word gets out and suddenly my secret hideaways are inundated with people?
One of those places is Palm Trees and Polar Bears Bed and Breakfast in Port Rowan, Ontario. Port Rowan is a small community on the shores of Lake Erie in southern Ontario. The region is famous for its provincial parks, beautiful beaches, and bird watching. I got to know the area first by camping at nearby Long Point Provincial Park, and then again on a repeat visit for kayaking. Year round camping isn't a possibility here - and for a lot of people I know, it's definitely not a summer option either! And for those who enjoy some creature-comforts when they explore nature, a B&B is a decidedly civilized option and Palm Trees and Polar Bears is definitely one of the best I've ever enjoyed.
Things to do in Tillsonburg: This former tobacco mecca is now humming a new tune.
"Tillsonburg, Tillsonburg - my back still aches when I hear that word." Canadian folk singer "Stompin" Tom Connors' lyrics rang true as he sang about the backbreaking work of tobacco picking in Tillsonburg's famous fields. Located in Ontario's southern agricultural belt, a mild climate and rich soil made Tillsonburg the ideal location for tobacco farming. It was a prosperous industry, supported by the kind of arduous work that made such an impression on Stompin' Tom.
It was an industry that thrived for decades until the decline in tobacco usage, combined with less expensive growing regions in the United States and elsewhere, spelled hardship for the entire region. Like so many communities in Ontario, Tillsonburg has had to sing a new tune to ensure its continued prosperity.
Part of their strategy includes embracing art, culture, and heritage. Stompin' Tom may not have been fond of the Tillsonburg of yester-year, but I feel confident that his spirit smiles down on the town's endeavors today. Here are some of the best things to do in Tillsonburg.
The Pursuit of Imperfect Pictures
Here's why you should make memories, not manufactured moments.
Have you heard about this new editing mode from Adobe that helps you digitally erase other tourists from your vacation photos? "Monument Mode" can distinguish moving items, like cars and people, from static ones like monuments and lets you adjust your image accordingly.
My first thought was “Great!” After all, who wants to remember crowds of selfie-stick wielding travelers when you can grab that classic shot? But the more I thought about it, the less I liked the idea. You don't need editing programs to get great photos. And, in fact, you might be much happier with some not-so-great photos. Here’s why:
What I'm Loving In October
Here's how I'm making memories in October.
Making my travel memories last a lifetime.
Books and stationary have been the loves of my life even longer than travel has. I love to read, I love to write, and I love to share my adventures - which is why you're all here! But while my blog readers - that's you! - feel like extended family for me, I also have 'real life' friends and family who aren't big online readers. In fact, some don't use the internet at all! I needed a better way to share my trip photos and stories, one that didn't involve an endlessly boring slideshow. What better way than to bring in my book love!?!
My Five Favourite European Beaches
There's sand, surf, and sun in beautifully unexpected places...
Europe is the art and history center of the world and you can probably add food, wine, architecture, and fashion to that list. But Europe is a fantastic destination for beach lovers as well. There's thousands of miles of coastline, from gentle sand beaches to rugged rocky coasts. And you don't have to have a yacht or celebrity friends or a film debuting at Cannes in order to enjoy them to the fullest! Here are 5 of my favourite (and more affordable) beach destinations in Europe.
What's on my list of the best things to do in East Sussex? Sleep next to an castle, feast on custard creams, and discover thousand year old battle fields.
Welcome to Herstmonceux Castle! This is one of the most special places in the world to me. The 15th century manor home has a colorful history and its current role as an international study center for Queen's University is what makes it feel like my second home. And a visit here tops my list of things to do in East Sussex. It really is an incredible place - and it will always have a special place in my traveling heart.
I knew I wanted to do a semester abroad at "The Castle" before I even started my first day of university at Queen's and the semester I spent there in my third year was one of the best experiences of my life. It was an incredible learning experience and it sparked my lifelong love for travel. I enjoyed it so much, I spent two summers working on the property as a bartender, housekeeper, and receptionist and I used all my free time to explore the area. It didn't take long for me to consider it to be the most beautiful castle in East Sussex.
While I would heartily endorse a semester of study to anyone, I appreciate that's not always practical! But it is the perfect place for an extended stop on an East Sussex road trip. Here are my top recommendations for visiting The Castle and planning an East Sussex adventure.
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