A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

My girls have always loved to go camping. There's just something about camping and being in the great outdoors that keeps people back. I love the smell of the air, the sounds of the trees, the picturesque lakes and being able to leave it all behind and just relax.
Even when we were living in the U.S - where it was hot and muggy - we tried to go camping. That experience was a bit of a disaster. Emma was just a baby and Meghan at 2, it wasn't easy, but the heat was unbearable. We spent more time in the air conditioned van than anywhere else. Worst of all must have been those deafening cricket sounds at night. After that experience, we gave up on camping in Virginia - and went back home to camp in the summers.

Fitzroy Provincial Park
This summer we went camping a few times. Our first trip was to Fitzroy Provincial Park, about 30 mins from Ottawa. The whole family went, but it was a bit of a short trip. This summer was not the best in June and July - raining soooo much, and this week wasn't any different. We were tenting, and everything got soaked. Not only was it wet, but it was muggy and when the afternoon's rolled-around the bugs came a calling... We found out there was supposed to be huge storm rolling in later that day - so we decided to pack it in, better luck next time.

Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park
The following weekend, I took Meghan and Emma to go camping with Grandpa and Grandma at Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park. I stayed for the weekend, and they got to stay out for the week. It wasn't a long stay for me with them, but we packed in the activities.
We had a great site, one we've stayed at before - nice and close to the beach and a playground. And it's a great beach. Water is nice and warm for swimming, and the beach is great for making sandcastles. Just off to the side of the beach there are some marshes, and the girls will wander around - hoping to find some frogs to catch!

Tents vs Trailers
The girls got to stay in the trailer, while I tented. Tents are for the purists - but not the most comfortable or dry - especially if it gets wet outside. Trailers are kind of like a mobile cottage, they have many comforts of home, but you get to live out in the forest. It all depends what you like, and what you can afford ;-)

At night, the girls are always hoping for a campfire. There's nothing quite like watching a fire. The flames flickering and dancing - I guess that's why people keep putting fireplaces in their homes. The girls get into their PJ's (to cover up from the bugs!) and cozy up to a nice fire, and then wait for the marshmallows! They like them roasted with a nice and golden brown outside, so you have to wait for the fire to burn down to get those red hot coals, perfect for marshmallows. Another campfire treat is pie iron pizza's. They're basically iron skillets on sticks that you put right down in the coals to cook. You put a piece of bread on either side, and whatever you want inside, then close it up and into the fire it goes. It toasts up so nice and hot - it's the original pizza pocket! mmmm...Tasty.

The next day was going to get really hot, so we decided to go rafting down the river. The Mattawa River at the campground has a great set of rapids to run down, and with all the rain we had had, the river was running high and fast - perfect conditions for rafting. My parents had bought a couple of rubber dingy's for that very purpose, so we got them all blown up, put on our lifejackets and headed out. Grandpa and Emma started down the river, Meghan and I tried to follow - but ran into a big rock right off the bat! The dingy popped and we quickly sank into the river. Luckily, it was only meters from our start point, so we headed back to the car to get the air mattress - and it was great for shooting the rapids. The river was warm, and the sun was hot as we slowly glided down the river. It was so relaxing between the rapids, I could have napped. The rapids were fast and high, splashing and bouncing us all over the place, but we managed to stay on. At the end, we jumped out of the river and ran back part way to do it all over again. Meghan and Emma absolutely loved it.

No camping trip is complete without going canoeing. I pratically grew up in a canoe while camping, and it was the highlight for me to go out and catch frogs. We didn't have any luck finding frogs this trip, but got up close and personal with some turtles and had a unparalleled experience with a mother loon and her baby.
Paddling in the marshes and through the fallen waterlogged trees, we saw a number of turtles out sunning themselves. We were able to sneak in and get a better look at a few, but they'd dive in as we got closer. One though, decided that he didn't want to get out of the sun and Emma decided that she wanted to try to touch his shell. We got up against the edge of the tree, she reached way out and was able to pet him a few times. Of course, he got tired of it after a bit and jumped back in the water starttling Emma a bit - but she was happy to have been able to get that close.

Following that encounter, we saw a few loons out in the middle of the lake and decided to go in for a close-up. Loons are a water bird with an , and rarely can you get very close to them with scaring them off. This trip however, a mother bird was out with her baby, and couldn't exactly take off. We were able to get within a meter of them - with the video camera on! She called out with that haunting loon voice as we approached, to ward us off. I was a little worried when we got so close that the mother would attack us. We finally gave way, and veered off - but it's something I'll never forget and hope the girls will always remember.

It's something no Canadian, or visitor to Canada should ever miss the opportunity to try. Camping has even caught on with the new Canadians, who seemed to have embraced it. I was almost surprised to see so many multi-cultural campers, but I suppose it's very different - the great outdoors, from the busy, bustling cities of where they came from... I know - I've been to some of those places, where the people are shoulder to shoulder, loud and pushy - it's no wonder they like it!
Summer in Canada is THE BEST!
The days are long, the sun is warm and lakes are everywhere. Summers in Canada - at least where 90% of us live - go from late May to early September. The temperature can get up to 35C and more, but most of the time is between 25C and 30C, which is very comfortable. Humidity is reasonable and we rarely need to turn on the air conditioning. It cools off a bit at night and that makes it great for sitting outside and enjoying those nice long days. The best thing about summers in Canada, is that we are outside enjoying it - not hiding inside from it...
There's so much that Canadians can do in the summer, from camping to going to the cottage. Canoeing and Kayaking, biking and hiking, swimming and scuba diving - the possibilities are endless. The worst part about it? It never lasts long enough.
Starting this blog a little late for summer, but I'm going to cover a few of my favorite activities with the girls this past summer.

    About Me

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    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!