Driving with Kiddo: 6 tips for tear-free, toddler-friendly road trips

Scenes like this from the Icefields Parkway - not yours to behold when you're trying to beat the crying clock of your bambino. Photo credit: Walter Lam/Flickr/CC
Scenes like this from the Icefields Parkway – not yours to behold when you’re trying to beat the cry clock of your bambino. Photo credit: Walter Lam/Flickr/CC

As I drove north on the Icefields Parkway, the western spine of Canada (aka the Rocky Mountains), the road trip was a blur. I was racing against time: trying to get to my destination before my then five-month-old woke up hungry and angry after being in a car for WAY TOO LONG on this seemingly NEVERENDING (translation: two days) road trip.

We sped by so many sights – Castle Mountain, Crowfoot Glacier, Mount Chepheren – instead of stopping to bask in the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies like all the other happy-looking families, we didn’t. There was just one panicky thought on repeat in my head: ‘When is this road trip going to end?’

We were on day two of travel across British Columbia and part of Alberta to go see my partner in central Alberta. Here we were on an incredibly beautiful road trip that people from around the world pay big bucks to come and do. Frankly I didn’t enjoy the scenic surroundings because I didn’t pack enough supplies or give myself enough time to get there. We ended up having to stop in David Thompson, kiddo balling his eyes out and mommy very frazzled for a snack, leg stretch and calm down.

Fast forward a year. Many road trips – Tofino, Victoria, Kamloops, Lesser Slave Lake, Calgary, Drumheller – big and small later, we are starting to find our family travel groove. I once interviewed Micheal A. Palmer – an international traveller, family guy and author. He travelled across Canada with his wife and THREE, yes, three kids a few summers ago and had all kinds of wisdom to share. The uptake: plan, stop often, eat healthy. You can read more here.

The summer of 2015 we explored Alberta. After a few slightly stressful trips, I decided to try to start learning from our four-wheel journeys. Whether I’m driving alone with our little dude or we’re on a trip with the whole fam (mama, daddy + tiny tyrant), if I implement the six tips below, it makes for a tear-free trip.  Read more

Flavour Trip: Easy, Addictive Mexican Spiced Chocolate Popcorn

Easy, Addictive Mexican Spiced Chocolate Popcorn

If you’ve ever had a Mexican hot chocolate made by an actual Mexican person, then you’ve probably cultivated an obsession with Mexican spiced chocolate. Years ago when I lived in Vancouver one of my favourite Saturday treats was to go to the Trout Lake Farmer’s market and grab a Mexican hot chocolate made by the sweetest mother/daughter pair who owned a coffee truck.

Once I even hosted a spiced hot chocolate Christmas party (and everyone received super, over-spiced homemade hot chocolates for Christmas that year #DIYFail). Long before contact, Mayan and Aztec people of Mexico drank chocolate and mixed it with local spices to help mask the bitterness of the un-refined chocolate. There are a tonne of Mexican hot chocolate recipes out there, one of my faves is this from the Latin Kitchen.

For years I’ve been experimenting with Mexican spiced chocolate flavours on everything from chicken to kale chips. This week I was in need of some delicious, slightly sweet but not too heavy snack food. Enter this fabulous popcorn recipe. Read more

Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day!

Celebrating National Aboriginal Day in Whitehorse
A Tlingit group in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory National Aboriginal Day celebration.

Today is National Aboriginal Day in Canada or National Indigenous Peoples Day as it was newly renamed. Boy do I feel reflective. For more than a decade I’ve had the privilege to work with and for a variety of organizations that work with Canada’s Indigenous peoples. I’ve traveled from the inland prairies of British Columbia’s Peace country to learn about caribou. I’ve sailed through parts of Great Bear Rainforest to hear about the importance of old growth trees, wolves and bears. I’ve learned about ranching and birds in the desert of the South Okanagan.

The entire time, I count my lucky stars that I get to travel to these places, learn about their original people and come back with new perspectives on Canada. Whether I’m in the Yukon for solstice or attending a Tsawout seafood feast in Saanich, in each Indigenous community I’ve visited my welcome has included open arms, ready smiles, a cup of coffee and very real conversations…  Read more

Exploring Greek Nature: Your Guide

Sunset in Halkidiki, Greece
A sunset in the Halkidiki region. Photo credit: Unsplash/Jason Briscoe

For many of us, travel is so much more than lying on a beach and sampling cocktails. We want to experience the culture of the location that we are visiting and, above all, we want to explore the natural world.

There are so many stunning natural habitats around the world but one of the prettiest in spring and early summer is Greece. Here are some ideas for making the most of the wonderful Grecian countryside.  Read more