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Foodie in Benmiller

19 Jul

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By:  Diva Jenna Ujiye

An inn, restaurant, spa and retreat, The Benmiller Inn and spa truly is a gem on Ontario’s West Coast. If you haven’t noticed, I am a foodie and I typically plan my trips around where I am going to eat! Not long ago my friend Rebecca asked if I wanted to head out to Benmiller for a quick lunch. Yay! Of course I wanted to go. I knew chef Spencer would have many items on the menu that I would want to try.

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I ordered the reuben panini and Rebecca got the smoked cheddar chicken sandwich. As you can see from the photo, the food smelled so good that we ate first and then remembered to take the photo. After we finished we ran in to dining room manager Marianne and she had not started her meal, so I was able to capture the beauty of the plated food. She was having mushroom flatbread and seared flat iron steak with frites.

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I took some photos of the menu and wanted to try out everything! Now I know I have written about the Benmiller Inn before, so if you read this blog often you will also know that Benmiller has many unique rooms, a pool, meeting rooms and a spa. A perfect oasis for a vacation at any time of the year! They also have some great events, so check out their website here: http://benmiller.ca

Benmiller is located just outside of Goderich in Benmiller Ontario, along the beautiful Maitland River:

Benmiller Inn and Spa
81175 Benmiller Line
Goderich, Ontario
Canada N7A 3Y1

Tel: (800) 265-1711 or (519) 524.2191
Fax: (519) 524.5150

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Naftels Creek Family Hike

18 Jul
hiking

Hiking at Naftels Creek

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

At almost mid-point between Bayfield and Goderich Ontario there is a wonderful hiking trail called Naftels Creek ( http://www.hikehuron.ca/site/?page_id=53 ). I had been discussing an outdoor fun photo shoot with my friend Dana for a month or so and we finally decided on Naftels Creek trail.

Dana, her husband Dave, their son Cullen and I had a great hike and so much fun searching for lady bugs, fish and other animals! I hadn’t been out to the trail in a while and it seemed a bit different than in the past. Of course, I forgot my hiking guide so I tried to take note of the trail markers along the trail. Well, within about 1 kilometer I totally forgot what colour we were following, so we ended up hiking the whole trail… plus some!

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

The trail meanders through mixed conifer plantations, hardwood and wetland areas. It is a great length for young families and even strollers would make it through the majority of the trail.

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

Naftels Creek Hiking

This trail is only one of the 28 that exist in Huron County, so if you are interested in Hiking, make sure to pick up copy of the Ontario’s West Coast hiking guide or visit it online: www.hikehuron.ca

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Information about the Trail:

Distance
3.2 km loop

Difficulty Level
Level 2 – moderate, wear comfortable, sturdy shoes

Trail Use
Walking, Skiing, Pets on leash

Trail Hazards
Poison ivy in wet areas, steep hill on blue trail

Trail Surface
Natural surface, some boardwalks

Cost for Using Trail
None

Driving Directions
Located about 7 km south of Goderich on Hwy. #21. Parking is available just off Hwy. #21 at the trail access point – # 79152. Between Union Rd. and Kitchigami Rd.

Inukshuk’s and New Shoes

18 Jul

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By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Last month my friend Adrienne invited me to take part in an Inukshuk building workshop at Lakewood Garden Centre. All I thought was, who wouldn’t want to do this? The workshop was on a Saturday morning and a whole crew of us ended up going. Brenda, Mickey, Jan, Laurie, Hannah, Cathy Ader and I, made for quite the bunch to deal with! I really didn’t know what to expect. I had only been to Lakewood one other time.

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I expected the typical garden centre items; flowers, rocks, some garden décor. What I didn’t expect was jewelery, clothing and shoes, a large store full of my favourite things! Before I even started the workshop I had spent $80 on store items including some awesome fancy looking Croc sandals.

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The workshop cost $25.00 and it was well worth it. Our instructor showed us some examples of inukshuks and gave us some background on the garden centre itself. Then it was up to each of us to decide what we wanted to do. There were piles of rocks and we all started picking out what we wanted. We all had a blast and helped each other lift and pick out rocks and watched as our inukshuks all turned into unique pieces of art. Hannah, who is 12, got to make a miniature inukshuk which ended up looking like the ones you see on TV!

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Lakewood Garden Centre  runs a variety of workshops each year including: preparing your lawn for success, self-watering patio containers, living log, fairy garden building, painting and others.  If you are looking for more information about Lakewood Garden Centre, visit: http://www.lakewoodgardencentre.com/

Lakewood Garden Centre
72856 Bluewater Hwy. (Hwy 21 at St. Joseph)
ZURICH, Ontario  N0M 2T0
519.236.4479

A superb inn on the shores of Lake Huron

17 Jul

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By: Diva Jenna Ujiye

While Travelling around Ontario’s West Coast I see many different and unique accommodations from B&B’s, to hotels and motels, Inns, cottages and resorts. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to attend a meeting at the Pine Dale Motor Inn in Grand Bend, Ontario.

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I have driven past this location many times and wondered what it was like. Well,  I was shocked at the variety of rooms and amenities that this Inn has to offer. They have done extensive updates in the past couple of years and all rooms have 4 pc. bath, individual climate control, fridge, microwave, clock-radio, hairdryer,coffee-maker and cable T.V.

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They also have a great indoor salt-water  pool and amazing gardens as well as a picnic and BBQ areas for guests to use. They are located just a short walk to restaurants, downtown Grand Bend and to Lake Huron. I didn’t get to stay overnight on this visit, but I plan to in the future.  The rates are quite affordable offering both hotel and motel rooms with prices ranging from $89 – $220 per night. For more information, visit: http://www.pinedale.on.ca

Pine Dale Motor Inn
107 Ontario Street South
Grand Bend, Ontario
Canada   N0M 1T0

519 238 2231
1-888-838-Pine (7463)

18 holes and a great sunset

14 Jun

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Cuzzy memorialSunset Golf

Last weekend I played in the Cuzzy Bear Memorial golf tournament at Sunset Golf just north of Goderich. This tournament is in memory of Aaron Cousins, who was killed in a car accident in 2005,  each year we create great memories and help to support Goderih minor baseball.

I only golf a couple of times a year and would typically only prefer to play 9 holes. Tournaments are great though, as they are best ball (use the best ball from 4 players) and you never feel too much pressure from the other players! I entered the tournament with my boyfriend Taylor and friends Lori and John and we had a really fun time.

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The greens and tee-offs seemed to be really well manicured and the customer service was great! The Gravett family showed us great hospitality and a well serviced day. This course is 18 holes and they have a nine hole Par 3 course as well! By the end of the day I was still happy and even inspired my friend Amy to do cartwheels on the fringe before teeing off! Huron County has 18 golf courses throughout the area so please check out www.golfhuron.ca .

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Sunset Golf Info:

Phone:   (519) 524-8047
E-mail: golf@sunsetgolfclub.com

7 km North of Goderich
33937 Golf Course Rd.
Goderich, ON   N7A 3Y3

A few of my favourite things

14 Jun

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

Huron Country Playhouse

Last week I attended the Sound of Music at the Huron Country Playhouse with my friend Cindy. We made a night out of it, met a couple of other friends for dinner and then went to the show and then the opening night reception!

IMG_4688Nuns, love, kids, dance, singing and more, these are just some of the wonderful things I think of when the Sound of Music enters my head.

We all know the characters, but each time this play is performed the actors seem to make the characters their own. Jayme Armstrong plays Maria with strength and a wonderfully fun stage presence. I would have to say that the handsome David W. Keeley, who played the captain, had most of the ladies in the crowd ogling! The kids did an amazing job, their harmony’s were great! It was also exciting to see locals Lilly and Anna Bartlam star as Gretl and Marta von Trapp. I even got to meet them after the show!Sound of Music The Sound of Music

If you are looking for a great musical with many ups and downs and great music, make sure to book your ticket soon. They are sure to sell out! The Sound of Music runs at Huron Country Playhouse from June 4 to June 22. Here is the link to the website with more information: https://www.draytonentertainment.com/Online/article/soundofmusic_hcp?sessionlanguage=

Canoeing and Carrying on

13 Jun

Canoeing on the Maitland

By Diva Jenna Ujiye

I have always been one to enjoy being on the water and try to get out canoeing at least once a year. A few weeks ago I headed out on the Maitland River and set out for a weekend of canoeing and camping with a bunch of friends. I was fairly excited as last year the water was really low and we weren’t able to get out at all.

Fishing and canoeing Getting ready to canoestretch of it! We started out at Belgrave Road and meandered the river for a few hours until we stopped right at Auburn. My boyfriend had rigged up our canoe with a motor, but the water was flowing fairly quick and we didn’t end up using it (luckily, as it just seemed totally silly!).

Now what I find is the major trick to canoeing and camping is the packing. You have to make sure you bring enough – but not too much – so your canoe is still comfortable. We were able to do this by dropping of the majority of our overnight needs at the camping site and just taking our lunch and extra clothing with us.

At the campsite Canoeing on the Maitland Canoeing on the Maitland

My favourite parts of the trip were as follows:

– Seeing the forest floor covered in our Ontario flower – the Trillium

– Watching a friend endlessly catch tiny little fish

– Stopping for lunch in an amazing picturesque setting

– Giggling while one of the canoes somehow filled with water and sank (of course all in good fun, they just emptied it and were good to go again without loosing anything)

If you are looking for more information about paddling in Huron, here is a link to the Huron County Fishing and paddling guide: http://www.ontarioswestcoast.ca/?page_id=248