Experience PEI

Did you know there are more than 30 golf courses on Prince Edward Island? If I were a golfer, or at least had a golfer in my life, this would probably really excite me. 🙂

An invitation to experience Prince Edward Island ~The Gentle Island~ on the Halifax waterfront turned an unsuspecting evening into one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in my favourite/home city. And now I have locked in PEI as one of my family vacation destinations for the near future.

Being from Nova Scotia, it’s not the authentic island experience that attracts me so much, or even the coastal drives (I’d actually really like to cycle the Island coastline one day), but the rich farmland of the Million-Acre-Farm right next to the coast and of course the theatrical experiences of Anne of Green Gables to share with my 9 & 11 year old girls.

Recently I’m spending most evenings on my own I decided to take a chance and invite a new friend I’d only just met to join me. Lucky thing I seem to find like-minded adventure seekers to share my time with!


We arrived as Chef Corbin Tomaszeski of the Food Network‘s Dinner Party Wars”, “Restaurant Makeover” and “Crash My Kitchen was introduced and he explained how we were going to have an interactive food experience cooking with a team rather than sit and listening to him as he demonstrated “How boring would that be?” But just to make things interesting, he insisted we switch partners with someone else in the room since we could/did cook with our guests all the time! I looked at my guest, we gave a little chuckle. So much for talking over our food and getting to know each other better! Chef Corbin is very entertaining. We had a lot of laughs as he described such things as his nocturnal racoon-like wife who is expecting twins in just two weeks, and “hiding” his mom’s rice under the rim of his plate as a child. He had us prepare and taste 3 different dishes that each included lobster and fresh vegetables that will be plentiful during PEI’s Fall Flavours festival, which Chef Corbin will be a part of.

photo provided by Tourism PEI

After the food demonstration and tasting ended, we moved outside to the Courtyard of the Lower Deck. I love the summer experience of Halifax waterfront, and it did not disappoint. The weather was perfect. There was more food and great musical entertainment from PEI. 2011 ECMA winner Meaghan Blanchard started us off with her spectacular voice while we ate more tasty PEI treats and had a few drinks, then Paper Lions came on. Their music was a complete change from Meaghan’s and every bit as wonderful.

photos provided by Tourism PEI


photo provided by Tourism PEI

We mingled with the other guests had lots of great conversation, then left with a big gift basket filled with PEI delights! I’ve already devoured everything and didn’t even share. I guess I’ll have to restock when we visit.


I can’t wait to spend time getting to know the National Park of the Island, where the whole family will be able to enjoy the activities we love like cycling & running, hiking and swimming! There’s even a 75km challenge we could participate in for the 75th anniversary, if we get there before October 2012!


Project 365 – Jul 17

From 365

Project 365 – February 21

ONE of my favourites from our vacation:

From 365

Dedicated supporter & My fitness/training plan

I am so fortunate to have tremendous support when it comes to bettering my life, in almost any way. If I want to become more learned, he’s behind me. If I need to follow a crazy strict sleep schedule to combat insomnia, he’s behind me. If I want to make more time for my children, he’s behind me. If I want to spend more time with family or friends, he’s behind me. Lately, his support has been focused on helping me get into a regular daily morning exercise routine. So much that he thought he’d rally the troops, by asking my mom for a favour… for her to push my butt out the door on Thursday while I’m at their place… little did he know, it’s a scheduled rest day. 😉

Tomorrow after work I’m heading to my parents (some other big supporters) where my children have been visiting since Sunday. I haven’t seen my girlies, except for a three hour visit on Sunday afternoon. In three weeks (less two days). I miss them, so I’m taking the first chance I’ve got to get to them. I’ll stay overnight and have a nice relaxing visit with mom & dad, then return to the big city (& home) on Thursday morning.

Part of my planning involved the consideration of my fitness routine. And I’ll admit I wasn’t at all disappointed that it would work out that Thursday is a rest day. Of course, I haven’t fully briefed himself on my plan, as it is a work in progress. Since I am prone to fibromyalgia flare-ups, and often overdo it (what seems reasonable for everyone else, often feels fine in the moment, but is a killer for me in the immediate aftermath) I want to be extra careful. I also have a nagging ankle injury that will never entirely be back to normal.

So, I started off a couple of weeks ago with a plan to run 30 minutes (my limit from my physio/osteopath) every morning before work (and the same time every day that I’m not working – to establish a sustainable routine), I didn’t want to give myself an easy out (but in the back of mind mind I was thinking 1-2 rest days/week would be reasonable). However, I don’t want to allow myself to just skip a workout because I found an excuse not to go.

After a few days, my ankle started hurting – so the plan was altered to include rest days when my body tells me I need them. Then I decided to try substituting some cross training once in a while to help prevent the problem while still maintaining the routine. What seems to be working for my body right now, is no more than 2 days in a row of running. And one rest day/week to rest & repair longer than the 24 hrs. It’s all experimental, so I’ve been working through most of this in my head.

The current “training plan”: run 2 days, ride 1, run 2 days, rest 1, run 2 days, ride 1, run 2 days, rest 1, etc. Most weeks I will workout 6 out of 7 days, occasionally the cycle will allow 2 rest days in a week – which allows for a cut-back week.

I know eventually I will need to change things up a bit to make it interesting, but for now the current challenge is to establish the consistent routine of early morning workouts. Since 30 mins seems to be a reasonable limit for me, I thought rather than attempt to increase the length of time I would gradually increase the intensity, as my fitness level improves. When I’m ready to attempt long runs again, I will have a good solid base of weekly mileage to start with.

I won’t run if it hurts me, but I have a plan now that I am going to stick with.

To get back to himself. I am so thankful that he’s thinking about me and that he’s got my back. Hopefully we’re both on the same page of the training plan again. 🙂

The unlimited ways drivers force cyclists off the roads

I am a driver, a transit user and a cycle-commuter. I drive out of necessity (i.e. when I must travel across town to pick up my children). I use transit when I am not required to drive and choose not to cycle. I cycle when I can and feel safe enough to do so. My safety is effected by a large number of factors, including weather, but almost entirely involving drivers. I would have cycle-commuted WITH my children in tow in our bike trailer (and nearly eliminated my need to commute by car), however after limited attempts to do so determined it was far too risky in almost all parts of Halifax.

There are particular parts of the city where it is simply not safe for cyclists because drivers are ignorant to how they effect a cyclist’s safety (and some appear ignorant to the fact that cyclists even exist). For this reason, I “choose” to illegally ride on the sidewalk in short stretches where I feel my life would otherwise be significantly placed at risk. Occasionally, I simply have no choice but to hop onto the sidewalk, rather than be plowed down by a car. Roads are built for transportation, not just for cars, drivers would be a lot less likely to take the lives of other users of transportation if they would remain aware of this fact.

After reading a local journalist’s comment about how cyclists must to choose if they are traffic or pedestrians, I was inspired to come up with a list of some of the (most common) of the unlimited ways drivers force cyclists off the road:

  • hugging the curb (NOT “Sharing the road”)
  • passing stopped/slowed vehicles on the right (including pulling into marked bike lanes) – and I will note MOST drivers do not shoulder check for cyclists prior to doing so
  • driving in bike lanes as if it is an additional lane
  • pulling out of streets/driveways in front of cyclists – drivers often under-estimate (or simply do not care?) how quickly cyclists are approaching
  • turning right alongside of cyclists – again, was there a shoulder check? Did the driver not note the cyclists they passed upon their approach to the turn?
  • making left turns across traffic in front of cyclists – drivers often under-estimate (or simply do not care?) how quickly cyclists are approaching
  • drivers opening doors of parked cars into approaching cyclists

(I welcome additions from other cyclists to this list.)