Written by Susie Johnson
Hi Rowe fans my name is Susie and I am a Mama to Katie aka Miss Little K (MLK). MLK is our first and she is a spunky, blue-eyed beauty who has kept us on our toes from day one. Surprisingly MLK loves to travel!! I was so worried the first time we boarded a flight to Victoria, as MLK has a reputation of crying so hard that her face turns red and the whole block can hear her. I worried this would be a public scene, where I wouldn’t be able to calm her down. To my pleasant surprise, the little gal loved the flight. She nursed a bit and fell asleep for the remainder of the time (WIN!). So to all of you Mamas who have a spunky babe and are worried about travelling just try it and if on the off chance your kid screams don’t sweat it. You likely have another Mama or Papa on board who has been there and is sending you love!
MLK and I will be doing a three-piece series. Today’s is a post on my hometown Oakville ON, next we are off to Oahu, Hawaii and then Christmas in Sooke, BC. We are upping our travel game now that my maternity leave is coming to an end.
I grew up in Oakville, and my entire extended family still lives there including my Nana, MLK’s great grandma, who is 94 this year. MLK is her 30th direct descendent (wild right?!). This is a quick week-long trip to introduce MLK to the fam and to see the fall colours. I consider myself an Alberta girl but there are two seasons in Ontario that still call me home; hot summers on the lake and fall-- the colours cannot be beat! Not interested in heading to Oakville, but the beautiful orange and red sceneries appeal? Generally, anywhere along the east coast will host the fall colours so if you see an Expedia deal for out East in October, I would click away!
A few logistics about Oakville or other GTA destinations:
We flew into Pearson, but if it works for you flying into Hamilton is so much easier.
Unless you are committed to staying downtown Toronto the whole time you will need a car
Air BnB for the win! The accommodation is thin on the strip in downtown Oakville and some of the bigger attractions require a drive (car=necessary). Also we find travelling with a kiddo that a kitchen is a must.
So what did we get up to in Oakville? Lake walks, lake walks and I will say it again lake walks. Oakville is nestled right on the shoreline of Lake Ontario. The first few days we were there the weather was horrible. We tried taking MLK for walks and at one point the visor on the stroller was going sideways from the winds. Needless to say that when the weather finally started cooperating with us we were outside and strolling. Man was it worth it, between the beautiful colours of the leaves and the soothing sounds of the waves lapping the shoreline MLK loved being outside. We spent so much time walking the shoreline and hanging out on the beach.
MLK loved sitting on the shoreline watching the waves roll in. There was so much exploring to be had on the beach, rocks seemed to be extra interesting and we are in a phase where any animal is a super-hero to her. We can literally sit and watch pigeons and she is happy lol!! I was a bit bummed that the main playground we normally go to is under construction. It is right in the harbour front in Bronte. If you are headed downtown Oakville, the Public Library is a great place for kids. It is in the heart of DT, and near the harbour so there is a lot to look at; boats, birds, water people watching in general… Another bonus is that there is Centennial Public Pool right there so it is a great way to kill an afternoon.
I could not do this post justice without mentioning my favourite childhood place to visit-- Gariloch Gardens. We didn’t make it there this time around as the day we planned to go it was gale force winds- a travel mom rookie mistake plan for weather days. This is a beautiful park right on the Lake with beautiful weeping willow trees. We used to go as kids all of the time so I was super excited to take MLK there. If you get a chance and the weather cooperates, it’s a lovely place to spend the day.
We stayed in Bronte this time ‘round and discovered two little cafes that were so cute. The first, Chestnuts a family affair- they were so adorable I could stay and chat with them forever. The coffee there was great, I recommend the mocha as they use Ghirardelli chocolate to get that genuine chocolate flavour. BUT the absolute ‘must-try’ item was their carrot cake—next level spicing and SURPRISE tasty pineapple bits sprinkled throughout! The second place was Taste of Colombia. Don’t be fooled by the mellow store frontage the coffee was unreal and their plane croissants were so buttery and delicious. It was here that we discovered MLK loves croissants; next time I will order one for her.
A new find while we were in town was a kid’s store, Simply Green Baby right in Bronte and conveniently located beside Taste of Columbia (coffee and shopping for the win). They had some amazing finds and were promoting eco-friendly clothing lines and toys, another bonus is they ship in Canada (TROUBLE!). Luckily I didn’t have any room in my suitcase so I settled on a book and some cute finger puppets to keep MLK entertained on the way home.
A few honorable mentions for restaurants and places to see around Bronte. If you are around in the summer the Bronte Boathouse has beautiful harbour views, they also have Duckies Dairy Bar (an ice cream shop). Salad Thai, was a new discovery and I would go again! There are plenty of grocery stores nearby so if you are doing the Air BnB route you will be well stocked….
The fall colours were beautiful and seeing family was amazing. I can’t wait to be back in the summer for cottage season. Headed to Toronto and looking for ideas with the kids? Lake walks (yup they are that much fun), the Toronto Zoo and the Toronto Aquarium. Don’t forget if you go to a Zoo or Aquarium to see if they have a feeding schedule that way you can plan your route so your kiddo can see the animals. If you have older kids and are around in the summer Canada’s Wonderland is always a hit.
Susie and MLK.