Viamede Resort Vacation Weekend

 

Jason, Finn & I were lucky to be able to go away last weekend to the beautiful Viamede Resort on Stoney Lake, close to Buckhorn.  Thanks to Charming Media and the staff at Viamede for making this a weekend to remember.  I felt a little bit like we were at Kellerman’s and kinda expected Johnny & Baby to walk out from one of the cabins on their way to do activities 🙂

I left work a little early on Friday to go home and pack up myself & the puppy – and I only took 1 small suitcase with me!  Jason came home, cleaned up and we jumped in the car and headed out around 430pm.

Finn was pretty excited to go away and Harley was ecstatic to not have a puppy to bug him for the weekend while he gallivanted around the neighborhood 🙂

We arrived just before 8pm on Friday night (it only takes about 2.5 hours but we hit rush hour, took some backroads around it, and made a couple stops).  We checked in and were told the Boathouse Pub would be open for dinner AND that there was a movie night set up outside the marina.

We went straight to our cottage #420 and it was the last one in the row, so a little more private, which we loved.  We walked in and it was such a cute and charming little weekend spot.  We had the Deluxe Cottage room, which came with a full kitchen, huge bathtub and woodstove!

            

We took Finn for a walk to check out our surroundings and watched the breathtaking sunset across the lake.  Jason & I used to do sunset as much as possible when we lived in Fort Myers Beach, FL, but haven’t had the chance as often as we’d like in the city.

 

After our walk, we took Finn back to the cottage while we went to grab a bit to eat.  We decided to order food to take back to our room and had a couple beers at the bar while waiting.

We were definitely a little silly after travelling for so long and it was nice to relax and wait for our meals.  We took our fried dill pickles, burger and veggie wrap back to the cottage and Finn was just hanging out, chewing on his bone and waiting for us like a good boy.

We ate our food and sat out on the deck for a couple drinks and then headed to bed.  There was a TV in our cottage, which is a real luxury because we don’t have one (and I haven’t had a TV/cable in over 5 years now) and we watched a bit of 48 hours and crashed.

Finn is a creature of habit and at 630am he woke up and wanted to play.  Luckily Jason got up with him so I could sleep in a bit longer.  The boys went for a long walk and actually met up with the Executive Chef Matt & his white boxer Oscar.

They came back around 830am when I was waking up (yes, we were up super early) and we gave Finn breakfast and then headed up to the main resort for the continental brunch buffet.  Now I’ve had my share of continental breakfasts and this was by far the best.  The food was fresh and hot with a great variety.  Eggs, pancakes, sausage, bacon, fruit, yogurt, granola, pastries, toast, croissants.  Everything was absolutely delicious and was a perfect start to the day.

 

After breakfast we went back to the cabin to get Finn and again, he was waiting for us and just chewing his bone and not the cabin (he’s only 7 months so this is a big accomplishment).  We headed down to our little private waterfront and spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon in the water, throwing sticks and suntanning.

 

We brought some food with us and made a late lunch and then decided to check out the Marina to see if we could rent a boat.  Rentals were reasonably priced around $225/day, but it was a little out of our budget for the weekend so we headed back up to the cottage to pick up Finn and go for a walk.

 

 

We went down the trails to the Viking Oak Tree and over to the Farm.  It was Finn’s first time seeing animals other than dogs/cats/squirrels and he was so funny to watch.  The first thing we saw were the turkeys and they were all squaking at him and right up at the fence.  He was so puzzled and excited it was hilarious.

We walked along a little more and came to the pigs and Finn wanted to get in their area because they have a little pond and a mudpit.  Blonde puppies LOVE muddy water and he searched along the fence to see if he could find an “in”.

 

The pigs were pretty cute and were very curious about Finn.  Then we came to the ducks and chicken pen and again, Finn had no idea what to make of them.  He was a little scared, but pretty excited to see other creatures.

On our way back to the cottage Finn found a muddy swamp to get in and we tried as hard as we could to keep him from getting in, but alas, he dove in head first and laid down in the muck.

We finally arrived back at our cottage and decided to have a nap.  Yes, it seems a little funny to nap on such a beautiful day, but Jason generally works 6-7 days/week so to actually have time to relax was amazing.

 

After our nap we went back to the Boathouse Pub for dinner – we weren’t able to go to the 1885 Restaurant in the Main Building due to a wedding (which was beautiful and romantic and we had a private view from our deck) but I’m told that the dinner is delicious.  We ate in the restaurant and left Finn on his own at the cabin again.

After dinner we fired up Jason’s BioLite – which is a very cool gadget that creates electricity so you can charge your phone, play music, etc., and we spent the night drinking beer in front of our mini, contained fire.

Sunday morning we slept in a little longer.  Finn still woke up at 630am to pee, but we had his 25 ft rope tied to the tree outside our door so he was able to hang out and play outside while we slept in.  We finally got up around 830, showered and headed over to the main resort for the continental buffet breakfast – and it was every bit as good as the day before!  We headed back to our cottage to pack up and found Finn sleeping in the white bed.  Sorry to the housekeeping staff!  He was super happy to be on the bed but a little dirtty for the white sheets & duvet cover.

We checked out and headed back to the city feeling refreshed and recharged after such a lovely time.

If you’re looking for a great, family & pet friendly cottage getaway I highly recommend checking out Viamede.  We will be back next year and hopefully for a week this time because it was just perfect.  And it would be a lovely place to get married at… just saying… it has enough cottages for all your guests, is a beautiful venue and you can bring your pets.  What could be better for a wedding or vacation?

Thanks again to the wondeful staff at Viamede for making this such a great weekend and thank you to Val & Charming Media for the opportunity.  We can’t wait to go back!
For the full Viamede Resort photo album click HERE

Viamede Resort Vacation

Just got confirmation that Jason and I are going to Viamede Resort on Stoney Lake next month.  We’ve got a Deluxe Cottage AND it’s a pet friendly place, so Finn may join us if his social calendar permits.  They have a four year old Golden named Maggy that lives at the resort, so it would be really fun if he came! I am so excited to have some time away together this summer and from what I’ve read from Dainty Girl and I’m Charming You’s blogs it will be a great time.

I’ll be tweeting, facebooking and blogging our stay, so look out for that in August.

Thanks to Charming Media for introducing me to another one of your fantastic clients.

Riverbend Inn & Vineyard

Last weekend I went on my SambaDays Gourmet Getaway with the Sambassador program to Riverbend Inn & Vineyard in Niagara-On-The-Lake.  I have previously been to Inn On The Twenty in Jordan Station, but never down Niagara-on-the-Lake.  It was Jason’s birthday weekend as well and we had the best time.

Included in this SambaDays package was:

  • One night’s accommodation in a Deluxe guestroom
  • A $25.00 voucher to go towards dinner in our Dining Room
  • Breakfast for 2 in the morning
  • A farewell Riverbend gift upon departure

We turned down the beautiful tree lined driveway to Riverbend around 430pm and immediately felt like we were swept back in time.

The Inn is an old Georgian mansion and it sits in the middle of 12 acres of vineyard.  We were checked in by Linda the Concierge, who was very friendly and helpful.  We asked for info on the area and she told us to come back to see her on our way to dinner and she would put together a little package.

We went straight up to our room and when I opened the door to our beautiful room I was extra excited to see that we had a fireplace!

We relaxed and got ready for our dinner reservation at 6:00pm in the Inn’s dining room.  We were seated at a beautiful little table by the window, which looked out onto the vineyard.

Our server for the evening was Amy, who is the dining room manager and has been with the owners of Riverbend, the Del Ben family, for 18 years.  She used to work at their sister property – the Old Stone Inn (which you can also get with your Gourmet Getaway card).  Amy was also very knowledgeable about the inn, the area and of course, the menu!  She was absolutely fantastic and you can tell she loves her job.  She was very attentive and when she came to check on us/the food she asked “how are the flavours” which was very unique and my goodness, were the flavours ever scrumptious!

We started off with Amy’s recommendation on wine, the 2010 Riverbend Cabernet Saugvignon (Vineyard managed by Klaus Reif of Reif Estate Winery & estate bottled using only Riverbend’s own grapes exclusively) which was absolutely fantastic.

  
So good that we drank a bottle at the table and took a second up to our room for the night! (Please excuse some of the blurriness of the photos, my photographer is learning the fine art of taking pictures of his girlfriend for her blog!)

She then brought us an Amuse Bouche from the chef which was a Crab Salad Tarte and it was delicious.

 

Next we had freshly baked rolls & butter and I had the soup of the day, Celery Root Soup with a Paprika Creme Fraiche.

Jason had the Beef Carpaccio – Thinly Sliced Beef Tenderloin with Shaved Fennel, Arugula in a Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette, Pine Nuts, Shaved Grana Padano, Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

My soup was the perfect blend of flavours, and Jason’s carpaccio was fantastic.

 

For our main course, I had the Pest & Lobster Risotto – Creamy Italian Style Arborio Rice, Lobster Meat, Pesto, Grana Padano – which was a very unique dish for me to eat and it was delectable.  The perfect amount of lobster and a real treat for this picky vegetarian eater.  (Yes, I know lobster isn’t vegetarian, but I try to eat seafood if I can).

Jason had the Stuffed Grain Fed Chicken Supreme -Woolwich Goat Cheese, Walnuts, Calimyrna Fig Stuffing, Potato Puree & Butter Braised Rapini – and he said it was delicious.

For dessert I had the Creme Brulee (one of my all time favourite desserts) and it was delectable, followed by a Rivebend Coffee (I can’t remember the liquer in it).

Jason had 2 fingers of Crown Royal for dessert, and yes, that’s exactly what he asked for – the equivalent to about 4 shots.

After dinner we wandered back to the lobby (bottle of wine in tow) to chat with Linda and pick up our information.  She gave us a whole package of info, including a history of the Riverbend Inn building and 2 wine tasting tickets for Peller Estates and Trius.  Thank you very much Linda for all your info and help.

Obligatory Fireplace Pose

We went back up to our room, turned on the fireplace and relaxed with a few glasses of wine and some TV.  Then Jason decided he needed some fun, so we headed back down to the dining room to sit at the bar.  We both tried the Oast House beer (Jason a pint, me a half-pint) and he had another shot of Crown Royal.

The bar was closing, so we went for a quick walk around the outside of the inn and then back to our room to polish off the bottle of wine.  We were both exhausted after our day and were asleep at about midnight.

The next morning we woke up and went to breakfast at 930am.  I got a picture of the menu and then we both dove into our meals as soon as they came and I completely forgot to get pictures!  We both got the Country Breakfast (I gave Jason my bacon & sausage) and then we headed back to our room to pack and then down to checkout.

Our farewell gift was a bottle of Riverbend Vineyard 2011 Vidal & Riverbend Truffles.  Of course, we ate the truffles right away, but the wine is chilling for a special occasion aka this weekend 🙂

We had the best time at Riverbend Inn & Vineyard and I highly recommend adding it to your “to do” list.  The inn was gorgeous, the staff were all very knowledgeable, friendly and were happy to be there, and the food & wine… well it was absolutely delicious and one of the highlights of our weekend.

Thank you to SambaDays and the Sambassador program.  I can’t wait for my next adventure!

p.s. For all the photos from our adventure check out my Picasa HERE

Buytopia & Porter Airlines

I’ve got a great deal to share with you.  Buytopia and Porter Airlines have teamed up for their first ever group buying deal and from today until March 11 you can get select Porter Airlines flights for 50% off!!!

You have to travel between April 1- June 28, 2013 but at 50% off its worth just taking a trip.

Click on the Banner above or the link below and use the code TOPIA to claim your deal/purchase your flights.

Link: http://www.buytopia.ca/deal/3080/?skip=true&a_aid=carlyanne

Code: TOPIA

Happy Travelling!!

 

I lost a bunch of posts

I lost a bunch of posts from the very beginning of my blog, I think they were even imported from my first blogger site.  When I made the switch from kaponetwo some of the posts just disappeared and I couldn’t figure out what to do.  It’s probably been too long to figure out but maybe one day I will.  My blog feels really bare lately and its frustrating.  I’ve got lots to do and say but not enough time to write it all down.  I guess that’s a good thing though.  I’m too busy to sit down and write.  There’s always so much going on.  I made the best butternut squash soup ever last night for dinner.  Jason loved it and he said some pretty ridiculous things that I’m not going to post.  haha.

Jason found me a heart shaped rock

We’re going back to Florida soon and I cannot wait to go on a road trip.  I’m only going for a week this time and Jason for the winter so that kinda sucks that I have to fly home without him.  I need to move and get a bigger place soon.  I’m looking in the Beach/Leslieville area so if you hear of anything let me know!

Life has been busy and really great lately.  Hope it’s been the same for you.