Sunday, January 30, 2011

a bike date

andre and his bianchi
biking through the bike lane in the new dufferin underpass

for a few days last week, the temperatures warmed up to around the 0 degree mark, so andre and i took the opportunity to ride our bikes to our lunch date.

our yummy lunch

with our groupon coupon in hand, we sat down for lunch at mildred's temple kitchen. and lucky for us, one of andre's past clients who is a chef at the restaurant was there and we were able to quickly catch up with him. he also sent over a delectable oxtail, gnocchi dish that just melted in our mouths. the meat was so tender!

nice bike mural
a very cute bike mural - which i admired in the past but didn't remember the bike!

hi there pig!
thanks for carrying those apples ms. pig

then we went off to mec and urbane cyclist to do some errands before returning home.

hopefully these almost spring-like temperatures will return soon!

me and my bike (that is getting a beating with all the salt this winter)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

a new year's romp

Duke and I (sans Andre, who was working on our bathroom and Petey who detests muddy textures under his paws) went for a hike through High Park. It was unseasonably warm on New Year's Day and most of the snow melted over night, creating a very misty, moist start to 2011.

finally out of the mud
made it through the super muddy trails


why are you so slow?
eventually we just ended up walking, instead of playing fetch

sitting pretty
looks more like an autumn shot, than a mid-winter photo!

see ya!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

winter wonderful

for christmas last year, i took the boys to the historic village of alton, just 1.5 hours outside of toronto, for a short holiday get-away.

alton is a picturesque mill town with many heritage buildings. because the village is old, despite being a small town, the streets are narrow and all the buildings are placed really close to the streets giving it an almost urban feel. a lot of buildings have heritage plaques stating they were built during the last couple of decades of the 19th century!

we stayed at the town's mill which has since been converted into a beautiful inn and spa.

the beautiful waterfall at the millcroft inn
the gorgeous waterfall right behind the dining hall

christmas decorations
christmas decorations were everywhere

a very popular birdhouse with lots of feathery visitors in the mornings

the inn is dog friendly and our two-storey room had a great fireplace and an outdoor hot tub. because of duke and petey's separation-anxiety, we did room service for all our meals and we even brought our breakfasts back to our room (which felt more like a small townhouse). i must say that the food is quite delicious at the millcroft!

the main reason for choosing the millcroft inn was it's proximity to the bruce trail. what we didn't know until we arrived was that the inn is surrounded by hiking trails and we didn't have to leave the property to go for a hike with the beagles.

hunting together

more often than not, these two were running around together

initally we let both duke and petey off leash. both have great recall at parks and urban hiking trails. we have no problems with going to parks that aren't fenced in. so we didn't think we'd have to worry about them wandering off.

the trails in alton, however, must have a tonne of exciting smells and duke soon took off, hopping like mad through the snow banks. it took a good 10 minutes of me trying to run after him in thigh-high snow before i could catch him, when he paused to drink in the the scent of something particularly good.

and with that, off-leash privileges were revoked for him and shortly after for petey as well, when he high-tailed it through the fields, returning only when duke started howling after him.

what a great recall
petey before his privileges were revoked - a good recall!

sniff sniff
sniff, sniff

keenly listening
duke did a lot of pausing to listen carefully and sniff the air

the trails were really pretty, despite everything being in hibernation mode.

giant pods

the hiking tired the boys out thoroughly and they were more than happy to pass out in front of the fire for the rest of the evening.

pooped petey

tired beagles

our little getaway was so relaxing and fun - if only, like all vacations, it could have been a little bit longer. it has, however, definitely given me ideas for another winter getaway. it was so nice to see duke and petey have fun in the snow and not get painful salty paws. for the humans it was also a relief not to have to worry about litter and gross discarded food that the beagles love to scavenge in the city.

while researching for this trip, i found quite a few dog friendly accommodations within easy driving distance from toronto. the only problem is that they are quite popular and for a holiday getaway, many were booked up by late november. here is a list of a few that i've ear-marked for future trips:

The Little Inn
Cedar Grove: you get your own detached log cabin with all meals included!
Red Bay
Millcroft Inn: where we stayed!