Wow!  Life has been a whirlwind, but as Lucille Ball once said, “If you want something done, ask a BUSY person to do it!”

OFSSA 2016

OFSSA 2016

In the midst of cramming for exams, qualifying for OFSSA and kicking off my fund raising campaign for Free the Children and the Alberta Wildfire Relief Fund as part of my responsibilities for the Miss Teenage Canada pageant, I have also been fortunate to have been invited to several events as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario.

Crowning my successor SOPHIA DECARLE, MIss Teen Ontario East 2016

Crowning my successor SOPHIA DECARLE, MIss Teen Ontario East 2016

My reign as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario officially began April 17, 2016 when I crowned my successor for the title of Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 Sophia Decarle and I took on the regional title of Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario.  Since then, I have been busy and loving every minute of it!

My first official event with my new title was to Host and Greet at the annual MYFM Radio Home Show!  What an incredible event.  I was able to spend some quality time with my successor, Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 Sophia Decarle and 2016 Ontario East Ambassador Daphne Rose, meeting and welcoming folks to the Home Show, visiting with regional businesses and promoting our regional radio station MYFM 96.1.

Hosting at the MYFM Radio Home Show

Hosting at the MYFM Radio Home Show

The following weekend was a gorgeous weekend for a huge community Side walk/Garage Sale.  The entire region got involved and the downtown area was a sea of vendors, crafts persons, fun activities for the family and spirited residents.  It was a wonderful day to interact with the community and officially introduce my new regional title.

May is an incredibly beautiful month in the city of Ottawa as they celebrate the annual TULIP FESTIVAL.  I was invited to attend a variety of events throughout the tulip festival and I got to as many as I possibly could.  I really enjoyed meeting the tourists, taking photos with them and taking some time to truly enjoy the beauty of Spring in the city.

2016 Ottawa Tulip Festival

I was also invited to tour Ottawa’s Little Italy and personally decide if the famous Meatball

Little Italy

Little Italy and the Prescott

Sub at the PRESCOTT is as legendary as they say;  IT WAS!  It was great attending this event with my Mom because it was where she spent a great deal of time when she was young and living in Ottawa.  We had a wonderful mother-daughter bonding day after the event visiting her old haunts.

Touring Little Italy

Touring Little Italy

The Canadian Cancer Society’s RELAY FOR LIFE has had a huge impact in my sister’s life and to our entire family.  We have proudly watched year after year as my sister Jill, my friend Paige and all of the inspirational Survivors walk the Survivor lap in their bright yellow Survivor t-shirts.  Each one has their own story and each one has struggled through their journeys.  Seeing them all walking together as a show of pride and courage along with family members and friends who have been such a strong support network is truly moving every year! BLOG 6 Relay

The luminary lighting is also very inspiring.  The music is played low and the songs are inspirational, the night is dark and the track is lit by luminaries purchased in Honour of family/friends/community members who have fought or continue to battle cancer and also by those lit in Memory of so many who lost their battles but they are remembered with love.  It is surreal when you walk the track and read each message so lovingly displayed on each individual luminary.

Relay for Life Luminary Ceremony

Relay for Life Luminary Ceremony

Luminary in Honour of My Sister Jill

Luminary in Honour of My Sister Jill

It is emotional but somehow comforting too.  Our Relay for Life event is even more special because it is organized by a group of high school students and faculty members of Renfrew Collegiate Institute.  Although I don’t attend RCI, I am so proud of all they have accomplished over the past 10 years for the Cancer Society.  In 10 years, this small school of 400+ students have raised over $850,000 and holds the honour as the HIGHEST RELAY FOR LIFE FUND RAISING SCHOOL in all of CANADA!  Yes, they are TOP in the country!  This includes Relays organized by grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities!  A MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT and one the entire community is very proud of!  This year’s event was made extra special for all of us who work so hard to create awareness for Childhood

$100,000 Childhood Cancer Research Grant in Honour of my friend PAIGE

$100,000 Childhood Cancer Research Grant in Honour of my friend PAIGE

Cancer when the organization along with the Canadian Cancer Society announced that they would be taking $100,000 of the money raised and creating a special CHILDHOOD Cancer Research Grant in honour of my friend and a 10-year participant and committee member of the RCI Relay for Life:  PAIGE DILLABOUGH!  It was such a special moment and so inspiring! I hope all of you have had an opportunity to participate in a Relay for Life event in your community.

Our favourite CHEO friend; MOLLY PENNY

Our favourite CHEO friend; MOLLY PENNY

Just this past weekend, I was invited to attend the annual CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) Teddy Bear Picnic on the beautiful grounds of the Governor General’s Residence in Ottawa.  What a great day!  I spent the day with Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 Sophia Decarle and Ontario East Ambassador Daphne Rose visiting with the kids, meeting some local celebrities and getting to know some of our amazing military personnel.  The little ones had a great time trying on the “bling” and learning the “queen wave!”   It was a WONDERFUL DAY!

At the CHEO Red Cross Tent with some of our amazing Military personnel

At the CHEO Red Cross Tent with some of our amazing Military personnel

In addition to these major events, I have also been taking time to speak to groups and community gatherings about my Charity Platform: Childhood Cancer Awareness and also about my fund raising project for Free the Children and the Alberta Wildfires Relief Fund.  I have been fortunate to have been invited to speak several times at various locations and I will continue to promote my Awareness campaign not only as part of my platform for the Miss Teenage Canada pageant but also long after Pageant week has concluded.  I want to use the opportunity as a regional titleholder to get my message out to as many people as possible.

Dow's Lake in Ottawa

Dow’s Lake in Ottawa

I have kicked my Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario Fund raising Project for Free the Children and the Alberta Wildfire Relief fund into high gear and I will be sure to share my events with you when my project winds down the first week of July.  All to say, IT HAS BEEN BUSY BUT A BLAST so far!

ftc logo revisedCanadian Red cross

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you will stay tuned to my Blog to share in my upcoming appearances as I continue my reign as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016.

GO GOLD!

Kathleen

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JILL CANCER QUOTE

Childhood cancer impacts everyone one way or another. Every kid is someone’s sister, brother, cousin, neighbor, friend or child. My inspiration is my big sister Jill. Before she was diagnosed with cancer I had no idea what childhood cancer really entailed or what these kids and their families really go through. The devastation of someone so young and so close to you being diagnosed with such a harsh disease can be unbearable. Seeing how brave my sister was and how brave all of the other children battling cancer are has truly inspired me. I wanted to share with you, my sister’s battle with cancer and how one of the charities I support through my Childhood Cancer Awareness platform; The CANDLELIGHTERS Childhood Cancer Support Programs Inc. helped her and supported her through this experience.

Jill in her hospital bed at CHEO

Jill in her hospital bed at CHEO

My Sister’s words:

“Hi, my name is Jill Barr and I am going to share with you my experience with cancer and the huge role the Candlelighters played throughout my diagnoses.

It all began 7 years ago, November 2009 at the age of 11. I was playing hockey at the time and it was body contact. During one of our games, I collided with a guy who was much bigger than me and we both fell to the ice. When I got up I began to feel pain in my lower back and stomach. I just thought that I was sore from the hit I had taken, but it had got to the point where it became painful to sit or walk. Along with the back and stomach pain I started to feel sick, but it was during the swine flu epidemic so I just thought I had the flu. So I toughed through a few days of sharp stomach pains and nausea and I woke up one morning feeling much better so I decided to go back to school. I spent the whole day at school feeling normal, but then I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain. While I was in CHEO going through treatments or recovering from a surgery the nurses would always ask me, how’s your pain on a scale of 1-10? 1 being no pain at all and 10 being the worst pain you have ever felt. Well the pain I was feeling that night was an 11.

My mom rushed me to the hospital where they got me into a bed and hooked

Jill at LIGHT PARLIAMENT GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jill at LIGHT PARLIAMENT GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

me up to an IV so they could give me medicine for my pain. They took me in for an ultra sound to try and find out what was causing this. The results showed I had what they thought was a 10cm cyst on my left ovary. After determining the results they rushed me to CHEO by ambulance where I waited for my first ever surgery. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have always been a bit of a dare devil and I never show much fear, but I can honestly say waiting for that surgery was one of the most terrifying times in my life.

The surgery was initially supposed to be laparoscopic, but the mass on my ovary was ruptured by the first incision so they had to make a large incision to stop the bleeding and remove the mass. This frightened my parents because what was supposed to be a simple hour long surgery turned into a 3-4 hour surgery. I spent five days in recovery at CHEO then I was able to go home. I spent about two more weeks resting at home then I was back to school. Everything was going well for me again and I was back to my normal life just being an 11 year old girl. Little did I know that the results of the biopsy were going to show that the mass taken from my ovary was cancerous. This news devastated my family and really confused me. I had no idea what to expect, I had never experienced anything like this before. I remember telling my friends for the first time at school and feeling really nervous about what they were going to think, but I remember feeling positive about how things were going to go for me.

Jill proudly wearing her YELLOW Cancer Survivor shirt walking the Survivor Lap at Relay for Life

Jill proudly wearing her YELLOW Cancer Survivor shirt walking the Survivor Lap at Relay for Life

After I was diagnosed things began to move quickly in terms of medical procedures. I had to get a pic line inserted into my right arm so they could administer the chemotherapy. I was awake for this procedure and it was fairly painful and uncomfortable because to insert the pic line the approximately 2ft tube had to be fed up through my vein. Next I had a very long and complicated meeting with my oncology team and social worker about what I was going to have to go through next such as my chemotherapy treatments, illness, and side effects both short term and long term. They told me I was going to have three chemo treatments each three days long and 21 days off in between treatments.

On December 20th I was admitted into CHEO for my first chemo treatment on the oncology floor. Almost as soon as they began the treatments I became very sick and tired. By day two I was so sick they had to give me a lot of anti-nausea medications so I was pretty much out cold for the remaining time I was in the hospital. After what felt like forever I was able to go home on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. I hadn’t eaten for three days so I was supposed to try as soon as I got home. I asked for ham and cheese buns for Christmas Eve dinner, but instead of eating I fell asleep in mom and dad’s bed and when I woke up it was Christmas. That was the first night as a kid I had ever been able to fall asleep early on Christmas Eve. When I woke up Christmas Day I was very tired and sick so I sat on the coach and my sisters helped me open my presents. A week later when I was feeling better we went to put my presents away and I realized because of my medications I didn’t remember anything I had gotten so it was like Christmas all over again.

Our family is a pillar of support for our Hero Jill.

Our family is a pillar of support for our Hero Jill.

After my first treatment I began to lose my hair very quickly. This was very scary for me because as an 11 year old girl my hair was everything. I would wake up in the mornings and my hair would be on my pillow instead of on my head. I tried to hold on to it for as long as I could but I knew I was losing it whether I liked it or not. So we asked one of our good neighbors who is a hair dresser to come to my house and she cut it all off. I was sad, but at the same time I knew that losing my hair was the least of my worries because I knew I still had two more treatments ahead of me.

The next two treatments were pretty much like the first. I was constantly sick, tired and would sleep the days away. Although I had terrific care and was surrounded by such kind people at CHEO all I ever wanted to do was go home. My time in between treatments was controlled by how I was feeling and whether or not I was neutrapenic. If I was, I was unable to see anyone outside of my family or go places and do things. When I was lucky enough for my blood counts to be normal we tried to do as many fun things as we could.

Always an Athlete, Jill is back on the court and the field as soon as she was able.

Always an Athlete, Jill is back on the court and the field as soon as she was able.

When I finally finished my treatments at the end of February, it was the best feeling I have ever had. I was so happy to be done with hospitals and sickness for a while. My life was basically back to normal minus the monthly doctor visits, frequent scans and blood work. I was back at school and my hair had even begun to grow back almost into an ash blonde colour. 6 months later on June 11th 2010 my parents got a fax with my blood work showing that my tumour marker levels had risen. After a follow up MRI at CHEO we found out I had relapsed. This time knowing exactly what to expect and what I was going to be put through we were even more devastated than the first time. I couldn’t believe that it was actually happening to me for a second time and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. So we had to sit through another tough meeting with the oncology doctor where we were told I was going to have 2 week long cycles of chemotherapy, a surgery to remove the new tumor, then three more week long rounds of chemotherapy. This was hard to hear because the chemo was going to be more aggressive and I was going to be hospitalized for longer each time. This was going to mean a lot more tests, scans, and checkups to make sure this new, more aggressive chemo treatment wasn’t damaging my hearing, and internal organs.

Jill Relay

Shortly after we were given the news I was admitted into the hospital for my first round of chemo on Canada day 2010. It pretty much went how we expected, I was sick, tired and practically slept the week away. Then I was sent home for 21 days. Before heading back for my second round of treatments I began to lose my hair again. I wasn’t as upset about it this time because my hair was already short and I considered it a minor side effect. My second round of treatments was very similar to the first because by then it was like clockwork. This time the big concern was to keep my platelets and red bloods cells up in between treatments.

Jill speaking on the importance of promoting Childhood Cancer Awarenss

Jill speaking on the importance of promoting Childhood Cancer Awarenss

After I had recovered from my second round of treatments I had to undergo another surgery to remove the tumour. After looking at the tumour all my doctors had a meeting and decided that radiation would also be an effective form of treatment. I had three more rounds of chemo over the course of three months. The treatments went fairly normal except for the one scare I had where I lost my breath, so they thought I was going into anaphylactic shock and I got to meet the entire spot team.

 I didn’t really get a chance to recover from my last chemo treatment before they had me started on radiation. I had radiation every day except for Saturday and Sunday over the course of four weeks; a total of 20 treatments. I would go to radiation in the morning and the treatments only took about 10 minutes so I could still make it back to school for the afternoons. We live about an hour and a half away from CHEO so as you could imagine, we did a lot of driving during this time.

 

Survivor Lap 2016 at Relay for Life

Survivor Lap 2016 at Relay for Life

After I finished radiation the doctors told me that they were going to remove my second ovary as a precaution. My surgery was on February 10th 2011. I had to be at CHEO for 6am that morning so we stayed at Ronald McDonald House the night before. During my surgery my bladder was punctured due to scar tissue in that area. This meant more recovery time in the hospital and I would have to have a catheter until my bladder was able to heal. The good news was, this surgery marked the end of my battle with cancer. I was ready to put all of it behind me and move on to bigger and better things. I was so happy to be free of cancer and I know I couldn’t have done it without the amazing support of my family and friends, my community and an incredibly special organization called the Candlelighters.

Candlelighters logo final

The Candlelighters supported me both financially, and emotionally. The first encounter I had with the Candlelighters they provided me with a laptop I could keep during my treatments so I could use it for the homeschooling and stay in touch with my friends which was very important to me. The Candlelighters also provided my parents with coffee cards, important information and a blow up mattress for the hospital room. My Dad’s self-employed and my Mom had to be off work to support me so that was a financial worry that the Candlelighters helped us with. The Candlelighters informed us about how childhood cancer can affect the whole family and where we could go if we needed any kind of help. Due to the amount of times we were going to be at CHEO the parking fees were going to get fairly expensive, so the Candlelighters gave us a parking pass. Besides the fact that the parking pass helped financially, it also made getting out of CHEO a whole lot quicker. This was huge for me because at the end of my treatments you couldn’t get me out the door fast enough; I just wanted to go home. They gave my family and I things to look forward to such as Sens games and concerts in the Candlelighters suit and events like the Christmas party were we got to meet Chris Phillips. I believe that this is the most important thing the Candlelighters do because it gives cancer patients an opportunity to escape from hospital life and do something fun that includes the entire family. What this organization does is takes a child who is battling cancer and gives them what they want the most; to just be a kid and have fun. Even though I am done with treatments the Candlelighters still continue to support me.

Jill's Friends have been a constant source of support, then and now!

Jill’s Friends have been a constant source of support, then and now!

Going through cancer is horrific and going through it as a child is so devastating and scary.  My family was my rock, my friends were supportive and my community at large was an amazing help to my family.  Cancer affects everyone!  I hope that by sharing my story, I have encouraged at least one person to get educated about childhood cancer or even better to donate or get involved with a childhood cancer charity.”

Team mates and Friends

Team mates and Friends

My sister Jill is my HERO and why I lobby so hard for Childhood Cancer Awareness!  I appreciate Jill telling her story to my readers.  She is an ATHLETE, soon to be a High School Graduate and University Student, a PAGEANT girl, a SISTER and a CHAMPION!

My beautiful sister JILL

My beautiful sister JILL

In the coming segments of my CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Blog series, I will be interviewing my family members, Jill’s friends and a community resident to share how Jill’s diagnosis affected them because CANCER AFFECTS EVERYONE!

GO GOLD!

Kathleen, Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016

 

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I would like to introduce you to my Charity Platform; CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS.

ccam

It is a platform that I am passionate about and one that I dedicate a great deal of my time and energy to.  My connection to my Charity Platform is a very personal one; my sister Jill is a Childhood cancer survivor!  Rallying, fund raising and speaking at Childhood cancer events has been a priority for my entire family since Jill’s diagnosis.

Jill Relay

I will be introducing a CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Blog Series to give you all a very personal insight into the importance and need for people to become more aware of Childhood cancer and the many charities that assist kids with cancer and their families.  It is important that people realize that when a child is diagnosed with cancer, it not only affects the child but it has a major impact on the family, the siblings, the friends and the circle of people who are entwined in the life of the child diagnosed.  In my upcoming CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS Blog Series, I will be giving insight into the many people who were affected when my sister Jill was diagnosed; how they felt, what their reaction was when they were informed, how Jill’s diagnosis impacted their life and why they feel that childhood cancer awareness needs to come to the forefront.

Sisters Share Childhood Memories and Lifelong Dreams; My Sisters Jill and Jenna

Sisters Share Childhood Memories and Lifelong Dreams; My Sisters Jill and Jenna

Until my sister was diagnosed and we were thrust into the world of Childhood cancer, I didn’t really think about kids getting cancer.  It had never occurred to me that this was even a possibility.  I now realize the hardships that the kids go through, the journey that the family members embark upon and the impact that a diagnosis has on an entire community.

Did you know?…

Childhood cancer is relatively uncommon. However, it remains the most common disease-related cause of death – more than asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and AIDS combined. It is second only to injury-related deaths among Canadian children.

Cancers in children act differently and are found in different organs in the body than those that are found in adults. In general, tumours in children often grow more quickly and spread to other parts of the body faster. Children are more likely to develop leukemia and lymphoma than adults.

Cancer in children creates a large impact on our health, economic and social welfare systems. It also places a burden on the child with cancer and their family. An estimated two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors will have at least one chronic or long-term side effect from their cancer treatment. As more children survive cancer, the need for long-term monitoring and follow-up care will continue to grow.

It can take several years to collect and confirm cancer data, so the number of new cancer cases and deaths from recent years may not be available for some time. The most recent data available are provided.

Read more: http://www.cancer.ca

3% fundingI have attended many events promoting Childhood cancer awareness, both as a sibling of a cancer patient and as a regional titleholder and I have learned so much about the need to bring Childhood cancer research to the forefront.  It shocked me to realize that only 3% of the funds raised for cancer research are focused on childhood cancers.  That is much too small of a percentage!  We need to lobby to increase that percentage so more research can be afforded and so new treatment plans and a cure can be found for various childhood cancers.

My Objective with my CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS BLOG Series is to Inform and Educate my readers on the impact of a childhood cancer diagnosis and the need to increase awareness which will in turn promote funding and results.  I owe a great deal of gratitude to my sister Jill who has allowed me to tell her story, interview family members and friends on the impact that her diagnosis had on them.  I am hoping that presenting my platform with such a personal connection will touch my readers and will encourage others to get involved in childhood cancer charities so that we can raise the funds needed for  the research that is required to pin point childhood cancers and establish life-saving protocols.

My Sister, My Inspiration

My Sister, My Inspiration

Awareness+Funding+Research=A CURE

BLOG 4 pic

Stay tuned for my next installment; My Life as a Childhood Cancer Survivor – The Story of Jill.

GO GOLD,

 

Kathleen

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Me on the Beaches of Jamaica

Me on the Beaches of Jamaica

During my lifetime I have been incredibly fortunate to have travelled with my family to different countries and places in this beautiful world. Doing so, I have discovered a love and passion for travelling, experiencing new cultures, new opinions, history, ideas, food and scenery. For me, travelling is about learning about somebody and someplace else. It’s about broadening my mind and being more open to experiences & ideas. Travelling is simply the feeling that you are actively learning about others and appreciating the great world we live in.

The first time I ever was on a plane was to travel to British Columbia to attend My uncle’s wedding in Vancouver. At this time, I was 5 years old and was so excited to go. I can remember drawing doodles of planes and skies in my room for weeks before the trip. As a little kid, leaving the farm and travelling to a big city on a real plane was just about as awesome as life could get. I can remember sitting on the window seat of the plane and not being able to take my eyes off the clouds for the entire five-hour flight. When we finally arrived in Vancouver, I was beyond excited to get a cab and drive off into a real city. There were buildings that touched the sky, hundreds of different restaurants and stores and countless parks filled with kids and dogs on every block. Coming from a small village with one park, one store and one restaurant, Vancouver was an overwhelming paradise to me.

During that trip, I visited the ocean for the first time.  It was too cold and rainy to swim but my family still had a great time collecting sea shells and rocks. We also visited the Vancouver Aquarium. I think it was there that I realized I had a love of the sea and all of the creatures within it. That day I got to see beluga whales, stingrays, starfish and dolphins. That trip started our family’s love of travel and led to the planning of our first tropical vacation to beautiful Dominican Republic.

Swimming with the Nurse Sharks in the Dominican

Swimming with the Nurse Sharks in the Dominican

Dominican was everything my family had hoped it would be; great food, beautiful scenery and nice, genuine people. It is an excellent place for a family holiday! Things couldn’t have gone better for our first time as a family travelling to another country. We headed off on this journey with our great friends Jerome and Mary and we have been travelling with them ever since. There was a certain energy and atmosphere at our wonderful resort that instantly made you feel relaxed and welcomed. After a lot of unpacking, changing into swimsuits and applying sunscreen we finally headed to the beach. I remember when my toes first stepped into the hot white sand. I remember seeing the swaying coconut trees and crystal-clear water. I was so excited to step onto a tropical beach, and I couldn’t wait to dive into the ocean for the first time. As the week continued, things only got better and better. During that week I learned many things about the Dominican people, their

Dominican diving!

Dominican diving!

language and their culture. I even stepped outside of my own comfort zone trying new foods, meeting many different people and opened myself up to different challenges and experiences. I think that travelling over the years has really helped me find myself and discover things about myself. Some new things I took on that week include snorkeling in a coral reef, tubing out in the deep ocean and swimming with real, live, sharks. Yes you heard me, sharks. Although they were just nurse sharks and don’t have a great deal of teeth, for an 8-year-old girl, I thought I was pretty tough.

Barbados at it's Finest!

Barbados at it’s Finest!

 

 

The next year my family travelled to Cuba, followed the next year by Barbados. Cuba was a fun and cultural trip. We enjoyed lots of Cuban meals and it happened to be Cuba Days when we went so they were celebrating their country in bright parades and shows and they shared this extravagant holiday with us. Barbados was a trip I will never forget! Never have I seen such a beautiful place filled with such a wide variety of people, scenery, plants and animals. Barbados is full of people who are larger than life. They fill your mind with their colourful speech, their walk, their endless energy and love of life. No matter what their age, they insist on having fun. Barbados is filled with endless beaches, luxury resorts and fun nightspots. The coconut palms, the bearded fig trees, the sugar cane fields and the tropical flowers all add to the charm. The first animal I saw in Barbados was a colourful sea turtle. Barbados is a haven for many turtles, including the Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles. Sea turtles are very commonly seen there almost like how a deer is common for people to see where I come from, but for me this was beyond exciting. That week we got to go snorkeling and swimming with the sea turtles, and I instantly fell in love. Some other animals I got to see in Barbados included the mongoose, bats, a red-footed tortoise, various species of lizards, whistling frogs and toads. The ocean in

Barbados on the Beach

Barbados on the Beach

Barbados was the highlight of the trip. The HUGE waves caused for an exciting and rowdy swim. At this point in my life that trip was the most magnificent 7 days I’d ever had. After all, how could body surfing wave after wave for hours on end in crystal clear water ever get boring?

Fun in Florida

Fun in Florida

 

 

The next year the Barr family took on Disney, Florida, the sunshine state of America. This trip was extremely eventful with one exciting event planned after another. In Florida I went on my very first roller coaster ride at SeaWorld. We went to the Magic Kingdom where we met Mickey and Minney and all of the other Disney characters and we also watched the amazing fire work show and a glow in the dark parade. It was truly a magical experience. Our favourite part about the trip was most definitely the water park! A full day of good fun in the sun, riding slides and floating in the lazy river. I swear, we must have floated around in that thing for 4 hours straight. We had so much fun in Florida but we felt we didn’t have enough time to fully experience it all so we returned again 2 years after and took on Old town, Universal and Gatorland.

Family Fun in Jamaica

Family Fun in Jamaica

You might ask what’s next on this family’s travel bucket list? Well, to us we couldn’t possibly miss out on a trip to Jamaica, two trips actually. We loved it there so much that we returned another year to experience it all over again. Every Island in the Caribbean has something unique and special about it but to me the music is what separates Jamaica from the others. Despite the tiny size of the island, Jamaican music has long been a powerful force on a global scale. First of all, we have Bob Marley and his Reggae legacy.  He advocated for social change while simultaneously allowing listeners to forget their troubles and just dance. I think this has a huge impact on Jamaica‘s friendly atmosphere and passion for music. The island boasts a wealth of extraordinarily popular genres such as dancehall and dub and has a long history of folk music.

Parasailing in Jamaica

Parasailing in Jamaica

On these trips to Jamaica I experienced new things that I have always wanted to try. I went parasailing, cliff diving, I swam with dolphins and my sister and I even rode a camel. I must say, swimming with dolphins was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Being so close with such a gentle and happy animal can make anybody smile. Riding the camel on the other hand was a far more smelly experience, but still tons of fun! Parasailing was absolutely amazing! I soared 250 feet above the beautiful Caribbean Sea admiring the coastline of Jamaica. Up there I could really take in all Jamaica had to offer.

Cliff Diving in Jamaica

Cliff Diving in Jamaica

That year my family also returned to Dominican Republic for my cousin’s wedding where we went deep sea fishing, toured the island, went 4-wheeling and swam in a cave in a small village outside of Punta Cana. This was an excellent trip because we got to travel with family that we hadn’t seen in a very long time and I feel as if though I really connected and got to know some family members in a way that I never did before.

Calgary Stampede

Calgary Stampede

The next summer we decided there was still some of our very own country that had yet to be explored and seen so we packed up our cowboy boots and hats and headed out west to Alberta to take on the Calgary Stampede. I’ll tell you when they say it’s the greatest outdoor show on earth, they’re not lying. The Calgary Stampede is a not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates Alberta’s western heritage, cultures and community spirit. I have never seen anything quite like it! So many people were happy to be there and the vibe was unreal. Calgary is such a beautiful city. It made the experience so much more amazing. While visiting Alberta we figured we should travel out to Banff to see the mountains and go swimming in the hot springs. Seeing pictures of the Rocky Mountains does absolutely no justice to the real thing! The mountains were covered with a rug of trees, but their bare tops were scarfed and beribboned with snow. My sisters and I could hardly wait to arrive in Banff and see them up close, and go swimming in the hot springs. On our way we saw a gigantic elk crossing the road. It’s still so unbelievable to think that our very own country is home to some of the most beautiful species.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park

As amazing as Alberta was, my cross Canada touring wasn’t done for that summer. My uncle and aunt gave me the absolute greatest gift that year for my birthday; the chance to fly out to Vancouver to see them and spend the week with them. I jumped at the opportunity to travel to British Columbia again. The distant memories of when I was a little girl were still so great that I couldn’t have been more excited to live them again. We toured Vancouver on land and from up above. We went on a sea plane that flew us all around the city and over the ocean that surrounded it. We went to Stanley park where we admired the gardens and totem poles. We also went to Granville Island and the beach where my uncle took me sea kayaking. Sea kayaking was such a great experience. I saw seals, jellyfish and hundreds of bright pink and purple star fish. That weekend we set sail on a big ferry boat and headed to Vancouver Island. There, we went to the parliament buildings, the museum, went shopping and just toured the beautiful cobblestone streets. Although I did some extremely awesome things on this trip, I must say the best part about it was being with my family who I hadn’t seen in a long time and I really can’t think of a better way to spend time with them then travelling around beautiful British Columbia.

Now that my family had travelled a fair amount we figured out that Barbados stole our hearts, we absolutely love it there and have been back three times since. My family booked another trip there for next March break. Unfortunately I will not be joining them for I plan to take part on my biggest journey yet. Next March Break I’ll be taking on Europe for the first time. My school is planning a EF history trip to Canada’s Battlefields and I couldn’t possibly pass up the opportunity. I absolutely love history, traveling and learning about other cultures, so this trip is a total dream for me. First we fly over seas to the Netherlands, then go on to Amsterdam where we will visit the Anne Frank house. After reading the Anne Frank Diary as a kid I’ve always wanted to see it for myself. We then travel to France where we will see Vimy Ridge, Juno Beach and Normandy.  The trip is to conclude with a 3 day stay in Paris where we are free to tour wherever we choose. Words can’t describe how excited I am for this trip of a lifetime. I can’t wait to learn about these countries and our world in a whole new way.

2016 BLOG 3 quote

I’m really so lucky to have done all that I have at only 16 years old. I come from a very small village, and although to me, my hometown is still the most beautiful place in the whole world, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to leave it for short periods of time and experience other countries. Traveling has offered me the opportunity to explore the world and open doors for myself. I honestly feel that through trying new things, learning new things and being in diverse communities, it has helped to mold me into the person I am today. I’ve realized I have a passion for travel and by acting on that passion I have made great memories and have gotten a good tan or two! There’s still so much out there I want to see and do. I want to take on this beautiful world head on and live my life to the fullest!

GO GOLD!

Kathleen

 

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I wanted to take this Blog post to give you some insight into how I started on this amazing journey to the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant and introduce you to my sponsoring pageant;  The Teen Ontario East Pageant.

Toe Logo

A year ago I would have never pictured myself to be where I am today. In April of 2015, I entered as a delegate in the Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant and my life took on a whole new focus.

My 2015 fellow M.T.O.E. Delegates

My 2015 fellow M.T.O.E. Delegates

Going into pageant weekend 2015, my only expectation is that I was going to have a fun weekend making new friends, trying new things and meeting some incredible childhood cancer champions.  I expected to return to school Monday morning and continue on with life as usual. Little did I know that pageant weekend was going to be the beginning of a whole new experience and a whole new me!

The Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant is a charity-based, not-for-profit organization and is a proud official fund raising and Awareness event for Childhood Cancer and many of the charities that assist kids with cancer and their families.  One such charity is the Candlelighters, a not-for-profit charity organization that provides comfort and resources to young cancer patients being treated through the Oncology team at CHEO (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario). Candlelighters has always been an extremely important organization to me and my family. In 2009, at the age of 11, my sister Jill was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Candlelighters provided my sister and our whole family with the support and the resources we needed to get through that devastating cancer diagnosis. This is how we initially got involved with the pageant. Jill is one of the childhood cancer survivors that goes on stage to lend support to the pageant and the special Childhood Cancer Awareness number and then when Jill participated in the pageant as a delegate, was crowned 1st Runner Up to Miss Teen Ontario East 2014, Theresa Paplinskie. The pageant has always showcased these heroes in such an inspirational and moving way!  The very first time I watched the pageant I loved it.

2015 MTOE Champions; Jessica, Jill, Paige, Nathan and Annie

2015 MTOE Champions; Jessica, Jill, Paige, Nathan and Annie

Pageant weekend was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. Throughout the weekend I was encouraged to try many new things, I made a lot of new friends and shared some great memories and laughs with the other delegates and the M.T.O.E. committee. All of the girls were so kind and caring. We stayed up late at night chatting and getting to know each other and my roommate and I became fast friends and shared lots of dreams and ambitions until the sun came up. By the end of the weekend we all felt like sisters. The pageant made me step outside of my comfort zone and I really did become more confident in myself. I think many of my fellow delegates felt the same way.

MTOE 2015 The crowning

My crowning moment April 2015

Being crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was one of the most exciting moments of my life. All of the emotions and thoughts that blew through my mind when my name was called completely overwhelmed me. I could hardly move, let alone march down the ramp with a beautiful, huge crown on my head.

Looking back to when I was a little girl I can remember how completely mesmerized I would be when I would see the Miss Teen Ontario East girls at events in and around our community. I always looked up to the previous title holders. I honestly thought they were celebrities. They were all so kind, smart and genuine. I can remember them always taking the time to come and talk to me at events they would be volunteering at. As a little kid, having a real princess approach you and ask how you’re doing and how school is going, is probably one of the most exciting things that could happen to you. I think that was why I found it so surreal to actually be crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015.  I was now in the same place as all of those girls that I had looked up to and admired!

"Plays on the Porch" Theatre Group

“Plays on the Porch” Theatre Group

During my reign as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015, I took part in some extraordinary events and made some wonderful memories that I will cherish in my heart forever. My first official duty as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was at “Plays on the Porch”, a local acting group in my home town. I was asked to speak in front of some very talented young actors and actresses about the pageant, performing in front of an audience, and how I coped with answering the dreaded impromptu question on stage. I was nervous at first. At the time I hadn’t done a lot of public speaking. Again, reflecting on the girls before me, and how amazing they had been really put the pressure on because I wanted to represent the pageant just as well as they did. Once I got to the event, started speaking and expressing my love of performing and how fun and exciting it could be, I really felt comfortable. The pageant and their Childhood Cancer Awareness campaign are two things that I am very passionate about, so I soon took to my new role with enthusiasm and a great deal of dedication. I knew that as long as I was myself, passionate about the cause and kind in nature, I would fulfill the duties of Miss Teen Ontario East. That day was the first of over 60 events that I attended and volunteered at in my region supporting all different causes. Some of my favorites events included:

Volunteering with the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs at Kidfest

Volunteering with the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Programs at Kidfest

The Spring Bloom art show for Candlelighters, the CHEO Telethon, The Trees of Hope auction, CHEO’s Teddy Bear Picnic, Cobden’s haunted walk, the Parkinson Super Walk, the Eganville races, the Miss Madawaska Valley Pageant, the Ottawa Toy Parade and several other Santa Clause and St. Patrick Day parades.

St Patrick's Day Parade

St Patrick’s Day Parade

As Miss Teen Ontario East 2015, I was given some great opportunities and met some amazing people.   For example, this past year, my home community hosted The World Kayaking Championships and the Director

World Kayak Championships with Delaney Holley Miss Intercontinental Canada 2014

World Kayak Championships with Delaney Holley Miss Intercontinental Canada 2014

of this event was kind enough to ask me to be a Co-Ambassador along with Delaney Holley, Miss Intercontinental Canada 2014. The event was held at Wilderness Tours and opened up with a big parade and ceremony that showcased our Canadian and Ottawa Valley heritage.  After the parade, I was given the opportunity to meet the athletes and hear many of their stories. It was amazing to be a part of an international sporting event! The kayakers were all so friendly and inclusive and invited me to take part in their journey with them. Although it was an international competition, the athletes were genuinely happy to be in Canada, doing what they love, meeting new people and making memories.

CHEO Telethon with Theresa Paplinskie Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015

CHEO Telethon with Theresa Paplinskie Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015

Holding the title of Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 also gave me the opportunity to do live radio interviews, voice radio commercials, be interviewed on CTV (national television) about my Childhood Cancer Awareness campaign and partake in several newspaper and community magazine interviews.  I rode in 10 parades in our region for many different occasions, and I was introduced and volunteered for a variety of different charities.  It was an incredible insight into how important it is for our generation to promote volunteerism and charity involvement.  All charities rely on volunteers to donate time and effort so they can in turn assist those that need their support; cancer patients, heart and stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s etc.

"Light the Night Gold" on Parliament Hill for Childhood Cancer Awareness

“Light the Night Gold” on Parliament Hill for Childhood Cancer Awareness

The most inspiring event that I had the honor of attending as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was LIGHT the NIGHT GOLD on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. In honor of September being officially recognized at Childhood Cancer Awareness month, in a special evening ceremony attended by Childhood Cancer Champions and their families, Oncology medical professionals and many Parliamentary dignitaries, the Parliament Buildings were lit gold for those who have been affected by childhood cancer. The ceremony opened with a parade of young heroes and their families all dressed in gold, followed by some touching speeches and musical performances. To witness so many different people gather together to support something they are all passionate about, was truly beautiful and powerful. My personal inspiration is my sister Jill. Before she was diagnosed with cancer I had no idea what childhood cancer really entailed or what these kids and their families really go through. The devastation to someone so young and so close to you being diagnosed with such a harsh disease can be unbearable and certainly heartbreaking. Seeing how brave my sister was through it all, and how brave all of these children are has truly inspired me and touched my heart!  When I saw all the champions and their families gather on the Hill and when I experienced the moment with them when the Peace Tower was lit gold, I felt hope for the future and for a cure.  There wasn’t a dry eye on Parliament Hill that night!

Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 Sophia DeCarle. The Crowning Moment!

Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 Sophia DeCarle. The Crowning Moment!

It was an honor for me to hold the title of Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 and it was bittersweet to crown my successor this past month at the 2016 Teen Ontario East Pageant. However, the gorgeous Sophia Decarle Miss Teen Ontario East 2016 will be a wonderful representative and will do amazing things this year!  It was an incredible pageant once again and for me, it was topped off when I was officially crowned with my new title Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016 by my predecessor, the beautiful Theresa Papalinskie, Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2015.

Proud to wear my new title MISS TEENAGE EASTERN ONTARIO 2016

Proud to wear my new title MISS TEENAGE EASTERN ONTARIO 2016

Representing the M.T.O.E. pageant as Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 and now as Miss Teenage Canada 2016 has been without a doubt, a highlight in my life. Last year I joined a family that I love with all my heart; The Teen Ontario East “Sisterhood”. All of the past title holders and delegates of the Miss Teen Ontario East pageant have been so kind and thoughtful through my year as Miss Teen Ontario East and now as I start my reign as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario.

Our M.T.O.E. Sisterhood

Our M.T.O.E. Sisterhood

Pageants so often receive a negative public opinion because some people think they are superficial and all about outer beauty. I disagree!  I truly believe I have grown as a person, gained confidence in myself, developed strong public relations and public speaking skills, been introduced and become passionate about various charities and not for profit organizations, learned the importance of Time Management, prioritizing activities in my life and I have met some truly wonderful and inspirational people that have given me a new appreciation for life and how I choose to live mine.  All of these achievements were accomplished through my involvement with a pageant!

A photo shoot as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016 wearing a beautiful Bells and Bows Gown!

A photo shoot as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016 wearing a beautiful Bells and Bows Gown!

I am excited to expand my pageant experience and participate as a delegate in the 2016 Miss Teenage Canada pageant, representing my home pageant and region at the national level.  The Teenage Canada pageant emphasizes the motto;

“BE YOUR OWN KIND OF BEAUTIFUL”

a wonderful motto and a great message for all of us to follow.

I would like to sign off with one of my favorite quotes from a famous actress who represented true beauty, grace and compassion; the gorgeous SOPHIA LOREN

“BEAUTY begins the MOMENT you decide to BE YOURSELF!”

 

GOGOLD

 

 

Kathleen

 

 

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Kathleen in National gown

After my official crowning in my beautiful Bells & Bows Gown

My name is Kathleen and I am proud to be representing the beautiful Eastern Ontario region.  I am proud to be a farm girl!  Yes, I live on a 5th generation farm in the beautiful rural village of Douglas with my parents and two older sisters.  I have a dog Molly that I love with all my heart.  She was a puppy when I was born, so we have grown up together as the babies of the family.  Living on a farm also means LOTS of cats!  Sometimes it feels as if we are running a cat farm, not a beef farm.

I don't actually dress like this to drive the tractor!

I actually don’t dress like this to drive the tractor!

My beautiful family!

My beautiful family!

Most of my summers are spent working on the farm, where I drive tractors and bale hay! And although like any job, it’s not always the ideal way to spend your summer days, I wouldn’t trade it for anything because working on the farm has taught me to be responsible and hard working. When my family is not busy working the farm, we spend our days on the water; fishing, water skiing or swimming. I live in such a beautiful area with some of the most amazing lakes and rivers so we take advantage of that as much as we can. In the fall and winter my family loves spending time at our camp where we have bonfires, go hunting, fishing and have family time away from the farm chores with friends. I love going there! Some of the best times are made there with the people I love the most. I love spending time with my friends and family. They mean everything to me!  Family first!

 

Opeongo High School

Opeongo High School

Currently, I attend grade 10 at Opeongo High School.  The high school experience has been incredible so far!  I love taking part in extracurricular activities, and am a part of every sports team at my school.  Although I enjoy them all, my favorites would have to be basketball, hockey, volley ball and Track and Field.

Playing Basketball

Playing Basketball

If you can’t find me on the court, ice or field, you will probably find me in the school’s auditorium, drama or music room. I am an active member of my school’s vocal class and had the honor of being a lead in this year’s musical performance of Grease. Getting a lead in the school’s musical really allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone and realize my love and passion for singing, acting and performing.

Performing as Marty in GREASE

Performing as Marty in GREASE

I am also an active member of my school’s athletic association and am the representative for my grade on the Student Council. My sights are set on the Vice President seat for the 2016/2017 school year. My favourite subjects at school would have to be English or Music. I love being able to express myself and both subjects allow me to do so.

Love playing the ukelele

Love playing the ukelele

In my spare time I love to play music.  I’ve taken piano lessons for 8 years and have taught myself to play the guitar and ukulele.

Outside of the school environment, I am always happy to volunteer and take part in various events and community sports.  I play club basketball, volleyball and hockey.  I come from a very small community that is very close-knit; everyone is always there to help when needed, so I find it incredibly important to give back and contribute.  In 2009, my sister Jill was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I realized then that being a part of such a caring community is indeed a gift!

April 2015, just over a year ago, I entered as a delegate in the Miss Teen Ontario East pageant; a pageant held in my area for girls in my community. The Miss Teen Ontario East Pageant is a charity-based, not-for-profit organization and is a proud official fund raising and Awareness event for childhood cancer and several charities that help kids with cancer.  One of those charities is Candlelighters, a not-for-profit volunteer organization that provides comfort and resources to young cancer patients being treated in Eastern Ontario. Candlelighters provided my sister Jill, and my whole family the support and the resources we needed to get through that traumatic time in our lives.

Over pageant weekend I made many new friends, had so many unique experiences and gained an inner confidence that I didn’t know I had! I really stepped outside of my comfort zone and so did all of the other delegates. It was an incredible weekend and was made even more memorable when I was crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015.

Proud to have been crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015

Proud to have been crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015

Being crowned Miss Teen Ontario East 2015 was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I have taken part in some extraordinary events and met some incredible people over the past year.  I will cherish all of these memories in my heart forever. Throughout my reign I volunteered at over 50 events throughout the Eastern Ontario region; each one just as exciting and eventful as the last. I learned so much over my reigning year and I feel as if though I really found myself.

Now, I have handed over my Teen Ontario East crown and I have taken on the title of Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016. I plan to keep expanding on my volunteer experiences and community events and look forward to continuing to give back as Miss Teenage Eastern Ontario 2016.  I am also excited to introduce my charity platform; CHILDHOOD CANCER AWARENESS to my new readers and followers. If I can introduce even one person to the challenges faced by kids with cancer and their families, then I have made an impact.  GO GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness!  I am also excited to start my fundraising for Free the Children and to take on my other duties that come with my new title. I’m so excited to take part in the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant and I can’t wait to take in all this experience has to offer!

GOGOLD

 

Kathleen

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One on One with the cubs at the BOWMANVILLE ZOO

One on One with the cubs at the BOWMANVILLE ZOO

Thinking back to day 5, Thursday, at  MTC 2015, it was our  last day of excursions! We departed from the hotel early to arrive at the Bowmanville Zoo for a private showcase with an adorable  lion and tiger cub. We sat in a large circle around the two cats while they playfully wrestled with each other. they would dart by us as if daring us to “catch me if you can!” We were separated into groups of 4 and we had the unique opporunity to touch, play and capture photos with these beautiful, playful cats.  Some of the delegates were also given the opportunity to have a lemur (small monkey) sit on their shoulder.  It was incredible and truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.   Thank you Bowmanville Zoo for giving the Miss Teenage Canada 2015 delegates the special memory and the opportunity to visit with the other animals in your zoo!

Next on the schedule was lunch at downtown Toronto’s EATON CENTRE.  We were

Thank you Richtree Natural Market for a lovely lunch

Thank you Richtree Natural Market for a lovely lunch

sponsored tacos and burritos from the Richtree Natural Market’s Richtree Tacos and Burritos.I chose the Hearts of Palm Gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, high fibre, low calorie BURRRITO and it was delicious!  Thank you Richtree Tacos and Burritos/Richtree Natural Market for hosting us!

At the Yorkdale Shopping Centre spending my Gift Card

At the Yorkdale Shopping Centre spending my Gift Card

We continued our shopping tour at the YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE.  Awaiting us outside the main entrance to YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE was a lovely YORKDALE staff member with 82 YORKDALE gift bags.  Each delegate was presented with a Gift Card for the Mall, a Points Card for the participating stores and booklet of coupons with amazing savings throughout the mall. And the best gift of all…We were given time to SHOP!  Thank you YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE for your generosity and your gracious service.

The amazing Dinner show at Medieval Times

The amazing Dinner show at Medieval Times

We headed out from the YORKDALE SHOPPING CENTRE and my bus buddy anticipated that we would travelling in the direction of Medieval Times!  She was right!  At Medieval Times were were served a very large and incredibly tasty soup with garlic bread, chicken, corn and potato dinner followed by a butter tart that was too tempting to resist.  The food was amazing and the performance was just phenomenal!  Thank you for a wonderful dinner and show Medieval Times!  It was another incredible memory to cherish from our Miss Teenage Canada 2015 Pageant week experience.

Enjoying Medieval Times

Enjoying Medieval Times

Thank you to Michelle and the Staff of MTC for an amazing week of excursions!  I am truly thankful for this experience.

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

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Thanks to Richtree Natural Market at the Eaton Centre for a wonderful Lunch.

Thanks to Richtree Natural Market at the Eaton Centre for a wonderful Lunch.

Well, another FIRST during my MTC week!  I have never had the experience of ordering food from a vehicle located inside a building.  To think of doing that, let alone doing it inside the  3rd largest mall in Ontario, Toronto’s Eaton Centre located downtown Toronto at 220 Yonge Street, would never have occurred to a small town rural girl from Barry’s Bay.  But, when visiting Toronto’s Eaton Centre you need to do just that!   Richtree Natural

Richtree Natural Market

Richtree Natural Market

Market’s vehicle is not hard to spot- a blue and white 1967 Volkswagen raptop bus! You won’t be able to resist the authentic, creative, unique look to this restaurant.  It certainly catches your eye and your nose!  The food smells so good! The menu at Richtree Tacos and Burritos offers other dishes aside from the ones clearly stated in their name, however the tacos and burritos are seemingly what they are known for- they were TASTY! The Hearts of Palm Burrito was myRichtree ordering choice, and it is actually a new addition to the menu! It was a refreshing, sweet,  is gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian- the hearts of palm vegetable is a main ingredient which offers an delicious artichoke taste, high fiber, and a low calorie intake; a great choice for a healthy eater.  I had never heard of the heart of palm vegetable, but the unique name was one of the things that  helped me make my decision! My experience at Richtree Tacos and Burritos was nothing short of memorable;  the staff was so friendly, efficient, and even after definitely 50 plus photos, they still had smiles to share! Thank you to all of the staff  of the Richtree Natural Market for the sweet and delicious service and for hosting all of the MTC 2015 delegates and staff.  We thoroughly enjoyed our experience!

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Richtree can be found on twitter and Instagram @RichtreeMarket, and can also be liked on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RichtreeMarket !

Visit the website:  http://richtreenaturalmarket.com , for more information and details on the restaurants of this all natural, super fresh and friendly market- it should not disappoint!

Keep tuned in,

Theresa

 

 

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Can you say “AMAZING DAY?”

We were told that we would be boating, and that we did, but there was so much more to our day.  More than I ever would have imagined!

Thank you EGGlicious for the wonderful breakfast!

Thank you EGGlicious for the wonderful breakfast!

Our day started out with a delicious breakfast at EGGlicious an all-day breakfast restaurant located in the Mimco area of Toronto! The food was delicious.  It was prepared so quickly and the staff was incredibly nice.  After serving all 82 of us our breakfast, they were still up for a photo shoot with us.  Thank you so much EGGlicious for a superb breakfast and the amazing service! Egglicious logo

 

Not too far down the road, we made it to our next stop for the day;   Port Credit-J.J. Plaus Park. Walking down the boardwalk, on Lake Ontario,  alongside dozens of boats of various shapes and sizes with such interesting names was spectacular.  It was a truly beautiful backdrop!

At the waterfront

 

In lovely JC Saddington Park

In lovely JC Saddington Park

Right next door, we visited J.C. Saddington Park which is filled with wildlife, rich green agriculture and multi-coloured flowers! After admiring much of the landscape,Marc Gagnon, one of our entertaining MTC chaperones and Owner/Director of  Facade International-Model and Talent Agency directed our bathing suit choreography on a large piece of cobblestone placed beside a river surrounded by willow trees, filled with ducks, with a lovely fountain in the centre.  What a unique and beautiful way to work rehearsal into our day!  Marc is a blast to work with, and since we were going over the choreography in a public park we had lots of spectators which made it a very fun-filled, entertaining learning experience for all!

 

Next on the agenda was the Mississauga Canoe Club!  Hot dogs, ceasar salad, peaches, bananas, and other cut fruit were provided by the club for lunch. Once  our stomachs were full, we were ready to give Dragon boating a whirl! The sport is very team-oriented which encouraged us  to work together for a common cause and purpose. In addition to learning the sport, we were also introduced to several games that made it that much more fun! We embarked on an interesting Tug of War game where we were divided in half, each paddling in a different direction and whichever team traveled the boat in their direction farther was the winner! The game was a workout, and so much fun! For those of us who wanted to go in the water, we even got to swim! Thank you MTC for a very memorable afternoon!

Mississauga Canoe Club DRAGON BOATING!

Mississauga Canoe Club DRAGON BOATING!

Then we loaded onto the coach buses not knowing what our next destination would be. We were told to bring our evening wear, jewelry, makeup, heels, and crowns with us so we could change out of our casual wear and prepare for the evening’s festivities. Once aboard the bus, we were told that we had approximately an hour and a half drive to our destination which gave us time to get ourselves prepped for our dinner out! Imagine our surprise when we pulled into our destination, the GREG FREWIN THEATRE in down town

At the Greg Frewin Theatre in Niagara Falls

At the Greg Frewin Theatre in Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls! Greg Frewin is the “WORLD CHAMPION OF MAGIC”, and having the opportunity to see his show we certainly understand why!   The impossible was possible for Mr. Frewin! The theatre also offered a gourmet buffet which consisted of a variety of salads, meat, potatoes, buns and desert! We ate a fabulous meal and watched a phenomenal show!.

 

Niagara Falls at Night!

Niagara Falls at Night!

To top off this incredible day, we arrived at Niagara Falls for a spectacular night viewing of one of the Seven Wonders of the World! The glowing red waterfall marked the end of our excursion of day 4 at MTC 2015.

 

Thank you very much Miss Teenage Canada 2015 staff for a remarkable day and evening!

 

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