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Scenic Fall Drive & Foodie Adventure in Napanee, Ontario


Well, folks, fall is officially here! While the season is quite short and bittersweet, it sure is the prettiest and has me craving all the comfort food with that slight chill in the air. With sights and good food, our region has amazing fall foliage, especially during these times where spending time outside is a safer alternative.

So if you're looking for a safe and physically-distanced activity with the family or perhaps a solo trip, you have to go for a scenic fall drive to Napanee, Ontario and stop by to take in the charm of its surroundings. Hop in your car, take county road 2 from Kingston and you're in for a real treat. This is the best time of year to enjoy the joys the region has to offer. After being cooped up in our homes during quarantine and winter quickly approaching, 😢 let's make the best of it this season!

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario

SPRINGSIDE PARK

Springside Park is a must during the fall in the Greater Napanee area, especially for its charming waterfront trail. Don't miss the opportunity to take a stroll alongside the Springside Parks Falls and the Napanee River. The view is simply breathtaking, so get your cameras ready. This truly is a hidden gem tucked away where you can sit back to enjoy a picnic, throw a line in to do some fishing or simply enjoy the view.

Did I mentioned that there's free parking, a picnic area and a great food truck! (Scroll down!)

Where: 8460 County Road 2, Napanee, Ontario

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario

The most beautiful scenery as you end your walk along the boardwalk.

Scenic Fall Drive to Napanee, Ontario

THE CATERING COMPANY FOOD TRUCK

This is a case of don't judge a book by its cover. We've driven by Springside Park in Napanee numerous times and yet we never stopped for a bite at this local food truck. Along with the standard fare of traditional poutine and cheeseburgers, the Catering Company offers so much more.

Bae and I indulged in cheesy mac n cheese bites along with crispy fish tacos and blackened shrimp tacos, both topped with mango salsa. The portions were quite satisfying and overall, I really have to give this spot a major thumbs up!

 Just a FYI - while normally stationed at Springside Park, sadly it is now closed for the season. Though be sure to follow them on Facebook for updates as they will offer takeout from their downtown location.

Where: 5 Water Street Napanee, Ontario
 
Foodie Adventure to Napanee, Ontario

THE DUNDAS STREET BAKERY

This is another spot that you have to try! If you haven’t tried The Dundas Street Bakery in Napanee, you’re missing out! And urgh I feel as though I’m cheating on Coffeeway Donuts in Kingston but I just had to being the foodie I am. Donuts aren't just the perfect morning snack, they also are a worthy treat after a long work week. 

Located in the heart of Downtown Napanee, this bakery makes all their donuts from scratch along with bread and other awesome treats! 🍩 You won’t regret it and definitely worth the short drive of 30 minutes from Kingston along scenic county road 2, especially with all the fall colours!

Where: 37 Dundas St E, Napanee, Ontario

Scenic Drive for Donuts in Napanee, Ontario

THE WATERFRONT RIVER PUB AND TERRACE

I couldn't write a post about Napanee and not include this restaurant! They offer outdoor patio dining overlooking the water and their food is delicious. Bonus: If you have a boat, you can simply tie it up in the canal and walk right up to the restaurant.

Where: 22 Water St W, Napanee, Ontario

Enjoy your fall scenic drive!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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New Restaurant: Wharf & Feather


Say hello to the Wharf & Feather restaurant in downtown Kingston!

📍: Kingston, Ontario 

Formerly known as The Dox, this new spot is part of the rebrand under the Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront renovations, which is now fully complete. Let's just say that this restaurant is back and better than before. With delicious food, unique shareable plates, craft cocktails, and the best waterfront views in Kingston, the outdoor patio at the new Wharf and Feather has it all.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

Whether you're looking to enjoy breakfast, a casual lunch, after-work cocktails, or relaxing dinner, this restaurant is definitely a must-visit this season. And don't worry, they also offer indoor dining if the weather doesn't cooperate (now that it is allowed again.)

It has a fully revamped menu, which now features several local ingredients and suppliers which makes me so incredibly happy! They include Mackinnon Brothers Brewing Company, Otter Creek Farms, The Fungi Connection, Patchwork Gardens, Seed to Sausage and more. With new executive chef Jeff Ryan, the team has certainly elevated the dining experience as Wharf & Feather now offers a unique pub-gastronomy feel, that is also contemporary and welcoming.

And if you were wondering, pricing is very reasonable!

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

My foodie partner-in-crime aka bae and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves even amidst our current situation. We felt quite safe dining on the patio, had to wear our masks when we got up and of course, came ready with our own bottle of hand sanitizer. Honestly, you can never be too safe these days.

Scroll down to see a few of the dishes we sampled:

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

CHOWDER

The perfect dish to warm right up! Be sure to save the buttery biscuit for after to dish up the remaining chowder!

Fresh mussels, baby clams, shrimp, fresh fish, lobster, cream.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

PATATA BRAVA OUR WAY

The perfect shareable dish packed with flavour that will fill your appetite.

House cut fries, salsa Brava with aioli, scallions topped with queso fresco cheese.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

ZESTY CONFIT DUCK WINGS

These were sweet but not too sweet with a nice crispy crunch. We will certainly be reordering these again.

Honey glazed duck wings with scallions on crispy rice noodles.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

CRISPY FISH TACOS

Probably my favourite dish that we sampled, these fish tacos were the perfect afternoon dish paired with the white sangria I ordered - battered fish with crunchy kale slaw, crumbled cheese drizzled with a creamy sauce. 🤤

Ontario yellow perch served on corn tortillas with kale slaw, pickled onions, grilled corn, cotija cheese and remoulade sauce.

Wharf & Feather Restaurant and Patio in downtown Kingston - Holiday Inn Waterfront

Enjoy your visit!

Where: Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront
2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Thank you to the team at Wharf & Feather for the gifted experience!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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The Inn Thing: The Frontenac Club


Here's your exclusive look at the newly renovated historic Frontenac Club!

📍: Kingston, Ontario 

Only steps away from Market Square and City Hall, this boutique hotel is officially redefining luxury in Kingston. As a limestone landmark, this building features a rich sense of history and recently underwent renovations that led to a major transformation from a traditional bed and breakfast to a luxury getaway in the nation's first capital.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario

The changes reflect a contemporary yet elegant style with influences of what makes Kingston special. Each space within the Club is a curated experience with a story - a window to the past and a chance to create new memories.

As a boutique hotel with a strong backstory, the building has been standing for close to 175 years aka since before Confederation. From a bank to a gentlemen's club, a strong emphasis was placed on preserving the storied history of the building and elements of times past found within the walls including stunning stonework, love letters, old coins, magazines, and more items that have been displayed throughout the site.

The Frontenac Club now offers a sense of grandeur that Kingston has not seen before, you'd think you were in Toronto or Montreal perhaps. No detail was left untouched as the renovations and restoration took place. A perfect blend between maintaining the historic look and feel and including modern amenities that guests come to expect. Kington is truly the perfect backdrop as it resonates with the mix of old and new.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

PERKS OF YOUR STAY

From complimentary private parking onsite to gourmet breakfast to start your day, the Frontenac Club is also pet-friendly, so bring your furry friend with you on your next getaway or staycation!

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

THE BANK

Did you know the Frontenac Club was once the home of the Bank of Montreal Branch? Well, it only seemed fitting that the bar and lounge take on the name of its previous establishment.

This certainly makes this space quite unique as you sip on a handcrafted cocktail, whisky or glass of wine while enjoying locally sourced creative food dishes. So toast to the end of the day, a special occasion or just because, sit back and relax in the Bank.

Honestly, this space gave me all the Sex and the City vibes! Cheers!

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

THE VAULT

The most amazing part is that the bank vaults within the Frontenac Club were kept intact and now one of them plays host to a spectacular dining area that allows for private tastings or dinner parties.

An unforgettable dining experience awaits!

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

THE ROOMS

Each key unlocks a unique experience. This boutique hotel expanded from 16 rooms to 20 distinct rooms, that are anything but standard. Each room is uniquely designed with elegance, contemporary flair and sophistication. From limestone walls, private patio, deep soaker tubs to great views, every room immerses you in a different story of Kingston, our nation, and travel experiences of the owners.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

MACKENZIE-KING ROOM

You will have plenty of room to unwind in this spacious junior suite. With a luxurious king-bed and a sitting room around your fireplace, you will be able to entertain friends and family before heading out to explore Kingston. This is a large bright space with room for up to 4 guests.
This room is inspired by none other than Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King and you may come across an Ouija board as King had a bit of a spiritualist side and enjoyed conducting séances.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

BACKSTAGE ROOM

Dubbed the Backstage room, this room celebrates Kingston musical artists such as The Tragically Hip. It features high ceilings and large windows with a king bed, fireplace, a fabulous 4-piece bath and guests can also listen to a curated collection of Kingston music on vinyl.
 This spacious junior suite has high ceilings and large windows. Your king bed is framed by exposed brick and you can be the DJ spinning Tragically Hip records on the turntable by the fire. Your bathroom boasts a soaker tub and a large walk-in shower. We can guarantee there’ll be no knock on the door!
The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

BUBBLE BATH

The large bathrooms are modern and sleek - everything about the room lends itself to a comfortable stay especially with a soaker tub that is begging for you to linger and enjoy.

Featured below is the Churchill Suite.

The Frontenac Club in Kingston, Ontario - Boutique Hotel

THE ROOFTOP

In case you thought I was done, nope. Welcome to the new private rooftop terrace reserved for guests aka Kingston's coolest rooftop with stunning waterfront views! This sure is a hidden gem of the Club.

Rooftop patio in Kingston, Ontario

Enjoy your stay at The Frontenac Club!

Where: 225 King Street E, Kingston, Ontario

Rosalyn Gambhir
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Paddling with Ahoy Rentals in Kingston, Ontario


Hard work, perseverance and a challenge are what encouraged proud Kingstonian Andrew Kelm to establish Ahoy Rentals, located just steps away from the Pump House Steam Museum on Ontario Street.

Paddling with Ahoy Rentals in Kingston, Ontario

It all began in 1997 with only a few sailboats and bikes, that a modest business grew into being Kingston’s sole source for “on the water” rental equipment. Originally from Aylmer, Quebec and with over 15 years of sailing experience, owner Andrew makes it his mission to create a rewarding and happy experience for all who walk through his doors.

A visit to Ahoy Rentals is a chance to unplug, disconnect and spend a leisurely day on the water. From kayaks and canoes to stand-up paddleboards, there’s something for everyone at Ahoy Rentals.

Paddling along Kingston’s waterfront is soothing and spectacular, but easy to take for granted. From time to time, it’s important to put down your iPhones or Androids and just disconnect and get back to nature. Try surrounding yourself with friends or like-minded people to take the plunge and support a local business!

If you haven’t quite yet developed your sea legs, Ahoy also offers bicycle rentals and instructional programs tailored just for you! Their convenient waterfront location makes it easy for anyone to get out on the water for an hour or two. The staff at Ahoy Rentals are available to help customers learn how to securely maneuver their equipment and make their experiences safe and enjoyable!

If biking is your more your speed, cruising along the Waterfront Trail or touring Kingston’s beautiful downtown has all the makings for an active and fun-filled day. Other options include packing a lunch or visiting the Kingston Public Market for some healthy snack options before taking the 20-minute ferry ride over to Wolfe Island and cycling to Big Sandy Bay (closed for 2020 season)! Don’t forget your bathing suit!

Aside from rentals, Ahoy Rentals also provides tourists and locals with skippered sailing charters that include a leisurely sail and delicious picnic catered by Pan Chancho Bakery & Café. Let your skipper Andrew take you out on a personalized sailing trip and enjoy an afternoon or sunset sail aboard a 24-foot sailing sloop – no experience necessary!

Visit them online at www.ahoyrentals.com/

Where: 21 Ontario St, Kingston, ON

Previously published on VisitKingston.ca
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Explore Kingston's Amazing Waterfront


The Kingston waterfront might not see much traffic during the colder months, but when spring and summer hit, one of Kingston’s favourite attractions starts to comes alive!

Explore Kingston's Amazing Waterfront

Spanning over 8km, the possibilities are endless! You can hop on a Kingston Trolley Tour, enjoy a boat cruise around the 1000 Islands, or take in a free ride on the Wolfe Island Ferry! Don’t underestimate a leisurely stroll along the Waterfront Trail or along the streets of Kingston, either! Enjoy the historic buildings and settle down afterwards at one of the many downtown patios for a refreshing beverage while looking out onto the water.

Consider the waterfront an opportunity for self-discovery and an outlet for entertainment. Whether you want to learn how to stand up paddleboard or just enjoy the warm glow of an evening sunset, Kingston’s waterfront is for young and old with many breathtaking spots.

There are plenty of opportunities for water sports along the waterfront: try your hand at boating, canoeing or kayaking! If you left your equipment at home, Ahoy Rentals is located a quick 10 minutes away on Ontario Street and will rent you whatever you need to hit the water! Paddle your way along the shore or glide along on one of their many sailboats, taking in the beautiful, historic views of Kingston from the water.

Given its picturesque views, it’s no wonder that Kingston’s shores are home to the Kingston Rowing Club, Yacht Club and Canadian Olympic-training Regatta. The city’s numerous water sports and events are considered a crown jewel of the city, fostering community involvement and participation from the most affluent sailor, to the newest enthusiast.


 If you’re an avid biker or enjoy walking, then the Waterfront Trail is for you – a pathway connects downtown Kingston to the newly renovated Lake Ontario Park and beyond. Pack a picnic and you’re ready for a day of adventure and exploring in town! Start your journey at one of the many coffee shops in downtown Kingston to enjoy a cool beverage. No bike? Don’t worry! Bike rentals are also available at Ahoy Rentals!

On a warm summer afternoon, Kingston's youthful self comes out to play amidst its historic backdrop. Students, professionals, retirees and tourists are all out admiring the stunning views from the shore or cruising along on water. Step outside your door and the Kingston Waterfront awaits you – fish, sail, swim, or waterski! 

THE SIGHTS

Rideau Trail
Portsmouth Olympic Harbour
Kingston Penitentiary & Museum
The Tett Centre
Bellevue House National Historic Site
Murney Tower
Newlands Pavilion
Pump House Steam Museum
Marine Museum of the Great Lakes
City Hall
Springer Market Square
Fort Frontenac
The Woolen Mill

The Waterfront Pathway can be entered at various points and parking may be found at the following locations: 

ACCESS POINTS 

Lake Ontario Park
Portsmouth Olympic Harbour *
Macdonald Memorial Park
An Gorta Mor Park
Confederation Park *
Downtown Parking Lots *
Wolfe Island Ferry Dock
Douglas Fluhrer Park
Emma Martin Park

* Accessible Parking and Pathway Access Available

Previously published on VisitKingston.ca
Rosalyn Gambhir
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It's Patio Season as Kingston Enters Phase 2 of Reopening


☀️ PATIO SEASON ☀️

Exciting news as Kingston, Ontario has been given the green light for phase 2 of reopening and that means, patios are opening up throughout the city starting on Friday, June 12th. With the most restaurants per capita, I'm sure Kingstonians are itching to get outside to enjoy a meal with friends and grab a cold bevy on a local patio. But, within the limits of physical distancing aka at least 2 metres or 6 feet away!
Remember that patio season will look a little different as we welcome our new normal. 

Here is a list of some of the places where outdoor dining and drinks will be available starting Friday, June 12th:

Olivea
Namaste Kingston
Riva (Gananoque)
Northside Espresso + Kitchen
Amadeus Cafe
Woodenheads
Chez Piggy
Casa Domenico
Tango Nuevo
Atomica
Dianne's Kingston
Harpers Burger Bar
Black Dog Tavern (Chien Noir)
Kingston Brewing Company
Pan Chancho Bakery & Café
Redhouse Downtown Kingston
Redhouse Westend
Union Kitchen + Cocktails
The Public House Kingston
Delightfully Different Tearoom
The Mansion
CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery
Mesa Fresca Kingston 
MacKinnon Brewing
Boston Pizza Gardiners Road
The Queen’s Inn Hotel
Merchant Tap House
The Grizzly Grill
Go Italian Restaurant
The Toucan
Score Pizza
Rose and Crown
The Loyal Oarsman
Tommy's Kingston
Smoke 'N' Barrel Kingston
The Duchess Pub
Jack Astors Kingston
Tir Nan Og
Daft Brewing
Juniper Cafe
Wolfe Island Grill
Montana's
Kelseys
Musiikki Café
The Waterfront River Pub and Terrace (Napanee)
...and more to follow.

Check back as I'll be updating daily!

Patio Season in Kingston, Ontario during Stage 2

So if you’re planning on going out to a restaurant that has outdoor seating and serving food, definitely read the following to make your experience much more enjoyable:

Call ahead and reserve a spot.

Keep your distance.

Order everything you need at once.

Be kind to the staff.

Respect all the new procedures.

Be patient, be kind, and tip.

 Don't overstay your welcome.

Avoid sharing utensils, condiments, or drinks.

Avoid touching your face.

Stay home if you're sick.

Avoid public restrooms if you can.

Practice physical distancing.
(At least 2 metres or 6 feet away)

Bring your own personal protective equipment.
(Hand sanitizer, mask, gloves)

Practice good hygiene.
(Handwashing and coughing into your sleeve)

Now let's get this summer started! 

But please remember, if you aren't comfortable going out at this time, you can always order takeout instead to support your local businesses and restaurants.

And in all seriousness, if you need more information on how to protect yourself during these times, head on over to the Ontario Government website below.

Rosalyn Gambhir
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It's Time to Be Uncomfortable, Use Your Voice & Take Action


It’s been about almost ten weeks now of quarantine and honestly, it’s still an adjustment. I'm not going to lie and say it's rainbows and sunshine, because it's not. Some days have been good but others have been not so great. I guess you can say that I have been coasting and slowly adapting to our new normal. I've been more tired than the past few weeks and I can't really put my finger on it.

It's not just an off day but in this present moment, I feel exhausted. I'm exhausted with the stress and fear of COVID-19. But now I wake up with such a heavy heart with recent events of social and racial injustices, the murder of George Floyd and racism in our world. Yet this is not the first time.

I'm slowly finding my words to articulate my thoughts. I struggled to find the right ones for the unfairness that has occurred. I'm not one to usually be outspoken. I've been tuned into Twitter non-stop, keeping up with what's happening and processing everything but also my emotions are of anger, sadness and despair. I'd rather take the risk of speaking out than staying silent and saying nothing.

Straight up, I’m uncomfortable even speaking to this. I feel pressured and that if I don’t speak out (especially being a content creator/influencer), that there’s a target that we don’t care. Yes. It feels awkward. It’s uncomfortable. BUT, discomfort leads to bigger things. Our growth is where discomfort is. We need to spread our wings aka we need to unleash our potential to educate others and ourselves as part of the path of change for our community.  This goes far beyond me and you.

If we want change, we need to do our part. It's an ongoing process. We need to do better. We need to listen. We need to do our research. We need to start advocating for change in politics. We can't just plainly ignore what is happening. We need to have the willingness to learn. We need to open our hearts and our minds. If you have the capacity to speak out, respect boundaries and please do so. Have a conversation to "call-in" others rather than "calling out." We don’t need to knock down others. Have compassion for those navigating their thoughts. Give others like influencers, friends and family time to gather their thoughts as well, to speak, to voice their opinions and take action on their own. Encourage them and accept feedback.

 It's a matter of speaking up with words that are impactful. The impact will happen when individuals use their true voices to guide others in the right direction. From fighters, peacemakers to changemakers, everyone will have a part to create impact. People like myself will use the language of passion for community building to spread the message of unity in our city and encourage others to promote anti-racism. But refusing to have a conversation about race will not resolve the issues we are facing, it will only perpetuate them. Our community has flaws and it needs to be addressed.

 Education is necessary. Conversations along with awareness are key. But it has to go beyond this. Don't let your actions be limited to the next 24 hours. Honestly, seeing others including myself speak out now for the first time has been great but we need to do better. We need to be uncomfortable. We need to be unified. Simply posting on social media isn't enough.

 Your voice needs to go beyond just the now of current events or an Instagram post. Our voices are powerful. We are a strong community that can make a difference. Reflect on your own privilege. Your own bias. It starts in our households, your daily life, our friends and family, raising our children, supporting businesses owned by people of colour, signing petitions and donating to organizations but also writing to our local politicians, creating public forums or round table discussions and speaking up to our community leaders to activate real change.

This is a collective fight. The Black community needs our support.

I'll admit, I'm still learning and always open to conversations.

It's Time to Be Uncomfortable, Use Your Voice & Take Action - Rosalyn Gambhir - Black Lives Matter
I am a person of colour. I am a minority. I am South Asian and Indo-Canadian.
This is important to say because we're raised to be a "model minority". This was a term I wasn't actually aware of until this weekend. It's individuals like Deepica Mutyala of Live Tinted and as of recent Jenny Jay who allowed myself to be proud of my Indian heritage over the past few years. As a first-generation Canadian Indian, we have been raised to stay quiet and keep our heads down. To not disturb or speak out.

This is not fair to our peers or our black community.

 We need to move past this as it goes beyond just us. Let's recognize our privilege, use our voice and take action.

Here are some actionable things you can do to educate yourself further thanks to Komal Minhas:

Click Here to View Resource

Resources to support Black communities in Canada:

Click Here to View Resource

How to Take Action in Canada

⁣Kingston Vigil: Black Lives Matter

Click Here to View Event
Happening on Tuesday, June 2 at 4:30PM

⁣Kingston: Let's Talk Race 

Click Here to Attend Virtual Event
Happening on Friday, June 5th at 2PM

To end, I wanted to share these words thanks to @justaskjenny around privilege right now that she shared on Instagram:

....these conversations around understanding how to get to equality and navigating our privilege is a lot like the stages of grief.

First comes the denial. We don’t want to admit that there is work to be done because it’s painful to see, so we deny it. Eventually, we hear it enough times, one anecdote hits too close to home, and suddenly we’re ANGRY. WE SEE IT. And we’re FURIOUS and we want to do something about it.

And so we start to try, but without always knowing the place to start, it can end up being frustrating.

Eventually, between bargaining and sadness, we finally get to acceptance.

And so here we are.

If you’ve been navigating these feelings for the first time — I’m glad you've gotten here.
When it comes to seeing your privilege there is inevitably guilt and shame around never realizing it before. And that’s valid too — because it can feel like an entire part of society that just wasn’t apparent to you.

But in conversations around privilege, the important thing really isn’t for you to feel shitty as a person, or wrong for having the privileges you have.

Instead, it’s about finding the ways you can use that to empower those around you. It’s about learning how we can do our individual parts to make a difference. It’s about #passingthemic when you can, creating healthy spaces for conversation, listening, and about learning how we can collectively be better.

Privilege doesn’t mean you didn’t navigate hard things. It doesn’t mean parts of your life weren’t unfair.

It just means some things weren’t HARDER for you because of factors that often have to do with race, ability, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic class.

And I know it’s a lot sometimes.

But we’re here.

And so, I’d love to welcome you to what I call stage six of this process — Action: where the work begins, and continues. 

-  Jenny Jay

Rosalyn Gambhir
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Kindness Rocks in Kingston


As businesses start to re-open, I wanted to share an incredible project I stumbled upon while scrolling through my Twitter feed.

A local Kingston woman and her family have made it their goal to spread positivity and hope during these times through 'Kindness Rocks'. As many are struggling, these uplifting hand-painted vibrant rocks provide a smile while also offering a simple reminder to support our local businesses.

"The idea to start the shoutout to local businesses, was our way of showing a little love and support during quarantine. We were hoping to encourage people to shop local and help out the many amazing little businesses around town."

- Mel Baker

As we face a new normal, it's small gestures like this one and many others that have been popping up within our community that are sparking joy in a creative way to support those in our city. I wanted to share a few of these rocks as they have such an amazing message behind them and showcase a few of my favourites spots in Kingston:

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston
Image thanks to @MelB44 via Twitter

Kindness Rocks in Kingston
Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

Kindness Rocks in Kingston

We will get through this together!

Rosalyn Gambhir
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Dear Kingston, Let's Support Local


⁣Kingston has come to a standstill. A silence like no other as we #stayhome. A once-bustling city with people out and about, laughter in the air, restaurants bumping... is no more. While there is a lot of uncertainty around the world, there is also a lot of hope. And as places open back up with precautions and attempt to return to 'normal', it'll take time. As a city with the most restaurants per capita in Canada and as a proud locavore and foodie, our local restaurant and food scene need our support. This is a time where we need to come together as a community to rebuild and slowly recover.

This is our home. This is our happy place that brings us joy. 

The culinary community has been adapting to this new reality by offering online stores, deliveries, curbside pick up and more, so let's support the people and places that make our hometown a wonderful place to live. Whether it’s doing takeout, supporting a local farm by signing up to a CSA or buying locally made products such as milk, eggs or cheese, it is our time to regain our strength as a community. Until the dust settles, we will get through this together!

Be a tourist in your own city and #SupportLocal!


So please do me a favour. If there’s a local spot you love, go show them some love.

My heart goes out to family, friends and other entrepreneurs that have had their worlds turned upside down during the past few weeks. Kingston is an amazing place and we know darn well the value and importance of community. So let's try our best to support our local businesses in any way we can. ❤️

Here are a few ways you can help a local business while social distancing:

Order meals for takeout or delivery.

Buy a gift card now to spend later.

Give them a shout out on social media.

Write a positive review via email, Facebook or Google Business.

Like, share or comment on their social channels.

Share your favourite stores in your social networks.

Talk about your love online or with your friends.

Send messages of support on social media.

Recommend friends to them if they are looking for a particular product.

Order your supplies from local businesses online.

Better yet, plan your next staycation in Kingston. While travel is not possible now, it doesn’t mean you can’t plan for adventures later when restrictions are lifted. Take this time to dream up your next local adventure.

Dear Kingston, Let's Support Local

But Why Support Local?

Plain and simple, it shows you care about the local community that you live in. You’ll be able to put dollars back into it and the other people who call it home, too. Every purchase made from these businesses helps the owner provide dollars for their workers, keep the lights on, and put food on the table for their families. Your support gives our local economy a chance to thrive and hopefully, fingers crossed, recover in time. But know that for many, this may not be a reality and they will be forced to close their doors.

Remember that our community of passionate people keep our city alive and gives it its unique flavour. So by supporting those businesses, you also ensure that uniqueness is preserved as a part of our community. Also, in some shape, way, or form, we are personally invested as our friends, family and neighbours are local business owners or are employed by those owners. We celebrate when our favourite local business succeeds and we mourn when they're forced to shut their doors. Sadly this was the case for The Alibi in downtown Kingston who did not survive. Give this article a read!

On a personal note, Kingston is why I am a locavore - a statement that rings true to my time living in the city. I didn't know it at first but with the proximity to local farms, farmers' markets and best of all restaurants, the city of Kingston is a haven for foodies craving true local cuisine.

And in true foodie fashion, I have to share a few of my Kingston favourites:

Mio Gelato
Pan Chancho
Woodeanheads
Sapporo Sushi
Sima Sushi
Bella Bistro
Aquaterra
Olivea
Silly Yak
Baltic Deli
Pilot House
Red House
Bubba’s Poutine
Rustic Spud
Mesa Fresca
Amadeus Cafe
Tango Nuevo
The Everly
The Pasta Shelf
Sally's Roti Shop
Mamma Mia Pizza
Shawarma El Mina
Coffee Way Donuts
North Roast - Coffee
Kingston Coffee House
Chinese Palace
Rose & Crown
Copper Penny Grill N' Home
Peter's Place Restaurant
CRAVE Coffee House & Bakery
Dianne’s Fish Shack & Smokehouse
NORTHSIDE espresso + kitchen
Kingston Brewing Company
Iron Duke on Wellington
Namaste - Indian Food
Cards Bakery
Bread & Butter Bakery
Brothers Quality Meats
Enright Cattle Company
Limestone Organic Creamery
Memorial Centre Farmers' Market

Next on my list to try:

Miss Bao
Pisanos: Old School
Smoke 'N' Barrel Kingston

And obviously, even though this post was directed at foodie spots, I can't leave out a few of my favourite retailers as well:

Whit Kingston
Agent 99
Fancy That
Plant Shelf
LSP Designs
Potter's Nurseries
Atkinson Home Hardware
Wonderland Escape Rooms and Board Game Lounge
and the list goes on!

Let's keep the heart of our city going!

And if you're reading this and you live in another city, the message is the same, please support your local economy during these times.
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Homemade Bread The Easy Way at Home


Are you slightly bored or going stir crazy at home? Well, you're not the only one. Since we've been in quarantine, it seems like everyone and their mom's are suddenly baking bread. Yup, even so, that grocery stores are facing flour and yeast shortages - it's crazy. Obviously, for me and many others, nothing beats delicious, homemade bread. But the smell of freshly baked bread, now that's on a whole other level - it's inviting and oh, so comforting!

So while we all try to find creative ways to stay busy while social distancing, making baking has been quite a popular hobby. And you guessed it, I hopped on the bandwagon but more so because neither bae or I wanted to do another trip to the grocery store.

I'm sharing one of our favourite recipes so far below. We ended up with a bit more dough than anticipated after it had risen. Our solution was to obviously get another pan, roll the dough into balls, glaze the top of the dough with some butter and crush up garlic for added taste. It was uber good and our version of Jack Astor's cheese garlic pan bread which now that I'm thinking about, has me drooling!

Making bread for the first time

Making bread for the first time

Making bread for the first time

LOAF OF CITY BREAD

Recipe by: Chef Michael Smith

INGREDIENTS

5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour
1/2 heaping teaspoon of active dry yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
2 1/2 cups of warm water

DIRECTIONS

Step 1

In a large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together, evenly distributing the salt and yeast throughout the flour. Pour in the warm water and stir with the handle of a wooden spoon until a moist dough forms. Continue stirring until the dough incorporates all the loose flour in the bowl, 1 or 2 minutes in total.

Step 2

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 12-14 hours. The dough will double in size and bubble, and long elastic gluten strands will form without laborious kneading.

Step 3

Dust the dough lightly with a bit of flour. Oil hands lightly and, with your fingertips, gather the dough from the outside edges to the middle, knocking it down into a loose ball. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for a few moments until tight ball forms. Toss the ball back in the bowl and lightly coat with a splash of vegetable oil, turning to evenly cover.

Step 4
Gently roll the dough into a thin log that fits end to end in a lightly oiled 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and, without covering, rest it a second time. In 2 to 3 hours it will double in size once more.

Step 5

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425 °F. When the dough is ready, bake for 45 minutes.

Our version of Jack Astor's cheese garlic pan bread.
Bon appetit!
Rosalyn Gambhir
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We Will Get Through This Together


Truth: It’s been a long and tiring week and a half staying up to date during these challenging times. My heart has been heavy and I've been overwhelmed. There's a sense of loss of normalcy and a loss of connection.

We are all feeling a number of things right now from being anxious or worried and that's okay because the world is changing.

This weekend I finally took a moment to let everything sink in and reflect. I've been avoiding talking about what's happening (publicly) as it adds to my anxiety and positive thinking lets me coast and avoids stress (I know I’m not alone). As things progress, the matter at hand has to be addressed in some way. Our reality moving forward will be different but life doesn't stop. This blog has always been a space of positive vibes and I plan to continue that. I look forward (with you all!) to share practical yet inspiring ways to uphold our Kingston spirit in the face of this global challenge.

And know that this is a time where we need to come together as a community more than ever to support one another. We are all in this together. Our daily lives and routines have changed to staying home and social distancing. We're going to crush that curve. There's no avoiding the facts and props to all you introverts out there, we're vibing! (Gotta add a bit of humour when you can during these times.)

We Will Get Through This Together - Kingston Community - COVID-19

I’ve transitioned to working from home for the next few weeks in light of our current environment and being in a social media and communications role, I'm fully aware of everything surrounding COVID-19. But please know, that it will get better in time. We need to remember that the health and safety of those around us and ourselves are a priority. So listen to your local authorities as they know best.

For now, let's take a few deep breathes and know that we will emerge from this stronger.

I'm wishing everyone good health and good vibes as we continue to navigate this future together. To all those who are working on the front lines during these times, THANK YOU immensely.

Scroll down to read my go-to tips on how we can get through it day by day.

Focus on Your Mental Health

Let's admit it, the situation is stressful for everyone and it is normal to be concerned, anxious or worried. Everyone responds differently and know you are not alone.

Making sure you are working on your mental health now will be beneficial in the long run, as there's a lot of uncertainty in our future and we’re facing a lot of new things as a society. Whether it's seeking therapy, starting to journal, getting into meditation, walking your dog, calling a friend, soaking in a tub or cuddling your kids, find what works best for you to stay happy and healthy.

We Will Get Through This Together - Kingston Community - COVID-19

Gratitude and Positive Thinking 

Think positive! Mindset is key to getting through this pandemic. I've practiced the method of positive thinking for a few years now and with these challenging times among us, it is more important than ever to not get buried in the rabbit hole of darkness. So if you see yourself focusing on something negative, think about a few things that have made you happy today or that you're grateful for. And despite the negativity around us in the news and social media, you have the ability to deal with the situation and move forward.

And! To keep the positive vibes going, don't forget to smile and laugh, play music while you're prepping dinner, have a little dance party with the kids or get a good night's rest.

Working From Home

There are a number of us who have had the opportunity to switch over to working from home and remotely due to social distancing. My biggest tips are to set a schedule and sticking to it, use video chat (Zoom is my favourite!), definitely take breaks (for water, snack, lunch) and get up and move around.

If you're a mum or dad trying to juggle working from home and supervising your kids, it can certainly have the potential to create stress and family conflict. So be sure to communicate with your spouse, set a daily schedule for your family and having some semblance of structure will be key. Things won't be perfect and do your best.

I've also linked one of my favourite Youtuber below Mogan Yates who has lots more great tips!


Take Breaks from the Media (Seriously!)

This one might be my go-to because there is SO MUCH on the news and social media right now that it has become an anxiety-fueled space. Every time I open either Facebook to Twitter, my heart starts to race a little because I'm always thinking about what will be posted today. Shutting off the noise of social media by taking a break can be the healthiest boundary you set for yourself. You'll thank me later.

Make Your Own Damn Delicious Avo Toast 

Inspired by a recent email by the amazing gals at the June Motel in the County. Since we are now confined to our homes, let's learn to finally make avocado toast on your own. 🥑🥑 Recipes below:

April’s must-have toppings
Sauteed spinach and fried eggs with extra everything but the bagel spice

Sarah’s trusted favourite
Low carb toast and loads of Siracha

Courtney’s gourmet twist
A drizzle of fig balsamic vinegar and a hearty scoop of hummus

We Will Get Through This Together - Kingston Community - COVID-19 - Avocado Toast
Avo Smash at Northside Espresso & Kitchen in Kingston, Ontario.

Netflix & Chill

Netflix is saving the sanity of people all around the world and coming to the rescue to all of us who are social distancing during this pandemic.

Here's a list of some of my favourites shows to watch:

 Love is Blind
Schitt’s Creek
Gossip Girl
Gilmore Girls
Outlander
Suits

Shop Local...Online & Takeout

My heart goes out to friends and other entrepreneurs that have had their worlds turned upside down right now. Kingston is an amazing place and we know darn well the value and importance of community. Let's try our best to support them in any way we can. As a foodie, I know some of my favourite Kingston restaurants are offering contactless delivery and take out services such as Red House, Olivea, Bella Bistro, the Silly Yak, Tango Neuvo and so many more.

Several of them are updating their Facebook and Instagram pages constantly daily with menus, so be sure to go visit their pages!

Get Outside

 There's nothing quite as healing for the mind as being outdoors and immersed in nature. But with social distancing on everyone's mind, wherever you may be, try your best to get some fresh air and appreciate Mother Nature during this downtime.

We will get through this together. ❤️
Rosalyn Gambhir
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Celebrating Spring at the City of Kingston Greenhouse


Happy March! 🌷

Spring is definitely in the air with the beautiful sunshine and weather we had this weekend. To soak up the rays and dream about warmer temperatures, bae and I headed to the City of Kingston greenhouse on Sunday where we had a chance to see tropical plants and spring bulbs (my favourite!) that included daffodils, orchids, tulips and hyacinths. Honestly, all the fresh and vibrant colours made me so happy and got me out of my weird funk or winter blues if that's what you want to call it.

It was quite neat to see the process in which the City goes to grow all the plants and flowers that are displayed all across Kingston parks. And with a new profound interest in gardening thanks to bae who has the biggest green thumb (and Laura LeBoutillier of Garden Answers), it was even more special.

 Don't forget!
The greenhouse is open for free visits from 2 to 4 p.m. on February 9, 16, 23, and March 1 and 8, 2020.

Scroll down to see a few of my favourite snaps:

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Celebrating Spring at City of Kingston Greenhouse

Where: 111 Norman Rogers Dr., Kingston, Ontario
Rosalyn Gambhir
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[name=Rosalyn Gambhir] [img=https://i.imgur.com/9rNiMGU.jpg] [description=Rosalyn Gambhir is the gal behind the blog The Staycationer. Whether it's exploring the local food scene with her foodie partner-in-crime or taking in the view from her favourite cafe, Rosalyn is always a tourist, looking for the next exciting adventure within Kingston, Ontario and beyond. The Staycationer allows you to rediscover hidden gems in your very own backyard.] (facebook=https://www.facebook.com/thestaycationer) (twitter=https://twitter.com/rosalyngambhir) (instagram=https://www.instagram.com/rosalyngambhir/)

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