Friday, June 24, 2011

Explore The City You Live In


Well, hello! I'm sure some of you probably thought I dropped off the map there for a while but I'm still here. :) This may very well have been the longest period of time since I began blogging regularly that I haven't posted. I spent 8 days back home in Toronto visiting family and friends and have been trying to play catch up once again and prepare for some home renovations. As some of you know just a few weeks before that I visited my hubby in NYC and before that I was in California, so this has been an eventful spring to say the least with 3 trips in 5 weeks! The good news is that I'm going to be sticking around here for a while and Paul is finally coming home next week from being away in Vietnam for a month as he completes a summer course for his Master's Degree. I'm excited for us to be in one place for more than just two weeks at a time!

It had been nearly two years since I had travelled back home to Toronto to visit some of my favorite people and with the beautiful weather, I couldn't wait to get out and explore and re-visit places that make me giddy with excitement. One place I always enjoy is the Distillery District downtown where one of my besties and I spent Father's Day since neither one of us are mothers yet and we didn't have our Father's nearby to celebrate with. The architectural beauty, blooming flowers and bustling shops, art galleries and outdoor cafes were even more inviting than I remember.





{Two of the many areas in Toronto's Historic Distillery District-June 2011}

It's amazing to me how often we can take for granted what we have until we no longer have it anymore. I've been living in Florida now just shy of 5 years and while Toronto will always be where my heart truly feels at home, I don't want to miss out on so much of what my own city has to offer while I'm here. Paul and I love to explore Florida and see new areas other than just ours but there is something special about getting to know your own city. I love re-visiting our go-to restaurants but we make a point of exploring many new ones, attend local festivals, fairs and events. We frequent the parks, gardens and attractions in our area and love the local farmer's markets but there is still so much more to discover. I've always wanted to pack up a blanket and a picnic basket and head to an evening black and white movie in the park and now that the hubbs will be home I'm thinking this year it will finally materialize.



If you're also feeling a little bit like you could explore your own city in greater depth, why not....

1. Capture your City in Photos-Take your camera to some quaint streets or a community with great architecture and take some photos, print them in black and white and create local and inexpensive framed art for your home which truly reflects where you live.

2. Google your City for a Calendar of Events-Head out to an event per month that you've never attended before in your town. Many of them are free and provide a new experience without breaking the bank. There are generally many in the summer months and during the Christmas holidays.

3. Act like a Tourist. Check out a Guidebook and head out to some local attractions that tourists frequent when in your area. If your city has a sightseeing tour via a double-decker bus, ride it! To make the experience more authentic, if you can afford it, stay in a hotel that you've always wanted to experience for the weekend

Although it's only an hour away and a huge draw for tourists, I had never watched the space shuttle launch from Kennedy's space station. So, last year we packed up and spent the day at the beach then drove over to a nearby park where we set up a picnic and waited to see the shuttle in action, it was a neat experience.

4. Shop Independent, Local Stores-With the popularity of convenient big box, one-stop shop type stores, it's easy to sometimes forget about the unique little shops in your own town. They're often where you'll find a cute, handmade dress that nobody else will ever own or the perfect one-of-a-kind home decor accessory. These stores are often pricier, but you can shop with a small budget in mind and pick up something small that lives in your house that will remind you of your city and the outing.

Last summer we went to Sarasota for 5 days. While I could have picked up beautiful white sea stars from anywhere in Florida, I purchased a large one that lives on a shelf with leaning frames in our front entry. I think of our first trip there together every time I see it. I'm hoping to find some local art to display in our home this year.

5. Give Back-Volunteer and meet other great people in your city and help beautify it or help others in your community and make a difference.

I can honestly say that volunteering is always a great experience for me, I participate in local river and waterway cleanups and it's so gratifying knowing we left the area free of fishing lines, trash and other items that harm the wildlife and contaminate the water in the area. It's also a great way to chat with and hear from others about great things to do in the area while making an impact.

How do you explore your own city, what are your favorite things to do in your town?

Have a wonderful weekend, I hope you discover some place new!



*images: (1)

5 comments :

  1. :)...welcome back;)! well...just today I looked up some things about our village.....almsot 4000 people above 18 live here....so then you have to add the people younger to it et voilá.......I live in a town so small, I call it our rock(to live under;))). But I do it whenever I visit another city nearbuy, look up and enjoy the facades for example!

    Good to hear Paul is coming home soon, you can play house again, that's always the best way to enjoy eachother;))))

    Lots of love from holland!!!

    Lynda

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  2. nearby,.......I know....it's late.....I'm babbeling.......good night!!!;)

    Lynda

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  3. Hey Lynda! Well, thank you hunny. :) Wow, you do live in a small town. I like that feel, very quaint but I can see how you've probably seen and done it all by now! ;) Nearby cities are great to take in too!

    Yes, I'm excited to see him, there have been so many gaps in time that we need these 2 months to get reacquainted under the same roof.

    xx
    ~K

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  4. I've lived in the same general area my entire life and still haven't visited all the main attractions. This was a good reminder to take advantage of what your local area has to offer, it's good for the economy and you just might find a new to you place to love.

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  5. Good ideas!

    http://initialed.blogspot.com

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Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)

Warmly,
Karla

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