Loving Life after 50

#Letsgomaple and Challenging ourselves

This post was created as a the result of an invitation to attend the 3 night/2 day #LetsGOMaple event in beautiful Ontario’s Lake Country, as guests of Casino Rama Resort. A special thank you to the organizers of this event, SJ Consultingsnowshoe at Horseshoe Resort

Let’s Go Maple, March 6-10, 2017 a trip I will never forget.  I was invited along with  15 other Canadian bloggers to explore Ontario’s Lake Country. We stayed at Casino Rama, a casino resort I have shared with you before. It is about a five hour trek from Ottawa, but the drive went swiftly. A van full of female bloggers so you can imagine the conversations. The trip was organized by SJ Consulting and sponsored by area partners including Casino Rama Resort

Casino Rama

It was an amazing , adventure meant to challenge us as well as educate us on the joys of Ontario’s Lake Country.  I swear the county rolled out the red carpet ensuring even the most spectacular sunsets.

sunset at Casino Rama

We were greeted very warmly by all of the staff at the Casino including my Bear buddy. The Casino Rama Bear standing guard outside St Germaines Restuarant. We experienced so much during our stay that it is impossible to share it all in just one small post.  I hope to share with you over the next few weeks what it really is like to spend time in Ontario’s Lake Country. Monday night we were provided with an amazing tour of the facilities and then Dinner at St Germaine’s.

Casino Rama Bear

Shaw’s Sugar Bush

Tuesday Morning we were told not to eat a big breakfast because we were in for a treat.  First stop, Shaw’s Sugarbush, owned and operated since 1904 by the same family. Five generations of Shaw’s have been tapping the trees and creating the amazing maple syrup.  Tom explained the process from tree to table and allowed us to wonder around exploring the premises.  The weather was a tad bit wet but that did nothing to dampen the spirits of myself and my fellow bloggers.

Shaws Sugar Bush

The Shaw family uses a tubing system now to tap the trees but there are still buckets set up to show you exactly how it use to be. The tubing system is very effective and efficient. Cool fact a tree only gives up the sap it wants, tapping the trees do not drain a tree of life giving sap.

maple tubing

bloggers at Shaws sugar bush

Tom also explained that they use to move the “Tap” around on the tree. They realized that keeping it in one spot is just as effective.

Tom at Shaws sugar bush

Horseshoe Resort

Next up was a visit to Horseshoe resort where we got to experience a multitude of activities never before tried. Well at least not tried by me. Horseshoe Resort, located near Barrie, is a top Ontario ski resort offering four seasons of fun!  Conveniently located just an hour north of Toronto, the resort offers 29 alpine ski and snowboard runs and 45 km of nordic trails.

Fat Bikes

We started with Fat Bikes, mountain bikes with gigantic tires allowing you to experience snow in a whole new way.  A Fat Bike pass is $17.00 and I swear it is money well spent. I have not been on a bike for 30 years and once I got the darn thing out of first I had a blast.  This was my first time experiencing a fat bike but the guys from Ride Guides were extremely patient with us.  Snow was melting fast so they took us through the cross country ski trails.  Kudos to I think it was Steve and Aidan, our guides were the best.

Fat Biking at HorseShoe Resort

Snow Shoes

Snow Shoes were next on the agenda, something I was familiar with but had never tried. Truly a day/week of firsts for me. The shoes were far easier to maneuver in than I thought but the snow was fairly packed down.

snow shoes at Horseshoe resort

Sandi decided that she had enough, she was tired of the fast pace and just wanted to take a bit of a snooze and enjoy the woods.  Oh wait, maybe that’s what I convinced myself as i watched her lay there not helping.  It is only upon reflection that I realized I may have been the ying to her yang or in other wards the jinx. Her falls were linked to my direct presence OOPS


sorry for the ‘dotty’ pictures it was raining slightly and apparently the wipers on my camera stopped working


Then the snow tubing……….. something I was really excited about, its like a water slide just with extra layers of clothing.

tubing at Horseshoe resort

Lunch followed by a visit to the fire-pits for smores and hot chocolate truly a great way to spend the day


hot chocolate at Horseshoe resort



Back to the Casino for some table game instruction. What an amazing lesson and I have to shout out a thanks to our dealers Sean and Cheryl. They were extremely patient and willing to explain over and over again what to do, I will even forgive Sean for the Leafs Jersey.

Special thanks also to Eddie, Linda and Dave who kept cheering us on and giving us money… oh if only they would always follow me around and give me extra chips. If you are ever at the Casino Rama and are unsure about the table games, sign up for a quick lesson, you will love it.



Off to Dinner at Rustica Pizza Vino for a pizza making demonstration and beer tasting and an awesome dinner. Horseshoe Valley Brewery, whose aim is  to provide locally sourced and all natural beer to those who enjoy the flavour and majestic scenery of the Canadian outdoors. All natural brew with no preservatives and made in small batches,  this is a true Canadian Classic.

Horseshoe Valley Brewery

Rustica outdid themselves on atmosphere and service, a pizza demonstration, fresh pear and Gorgonzola salad, ricotta balls in marinara sauce and unlimited fresh pizza’s.  I was stuffed and then….. pizza dough fried and on a bed of nutella, be still my heart.

deepfried pizza

By the end of Day one we were a little tired, slightly overwhelmed with all the area had to offer and totally stuffed an the most amazing food.

Mount St Louis Resort

Wednesday was a day for Skiing or Spa Treatments, I opted to ski.  This is the first time in probably 15 years I have been on skis. The morning was spent the expert  instruction of Julie on the bunny hill. Lessons from Rick took place in the afternoon.  I have to say another fear conquered.  Mount St Louis, a hill owned by skiers and run with skiers in mind.

Mount St Louis Ski hill

Orillia Museum

After a few hours on the ski hills we went back to the Casino to get ready for another evening filled with adventure. Our skating was cancelled due to the weather but the Orillia Museum sure filled that spot. The Museums mission to inspire creativity and celebrate local history. The Museum is expanding awareness and appreciation of art, local history and culture in  Orillia  and the surrounding area. We had a tour of the facilities, an art lesson and time to shop.

gordon lightfoot

The Grape and Olive Wine and Martini Bar served an amazing meal followed by a truffle demonstration.

Grape and Olive

truffle making


Thursday, a leisurely breakfast enjoyed by all. OK, truth be told some people had breakfast I was still stuffed. So much food and activity stuffed into so few days.  Ontario’s Lake Country is truly a place you need to visit.  Spend a few days.  Perfect for families, couples or even just a solo venture.

Thank you to Julie, Stacey, Jenna, Natasha, Lisa and Jenn for all of their  work. Planning our stay and all the activities was not an easy task. . Thank you  all of the staff at the various resorts,and restaurants, museums and shops  for making us feel so welcome. A return visit with Kent and the family is in my near future.


For more on our stay, check out the following posts from my fellow bloggers (I’ll update this list as they’re posted):

Great Places to Eat in Orillia. @OntLakeCountry #LetsGoMaple #ontlakecountry

Exploring My Adventurous Side in Ontario’s Lake Country #LetsGoMaple #50FirstsAt50

Exploring  Ontario’s Lake Country with #letsgomaple

Fascinating Facts about Casino Rama

Indoor Fun In Ontario’s Lake Country

  • Sandy

    LOL I just wanted a snooze in the woods! I definitely did but sadly, cannot use that as an excuse 🙂 . Great post, Linda! Really enjoyed the photos! You did a fabulous job with the skiing. Outouais here we come next winter! Btw…love your hat also!