Camp for Adults: Two Islands Weekend

I can’t say that I look back on my nine years of overnight camp particularly fondly. I didn’t have many friends, I dreaded our weekly camping sessions and monthly overnights, the infamous dunk test (flipping me over in a kayak to test my swimming abilities) terrified me months before summer hit, and with limited athletic skills, I dreaded the team sports, too.

It seems my parents spent 11 months of the year trying to remind me of the parts of camp I liked so that they could, once again, have their own vacation consisting of a childless-July: arts & crafts, swim team, tuck shop (I assure you – camp is the only place I got chips and chocolate bars three times a week!), sailing, my one or two friends who would miss me… so each year I returned. (And after an email from my mom making me feel like the most ungrateful daughter ever, I should stress how thankful I am for it!! xo)

Northland

Things have changed. Since the age of 12, my athletic abilities have improved, I now have plenty of friends and I’ve started to seek out activities that are outside of my comfort zone rather than avoiding them. The camping thing hasn’t changed, though. I still refuse to sleep in a tent.

Imagine my excitement when I read about CAMP FOR ADULTS! This is my chance at a do-over, people!  A chance to mix all my favorite parts of growing up with the fun activities usually left for the kids.  And a chance to leave camp with warm and fuzzy memories for once. May I introduce Two Islands Weekend.

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Current Obsession: Lalanne’s Rhino Bar

In my post about home bars this past winter, I featured a number of bar carts that I would have happily set up in my home, but nothing, and I do mean nothing, can compare to the amazingness that is this bronze hippo bar by Claude Lalanne and her late husband Francois-Xavier Lalanne.

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The hippo is but one piece in a collection of luxurious animal-inspired whimsy that combines function and form.  Most of the animals in the “Les Lalanne” portfolio hide a quirky little secret, from a seated ape protecting the safe built into his chest to a larger than life fly whose back lifts to reveal a toilet.  The Lalanne’s most famous creations are their signature curly haired sheep chairs, whose fans include fashion darlings Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and Valentino.  Google tells me that Lalanne looked at art as a “fun house” and that his functional sculptures were intended to help eliminate the superfluous reverence of art.

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Go Visit: Calgary

Today’s guest post is brought to you by our dear friend Julie, a native Calgarian currently living in Toronto.

I’ve been meaning to guest blog a Calgary “City Guide” for quite a while, and now seems a particularly fitting time to sing the city’s praises. Over the past week, the city of Calgary faced its largest natural disaster in recent memory, which displaced 100,000 people from their homes and businesses and completely shut down the city’s core. The response to the flood highlighted something that I’ve realized over the past few years: Calgary has become a great city. Despite the fact that its reputation involves a lot of oil and gas money, conservative politics and cowboys, I might even call it an *awesome* city. I now reside in Toronto, and I love it here, but Robyn and Kelly have offered me this chance to tell you some of my favourite things about my hometown and I’m more than happy to do so. Warning: despite its nickname, “Cowtown”, almost none of what I will tell you about Calgary warrants this description.

Although I’m writing in the aftermath of the flood, I’ll mostly be describing places at their best, not their worst. Given the incredible efforts of Calgarians in cleaning up the devastation, I have high hopes that the places below that have been affected by the flood will be restored to their former glory soon. If you’re visiting Calgary in the near future, in addition to lending a helpful hand, you can give the economy a much needed boost by frequenting some of the following awesome spots.  Calgary’s famous Stampede, this year running from July 5 – 14, 2013 will no doubt be a great time to visit. The Stampede is sure to bring out incredible energy and pride to to the city and streets of Calgary.

CalgarySkyline

Bars/Restaurants

Local 510 is situated on 17th avenue between 4th and 5th street SW. It’s an unassuming pub with a great atmosphere pretty much any night of the week. They showcase local non-electronic DJs a few nights a week, which range widely in style but can always be counted on for high quality music at a volume that doesn’t put you at risk of losing your voice while chatting with a friend over beers (something I look for more and more as my 30s quickly approach).

The Ship and Anchor is a favourite Calgary pub, with one of the biggest and bustling patios in the city. Affectionately referred to as “The Ship”, this pub is frequented by a highly eclectic clientele and features an impressive selection of beers on tap. The Ship regularly hosts local bands and DJs and offers more than decent “homemade” pub fare.

Milk Tiger Lounge is a cocktail bar on 4th street SW that you might miss completely if not for the cute little white tiger marking its entrance. Inside, you will be served gluten-free tapas and some of the best traditional cocktails to be found in Calgary. The ambience, the aesthetic, the cocktails, the music… everything about this place just feels cool.

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HiFi Club has been a staple in Calgary’s bar scene for as long as I can remember. HiFi pulls in a huge amount of really great underground but critically-acclaimed electronic and non-electronic musical acts. Every Thursday they put on a great dance party, Hai Karate, featuring local talent Smalltown DJs playing a mix of house, club, rap, electro, funk, dancehall and breaks. And Sunday School (an event on, you guessed it, Sundays) featuring DJ Rice, has offered the best house music dance party available in the city for nearly a decade now.

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