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Life Is Meant To Be Experienced #50FirstsAt50

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First Deep Sea Fishing Cod 50 Firsts At 50

Life is meant to be experienced. That’s my motto.

Back in March of this year, I took readers along on a journey to Orillia, highlighting many of the great things to see and do in Ontario’s Lake Country.

As I mentioned in this post, the trip ignited something within me – an urge to experience 50 “firsts”. Things I had never experienced before. All before my 50th birthday.

Well, it has been 5 months since that fabulous stay at Casino Rama Resort, so I figured it was time to provide a little update on my #50FirstsAt50.

Mostly because…accountability.

So if you have been following along, you’ll already be familiar with the first items on my list that I experienced during this #LetsGoMaple excursion:

  • First visit to Orillia and Casino Rama Resort
  • First time in a “Green Room”
  • First visit to a real sugar bush
  • First time trying Fat Biking
  • First time snowshoeing
  • First time snow tubing
  • First table games lesson at a casino
  • First taste of Horseshoe Valley Cold Water Clear Lager
  • First time eating egg-plant on pizza
  • First big trip away on my own since my mum passed away
  • First time being given my own hashtag

As you can see, I managed to experience 11 “firsts” just on this trip alone.

That leaves me 39 things to experience, for the first time, before I turn 50 at the end of the year.

I think I’ve done quite well in the last 5 months. I’ve managed to experience 20 more firsts (for more info on all firsts, click on links in each section):

50 Firsts At 50


Eating Honeycomb

Believe it or not, while I love honey, I had never eaten honeycomb until our evening out with Ford Canada at the Ottawa-Gatineau International Auto Show. It’s delicious!

Riding In The Gatineau 2017 Tour Bus

A tour of the making of the structures for Mosai Canada, in Montreal, made us the first group of people to travel on the new Gatineau 2017/Canada 150 tour bus. It’s a beautiful bus! This was also my first time seeing Mosai Canada (before the structures were fully constructed and transported to Gatineau).

Visiting Prince Edward County Lighthouses

This was not my first time in beautiful Prince Edward County, however, it was my first time visiting some Prince Edward County lighthouses, and my first stay at The Waring House in Picton. Prince Edward County is one of my happy places!

Visiting Fort Coulonge, Quebec

Although we didn’t make it Chutes Coulonge Park, thanks to the swarms of mosquitoes, we did get to visit the town of Fort Coulonge, something I had been wanting to do for a while. Perhaps next summer we will make it back to visit Chutes Coulonge Park for the first time!

Getting A DSLR Camera


First DSLR Blue Sky Crescent Moon

Don’t get me wrong, I adore my phone camera, and my Fujifilm FinePix XP120. Something has been missing from my photos though – the ability to zoom in and take close up photos of far away objects. Thanks to my wonderful partner, this summer I received my very first DSLR, and I love it. I am now able to take some great close up shots…no matter where I may be sitting or standing.

Meeting The Prime Minister

I had my first chance encounter with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this past spring. While waiting to attend a special event at Parliament Hill’s East Block, we ran into the Prime Minister speaking with the media. Instead of just running off after the press conference, the Prime Minister, and Sophie, stopped to say hello to a few of us who had been standing around to watch. Only problem? I forgot to ask for a selfie!

Attending The Red Bull Rallycross

While I’m not what you would call a big race fan, I had a great time checking out my very first Red Bull Rallycross experience, when this Ottawa 2017 event was held here in June. The Canadian Aviation and Space Museum was a great venue for this event and we truly enjoyed checking out what goes on at this rallycar race.

Dining With A Celebrity

My evening at Canada’s Home was a very exciting one, for a number of reasons. Most notably for the fact that we got to have dinner with, and spend the evening chatting with, Canadian actor and comedian, Cathy Jones. She’s just as fabulous in real life as she is on tv!

Participating In A Shoreline Cleanup

It was the devastating flooding in Gatineau and Ottawa this past spring that got us interested in helping with my first shoreline cleanup. It was an eye-opening experience and one that has truly made me stop and think about what I use…and throw away.

Eating PopCurds

Yes that’s a thing, and I consider it a good choice for a “first” because…well…deep-fried cheese curd. Need I say more? A Popsilos farm tour was where I was introduced to these mouth-watering treats earlier this summer.

Visiting Vankleek Hill, Ontario

The Popsilos farm tour brought me to places I had never been before: Beau’s Brewery and Vankleek Hill Vineyard. Although I’m from Eastern Ontario, this tour took me through several towns and rural areas, in Eastern Ontario, for the very first time.

Eating Dinner 150 Feet Up In The Air

This was a first for me, and probably a last as well. Fantastic experiences like Sky Lounge don’t come around very often. While I have a severe fear of heights, I couldn’t say no to doing this. The wine may have helped a bit. And the videos? I blame that on the wine also.

Getting Sprayed By A Dragon

La Machine was one of the highlights of my summer. I enjoyed watching these huge mechanical beasts so much, I went to see them twice while they were in town. It was a hot weekend (a rare thing in Ottawa this summer), so having Long Ma breathing a cold mist on me, from his nostrils, felt terrific!

Canoeing In Downtown Gatineau

Something I never thought I would do is canoe in downtown Gatineau. I didn’t even know one could do this until I spent a day exploring the Gatineau Culture Trail.  I did quite a few other things on that trail…like visit a really cool beer museum. I also watched someone eat Wapiti. I should have asked for a bite. I’ve never had Wapiti.

Participating In A Slot Tournament

I’ve been to several casinos but, never had I played in slot tournament until I visited Casino du Lac Leamy this summer. I never realized the skill it took to win one of those rounds. Let’s just say, my hand-eye coordination wasn’t quite up-to-speed.

Watching All-Star Baseball In Ottawa

Ok so it wasn’t an MLB All-Star game but, this was my first time watching baseball in Ottawa at RCGT Park, and it was a terrific evening of baseball and fun for the whole family. Until our experience in July, I had no idea we had such a great venue to watch baseball from in Ottawa. Go Ottawa Champions Go!

Picking Blueberries

I’ve picked strawberries. I’ve picked apples. But I had never picked blueberries until I spent an afternoon on the Secret Eats tour in Ottawa. I was told I have some fab blueberry picking skills, as I managed to pick a whole basket full in under 10 minutes. I know what I’m doing next summer!

Eating Buffalo

You don’t say no to a bowl of fresh Buffalo Spaetzle – even if you have no idea what you are about to eat. I was delightfully surprised to learn I love buffalo meat while on the Secret Eats tour. And yes it does taste a lot like beef. I have a feeling I will be ordering some buffalo next time I see it on a restaurant menu.

Interviewing The Interviewer’s Son

Yes, that is a bizarre title but, it is correct. This was a first for me. I was recently asked to interview Josh Moshenberg, son of Erica Ehm, a media professional who used to interview famous musicians for a living. That was just a little daunting to say the least. Erica was someone I idolized when I was a 16-year-old. Lucky for me, Josh was a seasoned professional (at 17!), and was a total pleasure to interview. If you haven’t checked it out already, go read what Josh has been up to, and donate a few dollars if you like what he is trying to do.

Sleeping with Wolves and Bears

I sleep with my dogs all the time but, our experience at Parc Omega this summer was a first for me and, it took sleeping with animals to a whole new level. Of course we didn’t actually sleep with them…but they weren’t far away. A pretty cool experience!

As for that photo of me with the cod? This was taken this summer on a family trip.

Not my first time deep-sea fishing, not my first time catching a cod.

But it was my first time catching a 22-inch cod 🙂 .

Have you experienced any “firsts” lately? Tell us about them!




  1. September 1, 2017

    Margarita Ibbott @DownshiftingPRO

    That my friend is a pretty impressive list of firsts. What number are you up to now???

    Hope you do a few firsts with me and the girls…

    • September 1, 2017


      Thanks very much, Margarita! I’m now up to 31! 19 to go by the end of November 🙂
      And yes…absolutely!!!
      Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. September 2, 2017

    Brenda A

    You are just plain awesome. Absolutely awesome!

    • September 2, 2017


      Awww Brenda <3 Thank you! And thanks for being such a loyal reader! xo

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