a peek inside the fishbowl

07 Jun, 2010

Know More Do More Mondays: enjoying the scenery

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Know More Do More

Piper’s cone came off today and we finally got veterinary permission to go for a long romp.

Thank god. Just in time!

This was our KMDM activity this week:

Take advantage of the Ottawa River and the Rideau Canal. Kids who are physically active are less likely to become depressed.


We are lucky ducks indeed. Spring, summer, fall, winter; the Ottawa River and Rideau Canal sustains our souls and makes this a nicer place to live.  

We went to the Arboretum near the Central Experimental Farm. I wanted to try a new destination, but it’s really pretty here and I knew that dogs were allowed. Just keep them on a leash, and watch for cyclists.


There are wiiiiide areas of space in which to run and stretch your legs. There are trees to climb, hills to roll down, things to explore, DUCKS, pretty sights to see… and Tons.Of.Trees. (It is after all, an arboretum, right?) The majority of trees are labelled, making it easy to learn the differences between a hackberry and a hawthorne.

It’s the perfect thing to do after dinner, and it’s entirely doable.

So instead of hunkering down in front of the telly, leave the dishes and go climb a tree.

Arboretum - climbing a tree


Here’s a view of Sarah exploring the shoreline, before she tripped and fell in the water:

Arboretum - before the soaker

“Oh well! I guess I’ll take off my socks!”


I was praying that nothing was going to leap out of this hole in the ground. Nothing did (PHEW) and it was deemed worthy of inspection.

what's in the hole?

We all had a pretty good time – a totally cone-free good time.

Cue angels:

Sunshine dog

I do recommend it. It is an amazing little spot. GO!

Here’s a tip, if you do go, park at a hidden little parking lot at the bottom part of the looping NCC Scenic Driveway. (Here’s a map.)

So here’s a question… where do you go when you have a hankering for fresh air? Do tell.

As for next week … here’s my tip (another one of my own creation):

Read the nutritional panel and ingredients of every grocery store product for the week. Did you know that the vast majority packaged products contain crap that isn’t very good for you?

It goes without saying that the folks behind KMDM would never use a word like CRAP. But I’ve hit a breaking point and can’t wait to write the post. :)

This post is part of the Know More Do More initiative spearheaded by the Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network. KMDM is about empowering parents and inspiring them to take charge of their children’s health by taking easy steps to increase activity levels and improve eating habits. I’m one of two champion families who has been asked to take this challenge. You can join too. Check out the official website for more information. You can also get healthy tips by following @knowmoredomore on Twitter. If you’re blogging about your participation, please let me know so we can cheer each other on!

7 Responses to "Know More Do More Mondays: enjoying the scenery"

1 | meanie

June 8th, 2010 at 6:51 am


we walk or bike everynight after dinner. weather permitting. we are surrounded by parks, so we just take our pick and go, and chances are we’ll bump into a friend from school.
i’m thinking about taking it up a notch though – we live near mooney’s bay and i’m thinking kayaking might be in our future – what a beautiful way to end the day, kayaking as the sun is setting…..

2 | andrea

June 8th, 2010 at 7:51 am


LOVE love love the idea of kayaking as a family!We’re close to Westboro beach. Might look into that… hmm. Where to start? Trailhead?

3 | meanie

June 8th, 2010 at 9:30 am


i just tried kijiji, pretty expensive hobby! i think mec has an end of season sale on their rentals, maybe that would be a good place to start?

4 | Kaitlin

June 8th, 2010 at 11:44 am


Trailhead does rentals, I think. Or at least, lessons.

5 | A Crafty Mom

June 8th, 2010 at 12:53 pm


LOVE kayaking – my husband and I do sea kayaking in NS and adore it. Can’t wait until my kids are old enough to come with us (few years away I’d say!).

We love the arboretum too – fantastic for kids and it’s SO beautiful. It’s amazing. I don’t always comment but I have been very good about these challenges! We biked along the canal this week and loved it. My next plan is roller blading, but that might be by myself since I am too fast for my family to keep up with me ;)

Reading the labels is scary and so important. I was always shocked by cereals I thought were “good” for my kids only to find out they are super high in sugar and had very little fiber. I actually saw an ad for Fruit Loops the other day that said it was a good source of fiber – ACK, really? Can’t let my kids see that or they’ll hound me to try them. And I can only guess it’s completely not true. So I’m definitely on board for the label reading. I also started to get the nutritional info from restaurants (like Tim Horton’s, Subway) so I knew what we were eating when we ate out somewhere. Tim Horton’s has an excellent web site and the nutritional info is easy to read and accessible. But no more Iced Cappuccinos for me :(

6 | andrea

June 9th, 2010 at 12:54 pm


Craftymom: Thanks for playing along! So far I’ve been really happy about our KMDM activities. The Arboretum is truly magical. We are so fortunate to have it so close.

re: reading the labels. It’s something I normally do, but I realized there are still a lot of foods I just throw into the cart without checking. (And I’m not going to say any more on the matter. Am saving it up for my post next Monday!)

7 | Binki

June 9th, 2010 at 4:14 pm


The Arboretum is amazing. While you’re there, be sure to check out the Fletcher Wildlife Centre which is even better.

You want to do something really interesting and educational related to the Rideau and Ottawa Rivers? Go fishing. Toss the fish back (good topic of discussion) or bring them home and eat them (another fantasitc lesson/discussion). Show your kids where fish live (they don’t come from Loblaws), how to clean them, how to cook them, and how to eat them. You can eat walleye, bass, and yes catfish (there are lots in our rivers). Worried that they are too polluted to eat? They aren’t. Oh and there’s another good discussion to have with the kids. We are all responsible for keeping our lakes and rivers clean. For the fish and for all life in and around these water bodies.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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