A Very Special Birthday Week!

June is always an eventful month with four birthdays taking place in my family all in a week. This year ‘birthday week’ was even more special than usual. If you were following my social media posts, you may already know why!

I was lucky enough to be selected by Ford Canada as one of 50 bloggers to participate in the #GoFurther150 program in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday. Participants had the opportunity to hit the road to explore our beautiful country in brand new Ford vehicles, sharing our experiences along the way. One lucky participant out of the 50 bloggers will be sent on a trip to Fogo Island in Newfoundland! Wish me luck as Newfoundland is definitely on my bucket list!

So thrilled at the opportunity to ride around in the F-150 King Ranch for the week, I planned some fun adventures. Picking up the truck on my birthday, I naturally wanted to spend the day on the water. I invited my friend Alyssa to make the journey to Ottawa for a day of chasing muskies on the Rideau River. I can’t think of a better way to spend a birthday!

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Arriving to the boat launch in style!

We hit the River in the afternoon doing our best to find shelter from the high winds and locate some muskies. I landed the first fish of the day, a beautifully-coloured northern pike with a real big appetite.

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Lovely markings on this little northern pike.

Alyssa followed up with a larger pike that fled before I could snap a photo. On such a warm day, we were glad to get these fish back in the water quickly. We casted weedlines and shorelines in search of musky and found one area that produced some activity. Alyssa had a follow, spotting a musky trailing behind a Shallow Invader. Moments later she hooked up with a fish that came unbuttoned just as fast. We kept moving along to cover water but decided to re-visit this area on our way back and see if anyone was home.

As we passed through the area later on, right on cue Alyssa had a hit and set the hook! This fish came bombing out of the water, thrashing and splashing as muskies do! I got the net ready and she brought in her second ever musky to date! Woo hoo!!! We were both thrilled and in awe of the markings on her gorgeous fish. A quick photo and back into the river it went. Congratulations, Alyssa! This was definitely a memorable afternoon on the water and a great birthday present even if it wasn’t mine 🙂

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Alyssa releasing her gorgeous musky back into the Rideau River.

Birthday week wouldn’t be complete without getting together with some of my dearest girlfriends whom I was fortunate to meet through our mutual passion for fishing. Our schedules aligned one evening after everyone was finished work so I invited the ladies to go to the drive-in theatre. This was exciting as it was something they had not yet experienced. I had memorable trips to the drive-in as a child and was so excited to experience it again. The four of us met for sushi (my favourite) in Kanata and then made a quick stop at a local fishing store before they closed for the night. As such a thoughtful birthday surprise, Jenn had this lovely sign made for me ❤ Thank you, Jenn!

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“Live, laugh, fish” – and that is just what we do! So thankful to know these women. From left: Lori, myself, Jenn, and Alyssa.

After a quick bite and shop, Alyssa departed as she had other evening commitments. Myself along with Jenn, Lori and her daughter Molly traveled to the drive-in located in Port Elmsley. I have to say, seeing a movie from the comfort of your vehicle is the best way to do it. We were quite cozy with all the space in the truck too! We changed into comfy clothes and got set-up with blankets, pillows, and of course popcorn!

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Molly giving her first drive-in experience a thumbs up! We had a blast 🙂

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We really enjoyed both movies!

The next adventure was a surprise for a friend named Shane. His birthday also fell during this birthday week. His wife, Kayla, and I had coordinated to surprise Shane with a fishing trip aboard my boat. Our plan was to meet up on his day off and spend it on the water but unfortunately thunder and lightning crushed our plans to get out in the boat. Myself along with Eric, Shane, and Kayla hopped in the Ford and headed for the town of Perth located just outside Ottawa. We kept an eye on the weather and did a little bit of shore fishing on the Tay River. We got into some smallmouth bass and panfish.

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Shane and Kayla casting out some Ned Rigs.

After fishing we went to O’Reilly’s Pub, one of my favourites to stop at when visiting Perth. Kayla’s mom made up this adorable fishing-themed cake and we were able to sneak it in for desert without Shane noticing. He was definitely surprised and grateful for a fun day. Next time we will get out in the boat!

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As part of the Go Further 150 program, participants hit the road to visit heritage landmarks across the country. Can you recognize this one?!

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My little fishing buddy and co-pilot, Blitz.

I travelled just a couple of hours outside of Ottawa along Highway 7 to visit this cute landmark at the Chicken Coop in the quaint village of Tweed. Joining me for this road trip was my pup, Blitz, and Eric who took the photo.

I had such a fun week cruising around in this incredible truck, I was very sad to return it! It was a dream to ride in and tow with. The features blew me away and I barely scratched the surface of what it is capable of.

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Love the large navigation screen and all the interior features, too!

Of all the bells and whistles, I especially appreciated the camera placement. It made for easy parking in tight spaces, hooking up the boat trailer, and even launching the boat. This was an EcoBoost model, and I was very impressed with the fuel efficiency too considering how much time I spent on the road and towing. Thank you Ford Canada for this amazing opportunity! Best of luck to all participants! The winner will soon be selected!

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He doesn’t care where we are headed as long as he is coming too ❤

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