Exploring Ontario’s Lake Country

Ontario during the Winter months is a beautiful place to be! One of our favourite locations to explore is Ontario’s Lake Country which is located just one hour north of Toronto, on the shores of Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching.

This is one of Ontario’s most beautiful areas; where the air is clear, the views are spectacular and there’s so much to see and do!

Recently I had the pleasure of plan the #LetsGOMaple event in Orillia, Ontario with Casino Rama Resort and Ontario’s Lake Country which was a two day event that knocked our socks off. We had the pleasure of a variety of activities and you can read about my time on Day 1 Winter Fun in Ontario’s Lake Country where we were fat biking, snowshoeing, enjoying some wood-fired pizza and of course the glorious amenities of Casino Rama Resort.

Let me tell you what Day 2 looked like; it was another day where I faced some fears and was OVERWHELMED by the support I had in order to conquer the fears.

Ontario’s Lake Country FUN

Mount St. Louis Moonstone

We woke early and boarded the fun bus to head over to Mount St. Louis which is close by Casino Rama Resort. It was a glorious day with warmer weather and the sun was shining down.

mount st louis skiing ontario lake country

Our group was made up of 6 brave souls with only one of us being a regular skier. Earlier this year I’d gotten back on skis after 20 years and fallen in love again but my skills were awfully rusty and my courage wasn’t anywhere to be found. I don’t live far from Mount St. Louis, just an hour and a half so I’d heard often about their long hills that are tailored for anyone from the earliest beginner to the most advanced skier.

When we arrived, the group was kitted out in rental gear and we were sent to explore the novice hills. The resort had a school in that day so there were many children learning to ski around us which was a treat to watch. After a bit of time enjoying the bunny hills (there are 4 with 2 magic carpets) we headed off to meet the instructors for our private lessons.

mount st louis soberjulie
Stacey (www.thislilpiglet.net) & on ready to go

I grew up on the ski hills and would say that I have a bit of knowledge of ski schools and I have to say that I was highly impressed with the Mount St. Louis Ski School program and instructors. Our instructor, Rick had a group of 5 skiers who had varying abilities from beginner to intermediate and he handled us with ease. He immediately made us comfortable with the chairlift (think fear of heights here folks) and got us up onto the easy hill quickly.

With a focus on technique, we were led through exercises that had us easily going down the hill as if we’d been doing this every day. We moved onto an intermediate hill which had a steep bit that I wouldn’t have attempted if it hadn’t been for Rick urging us on. Each of us faced fears and learned as we made our way down. This lovely photo was taken as my darling friend Sandi from Canadian Blog House was laughing her head off during a spill.

Of course I stopped to take a photo…Rick was being dashing and it had to be captured!

mt st louis skiing ontario

The one person who wasn’t in our group was Jenn from Jenn Writes who was at a more beginner level and had gone with another instructor to smaller hills. She had an AMAZING experience which you can read all about HERE. Just look at the victory on the faces here as some of our group cheers her at the bottom of the hill when she came in from 2 hours of skiing!

mt st louis skiing ontario lake country

Casino Rama Resort

After a day of skiing we headed back to Casino Rama Resort for a bit of a rest – you know this girl enjoyed the pool, hot tub and steam room! Oh how glorious that felt! The amenities at Casino Rama Resort are blissful, luxury at its best with the customer service which always makes you feel welcome!

casino rama resort pool

The Grape and Olive Restaurant

After some ME time, we headed back onto the bus into downtown Orillia to enjoy some delicious food at The Grape and Olive Restaurant. Having been featured in Flavours of Lake Country and Barrielicious it’s no surprise that The Grape and Olive boasts fine cuisine prepared daily.

We were presented with a lovely menu from which I chose Chicken Alfredo Penne because I need a carb load after a day of skiing and I wasn’t disappointed.

grape and olive

grape and olive dessert

Following our meal, we headed into a meeting room where we were surprised with a demonstration by the Chef on how to make TRUFFLES! Can you say YUM??

grape and olive demo

The Grape and Olive offers cooking classes, hosted by Chef Derek Mayes on select days with a new theme each month. With a 3 course meal, hands on instruction and recipes to take home $55 per person it’s a fantastic idea if you’re in the area. If it’s a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, you enjoy having Chef Derek Mayes prepare a meal right in front of you with their Interactive Dining experiences. Dining can accommodate anywhere from 4 to 10 people and we promise you it will be an unforgettable experience. Prices range from $45 to $70.

My time in Ontario’s Lake Country was wonderful. I reached passed my own expectation of myself and found that not only was I capable of skiing down a larger hill than I thought but I LOVED the thrill of it. Somehow I had thought myself passed that stage of my life where I was a thrill seeker…but my adrenaline tells me different.

Check out these blog posts from my fellow bloggers who also attended this trip:

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