If snow shovelling is getting you down and the amount of time you’ve already spent looking for lost gloves has you fearing winter in Ontario, it may be time to plan a warm and sunny getaway.
Antigua is an island in the Caribbean which offers the perfect antidotes to the Ontario winter woes.
As a travel consultant, one of the perks is getting to visit some pretty spectacular places to experience them first hand so I can relate my experiences to clients.
When I visited Antigua it was love at first sight!
I was blown away by the translucent waters of turquoise and azure that look photoshopped, miles of soft white sand, and all the rum punches, daiquiris, and pina coladas you can drink.
Visitors get all this and more on Antigua, 108 square miles worth of tropical beauty located just over a four-and-a-half-hour flight from Toronto. There are 9 direct flights per week currently. They start as low as $420pp, so it is certainly accessible for most.
The Caribbean was slammed with several hurricanes in 2017 and Antigua narrowly avoided the worst. It has been left it in perfect shape to welcome visitors searching for Caribbean sunshine and vitamin SEA!.
This is not the kind of island where you have to fight for towel space with blitzed college students. For one thing, there are 365 beaches here, which means there are plenty of places to chill for everyone.
This beautiful isle specializes in laid-back luxury and honeymoon-worthy resorts, attracting travellers who like their tropical vacations to have a refined vibe.
Highly touted as a fourth overall Midget draft selection, Grimsby’s Brandon Saigeon has shown determintation, perseverance to overcome early obstacles.
By Joanne MacDonald
Brandon Saigeon wears #17 for the Major Junior Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League, but his hometown Grimsby will always claim him as their own – and for lots of reasons that only start at centre ice.
Dynamic is a word sportswriters and scouts have used to describe his elite playing skills, competitive, driven, cerebral.
Off ice, he’s a thoughtful and respectful 19-year-old young man who measures every statement he makes to ensure it’s a nod of credit to the work of his entire team.
The Black and Gold went into the Christmas break on a five-game winning streak thanks to the 5-2 home-ice win Dec. 17 over the Peterborough Petes.
Hamilton’s powerplay was at work early in the first period. Ryan Moore scored to go ahead 1-0 and Saigeon also connected with the man advantage to make it 2-0 as the team cruised to the win.
Through 34 games, as of Christmas time, Saigeon leads the Bulldogs with 37 points, 17 of them goals. He also holds the top faceoff percentage on the team and leads the league in powerplay goals.
The Bulldogs wrapped up the first half of the regular season in first place in the East Division and first overall in the Eastern Conference. They’re in the thick of it and as of late December the Bulldogs stood with 48 points in 34 games with 21 wins and seven losses.
Predictions for the new year? Not taking a chance, Saigeon says with a smile – unwilling to jinx what has been a great start to the season – he’s just happy the hard work is paying off for the whole team and says there’s no other group of guys with which he would rather win.
“I’m working hard for the Bulldogs right now. The farther we go in playoffs the more NHL interest there will be throughout our whole team,” he said.
Serious injury tested the mettle of the young hockey star when his second year in the OHL was cut short by almost half the season when he broke both forearm bones, shattering the radius and ulna in his left arm in a January 2016 game against the Mississauga Steelheads.
But he’s back with his signature work ethic and the resiliency that runs through his DNA.
By the age of three, Saigeon was shooting rows of tennis balls in the driveway at his netminding grandfather, Wayne Saigeon.
And his dad, Brent, an athlete who played competitive tennis at the national and international level and was a member of the Canadian Jr. Team, removed the tennis net from the backyard court and replaced it with two hockey nets.
Saigeon credits the support of his dad and mom, Charlotta – another athlete in the family’s star lineup – for teaching him how to carry himself as a young athlete working to achieve his goals.
Charlotta was an Olympic swimmer and competed at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles.
“My Dad went to the University of Houston Texas on a tennis scholarship and it was there he met my Mom who was studying on a swimming scholarship.”
Brent says Brandon has always worked hard to improve his game.
“Whether it be shooting hundreds of pucks a night on our tennis court or running the hills at our local park for conditioning, he has always worked hard to get better.”
It’s a work ethic that has been passed down the family line. Says Brandon, “I think I got that edge earlier than most kids with my parents both being athletes and so supportive.”
There are two dates Lindsay Williamson has circled on her calendar.
Williamson, a 2004 Grimsby Secondary School grad, is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Musical Ride tour.
The first is in May when she will be performing in a special five-day celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday. The second is when the Musical Ride will be performing near her hometown at the West Niagara Agricultural Fairgrounds on Aug. 18.
She said she’s excited to perform in front of a large crowd of family and friends, noting it will be the highlight of her summer. She said she’s looking forward to showing people she knows the passion of the Ride, and being able to share it with them in her hometown.
“They’ve all heard about (the Ride), but a lot of them haven’t been able to see it firsthand.”
The red-coated Mountie riding a black horse has become one of the most internationally recognizable symbols of Canada.
When they were created in 1874, the RCMP’s predecessors, the North West Mounted Police (NWMP), were fashioned after the British military. As a result, part of their training included British cavalry drill. New members of the NWMP were regularly drilled in the art of cavalry maneuvers. First shown in public in 1887, these cavalry drills would evolve to become the modern RCMP Musical Ride.
The ride consists of the execution of a variety of intricate figures and cavalry drill choreographed to music.
While she has an athletic background, Williamson did not grow up around horses. In fact, Williamson did not have any equestrian experience prior to trying out for the Musical Ride.
Williamson was born in Grimsby, the youngest of three girls. She lived in Smithville as a youngster, as she and her sisters attended College Street Public School. The family moved to Grimsby the summer before she began Grade 9.
She was named the Grimsby Junior Citizen of the Year in 2004.
After graduating from GSS, she attended the University of Toronto where she was on the varsity track and field team and graduated in 2008 with a degree with a double major in criminology and health studies.
Williamson is currently continuing her studies with two courses remaining to obtain a masters degree with a focus on Work, Organization and Leadership through Athabasca University.
See the full article in our online edition.
Cst. Lindsay Williamson and Wizard are ready to impress as part of the RCMP’s Musical Ride at West Niagara Fair Grounds this August.