Yesterday, my brother, Stephen, and his wife, Laura, said goodbye to the third member of their family. Tyson was a big, loveable beast of a dog. His presence was powerful – a loud, booming bark and large, heavy paws that he would put up on your shoulders as he came to say hi. But behind it were sweet, kind eyes. He was the definition of his bark being worse than his bite.

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This is a Sign

If you take a moment to be still and pay attention, you’ll find that there are signs and messages from the Universe that are sent to you regularly. Most of the time, we aren’t paying attention enough to notice them, stuck in our daily routines and caught in our never-ending mind loops. I try to be mindful of these messages, but there will be long periods of time when I don’t see them. Or rather, I don’t recognize them.

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The Weight of Weight Loss

Ever since I was young I have been, at least, a husky individual. Over the course of my lifetime, that descriptor has varied from husky to overweight to healthy(ish), and everything in between.

For a large part of my life, I was self-conscious about my weight. Not necessarily because of how I felt, since, though carrying excess baggage, I was healthy. In truth, I was self-conscious because of the same reason so many other people are – I worried about what others thought of the way I looked.

I was teased for my weight in school. Although I learned how to shrug off the stinging jabs from my schoolmates, the echoes remained. This in turn lead me to use self-deprecating humor as a defense mechanism; sometimes proactively so as to try to “take the power” from the others, but oftentimes no one was thinking or saying anything. Except for me. This pattern stuck around for the rest of my life.

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Dink Diaries – Happy Anniversary

As most of you who read my blog posts semi-regularly, my wife and I were celebrating our tenth anniversary this year. Ten years! We had decided on our anniversary plan about nine years ago – an epic two-week trip, along with my brother and his wife, to Disney World. The reasoning being that our anniversary coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom. Eight years of putting money away week by week so that we would have a nice little nest egg to use for our trip. It was going to be amazeballs.

You can likely guess by the tone that the trip did not occur. Thanks to COVID-19, our plans were quashed. But we would not let this disappointment ruin our big anniversary. Given the travel constraints we faced, we instead opted to do a smaller-scale trip, but a fun one, nonetheless. Rather than head south to Florida, we headed north-west towards Quebec.

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DINK Diaries – Riding the Roads

Over the past few weeks, my wife and I have taken off on a couple of our DINK days. For those who haven’t read any of my previous DINK Diaries posts, it stands for Dual Income, No Kids. Translation? We are carefree, and can just take off to do things on a whim.

DINK Day number one was a random road trip to Fredericton. One of the main reasons for this trip was that we had wanted to go eat at a restaurant that my wife had the pleasure of discovering a few weeks earlier while in town for business. So off we went. We wandered around downtown a bit, hitting up a few of our regular spots. Then came the moment we’d been waiting for – lunch at The Lighthouse by 540.

Located along the Fredericton riverfront, The Lighthouse by 540 is a restaurant/bar located in, you guessed it, a converted lighthouse. You eat on the patio, overlooking the riverfront and enjoy the delicious food and drinks. The menu is small, but varied. I opted to try the Bibimbap and was not disappointed in the least! Such a delicious meal to end our day in Fredericton, before the two hour drive back home.

A few days later, I took a random Wednesday off of work so that we could partake in another DINK Day adventure. On the agenda this time was checking out the Fundy Trail Parkway. To quote their website, here is a description of the Fundy Trail Parkway:

The Fundy Trail is a 2,559 hectare/6,323 acre park featuring a 30 km/19 mile parkway hugging the southern coast of New Brunswick. With stunning views of the world-renowned Bay of Fundy, the park has been carved out of the Fundy escarpment, one of the last remaining coastal wilderness areas between Florida and Labrador.

Visitors can drive the paved parkway that hugs the 250 m (820 ft) coastal cliffs, explore trails that connect to paths or stairways leading to pristine beaches and river estuaries, cross an 84 m (275 ft) suspension footbridge, see tumbling waterfalls and Precambrian rocks or stop by the interpretive centre and discover the rich history of a once thriving lumber industry. Fundy Trail is part of two UNESCO designated sites: the Fundy Biosphere Reserve and Stonehammer Global Geopark and home to the beginning of the Fundy Footpath hiking path, one of the top 50 hiking trails in the world!


As you can imagine, it was a beautiful drive. We stopped at a number of outlook points to take in the breathtaking views of the Bay of Fundy. While we didn’t do any of the hikes on this visit, we have agreed that we want to return, specifically to go hiking. I have a feeling there may be an autumn DINK Day on the horizon.

Our most recent DINK Day adventure was this past weekend. Over the course of the past 18 months, Isabelle and I have taken many, many, many, many drives within our province. Mostly, sticking to our corner of the province due to the various lockdowns that we experienced, but driven we have! We took to highlighting the main roads we had driven along on a map, which is now hung on my office wall. It serves as both a call to action of trips we want to take and a reminder of those we’ve done.

We decided to check off another couple of roads on our map. While our ultimate destination was one we’ve been to many times (see DINK Day trip number one above), the road we took was much longer than usual. Instead of the direct two hour drive along the highway, we headed North to Miramichi, then took some of the older roads towards Fredericton. It was a really nice drive, with little traffic, good music and interesting conversation.

Once we arrived in Fredericton, we again opted to dine at The Lighthouse by 540. On the menu for me this time – fish tacos. Though small, these were the most delicious fish tacos I have had the pleasure of eating. I would eat them again anytime.

Fish Tacos from The Lighthouse by 540 in Fredericton, NB
Fish Tacos from The Lighthouse by 540 in Fredericton

So there you have it. Another few DINK Days added to the diary. I can’t wait to see what adventures await us in the future, as soon as this COVID-19 situation is better controlled!