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July at Small Town Festivals

I can't believe tomorrow will be the first day of August!! Summer comes and goes so quickly, the FOMO can really get to you. There's all this pressure take summer vacation but that became less attainable after joining the working world.

One trick I've found to compensate for lack of major vacation plans is to take mini weekend trips. I feel really fortunate to live in Ontario because I've discovered lots of cute destinations even just between Ottawa and Toronto!

Starting off with Perth, a town about an hour out from Ottawa. I've visited Perth before (once with my family over Thanksgiving and once again with Nick for a picnic) but both those previous times we really only went to see Stewart Park. This time however, we also made a point to walk around and explore more of what the town has to offer.

Although to be fair, Stewart Park is a huge attraction in Perth and if we're being honest, the Stewart Park Festival is what prompted us to visit again this time around.

rubber duck racing!

is there a more wholesome activity??

I find that festivals are a great way to discover small towns. It's really heartwarming to see the whole town come together to celebrate and it really does attract people from all over. The weekend before was lavender festival in Prince Edward County (between Kingston and Toronto) and Joanna and I made a girls roadtrip out, hitting up multiple small towns/cities on the way.

Our first stop was Kingston. I love stopping in Kingston whenever possible, especially to visit my favourite sushi restaurant in Ontario (Vancouver is a whole nother level). It's a good pit stop since I don't have as much FOMO considering I lived here one summer and got my fill of exploring.

3 month old baby tired from walking around

flowers at the farmer's market

more lowers from the farmer's market

cute coffee shop in Kingston on Princess St

I've always regarded Kingston to be a good in-between a big city and small town destination. There's lots of surprisingly yummy and diverse food options and enough people for the "excitement" element but there's also more of a small town flavour that's super wholesome and down-to-earth.

After our sushi lunch and walking around downtown Kingston, we stopped by in our airbnb in Belleville before heading off to see a beautiful beach sunset in Wellington.

There were very few people on the beach and it was one of the most peaceful places I've been. With nothing but the sound of the waves and the taste of the salty air around us, we stayed until the moon rose and shone brightly on the water.

We had passed what looked like a carnival on our way to Wellington so on our way back to Belleville, we stopped to check it out. It was the Belleville Waterfront and Multicultural Festival (another festival!) and it looked even more amazing all lit up now that it was night-time.

We ran through taking in all the sounds and lights and Jo breathing in the Strangers Things Season 3 vibes. I had not yet seen that episode yet at the time but Jo told me to take it in while I could, and boy, was she right!

We hadn't planned to explore much of Belleville but when we drove back to our airbnb for the night, we passed by downtown Belleville and noticed all the cute storefronts we would have wanted to check out -- FOMO finds us after all! Unfortunately, we had no time to spare as we headed out to the lavender festival first thing Sunday morning (but not until Pita, our airbnb co-host, got many deserving pets and snuggles).

hello little tortie

As we pulled up to the lavender fields, I quickly realized that this was the same lavender fields I had visited with my parents back in 2015. But unlike last time, this was prime time -- festival time. I had never seen lavender is such full bloom in person before! I can only imagine this would be as good as it gets (until I manage to get out to Provence). It was truly beautiful but also family-friendly and not intimidating at all.

At first, I felt a little guilty and anxious hogging certain areas of the lavender, especially after a wardrobe change and then also putting up a tripod to take group shots with Jo. But then we noticed there were multiple groups where there were several people holding up giant photo shoot equipment, and that made me feel way less self-conscious haha.

We took our sweet time enjoying taking photos in the lavender fields as that was the main attraction, then made our way back to Wellington for lunch and ice cream (we had spotted a shop from the night before and made a note to come back). The sun was bright and all the colours around us seemed even brighter. I would have wanted to sit on that bench and eat ice cream forever if I could.

summer paradise

Lastly, we drove through Picton on our way back to Ottawa but were pretty tuckered out, especially from the heat, but overall happy and satisfied from a weekend of wholesome activities.

Special announcement: we took video clips of our trip! First time working with video and looking to put it all together but I'll definitely update this post when it's ready.

Also, stay tuned for a summer fashion post featuring my outfits from these trips!

Hope you enjoyed these photos!
Thanks for reading :)

Update: Video is ready! It was my first time trying my hand at video!! (was actually so hard) Hope y'all enjoy these clips set to one of my favourite songs Summer Daze by George Shaw:


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