Ten Places to Eat Gluten Free in Toronto

Ten Places to Eat Gluten Free in Toronto

Toronto, Canada is my hometown and the city where most of my family still lives. It's also an excellent spot for finding gluten free places to eat. My oldest son is medically gluten free, and as such even the smallest amount of cross-contamination can make him sick. While there are plenty of restaurants that fast-food places that offer gluten free options, I'm equally concerned with preparation methods and so the locations I recommend below are ones that have a reputation for knowledgeable food preparation practices. As with all things, sometimes establishments change their ingredients or policies, so always double check before ordering.

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Traveling with an Injury (and two young children)

Traveling with an Injury (and two young children)

While traveling with the kids in Toronto to visit family, I fell and badly injured my left ankle. Although the initial x-rays didn't show a clear fracture, the injury occurred on a previously fractured ankle and the doctor was concerned about the high degree of swelling and bruising. At the same time, I injured the big toe on my other foot and badly bruised the calf on the same leg. All this, the night before I was set to fly back to Paris, alone with two small children.

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Toronto For Kids: Ripley's Aquarium Canada in Toronto

Toronto For Kids: Ripley's Aquarium Canada in Toronto

While visiting family in Toronto last month, we took the kids to the Ripley's Aquarium of Canada. Located downtown across from the famous CN Tower, the aquarium has only been part of the city for a few short years. My seven year old is currently fascinated with all things sharks and whales, so it was his pick to visit.

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Family Visit to Toronto, Canada

Family Visit to Toronto, Canada

I spent the last two weeks visiting family in Toronto with my two kids. My husband had to stay behind and work in Paris, so it was just me and the munchkins, our first long-distance trip without him. Although I intended to blog while I was gone, the truth is that the kids kept me occupied most of the time, and I decided to take a break while I was there.

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Canada, Here We Come!

Canada, Here We Come!

This fall has been a whirlwind of doctor's appointments, evaluations, medical terms, and decision making. In some ways it reminds me of what we went through when our oldest was so sick as a baby and we hadn't yet figured out that gluten was the culprit. My husband and I are tired, stressed, and second guessing every decision we make. There is a bright spot ahead though, and that's our trip to Canada! The kids and I are heading to visit my family in Toronto on Thursday, and although my husband has to stay behind for work, I'm looking forward to getting away from everything here for a few weeks.

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An Autumn Weekend in Paris

An Autumn Weekend in Paris

This past weekend, my husband and I decided to put aside some of the ongoing organizational and health-related items on our to-do list and enjoy the great autumn weather in Paris instead. We started it with a Saturday morning soccer tournament for our oldest son. Our four year old isn't all that interested in sitting through four hours of soccer, so I kept him home with me while my husband accompanied our eldest to his first tournament ever! They came out with one win, one loss, and two ties, and my son scored a goal!

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A Week in Brittany: Bénodet

A Week in Brittany: Bénodet

Brittany, or Bretagne in French, is a region in the north-western part of France, bordering the Atlantic. Easily accessible by car or train, it is known for its dairy production, apples and cider, and its fishing. It has a long history and strong Celtic ties, and is even home to the famous forest where King Arthur pulled his sword from the stone. I spent a week there with my family in August, and explored some great spots. We focused our vacation on southern Brittany, keeping within about an hour's drive in any direction from Quimper, the closest city to where we were staying. As we had rented a car, we took day trips to various points of interest. One such point was the beach town of Bénodet.

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Travel Review: Gites de Kervinic in South Brittany

Travel Review: Gites de Kervinic in South Brittany

In August, we spent a week in a small guest house in south Brittany called the Gites de Kervinic. Located a few minutes outside of the town of Quimper in Ergué-Gabéric, the gite is in a small rural town that is easily accessible by car. Brittany is made up of several smaller towns and cities, so having a car is highly recommended. We wanted to have a relaxing vacation with lots of room for the kids to run around, so we opted for a rural guest house rather than a city hotel, and I'm glad we did.

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The Adriatic Coast: From Otranto to Leuca

The Adriatic Coast: From Otranto to Leuca

Part of what I loved so much about the Salento region of Puglia is just how easy it is to travel it by car. Unlike much of the rest of Italy, Salento is fairly flat, the mountains and hills of the rest of the country absent. Instead, the land is covered in olive groves in the interior, with well maintained highways that lead to the coast. Regardless of where you stay, either the Adriatic or the Ionian sea is rarely more than 30 minutes by car. The Ionian coast has some of the best white sand beaches in the country, but the Adriatic coast has dramatic cliffs, winding coastal roads, and gorgeous views.

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New Challenges Ahead: Adjusting to Change

New Challenges Ahead: Adjusting to Change

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time staring at the computer screen, trying to decide what to title this post or even how to start. Although I share quite a bit about my family's travels here, I don't always share much of the day-to-day of our lives. I used to share quite a bit more when I was actively writing on my Celiac Baby! site, writing about how my family navigated the change to a gluten free lifestyle after my oldest son had to go gluten free. When we moved to Paris and I started writing this blog, my focus became more travel-related, offering insight on the various destinations we've been lucky enough to visit. I don't want to say that I began to feel boxed in writing Celiac Baby!, but I guess in a way I did, wanting to write about more than just one aspect of our lives. I stopped writing there *temporarily* in 2015, and haven't written there since, unintentionally giving it up. I'm beginning to feel that way again, for different reasons this time.

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Daytrip to Lecce, Italy

Daytrip to Lecce, Italy

One of the highlights of our trip to Puglia in the south of Italy was our stop in Lecce. The city is over 2000 years old and is nicknamed the "Florence of the south" because of the number of baroque buildings it boasts in the historical center. It also contains some impressive Roman historical sites, including a sunken Roman amphitheatre.

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Travel Review: Masseria Sant'Angelo (Corigliano d'Otranto, Italy)

Travel Review: Masseria Sant'Angelo (Corigliano d'Otranto, Italy)

After spending a week at a beach house in Torre Lapillo, in the Salento region of southern Italy, we packed up the car and headed inland to a farm stay in Corigliano d'Otranto. Italy has a large network of rural or farm accommodations, conveniently listed and categorized on the agriturismo website. After searching for hours and narrowing down our choices, we finally settled on a place called Masseria Sant'Angelo, in the small town of Corigliano d'Otranto.

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Farewell to Summer!

Farewell to Summer!

As summer comes to a close next week and the kids head back to school, I find myself simultaneously trying to tie up all the loose ends from summer while preparing for the new school year. I was a high school teacher for over a decade, and September always feels like a new beginning for me, even though I'm no longer heading back to the classroom when my kids do. I've already purchased to insane number of items on my seven year old's back to school list and ordered some much needed back to school clothes for them, so at lease there's that!

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Daytrip to Alberobello, Italy: UNESCO World Heritage Site

Daytrip to Alberobello, Italy: UNESCO World Heritage Site

For many years, one of my dreams has been to see the unique trulli homes in Alberobello, Italy. I remember watching television documentaries and travel shows that highlighted these unique structures and promising myself that one day I would see them for myself. I can't tell you how excited I was to finally get the chance to do just that!

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Daytrip to Gallipoli, Italy

Daytrip to Gallipoli, Italy

Taking a trip to Gallipoli from Torre Lapillo meant a drive along the coast before crossing the bridge to what was formerly a fortified island on the Ionian sea. Now the island is essentially the historical center that is at the heart of the area's tourism, and surrounded by the more modern city that has popped up around it. There is a large parking lot at the port that is still free for now, although the locals told us that it will be a paid lot next year. From there we skipped the staircase that leads directly to the old town center and instead ducked through the doorway that leads to the harbor for private boats.

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Exploring Torre Lapillo in Salento, Italy

Exploring Torre Lapillo in Salento, Italy

After settling into our vacation rental and choosing a beach club to frequent in the mornings, our afternoons were free to explore the area around Torre Lapillo, Salento. Salento is the southernmost region of Puglia, located on the "heel" of the Italian boot. Hot, dry, and largely untouched by international tourism, it's a fantastic area for experiencing authentic local culture and some fantastic white sand beaches.

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Beginning our Vacation in Salento, Italy

Beginning our Vacation in Salento, Italy

We arrived at Brindisi airport on a hot, dry Saturday afternoon. Traveling with two small children in tow means we try to fly direct whenever possible, but we got a great deal on a flight from Paris with a stopover in Milan, and so our journey had begun quite early that morning. Stepping out of the main building, we entered the building next door to where the car rental shops are set up, and within the hour we were on our way south, away from the Adriatic coast and across to the Ionian Sea.

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Two Weeks in Italy...Without Internet

Two Weeks in Italy...Without Internet

When we left for Italy July 9th, my intention was not to forego internet for two weeks. I purchased a portable internet device that is supposed to provide mobile internet service anywhere in Europe. Well, not so much. It couldn't catch a connection anywhere, even when I was sitting in a cafe or restaurant that offered free internet. So... unfortunately that meant that blogging while away was a no go.

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My Week at the Paris Writers' Workshop

My Week at the Paris Writers' Workshop

Welcome to July! I feel as though I have neglected this space over the past few weeks, and I apologize. It was all for a good reason though, as I spent the last week attending the Paris Writers' Workshop at UNESCO! The Paris Writers' Workshop (or PWW as I will refer to it from here on) is a six day writing workshop in which attendees enroll to participate in classes geared specifically to one type of writing. This year there were classes in novel writing, short stories, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

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Extracurriculars in Paris: The Scheduled Child

There are many articles about the dangers of over-scheduling children and how a lack of free time to play can be damaging to children. Children need time to run around with their friends and explore the world at their own pace, not be bogged down by hours of homework or an extra-curricular activity every night of the week. On the other hand, getting children involved in sports or music can be beneficial to their academic achievement, social development, and overall health. So how much is too much?

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