October Wrap-Up

Hello November and goodbye October! October was a beautiful month with gorgeous autumn foliage everywhere I looked, an extra-special Thanksgiving, a trip to Sault Ste Marie and Agawa Canyon, and plenty of leisure activities. Let me share my highlights and I invite you to tell me yours.

October 2019


I viewed many interesting artworks at the Community Film and Art Festival, Nuit Blanche event, and Toronto Biennial of Art event. However, my favourite artwork in October was Mother Nature’s autumn foliage palette, from various shades of green to light yellow, to golden, to orange, red, and stunning crimson.

Red maple trees
Red maple trees


I wrote five blog posts in October and used my phone to take all the blog photos which turned out better than I expected:


I enjoyed reading six books in different genres. I had read The Old Man and the Sea a long time ago and re-read it. The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953. It’s an impressive novella to me because the writer packed a powerful story with vivid descriptions in under 100 pages.

  • The Endless Beach – a romance novel by Jenny Colgan.
  • All Things Consoled – a memoir by Elizabeth Hay.
  • The Old Man and the Sea – a novella by Ernest Hemingway.
  • Elevation – a science fiction novel by Stephen King.
  • Happy People Read & Drink Coffee – a romance novel by Agnès Martin Lugand, translated from the French by Sandra Smith.
  • Kingdom of the Blind – a crime fiction novel by Louise Penny.


I attended seven amazing classical concerts, some with my friends. The performers are all award winners at international competitions. They played wonderful music composed by Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Edgar, Rachmaninoff, Schumann, and more:

  • David Potvin, piano.
  • The Bedford Trio: Alessia Disimino (violin), Andrew Ascenzo (cello), and Jialiang Zhu (piano).
  • Tristan Savella, piano.
  • Peter Stoll, bass clarinet, and string quartet.
  • Younggun Kim, piano.
  • Timothy Ying, violin and Lydia Wong, piano.
  • The Ezra Duo: Jacob Clewell, viola and Sasha Bult-Ito, piano.


My family had an extra-special Thanksgiving dinner this year as my uncle and aunt came to visit us from Montreal. Aside from a delicious meal, I enjoyed every bit of the pumpkin pies that we had for dessert. Pumpkins are another sure sign of autumn here.



I met my friends at some of the concerts mentioned above. On a nice autumn day, we went for a walk to check out the newly opened Garrison Crossing bridge. It’s the first stainless steel bridge in Canada.

Spanning over two rail corridors within the core of downtown, the full bridge required two separate installations. The first and north end of the bridge is 52-metres-long. The second and south end of the bridge is 29-metres-long. I like that the bridge is for pedestrians and cyclists only.

Garrison Crossing bridge
Garrison Crossing bridge


I completed twelve strengthening workouts in the gym, four swimming sessions, and nine yoga classes. I also meditated and walked outdoors 5 to 8 km (or 3 to 5 miles) every day. October was the perfect time for outdoor walks as temperatures were cooler and autumn foliage provided gorgeous scenery.

Autumn foliage


Some of what I learned include my daily French and Spanish lessons on Duolingo, Garrison Crossing bridge construction, the history of Sault Ste Marie Canal, how the locks work at the Canal, and Agawa Canyon.


I watched four movies and liked Red Joan and Toy Story 4 the most:

  • Alladin
  • Toy Story 4 – surprisingly good for a sequel.
  • Stuber
  • Red Joan – based on a true story of Joan Stanley, who was exposed as the KGB’s longest-serving British spy.


My family and I travelled to Sault Ste Marie, a city located in northern Ontario. We did a few hikes in Sault Ste Marie, and took the train from Sault Ste Marie to Agawa Canyon where we did more hiking.

When we exited Sault Ste Marie airport, we saw a green Welcome sign on the left and a glimpse of colourful autumn foliage on the right. I’ll share more details in a future post.

Welcome to Sault Ste Marie
Welcome to Sault Ste Marie
Autumn splendour
Autumn splendour


Every day in October was amazing. I look forward to enjoying November with my family and friends, continuing my health and leisure activities, and plotting new adventures.

How was your October? What good things happened? I’d love to hear your comments.

Copyright © 2023 natalietheexplorer.home.blog – All rights reserved.

43 thoughts on “October Wrap-Up

  1. Suzanne@PictureRetirement November 3, 2019 / 6:38 am

    Natalie, you are just like Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, you pack a lot into a short book! Your month has my head spinning. Do you sleep? Seriously, it looks like you had a fulfilling October and I wish more of the same for you in November. Just remember to breathe….xo


    • Natalie November 3, 2019 / 7:49 am

      Suzanne – Your comment made me giggle this morning 🙂 I love my sleep and get about 8-9 hours every day. Here’s to a nice and relaxing November… xo

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Retirement Reflections November 3, 2019 / 5:13 pm

    Hi, Natalie – I’ve offered the same thing as Suzanne (e.g. Do you ever sleep?). I am continually impressed (and inspired) by how much you fit into a single month!
    And thank you for mentioning “Happy People Read & Drink Coffee “. Based on the title alone, this sounds like a perfect book for me!


    • Natalie November 3, 2019 / 6:13 pm

      Hi Donna – I was drawn in by that book title, too. I can picture you reading it with a coffee in hand!


  3. Erica/Erika November 3, 2019 / 6:51 pm

    Hi Natalie, The red maple trees are spectacular! I have not been Back East during the Fall. A trip we should make.

    A book by Elizabeth Hay? I have really enjoyed some of her other books. I have not read this memoir. It sounds like you had a fun and productive October on many levels.

    My husband and I are heading to see Aladdin at the Imax Theatre (where the Museum is) tonight. Should be great.

    Your photos are stunning, again, Natalie:)


    • Natalie November 3, 2019 / 7:07 pm

      Hi Erica, I love those red maple trees. Autumn colours are so beautiful in Ontario, even a phone can produce nice photos 🙂 I’d recommend All Things Consoled by Elizabeth Hay. Have a good time at the theatre!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erica/Erika November 4, 2019 / 3:21 pm

        Thanks for the book recommendation, Natalie. We enjoyed Aladdin last night. Entertaining for all ages 🙂


        • Natalie November 4, 2019 / 6:30 pm

          You’re welcome, Erica. I’m glad you enjoyed Aladdin.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Jo November 3, 2019 / 7:36 pm

    I love the autumn colour – those maple trees are stunning. I also love how you have such an eclectic reading list. Your October certainly had plenty of balance.


    • Natalie November 3, 2019 / 8:17 pm

      Hi Jo – I love those red maple trees. I try to read different book genres and authors. The eclectic reading list gave my brain a break and diversion from reading just one type.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid November 3, 2019 / 8:24 pm

    Those autumn colours are just sublime! I hope you had a happy thanksgiving! Did you enjoy The Endless Beach? I am a huge Jenny Colgan fan! I loved Toy Story 4 too – I am so sad that it’s the last Toy Story though, it’s like the end of an era!


    • Natalie November 3, 2019 / 8:58 pm

      Hi Sammie – Thanksgiving with my family was wonderful, thank you for asking. I enjoyed Jenny Colgan’s The Endless Beach but a little less than her Little Beach Street Bakery. I didn’t know Toy Story 4 was the last. I thought the ending would lead to more stories. Fingers crossed 🙂


  6. Shiju Sugunan November 3, 2019 / 11:36 pm

    Lovely autumn colours! Interesting how you can pack so much in a month.


    • Natalie November 4, 2019 / 7:46 am

      Thank you, Shiju, for your comment. I focus on a few activities that I enjoy and it seems to work well.


  7. Debbie from Deb's World November 3, 2019 / 11:47 pm

    Hi Natalie, what a great month you’ve had – a mix of all good things! I love the autumn colours in your shots as we enjoy our springtime colours here. I watched the movie Red Joan and enjoyed it too. #lifethisweek


    • Natalie November 4, 2019 / 7:53 am

      Hi Debbie – Our opposite seasons mean I can go to your blog for spring and summer colours when it gets cold here. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rebecca Jo November 5, 2019 / 8:16 am

    Look at all those concerts!!!


    • Natalie November 5, 2019 / 10:07 am

      The Fall concert series are wonderful and they’re free to the public. Thank you, Rebecca, for stopping by.


  9. Mother of 3 November 5, 2019 / 3:15 pm

    October is my favorite month to hike too! We really enjoyed the beautiful colors all around us. I can not wait for Thanksgiving (in a few weeks here in the US).


    • Natalie November 5, 2019 / 4:41 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed October, too. Have a wonderful November!


  10. Retirement Reflections November 5, 2019 / 7:50 pm

    Hi, Natalie – I’m popping back in from #MLSTL and to share this post on my social media.


    • Natalie November 5, 2019 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you, Donna. Have a nice evening!


  11. leannelc November 5, 2019 / 9:28 pm

    Natalie you’ve had another fantastic month – you are certainly an inspiration in how much you get done, and all that you’re learning, enjoying and experiencing. My month is much quieter in comparison, but I love how we can all be different and yet still appreciate what others are doing.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂


    • Natalie November 5, 2019 / 9:48 pm

      Hi Leanne – I love our uniqueness, too. It makes what we share interesting. Thank you for hosting another engaging MLSTL. Have a wonderful week!


  12. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond November 5, 2019 / 10:13 pm

    Another well rounded month of achievement for you Natalie and I always enjoy reading about what you have been up to. The colours of the tree are just stunning and well done with your commitment to keeping healthy. I look forward to reading about November and have a great month. #MLSTL xx


    • Natalie November 6, 2019 / 9:25 am

      Thank you, Sue, for your comment. I hope November is going well for you and look forward to reading about it.


  13. Deb November 6, 2019 / 5:56 am

    The colours of those trees are absolutely spectacular – so beautiful. You’re doing so well with your fitness regime too – you put me to shame!


    • Natalie November 6, 2019 / 9:28 am

      Thank you, Deb, for your comment. Canada has gorgeous autumn colours for sure. I hope you’re enjoying a healthy and fun-filled November.


  14. Nancy November 6, 2019 / 11:01 am

    Wow, Natalie, you sure pack a lot into a month.
    BTW, I take all my photos with my iphone or ipad and after editing on my laptop I find they are very acceptable. I’m not a photographer so I’m sure others can do better, but I think I post some pretty ones.
    We spent time enjoying the leaves and the colors before taking off for Florida. Those maples actually glow they are so brilliant.
    Glad you had extra family at Thanksgiving. Our is on the horizon here; we won’t have family but will share a meal with friends and neighbors at our Lake Placid community. I’m grateful for all the new folks we have met.


    • Natalie November 6, 2019 / 12:04 pm

      Thank you, Nancy, for your comment. Phone cameras have improved quite a bit. I reduce the size of my photos for the blog but don’t do any other edits or touch up (no time). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving at your Lake Placid community!


  15. Denyse Whelan November 6, 2019 / 6:06 pm

    What a lovely travelogue and scene sharing this was. Your northern hemisphere does Autumn so well. I am glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.

    Your photos are great. Mine are basically 100% iphone these days and I reduce the size before adding them to the blog. That was a helpful tip for me from the man who set up my blog as my posts are so photo-centred.

    Thank you for linking up for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is 45/51 Share Your Snaps #9 11/11/19…the second LAST for 2019 (where did that year go!) Hope to see you there. Denyse.


    • Natalie November 6, 2019 / 6:19 pm

      Thank you, Denyse, for hosting LTW and for your comment. I reduce my photos before posting them on my blog, too. I hope you have a wonderful week. I look forward to the next link-up.


  16. Min Write of the Middle November 6, 2019 / 7:24 pm

    What a fabulous well balanced and fun filled month you’ve had Natalie! Being the nature lover than I am, I am drawn to that red maple trees (how beautiful!) and the autumn splendour photograph at the end (breathtaking!). Have a fabulous November! xo #TeamLovinLife


    • Natalie November 6, 2019 / 7:32 pm

      Thank you, Min, for your comment. Late September to mid-October is usually peak time for autumn foliage in Ontario. The scenery is unbelievably beautiful IRL. Have a wonderful November!


  17. Laurie November 6, 2019 / 8:20 pm

    Sounds like a very good month. Loved the photos from Sault Ste Marie. I would love to go there and explore sometime. The colorful trees are beautiful this time of year. My October was good too! Looking forward to some November adventures.


    • Natalie November 6, 2019 / 8:40 pm

      Thank you, Laurie, for stopping by. I’m glad to hear you had a good October. The scenery in Sault Ste Marie and Agawa Canyon were breathtaking when we were there.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com November 6, 2019 / 10:52 pm

    The changing colors on the leaves are so vibrant. That maple!! My daughter misses the maple at her old house every fall. It was beautiful. We are beginning to see glimpses of fall in the few trees we have around here that aren’t evergreen. All the way to school today, Cia and i looked for trees that were changing color.

    Glad you enjoyed lots of good family time and a number of cultural activities. We are having to cut back on our entertainment expenses. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is coming and I would sure enjoy seeing it! Afraid a number of items on my bucket list this season are going to have to be nixed.


    • Natalie November 7, 2019 / 8:09 am

      How nice that you take Cia to school and look for nature ‘s beauty together. I hope you go see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and share your experience on the blog. Thank you, Leslie, for stopping by.


  19. Sydney Shop Girl November 7, 2019 / 3:13 am

    I’m in awe of your reading, Natalie! Such a range of genres and so many novels going on. I’m ashamed at how slow I am getting through books these days. Even page turning crime fiction ones!


    • Natalie November 7, 2019 / 8:15 am

      When I read a few good crime books in a row, the world seems too dangerous so romance books or other types of books come to the rescue 🙂


  20. betty - NZ November 10, 2019 / 7:32 pm

    It sounds like a busy but beautiful month for you!


    • Natalie November 10, 2019 / 8:40 pm

      October was very good. Thank you, Betty, for stopping by.


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