Enjoying the Holiday Season

Hello and welcome! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 49 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup #99 which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Feel free to link your WCS or PPAC post to this post. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

Are you looking forward to the upcoming holidays? By next weekend, I would have hosted fifty consecutive Weekend Coffee Share linkups in 2022. So, I look forward to taking a blogging break and enjoying the holiday season.

I started my holiday fun with two walks: 1) Gingerbread Lane at Royal York hotel for their incredible displays and 2) Fleurs de Villes Noël in Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood for their gorgeous floral designs. Both events are free to the public.

I’m sharing my pictures for #ThursdayDoors photo challenge and PPAC. Click on any image in the gallery and use the arrow to move through the pictures.

1. Gingerbread Lane

The life-sized Gingerbread Lane consists of about 8500 gingerbread bricks and 12 different types of candy. The floor-to-ceiling bricks are glued together using royal icing and the lane is 90% edible!

Along the lane are windows that look like storefronts with twinkly lights and festive scenes of gifts, gingerbread, decorative cookies and candies. I love everything about this Gingerbread Lane. Such a creative and “sweet” theme!

2. Fleurs de Villes Noël

Fleurs de Villes Noēl is a festive floral trail of over 30 gorgeous floral installations, created by Toronto’s favourite florists. Some of the installations are floral mannequins and some celebrate world-class Canadian figure skaters.

I’ve attended a few Fleurs de Villes events in Toronto and Niagara Falls before. The florists continue to amaze me with their designs using fresh flowers and greenery.

3. New Badge

December 16th-18th is the last Weekend Coffee Share linkup for 2022. It’s also the 100th linkup that I have been hosting since January 2021. I hope to ‘see’ you there before the holidays. After the holidays, I’ll be back with a fresh post on Friday, January 6, 2023.

For 2023, I created a new Weekend Coffee Share badge and added it to my blog sidebar. Weekend Coffee Share and PPAC contributors are welcome to display the badge on their blogs. I look forward to your contributions.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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

101 thoughts on “Enjoying the Holiday Season

  1. Darlene December 9, 2022 / 8:35 am

    Both of these events are great. Candy Cane Lane is amazing and the floral displays are unreal! I love Elvis Stojko especially. Thanks for sharing these pictures. Have a fabulous holiday season!!

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 5:24 pm

      Thank you Darlene for stopping by. The Elvis Stojko display is created by Happy Fairy Art. It has beautiful purple flowers and cream garlands. I’m glad you enjoyed these pictures. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. leannelc December 9, 2022 / 8:47 am

    Hi Natalie – that gingerbread lane looked like such a fun place to visit – I wondered though if kids get tempted to lick the bricks or take bites out of the decorations? Also really liked the floral costumes and other creations – very clever! And congrats on hosting so many link-ups – I can’t believe that it’ll soon be #100… I think I’ve been here for almost every one of them 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 5:30 pm

      Hi Leanne, The Gingerbread Lane is incredible to see IRL. I wouldn’t be surprised if kids get tempted to touch or eat the gingerbread displays. Hopefully they resist to stay on Santa’s Nice list 🙂 Thank you for having been with my weekly WCS for almost everyone of them 🙂 I hope to see you again next weekend.

      Like

  3. Alison December 9, 2022 / 9:21 am

    That gingerbread lane looks delicious and I imagine it smells so good too. I can’t imagine that it would look so tasteful after people walk through it and take bites! Love all the floral designs so clever

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 5:35 pm

      Ali, Yes, that gingerbread lane looks amazing and smells delicious. I hope people resist the temptations to take bites to keep all the displays beautiful to the end of the holiday season. The Fleurs de Villes event is on for five days and the florists keep their floral creations fresh for the duration.

      Like

  4. Writing Sparkle December 9, 2022 / 12:25 pm

    Wow, would I ever like to visit Gingerbread Lane!
    Great coffee share badge. Thanks for a great year of virtual coffees, Natalie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 5:38 pm

      Shari, I think the gingerbread lane appeals to visitors of all ages. It’s an amazing creation. I’m glad you like the new WCS badge for 2023. Thank you for your regular WCS and recent PPAC contributions.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. dinah December 9, 2022 / 12:42 pm

    Oh my goodness! Who does the Gingerbread Lane? Where is it? Is it inside of a mall or something? Truly amazing! I would love to see that.
    Thanks for your continued coffee share hosting efforts. We appreciate you. 💜

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 5:46 pm

      Dinah, The Fairmont Royal York hotel does the gingerbread lane. It’s new this year in the hotel East lobby. The lane is truly amazing to see IRL. Thank you for your WCS contributions.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thistles and Kiwis December 9, 2022 / 1:47 pm

    The gingerbread lane is amazing – well, the flowers are too. What fantastic places to visit during the holiday season.

    Thanks from me too for hosting the weekend coffee share. Always enjoy reading your posts and seeing what other people are up to.

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 5:50 pm

      Barbara, I was delighted to visit these two events early in the holiday season. Both show amazing artistry and creativity. Thank you for your regular WCS contributions. I love reading your posts and hope to visit Wellington/ NZ one day.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Maria December 9, 2022 / 2:14 pm

    Wow! My daughter and I marvel at gingerbread lane! What a place! And I have to say you are a wonderful host to the Weekend Coffee Share. Enjoy the holiday season ❤

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 5:54 pm

      Maria, I’m delighted to hear your daughter and you marvel at the gingerbread lane. It’s new this year and amazing to see IRL. Thank you for your regular WCS contributions and saying I’m a wonderful host 🙂 I hope to see you again next weekend before my holiday break.

      Like

  8. Ally Bean December 9, 2022 / 2:24 pm

    Gingerbread Lane is adorable. So festive and inviting. I like the new badge, it’s a good way to start off the new year.

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 6:00 pm

      Ally, Gingerbread lane is new this year and it’s amazing to see IRL. I’m glad you like the new badge. I wanted to create something cheerful for the new year 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. restlessjo December 9, 2022 / 2:40 pm

    Love it when people get creative. Have a wonderful Christmas, Natalie.

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 6:00 pm

      Thank you, Jo. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season!

      Like

  10. Jennifer Jones December 9, 2022 / 3:37 pm

    I love everything about this post Natalie. That gingerbread house! I would really love to be able to visit in real life but your photos show it off so well. The floral event looks famous and very clever. Congratulations on you WCS milestone and thank you for providing the space for connection.

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 6:03 pm

      Jennifer, I’m glad you love everything about this post. These two events start the holiday season on a beautiful note. Thank you for your WCS contributions. I hope we continue our blogging connections in 2023.

      Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 6:06 pm

      Teresa, The gingerbread lane is new this year and it’s incredible to see IRL. I kept my hands on my camera (and not the gingerbread displays) 🙂 Thank you for your PPAC contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Teresa December 12, 2022 / 12:30 am

        The smell must also be so yum 😋🤤

        Like

  11. Denyse Whelan Blogs December 9, 2022 / 5:14 pm

    Such a great seasonal selection there Natalie. Yummo to those gingerbread houses and what a delight those floral themes are. Thank you for hosting and I am loving the new WCS logo! Denyse

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 7:53 pm

      Thank you, Denyse, for your positive feedback on the new WCS badge. The gingerbread lane is full of sweet temptations. The artistry and creativity in both events are incredible. to see IRL.

      Like

  12. rawsonjl December 9, 2022 / 5:17 pm

    Oh wow! Gingerbread lane looks amazing! And while all those flower displays are so impressive my favorites have got to be the polar bears or the stags.

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 7:56 pm

      Excellent choices, Joanne. The polar bears and the stags are beautiful. I love them too.

      Like

  13. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged.com December 9, 2022 / 6:16 pm

    Gingerbread Lane is fantastical! And, those floral display are enchanting. What great ways to celebrate the holiday season! I love your new badge too… very freindly and cheerful.

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 8:00 pm

      Janis, I’m glad you liked the gingerbread lane and floral displays. They are amazing to see IRL. Thank you for your positive feedback on my new badge. i was trying to create something friendly and cheerful 🙂

      Like

  14. Debbie December 9, 2022 / 7:43 pm

    Oh my, those flowers are magical Natalie! Thanks for sharing your recent visits and I love the Gingerbread Lane, what a delight! Your new badge looks great and I’ve downloaded it ready for next year. Thanks again and all the best for the festivities 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 8:03 pm

      Debbie, These two events are delightful and beautiful to see IRL. I’m glad you enjoyed them through my lens. Thank you for your positive feedback on my new WCS badge. I look forward to continuing our blogging connections in 2023.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Lydia C. Lee December 9, 2022 / 7:46 pm

    Is there a code for the badge? I love the look of the Gingerbread lane, and those floral displays are amazing!! Just gorgeous. Happy Christmas to you!

    Like

    • Natalie December 9, 2022 / 8:08 pm

      Lydia, There is no code for the badge. Feel free to download it and reuse for your WCS posts. It’s a small file. Fleurs de Villes is coming to Sydney in February 2023 so you may be able to see them close to home. In case I don’t “see” you at the WCS linkup next week, happy holidays to you and your family!

      Like

  16. trentpmcd December 10, 2022 / 7:38 am

    Looks like a couple of nice walks, though I wouldn’t recommend Hansel and Gretel to go on that first one – they had enough trouble at a gingerbread house. Hope you are havign a great week!

    Like

    • Natalie December 10, 2022 / 1:22 pm

      Trent, Hansel and Gretel would be in big trouble at Gingerbread Lane. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Janet Alcorn December 10, 2022 / 8:19 am

    Wow. So, so cool! And it was nice to be reminded of Elvis Stojko. I used to love to watch him skate, especially when he was at an event with fewer rules, so he could skate to AC/DC and do stunts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 10, 2022 / 1:32 pm

      Janet, The Elvis Stojko floral design looks much better IRL than in my photo because of the lighting. When he competed at international events, he was a phenomenal skater.

      Like

  18. Dan Antion December 10, 2022 / 8:20 am

    Thanks so much for sharing Gingerbread Lane with the Thursday Doors crew, Natalie. Imagine eating your way through there. You could feel like Godzilla. I absolutely love the Polar Bears, they are adorable.

    Kudos on the new badge. I am glad you had a great year, and I wish you all the best in 2023 – enjoy the holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 10, 2022 / 1:35 pm

      Dan, Godzilla high on sugar, world watch out 🙂 Thank you for your warm wishes. Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas and all the best in 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Jill Weatherholt December 10, 2022 / 10:07 am

    Wow! Gingerbread Lane looks amazing! Thanks so much for taking us along, Natalie. Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday!

    Like

    • Natalie December 10, 2022 / 1:36 pm

      Thank you, Jill, for stopping by. Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas and all the best in 2023!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Kathleen Howell December 10, 2022 / 2:54 pm

    How fun! Both of those look amazing! I can’t imagine the work that goes into both of those displays! I love the badge! Can’t wait to add it..

    Like

    • Natalie December 10, 2022 / 4:44 pm

      Kathleen, The bakers and florists did an amazing job at those two events. I’m glad you love the new badge. Thank you for your positive feedback.

      Like

  21. Susanne December 10, 2022 / 2:54 pm

    Hi Natalie, both these places look fantastic but the gingerbread place is my favourite. I haven’t done many “Christmasy” things yet but I’ll do my best to get involved asap! Our little town is all decorated and we’re going to Cork next weekend if all goes well and will indulge in the Christmas spirit there too. I’m certainly looking forward to Christmas!

    Like

    • Natalie December 10, 2022 / 4:47 pm

      Hi Susanne, I tried to go to these holiday events early to avoid crowds and to start my holiday season on a fun note. I hope your plan to go to Cork works out well. Thank you for linking up. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  22. Retirement Reflections December 10, 2022 / 10:48 pm

    Hi, Natalie – Congratulations on hosting your fifty consecutive Weekend Coffee Share and posting your 100th linkup since January 2021. This is quite an accomplishment. Enjoy your blogging break. See you in January!

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 8:23 am

      Thank you, Donna, for your encouragement. Time flies and I’m surprised that I’ve already hosted a weekly linkup for two years. I have one more post for December 16 before my blogging break. Wishing you and your family a merry Christmas!

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Marsha December 10, 2022 / 11:13 pm

    What a fun post, Natalie. The gingerbread lane seems to be a favorite, but I also love the floral statues. They are so different from the ones you posted last year. Such a lot of creativity in Toronto. Congratulations on sharing so many linkups 100 – WOW That’s impressive. I like your new badge. Have a wonderful vacation. See you next year! 🙂

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 8:28 am

      Thank you, Marsha, for your positive comment. I enjoyed both the gingerbread lane and the Fleurs de Villes events. They are wonderful walks to kick off my holiday season. I’m glad you like my new badge. I have one more post for December 16 before my blogging break. In case I don’t “see” you before Christmas, I wish you and Vince a merry Christmas.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha December 12, 2022 / 12:12 am

        Thanks, Natalie. 🙂 Have a great Christmas. Don’t eat too much gingerbread! They might come looking for you!

        Like

  24. Antoinette Truglio Martin December 11, 2022 / 5:39 am

    WOW, Gingerbread Lane looks awesome and the flowers are amazing. Thank you for teh tour. Love the new badge. I will use it starting the new year.

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 8:31 am

      Thank you, Antoinette, for your comment. I’m glad you love the new badge. I have one more linkup on December 16th then it’s holiday time 🙂

      Like

  25. Terri Webster Schrandt December 11, 2022 / 10:05 am

    With these types of holiday activities and displays to see, it’s no wonder you have such a rich and fun holiday season to enjoy, Natalie! Gingerbread lane looks so festive and delicious! Thanks for hosting the coffee share. I like your new logo and will attempt to add it to my sidebar soon! Enjoy your holiday season and Christmas.

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 10:59 am

      Terri, Thank you for your coffee share. I have one more post on December 16 with some blue photos to link up with your Sunday Stills photo challenge. After that, it’s HoHoHo…Holiday time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Astrid December 11, 2022 / 10:46 am

    I think the Gingerbread Lane sounds so cool! My inner child would wish to take a bite out of it though, LOL. Hope you had a great weekend.

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 11:00 am

      Astrid, I resisted the temptations at the gingerbread lane and kept my hands on my camera, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. S Greene December 11, 2022 / 2:46 pm

    Wow 🤩 the gingerbread lane looks so tasty. Are you allowed to any of it at all, or is that prohibited? The floral arrangements are so beautifully designed too! Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your photos and experiences with us 😊 happy holidays!

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 3:20 pm

      Thank you for your visit and comment. I’m glad you liked my photos. No eating of the gingerbread display otherwise it would be gone in no time 🙂 Happy holidays!

      Liked by 1 person

      • S Greene December 11, 2022 / 3:30 pm

        You’re very welcome! And I figured as much! I would be such a danger to the display, and I have a very strong sweet tooth haha 😂

        Like

  28. csuhpat1 December 11, 2022 / 3:27 pm

    Wow, Gingerbread Lane looks so very cool. Love it. Everything else looks so very festive. Thanks for hosting this great party. Hope that you have a wonderful week.

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 4:04 pm

      Thank you Patrick for your contribution. The gingerbread house at the Fairmont SF looks amazing, too. Have a great week!

      Like

  29. Tessa December 11, 2022 / 4:22 pm

    I love the pictures of the decorations. They are all so lovely. Especially the gingerbread pictures.

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 5:55 pm

      I’m glad you love my pictures of the decorations. The bakers and florists did an amazing job at these events.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tessa December 12, 2022 / 1:49 pm

        They certainly did a great job.

        Like

  30. ganga1996 December 11, 2022 / 6:29 pm

    Wow, the gingerbread lane should have smelled so nice. Pictures are beautiful.

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 6:34 pm

      Thank you. I’m glad you liked my pictures. The gingerbread lane is new this year and it is amazing to experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Julie December 11, 2022 / 7:26 pm

    The gingerbread lane is so impressive — it’s literally full of gingerbread bricks. In the U.S. there are a handful of neighborhoods that participate in a thing called “Candy Cane Lane” — I can’t say the streets are full of candy canes. More like each house in the neighborhood have elaborate lighting displays. On some evenings a local high school marching band plays holiday music in the neighborhood.

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 9:53 pm

      I read that the Gingerbread Lane took six days to set up. It is new this year and everyone seems to love it. It’s incredible to see IRL with all the decorative details. Thanks for sharing how your neighbourhood celebrate the holidays.

      Like

  32. Diana December 11, 2022 / 9:30 pm

    Hi Natalie,
    What beautiful photos of the holidays festivities! I think my favorite is Gingerbread Lane, so adorable and FUN! I have saved the new weekend coffee share badge you have created, it is so cute and I will do my best to share on my sidebar. (I am a little bit technically challenged but I think I did the last one correctly.) Haha, I have been busy with life but have been enjoying blogging when I can and I am so grateful for all you do. Happy holidays to you and your family! ❤

    Like

    • Natalie December 11, 2022 / 9:55 pm

      Hi Diana, I’m delighted that you can join us this weekend and that you like the new WCS badge. The Gingerbread Lane is fun and incredible to see IRL. I’ll visit your blog shortly. Happy holidays to you and your family!

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Bernie December 12, 2022 / 12:12 am

    I can not even imagine all the time nor the money used to create both the gingerbread lane or the flowers. Quite incredible. Enjoy your blogging break. Bernie

    Like

    • Natalie December 12, 2022 / 8:32 am

      Thank you, Bernie, for stopping by. I have one more blog post for December 16th then I’ll be on my break. Happy holidays to you and yours.

      Like

    • Natalie December 12, 2022 / 8:34 am

      Thank you, Ali, for your contribution. I’ll be over to your blog next.

      Like

  34. Kirstin December 15, 2022 / 8:55 pm

    Oh my goodness…all that gingerbread. That is amazing! I always love when you share the fleurs….whatever the rest of the words were…haha…So gorgeous. I was trying to decide which I liked best but it was too hard and there were too many. Once again I’m a week late commenting, but hopefully I’ll get around to several before posting tomorrows Coffee share. Looking forward to the new year. I like the new badge.

    Like

    • Natalie December 15, 2022 / 9:06 pm

      Kirstin, Thank you for stopping by. You’ve had a busy week. I’m glad you like the new badge. I hope to see you at tomorrow’s WCS link-up. If not, merry Christmas and happy New Year to you and your family!

      Like

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