Month: December 2021

Bring the Magic of Christmas to Life with Country Bright

2021 has been a difficult year and in the coming weeks, it appears it may just be that harder. As a family, we have struggled to get into the Christmas spirit. We’ve gone through the motions but there has been something missing these last few weeks. The sparkle of Christmas was just not there no matter how hard we tried. We jumped at the chance to attend Country Bright – a light show display located not too far away from our home. While we weren’t too sure what to expect, we were excited for this adventure.

We headed out to the Country Bright light show located in Milton, Ontario. The light display is nestled on a farm setting at Country Heritage Park. We weren’t too sure what to expect on this 3/4 km walk but knew it would be special when we pulled up to the site and could start to the see the twinkling lights in the background.

While we were a bit cautious of COVID, I was happy to see so many families still wearing masks and social distancing outside both at the entrance/exits and throughout the Country Bright displays. The staff did an amazing job of ensuring vehicles and people were flowing well through entries and exits points and there were no real spots of congregation, which was perfect for our family who are still very cautious of being out and about.

There was a great variety of displays around the site – everything from lit up tunnels to themed cabins covered in colourful lights, to large snow globes and candy cane trees. The displays at Country Bright took our breath away – they were so skillfully put together and brought the displays to life. We loved walking through the lit up tunnels and managed to take quite a few family photos under the lights.

We were welcomed to the Country Bright light display with all of our favourite Christmas songs playing, which was also featured throughout the whole length of the display trail (large speakers were strategically placed throughout the trails). We had so much fun singing along and debating whose song was the best Christmas song (my personal favourite being Silent Night!). Spread out along the trail as well were several stops that you could purchase hot chocolate and goodies (debit and credit only). This makes a huge difference on those nights when it feels a bit chilly out there. While it was warm on the night we attended (and by warm I mean sitting around 0 degrees), we bundled up in layers, boots, hats and gloves but the hot chocolate really helped make a difference. I would strongly recommend boots for this walking adventure – while the paths are easy to navigate for strollers and able bodied individuals, they were also wet and muddy at some points. Make sure to wear several layers, warm boots and bring extra gloves just in case.

We each had our personal favourite displays – my eldest loved this wagon, while our youngest fell in love with the large red barn. My husband adored the Ford displays and I loved the reindeer and globes.

My son had this to say about our family adventure: “I had a great time with my family and made a great video edit for all of us for a memory so this was a great thing for me and my family. Thank you Country Bright for this awesome time”.

Tickets are still available for purchase to this magical holiday adventure which runs until January 2nd. Tickets have to be purchased in advance and can be purchased here.

Make sure to check out the Country Bright website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Disclosure: We received tickets to visit the show, all opinions expressed are my own.

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Gallant: The Call of the Trail

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Gallant: The Call of the Trail is a gripping journey of a young girl and a foal who are raised together in The Valley of Hearts Delight. 

About Gallant: The Call of the Trail

A gripping journey of a young girl and a foal who are raised together in The Valley of Hearts Delight. Gallant and Gracie have a special bond, rarely seen between a human and a horse. Separated by a bad accident when Gallant is five, each gets a second chance of happiness pursuing the long-distance sport of endurance riding, neither knowing they are leading parallel lives. Will Fate bring them together again? Gallant’s arch nemesis, The Almighty Flash, threatens to destroy all that Gallant has worked for. His misguided ambition and greed, developed at the hands of an abusive owner, has created a darkness in his soul that turns to blind fury when his endurance career is threatened.

My Thoughts

I fell in love with this touching story of a youth and her love and deep connection with her horse, Gallant and their trials.

From a very young age, Gracie developed a special bond with Gallant. They were more than just a human girl and her horse, they were family. A bad accident separates the two of them and both must struggle through this loss and pain, learning how to move forward and heal (which feels almost impossible at times). We are there as each of them must learn methods to cope and heal through their grieving. While a part of them is healed, it is when they are brought together by chance that you realize how strong their bond is and their reunion was heart warming and anxious all wrapped in one. But how do they move forward? They have both gained new people/animals in their lives, and while those bonds are not quite the same, they are still very much loved. I also loved the story that developed at the same time around Flash. Who on the surface is a mean, ambitious horse but when you really look at his past, his treatment and his lack of love in his life – your heart goes out to him. He has never known any different.

Gallant: The Call of the Trail is a well written novel for both youths and adults – I loved the story myself and could not put it down. It was such a special story of love and nurture – how this affects our growth and development, and our connections to the world around us. It is also a story of grief and loss, and the healing that occurs after this. I loved that we read the book from the perspective not only of Gracie but of the horses as well! I also learned a lot about endurance riding, something I had no idea existed but sounds incredible. This novel is a definite must read.

You can purchase a copy of this book on the author’s website, Amazon and Target.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Award winning Author Claire Eckard combines her love of writing with her passion for animals to create memorable children’s books that are fun to read, but also include valuable life’s lessons. Claire grew up in England and moved to Hawaii in her early twenties where she married her husband of thirty-four years. Together they raised two sons, Mitchell and Matthew. Claire is inspired by her two Granddaughters Mila and Ella, as well as the beautiful backdrop of the Arizona mountains where she lives. Claire has a farm full of animals, and has spent many years as a board member and volunteer of her local animal shelter.

You can connect with Claire on her website and Facebook.

The Giveaway

Enter to win a signed copy of Gallant: The Call of the Trail here.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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