Go Back in Time with Vikings at The Canadian Museum of History!

The Vikings have been putting their mark on various different societies for centuries, and now you can learn all about it! The Museum of Canadian History is showing the exhibit Vikings to help display who this famous group of people were and to set the record straight about certain aspects of their lives while they lived. When asked to visit this exhibit, the history buff in me jumped all over this opportunity. I had studied this group of people while in high school and university because I found them so fascinating, and could not wait to see what this exhibit has in store for me.


Vikings Feature Photo Reese Speaks


Vikings were not the bearded barbarians with horned helmets we have come to think they were through literature and film. Vikings features a beautiful array of interactive displays and 500 amazing artifacts from The Swedish History Museum, with some of these pieces rarely being displayed outside of Sweden. In this acclaimed international exhibition, Vikings shows visitors a fabled Scandinavian culture that was refined, complex and was able to achieve much while they existed.

Once inside of the exhibit, it felt as though I had entered a mythical realm while being in a very modern space. There are prints on the walls of various Scandinavian landscapes to give visitors a feel of where the Vikings lived.


Vikings Scandinavian Landscape Photo Reese Speaks


From there, you are directed towards seeing different aspects of Viking life and what the major groups of people were like with some of the artifacts in display cases found in their graves. Fun fact: women of the Viking Age were on more of an equal level to men than in later times as long as they were not slaves.



It was also fun to see what farm life was like for the Vikings. This exhibit displayed a taste of what it was like in video wall/artifact displays that I thought was done in a clever way. On the other side of this displays was a section, visitors could also touch some of the artifacts such as sheepskin and other materials. My kids really enjoyed getting to be able to sit down and feel for themselves what some of these pieces felt like. They really enjoyed this part of Vikings.

Fashion lovers, rejoice! Besides all of the lovely pieces of jewellery in this exhibit, there is a section where some Viking clothing is featured. My daughter, the mini fashionista she is, spent some time admiring some of the pieces on display.


Vikings Fashion Reese Speaks


Another part of Vikings I found interesting was their interactive touch screen showing how the Vikings believed the world was created. Visitors are able to touch the screen and see the different areas of the world the Vikings lived and the realms where the various Norse gods ruled.


Vikings Touch Screen Collage


I left one of the most important aspects of Viking life, and this exhibit, for last: boats! The Vikings are known for being a sea-faring people. A large part of this exhibit is dedicated to these vessels. From travel to burial, boats were at the heart of Viking life. I loved seeing the rivet display and the row boat for all to see and admire.


Vikings Boat Collage Photo Reese Speaks - Copy


Whether you have a love for history, food, fashion or transportation, Vikings is an exhibit to visit. Audiences of all ages will find something to marvel on their visit back in time, and will be able to take something away from it. Vikings will be at the Canadian Museum of History until April 17, 2016.

For more details about Vikings, you can connect with The Canadian Museum of History on their Facebook and Twitter pages!

Disclaimer: I was compensated admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to conduct this review. The opinions I shared are all my own.

Journeying with Terry Fox at the Canadian Museum of History #FollowTerry

Vision. Modivation. Determination. Vision . These words describe Terry Fox and what he startedto help benefit Canadians with cancer perfectly. The Canadian Museum of History is marking the 35th anniversary of Fox’s Marathon of Hope Run by presenting an exhibition that focuses on this momentous event as well as the legacy that continues today. Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada opened on April 1, 2015 and runs until January 24, 2016. This exhibit is organized by the Canadian Museum of History in partnership with the Terry Fox Centre.

When I found out about this exhibit, I knew I had to check it out! I have admired Terry Fox since I was a child and became involved with the Terry Fox runs held at my elementary school. I was in awe of someone so young doing what he did. I also wanted my children to learn from Fox’s example and to come into closer contact with pieces of his memorabilia and other items that show how amazing this man was.

My kids did not know what to expect when they saw the entrance of Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada. They liked the banners that stood outside of the exhibit welcoming visitors and my younger kids began asking so many questions about Terry Fox.


The exhibit is split into four zones. The first one introduces visitors to Fox so they can get a feel for who he was and the all of the energy he put into the Marathon of Hope. The second zone is called ‘’The Runner and the Run,’’ which focuses on why Fox wanted to create the Marathon of Hope Run and what he hoped to achieve. There were also numerous items that let visitors in on Fox’s daily life on the road. The third zone was called ‘’Dear Terry’’ which displays the love and respect that Fox earned from Canadians during and after the Run. An interesting feature of this part of the exhibition is a searchable database that was put together especially for this exhibit of over 60 000 letters and cards from Canadians to Fox letting him know how much they admired him and what he was doing by putting this Run together. It also displays the many honours he received, including his induction into the Order of Canada. The final zone looks at how Canadians have kept Fox in their minds and hearts after the Marathon of Hope and visitors can hear how Fox’s example made a significant impression on them over the past 35 years.

We were all wide-eyed at how well this exhibit was laid out, as well as by all of the information centres you can visit and learn form. My eldest spent most of her visit taking in the information from as many of these stations as she could to hear the information they were sharing. For my younger children, this was their first encounter with Terry Fox, so they were excited to see a lot of the items and the information this exhibit shared. They also listened to some of the information centres and were intrigued by all of the maps and items displayed.


For me, I was in awe of the whole exhibit. I loved being greeted by the sounds of Fox’s footsteps as he ran as we entered this exhibit, and seeing all of the maps and information displayed easily for visitors to look at. I got a clearer picture of who Fox was and I felt I was going with Fox through is journey throughout the Run.


I was also able to get a better idea of what it was like for Canadians at this point in time throughout this exhibit. I was very young when the Marathon of Hope took place, so it was amazing to be taken back in time and to see what was happening all over the country and to see the love that they all share for this young man and his mission.

Reese_Speaks_Terry_Fox_Inspire_Collage_PhotoThere were two big thrills for me as we went through this exhibit. The first one encountered was getting to see what it was like during Fox’s daily grind of the Run. Seeing the Marathon of Hope van Fox lived in on the road, looking at snippets of his journals and gazing at his personal effects made me feel as though I could understand some of what he was going through at this time. Another favourite stop in this exhibit was see some of the items Canadians from all walks of life gave to Fox to show their appreciation to him. The letters and cards were also a hit with me. I did not send him a letter, but it was fun to look at these pieces of history and snippets of the hearts of Canadians.

Reese_Speaks_Terry_Fox_Life_On_The _Road_Photo


Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada is an exhibit I will definitely be making a point of visiting again with my family. All of us were captivated by the displays and the information shared, and we got to get a little closer to a remarkable Canadian. No matter your age, this exhibit is one to visit, and is one that will touch your heart.

For more information about Terry Fox – Running to the Heart of Canada, you can connect with the Canadian Museum of History on their website, as well as on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

Disclaimer: I received admission to the Canadian Museum of History in order to write this review. The views expressed are my own.

Profile: Kendall Rumsey – The Pen Behind Notes From A Southern Kitchen

Hey, Readers!

I have finally returned back to one of my favourite features on Reese Speaks – Profiles!  I love getting to know the people who influence and amaze me in different parts of my life, and pick their brains about what who they are and they’re like.  I also like sharing these people with you Readers, so you can see why I think these people are so fabulous, and then check them out for yourself as well!

This Profile features Kendall Rumsey, a southern American gentleman with a genuine opinion on various topics.  Kendall is also the voice behind the insightful Notes From A Southern Kitchen, a blog where he shares his views in areas such as entertainment, music, politics, and  touching tidbits from his personal life.  This has to be one of my favourite pics of Kendall! Sky diving is one of the things I have on my bucket list, which Kendall has already accomplished.


Unfortunately, I was not able to have a sit-down conversation with Kendall for this Profile, since we live many kilometres (or miles) apart, but we corresponded for this feature electronically.  I asked Kendall just a few of the thousands of questions I had for this Profile, as I could spend all day picking his brain about himself and his blog!

‘Notes from a Southern Kitchen’ –  how did you come up with the title of your blog?
Notes from a Southern Kitchen just sort of happened.  I am obviously southern and in the south we often gather in the kitchen for conversation.  When I decided to write the blog I wanted it to be conversational and thought what better place than in the kitchen, so Notes from a Southern Kitchen was born.

What inspired you to become a blogger?

My mom was ill and her illness had started taking away a lot of memories from my childhood and our young family.  I started the blog on blogger.com simply as stories about my family.  My mother loved the stories and it helped her remember, the more she enjoyed it the more I wrote.  When my mom died I stopped writing for almost a year, it was just too painful, when I brought the blog back I switched to WordPress and wrote more about what interested me in the present day and included some family and life stories.

Which of your features on Notes is your favourite and why?
I have several features don’t I?  Each one serves a different purpose and I like each one for different reasons……
Life’s Playlist because I think music is the most powerful force in the world.  I have very eclectic musical tastes and like to start my day with a song.
Words to Live By helps keep me grounded and in the right headspace each day.
Short Notes is a way for me to recap the day and gives me small tidbit comments on things that aren’t worth a whole post but worthy of a mention.
Tuesday 10, I LOVE the Tuesday 10 because it allows me to learn about the people I enjoy reading and who influence my life.  I worked on those 10 Questions for weeks trying to come up with something that would give insight into the people I am “interviewing.”  I still like the list I came up with, except for 1 of the questions (and I won’t tell you which one it is.)   I am considering 10 new Questions for 2014, but haven’t decided if I am going to do that or not.
With ALL those features, my favorite is Friday’s Hero.  I love finding the stories of the regular guy who did something inspiring like TJ Smith who sings in his car as he drives along the freeway just putting a smile on people’s faces, Joey Prusak a Dairy Queen worker who did the right thing when he saw one of his customers being mistreated or the people who made Talia’s Bucket List come true.  Then there are sometimes politicians and media figures, entertainers and the like who do good stuff that I like to highlight as well.  Friday’s Hero is my baby, it makes me feel good to publish the feel good stories.

What is the best thing that has happened you you since beginning your blog?

Without a doubt the memories and joy my mom received was number one, however the next best thing was,  blogging rekindled my love of writing.

Do you see Notes becoming bigger than it already it is in the future? Where would you like for Notes to go? 

I would love to grow Notes but don’t know if that is possible with my regular work schedule.  I want to keep it positive and hopefully inspiring for others.  As time allows I want to tell more life stories on the blog because I enjoy writing them and people seem to enjoy reading them.  Ideally I would love to see some of my features picked up by other sources.  Overall I am happy with where the blog is and where it continues to evolve, but would I like more readers, comments and support… yes I would!  : )

Who inspires you?

People who are generous, not necessarily just with money, but with their time and talents too.  People who are generous with their words, people who know that a simple act of generosity can change someone’s life in ways that are unimaginable.  People who generously give and raise people up are the people who inspire me.

What do you want your readers to take away from your blog?

What I hope people take away from the blog is really all over the board…..  I want them to take a bit of happiness and that is why I feel like the Playlist and Words to Live By are so important.  With the Tuesday 10, I want to break down some of the walls of this mysterious blogosphere and let us learn about each other and with the Hero I want to inspire.  I have tried to make the blog a place that makes you feel better about the world after spending a few minutes here…..  and then I get on one of my political soapboxes and blow that all to hell!  LOL

I hope you can now see why Notes From a Southern Kitchen is my go-to blog every morning!  Kendall is a fabulous person who shares what interests him in his own unique fashion.  It’s a breath of fresh air every time I pop into his blog.  Hopefully, you were also able to see who he is, and what inspires him to do what he does so well.  He is kind, generous and honest.  I have learned a lot from what Kendall does with his blog.  Thank you, Kendall, for taking the time to help both myself, and my blog!  You’re awesome!

If you Readers want to check out Notes From a Southern Kitchen, here are links to his sites:

WordPress – wordpress.com/notesfromasouthernkitchen

Facebook – facebook.com/NotesfromaSouthernKitchen

Twitter – twitter.com/NotesbyKendall

Instagram – instagram.com/notesfromasouthernkitchen

Until my next post, Readers!