When one thinks of tanning, Canada isn’t the first spot that comes to mind. In fact, only on a last minute whim did I throw in my bikini before leaving South Florida for Toronto. However, I have been oh so very fortunate; since arriving in Toronto earlier this week, it has been glorious with very sunny days and cool enjoyable nights.

After touring the city via bike and Niagara Falls on my first days, I thought it was time to get off the beaten path and explore the Toronto Islands. Yesterday, I left the Harbourfront of Toronto on the ferry for cheap (only $7 round-trip), arriving at Ward’s Island in a quick 5 minutes. After reviewing the map and gauging the distances, it appeared that a little walking was in order to find the perfect picnic spot for St. Lawrence Market purchases to be enjoyed (cheese, olives, great fresh bread, pate, tapenade). I headed down the boardwalk to the Centre Island Pier to a semi-private beach overlooking Lake Ontario and its inviting blue water.

Clothing Optional Harlan BeachWith not a cloud in the sky, light breezes, and a post-lunch siesta coming on, I thought a little sunbathing, people watching, and perhaps napping was in order. Now mind you, I didn’t plan on sunbathing in Toronto nor did I think in my wildest dreams that I would be working on my tan lines in Canada (aka getting rid of my Coppertone baby butt). However, I heard through the grapevine that Harlan Island had a clothing optional beach. So, yesterday on the last day of May, I as well as dozens of others got our dose of Vitamin D at Harlan Beach.

Living in South Florida, I’m a toasty brown, but I have to say that my tan lines needed some cleaning up. So, I went for the birthday suit option. I was not prepared with a beach blanket; so, I got rather sandy with Lake Ontario’s fine sand. So, before leaving the beach, I needed to brave the water. It was a true test of my Wisconsinite blood. After ten years in Florida, I have weakened as my feet went numb and a few choice sailor words flew freely. The water is really that cold. I felt like I was doing a Polar Bear Club event.

Today, I’m pleased to report I have a deeper brown color everywhere, but with a rather pink bum radiating some of that Canadian sun (sizzle sizzle). Perhaps before my departure, I will have gotten rid of my tan lines while visiting Toronto. Hopefully, I will have lost all the sand as this morning I found sand some places that sand shouldn’t be.

As always, stay tuned to more stories from Toronto and other destinations by connecting with me on FacebookTwitter, Google+, and YouTube.

Here’s to more good times and good stories.