Recently I was featured in Canadian Business magazine in an article titled The Social Network. The article talks about social capital – how you build it, leverage it and lose it – online, and uses me as an example (along with several other people including my friend Casie Stewart). I don’t bring it up again to brag (although I am really proud of it), rather to set the stage for this post.
After the article came out I received several emails from friends and family, one inquiring whether I was for hire for an agency (no agencies ever again thankyouverymuch), and one asking if I’d like to come visit the beautiful city of Kingston with a guest, all expenses paid. For anyone outside of the Toronto area, Kingston is about 3 hours west of the city and is right on Lake Ontario – it’s home to the Royal Military College, Queen’s University, and the infamous Kingston Penitentiary. Coincidentally, my mom grew up in Kingston, and it was also her birthday in a few weeks (July 2nd) so after Googling the person to make sure they were legit, I happily accepted.
The view from our room at the Four Points Sheraton
This past weekend we took the VIA train to Kingston courtesy our lovely hosts Fatima and Venicio Rebelo, owners of the Ambassador Conference Resort and the Four Points Sheraton. They met us at the train station with their trademark cheer and gusto, and took us to what they call “the best hotel in the world,” the Four Points Sheraton, located right on the water in downtown Kingston. Fatima’s parents opened the Ambassador Hotel in Kingston decades ago, and Fatima & her husband Venicio took over the family business and have been running it for many years. They opened the Four Points Sheraton to complement their other property, and also opened a restaurant called King Street Sizzle to feed their guests but also to show off their Portuguese roots (the chorizo on the menu is to die for).
With my mom
My mom and I spent an amazing weekend in Kingston, thanks to the Rebelos and their hospitality. Here’s a sampling of what we did, in case you’re planning a trip there in the future:
While Fatima and Venicio aren’t too focused on social media, they understand why it’s important to their business. They often reach out and invite people they think are interesting to visit their beautiful city, not just people involved in online marketing but from all walks of life. I’m honoured they invited me along, and hopefully my Tweets/blog posts/Facebook updates/photos will do the city justice. Sure, it’s no Paris but Kingston’s a great place to go for a weekend…or to grow up if you ask my mom.
Here are some pics from the weekend:
My Canada Day outfit
Margarita on the lake
Delicious breakfast at Pan Chancho
Technology journalist, Financial Post columnist, former Managing Editor at BetaKit.com, and one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30.