Published: October 22nd 2008October 22nd 2008
Now that I am in Kingston in one place for a week I have got computer access so I can get up to date.
Re- the bear paws - no I am not going around killing bears and cutting their little paws off ( with my Swiss army knife) - the bear paws in question are salad servers made from lovely Canadian cherrywood - we saw them out West and of course I didnt buy them there cos I though "I am not carrying them all over Canada with me"- but attempts to find them in various places in Ontario failed ( although last of the big spenders -I did get a butterdish - that's another story!!). But today in a lovely gift shop in Kingston i found them at last.
On Saturday I left the Kawartha Lakes area ( just as well cos its been snowing there since then!!!) - and made my way to Prince Edward County -the Isle of Quinte. It is only about 40 miles from Kingston and a place we used to go camping in the years when I lived here. It has gone up in the world now and it's got wineries ( why dont they call them vineyards I wonder?), orchards - some fab B+Bs, artists and crafty people galore , organic stuff and the Taste Trail of Ontario.. There are lots of little back roads and small towns and so I enjoyed the driving round stopping finally in Bloomfield where first I had a nice tuna sandwich lunch in a chocolaterie/cafe - and found myself in converstaion with a total stranger - a nice lady. I realise that this travelling on your own expands your horizons and if you are friendly and forthcoming so are the locals - and I am getting more like Michael with his talk-to-everybody attitude. It makes for a lot of interesting encounters which is what travel is about as well as places. A walk down Main Street there and I found a gorgeous B+B -The Patterson House - the hosts there were just such lovely people and this old house was so tastefully decorated and furnishe d- it was just what I wanted to make up for the just-ok-motel of the previous night. And I had hardly got in the door when I was being offered a glass of wine from a local winery...The lovely bedroom had a roll top bath in the corner and I even had my own sitting room across the landing - where the next morning I was served a delicious brekki - all local produce. But i am getting ahead of myself because I decided to have dinner at a very nice resto - round the corner from the B+B - The Carriage House - can recommend - absoluelty great food and service. The patisserie chef also has a shop at the front doing marshmallows and chocolate - so I had to try her chocolate mousse - this was a quadrilateral pyramid ( thats the teacher in me speaking) of chocolate on a thin cinnamon biscuit and the most lovelt texture - melt in the mouth-MMMMMMM! The main course I had was fab too - a duck breast with leek and potato rosti and mini vegetables with a blackcurrant sauce.....see wot I meanI was FAB. And I also realised that I have gotten used to being on my own in restos - of course I would wish Michael was there but I can enjoy just being there and taking in the atmosphere and being a people watcher - no need to stay home and eat beans on toast - you can still enjoy going out for a lovely meal as you did before.
After a good night's sleep and a big hug from Diane as I left - I had a wander down memory lane visiting the Sandbanks Provincial Park where we used to go camping. This is a huge deposit of sand dunes - I dont know how they got here - its on the Lake Ontario not a sea - but there was sea coving the area millions of years ago so maybe it is from then....(bit of research needed there I think.) The snow fences were up on the beaches - everything is battening down for the winter now. When I lived here we used to wait for ice to break up on the lake and a week later we would be down there having barbecues and I remember once going in the water then -end of April - b***Y freezing ( it was probably a dare!!). But the water is shallow there and it soon warms up - so it was a great place to go in the summer. So I stood on the deserted beach with skeins of Canada Geese going over my head and remebered some good times with old friends.
And speaking of old friends this has been a lovely reunion week with several invites to be with old friends, Julie and Norman, - I havent had to cook for myself as they keep inviting me for dinner - and Julie is a good cook - in fact they were our first friends here in Canada when we came and I learned to cook at Julie's elbow so to speak. We have also been out for a day together - weather turing a bit wintery now - we had to have our picnic in the car...and tomorrow Julie got tickets and we are going to the theatre.
And if you are wondering where I am staying - well this is an Intervac hospitality exchange with Viki and ray who live a couple of blocks from Downtown Kingston...I actually havent met them yet as they are in Italy but should be back at the weekend when we will meet up - so thanks to their generosity and kindness I have a base for the week. I tell everyone about Intervac and how great it has been for house swappping as we used to do it and now on my own I have been doing the hospitality swaps since Michael died. A great way to make new friends and get into the heart and soul of a place on your travels.
We have had a lot of rain yesterday and its just above freezing today -so I might need to get my woolly hat back out of the case - the one that Tracie and Suzanne made me buy in Banff - - i think I look like a Smurf- but they said it looks cute - but then they would say that wouldnt they!!
HAPPY ANIVERSARY FOR YESTERDAY MARILYN AND TERRY - AND CONGRATS ON GETTING YOUR VILLA IN SPAIN ALL SIGNED SEALED AND DELIVERED ..... will be looking at flights to Alicante as soon as I get back - haha!
Love to all