Thursday, October 6, 2011

last weekend - part one

Last weekend I took an overnight trip. One that had been planned and thought about for weeks. Months, actually. Not to anywhere exotic by any means. Just a small town on a river. Perhaps take a boat cruise to a few of the Thousand Islands dotted on the river. A hike or two along the 12kms of looping trails to see the fall colours.
Enjoy the outdoors in the off season when it would be much less crowded. 

And, the main impetus that got me there, a wander through some of the Doors Open participants, many of which were the huge old homes of the area that have been turned into luxurious Bed & Breakfast establishments.

About an hour into my (3+ hour) journey, I wondered why I was doing this. Had I not had a motel room booked, I would likely have said, forget it and crawled back into bed. But I persevered through the rain. And the unseasonably cold temperatures that seemed to be in effect for only that weekend. It had been sunny and warm up until the Friday and would return to sunny and warm - actually rising to unseasonably warm by the following weekend - on the Monday.

But, you never know. All those weather forecasters could be wrong. It could change. And, it did get warmer than 10C. I saw many people were still taking one of the several boat cruises and I was warned that it was indeed very cold out on the water. A bargain store was in stock with some gloves and I added a hoodie to my purchase when I realized that my jacket hood might not be enough to keep the cold wind out of my ears. Then I waited until the Sunday to see what would transpire.
(more pics on Sightlines; you'll see what transpired.)

In the end the colours weren't all that great and I took no hikes and no boat cruise. I knew I would return when the weather was nicer. No point in paying twice for the boat, once in damp, foggy, miserable weather and again in warm, sunny, cheerful weather.

I do have a habit of trying to pack in far too much when I go away on these little excursions. I sometimes forget to just kick back and enjoy the day and I end up coming home exhausted rather than refreshed. (see, it has even taken me almost all week to write about it!)

The Bed & Breakfast homes were each beautiful and I will have a hard time deciding which one to choose to stay at (should I find myself with a few days and lots of spare money to enjoy the stay).
I didn't take many pictures of the rooms... after all that is what the website is designed to show.

And it was fun to go through and hear the owners tell of the history of the house and the original owners (and sometimes, hear stories from some of the towns people who remembered) and to hear the tales of transforming some of these gracious homes up to code and collecting the antiques and furnishings to go into each room.

I used to have a client who was a very intense person with a stressful job and when she came to see me on Mondays she would tell me of her weekend jaunts. Almost every weekend, she would drive somewhere - sometimes not with any real plan as to where, and find a B&B or a motel and spend her time exploring and walking, or fishing and collecting her rocks. I found it a bit strange at the time. But now, I really see the appeal of this short escape. Small town Ontario has a lot to offer if you are not looking to be entertained, and sometimes, one or two nights staying there is enough. Sometimes you find a place you want to return to again and again.

When I came out of this B&B, this woman in pink was standing on the steps. I stepped aside, thinking she wanted to go inside and I was trying to photograph the flowers, but she just stood there, waiting. Waiting, I thought for someone else to join her. I wandered about taking a few pics until I noticed her husband standing way off on the sidewalk holding a camera. Waiting for me to get out of the way. She was still posing when I got into my car. If this was my shot, I can only wonder what his must have been like. I assume he wanted to get the whole house in his shot, but I'm afraid I don't see the point of her standing in the doorway. That is just me.


  1. Your part of the world looks fascinating, and so very different from around here, with all those big old houses and such different architecture. Going off to different places is a great idea - must start trying it, and being more adventurous.

  2. Thanks for sharing. I would enjoy these mini-escapes too. I think there is so much beauty and interesting local history in Canada. It's just the right mix of interest and peace. You should really try to kick back more so that you don't tire yourself out.

  3. I'm sorry the weather was so bad, but I love how you warmed to your former client's idea of taking off on little jaunts. It must be wonderful to live someplace where there is so much to drive to. Here, it's pretty much flying to get to an adventure. Maybe that's why I live so close to the airport.

  4. Those old houses look so interesting. Sort of Victorian Gothic with a Canadian twist and flavour!

    It always puzzles me why people insist of taking photographs with a friend or relative standing somewhere in it. Spoils the view, in my opinion! And anyway, so many photographs are improved by getting in closer to something. Well, I think so, anyway!

  5. I like staying at B&B's.

    Kind of a silly photo since it's so distant - she could be anyone. If it had been a closeup near the flowers or in the doorway, it might have made more sense.

  6. Persiflage: it is so much fun to explore other towns. I will travel far and wide to discover new cafes!

    LGS: I know. I don't need to combine six different activities every time I go anywhere.

  7. Geewits: when I lived in Holland I always thought everything was so much closer. that was when I really learned to just go if someplace looked interesting.

    Gilly: the photo with-me-standing-in-front-of everything does seem to be a cultural thing.

    SAW: I much prefer the details. I thought it was odd that neither of them said anything, but maybe they didn't speak Rnglish. It was fun watching her do the photo shoot poses, though!

  8. It must be wonderful to be able to go away on the weekends and to stay in Bed & Breakfasts and have a leisurely time and do what you want to do. I wish I could afford it. That's my kind of lifestyle for sure.

  9. Nora: well, staying overnight was actually quite a treat. And that was only because it was so far away. But if I budget properly more such overnights should be possible. especially now that I don't have to buy catfood or litter :(

  10. I didn't actually mean you. I meant that other woman you were talking about who went away every weekend. You deserve a treat now and then. XOX

  11. Nora: oh yes. I imagine the stressful job paid well, too!

  12. Even if things didn't go to plan it sounds as if you had a good break, saw something new and enjoyed the change.

  13. What a beautiful place to get away! I'm glad you had a wonderful time.

  14. You really had spoiled yourself and what a nice weekend to explore and escape from stress,thanks for sharing you travel experience and photos were beautiful.

  15. Very appealing scenes, and the old houses are gorgeous.


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