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Long and Winding Road …

On a recent drive up north I took a bunch of photos out the car window and played with the image settings. I was with a couple of girlfriends and it was nice to sit in the passenger seat and not have to be the snack lady to the three hungry boys in the back!

I get inspired by car rides. I am able to think clearer and get the ideas out of my head and on paper. I love staring at the shapes of the clouds, the curve in the road and the colour of the green fields against a blue sky.

There is something about driving on a road that you’ve been along more times than you can count but seeing it with fresh eyes. Here’s a taste of what I saw …

Are you ever inspired by car rides?

Antique Hunting, Farmer’s Markets … sans kids!

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated our 10th Wedding anniversary. A significant milestone, yes, but we opted to keep things low-key to mark the occasion.

My parents took the kids to the cottage for the weekend so we were kid-free from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. The break from the everyday with three kids 6 and under was enough to celebrate!

We decided to do a mini-road trip and check out the St. Jacob’s Farmer’s Market. It had been years since I was last there and it didn’t disappoint.

First, we checked out some antiques …

 

Stunning Blue colours caught my eye

 

An old globe ... USSR and all

 

A paddle from a family reunion in 1963!

 

Red, Red, Red!

 

I walked off with some lovely glass milk bottles for just $4 for all of them. More on that and what I’ve done with them in another post.

After checking out some antiques we got hungry …

The chip wagon was calling our names!

Nothing like fries soaked in ketchup & vinegar

 

And then you wash them down with some fresh lemonade …

The best lemoade I've ever had

 

The fries and lemonade refreshed us enough to wander around the market – it was a blistering hot day but the stalls were just bursting with fresh produce … it was killing us not to buy anything as we weren’t headed directly home and it would just spoil.

My favourite stall was the fresh cut flowers. Here are some gerbera daisies … just like I had in my wedding bouquet.

After the market we decided to check out the Elora Gorge. It was awesome!

First we had some yummies we’d bought at the market …

Mmm .. havarti & ham kielbasa

 

mmmm

Then we hiked around the gorge

It was starting to get late after calling nine Bed & Breakfast’s (note: make reservations in July) we found one that would take us … it was outside of Fergus … and a fairly random place to stay. The people were lovely, it was clean and very nice but boy did they like their flowers.

We stayed in their only available room that night … the “Garden Room”. Each room had it’s own theme and the owners had clearly put a lot of thought, care and love into how they decorated. It just wasn’t my style – a “little” over the top if you know what I mean.

Yes, that is a sunflower lamp

 

Painted sunflowers all over the wall & a picket fence!

 

We did a final hike on Sunday morning and were amused at our choice … it was in a marsh area so there were lots of bugs but we made the most of it and ran part of the way! The view from the lookout tower was spectacular!

We loved exploring parts of Ontario we hadn’t been to before – there is so much to see!

So, that’s how we spent our kid-free weekend. No schedule, just wandering around. It was like a weekend-long date and was fantastic.

How would you celebrate a significant milestone? What do you like to do with your partner?

An empty nest …

I am currently kid-free. Enjoying the moment and have no particular time that I’m due home. What a treat.

My parents took the kids to the cottage for the weekend. I think kids and grandparents will be tired by the end of the weekend but it was a big love fest on all sides as they departed this afternoon.

Did I mention we are now kid-free?

Gonna hit St. Jacobs tomorrow first thing …

Then a hike in the afternoon maybe around here?

Then … who knows! What I do know is that the only waterbottle I plan on carrying is mine and the only snack I am packing is my own. If the car stops it is only for a grown-up pit stop.

Lordy. I am excited … maybe will even have some antique finds to share next week too!

What are you doing on this fabulous summer weekend?

The State of the Union

It was a bit odd not to be in Canada for Canada Day (why?) but it’s been great to hang out with family and celebrate the 4th of July holiday instead.

A sense of pride, a sense of community – these characteristics have jumped out at me over the past two days while vacationing in Southern Vermont.

Vermont Symphony Orchestra

Last night we went to an outdoor concert put on by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra followed by showstopping fireworks.

Today we went to a 4th of July parade. Everywhere we went people were in holiday mode, celebrating family, friendship and community.

Young, old, those who serve, sports teams, music and of course groups expressing their political opinions all walked with pride today down the main street of their hometown.

As I learned last weekend community is all around – it’s about sharing and celebrating things you have in common with others. And maybe raising a glass or two while you are at it!

Here are a few shots of today.

Main Street USA

A beautiful day for a ride

Those who serve

Of course, the firetrucks from every neighbouring community

 

Music!

Youth

Activism

This summed up my thinking about community  …

Happy 4th of July to my US family and new friends I’ve met this weekend!

Have you celebrated community lately?

images via moi & here

Happy Canada Day!

It’s a beautiful summer day! Happy Canada Day to all!!

To me, Canada Day is about cottages …

Haliburton Heaven

This year, if you are in Ottawa it’s about royalty …

Or, Canada Day can be about Road Trips …

I’m hitting the road this year … a long awaited family vacation. Can hardly wait!

What are you doing this Canada Day?

images via here, moi, here and here