Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Great Ontario Communities Series (Bobcaygeon)

 

Over the years I have been able to travel throughout North America. During these travels I have visited many fascinating places! I believe that very few of the places I have visited rival Ontario’s great communities! During the past few years Judi and I have visited almost 200 Ontario community festivals and events. The majority have been planned and managed by dedicated community volunteers. As a salute to these wonderful communities and their hard-working residents, I will be writing a series of blogs entitled “Great Ontario Communities”. These blogs describe the communities we have visited and will tell you about some of the interesting things we have experienced and the people we have met. The first article will be about Bobcaygeon, the picturesque town located in the heart of the Kawartha Lakes.

BOBCAYGEON – We visited this community this summer to attend their Wine and Food Festival. The Festival was held at the Kawartha Settlers’ Village. Although this was our first “festival” visit to Bobcaygeon, it certainly wasn’t our first visit to the town or area. To be truthful, Judi and I are very familiar with the town as we have visited it many, many times both for pleasure and for business. That is why this is such a great place to start our new series! Bobcaygeon is located along the Trent-Severn Waterways, north east of Lindsay. National Historic Lock 32 sits in the middle of the downtown area. Two Kawartha Lakes border the town, Pigeon Lake to the east and Sturgeon Lake to the west. Judi and I have spent many restful days by this beautiful lock. The downtown is full of delightful retail shops and restaurants. Bobcaygeon is also the home of many retirees. It seems to be the perfect mix of cottage country charm and “big city” appeal. The city of Peterborough is less than an hour’s drive away while Toronto can be reached in two hours. There is plenty to do into the area, especially during the summer and fall months. In addition to lots of fishing and boating, there are many special events, including the Bobcaygeon Wine and Food Festival, the Victoria County Studio Tour and the Bobcaygeon Festival of Trees. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Should I Tell You?

 

Did you ever do one of those “bone-headed” things that make you want to “crawl” into a deep dark “cave” and not come out for a year or so? One of those “things” happened to me a few months ago when Judi and I visited Prescott and their St. Lawrence Shakespeare Festival! If you have read any of my other articles about this Festival, you will know that the play, “The Taming of the Shrew” was moved from its normal outdoor venue to an indoor venue. The reason given was that there were thunderstorms on the distant horizon! I found this difficult to believe because it was sunny and bright in Prescott! However, in the “bright” sun we drove to the Church where the play was now to take place. I parked our car and we walked to the church to join the waiting line. Eventually we were ushered into the church and the play began. We became entrenched in the play! Part way through, however, I looked up at the high windows of the church and saw flashes of lightning! The STORM was upon us and I was humbled! By the time the play was over and we were exiting the church, the storm was over and the rain had stopped. Our walk back to the car was dry and uneventful. I remotely unlocked the car door and opened it. The door felt too light! I wondered why until I looked inside and realized that I had left my window OPEN! The whole driver’s side was drenched! I now had the prospect of a 3 ½ hours drive home on a soaking wet seat! I want to tell you that my “behind” and other parts were cold and “wrinkled” by the time we reached home!


P.S. My new address is at the “Bat Cave” … I’ll see you in a year or so!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Why Not Share?

 Festivals and events are great fun and present a wonderful opportunity to share! It’s simple really, make sure when you decide to go to an event that you share your experience with someone else! This includes telling your friends and family about a great festival or events that you have visited or, better still, invite someone to go with you. Festivals and events can be much more enjoyable when shared with loved ones or friends! Because Judi and I visit so many events through the year, it’s impossible to take people with us all the time. However, when we do it always makes the event seem more memorable! Over the years we’ve gone with a number of different friends and family. I think the first was to the Toronto Zoo’s Spring Toad Festival. We went to this one with my daughter and her family. The fun that the grandchildren had was awesome! Since then we have visited the Bala Cranberry Festival with our friends Ross and Cathy and their young daughter, the Polar Bear Festival in Campbellford with my brother Chuck and his wife, Flo and their friends, Wilf and Win, the Beaches Jazz Festival with my son, Travis and his wife Ina and to the Canadian International Military Tattoo in Hamilton with my sister Barb. There were more times, but you get the idea. Sharing these events with our family and friends was a wonderful experience! So, if you are going to go to a festival or event I urge you to invite someone else to go with you! If not family or friends, invite a senior in your community. Most seniors love outings like this and make wonderful companions. They will have a great time and you will be rewarded by having a more memorable visit!

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Making the Most… (Part 2)

 

Here are a few ideas.

  • See if there is a fun park close by or an interesting attraction close by and then check it out
  • Try taking a unique route home. One that you haven’t traveled before. There may be interesting towns and landscapes along the way.
  •  Stop along the way and visit unique and fun shops
  • Depending on the time of year and the region you are traveling, there may be other things to interest you. For example, if you are traveling in the Niagara region or Prince Edward County there are lots of vineyards to explore. If you are in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, there are many beautiful farms and quaint hamlets to investigate
  • If you’ve planned ahead like Judi and I do, you will have packed a picnic lunch. Find a scenic place to stop, relax and eat. If you have also packed some games for the kids, this would be a good time and place for them to “blow off steam” and have some fun
  • Make arrangements to visit friends or family along the way back home

Some of the ideas outlined above may take a little pre-planning, but I think you will be glad that you took my advice! It’s not that you are looking for a “bad” festival or event. It’s just that you are aware of the possibility! Whatever you decide to do, make the most of your day!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Making the Most… (Part 1)

 

Sometimes you may go to an event that does not meet your expectations. What do you do? Do you turn around and go home or do you make the most of it? Judi and I feel that you should stay and try to “make the most of it”. Who knows, you might just be surprised! There may be something you missed at first look, an exciting ride, an interesting exhibit or, perhaps a later event. Having an open mind and looking a little harder may reveal a real “gem”. The big thing is to find a schedule of events or to approach an event organizer to find out what “things of interest” are happening later in the day. If after checking things out there is still nothing of interest, don’t let the disappointment ruin your entire outing! Look for other forms of entertainment.

(To be continued in Part 2)

Thursday, October 22, 2020

How Not to Pack!

 

In order to save on the cost of going to festivals and events and to eat healthier meals, Judi has been making and packing picnic lunches for us to take to the festivals and events we visit! We’ve been doing this since the beginning of August and it’s been going very well, until now! Each time Judi carefully thinks through what we are going to eat and what she needs to pack. She includes such things as forks, knives, spoons, salt, napkins, etc., all of this along with our food and beverages. To preserve the food in the hot weather and to keep our drinks cool, we have a thermal lined picnic bag. 

As I said, all was well until last week! Judi prepared and packed the food as usual. Our recyclable water bottles were freshly filled and also packed. We loaded everything into our car and then headed for our destination! We were going to visit the event in the morning and then head to Wellington to visit my brother Chuck and his wife, Flo. After the festival visit we went back to the car, ready to have our picnic lunch. We wanted to eat before we headed out to Chuck and Flo’s. Judi opened the thermal bag and let out a loud scream and then a low moan! This was followed by a few well chosen words! I can’t repeat them here! The bottom of the bag was completely filled with WATER! We had just purchased new water bottles and had not tested them out! The contents of the water bottles had leaked! Everything was soaked and the water bottles were empty! Even though the sandwiches had been carefully wrapped, the water had managed to seep in! They were just nicely soggy! I was hungry and needed eat, so I suck in a big breath and bit into the soggy sandwich! Needless to say, the lunch was not quite what we had in mind when we started out that morning! 

So, here is my NOMAD advice for the day… “Check out your new water bottles for leaks BEFORE you pack them with your lunch!”  Also, take your mother’s advice, “Never eat a soggy sandwich!”

Friday, October 16, 2020

Participation… (Part 2)

 

We arrived at the Village on time for the pre-show information meeting. There we others, like us, who had never “dressed up” before, so we didn’t feel alone. Once the meeting was over and the instructions given, we walked to the dressing area, Judi to the women’s and me to the men’s area. Everything had been laid out perfectly. Each outfit was labeled with the participants name and a volunteer “helper” (the outfitters husband!) was there to lend a hand! A good thing for me as the boots I was given were VERY snug! After I was completely dressed, I decided that my look was “interesting”! With the transformation complete I walked downstairs or should I say, I nearly slipped downstairs. The shoes had hardly been used and were VERY slippery! Many of the other participants were dressed and waiting outside for further instructions. It was great to see so many wonderful period fashions! I found Judi amongst the crowd and went to her. She looked fantastic! I little too fashionable for me and my outfit! Eventually we were all lined up and ready to play our part in the Festival of Textiles period fashion show. One by one we were summoned to the stage and posed while the commentator described our ensemble. From there we left the stage and walked on the “catwalk” to the applause of the audience. It was all great fun and most enjoyable. As a matter of fact, I am not sure who had more fun, the audience or the participants. My monies on the participants! 

Judi and I both enjoyed our experience and we thank Laurie and the Village staff for making us feel part of their big family!