WPC – Ooh, Shiny!

…..what am I easily distracted by?

There are probably a lot of things that distract me, make me lose my focus but one of them is seeing art. I’m fascinated with abstract artists and I can get lost in their paintings. This happened to me last year when I had the opportunity to see numerous famous works of art at the Peggy Guggenheim Gallery in Venice.P1010122

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Check out other WPC – ooh, Shiny! posts.

High Park Kaffee Klatch

….after taking Dad to his doctor’s appointment we looked around for a place to have coffee

There have to be hundreds, if not thousands of places to enjoy a cup of coffee in Toronto. Even in the neighbourhood where the doctor’s office was there had to be at least a dozen places to choose from. My father, however, had other ideas and he remembered enjoying coffee at the restaurant that is situated in the middle of High Park. Luckily High Park was on the way home and not too far from where we were parked.

In the middle of the week the roads leading into the park are not too busy. The difficulty had to be staying within the speed limit which is 20 km/hour. Other than that everything else was positive. The parking in the park is free and the Grenadier Cafe has a beautiful new deck with shade trees and umbrellas over many of the tables. My father was very excited about treating me to coffee and pie. In the picture below you can see him using his serving skills that he learned as a young man when he apprenticed to be a waiter. Nothing makes Dad happier than enjoying a kaffee klatch in the middle of the afternoon.

A Day Trip to Hamilton

….Brendan wanted to spend the day with his twin sister and her family

My daughter-in-law hadn’t seen Gaelan’s place in Hamilton so we took another road trip on Wednesday (one day after Niagara Falls). Luckily it’s only a 40 minute drive when traffic isn’t too busy.

Gaelan’s husband Brendan had the BBQ going when we got there and we started our visit with a wonderful lunch of sausages and salads. Soon after we decided to go to the Rock Garden at the Royal Botanical Gardens. It was a gorgeous day and the Rock Garden provided us with shade and cooling waters from the fountains and the waterfall.

We walked through most of the grounds when a dark cloud quickly appeared over head. The same thing had happened the day before when we were in Niagara Falls so we decided we needed to run for cover. We arrived back at the entrance when the clouds opened up but now we had to get to our cars and mine was parked in a lot on the opposite side of the street. My son-in-law graciously offered to drive me over in his car but the moment I stepped out of the car it rained even harder and in that split second I was completely drenched. I drove back to pick up Brendan and Azadeh.

We all returned to Gaelan’s house to dry off and have a cup of coffee before we headed back to Toronto. The worst of the rain had stopped by then. Despite the rain we had a wonderful time. This summer we’ve had to make the best of what Mother Nature has thrown at us. I only remember one summer worse than this one and that was in 1992 when we were building our cottage and living in a tent trailer. It rained every single day that summer and at the end of the summer on my 40th birthday the canvas gave way and the water came in at the foot of our bed.

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Cheers!

Where to Take Out of Town Guests?

…..why Niagara Falls, of course

Last week my son and daughter-in-law were visiting from London, England. It was a crazy busy week and the nine days that they were here flew by in a flash. Last Saturday we drove them back to the airport.

The first four days, Brendan and Azadeh stayed at our oldest daughter’s place and for the last five days they came to our house. Tuesday turned out to be one the nicest days we had in terms of weather. For most of the day it was warm and sunny and was the perfect day to drive to Niagara Falls. From our place in Toronto it is about an hour and a half drive.

On our way down we ran into a slow down in traffic because of construction. I made a decision and made a detour that took us through some wine country. Bonus! I wasn’t exactly sure where my decision was going to take us but when we arrived in the town of Jordon and right in front of the Cave Spring Wine outlet I knew I had made the right choice. We got out of the car and sampled a little bit of wine (it was just 12:00 noon) and bought a couple of bottles. Everyone enjoyed our little detour.

My Dad joined us for this outing. He’s seen Niagara Falls numerous times so he was more interested in going to the casino. Once we got back on the highway we had avoided the construction and quickly arrived in downtown Niagara Falls. We went straight to the casino, parked the car and dropped Dad off at Casino Niagara. From there Brendan, Azadeh and I walked over to Clifton Hill and down to the Falls.

Clifton Hill has a carnival like atmosphere. We took a few photos but didn’t go into any of the attractions. Here are a few photos of our walk down to the Falls.

The falls of course did not disappoint. Going in the middle of the week is not a bad idea if you can get away because it’s not as busy as it is on weekends. The line-ups for the boats that go right up to the Horseshoe Falls, however, were very long. Needless to say we gave this attraction a pass, especially since we had to be back at the casino to meet Dad in a couple of hours.

When we got to the top of the Canadian Falls we decided to go into the Table Rock refreshment building for a drink and a light bite to eat.

When we were done we only had 10 minutes to get back to the casino to meet Dad. We knew that it would be impossible to walk back in such a short space of time so we hailed a cab and drove back. Sure enough Dad was already waiting for us, right on time. We went back into the casino and let Dad show us his favourite machines. We all played for a little while. I was the only one who lost money.

When we got outside the skies had darkened considerably and we knew we were in for a big storm. I picked up the car and drove back to the casino entrance where everyone was waiting for me. We wanted to go to Niagara-on-the-Lake for dinner so we headed out on the Niagara Parkway. This is normally a beautiful and scenic drive but today we drove through a torrential downpour. Luckily when we got to the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake the skies had cleared. We went to the Old Angel Inn for dinner (apparently the oldest inn in Upper Canada). I’ve been there many times so I was pretty sure that the food would be good. It was. When we were done we decided to head back to Toronto so I don’t have any photos of this part of the trip. On the drive out of town we stopped at one more winery but it was just after 6:00 the place was already closed. Oh well, another time perhaps!

If you’ve never been to Niagara Falls you need to visit when you’re in southern Ontario. It is, after all, one of the world’s natural wonders.

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge – Walking Paths & Trails

…..a great day at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton

I must have known that Cee would come up with a challenge involving walking paths and trails.  Yesterday, while walking through the rock gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens I took a lot of photos of the beautiful foot paths and trails that wound through this scenic gem in Hamilton.

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Lesson 200 – 100 Photographs

…..Carla Sonheim gave us as assignment to go out and shoot 100 photos in the neighbourhood

I love this type of assignment. It gets me out walking and it makes me really look at a my surroundings. Once we took the photos we were to share our favourites. Here are 68 of mine.