Even though Jez is ‘taking a break’ from hosting for awhile I thought I would share my love of walking. Whenever I get a chance to go for a walk or hike with my kids I jump at it, especially now. Up till now we’ve socially distanced ourselves, even on visits to our homes.
On the weekend, after our Father’s Day gathering with the family (in the backyard) my oldest daughter and I got in the car and drove to Mono Cliffs Provincial Park. It’s about a 1 1/2 hour drive north of the city. Andrea had to pick up some race materials from a store in Orangeville so we decided to make the most of the outing and go for a hike.
Everything took longer than we thought. The drive took longer, the hike took longer and getting the race materials was the last thing on our list of things to do. Andrea was hoping to be back in the city by 1:30 but we didn’t even leave Orangeville till 1:30.
None of it mattered though because we had a great walk, we managed to pick up the race materials and the plans in Toronto were somewhat delayed anyway so no one was put out.
Mono Cliffs is an area that I have visited many times, mostly with my students. I think I’ve been up at the Outdoor Education Centre at least ten times. The Provincial Park is right next door and we would often take the kids to the Lookout and the ponds that are situated there. Going in from the other side was new for me. At the end of the hike we walked at least 5K. What a great morning!
During COVID-19 we’re back to basics when it comes to travelling. More people are walking or riding their bikes and when necessary to get further away people are using their cars. I for one have saved a lot of money on gas in the last three months. I’ve only filled up once.
….at times the streets are empty and it’s an eerie feeling
Today, however, was a beautiful sunny day. The dog walkers were all out and mostly they were alone with their pet. A few people that were walking together were clearly couples who were probably cooped up all day together anyway.
Everyone was very respectful of the acceptable distance between people and when someone came down the street in my direction, either I or the other person stepped off the sidewalk and continued walking on the road. Funny how a few months ago this would have seemed anti-social and weird.
Even in the grocery store people go about their business quickly. People seem to know what they need and they spend as little time as possible in the store. In my local grocery store there are no empty shelves and there was a lot of toilet paper today. The cashiers are all separated from the customers by plexiglass shields at the cash and they all wore gloves. There was tape fixed to the floor with six feet between strips and people observed the social distancing rules.
As soon as I got home I washed my hands, something that I’ve always done but now I’m super diligent about it.
The other thing that both my husband and I have started doing again is bake. Today we started the dough for bread that we will bake tomorrow and while I was in the mood I made an almond cake. We had the cake for dessert tonight with some strawberries and cream. Being aware of the Corona 15 (the 15 pounds that many people will gain during this pandemic) we ate only one slice and then I froze the rest for another day.
I’m a big fan of the beach down from my cottage on Georgian Bay. Last weekend the beach was quiet. It was a beautiful weekend but most people stayed in the city. I’m not complaining because I loved the solitude and spending time with my dog, Frances.
A few weeks ago my son and I took a day trip to Sparrow Lake Camp in Gravenhurst. Our daughter and her family are living up there for the summer and it was our only opportunity for Brendan to see his twin sister before returning to London, England.
The staff was busy getting the camp ready for the first group of boys and girls who arrived earlier this week. We enjoyed a day of hiking and playing and some of the braver souls went for a swim.
….it seems that my granddaughter is going through a growth spurt
I was blessed this weekend to have my daughter and granddaughter stay with us for the weekend. On Friday they will be moving to the summer camp that my son-in-law is in charge of and unless I go up there during the summer there’s little chance of seeing them for the next two months. Hopefully I will find the time to drive up and spend a day or two, here and there over the summer months.
So this weekend was very special to me. We started the day with lunch on the deck and Winnie enjoyed a sandwich, juice and strawberries. She discovered that dipping strawberries into almond butter made for a tasty treat.
After lunch Mommy left to visit a friend for a couple of hours so Winnie and I walked up to the Lakeshore where a grilled cheese festival was taking place. Before we got there she was already declaring that she was hungry again so the first thing we did was purchase a grilled cheese sandwich. She didn’t eat it all but she did want to take it home (which she finished later). Then we went to the yarn store and the owner kindly offered both of us a drink of juice with ‘strawberries’ in it. Of course Winnie loved it.
When we left the yarn store Winnie once again said she was hungry so we headed towards the ice-cream store. She ordered a ‘strawberry’ cone and I had a cup of ‘sweet cream’. Her cone had a very generous scoop of ice-cream for a kiddie cone but she had no problem finishing the whole thing.
In between all the treats Winnie bounced around in the Bouncy Castle and played several games where she earned some coupons for a few small prizes. All in all it was a wonderful afternoon that I will always cherish.
After a stressful morning on Tuesday my husband suggested that I drive to Hamilton to spend some time with the family. I had originally planned to go there on Thursday but my father’s CAT scan appointment came through and it turned out to be on the same day. On the weekend we didn’t see Gaelan, Brendan or Winnie because Gaelan came down with a stomach flu.
I was in desperate need of some ‘Winnie’ time so I quickly fed the neighbour’s cat (a story for another time), put the car seat back in the car (in case we decided to drive somewhere in Hamilton) and headed out for the highway.
Just before I reached the onramp for the QEW I remembered that I had left the dog outside and forgot to lock the front door. Back I went.
Eventually I did get to Hamilton and spent the day playing games and reading to Winnie. While I was there I noticed that the sun was trying to come out and it seemed to warm up. After much coaxing we finally convinced Winnie to go for a walk to the playground at Dundurn Castle.
We spent about an hour there and then we had a hard time convincing Winnie it was time to go home.
….celebrating a day early makes for a nice restful Easter Sunday
On Saturday I got up early to put the turkey in the oven. I made the stuffing the night before so that saved me some time and I hid a few eggs before I retired for the evening. Despite all the advanced prep work I still found myself working right up till the moment the first of my kids arrived but I must admit that it was considerably less stressful than other years. I did manage to get the table set and hide all the Easter eggs.
My daughter and daughter-in-law took over the egg decorating job and my husband started up the BBQ where he cooked all the vegetables.
Our granddaughter and her parents and other grandmother were the last to arrive and little Winnie didn’t waste any time looking for the treats that the Easter Bunny hid around the house.
After dinner most of us decided we needed to get some fresh air and walk off some of the calories that we had consumed. Our son-in-law made us some wonderful cocktails to start the meal, Gaelan prepared a delicious cheesy cauliflower bake and Andrea and Josie made a decadent chocolate panna cotta for dessert. On top of the turkey and the rice stuffing I also made gluten free spring pasta salad. Luckily the rain had stopped so we headed to the park and continued to the playground a few blocks over.
I hope all of you had as wonderful day as I did. Happy Easter everyone!