Tag Archives: ontario

Thanksgiving in Marmora

This year we spent a splendid Thanksgiving weekend in Marmora.  I’ve now witnessed Marmora throughout all the seasons, and every time I’m struck by the peace and tranquility in the air.  My boyfriend’s family is from this area, and his grandmother lives in a cozy cottage-turned-home along Crowe River.  I took my first panoramic photo of the back of their cottage, with all the fall colours popping.

Marmora in the fall

Marmora in the fall

I played around with some filters on this photo, not that autumn pictures really need a filter, but I personally love pushing the contrast for richer blacks, and upping the vibrancy of the hues to achieve a more dramatic effect.  I settled on the Hefe filter for this photo that I posted on my Instagram.

Marmora in the fall

Marmora in the fall

Growing up, I never had big family dinners or celebrations.  My father was an only child and my mother came from a large family that barely spoke to each other, so the extent of my family has only ever been two people.  My ex-husband and current partner have an extended family and though I consider myself very lucky that they’re all nice people, I still find I’m not entirely comfortable and sometimes it take me awhile to warm up for a group get together. 

I took some time to myself on this crisp fall day and tried to capture new angles of this location, which can be a challenge as I have taken so many photos throughout the years.  I liked this shot the best, with the trees and weeds framing the brilliant autumn shoreline in the background.

Marmora in the fall

Marmora in the fall

Bondi Village Resort

 

I’ve never been one of those lucky people that had someone in her life who owned a cottage.  Not that I’m complaining – I loved going camping, and have gone every year since I can remember.  But, there is something nice about being able to throw the bare necessities in your car and take off for a relaxing few days away from the city.

This summer my friend booked a cottage at Bondi Village Resort for a week.  Growing up, she would come every summer with her family, and though it had been years since her last visit, the owners still recognized her.

I fell in love with the pretty grounds immediately.  Rustic and peaceful, we had a cozy little cottage right near the lake.  Clean, but not too modern, this was the kind of place I would want for myself, a humble getaway from the exhausting efficiencies of our every day grind.

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Wildlife roam freely here, and I was impressed with the variety.  Deer, horses, dogs and cats wandered around; dozens of cute, fearless chipmunks ran over my hands and feet while blue jays flew above my head, I literally felt like I was in a Disney movie – all I needed was a song to start playing.

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

“View from the boathouse” Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

“Doti” Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Here is a photo I snapped of the owner’s poodle, a loveable, camera-ready pooch named Doti.  Look at that pose!  She’s a natural.

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

The playroom, Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

The grounds were complete with a playroom, gardens, beach, canoes and chicken that provide fresh eggs you can later purchase.  Love it!

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

“Sumflower Sets” Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village is near Huntsville, and a 30 minute drive to Algonquin Provincial Park.  On a particularly beautiful summer day, we decided to go for a short “lookout” hike.  The view did not disappoint.  This is why I love Ontario!

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

“The sunshine of our love” – Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

Bondi Village is also right down the street from Henrietta’s – the country’s best bakery.  After our hike we decided to treat ourselves to one of her famous blueberrry pies, perfection.

This place truly is – a little slice of heaven.

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Bondi Village Resort, Lake Of Bays, Ontario

Port Hope

For the long weekend this year, my boyfriend and I yearned to get out of the city, but were searching for a trip that was low key, not too expensive, within a few hours of driving and above all – relaxing.  After a quick Google search, we came up with a number of options – one of the many reasons I love Ontario is that there is never a lack of interesting destinations!  We decided on Port Hope, a small town about an hour and half east from Toronto in the west end of Northumberland County.  Located at the mouth of the Ganaraska River on the north shore of Lake Ontario, Port Hope looked like the perfect getaway: beaches, bike trails, good eats and antiques.

We stayed at a lovely Air B&B hosted by Jeffrey Allan, and my boyfriend Mike posted our review on his page.  A cozy, comfy home, convenient and I swear we would have been friends with these folks, they had the same taste as us!  Air B&B is cool that way – getting a glimpse into another person’s life.

Croissant with creamy chicken & apple salad, Queenie's, Port Hope

Croissant with creamy chicken & apple salad, Queenie’s, Port Hope

The next morning we wandered downtown and hit up Queenie’s, a cute little cafe recommended by our Air B&B host.  Fresh coffee and a croissant was a delightful way to start our day.

Port Hope

Port Hope

We discovered a little Farmer’s Market over the bridge behind the Town Hall.  I ended buying some amazing handmade items – a wooden bowl that holds your ball of yarn, knit wool yoga socks, a succulent plant, cedar jelly, and was very tempted to buy one of the adorable rabbits below (but that’s when my boyfriend put his foot down…).  I don’t think my cats would be too happy with a rabbit either!  Although apparently they do get along, according to the rabbit breeder.

Rabbits at the Farmer's Market, Port Hope

Rabbits at the Farmer’s Market, Port Hope

In the afternoon we jumped on our bikes and headed just outside of town to Primitive Designs, a huge antique and craft store who import unusual and exotic items from around the world.  The store is incredible, and we spent hours browsing and even came back the next day to purchase some larger items.  Most impressive were the T-Rex and Transformer found artworks outside that were built out of recycled automobile parts.  AMAZING.

Primitive Designs, Port Hope

Primitive Designs, Port Hope

Primitive Designs, Port Hope

Primitive Designs, Port Hope

Inside the store, there were two floors filled with the coolest furniture, decor, jewelry, clothes and so much more.  There was something for everyone and the prices varied from affordable (a $10 wooden coffin box from the Phillipines) to “one day when I’m rich” (a handmade Predator-designed coffee table priced at a few thousand dollars).

Primitive Designs

Primitive Designs

We spent so long at Primitive Designs that by the time we biked back and were ready to head back out again for dinner, most places were already closed.  Luckily, Black Beans on Walton street let us sneak in an order just before their kitchen closed.  We sampled a bunch of snacks including: a black bean dip with fresh corn tortillas; Yucatan lettuce rolls with rice noodles; deviled eggs with a lemon dijon mayonnaise, pico de gallo, tomatillo & bacon  (an unusual but devilishly delicious combination); shrimp el barco (shrimp in a jalapeno boat with cream cheese, wrapped in smoked bacon and roasted – the shrimp and bacon combination didn’t really work in my opinion); and a pogo loco (house made chorizo sausage, dipped in light corn batter – the sausage and fried batter was a bit too rich for me).  The platter had some really interesting and unique flavours, and was an all round satisfying and fun late night dinner!

Black Beans

Black Beans – Tapas Grande snack platter

Port Hope

Port Hope

On our last day in Port Hope we explored the town some more and picked up a few books and antiques – I shopped a lot more than I expected!

Canada Geese! - Port Hope

Canada Geese! – Port Hope

As we headed down Mill Street towards the beach, a line of Canada geese came waddling across the street.  I was careful not to get too close to all the baby goslings in the group – I had no desire to test how protective the adult geese would be!

Lake Ontario, Port Hope

Lake Ontario, Port Hope

The beach and pier were so pretty, with the water sparkling a clear blue and the warm sun shining down on us.  The weather was still a bit too cool for swimming, but it was a perfect spring day nonetheless.  Looking out at Lake Ontario, I breathed in the cool fresh air and thanked Port Hope for such a relaxing weekend.  I was able to get away from the city and appreciate the simpler things in life: good food, art, nature, quiet streets and antiques.

Lake Ontario, Port Hope

Lake Ontario, Port Hope