Stella’s visit went all too quickly but we did so much, ate so much, talked so much (won’t mention the drank so much) that it isn’t surprising! After our restful time at the cottage at Pine Vista resort we came back to Peterborough to drop Simon off at Arrowsmith, the combination of Stella and Simon ensuring that he arrived on time!
Stella and I hauled all the luggage up the stairs – how is it that I pack as if I am going away for 6 weeks rather than for two nights, no matter where I am going, no matter where in the world I am? We then set off for a walk along the Rotary trail, which is always uplifting, making our way to Carpe Diem for lunch. A very filling and delicious pulled pork sandwich and their fabulous house salad later we headed off to the Canoe Museum, as interesting the second time around as it was the first. The history of Canada through the history of the canoe, the two being inextricably linked.
On Tuesday morning we woke to lashing rain and wet snowflakes that were as big as my hand. For the first time this year the Parent’s Walking Group was cancelled, not really cancelled in a formal way, we just found ourselves in Nata’s café drinking hot chocolate rather than out on a trail! No matter, it gave Stella and me time to shop afterwards as Stella hadn’t packed for the unexpectedly hot weather she was going to later in the week. Stella thought Joe Fresh was a grocery store and was pleasantly surprised by the choice of clothes on offer! Thank you again to Shelagh for telling me about Joe Fresh! Then it was time for lunch – another café, this time Maggie’s in Hunter Street, where we were meeting Marilyn, my non-Arrowsmith friend. We chatted for ages, so long that we had to indulge in pudding (dessert!) – my Ethiopian lentil soup was good, but even better was the sweet potato and pecan pie (with Bourbon, though I couldn’t taste it), it was delicious, very light and not too sweet.
I know Stella is interested in historic houses so I took her along to Hutchison House, not realising that at this time of year it is not usually open, we were very fortunate that Barbara McIntosh was there. She is the President of the Peterborough Historical Society and she gave us our own special tour of the house, which was wonderful. I find it fascinating to see how people lived without all of our appliances and advantages – so much simpler a life.
I thought that Stella should see the most popular tourist sight in Peterborough – the Lift Lock. It, like most tourist destinations, was “closed until May” which is what Stella is going to call the Peterborough section of her travel diary! Still, the structure is amazing and we climbed up the top and looked out over Peterborough and went down and peered into the huge empty trays which lift the boats up and lower them down when the lift is action – it is a great feat of engineering! I think I can safely say that Stella has “done” all the sights of Peterborough – all those that were open anyway!
Our busy day finished with Amanda coming for a roast dinner – delicious, even if I say it myself! Finishing with an apple crisp, a truly Canadian pudding!
Today after dropping off Simon at Arrowsmith – I think he could get used to having a car! – I drove Stella to the airport, stopping off at the Art Gallery of Ontario for lunch in the member’s lounge – such a treat to be in the tranquil surroundings of the Grange overlooking the park, squirrels frolicking in the sunshine. I enjoyed a perfect apple and fennel salad, whilst Stella had an open brie, tomato and avocado sandwich accompanied by a glass of Niagara chardonnay – delicious!
Driving back to Peterborough made me feel extremely grateful that I don’t have to drive long commutes – particularly on 12 lane highways with traffic cutting in and out on either side!
Just a few days and then I am off to meet Stella in the US for four days whilst Simon is off to the UK for his last visit to his favourite house in his favourite county.
And the accompanying photo is Simon in charge of the steaks on the barbie!