Tag Archives: day trips

20191023_130859

RIDIN’ THE RAILS WITH CANADIAN DAYTRIPPERS!

Yesterday, the sun was shining bright as I joined up with the folks from Canadian Daytrippers to enjoy a railway trip along the York-Durham scene railroad. As the coach wound it’s way thru country roads, the passengers were lively and full of anticipation…

It only took about an hour to reach the rail-head in Uxbridge where we were set to depart for a 2hr trip with a 3-course luncheon served in vintage Pullman coaches.20191023_131122 20191023_13115220191023_160828There were several vintage trains and carriages on show in the rail yard (above) – who doesn’t LOVE trains??
We were soon off and running after a very careful boarding of those passengers with physical challenges. The railway station offers a special hoist for wheelchairs and walkers so everybody was able to enjoy the trip. We were greeted by the friendly staff who came around ensuring that our menu choices were confirmed – steak or salmon…mmm, yummy.20191023_142051Then off we rolled, gently winding our way throughout the York-Durham region countryside. Sadly, the sun disappeared behind a bank of clouds so the fall colours did not “pop” and the scenery took on a somewhat grey pall. But the company was animated and full of good humour, swapping travel tales, family histories, embarrassing situations and silly stories – nobody seemed to mind the unfortunate lack of scintillating scenery.  But when I checked out my photos later, I noticed that many of my pics took on an almost Impressionist-like feel…see what I mean:20191023_144744 20191023_144419 20191023_144827 20191023_145135As we chowed down, I noticed one of the passengers who REALLY enjoyed her lunch..20191023_145207More lovely countryside views on the home-bound leg of the trip, and as we pulled back into the Uxbridge station, we went past the legendary Ontario Northland carriages..20191023_15104320191023_161106All good things must come to an end so we alighted with laughter, smiles….. and several satisfied burps!20191023_161421Big thank you to all the railway staff, and especially our charming (and very patient) tour guide, Debbie, from Canadian Daytrippers (below).20191023_163019If you’d like to learn more about Toronto day trips with this groovy group that caters to seniors/zoomers, visit their website at: www.canadiandaytrippers.com. They offer evening group trips to theatre festivals, Niagara Falls events and unique experiential trips to the country…like this train journey, or the Muskoka Lake cruise I wrote about last month. See you on the bus!!

20190920_154954

CRUISING ABOARD THE “LADY MUSKOKA” VIEWING LUXURY WATERFRONT HOMES & COZY FAMILY CABINS

What a restful way to spend a late summer day out in cottage country. Last week I spied an intriguing ad in the Toronto Star promoting lunch cruises (2 3/4 hrs) with convenient coach pick-up in Toronto, courtesy of www.canadiandaytrippers.com  So I decided to join other like-minded folks and enjoy a leisurely trip and a fabulous 3-course luncheon aboard the Lady Muskoka.20190920_131040After about a one and 1/2hr drive north of Toronto, we arrived dockside to find our boat waiting, all decked out with flowers and food, courtesy of the chef from the adjacent Quality Inn. Bus was parked, a quick refresher in the hotel’s loos then off we went.20190920_132300As we chugged along the channel out into the lake, we were served a delicious selection of main courses, with a yummy fresh salad to start; they need to bottle and sell that salad dressing…yum! I chose grilled rainbow trout as my main course and it was…mmmmmm…so good. The mashed potatoes were the best I’d tasted in years! Sorry, no food pics ‘coz all my plates disappeared very quickly…haa haa.  I chose a great seat next to a big open picture window so I was able to snap away as the scenery went by. 20190920_142833 20190920_151243Lunch service completed, guests scurried up the gangway to the top deck to take in the full glory of Lake Muskoka and what a view we had…

The late summer sun was glorious and we all enjoyed the breeze coming off the water.20190920_15302620190920_151842 20190920_152309 20190920_154143After cruising around the vastness of the main lake, our captain guided us through some small channels, visiting the cozy more traditional Canadian cabins…20190920_153720 20190920_16191920190920_162529 20190920_162543Even  Bambi and his mum came out to greet us. I couldn’t believe these deer posed for us without darting back into the wood. I spied them as the boat came round a bend and everyone got their cameras and phones out…snap snap snap. I also alerted fellow sailors to some wild turkeys waddling across one cottage garden, fattening themselves up for Thanksgiving dinner…yummmm!

It was a great way to spend the day visiting all the little islands and fancy-schmancy homes lining the giant lake. Big thank you to the bus driver and Debbie, our guide and hostess-with-the-mostest from Canadian Day Trippers. Their one day get-aways are geared to seniors of all physical abilities (loved seeing all the kindness and care given those a little less physically adept) but everyone became “kids goin’ to camp” with lots of laughter and great conversations. I’ve found my tribe!  Next trip will be on the York-Durham Heritage Railway in late October to view the fall colours throughout the Oakridges Moraine. I cannot wait so why not join me?  www.canadiandaytrippers.com20190920_153159

 

20161010_123730

AHOY, MATEY….AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM TORONTO HARBOUR!

What a lovely way to spend Thanksgiving….cruising around Toronto’s stunning Lake Ontario harbour and islands, watching the planes come in and snapping away like a crazed tourist! I love taking quickee “stay-cations” or playing hookey mid-week and taking off for a calming boat cruise through the islands. Today is Thanksgiving Monday in Canada and everyone is busy roasting turkeys and shuffling between family homes with pumpkin pies and bottles of wine. Me? Well, I’m thankful to have access to simple pleasures like harbour boat cruises and the nice folks at Toronto Harbour Tours didn’t disappoint  www.harbourtourstoronto.ca20161010_132506Captain Dylan (pictured above) and Cruise Director Mike welcomed me aboard then cast off for a 1 hour tour – unlike Gilligan and his 3hr tour, there was little chance of getting shipwrecked. We cast off our boat, the Shipsands, and headed out into Lake Ontario, past all the condos and restaurants…..

What a beautiful city and waterfront we have. I sometimes forget the beauty that’s just minutes from my front door.20161010_12391920161010_123542 20161010_125024My sailing buddies were a fun bunch showing their out of town friends around the city.20161010_124201

20161010_13075920161010_131345As our boat was returning, we caught this scary plane landing…must have been Sully at the controls!

Whew, that was a close call. More picturesque photo opps….20161010_13211020161010_132012…then aloha and farewell to Capt. Dylan and Mike (who’s being dive-bombed here by a rogue seagull)20161010_132513The fun didn’t end there…I remembered there was an artisans’ market further along the harbourfront so I set forth to forage for food and oh boy…peameal bacon on a kaiser roll – my favourite!!20161010_135605And dessert courtesy of Carla’s Cookie Box! Yummmmm20161010_140814

So Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to all my blog readers…wishing you lots of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pies…burp!

20150613_111719

WE’RE BAAAACK! ANOTHER VISIT TO PORT HOPE, ONTARIO, DELIVERS SURPRISES AND TREATS

On the one sunny day of this past week, my bestie, Erena, and I journeyed back to our favourite country town about an hour east of Toronto: Port Hope. It was Saturday and it was Farmers’ Market day in the parking lot behind the Municipal Offices so we tucked Erena’s vintage ‘vette into  a shady parking spot and strolled the market stands, grazing our way thru the yummy treats and picking up some new treasures from the craftspeople there, too.20150613_113207 20150613_114116 20150613_115948The overpowering fragrance of bacon beckoned me on towards The Social’s stall….yes, one bacon sandwich, please. Mmmmmm….20150613_113309Erena enjoyed some homemade perogies from the lady opposite the bacon…they were apparently so good that her eyes rolled back as she noshed away on half a dozen…LOL

20150613_113430I found some lovely local wines to wash down the bacon when I stopped in to say hello to Tim Kuepfer (below) of Broken Stone Winery in Pr. Edward County. www.brokenstone.ca  I found the pino noir very tasty and the other guests loved the chardonnay. Apparently Broken Stone participates in local wine tours so do check out their website to discover this emerging new wine region in Ontario.

20150613_113647 20150613_113853We then discovered Gary & Robin from the Tallboots Farm who were selling an awesome selection of jams, preserves, pickles, tarts, cookies and….oh boy….hand-crafted chocolates!! www.tallbootsfarm.ca   The jams were delish and both of us purchased a jar of the triple raspberry jam (I just had some on my toast for breakie this morning) and the chocolates we bought didn’t last long either!

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20150613_115702One lovely young local serenaded us as we all walked around…

20150613_121334…and we enjoyed meeting many of the farmers and vendors (below). As we got there a bit late (around 12 noon) most of the produce was long gone but we did see some massive radishes and lots of live tomato plants. We gotta come back earlier on summer Saturdays to grab the veggie deals.

20150613_115822 20150613_115828 20150613_115835 20150613_121326 20150613_120656Desperately needing a good cuppa coffee (and a quick tinkle) we left the market, walking thru the historic streets (below)…

20150613_121823 20150613_121859…and found our fave cafe, Queenies Bake Shop, the happiest shop on Walton St. The food and bevvies are superb and the hospitality warm and friendly. Thanks to the ladies and chef Adam (below) for looking after us once again.

20150613_124513 20150613_122352 20150613_122411No trip to Port Hope would be complete without a quick visit to Kenneth Bell‘s fabulous bling boutique just a couple of doors down from Queenies. www.kennethbell.com  Ken was heading off on a road trip with his wholesale treasures so we hung out with his assistant, Sherry (below) and played dress-up with young model, Madi (bottom pic) who showed us a very Rhianna-ish multi-strand chain necklace.

20150613_130326 20150613_124950 20150613_125721 20150613_125321We also spent some time (and dollars!) with the ladies of Bubbles & Gems, another few doors down from Ken’s store. Erena picked up some lovely jewellery there and I enjoyed browsing thru the groovy purses.  http://www.bubblesandgems.com/

20150613_135344 20150613_135347 20150613_135508We decided to take a quick nature break and visit the lakeside boardwalk just a little east of the downtown core as well as visit the beach at the foot of the Ganaraska River, so after a quick visit to our friends at Facey’s and Engine Gallery (see my previous blog posted in May), we headed off into the wilds of Northumberland County and look what we found…..sheer leafy bliss!

20150613_152407 20150613_152433 20150613_152612 20150613_152643 20150613_152900And we weren’t alone. One bold as brass chipmunk came right up to me, posing for pics and obviously looking for some nibblies. Next time we go, I’m taking peanuts with me as I have a feeling this little guy would take them right out of my hand.

20150613_153040 20150613_153041 20150613_153716We walked back to the car, then headed off towards town and hit the beach.

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20150613_155311 20150613_155415I had fun paddling in the cool waters of Lake Ontario…how clean and clear it was, too.

20150613_162353 20150613_162405 20150613_162820We decided to end our day in Port Hope by dining at Crawford’s Lakeview Cafe, just up from the beach. What a charming cafe with a lovely wrap-around porch where we dined on fish and chips (me) and a gourmet burger (Erena), topped off with homemade desserts of apple pie and icecream (me) and a lemon slice (Erena) …yummmm.

20150613_174458 20150613_191506 20150613_191415Apparently Crawford’s serves THE best breakfast for miles and Chef Pino Ruberto told us that his French toast and pancake stacks attract diners from miles around! We’ll be back for breakie soon, that’s for sure.
As we left the cafe, we witnessed what, to me, looked like a scene out of Jurassic Park: strange dinosaur-like creatures invading the streets.  I never knew baby Canadian geese looked so weird!

20150613_191549 20150613_191551So goodbye to the beach, the cafe and the goslings…Port Hope, we’ll be back again soon!

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Plan your own trip to Port Hope by first visiting:

http://www.visitporthope.ca/

http://www.porthopechamber.ca/