When it comes to holidays, I don’t have the world wide adventures to tell like others do. I recently wrote about taking my first flight at the age tender age of 61, the destination a mere two hours from where I live. Everywhere else I have been could be deemed as a ‘stay-cation’.
Even during my final years in the factory I acquired five weeks paid vacation time but when holidays came up, I would work at least three of them. The other two weeks I would wait to take them in the fall when the temperatures are usually a little less hot. I don’t do well in heat.
Over the past few years, the only "holidays" I’ve been able to take were to conferences around the province or to Montreal. Basically, they have all been working vacations with minimal time to see the sites.
In September, PositiveLite.com editor Bob Leahy suggested that I plan another trip up his way. It would be a perfect time to do some photography as the countryside would be in full fall colours. Immediately I thought “this is going to be another working vacation”. (We had been talking about me learning to do some editing for PositiveLite.com and this sounded like it could turn into a training session.)
I had to put it on hold for a few weeks to see how much it would cost. I learned there were no bus routes that could get me near his place way out in the country so the train would be my best option. I had heard that if I booked my trip several weeks in advance, the cost was lower. Once on the site I learned that at the age of 60 (I’m over that) I would be a senior traveler and there is another discount for that so things were looking good. My mind was made up, I booked it right away.
Destination: Warkworth – Trent Hills, Ontario
So, Warkworth is real, its not a fictional place from the Harry Potter novels.
Warkworth is about a two-hour drive east of Toronto, situated north-east of Cobourg, south-west of Peterborough and north-west of Belleville. It’s a small town, a village really, filled, says its website, with friendship and charm.
My first night in town we had reservations for dinner at Jeannine’s Backtalk Café. It’s a family run business so all the food is authentic home cooking, prepared and served by Jeannine or another member of her family. From the time you walk in, you feel like a part of their family, and you’re sitting around the Sunday table with your family, updating everyone on what you’ve been up to.
You can reserve a particular table, but you end up sitting where there is room. That might mean you are sitting with your neighbor and their relatives or friends and you are welcomed to join them.
Not mentioned on the menu is the rather large serving of sarcasm and humour for which the place is famous. Everyone, including the proprietor, dishes it out so be prepared but don’t be offended; it’s all great fun. Good friends laugh with you, not at you.
Three of the following mornings we started our day at Jeanine’s for a full breakfast before heading out on our photo excursions. On Sundays it’s routine for Bob to go to Our Lucky Stars Café, also on Main Street, Warkworth. The coffee is extra-large and fresh. It makes Tim’s coffee taste like instant. I topped mine off with a homemade raspberry and white chocolate scone. Mmm mmm.
I could go on for several hours about my visit to Warkworth, but I don’t have the space here so instead I’m sharing photos from the trip. We wanted to capture a lot of the fall colour. It was supposed to be the peak of the season but we may have been a bit early.
These photos capture our trip to The Gut Conservation Area near Apsley, the Norwood Fall Fair and some on the narrow backroads. I took over 500 photos so these are some of the better ones that represent what we were able to do. Any photos of myself were taken by Bob Leahy. The content of each of the collages are:
Jeannine’s Backtalk Café (see above)
Downtown Warkworth - the pieces of material tied to the fence were a Thanksgiving Day event called The Gratitude Project. You write something that you are grateful for on the cloth. I wrote, “I’m thankful for new friends and even for some of my older ones”.
Bob’s dogs Ruby, Dudley and Dougall. Ruby made shy with me for several days but we managed to work it out so that we could capture these shots.
Next are some panorama shots, starting with the view form his front door. (I tried to teach the technique to Bob, he did very well with his own.)
Then we have some horses and cowboys at the heavy-horse pull event at the Norwood Fall Fair.
Next, with my iPhone, I received many comments that I should have taken more of the young man handling the bird of prey.
Then, I’m eating again. We found Uncle George’s out on one of the highway, south of Apsley, I was starving and they had an excellent bacon-cheese burger I had to have.
Up next are some shots of the countryside and fall colours.
And last we have some of the prize poultry at the Norwood Fall Fair.
I really enjoyed my time in this small out-of-the-way place. It was quiet, relaxing and I didn’t mind having to do a little bit of work. My hosts were great to me, introducing me to everyone (sorry I can’t possibly remember all of their names). If ever the time comes for me to move to a place like Warkworth, I would consider it. But I’m not ready………..yet, and I don’t drive. You really need a car to get around in the country.
Editor’s note; Wayne is a great guest and we only made him do a tiny bit of work.