Thursday, June 14, 2018

I don't know why we left home!

Already the thinning traffic about Town is proving my suspicion that people have left home for the commencement of summer holidays. No doubt the endurance of long winter days has fuelled the burgeoning desire for a summer holiday. The proverbial appeal of the other side of the mountain does as always spike the passion for exotic diversion - going anywhere but home.  But at times it is a mistake. I have for example flown to Italy in the month of May when the weather was absolutely perfect here but miserable and rainy in Europe. I don't care what you say, when it rains the view is the same no matter where. At least the encompassing sentiment is the same.

But to speak more favourably of the home territory, I am constantly discovering that even the most modest inquisitiveness about local surroundings can readily reveal a host of opportunities for which there is seldom a comparison anywhere else. And the great attraction is that it is all within a short distance of home.  Yet we persist in our mistaken belief that getting on our horse and riding off in all directions will somehow guarantee a more gratifying unwinding.

The other reality to confront when contemplating a holiday is the perceived necessity to abandon one's agenda for a specified length of time. As a general rule young people are confined to one or two weeks at best; the need to maintain one's pace in business is not one to be lightly disregarded.  All the more reason to consider going somewhere nearby. The very local hotels which we seldom consider are precisely the ones which world travellers frequent. The JW Marriott Resort and Spa in Minett on Lake Rosseau in Muskoka is a fine example. The seasoned vagabonds from the United States of America regularly park their Learjets here.  The resort is a very comfortable four-hour drive from Lanark County through Algonquin Park.

There are many places which merit simple day trips. Those include Ivy Lea Club on the St. Lawrence Seaway near Gananoque; Neat Café in Burnstown; a drive along Highway 511 in the Township of Lanark Highlands; Cedar Cove on White Lake; any number of hotels in Perth; or a train to Montréal to stay at Le Reine Elizabeth (and thereby skilfully avoid traffic).

If one feels inclined to enlighten oneself with history, the scope of the Rideau Canal and its special features in Merrickville and similar villages along the way afford endless opportunities for discovery and depth. A broader view of a waterway is available in Kingston and the small urban centres along the St. Lawrence River. Even Katarina's Coffee Shop in Prescott is worth a moment's attention. Similarly there is a fine bakery at Fall River Restaurant near Marberly. If all you want is a stunning walk in the forest then look no further than the R. Tait McKenzie Museum at the Mill of Kintail on the Clyde River in Ramsay Township.

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