Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oh, Canada!

I haven't really been washing clothes for this long. I have been working, though.

I love Canada, or at least the part we visited. I probably would feel differently in February when I am ready for Spring and Canada isn't. I can't put my finger on the source of my affection, but there just seemed to be a good balance of structure - bucolic with urban amenities, practical Mennonites with cerebral Shakespeare scholars, country cooking with a dash of high cuisine. You've just got to love the diversity. I suppose I am infatuated because the farms were nestled against the art loving, theater loving, and restaurant packed town of Stratford. You don't have to choose. You can see Shakespeare and be a farmer without having to travel more than a few miles.

We had high blue sky days with perfect temperatures - warm, but not hot days and crisp nights. Harvest was in full swing. The golds, yellows, reds, and greens of the vineyards, corn fields, bean fields, orchards, and market gardens were beautiful. The well maintained small farms with their silos and northern style barns just tug at my heart. We visited the farmer's market at St. Jacobs and a few local farms to celebrate the abundance of the local harvest. Obviously, we couldn't keep and transport produce purchased, but we were able to get farm baked treats and apples for our room at the inn.

Stratford seems like an anomaly with its up-scale shopping and restaurants, art festivals, dragon boat races, and perfectly manicured outdoor spaces. Though tourism has certainly driven their economy, Stratford doesn't seem touristy. It seems genuine.

I am in love.


Becky said...

If you loved Stratford, you would also love the Eastern Townships of Quebec -- like the best of the English *and* French countryside without having to cross the ocean. We discovered five years ago when we headed south to Vermont for my college reunion, and my little pipe dream would be to retire there, though real estate is pretty pricey in that part of the world...

Glad you had a wonderful time, and hope you'll be posting more about the trip!

Audrey said...

Ha ha! Another convert!

If we can't entice you with the hockey and beer, we'll lure you with the scenery and culture.

Canada ... we love everyone ... and you're next. ;-)

zilla said...

I'm sold, and putting it on my little list of destinations!

wisteria said...

Zilla, Ya'll have great orchards and farms in parts of Michigan. I have picked strawberries and apples in Michigan. You do have to leave the lakefront, though.