I'm trying to come back to earth after our trip, really, but my mind and body are in conflict. Every minute being with LM, my sister and family - feline and other, and on the road, was filled with fun, romance, and awe at the beauty all around. LM and I like nothing more than exploring new places. I'd always dreamed of having a partner who loves to get off the turnpikes and explore our beautiful country driving the backroads a la William Least Heat Moon. Now I have that perfect person in LM. We set out about 6 am on the 7th of October. About 11:30 we had a delicious roadside picnic of crabmeat sandwiches, as we gazed at a still-working dairy farm set in rolling green hills, and by 3 pm or so we were in Seneca Falls in the Finger Lakes region of NY, checking into our hotel for the evening. Once we brought our things into the room, we immediately set out to explore the area. Of course, we first determined where we would have dinner - priorities, you know. We drove around the back streets of Seneca Falls and explored some of the Erie Canal areas and a beautiful state park along one of the Finger Lakes. The town itself appears to have suffered a lot from the economic downturn. Many architecturally beautiful buildings, now vacant for the most part, line the once thriving downtown area. There are nearby towns which must be bustling in the summer months.
LM wanted to visit Geneva NY and the shore of Seneca Lake. He has a vivid childhood memory of driving by there with his foster family in the late 1940's on the way back from Cleveland OH after the Christmas holiday. As they approached the head of the lake, the roar and crash of huge waves hitting the seawall along the road, still lingers in his mind. We were able to go to the exact spot and walk in the warm October sunshine. As he recalled that wintery experience to me on our walk, we reveled in the October sunshine, hand in hand, listening to the wind in the ancient willow trees along the banks.
Seneca Lake, Geneva, NY
Happy and Happy....even if I have the worst haircut ever!!
The very spot where the waves crash in winter making a huge roar.
Beautiful moss and a small tree growing out of rocks along the seawall.
The northern banks of the lake had so many beautiful old willows. The sound of the wind rustling the leaves was magical. The wind deeply effects my soul.
The next morning, after a successful crossing of the border, we arrived in Waterloo, Ontario about 11:30 am to a royal greeting by my sister Margaret, her husband Jerry, their "adopted" daughter, Sam (helper extraordinaire), and their two wonderful cats, Brenda and Betty. Behold Brenda (LM's new conquest), on the back porch bench. Caught Margaret listening intently to LM here, but it's still a lovely pic. Brenda wandered into their lives a few years back...in a most disheveled state, she appeared in their front yard, starving, totally matted and desperate for love. She chose the right place to ask for help.
We were very soon off to visit one of my favorite places in Ontario, Sittler's Mennonite Bakery in Conestogo. It's a lovely ride out through the countryside, or at least part of the way. The city of Waterloo has grown so much and is quickly spreading out across what was once all farms run by Mennonite families. There are still many evident, though, and, after 15 years away, once again I found myself exclaiming continuously about the beauty of the barns and fields.
Sittler's looks exactly the same. Inside there are many Mennonite ladies in their prayer caps and long skirts, bustling about waiting on customers with wonderful shy smiles, baking and preparing their beautiful baked goods for sale. No pictures out of respect.
A fine example of the foliage displayed during our entire trip. This maple to the left of the bakery.
Little pumpkins containing straw flowers
Margaret in the garden to the right of the bakery. They raise much of the produce used in their baking.
Lovely late rose.
Our trip to Sittler's required a little rest, and then nieces, Emmy, Ellie and Sam prepared us a most delicious trout dinner
The first of many great chats shared by LM and Jerry
We stayed at a nearby B & B, Hillcrest House while visiting Waterloo and tomorrow I will share pictures of our lovely accommodations and more pics of Margaret & Jerry's beautiful home - once the mayor's residence, it has a lovely porch for sitting and a turret!