Catching Up & Chilling Out

So, after my last post about slowing things down, good ol’ Mother Nature made me slow down even more. I got walloped with the worst cold I have had in ages. When I get colds, I get COLDS. Full-blown, stay in bed in a sleepy brain fog, plugged sinuses, and a wicked cough that makes my voice very rough, and sound like Peppermint Patty.

Actually, I still sound like Peppermint Patty – and this is two weeks later.

Obviously, this is not ideal in the height of busy B&B season. Lucky for me, my sweetie pie jumped in and handled about 98% of all B&B duties while I was sick. Yes, I am very fortunate. I know there are many people who run B&B’s completely on their own. What do they do when they are sick? Just soldier on, I suppose. Most of us who are self-employed do not have the high falutin’ carefree lifestyle that some people think we do. And sick days do not exist when you have your own business.

Anyway.

I have learned that I need to take even better care of myself, especially during the busy season. But I still got out to a few things before The Cold to End All Summer Plans descended on me.

So here’s what I did.

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My mom and I made a quick stop at The Lavender Festival. I love lavender, and think it is terrific that we have a lavender field and boutique right here in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Festival also had many different food items to try, which were all quite tasty. My personal favourite was the ice cream with lavender syrup.

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Other highlights included meeting the lovely Tiffany Mayer, and finally getting a signed copy of her book, Niagara Food. Silly me, I totally forgot to get a picture with her. It was so nice to meet her, that I just forgot to take a pic. More Blogger problems.

But I did remember to get a picture of this.

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I am obsessed with this Pillow Spray. I have had some annoying bouts of insomnia over the years. This means I am constantly on the lookout for things that may ensure a better night’s sleep. I don’t know if this Pillow Spray makes me sleep better, but it sure makes my pillow smell wonderful. Which is relaxing in itself.

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It was an interesting event, and I’m glad we went. I plan to stop by the neob lavender boutique very soon.

The next event also had a very relaxing element to it. It also checked off another item from my Niagara Summer Bucket List.

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I got to my Yoga and Wine class.

Know what the best part was? It was held at Stratus – one of my favourite wineries ever – and the class was done by Fox Den Yoga. If you haven’t been to Fox Den, you really must. A new, hot yoga studio right in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This makes me very happy indeed.

It was a hot, sunny morning, and we set up our mats right in front of the vines. A great class suitable for all levels was taught by Michael Cheliak. Gorgeous ambient chill music accompanied our practice. Honestly it couldn’t have made a yogi happier – then out came the magnificent Stratus wines!

My definition of Zen.

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They had a great turn-out, and I really hope they do this again before the summer is over.

The last event was relaxing because it combined two of my other loves – the Library and food. I have always loved being surrounded by books, so a library is certainly the definition of heaven to me. The Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library is a lovely building, but they have an even lovelier Community garden area. The garden includes the Vintage Hotels Demonstration Garden, where they are growing lettuces and herbs for use in their kitchens at the hotels.

So, one Friday afternoon, we went to see Executive Chef Mark Longster of the Pillar and Post give a demonstration in the garden.

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He was grilling some sliders, and making salads using the produce from the Demonstration Garden.

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He was using some Oast Barn Raiser Country Ale in the recipe, so we got to sample some of this delicious brew as well. A pleasant surprise.

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It really was neat to see him mixing the salad greens, and seeing more growing in the garden behind him. A new experience for this ex-city girl.

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Then our tasting was ready. A really great burger is always a treat.

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Chef Mark was so personable, and chatted with me and the others about the garden, the recipe, and the restaurants at Vintage Hotels. I’m sure chefs love having access to fresh-from-the-garden ingredients.

And who would have thought you could have all this at the Library?

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library has a lot of other great events coming up: Beer and Books, Wine and Words, and their soon upcoming Annual Garden Party.

Then shortly after this, the Era of the Cold began, and social activities ceased. But I’m feeling much better now, and ready to get back out and enjoy the rest of the summer!

What have you been up to?