Last Weekend in Niagara

Dare I say it?

Spring is here.

Spring has finally, finally, come to Niagara. And that makes Jo one happy girl.

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This weekend was a bit more low-key for us. Ken wasn’t feeling too great, and I was quite tired. So we decided to just relax around our lovely town  – do some simple, but very enjoyable things.

We started off on Saturday, in Queenston at Willowbank.

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Ah, Willowbank. I have always loved this house. From Queenston, you see it standing by itself on a hill in all of its romantic, mysterious beauty. It has a very magical aura – I can’t really explain it. But if you are a history nerd like I am, you will know what I mean. I feel a real connection to the past here.

However, the goofy part of myself couldn’t resist feeling like a Niagarafied Scarlett O’Hara. Who wouldn’t want to be the lady of this beautiful manor?

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Yes, Willowbank is a very special place. It is a National Historic Site, and their website goes into the detailed historical relevance of the location. It also hosts the School of Restoration Arts, which offers a three year diploma program in Heritage Conservation. The School was hosting an Open House on Saturday. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the School, see the students at work, and chat with some of the faculty.

The inside of the house is in a bit of rough shape. But glimpses of its past beauty are evident everywhere you lookIMG_5358 IMG_5359 IMG_5362 IMG_5363 IMG_5369

To me, the roughness of the interior actually adds to its mystery. Don’t get me wrong, this would be a stunning place if restored to its former glory. But leaving something as it is – just kind of adds something. Kind of makes me feel the past a bit more.

I’m not explaining this very well, am I.

So perhaps I will show you some of the students, hard at work.

There was a plaster demonstration

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Carpentry and window restoration

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And so much more.

If you missed the Open House, you can still visit Willowbank in the summer months. I strongly encourage you to make a visit. It is just beautiful. Details for hours and tours are here.

When we woke up on Sunday, the weather was spectatcular. Beautiful, cloudless, blue Niagara sky, and finally warm temperatures. We decided to stroll down to Queen Street and just have a relaxing afternoon in our ‘hood.

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We stopped for lunch at Corks. They have a great outdoor patio, and it was a perfect day for it.

Now, I think I have told you I am not really a salad girl. But in my quest for healthiness this year, I am trying to eat more of them. I ordered the Corks Mediterranean Salad, and it was delicious. For me to say a salad is delicious, you know it’s the truth.

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Lots of Feta cheese and black olives, along with tomato, cucumber, red onion and slices of green pepper. There was romaine lettuce too. I felt very virtuous for having a salad, and I did not feel deprived in anyway. Usually salads make me feel deprived, uninspired, and hungry. Sometimes miserable too. This one did not.

Ken had the schnitzel, which he enjoyed too.

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Feeling content, we decided to head out for some more walking.

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Lots of people were out enjoying the spectacular weather. All Canadians madly rejoice when the sunshine returns.

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We decided to saunter down to the lake. I LOVE our lakeshore areas here. In Toronto, they are way too crowded for me – and of course, finding a parking spot by the lake in Toronto is a nightmare. Now I don’t have to worry about a parking spot, as part of the lakeshore is two blocks from Highbrook – and the other parts are easy walking distance. It’s such a dream to be close to the water.

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Having walked off our lunch by this point, we decided to head back to Queen Street. Ken is an ice cream freak, so I knew he would love to have one. Beautiful sunny days call for ice cream, don’t they? There are several options in Niagara-on-the-Lake for ice cream, but our favourite is Cows.

But first I had to stop and admire the beautiful carriage horses. The carriages are a regular feature on the streets of Old Town.

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Looking forward to many more beautiful summer days in Niagara-on-the-Lake this year.

What did you get up to this weekend?