We left off with our arrival in Tobermory, fresh off of the ferry over from Manitoulin Island.
While it would have been nice to explore the Bruce Peninsula, and I had visions of Sauble Beach dancing in my head — there were two things stopping us. One, my mother and her boyfriend and my sister and my niece had all converged at my aunt and grandfather’s house in Orangeville, and I wanted to maximize our time with family. Two, a nasty rainstorm blew in and followed us throughout our drive so it wasn’t exactly beach-going weather, anyway. We took a fairly direct route, bypassing the shores and beaches, but managed to stay off of major highways which helped keep a relaxed vibe even though we had a destination and arrival time planned out.
One interesting sight we passed through, by chance, was the Dufferin wind farm. I’m not a resident of Dufferin County so I can’t speak to any of the economical or environmental aspects of the farm, but I love windmills, personally, and this is the most I’ve ever seen in one place. They stretched on for miles and sparked a car conversation about green energy.
Our few days in Orangeville centered around family and catching up! I stayed up late every single night but managed to survive. 😉 We had one excellent day with warm weather, perfect for playing in the pool, and even managed to convince M that all water is not scary. She actually fell asleep on me in the pool, then took a deck side nap while the adults waged pool game war (except for me, because I apparently am too buoyant and can no longer propel myself to the bottom of a pool without sputtering and failing). Unfortunately that nasty Tobermory weather showed up the next day and our vacation suddenly got chilly.
On one of our rain days, Mom and her boyfriend sent Matt and I out for a movie date while they watched M. We managed to entirely miss the movie (we took too long getting to the theatre) and almost turned around and went home before deciding we would explore downtown Orangeville. I’ve spent a zillion summers and Christmases in that city but had never really poked around Broadway. We went to a smoothie place, where Matt got a $9 fresh pressed apple juice (seriously) but the highlight was Wicked Shortbread, which is a bakery entirely dedicated to shortbread cookies. It smelled like what I imagine heaven must smell like.
We got a few fancy cookie bars for ourselves and a dozen various flavours to bring back to the house. They were gone nearly instantaneously after we came back, so that tells you how good these cookies are. I’m debating ordering some from the online shop.
Our next destination was Peterborough, Matt’s hometown. We set out before lunch on a rainy day and decided to take the long, scenic route despite the weather. I routed us through Port Perry knowing Matt was fixating on mythical cinnamon buns he vaguely recollected from years before — he had no idea where they were located, just that there were really good cinnamon buns in Port Perry. Thank goodness for Google, which led us to Hank’s Pastries.
It’s a busy shop right downtown, and the cinnamon buns really are delicious. They have a bit of an almond-y taste in the icing — “almond is the new vanilla,” says Matt. We also tried the carrot cake! Sated with sugar, we pointed the car toward the Kawarthas, bypassing tons of farm stands along the way. Matt’s goal, this time, was Kawartha Dairy in Bobcaygeon. It’s the dairy’s headquarters and the only place to get ice cream, according to him. The rain broke just in time for us to enjoy our treats!
We stopped for Ontario-grown peaches in Fenelon Falls, then drove right past the Kawartha Winery in Buckhorn before pulling a u-turn upon determining that yes, we did want to go look at local wine! They had an amazing selection of wines, particularly fruit wines. We sampled a bunch of the merchandise before picking out pumpkin wine, rhubarb wine, and a blackberry/blueberry mix. The pumpkin wine turned into a fun “guess this flavour” game later in the week.
We rolled into Peterborough at a decent time, loaded down with all of our culinary purchases made that day. The weather was still looking awful for that weekend, but we had a ton of family to greet!
I’ll leave this post at that so I don’t overload you with photos. 🙂 Next up, I’ll share our Peterborough adventures, the Ottawa Valley, and the looooong trip home.