Book Ends

We finished the riding season the same way we started it, we were delighted to have such  wonderful experiences, both times. They were pretty similar but also different, the first one, we were looking forward to a wonderful riding season ahead and anxious to get it started but this weekend, the one we just experienced, we were excited to get a great weather weekend and have one more chance to get away.

We got a late start on Saturday, but we were okay with that, the temputures were getting warmer with each passing hour.  As our journey started, we took the scenic route the whole way there, beginning with Riverside Drive, with a pit stop for a delicious breakfast at The Sandwich Nook, in Tecumseh. Once nourished with eggs, bacon and lots of coffee we continued through Belle River, Stoney Point, and a short side trip to Lighthouse cove, as we continued on our way we throughly enjoyed all the autumn sights, the colours of the leaves, the sun reflecting off the water and at one point a flock of birds flew over head, it was quite a sight to see.

 We were surprised how quickly we reached our destination, once in Chatham, we checked in our new favourite hotel, Retro Suites, we loved our room - the amazing thing about the hotel is that each room is decorated uniquely with touches that make it charming and delightful - after unpacking we decided to go for a walk, which was really enjoyable, we explored downtown and had a lot of fun checking out the different stores, following the path along the Thames River and enjoying the sights along the way.

For dinner we choose our favourite restaurant, Mama Maria's, we didn't have reservations and therefore, couldn't get a seat, however we sat at the bar, had an appetizer and ordered our dinner to go. It worked out well, we sat in our room, ate wonderful food and watched a movie, after dinner Larry got dessert from The Chilled Cork for us both, such good food.

Sunday, we drove home after promising to do this again as soon as possible, and enjoyed it thoroughly, almost at every stop light we looked over at each other and said what a great day it was, again the weather was perfect and the views amazing. Larry wanted to be home for 1pm to watch the Lions game and we pulled in the driveway right on the minute, the Lions won, which made Larry very happy.

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Rhubarb

The Victoria Day weekend brought another opportunity for a ride, my Mom suggested I come to her house and lighten the garden of its rhubarb. It was a pretty quick ride, I cut across the county straight to her house, the weather was even better than the previous day. When I got to the farm, we cut a lot of rhubarb, did I mention that I love rhubarb? My saddle bags aren't that big so I was limited with what I could bring home. My mom and I spent about a half hour preparing the vegetable that I enjoy as a fruit, we started by collecting it, then trimming the leaves off and cutting it in half to fit the saddle bag. Once done, I realized I could squeeze in a few more stalks, and then, of course it was back to the garden, soon I was full and the journey home began. It was a perfect weather day, I did dress a little warmly because it can get cool along Lake Erie but I was super warm while doing the rhubarb and glad to get on my way. I took highway 50 home and enjoyed the breezes off the lake and in the end I was pretty glad I did dress warmly.

I was in a bit of hurry to get home because we were going to have a family dinner, I tried a new recipe to incorporate some of the rhubarb and it turned out delicious, we had

Roast Pork Tenderloin with Sweet Onion Rhubarb Sauce,  plus summer time potato salad and a delicious garden salad with homemade ranch dressing made by my daughter (so good). I've included the recipe if anyone is interested in trying it.

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Thanks for the rhubarb Mom!

A short but fun ride

A Perfect Night

Today it was too nice to NOT ride my bike, so I rode it to work this morning - it was the type of day that made me want to keep going - such a pretty a day, the kind you just can't get enough of. I was excited that things worked out so that Larry could meet me after work and we could go for a ride, we went along Riverside Drive until we got to Tecumseh where we stopped at one of Larry's favourite restaurants  'The Wrap Shack' for a quick bite and then we were back on the road.

The route wasn't particularly exciting and it certainly wasn't new to us, but it was the perfect journey for tonight. The weather was perfect, the sun was just starting to set and the water was a breathtaking backdrop for our ride. Spring smells filled the air, cut grass, flowers, everything smelled so fresh - I was breathing deeply and felt totally relaxed and completely exhilarated at the same time.

Couldn't think of better way to spend the evening

A great ride, surrounded by water through most of it. The part in purple is where we had to double our ride, no complaints though - great views.

Lost

My throw back Thursday post; July 2012

We were lost somewhere between Port Stanley and Port Dover, sometimes being lost is an adventure, other times it's just frustrating - this was a good time and a good memory.

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I thought we should have of made a right at the last intersection but uncertainty crept in and I kept going straight, I knew I was wrong when the scenery change and became much prettier.

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We came across this cool wooden bridge.

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We had such a good time, we got off our bikes and explored the area, took a few pictures, we never saw another person or car drive by the whole time we were there. It was such a nice break, we got back on our bikes and eventually found our way.

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Port Stanley

We woke up last Saturday morning and spontaneously decided to go for an overnight ride, the weather was promising to be beautiful, after seeing rain pretty much all week I was ready for some sunshine also we both were ready for a break from our busy lives. So we put a few essentials in the saddlebags and started out, we decided to go to Port Stanley - it's about a 2 hour drive if you take the highway, but about a 4 to 5 hour ride if you take the scenic route and stop for a leisurely breakfast. After reserving a hotel in Port Stanley, (which took a bit of work to find a place that wasn't booked) we headed out, we drove for about a ½ hour or so and stopped for breakfast in Essex and then carried on, after Leamington we took highway #3 most of the way. We arrived in Port Stanley around 4ish, checked into our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised with the room.

We went for a walk along the beach, it was surprisingly crowded, lots of people, tents and umbrellas.

Busy beach day.

Busy beach day.

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Creativity on the beach, seen during our first walk.

 

Dinner was nice, we sat on the patio at a local restaurant and worked off the creme brûlée with a walk around town and  on the boardwalk.

Two guys catching minnows for bait.

A memorial to The Olga Disaster.

Dusk

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Oh, and just for the record - it's illegal to drink on the beach, uh oh

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Sunday morning we had breakfast on the patio, I had eggs with perch, so good and very relaxing. We headed home around 11:30, we took the long way and got home around 5. It was short but a great time :) Can't wait to do it again.

 

Essex County Road 50

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County Road 50

One of my favourite roads is county road 50 between Amherstburg and Kingsville, it runs along Lake Erie and goes through a few cute towns, the first one is Essex and then Colchester, Oxley and it eventually leads to Kingsville.

Signs along the way

It's a small 2 lane highway, approximately 30K's long, starting at county road #20 and ending at county road #20, it's the long way but scenic. On a nice day you'll have lots of company including fellow bikers, sight seers in cars and bicycles, as you drive along, farmland, vineyards, cottages, road-side stands, wineries (at least 8, many offering samples), restaurants and beaches will line the road. There is a b & b, called The Bell House, a blueberry farm and John R. Park Homestead (a step back in time), and once a year this highway is celebrated with an Explore the Shore weekend festival.

A pit stop at one of the very small beaches along the way.

We'll often take this way and find someplace in Kingsville or we'll go a little further to Leamington for a bite to eat, a fun night out. We've had breakfast at the beginning of this route at Ure's County Kitchen, a place that serves up good food as well as gas, firewood, and it has a convince store.

The beginning of County Rd 50

I also enjoy cutting this route a little bit short and making a right on Cull Street and then another right on Queen Street and you'll find your self at Lakeside Park, a park that has a small beach, a play area for the kids and a bathroom - it's a good place to take a break and have a snack, which is exactly what I did last time I went.

Lakeside Park, Kingsville

Point Pelee National Park

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Yesterday it was a beautiful day for a ride and I was lucky enough to spend part of it at Point Pelee National Park, I love driving down the tree lined street - the beauty is breath taking.

Point Pelee is a Canadian national park in Essex County, there is a lot of marsh and woodland habitats with a peninsula of land stretching into Lake Erie. There are several beaches in the park but my favourite park is the boardwalk in the marsh. Click on the map for more information.

(picture #1) My bike and I visiting the marsh, (picture #2) and a tiny, tiny picture of my bike from the perspective at the top of the sight tower.

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