Lavender, Motorcycles and Prison


It’s hard to believe that half the summer has slipped away and I’m a month behind with my posts. Guess that means we’ve been busy! I now offer a summary of what we’ve been up to.

1. Something to improve My Quality of Living While in the Motor Home

The installation of a new refrigerator in the motor home was exciting for me, and I was happy with the results when we spent a weekend in nearby Preston Springs at the Country Jamboree. We decided to try a house fridge instead of the usual two-way models used in most motor homes, mainly because the very hot, direct sunlight in the spring in Arizona sometimes causes freezing on those, and because the gas components take up a lot of space that I’d rather have for inside fridge space. Household models are also much less expensive than new motor home models. Since we already had a voltage inverter in the motor home, Jim just had to run wiring to reach from it to the fridge outlet, and install a switch so that we can use the coach batteries to power it when we are on the move, and then switch to 110 volts when we are plugged in at an RV Site. It was a bigger job than expected, but worth it.

 

2. Lavender Fields

In mid-July I made a trip to Campbellcroft to meet my Red Hat friends at the Lavender Fields, but  by the time we all arrived, heavy rain and the threat of thunder storms chased us away to the nearest shopping area and an indoor lunch.

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I was disappointed that I couldn’t get any pictures of the fields, so Jim and I took a drive out a few days later. There were so many people there that day, it was still difficult to get good unobstructed shots, but here are a couple.

 

3. A Motorcycle Ride to Picton

Last week, instead of playing pickle ball on a Wednesday afternoon, we joined our friends Steve and Sue on one of the few motorcycle rides we’ve taken this year. We left Hastings at 10:30 in the morning, expecting to be gone a couple of hours, but having no particular destination. By the time we stopped for lunch at 1:00 pm, we were in Picton in Prince Edward County, having explored many country roads and covered many more miles than anticipated. Picton is an interesting community that is heavily populated with tourists and cottagers during the summer months and well worth checking out if you are in the area. We reached it via Hwy. 49, but after lunch we took the Ferry across the bay to Glenora and drove along the shore of Lake Ontario before turning back north through the towns of Napanee and Tamworth, then cutting back west to Campbellford and home. That was the longest bike ride I’ve been on since my hip replacement almost a year ago, and I have to admit that I enjoyed the scenery and the perfect riding weather, but my joints and muscles were a tad sore when we finally got off at nearly 3:00 pm!

 

4. A Tour of Kingston Penitentiary

This past weekend we went to Kingston to tour the Kingston Penitentiary, which ceased operations on September 30, 2013, and was opened to the public just last year. I wasn’t sure how much I’d enjoy it, but the hour and a half passed very quickly. We were amazed by what we learned about this, the first British North American penitentiary, which sits on 8.6 hectares of land on King Street. It was constructed through 1833 and 1834 and officially opened on June 1, 1835 with the arrival of the first six inmates. Our various tour guides, many of whom are retired guards or wardens, explained the operation, the security systems, the routines, and enlightened us with stories of riots, escapes, work crews, rehab programs and building updates. It was well worth the $25 price of admission.

 

After a visit with family in Brockville over the next couple of days, we stopped in Napanee on our way home to have a lovely lunch with friends on the riverside outdoor patio of a relatively new restaurant that wasn’t there when I used to live in Napanee. How things change in thirteen years!

 

Next week I’m flying out to British Columbia for three weeks to visit with some more of my family. Because they are spread from southern BC to Vancouver to the Gulf Islands, it has been a challenge arranging the various modes of transportation needed. It will be an adventure. Stay tuned!

A Unique Dining Experience in Peterborough


Last week we finally made use of a WagJag coupon that was soon to expire, and went to The Electric City Gardens  for lunch. This was our second visit there and I was still struck by the uniqueness. The first impression is not really a good one. It is located in an old home on Queen Street in downtown Peterborough.The outside looks inviting, but the entrance hall is cluttered with personal belongings, presumably belonging to the owner/chef who lives on the second floor. However, there is comfort in the original wooden stair case and trims. The first room to the left is fairly large and contains a long dining table and chairs at the front end by the windows; the back end leads into the kitchen, and the cooking supplies and recipes seem to have overflowed from there out onto the only other table, the cupboards and the floor.

Straight ahead another doorway and a step down takes you into what would have been originally the sun porch, I’d think. Stepping into it is like stepping into a cafe somewhere in France. The walls are painted pink; the many purple-framed windows are draped with gathered pieces of brightly coloured voile, in reds, blues, greens. The inside wall is uncovered red brick and adorned with brilliantly coloured abstracts. Through the open window a few wooden tables with metal chairs enameled in green, red and blue, can be seen on the garden patio.

Electric City Gardens

Colourful decor

Electric City Gardens

Electric City Gardens

View from the window

Inside, tables with distressed wooden tops and metal bases form a line in groups of one, or two along the windows. Heavy wood and leather chairs sit on the outsides of the tables; a long fuscia velvet-covered bench serves as seating along the window side.

There are no paper menus to peruse, for the menu changes daily. The waitress brings out a small chalk board on which there is written the soup of the day, two or three choices of  entrees and desert. This day classical music was emanating from the stereo, perhaps a little too loudly.

We opted to try the Borscht, followed by the grilled ground lamb patty and  salad. One cook and one waitress means a leisurely lunch, leaving plenty of time for conversation and soaking up the atmosphere. A plate of fresh bread slices and butter helped to keep hunger in check while we waited.

Electric City Gardens

Our yummy lunch

The Borscht was served piping hot in mugs and was delicious. The lamb patty was very thick and braised in a mint sauce — very tasty, but it could have been cooked a little more in the middle, the disadvantage of thick burgers. A large salad of baby mixed greens, cucumber chunks, sweet red pepper strips and fresh tomato halves with a vinaigrette dressing completed the meal and left us too full to try the desert.

All in all it was a good dining experience and one that I would recommend if you’re looking for something different. It even came with a bonus incentive to return; along with the bill was a two-for-one coupon for Sunday brunch.