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Leahy
"Doug Leahy and the rest of the family - Evelyn, Cecilia and Joseph"

TIME …

Here I am, writing this article and thinking … “Where has all the time gone?"! I know, summer is over and it’s now fall season. Maybe a lot of you are thinking the "same" thing! In my case, I’m not just thinking about “Where has the summer gone?”, I’m also “thinking”, “Where has time gone?”! My children are all grown up. My son, Travis, is married, working and has a growing family. His children are both “going and growing”! My daughter's kids, 3, are now all in "double digits"! Ainsley’s daughter, the youngest, is now entering into Grade 5, her youngest son is entering his first year of high school. Yes, high school! And, now, her eldest son is entering his first year of "University"! He just turned 18, an adult, so I will mention his name, Tyler. He is taking Honors Business and is going to become an accountant. I hope that he hurries, I could use some help!

So perhaps, you can now understand why I am focusing on "time"! It all seems to pass so quickly! Maybe that’s a good thing, Judi and I are so busy, visiting, planning and dreaming about adventures yet to come! As they say, "there is so much to do and so little time”. There’s that “time” thing again! Yes, the summer has past, and now its fall!

Judi and I hope that you too had a good summer, and that your fall will be full of great adventures! As for Judi and me, were going to keep “visiting, planning and dreaming” and wondering where the “time” has gone!

Stratford

"Festival Theatre - Stratford"

Stratford Ontario here we come …

As Highway 401 traffic ground to a halt in Toronto, we wondered what this long day would bring. It wasn’t long after that, that clouds and rain suddenly stopped. With the sun coming out, we left Toronto traveled quickly to  Cambridge then on to Highway #8 and the road to Stratford! Lush green rolling hills, glorious crops in neat fields, colourful barns and blue sky greeted us along the way.

Stratford is a “magical experience”! Traveling to Stratford, we wanted to dig a little deeper into some of the "components" that made up the total "Stratford Experience”. Collectively, Stratford attracts the attention of the world! We wanted to know how the organizers, participants, owners, volunteers of this quaint but vibrant community contributed to the fabric to hold these components together. We wondered if the contributors were aware of the synergy needed to be so successful and what was it that they did to engage in the collaborative efforts of this great community?

Over a 3 day period, I felt that we just caught a glimpse of what all that is offer in this thriving community! Soon, our completed articles will be posted to our various Ontario Visited websites. We hope that you will enjoy our experiences through the stories (including photos and videos) that we have written. For now, I wish to share with you some quotes from the residents, volunteers, participants and learn some of the reasons why Stratford is so “magical”!

Wasaga Under Siege

"Battle on the Beach, Wasaga Under Siege (Wasaga Beach)"

The Festival Nomad Report...

Judi and I have been busy visiting events, places and people! At the beginning of August, we were invited to visit and experience Stratford. Judi is in the process of completing a number of our “Stratford Experience” articles. In addition to Ontario Visited articles about specific “Stratford Adventures”, more general articles will appear in Judi’s “THE INSIDE SCOOP”. To say that we had a great time in Stratford would be a gross understatement. From the events we experienced and to people we met were all fabulous! Our sincere thanks go out to all the people we met along the way and especially to Stratford Tourism!

After our experiences in Stratford, it’s hard to imagine that anything else could equal it. However, our interview with the Doug Leahy Family surprised us. What a great, talented family! Judi is completing her interview article, so I don’t want to give too much away. Let’s just say, the Family was just as great as their music, which is fabulous. (We talked about their performance at Westben Arts Festival Theatre in last month’s issue, so please enjoy if you haven’t already). Mid month we traveled to Thornbury and Blue Mountain Region. Judi and I spent a “fun filled” weekend with our friends Tom and Rachel. During our time there, we visited Medford. We also traveled to Collingwood and Wasaga Beach. Actually, our trip to Wasaga Beach was really to visit the annual “Wasaga Under Siege”. It was also David Brunelle’s (the event organizer) last year for organizing the event. David is now embracing his new entrepreneurship at Coghlin & Upton, Military Accruements and Historical supplies in Penetanguishene. David will still continue re-enacting, but not organizing. Towards the end of the month we traveled to Perth area (Tay Valley Township) to Murphy’s Point Provincial Park. Here, the Friends of Murphy’s Point organizes their annual “Heritage Mica Days”. During each season the “Friends” organize events around the famous “Silver Queen Mica Mine” I had never toured a mine before, so this was quite the experience. Our article about our tour will appear shortly on our Ontario Festivals Visited website. After touring the Heritage Mica Days, we visited the Park itself. What a great place to visit, camp, swim, canoe, hike, kayak and so much more to do! We’ll be back!

Now it’s September, the Fall Fair season will be getting into full swing!

Stratford 2

"Judi visits the 'tir na nOg' Gates (Land of Youth) - Stratford" 

The Stratford Experience...

Our "Stratford Experience" started  at the Stratford Tourism offices and continued at a torrid pace from there!

Our first stop was the Stratford Serenity Bed and Breakfast. This was to be our home for three fun filled Days. Our hosts John & Corrie Segeren opened not only their home to us, but their hearts and souls.

Here's how the rest of our time was spent ~

Day 1

  • Dinner Downie Street Burgers
  • Man of La Mancha  at the Avon Theatre (Stratford Festival)

Day 2

  • Visit to the Stratford Costume Warehouse
  • Tour of Savour Stratford Chocolate, Bacon & Ale Trail-Grazing Lunch ~ Chocolate at Chocolate Barr’s Candies and Chocolate and Maple Treats at Rheo Thompson Candies
  • At the Stratford Summer Music we enjoyed Daniel Clarke Bouchard's performance.
  • Afternoon tour of Gallery Stratford
  • Discovered great art at Art in the Park which was held in the heart of Stratford’s glorious Lake Victoria.
  • Dinner at Rene’s Bistro ~ A Team in Life for Life! Rene and his partner Margaret treated us to an amazing meal and a tour of their wonderful restaurant.

Day 3

  • Breakfast with John Miller, Artistic Producer of Stratford Summer Music, went from a great meal at York Street Kitchen and then turned into an amazing tour of some of Stratford's most exclusive eating establishments.
  • Another Stratford Summer Music event was held on the Avon River. This free "Music on the Barge" event featured The Resolutionaries Marimba Band (Afro Roots)”.
  • We traveled a little outside of downtown Stratford to the Stratford Perth Museum. John Kastner, General Manager of the Museum, showed us the intricacies of the museum and share his plans for the future.
  • Our final adventure in Stratford took place at world famous Rundles Restaurant. This is an amazing "5 Star" restaurant. What a fabulous way to end our "Stratford Experience"!

Our "Stratford Experience" can be summed up by saying that this unique magical adventure was made possible by the “people” we met! There are those who touched our hearts! There are those who inspired us! There are people you would like to meet again! There are those with dreams and aspirations! The folks of Stratford are articulate, knowledgeable, kind, generous, extremely genuine and a refreshing experience!  Truly an experience to remember, take with us and share with others.

Heritage Mica Days

 "Checking in at the Heritage Mica Days - Murphy's Point Provincial Park" 

Heritage Mica Days
at Murphy's Point Provincial Park (Perth Area)

In researching the Heritage Mica Days’ website, we noticed the many activities that they held throughout the season. We had discovered the photographs of the Silver Queen Mine and, as a result, were enthusiastic to join today's Self-Guided Open House Mine Tours. Heritage Mica Days offers many activities, such as their Junior Mica Miner programs, music, games, food, Spirit Walks, Self-Guided and Guided Tours of the Silver Queen Mine, Cooking on the Campfire, Rope Bridge Building, Story Time, Beach BBQs, Live Music, Corns roasts, Musical performances at the Amphitheatre, Beach Day, Hot Dog Roasts, Thanksgiving Dinner Theatre at the miners’ bunkhouse and much more! Their exciting festival events run from late June through until the Thanksgiving weekend at Murphys Point Provincial Park.

The volunteer "greeters" spoke about the tour ahead, including “tips” about the 2.5 km walk we were going to experience. They provided a Visitor's guide book to follow. There were “markers” along the way where we could read about the history and “story” of this amazing Canadian treasure! A children's “Junior Mica Miner” day journey program (and a certain Ontario Visited Festival Nomad Correspondent, who could not resist joining in) was available for kids to embarked on. An amazing small “Junior Mica Miner Passport” was given to the kids along with a pencil to complete the questions, puzzles, secret words, treasure hunt of clues, a real sample of “Mica” to tape in the book, and more. The pages were full of colourful photographs to guide along the way. At the end of the day, a Gold Seal was given by the volunteers for successfully completing the challenges along the way. It seems to me a treasure “Passport” to keep forever!

Everything started out great, as we walked along the stone pathway through the forest. I asked Olivia, our personal guide, if the “wild life” was abundant. She told me that just the other day there were many deer and that they and their young were lingering around the area. Olivia also told us there are many types of birds, small animals and of course the “gray ratsnake”.  I stopped walking, stared at Olivia, who I’m sure saw panic in my eyes. She said not to worry, they very friendly, big, but friendly. She said after, if we wanted to, we could go to the Visitor Centre and could meet “Mica” their very own resident gray ratsnake and its new baby ratsnake. Olivia did not miss a beat and kept walking with confidence.

Stay tuned for full articles about Heritage Mica Days coming to Ontario Festivals Visited and Murphy's Point Provincial Park coming to Ontario Attractions Visited. 

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