When the kids were little we used to drive into a new area and explore it without a plan or a map and we called these trips ‘Adventure Drives’. This summer marked the last time my daughter and I would have any adventures together until she returns from her first 18 months of college. We decided to bring back this old tradition to make fun memories to last the whole school year by visiting a few new places around Ontario.
One of our stops was Ottawa where we walked our feet off checking out all the anniversary celebrations – stay tuned for more on that. After a couple of days in the big city we decided we needed a bit of a break so we took off for an Adventure Drive. Here is a glimpse of where our wandering took us that day (and if a word is bold, it is a link and you can click it) –
We didn’t expect to find this place so close to town but there it was nicely tucked into the side of the Tay River. It is a colourful, organized and spacious property we were very excited to explore. On the day we arrived, there was a summer camp in full swing and the kids were involved in all sorts of different water sports. We also found a 400 metre track under the trees that you can ride a scooter bike thingy around or pedal go-karts if you prefer.
They have these amazing, stable, unsinkable canoes from Paluski so we didn’t tip at all. If you’ve followed any of my other posts about adventures involving canoes you will know that tipping has been a long time concern of mine. However, this time it was a wonderful canoe ride down the river into the centre of town with three refreshing fountains. So relaxing. I’ve become a lifetime fan of canoe rides this year.
The staff was so nice and helpful. They didn’t even laugh at my ungainly plop into the canoe. You’ll see this quote on their website:
They created an outdoor business that represents a lifestyle for themselves and all who visit; carefully designed to be inclusive of all ages, to be healthy, active, and foster good times and fun. Hence the tagline, ‘Having a Blast!’
We’d love to return to Perth Outfitters for a longer ride one day – and maybe try these babies out:
After our lovely canoe ride we decided an afternoon tea was in order for lunch. We found this very traditional looking British tearoom in the centre of town. Crossroads Tearoom is filled with classic tea items like antiques, dainty cups, silver tea sets, crisp linens, flowers, hats and lace. Some of the diners even brought their own hats and I had the feeling dressing up was part of the fun of coming here.
We were able to select our tea from a number of samples to smell and enjoy before our food came. Check out this adorable serving plate stand with these delicious fresh made goodies:
It was the perfect lunch for our special day out. The little sandwiches were made with soft breads and croissants, the pastries were flaky, the desserts decadent. There were so many goodies we couldn’t finish them all and brought the rest back with us to our hotel. It surprises me how filling a proper tea is – you wouldn’t guess that when you first see all the cute little bits and bites arranged so prettily – would you?
Making this experience even more wonderful was live piano music. It was truly a memorable teatime.
Something I love about small towns is the uniqueness and character of the things the local inhabitants decide to highlight. This Ontario Highland’s town was so impressed by their contribution to the World’s Fair in 1893 that they created a monument to it – in another piece of history – the first drive through scale in Lanmark County. This cheese was made with the contribution of seven cheesemakers donating one day’s worth of milk each. It ended up weighing in at 22,000 pounds and was six feet tall. It was the largest cheese in the world until 1995. You have to see it to believe it. (Well, you can see the container.)
The Perth Museum – Matheson House
How appropriate that our next stop was to the local museum, a National Historical site to see artifacts from the area and one of the original settler families. The historical rooms reflect different ages from the 90 years the house was owned by the Matheson family.
Wandering around town is a good way to build up an appetite and we decided to visit this Perth restaurant. Even though we went on a Tuesday night this place was packed. Family and couples were in attendance and the menu was quite extensive. The staff were friendly, the food fresh and gluten free options available.
We started with a bbq peach salad, then pork baby back ribs, bacon wrapped fillet mignon, served with seasonal vegetables. For dessert I had caramel apple cheesecake and my daughter tried tartufo for the first time. Oh I’m drooling just thinking about it!
Followers of my blog will recall that only a couple of years ago I was considered legally blind due to my high prescription prior to cataract surgery so when I heard about this garden I had to check it out.
Unfortunately it was raining so we were only able to stay for a quick visit as the sun was setting but what we saw was enchanting. The garden is raised off the ground to make it easier for the blind, physically and mentally impaired to touch. The plants, flowers, and herbs are there to encourage people to feel, smell and taste this special garden maintained by volunteers. A fountain provides the soothing sounds of water as well.
How thoughtful the people of Perth are to have created this oasis.
So that’s how our adventure drive ended up. Pretty satisfying and we made some great new memories. Maybe we should call these trips Memory Makers instead? Huh. We’ve spent so much time in the Ontario Highlands this summer. I hope you have been following along on Instagram – If you want to ‘Come Wander’ through my gallery, click here.