Water Babies, Snow Babies and Bonfire Aficionados

I almost didn’t make my annual trip to Muskoka this year—didn’t want to wear out my welcome; I’d visited twice last year, once for my parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, and again at Christmas. Happily, all it took was one phone call from my big sister to change my mind. Guess I was looking for a push, and it worked.

Condo Rooftop PoolThis year, my vacation didn’t quite sync with my sister’s time off, but it meant I got to spend some time in downtown Toronto which I haven’t done for years.

St James Church SpireI love the old stone buildings and the towering spires of the Cathedral Church of St. James is a beautiful example.

Toronto's Flatiron BuildingRed brick is a Toronto staple and found everywhere. I snapped a pic of the Flatiron building with the Trompe l’ceil wall on the rear.

Toronto City HallI paused at City Hall and remembered finishing a ten-kilometre Miles-for-Millions walkathon there when I was a pre-teen (though I can’t remember where the trek began or what we were raising money for).

Toronto Dog FountainI stopped to watch dogs and their owners enjoy a whimsical spouting fountain in Berczy Park that made me wish I still had my dogs.

St. Lawrence MarketThe St. Lawrence Market hasn’t changed though the pork chops weren’t piled sky high in the butchers’ cases like they used to be.

At the end of the week, we headed up to my sister’s cottage, which is our Grandmother’s former home. It’s next door to our parent’s place on the Manitouwabing River.

Family cottage on the Manitouwabing River View from the cottage porch Family Cottage Lawn

I had a terrific visit with parents, sisters, a brother, a great aunt, cousins, nieces, some guy named Bob and another named Phil (I think) and many friends. We spent time reminiscing, as we inevitably do, and adding to each other’s memories.

Manitouwabing River FallsWhen I was young, I didn’t appreciate the cottage like I do now. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy being there, but the drive up was torture; I got terribly car sick (still do) and it was a four-hour slog. I hated leaving my friends in the city and missing all the weekend parties (good planning my folks would say!).

Decorative Wheelhouse on the Manitouwabing RiverThese Muskoka visits take me back in time to magical summers and weekends. We were water babies and snow babies and bonfire aficionados. I treasure the memories and look forward to going back each year.

On the writing front, not many words made it to the page during my time in Ontario, but Emelynn’s next book sits at 65K. It’s coming along and I’m looking forward to getting back to it this week.

Denman Saturday Market August long weekend 2017Another note on the rebranding front: at the August long weekend’s Denman’s Saturday market, after his wife bought Awakening, her husband, Frank, told me he’d avoided my table because he thought I was peddling religious material. That’s yet another vote for rebranding!

You can pick up your Kindle copy of The Gift: Awakening with one click right here.
If eBooks aren’t for you, click on the covers below for more purchasing options.

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About JP McLean

Author of The Gift Legacy, a contemporary thriller with a twist of fantasy that will leave you believing the impossible and wary of the night sky…
This entry was posted in Book Titles, Island Life, On Writing, Pets, The Gift Legacy, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Water Babies, Snow Babies and Bonfire Aficionados

  1. Great to get an update from you – sounds like you had a fun trip. Good luck with your writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Diana Stevan says:

    How lovely to hear of your travels back east. Great photos of Toronto and Muskoka. Though we go to Toronto a lot, we haven’t been up to that beautiful part of Ontario.

    As for your writing, sometimes a break like that is absolutely what’s needed. Now that you’re back home and refreshed, you’ll just zip through those pages. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Sally Rae says:

    Sounds like you had a great trip!! I’m sure while you were away, any new ideas for Emelynn went into your notebook… even if not to ‘the page’. You sound refreshed, relaxed and ready to get back at it! Good luck and enjoy the process!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I was born in Toronto and used to make periodic trips back. The last one was for a mystery conference in 2012. And I do have vague memories of going to a cottage when I was a little girl with my familly, but I don’t remember where it was.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It sounds like you had a great trip. A break and a change is really good for writing, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christy B says:

    Glad you got to go (with that little push from your sis!). As for Toronto, it is one place I’ve always wanted to go so I enjoyed what you pointed out about it in this post. I may have to take a trip out east soon 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. gmroeder says:

    I always enjoy reading something you have written. Your memories make me homesick for summer weekends spent with friends in Manitoba. It’s funny, I hated leaving Vancouver in 1964 and moving to Winnipeg, but now I think of it as my real first Canadian hometown.

    Liked by 2 people

    • JP McLean says:

      Thanks, Giselle. Though my home has been on the west coast almost longer than I lived in Ontario, I still say I’m going “home” when I visit there. Perhaps we all have many homes, though we only live in one of them.

      Like

  8. Fantastic! It’s nice you experienced the same joy and happiness as before.
    I do not feel happy about Canadian food after visiting Latvia because we are on quite limited choice compared to what one can buy only at 1 market (I couldn’t take pictures of everything because that would mean thousands of pictures) in Latvia. Some product groups do not compare anyhow to Canadian stuff, especially dairy, bread and fish.
    I didn’t know you were from Toronto and then moved to somewhere nicer. I love old buildings, too, no shortage of them here, even more than 1000 years old.
    I wish you good luck with book sales! I do not know where people get this impression they are religious, I would also suggest they read about a book first. I suppose nobody has time to pay attention. Did you know it is not time management anymore, but attention management? How silly!
    Nice to hear your good news!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Mahesh Nair says:

    It’s a beautiful post. We miss the kind of life we once disliked. Perhaps, the growing up years are to be blamed when options are many. I’ve been to Toronto thrice. Love the city! Twenty percent of my blog posts are Toronto-specific 🙂 I particularly liked St. Lawrence Market. And I like this too “…hasn’t changed though the pork chops weren’t piled sky high in the butchers’ cases like they used to be.” You’re a keen observer. Balzac’s Coffee is right across the street from the market. Loved the coffee there. Thanks indeed for taking us back in time.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. da-AL says:

    many thanks for this visual vacay 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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