Knock but don't leave a mark!
If you have nothing better to do... look up and find out who or what is knocking!
This is a pileated woodpecker having quite a time with an oak tree (obviously pretty dead) at my parents. He/she had no qualms about continuing to drill the tree while I took pictures.
Skating at City Hall
On a crisp winter day, take your skates to City Hall and go skating. Sometimes, skaters from the Mariposa Skating Club, or some of the other figure skating clubs will perform, allowing you to see the local talent, or some of the up and coming international skaters who are training in Barrie. Warm clothes, but not too warm that when you get moving you don't feel too uncomfortable. Ice skates properly fastened, and mitts or gloves. A hat is a good idea too, to keep from losing too much body heat.
Explore Horseshoe Valley
We did lots of hiking and trekking in the Valley. The valley is home to many resorts, several golf courses, lakes, antique, art and craft and pottery stores, usually home based and depicting local culture. The Valley is located some 30 Kms north of Barrie, which is sort of capital of Huronia region. Barrie, a city of 100,000, is located about 150 kms north of Toronto.
Quality Food, Exceptional Service at a Price
Garraway's is one of the really fine dining experiences in Barrie, if not THE top restaurant. Prices reflect that, but the quality of the food, its presentation, and the calibre of the staff explain why Garraway's is fine dining.
The music, and decor both add to the ambiance of the restaurant. The blinds keep the vehicular lights from glaring into the restaurant, and the pedestrian traffic from intruding. Perhaps the negative things are the location - right on a high traffic intersection, downtown, without a lot of parking, and a pretty narrow stairway and entrance (of only a couple of steps, but still dangerous in the winter). The breads and spread are lovely - on my visit it was an apple bread, and a spinach/cream cheese spread.
My father had a ceasar salad, but it was presented like no salad I'd ever seen before - it was the lettuce leaves standing on end, wrapped around with a thin strip of, I think, parmesan cheese, and a bit of dressing drizzled over it. It took a little work to figure out how to best get into it.
I had the steak, and it was so tender that it could've been cut with a fork. I had it cooked medium and it was on the rare side, but still delicious. Served with delicious carmelized onions, crispy green beans, and lovely scalloped potatoes that had been compressed in a mold. Absolutely delicious. The sauces were a delight to the taste-buds.
The tenderloin beef looked equally good - perhaps medium rare was a little too rare for my liking. The pork chops were huge and served with a sweet potato puree.
I had the green apple creme brulee for dessert, served with 2 small cheddar cheese shortbreads. The Creme Brulee was served in a fairly shallow star shaped dish, and that made it a little too shallow, and overpowered by the sugar. Just did not get enough apple flavour out of it. The shortbreads were lovely.
Pedal boating in the canalways
We could have taken our canoe all the way to Lagoon City, but we did not thinking that it is late fall and that it would be quite cold and windy there. We were correct for the most part. However, we had two days when the weather allowed us to do some sailing / boating. But now we could not find any place to rent the boats. The Harbor Inn receptionists offered us pedal boats, which we gladly accepted.
We had two boats and we decided to slowly explore the canals around the Harbor. The vantage point offered new views of Lagoon City and its cottages. We observed lot of construction going on and wished that we had a cottage of our own.
We decided to be here in summer and take our canoe along.