Friday, September 29, 2023

Castle Cafe

  Linking up with Marg at The Intrepid Reader

September 2023 - Haliburton ON

September 2023 - Haliburton ON

Saturday we packed up for a week up north at a timeshare resort in Haliburton. We filled up a grocery cart with our stuff and then found out only 1 of our 3 elevators were working! It took fifteen minutes before we could get on. It wouldn't have been an issue without the grocery cart.
We were on the road by 11:30.

Haliburton is a county of Ontario, known as a tourist and cottage area in Central Ontario for its scenery and for its resident artists. Minden Hills is the county seat.

It was a beautiful autumn day with temperatures reaching 22C or 72F. It was about a 3 hour drive.

The GPS brought us in on a rambling crooked road that you wouldn't want to drive at night. Luckily, there is a better road to the resort.

Once we settled into our studio around 3:30 we sat outside and read/watched the Blue Jays.

This was definitely a week of sleeping in, eating out, lazing about and just relaxing.

Sunday we lazed about and headed out at noon to check out the town of Haliburton.

We found a nice pub, McKeck's and decided to eat inside although it was nice out. We didn't take any photos! We had a couple of beers, Glutenberg (GF) for John and I tried a local Greenwood IPA.
Fish and chips for me and a Reuben's for John on gluten free bread.

Back to the resort and John took a walk.

Monday we went into Haliburton for lunch, most places were closed so we went back to McKeck's.

Gluten free beer!

Love this glass!

We thought we would go to the Haliburton Sculpture Forest, an outdoor not for profit collection of sculptures open to the public 24/7. 

The sculptures are outside behind this building that is the Fleming School of Art and Design.

Kennisis: Horse and Rider represents the history of equestrian transportation depicting a North American aboriginal rider as one with the horse in mind and muscle.

However, it had gotten a little cool and we were wearing flip flops so decided to come back another day, dressed properly.

Click here for Tuesday Signs.
We went back to the Sculpture Forest. Click here to see lots more sculptures!!

I was walking back to the car and was startled by a white tail deer! No photo...

We checked out the location of the golf course for tomorrow and then went into town for lunch.

The food was average. They did do gluten free fish but it was such a small piece. My steak tacos were good, lukewarm, but too much sauce.

Wednesday John played Haliburton Highlands, a nine-hole golf course. John also saw some deer on the course.

He was back around 12:30 and we drove into Minden for a late lunch.

Minden was established in 1858 by a group of settlers from Germany. It was named after the town of Minden in Germany. The town was incorporated in 1874 and became a village in 1889.

The Dominion Hotel is the oldest (circa 1865) operating hotel in Haliburton County, and one of the oldest operating hotels in Ontario.
Lunch spot.

Famous for their liver and onions. John had gluten free spicy chicken pineapple bowl.

Their Dominion 1865 lager.

A quick walk around town. Gull River.

Thursday we headed out to Orillia. We took the blue route there and the grey one back.

To put us in the mood I had bought a CD (!!!??!!) of Gordon Lightfoot to play in the car.

Orillia remains an important stop on the Trent-Severn Waterway. The summer home of famed Canadian humorist, Stephen Leacock, is now a National Historic Site. Orillia is also known as the birthplace of Gordon Lightfoot.

First stop was the Opera House.
Canada’s troubadour, singer-songwriter, and international folk legend, Gordon Lightfoot once called Orillia home and never forgot those humble beginnings. Lightfoot often returned to Orillia to perform at the Mariposa Folk Festival, Orillia Opera House, community events and fundraisers, or just to stop by for a visit.
In his youth, Lightfoot started out performing in church choirs, then in a barbershop quartet called “The Teentimers” during his time at ODCVI, and then as the local duo “The Two Tones” with Terry Whelan. The Orillia Opera House stage was one of his first performance venues, and one he would return to many times in his illustrious career. 

In October 1997, the venue’s large auditorium was renamed the Gordon Lightfoot Auditorium to commemorate “Orillia’s most famous son”. Five years later, he was set to perform at the Orillia Opera House in 2002 when he suffered from a life-threatening aneurysm. After a miraculous recovery, Lightfoot would go on to perform again at the Opera House and in 2017 a bronze bust sculpture, by world-renowned portrait sculpture Gino Cavicchioli, was erected outside the entrance of the Orillia Opera House.

Street art is everywhere in downtown Orillia.

We came across an assortment of painted chairs.


We had a late lunch at Fin's which had gluten free fish and chips. John's GF fish was made from scratch and was really good. Mine, however, I think was frozen and the coating felt rather gluey.
We also stopped at a gluten free bakery and picked up lemon squares and carrot cake.

In 2021 the Mariposa Music Festival was cancelled due to Covid. But Streets Alive went ahead with their installation of hippie vans.


Soon after Gordon Lightfoot passed away on May 1, Streets Alive founder Leslie Fournier came up with the idea to honour the local artist and musician through this summer's Streets Alive community art project. 60 guitars made from coroplast and wood can be found attached to downtown street poles.

Artist: Mickaela Baker
Inspiration for the design: “I was inspired by Gordon Lightfoot's songs that reminded me of summer, the feeling of calmness, fun and nature! I started with the sun and let the painting take me from there.”

Orillia is a great little town and there is a lot that we didn't get to see.

Friday we were super lazy and lounged around. We did have to pack up as check out is 10 AM tomorrow.

My view as I was reading.

John's shots.


Definitely not our usual fare but suited us!

Saturday cheeses and crackers

Sunday lunch McKeck's Reuben and fish and chips
cheeses and crackers

Monday lunch McKeck's onion soup and wings and fries
cheese and crackers

Tuesday lunch Hook Line and Sinker GF fish and chips and steak tacos
potato chip sandwich

Wednesday lunch Minden liver and onions and spicy chicken bowl

Thursday lunch Orillia gf fish and chips
gluten free lemon square and carrot cake

Friday lunch tuna sandwiches
cheeses and crackers


We have been watching our own TV through our laptops as the TV selection in the resort is mediocre. With our laptops we have access to our Netflix, Prime and TV apps.
We finished Mad Men, and we both were deflated with the ending, it was took neatly packaged up and finished with a bow.
We started watching Billions The Final Season, and are so glad to have Damien Lewis back.

We watched Who is Erin Carter? and really enjoyed it. 


It's been a good week of vacation reading.

The Prisoner the story line is less than credible but being a nerd, I loved the idea of a ransom/contract of a pound/dollar a day, doubled every day for 31 days. 
I didn't care for the main character, no one can be that naive. As I said, vacation reading.

The Last Party I enjoyed the two detectives and look forward to seeing them in another book. The story was a little convoluted with many characters but still a good vacation read.

Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six I feel like I have seen this as a movie. It is a pretty predictable story but entertaining. Although seriously, pulling all those threads together into a viable plot, nope.

The Fifth Letter talk about drama!! 

Under My Skin, I'm not sure about this one, I'm not getting into it yet.