Over 10 days in Collingwood, north of Toronto, we’ve seen temperatures ranging from +25 degrees to -1. First we spent Canadian Thanksgiving weekend with Gill (Nick’s sister-in-law), Al and Adam in glorious late summer heat. The foliage had turned and was beautifully set off by blue skies. The following weekend we got an early taste of winter when we stayed with Gillian and Kevin (an old colleague of Nick’s) in their cottage. As most of you will know, we plan to follow summer and avoid the cold so to see snow without having to wait for the middle of winter was an unexpected delight…
When we landed in Toronto it was wet and drizzly which is pretty standard for mid October. The next day we took the bus to Collingwood and spent the next 4 days being spoilt! After 3 weeks of staying in cheap motels and eating lots of burgers and Mexican food it was amazing to be staying in a lovely family home. Adam, Gill and Adam’s son had come back from travelling around Europe and Asia for 4 months, only 2 days earlier and it’s hard to describe how much we enjoyed being welcomed into this family celebration.
Gill teaches cooking so the meals qualify as professional home cooking and we ate way too much. Friends came over for Thanksgiving turkey with stuffing and all the trimmings on the Sunday and by then it was warm enough to sit outside for a drink before dinner. Instead of pumpkin pie, we had pumpkin pancakes for breakfast. We’ve added the recipe to our travelling collection as they were yummy.
On the Monday we drove up to Parry Sound further north for a 3 hour cruise of the archipelago. It was 25 degrees in the sun so it was the perfect day to sail around some of the 3000 islands dotted around the pristine lake. The autumn colours were just stunning.
I had hoped to see a moose or a bear but beggars can’t be choosers so when I saw a monkey on a bicycle (thanksgiving decoration?) I was delighted!
Collingwood is perfectly located for an outdoor lifestyle. In winter everybody goes skiing, snowshoeing and ice fishing on the lake and in summer there is boating and swimming or, for the brave, downhill mountain biking on the ski slopes. Gill and Al moved from Toronto 7 years ago and by chance Gillian and Kevin are planning to do the same in the next couple of years and already spend most weekends here.
After a few days in Toronto with Gillian and Kevin, we set off for another weekend in Collingwood. It was a lot colder than the previous weekend and on Saturday it was like we entered the Narnia wardrobe into another world (thanks Vera for this analogy). Suddenly it was snowing and the colourful trees looked like they had been frosted. It was just magical.
By Sunday morning it really was a winter wonderland. But nothing was gonna stop Kevin from cooking up a storm for breakfast.
I went with Gillian to explore The Village where most ski tourists base themselves. The ski slopes in the background looked ready for action from the distance.
So in one week we experienced an unusually hot day on the Monday and seasonally early snow on the Saturday. It was like Canada really wanted us to get the full experience! Now that we’ve had our taste of winter we are looking forward to flying to Cancun on Monday.
We will miss the comforts and company in Collingwood. Thank you so much to Gill & Al and Gillian & Kevin for showing us such a good time!! And a special thanks from Nick for patiently teaching him the rules of Baseball and Rugby Union!