Monday, September 10, 2012

Cruising the Grand

What a beautiful day to spend a few hours slowly cruising up and down a small section of the Grand River near Caledonia Ontario.   We arrived just before 11:00 a.m. and enjoyed a coffee and muffin, then viewed a video presentation of the history of the Grand River in Southwestern Ontario - from its humble beginnings in the highlands of Dufferin County to its entrance into Lake Erie, almost 300 kilometres from start to finish.    Then we were treated to a live performance from The Blazing Fiddles – an energetic and enthusiastic group, playing violins, cello and piano.  My favourite was a medley from The Sound of Music and when Edelweiss was being played it wasn’t long before a gentle undercurrent of voices from the two hundred or so folks in the room softly joined the strings’ refrain.   Fortunately the group have just released a new CD, which was later played in the car on the way home.   Take a moment to view their website and if you’re a fan of violins I'm sure you’ll enjoy their music.

Then it was time to board our vessel – The Grand River Princess. One of a fleet of three boats owned and operated by Grand River Dinner Cruises. The theme song from Gilligan’s Island greeted us.   If I remember correctly the boat was approximately sixty feet in length and about twenty two across.  We were served a full roast beef dinner and could either sit inside or enjoy the view from outside on the promenade deck.  If you’re looking for something a little different and live in or visit this part of Ontario it’s worth the drive.  And I look forward to a return trip next year.

The only downer to the day was discovering my camera was not working and most of the photos are useless.  I’d really wanted one or two to post with this blog.  Although the trees haven't yet started showing their fall colours, there were herons and even a pair of egrets to capture digitally.  Beautiful willows and other trees hanging at the river’s edge, their roots like elongated toes dipping so daintily into the water.  Mostly blue skies with a scattering of small clouds meant enjoying the warmth of the sun when sitting on the deck.  Our captain/tour guide provided commentary when needed, but mostly it was very peaceful as we drifted slowly along the river.  Now that the height of summer has passed, water traffic has diminished, but no doubt a few weeks ago it was a much noisier place.   One or two solitary fishermen dotted the shoreline at times and a Labrador retriever was enjoying a swim as his master waited on shore.

All in all a lovely start to a week’s vacation and I’ll not complain that the higher temperatures have moved on – love the cooler nights and being able to snuggle under covers while enjoying the fresh air.

On a side note, I’m finally enjoying the third instalment in the Millenium series – The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest.  And as it’s a read I’m finding hard to put down, that’s where I’m headed now. 


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