Monday, September 7, 2015

At the Wakefield Mill, Gatineau

 When John and I attended the wedding of his nephew James to Casey McLeod in the Gatineau Hills
 James' parents Tom and Kim put us up at the Wakefield Mill Inn in La Pêche, Québec.
The Wakefield Inn, the former Wakefield Grist Mill, is beautifully situated on a tributary to the Gatineau River, with a bridged dam, a lovely waterfall and lots of woodland and paths to discover.
Part of the Wakefield complex of guest rooms and conference rooms, is the old MacLaren House. The MacLaren family originally owned the grist mill.
When John and I and his brother-in-law Peter arrived the first day we headed down to the little village of La Pêche to dine at the Mouton Noir (Black Sheep) Tavern.
Happily John's older brother Ron and his wife, Betty, also arrived and joined us for dinner, jokes and toasts.
At the Mill we easily settled into our room.
The view from our window was of the Gatineau  Forest looming above the main road parking spaces.
The next morning we wandered down the grounds that follow the mill stream.
Pairs of Muskoka chairs offer quiet spaces of contemplation.
This is the pair of chairs right beside the stream where we chose to chat
and read our books.
With a charming view of the stream.
On the morning after the wedding, the groom's parents joined us for a wonderful brunch with almost too many delicious offerings. Our delightful driver, John's brother-in-law, Peter Reynen, needed lots of grub to sustain him for our ride back to Toronto and then on to Kincardine for Peter.
Peter and his GPS guided us back through Ottawa to the #401 highway
and in a few hours Toronto appeared in the distance. What a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Walk in the Gatineau Hills

The road beyond the Wakefield Mill splits in two at the dam.
Both directions are rewarding dead ends -- one going to the old cemetery, the other into the Gatineau Hills.
 John and I chose the road along the river
 and eventually came to the entrance to a nature trail into Gatineau Park.
 We both love woodland floors.
 John seemed to concentrate on the anthropomorphic qualities of the trees.
 whilst I shot the ferns and flowers
 like this clump of golden rod thriving in a clearing.
 Eventually we headed back to the service road
 with its ditches full of wildflowers
 and berry-laden shrubs.
There is nothing so restorative as a walk in the woods.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Madsen Hangs Some Shelves

We invited friend and local factotum Zack Madsen to hang some shelves for us tonight.
 Zack declined Bill's offer of help.
 The wooden shelves we'd bought from IKEA went up quickly.
Masden put them fourteen inches apart for our collection of 70's and 80's vinyl albums. 
We're so happy with the results.
Then we relaxed on the balcony. We could admire our fabulous new shelves.
Thanks, Zack Madsen. (Contact info available.)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Wedding in the Gatineau Hills

Last weekend, on a perfect summer day, a chartered bus picked up a group of guests at the Wakefield Mill, Quebec
It took them to Le Belvédère, a breathtaking wedding venue at the top of one of the Gatineau Hills. Bill and I were among the lucky guests. We were there to celebrate the wedding of my nephew James to Casey, a charming and capable young woman. Not to mention beautiful.
 We walked to the belvedere from the large parking lot. 
 In a masterstroke of hospitality guests were greeted by waiters with glasses of ice water. It was a steamy day.
From left, my eldest brother Ron, me and my brother-in-law, Peter.
My brother Tom and his wife Kim -- the parents of the groom. 
My great nephew and niece, Jakob and Ella. 
We were surrounded by the magnificent scenery of Gatineau Park.
The bridesmaids arrived first. 
The groomsmen relaxing after the ceremony.
The wedding is called to attention. 
 And a new partnership is brought among us.
 From left, Bill, Peter, me.
 Bill and I found our names at the beautiful table.
The wedding party made a charmingly splashy entrance. Great dj. 
 Casey and her bridesmaids.
James and Casey at the head table.
 That's Kim in the middle with Tom on the right. Kim's brother Kevin on the left.
As dusk fell James and Casey patiently posed for their official photographer.
Ella and her dad Richard made a new friend, Denver, while roasting marshmallows around the campfire.
Then we went back inside for the speeches.
 Casey the bride led the dancing which got more and more sensational.
We cleared the floor for one of the youngest members of the party, Ella's new friend, Denver, breakdancing.
When the dancers' heads started to light up, we decided it was time to go.
Our chariot awaited to take us home for the night.