Day-tripping Daydreams

So based on my last post, I’ve decided to dub my quest for a personal life “Operation: Fun”.

(Yes, oh SO creative.)

In any case … After a couple of fits and stops, I’ve finally started planning my next big trip!

It’s not until September. Which isn’t that far away. But amid booking a tour and flights, that restless feeling is creeping in.

To keep the wanderlust at bay, I’d like to aim to do a couple of day trips somewhere, with friends.

It doesn’t have to be that far out of town. It could be something that lasts an afternoon. Or the better part of a day. Or – depending on the location – perhaps a jaunt with an overnight stay.

Whether it’s a hike, a play, or just exploring a town, here are some places here in Ontario that I’ve never gone (or haven’t been to in ages):

Elora and Fergus. These two little towns are number one on my list of day-trips, with a bullet.

I first heard about Elora years ago from a friend, who’d gone camping there with a boyfriend at the time (sadly, with disastrous results). But hearing the words “Elora Gorge” have always evoked an image of immense, natural beauty – even before seeing an actual picture.

Whether it’s taking up an activity in the Gorge (they’ve got ziplining!), walking around the town, or doing something nerdy like a walking tour, this might not be a bad place to visit.

(Throw in a visit to the antique market in Aberfoyle, and it could be the perfect Sunday trip!)

Kleinberg. I vaguely remember going here on a school trip as a kid – going to the Kortright Conservation Centre (now the Kortright Centre for Conservation), and visiting the McMichael Art Gallery (now – or always? – the McMichael Canadian Art Collection), and having someone point out the late Pierre Berton‘s house across from the gallery.

(I couldn’t actually see it, because of the sheer volume of trees – perhaps how Mr. Berton liked it.)

But I think I might have a different appreciation for the place, now that I’m some 25 years older. Natural landscapes! Iconic Group of Seven artwork! Cute village! And not that far of a drive away.

St. Jacob’s. I’ve ALWAYS heard about St. Jacob’s, but have never gone. In fact, the closest I think I’ve been is Elmira – but that was for a work assignment, so that doesn’t even count!

Now THIS is what I think of, when I think of “the country”. Beautiful small-town/country scenery. Yummy, fresh, homemade, home-grown food.

Also: MENNONITES.

In a world where we’re surrounded by electric cars, smartphones and tablets, seeing people driving horse-drawn buggies and wearing long dresses with bonnets, living and working alongside farmers and small-town folk, would be a refreshing change. (Not to mention, a reminder to big-city folks like myself that life is lived in all sorts of ways.)

Stratford. Forget Bieber fever. The main draw for me would be the Stratford Festival. I’ve never been to see a play. Ever. This needs to come off my bucket list. (Or would that be my “life list”?)

And although the festival is probably the biggest draw (the naming of this town surely wasn’t an accident), I’m sure there must be other things to check out while in the town.

It would be great to tool around town, take in a show, then have a nice meal somewhere. That’s not too much to ask, I don’t think.

Niagara-on-the-Lake. I was here – or nearby – several years back, on a winery tour with a small group of friends. But it would be lovely to come back and do another one (preferably, NOT the morning after a party and operating on a lack of sleep).

Actually, I’d love to find one of those tours that allow you to bike from winery to winery. Which could either be highly entertaining … or potentially hazardous, depending on who I go with, and how much they drink.

Also here: the Shaw Festival – ANOTHER festival I’ve never attended. This would be an awesome weekend getaway, in summer – OR in the fall, actually. Hmmmmm …

So many places, so many possibilities … I don’t expect to knock all of these off in one go. But it would be nice to break up the monotony of city life with the occasional city break.

We’ll see, won’t we?

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