I won’t lie, the idea of an outdoor beer festival in the middle of winter did not seem appealing; I hate the cold, but this was a part of my “event-every-month-xmas-gift” and I’m trying to get as much outdoor enjoyment as I can until sock-free weather returns, so off I went.
The two year old Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival is everything I love about these kinds of events: local craft brew, food trucks and beer loving Torontonians gathered in the heart of the city to taste the latest offerings from the growing list of local beer entrepreneurs. I was surprised, not only by my own winter embrace, but by the quality of beer at this small festival. Don’t get me wrong, this is no Oregon or Vermont Beer Festival, but things are happening in our Ontario craft beer world despite the difficulties of making and selling beer here, and I, for one, think it’s pretty fantastic.
PEC has a special place in my heart because it is the first road trip we ever took together about eight years ago. Back then beautiful landscape, a charming B&B, and delicious local restaurants were all we looked for out there. We did pop into a few wineries but were horribly disappointed by the offerings. Fast forward five years, and the wine scene changed drastically, I suspect, in response to many city-transplants who saw a golden opportunity. Prince Edward County has since become one of my favourite areas to visit for incredible farm to table eats, and local award winning wines. Our most recent visit started with a fantastic Countylicious lunch at East and Main, followed by a one night stay in Bloomfield at Angéline’s Inn, a family run property with charming suites, coach houses and the newly renovated Walter Motor Inn. Saturday evening we also had an opportunity to enjoy the culinary delights of Chef Elliot and the wine wisdom of Sommelier Laura at The Hubb eatery and lounge. It was a perfect spot from where we headed out to visit, taste and buy some of the incredible wines of the area. This time around we visited Hubbs Creek Vineyard, Lighthall Vineyards, Casa Dea Estates Winery, Rosehall Run, The Old Third, and Hinterland Wine Company for their latest (& greatest) offerings. It was, indeed, just what needed to forget about the stresses of everyday life, and the horrible winter we’ve had this year.
I’ve only ever stayed at all-inclusive resorts when in the Caribbean, and while the convenience of not having to worry about food or drink might seem appealing, being locked up in one place doing the same thing every day is definitely not how I like to travel. This time down south we rented an apartment; this is how most people set up shop in Bonaire, and the fact that there are really no resorts on the island testifies to the fact that this is a place for people who like to do things (scuba, kite-board, snorkel, hike, bike, etc.). There’s something great about hitting the local supermarket to stock up your temporary home with all the food and drink you love, and if you so choose, also have the option of hitting the local restaurants and bar. This, my friends, is really the best of both worlds. All the apartments here at the Djambo open up to the centre courtyard pool & bar, which (along with an outdoor kitchen) pretty much makes this the best accommodation I’ve ever stayed at.
Yesterday I had an interesting conversation with some students. One of them said to me “I can’t wait to be actually successfully happy.” I was surprised by her statement which implied that she had never been happy and her response was “Well, of course I’ve been happy, but it’s not real happy because it’s other people’s happy. I want to make my own happy – then I’ll know that I’m successful. Right now I’m too obsessed with other people”
It’s certainly not a far fetched notion that teens over-obsess over “other people”, but it is probably an idea dismissed by most adults. However, the more I reflected on the idea of “making your own happy”, the more I realized how right this girl was.
True “successful happiness” is reached when your life is made up of things/actions/people that you sincerely want; that moment when you stop coveting the lives of others or comparing your own measures of success to other people’s, and most importantly, that moment when you stop being jealous of “other people” because your life is all you want or need.
This is indeed an incredible place to be.
I have been picking San Marzano tomatoes in very large quantities every day. My freezer is full and my neighbours are happy when I deliver a basket. These beauties will become roasted tomato sauce! It feels so great to grow our own food in our tiny Toronto garden. Now I understand my mom’s passion to do the same all these years.