Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kincardine Beaches

We became quite familiar with the changes in the beaches south of Kincardine harbour. Let's start at a point just south of Goderich Street where we find a little grassy cove favoured by ducks and seagulls.
It's a quiet spot traversed by rivulets of run-off water through the sand.
Here we're looking towards the harbour in the distance.
The Goderich Street old-style cottages have wooden staircases leading down to  a pebble beach.
The pebbles end just at about where the grounds of Lakeview Terrace, our "home" in Kincardine, lead down to the beach.
Look! There's Peter attempting to satisfy Phinnegan's indefatigable urge to fetch.
The tracks on the sandy beaches here testify to the pleasures of a man and his dog even in the quiet mornings.
It is here that the sand dunes line the beach
and most families choose to enjoy the waters just below the Kincardine Harbour pier. For us nothing can beat that charming stroll where the beach meets Lake Huron.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kincardine cottages

I'm an early riser so one morning during our stay with John's sister and brother-in-law, I slipped out of the houselhold of sleepers and went for a walk along Goderich Street which is lined with some of the lovely old-style, small, often unwinterized cottages of Kincardine like this lovely rustic example.
Adding a piece of fantasy for the kids is this charming, playhouse across the street, The Garden Inn.
Or how about this little family compound where Larry, Pat and Enda all have their own private, tiny cottage bedrooms!
Or would you prefer a swing with a view of Lake Huron further down the sleepy, little street?
This tiny summer retreat at the end of the street features another childrens' playhouse 
and easy access to the beach.
Here we find evidence of childhood play from the day before
which is also evident with the drying beach towels on the veranda of a great 60's A-frame seen on my return along the beach.
Finally I found myself back at the opulent grounds of the modern all-season bed and breakfast of Lakeview Terrace just in time to find a rabbit crossing the lawn. It was a delightful morning stroll. Now for some coffee!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bill and John go to Town

One afternoon on Canada Day long weekend, after a delightful morning on the beach, John and I decided to take a walk through town. Kincardine is a treasure trove of Victorian architecture.
As soon as we passed the harbour, bridge and lighthouse we we arrived at the Walker House (1850), the oldest building in the town. It was built by Francis "Paddy" Walker as an inn and tavern. Now it is a museum of the heritage of the Lake Huron shoreline. It's situated at 235 Harbour St and Huron Terrace.
I love this classic "farm house" of Southern Ontario.
And how about this perfect rural Ontario front yard?
The Victorian beauties are well-maintained and on large lots.
Who can resist an Italianate belvedere, which is often called a Widow's Walk.
Some of the gardens surrounding the ladies are both opulent and delightful.

On the main street of Kincardine , Queen Street, John noticed an intriguing barber shop next to a Victorian tavern.
Soon he was sitting in the barber's chair in The Old Barbershop getting a trim. When we left, his barber reminded us that there was a parade and Scottish Festival that evening. We replied that we'd be there. "Don't forget your kilt", quipped the barber, who also directed us to the Beer Store.
Another favourite building of mine was this lovely late 1950's bungalow. In the 50's my parents  looked at lots of booklets of home designs and this would have been the result if they'd chosen one. I bet it has no basement but a utility room. So modern!
We had a great tour. So lets end in the 50's, shall we? Who could resist this classic motel situated right back at the harbour; the Harbour Motor Inn.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kincardine Dunes

Probably most people who grew up in Ontario have fond memories of the sand dunes that line the Great Lakes. John and I are no exception.
A walk along the boardwalk that edges the Kincardine sand dunes was full of nostalgia for both of us.
The rolling landscape, paths and native grasses that lead down to the beach are charming.
Look at the lovely grey-green of these grasses.
The clumps of trees help contain the sand and offer welcome shade,
although the occasional bared roots attest to the power of the shifting sands.
Fencing is used to further contain the ever-changing terrain.
Glimpses of happy families arriving at the beach along the paths reminded us of our youth. No wonder the communities like Kincardine are dedicated to preserving such natural treasures.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kincardine lighthouse

One of our favourite sights in Kincardine, on Lake Huron was its busy harbour and old lighthouse.
The first settlers at Kincardine arrived by boat, "The Fly", in 1848 led by the town fathers, Allan Cameron and William Withers. The natural port soon became a thriving centre for fishing vessels, salt shipping and passenger ferries. 
The original name, Penetangore, was changed to Kincardine in 1858 to reflect the largely Scottish population of the town and in 1881 the beautiful, wooden lighthouse was built to guide the busy, shipping traffic.
The harbour is now used exclusively for pleasure craft.
and the lighthouse has become a museum.
In the evenings in summer, visitors can hear the eerie sound of the Phantom Piper playing in the lighthouse tower.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lakeside Terrace

Bill and I spent the Canada Day long-weekend at Lakeside Terrace on the shore of Lake Huron at Kincardine, Ontario. We arrived at sunset on the Thursday night in time to catch the town's official firework display. My sister, Linda, and her husband, Peter, run the place as a bed and breakfast. This weekend was reserved for family.
The next morning we got to see the place in the light. The guest rooms are on the second floor, with their own deck. The splendid terraced lawns and gardens are only separated from the beach by a footpath. We all gathered on the ground floor, in the shade of the deck, for Linda's famous waffles.
Linda's secret waffle recipe, topped with whipped cream, fresh strawberries and blueberries. Delicous!
Ella, my niece Kim's toddler, checking out the waffles.
My brother, Tom, in the middle, with his wife, Kim and his daughter, Caitlin. That's Peter looking uncharacteristically serious on the right.
Is there anything more life-restoring than coffee in the morning? Me and Linda.
Here's a view of the enormous lawn and garden that leads down to the beach from the upper terrace.
FIFA soccer fever was running high, but not for me, ha ha! Friday, 2 July 2010, some teams were playing. Help me out here!
I was too busy watching the kids. That's Ella and her mother, Kim; on the left, Cooper, with his dad, Dave, husband of one of my other nieces, Lisa. Got that? There is nothing like two new toddlers to make a family gathering.
Only babies can make drool look good. Cooper is experiencing major teething.