Summer Recap

Living on a farm with animals, property, gardens, a pool, and grounds to maintain makes for a rare opportunity to take a vacation.  This year the opportunity arose for us to get away from our farm for a week stay in Long Beach, Canada in the beginning of the summer and at the end of the summer, countless boat trips on the Niagara River and Lake Erie, days and days spent at our local County Fair, and a few “date” nights for me and the man of the house.

This was made possible by my niece being back in the area as she is more than capable of handling all of our animal and farm work.  Couple her with my 72 year old mother who can care for the pool, gardens, and dog and we were able to have some much NEEDED family time away from the house.

I won’t bore you with hundreds of pictures and tons of details….ok…maybe a few.  We kicked off our summer right after the Fourth of July weekend by heading to Long Beach in Wainfleet, Canada.

 

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Our beach spot 

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This is a beach area and that is it.  There is literally nothing but a beautiful beach, one restaurant, a local marine shop that serves only the catch of the day fresh out of the lake, and a cute little putt-putt course.

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We treasure this area in Canada as the man and I both had spent time there when we were kids with our own parents/family. We first rented here in 2006 when our children were very young.  The cottage we rented is directly on the beach in a very private family owned area.  The family has owned the property and cottages for generations.  The picture below is of the main house built in the 1800’s.  You can see the house hasn’t been lived in or taken care of for years, but the granddaughter of the original owners (who is in her 80’s) has decided she is going to refurbish it.  I so want to be a part of that project!!!!  I did ask her if she would save the door (yes the partially boarded up white one on the second floor) for me.  She said she would.  I LOVE that historic piece!

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This is our cute cottage we stayed in while there in July.  There is no WiFi, there is no TV, there is no telephone.  But it is full of special family memories we created that will last a life time!

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We enjoyed our stay so much we rented the cottage next door to it (which was the one we stayed in in 2006) for the end of August.  This trip was extra special as we were able to celebrate the boys 11th birthday with some friends and family and we let the kids each have a friend stay with us for a few days and rented jet skis.  Even my niece and mother came for a few visits as this little paradise is only a 35 minute drive from our house.

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Here are a few pictures of our Island hopping on our boat and our local county fair.

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A big thank you to my niece, Brittany, and to my mother for the wonderful gift of “getting away” they provided for us this summer!!

Niagara Falls

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We live 15 minutes away from Niagara Falls.  Here are some pictures of what it looks like right now with the pictures from last spring.  The first set of pictures is the Falls.

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The second set is a picture of the rapids leading up to the Falls.

It’s an amazing sight to see so I wanted to share it.  You can find more pictures on our local news stations page

here:  Niagara Falls Frozen

Historic 19th century village

post office  Read about the Brooks Grove Post Office

THIS PLACE IS AWESOME!!!  IT’S AN ACTUAL WORKING/LIVING VILLAGE!!

In June my daughters class took a field trip to the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

I have to get this out now….I should live in this village!!!  This is the way/time/era I should have been born in for sure!!

This little village is an actual working village.  Volunteers live there or close by year round and the village works as far as growing food (all sorts of food) animals, actual 19th century kitchens being cooked in every day, the only 19th century brewery still brewing beer from their homegrown hops and barley, etc.  Women dressed in clothing from a long ago time are spinning wool, sewing, cleaning, gathering eggs and making stone ground bread from wheat grown in the village.  The food is picked up a few times a day and sent to a local military base.  They also have a restaurant that serves the food grown, butchered, and prepared here.  You can enjoy that with a homemade mug of beer.

These buildings had been carefully moved here to restore and protect them.  Most of these are the original structures!!  I attached some links and you may have to scroll down to find the history but it’s worth the minute to scroll!

I was so in awe, I barely took any pictures.  But you can read about each building and see the pictures of them here

 

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punishment lol Read about the School House

The first building we entered was the school.  My daughter is tall and could barely fit in the seats.  There was an old school teacher who held a “class” for a few minutes.  The building was so neat with a wood burner right in the middle for warmth and the boys were asked to bring in a piece of wood.  He chose my daughter to give an example of how children who were unruly were disciplined.  They had to stand in the front of the class and put their nose on a dot on the chalkboard for long periods of time.

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Next up we visited the Drug Store.  This is all the girls in her class.

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We visited the mercantile store.  My heart was racing in this building.  I would gladly have this whole wall in my kitchen!!

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Next up was John MacKay’s home.  You could feel the history in this house and the housekeeper was so helpful in touring the girls around and sharing the story of this wonderful family from long ago.

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A quick stop at St. Feehans Roman Catholic Church.  Not as colorful as churches today but I liked the simplicity of the church.

cool  The Hamilton House built in 1870.

I had to force myself to leave this house.  This could/should be my home.  This house was built after the house we currently live in.  The main part of our house was built in 1838.  But I really liked, ok LOVED, everything in this house.  This building is so grand, elegant, country, and historic.  I could feel the history of this house all around me.  It was fascinating to find out this was an Italian inspired house.  Being Sicilian, maybe that is why I loved it.

This Village is an hour away from where we live.  We were only there for a few hours but I am taking the kids back in a few weeks as you need an entire day to tour this village and talk to all the volunteers (and some paid) staff.

If you are ever coming to this area,  Niagara Falls, Toronto, Syracuse, Rochester or New York City, this is a must see attraction!!

Clouds, Canada and Niagara Falls

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I have a friend in town who currently resides in Florida (he grew up on the Island) and he is visiting Niagara Falls today.  He took this stunning photo of the beautiful sky, mist and the falls from the American side.  Growing up 15 minutes away from this location, each time you visit Niagara Falls the beauty is still awe inspiring!!