Monday, August 01, 2005

Owen Sound in a weekend

Firstly, let me apologize to my sister Denise - you came to visit me, and all I fed you was mac and cheese, coffee, and cereal. Rachelle made me pesto pizza with blackened chicken, roasted peppers, onions and artichokes, waffles with raspberries, whipped cream and mascarpone cheese, and perogies. Clearly, I got the better visit out of a sister. Next time, I'll do better.


The drive down was fun. I was up at the ass-crack of dawn and was on the road by 6:30AM. The directions faxed to me were wonderful, and I didn't get lost once*. I drove through Collingwood (very yuppie) and Staynor (very picturesque), and up and around the Blue Mountain region (excellent skiing from what I hear). Arrived in OS by 12:30PM or so, in time to make a dish to take to her boyfriend's family reunion picnic we were going to. He was playing in a band, and was at practice. We visited, and when Joel got home, we went to the park.

The picnic was part of the Emancipation Day festivities. See, OS was a final stop on the Underground Railroad, which brought slaves out of the southern US states and into Canada. There is a memorial cairn in the park commemorating the earliest Black settlers in the area (which, incidentally, was designed by Joel's mother. Hi Bonita!) Their family is descended from those settlers, and every year they gather to celebrate by throwing a huge shindig in the park. I brought a rice dish and Rachelle made something called "Coon in the Cotton" cake (I swear to g/God, I'm not making this up - I have a picture of the recipe!) which is chocolate cake** with marshmallow icing.

I ended up being sent home at 6:30 because I was falling asleep at the picnic table. After a two hour nap, Rachelle came back and we went out for supper. If you should ever find yourself in OS, you need to eat at least one meal - probably dinner - at Norma Jean's. It was fantastic!

The next morning was extremely lazy. I don't remember the last time I slept in until 10:00AM, but I did. Breakfast was also a lazy affair, waffles and raspberries and whipped cream and mascarpone cheese and bacon and peameal bacon (also called back bacon or Canadian bacon). Gah! As we ate on the porch, Joel's various family members dropped in for a visit.

The afternoon was spent digesting breakfast and watching Team America: World Police (so bad it was funny). It was pouring rain, so I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of the downtown or do any shopping. We did get some groceries for dinner, then I had another nap, and read while Rachelle cooked the pizza. Afterwards, I did the dishes while Rachelle went to watch Joel play at a club downtown (I was whipped - all those naps wore me out!)

I must make mention of her roommate's pets, Jesse and Moses. Moses is a Himalayan cat, who is a big ball of fluffy fun. Jesse is a gorgeous Chesapeake Bay Retriever, who smiles - imagine a dog pulling its lips back from the top teeth, sort of like it's snarling, then putting its head in your lap as if to ask you to rub its ears. She scared a few people with this unique trait over the weekend.

The trip back was eventful. I got completely lost on my way home, and ended up having to backtrack halfway back to OS from Thornbury***. There was an idiot in a grey Honda tailgating and recklessly passing everyone. In my relentless pursuit of Dairy Queen****, I found out that there is more to Barrie than strip malls, big box stores, and the desire to be a suburb or Toronto. Four idiots, two with trailers, passing and cutting each other off on the highway past Parry Sound, where it goes from a divided, four-lane highway to a two-and-three lane undivided highway. I stayed WELL back from them.

And now my long weekend is over. *sob* Only three more weeks until my next vacation!

*Wait, that's a lie. I did get lost in downtown OS, but that was my fault.
**Which, contains, among other things, a mashed potato. I can't make these things up, people!
***It's kind of far.
****It's sort of a family custom to get DQ after dropping Rachelle off/leaving her somewhere. I'm not sure how it started, or if there are other customs associated with Denise or I.