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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Road to Muskoka


 


              My family visits Toronto Canada at least once a year.  My sister and her family lives there.  Generally, when we visit, we hang out in and around the house, with few trips to the downtown area.  We get lazy, we lose track of time.  Whatever our reasons, we don’t do a lot.  Also, when we visit, we drive. The drive feels like a necessary evil and we try to complete it with very few stops.  This year was different.  I managed to convince the other people in the car that we should savor the journey and make the best of it.  My friend had mentioned that Ellicottville NY, directly on our way, was a charming town, so that’s where we stopped.  At the Griffis Sculpture Park.  This place is literally in the middle of nowhere, but someone had a remarkable vision to scatter over 250 large sculptures along trails on 450 acres of forestland.  A sculpture candy store of sorts.  Admission is on an honor system, with a specified donation amount.  You’re instructed to place the cash in a metal box.  Oh, and that the location is under camera surveillance.  Hmm. What do you do if you’re missing a dollar or if you only have large bills, but there is no one to give you change? What is the ethical thing to do?  Just wondering. I’ve also never quite understood the concept of asking for a donation but specifying the amount.  Seems like a contradiction, but I diverge.  Anyways, the park is serenely beautiful.  The ideal place for the art enthusiast to commune with nature with minimal interruptions.  It was also a stark contrast from the crazy Toronto traffic that we dealt with shortly after we left. 
This year’s visit with my sister’s family was also different.  We got out of the house.  We rented a cottage in Severn Bridge, Muskoka – just under 2 hours and a world of difference from Toronto.  Cottage country, they call it.  Muskoka is apparently where Torontonians escape to during the summers.  The cottage, or “the lodge”, as my 6-year old niece insisted on calling it, had “a view to die for” – also her words.  It was right on the water and had every amenity that we could ask for.  We hung out, we grilled, we hung out some more, but we did break away to visit the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst and the Centennial Park Beach in Barrie.  The kids had fun.  We all had fun.  And I think there was a general consensus that this should become a family tradition.  Now for the long drive back to central Pennsylvania.  Thankfully, we’ve decided to stop at Niagara Falls on the way.





World's Largest Muskoka Chair







The cabin

View form the pier
View from back porch of Cabin

Griffis Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park



Griffis Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park

Griffis Sculpture Park

Niagara Falls, Canada

















1 comment:

  1. Very interesting read...if I were not there to experience it, (at least the Muskoka leg of it), I'd definitely want to, after reading. You captured some great pics, they really depict the glory of it all. I'm still laughing at Lain's description of "The Lodge". The plan is to start working on her essay about the Lodge tomorrow. Thanks for your brilliant idea to take us away from 'the norm'. We're all on board to do this again next year and the next and the next..

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