“Exploring ~ Spotlighting ONTARIO Communities and Events Since 2007″

Winter Wonderland

Come and Gone!

January has come and gone. Spring is just around the corner. So far, here in the Blue Mountains, winter has not been too harsh. I know that the skiers and snowboarders would like to see more snow and if past seasons are any indication, more is likely to come. Up here, in the “The Mountains”, snow and ice can be very beautiful! The photos included in this newsletter, tell the story!  We only hope that the middle of February will be a little clearer. On February 16th, heading to Toronto to attend and exhibit at this year’s Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies annual convention. We’ve attended the convention before, and this year it will be a lot of fun. I’ll tell you more at the bottom of this newsletter.

In the meantime, Judi and I have been busy over the holidays updating our websites and apps and have been planning for the new year. We look forward to what’s to come! Hopefully, we’ll see you along the roads.



Article by Gary McWilliams (aka Festival Nomad               Original Artwork by K.C. (Susan) Caron

For several years now, Scoop (Judi) and I have been traveling throughout Ontario.

The towns and villages are certainly interesting, but I think our favourite journeys include drives through Ontario’scountry roads”.

There is something calming about traveling down a “tree-lined” country line or stopping by a secluded pond or lake.

It’s funny, but seasons don’t seem to matter. Each season has its own “calming” effect.

Consider each season…

  • Snow gently falling on my face in the Winter, as I make “Snow Angels
  • Fall winds sweeping through a forest of trees, making their colourful leaves “dance
  • Birds “singing” in the Spring, as they raise and feed their hungry babies
  • Sitting” on a bench by the lake, while the Summer sun warms me

I can remember a time, at my parents’ cottage, when I would sit on our screened in porch, waiting for a far off “thunder storm” to cross the lake and reach our cottage. As the storm “raced” towards me, I would wait, with anticipation, as the storm “hurled lightningthrough the sky and then followed it with a frightening “clatter of thunder”. As each “lightning and thunder” strike closed their gap, I knew the storm was above me! Many people are “frightened” by these types of storms, but, they seem to have a “calming effect” on me.

Here are some other things that I find “calming”, perhaps you do too –

  • Fluffy clouds floating by
  • Waves rolling onto the shore
  • Sitting on a bench, people watching
  • Walking through a quiet park on an early “misty” morning
  • Wind blowing through a grain field, causing a waving affect
  • Birds flying high in the sky, as they catch air currents
  • A stroll through a forest on a secluded path

Whatever “calms” you, I hope that you find them often!

Happy “Serenity”!


Winter Snow and Ice…

As we drive around rural Ontario, during the winter months, we marvel at the beauty of the countryside: frozen lakes glistening in the winter sun; flowing rivers, winding their way through freshly fallen snow; frozen waterfalls with icicles hanging in what looks like “midair”; and, children playing in mounds of snow, making snow angles and snowmen!

Winter is a time to play and a time to marvel! Have fun!

Ontario Community Spotlight ~ Neustadt

By JudiScoopMcWilliams

The “Nomad and have driven many serendipitous routes through Ontario. It always excites me when we discover a new and interesting community! This happened one day when we were exploring the “roads” of Grey County!

We were driving through this small community’s downtown when I asked the Nomad to stop. We were driving through this small community’s downtown when I asked the Nomad to stop. I had to get out to take a closer look. I wanted to look inside. The sign on the door said “OPEN “. I tired to go in, but the store was “CLOSED “! What a disappointment! In fact, the whole downtown was “closed “! I suggested to Gary that we should try coming back another day when the shops would be open.

A few weeks later we tried our luck again. You won’t believe this, but the antique shop was “closed “! Fortunately, the rest of the downtown was open, so we decided to take a look around. Neustadt is an historic village that was founded in 1856. In 2000, Harrowsmith Magazine “named Neustadt one of Canada’s ten prettiest villages “. One fact that the “Nomad” found interesting (he’s older than me!), was that our 13th Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, was born in Neustadt. All that being said, we decided to explore the downtown shops. The first shop we went into was the “Neustadt Vendors Mini Market “. Inside we were greeted by a couple of friendly vendors who were displaying their goods. They gave us a “run down” of what they were selling. Across the street was Granny’s General Store. Outside the store there were displays of plants and vegetables. Inside the store the “aroma” of baked “goodies” filled the air! After purchasing some “goodies “ for the trip home, we decided to go “uphill” to see what was there. On the “hill” we found the Neustadt Springs Brewery. Who knew that Neustadt would have an “award winning” brewery! Further up the “hill” was the Neustadt Lions Community Park. A beautiful spring ran beside the park. After all this, we decided, with our bag of “goodies“, to take the long journey back home.

Who knows, we might find another “One of Canada’s Pretties Little Towns” along the way!

OAAS Convention Fun!

As I mentioned at the top of the month’s INSIDER newsletter, we are off to Toronto to attend and exhibit at this year’s Ontario Association of Agricultural Societies.

Last year, we were given a “Green Screen” display. During the year we had a lot of fun creating “interesting” photos and videos. To add interest and fun to our booth, we are offering each Society and their attending members to take group “Green Screen photos. They can then choose where they “really” went for the OAAS Convention! ParisLondonChina… the Pyramids… who knows where?

After the convention we’ll send them a poster of their “trip”, so that they can “brag” to their fellow society members who didn’t attend the convention!

It’s all in good fun, we are calling it, “SHOW THEM WHERE YOU REALLY WERE!

Winter Wonderland