I must say, when I saw the booking for Amherst Island coming up, I got quite excited to make the concert date the centre of a small vacation for Scott and myself. It is a 6 hr. drive from Owen Sound so we started out for Kingston the day before the concert and enjoyed a fabulous meal at Aqua Terra, Kingston’s best restaurant, according to Tripadvisor. The next day, we headed for the Amherst Island ferry, about 20 km. west of Kingston. The plan was to meet everyone at the ferry for 1:30 and head over to meet our presenter, Ms. Bev Harris. But of course, that is not even close to what happened. Al called that he had been playing in Picton the night before and caught the 10:30 AM ferry to Amherst. Richard called later to say he was on the 401, engine off and in Park, due to the temporary closure of the 401 (he was coming from Toronto). Stuart and Wendy (his wife) were coming from their Forest Festival location in Haliburton, ON. www.theforestfestival.com.
Wendy, Stuart, Scott and I made the ferry over to the island. We stayed at The Lodge on Amherst Island, a restored large home on 2.5 acres owned by a Toronto real estate agent. It was lovely, clean, good food and charming. Our rehearsal was delayed to 4pm at which point Richard managed to wait out the closure and finally catch the 3:30 ferry. Al, Scott, Stuart and I managed to enjoy a short rehearsal senza a trumpet player and a short drive around part of the island. The concert went very well given in a lovely old church that held about 150 people. We attracted guests from Kingston and area. The concert series is a hard-won, established series, driven in the first 20 years by Bev Harris’s husband. It now continues to thrive with Bev’s capable leadership and organizational powers. The community met for a wonderful reception, banquet really, at a gorgeous home on the lake. Many highly educated residents and visitors attended including, Harold Redekopp, past Veep of the CBC. We wined and dined until the last ferry launched at 1am and then Richard got to drive back to Toronto in time to drive to Niagara on the Lake, baby on board, where his wife Chris Passmore had a show at 2pm.. Stuart and Wendy were visiting Gary Pattison’s charming shop in Coe Hill, ON www.oldehastingsgallery.ca. AND Al, typically, was running around the province performing: first at Pearson Airport with Bob DeAngelis that night and then back to Picton for a performance at the jazz festival there the following night. He is definitely the energizer bunny of the trombone.
Scott and I drove back to Owen Sound with a short lunch stop in Cobourg to visit our COC 4th horn and the latest addition to the tenor horn section of Hannaford Silver Street Band, Janet Anderson and her brood of boys (one big and 2 small ones). They are heading off to the National Music Camp next week.
En route to Owen Sound off Hwy. 10 in Caledon, through a tip from tuba player Ian Feenstra, we found the Spirit Tree Cidery where they serve fresh, oven-baked pizza on Fridays. It was fabulous along with purchases of fresh bread and pastries, a detailed map of the Bruce Peninsula hiking guide and fresh apple cider! All in all, a great mini vacation.