Cheese Boutique

                  The Cheese Boutique is an example of a successful family business that was passed down for 3 generations! The boutique opened its doors in 1970 and since then has delivered every imaginable cheese under the sun from all over the world.  These guys really know their stuff.  Even if you are vague in your description of what you like, you know " its kind of crumbly and tangy,..." well you get the idea, the staff are all knowledgeable and they have to be! They serve local chefs who apparently come here for their ingredients, such as proscuito, foie gras? , truffles and of course.. cheese!! :P

It's also way more than just cheese here, they have prepared foods from all over the world, lavender bread..(which I've never tried, but sounds so inviting!) Who doesn't love the smell of lavender? White asparagus? There are fresh produce and candied flavoured strawberries from the local farmers.  There are tarts, pies, meat pizzas (oh so delicious!), expresso to go and just in time I noticed from the wrap around counter, the deli meat that hangs above the busy employees and not one of them are standing still for a moment!  

There's a cheese cave too! Oh did I mention, there is cheese here? No touching in here, but the staff are happy to let you in to take a peak.  Within seconds you smell the aromas of cheese filling your nostrils in every unimaginable shape and size.  It's perfect.  When you come out you will find spices, and condiments from every part of the world, and a whole section just dedicated to chocolate truffles!  

What I love about this place is the stacks of toothpicks for all of your sampling desires! Every where you turn there is a sample or two to nibble on.  There are often demos which will offer tastes of local wine and crackers to go with any kind of cheese you love.
I never spent a dime, but was so overwhelmed to take pictures that I couldn't decide anyways on what I wanted, and for some time I felt like a tourist in my own city!  Next time, I'll do my homework, so I'll be more prepared to take home more than just pictures :)
Click Here to find where they are at!

Websters Falls

 Here is a lousy picture of Websters Falls, I've seen some really nice ones, but I forgot to clean my lens   Raindrops...keep...fallin..on! :)

Here we are a 22 metres of curtain waterfalls and its by far, well..the most spectacular of the Hamilton waterfalls..This is really a 'tourist' attraction.  It's easy access and well worth it, always a year round flow, though I've been told at times better than others.  There is of course the Spencer Gorge and an amazing hike in from the tracks.  I've got some pictures somewhere from the summer that I shall post soon enough of that particular day!

Spencer Gorge in Dundas

What a gorgeous view from up top of the Spencer Gorge in Dundas. Just an abundance of fall colors.  A recent trip to Websters/ Tews Falls in Dundas brought in amazing fall colors through my camera lens as you can see.  The rain again, fell in torrents as it had been lately but that just made the whole experience all the more enchanting.

I can't believe I haven't spoken/written enough about the Spencer Gorge in Greensville.  It truly is one of the most remarkable landmarks in Ontario.  

Parking lots are off Short Road, and Fallsview Road.  There's a $10 charge for parking and this in and of itself I don't mind if I am helping the Hamilton Conservation Authority, or paying for maintenance, but if we're paying to see something like Websters Falls for example, I don't want to have to risk myself to climb over or around a fence that is put up to prevent me from seeing that which I am paying to see in the first place.  

There were plenty of us that searched for alternate ways around the stairs.  There were no obstructions, or missing steps that would warrant a fence to be put up.  In fact what I saw were people risking their lives more to get to the falls with the fence being put up.  Hopefully a reconsideration will occur on this or lower the cost of entry.  

And now back to the Wow, honestly there isn't anything like this!  

For directions and some more info: CLICK HERE

The Ganaraska Forest

How can anything be so perfect? The look, feel, smell and sounds of autumn. This is the Ganaraska Forest and it is the largest forest in Southern Ontario with hundreds of kilometres of trails.

It's also the oldest region protected under the Conservation Authorities act, formed in 1946. The watersheds throughout the forest cover a 935-square kilometre area from Wilmot creek in Clarington to east of Cobourg and from Rice Lake down to Lake Ontario.

It rained again on that day. I never remembered autumn being so cold and wet since I was a child. No matter what mood the weather is in, the colors surrounding you will always make fall the most beautiful of all seasons to me.

Missed the entrance to the forest off highway 35/115, a couple of times actually going north and coming back southbound. Be cautioned: once you see the signs of the Ganaraska Forest, you may as well slow right down because there aren't any heads-up signage, so you may very well miss the main 'tourist' entrance. In retrospect though, this allowed the findings of a more secluded entrance off of Boundary Road, a narrow dirt and gravel road. As this particular off-road entrance is forbidden to motorized vehicles, you'll have to trust your vehicle off to the side while you hike in. 

Didn't do much of a hike today, rain really fell hard at times. Took some photographs before darkness came, saw no wildlife at all around. Smelled some wood smoke nearby and heard the quiet tapping of wet rain under my feet. Like I said before, how can anything be so perfect ?

Roy Thompson Hall

Well, I finally experienced the symphony for the first time in my life.  What I saw was a uniquely beautiful geometrically charged facility with its geometrical designs and luxurious plush carpeting with layers and layers of mirrors and glass, chrome and brass.

Winding staircases everywhere with large doorways that brought you to whichever level of the stage you would be lucky enough to enter.  The pictures of the actual stage were taken when the concert was finished, as we were forbidden to take pictures (for obvious reasons) while the concert was on.

What I heard was something else!  The most eloquent balance of harmony and transparency ever before heard.  There were 3 pieces all conducted by Peter Oundjian.  The first piece was composed by Kati Agocs, a young female composer who was humbled by the experience of having the Toronto Symphony playing "Shenanigan", which sounded very exotic to me.

The second piece, composed by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor was a crowd favorite, which featured  Joyce Yang, a 26 year old pianist who has been playing since she was 4 years old!  She completely nailed it! A flawless performance.  

The third and final piece was my favorite, Modest Mussorgsky "Pictures at an Exhibition". It sounded like a soundtrack of a movie, very moving.  Although it was written over 130 years ago, it isn't too hard to see where modern day composers get their inspirations from. 

The entire duration lasted two hours, which is fine by me as I usually become restless by that time. 

lower right was the art display out the window :)
We left for the "after party" which featured a male trio playing several instruments in the lobby, which had free coffee, and entertainment.  This allowed me the opportunity for plenty of photo ops around.  You may have heard about the Nuit Blanche (sponsored again by Scotiabank), in Toronto, where artists were displaying their works, while Torontonians walked the streets all night long checking out various exhibits.   Right out front of the Roy Thompson Hall is a water feature, and looking through the glass window I thought someone was littering!  It appeared like a bicycle, several articles of clothing, a cane and a pizza box.  It wasn't until later, it was revealed that this was in fact