The White Cottage

MY DAYS IN RETIREMENT

They’re At The Post …. They’re Off!!

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Saturday was one of those days where you didn’t know whether to commit to doing stuff or just stay home. The weather Gods couldn’t make up their minds and every now and again would spit out enough rain drops to make it miserable enough if you did want to do something. Thus we stayed close to home and took it easy. We did, however, manage to wander around the Fort Erie Racetrack for a few minutes. We wanted to check things out before heading to the track on Sunday for the Prince of Wales Stakes. As per our usual ‘wishful thinking’ we each played $5.00 in a $0.25 slot machine, won a little, lost all, but had a good laugh.

Knowing Sunday was going to be perfect we hopped on our bikes early morning and headed up the Friendship Trail to wander around the Ridgeway Festival held for two days every year. After the Fort Erie Friendship Festival is over, Ridgeway pulls out all of her stops and the shop owners, vendors, crafters and the like line along the closed-off streets. This year was even bigger than last – close to 40 classic cars on display-Firefighters’ display and BBQ – snakes and exotic birds strutting their stuff – beading, gift, antique, jewelry and crafting tents – pancake and sausage breakfast – Merry-Go-Round – kids’ jumping areas with tents for drawing and colouring-food vendors-restaurants and cafes opened – along with a little train that would take the kids for rides up and down parts of the Friendship Trail. Something for everyone and aromas that made you want to have something to eat around every corner. This is also the one Sunday of the year that some of the gift shops open up their doors and you can wander around and shop ’til your hearts’ content.

Nat and I had a great time and, as usual, I found a little handmade bag to buy. With that we wandered back up the street to watch and listen as the Thorold Pipe Band played a few great tunes, and then hopped back on our bikes for home.

Had a nice lunch sitting out on the back patio and then spruced ourselves up for the races. As we were getting ready, Claudia called to invite us over to look at Tyler’s pictures from his back-packing around Europe this past month. Sounded good to us! Then another quick call that the party was going to be at Thamazine and Daryl’s place – with food. Bonus!! Good food, family and pictures, too boot – sounded like a good idea to us!! So we’d decided to cut our trip to the Track short, watch a couple of races and then scoot into St. Catharines.

Once we arrived at the Track, we got our bearings, bought a race program and found a seat. I decided to get gutsy and make a bet across the board on the third race of the afternoon. I was close, but no cigar. My horse came in fourth just by a nose!!! Once Nat had a look at the next race, he couldn’t help himself but pick “Bent Attorney” to win, place or show in the fourth race. Being a smarty, and me having worked for lawyers, he thought it was a safe connection. I thought otherwise and placed my bet to win on another horse. They were at the post, they were off and we were at the edge of our seats – our two picks were neck-in-neck around the bend. It was exciting and exhilarating at the same time. Alas, it was Nat’s lucky day and “Bent Attorney” won, with my horse coming in second. If I had been a bit more wiser, I would have bet on my horse across the board and would have won a little something too. Nat gave a big smile, collected his winnings – all $9.00 worth – and away we went. Knowing we had a great time we both looked at each other and said “we’ll have to do this again!!“.

The evening at the Irwins’ was fun. Tyler had taken some fabulous pictures of Paris, London, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome and Berne. He and his friends certainly sounded like they had a great time, with lots of stories to tell and a life time of memories. After a good meal, a great slide show presentation and getting caught up on the family news, Nat and I were on the road again and headed for home. Tired and somewhat exhausted when we arrived home, we knew the day had been a good one.

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Author: Twila

Born and raised in a small town in Ontario, Canada, with 5 sisters and a brother. Now retired, my husband and I travel, play golf and am slowly renovating our new (old) home. After my kidney transplant in 1999, we've learned to enjoy life to the fullest. Nat and I have driven across Canada, taken an Alaskan cruise and drove home via the Northern United States. We've also been to Mexico, the Caribbean, the East Coast of Canada and Cape Breton. We've done the "Snowbird" thing, having lived in Destin, Florida for a couple of months of the year. In 2007 we changed our travel plans in order to move into and renovate our new "old" home, but hope to someday get back on the road again. We also love returning to Scotland (Nat's origin of birth) to visit his family and tour the Highlands and surrounding Isles.

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