When my brother and I were small, the family tradition was that we would leave quite early in the morning for Goderich, then stop at the McDonalds in Stratford for breakfast. McDonalds is still there!
To help with the “are we there yet?” line of questioning, my mom taught us the order of towns that we would pass through on the way. It goes “Stratford, Seabringville, Mitchell, Seaforth, Clinton, Goderich.” I always chant that out to B in the car. :) Today we encountered quite a bit of construction on the road, so the drive up was a bit of a test of patience. Luckily, the journey is as much a part of our day as the destination. Huron County countryside is very pictoresque:
(Just to note: B was the official driver today as we took his truck; I was knitting and snapping photos and retelling the tales I ALWAYS tell about me n childhood n Goderich…ahhh!:))
So we get into Goderich and the first official stop is…
See, in the 70′s, we would go to the laundromat across the street from Culbert’s and Chris and I would get a treat AND a small BOTTLE of pop while the laundry was cookin’ up. This is the sight that greets you today upon entering:
From Culbert’s B and I must head directly to the beach. Now no joke, today was gorgeous sunshine, but it was CHIL-LY, esp on the exposed beach! We stayed on the beach just long enough for each of us to enjoy a chocolate chip donut. Holy moley, these are divine! As B says, it was worth the drive today JUST for these donuts. (And everything else in the bakery looks just as delicious, I must add).
We always leave the truck at the beach and head up the steep hill out of the beach area. The first sight is this park:
When we were children, we’d come here Sunday evenings for the highland music performances – bagpipes are my strongest memory of these times!
Next, we pass some of my favourite cottages. I love the cosy arts n craft stylings even today. Funny that my tastes remain unchanged after 30 years!
Interesting to note that while a lot of the original cottages remain, many properties now feature monster homes. It’s actually a wonderful mix of old and new on this walk.
In between the home viewing, we come to Lighthouse Park. Now I get really excited in my storytelling to B!! :) See, the tradition in childhood with this location is that once per vacation, we would stop at Kentucky Fried Chicken (it wasn’t politically incorrect to market chicken as FRIED in the ’70′s!) and pick up chicken and fries and eat a picnic supper at the lighthouse.
Chris and I luuuuuuvvvvved Lighthouse Park because we turned the nautical themed accents into a playground!
Now back to our Goderich Loop Walk….to descend, we take a gazillion stairs down, then I make B hike back up so I can count the stairs. B wishes I would remember the number from the last walk and then he wouldn’t have to “do the stairs” - it’s always a good chuckle!
Back down at the bottom, you are at the “new” beach (well, it was developed in the mid-80′s so it was the NEW BEACH for us back then) and YOU MUST ALWAYS BOYCOTT THIS BEACH! You must always beach it at the OLD and ORIGINAL part of the beach (which I will show you eventually). Now, funny enough, the NEW and BAD end of the beach is called…
Now there is a lovely boardwalk that goes from St Christopher’s back to the original end of the beach:
Back at “our” end of the beach…sadly, the original French Fry Hut no longer stands. They honestly had the best handcut, homemade french fries in the entire universe (right, Dad?!). It has been replaced with a concrete structure. The benefit, at least, is that the washrooms are super clean, super modern, and wayyy better than the old wooden, sandy ones. And the hut still sells french fries!
Another childhood play opp for Chris and me: swinging on the “ropes” and trying to step up and balance on them!
Next, we must visit the pier. The pier divides the beach from the salt mines. Today there were no big ships in port. Chris and I were always beside ourselves with joy and glee as kids if there was a big ship in…
Here I’ll insert the tale I always relate to B while we’re on the end of the pier: “it was in this location that I blew a bubble for the very first time. It was purple Bubble Yum and our family had come out here for an evening stroll.” (insert B rolling his eyes and commenting “I don’t think I’ve ever heard that one before…”) hardy har har, B!!
Usually I buy a magazine, but did not today…