New Experience #22: Spend the Day in Goderich, My Byself

Yesterday, I found myself with a clean slate of a day in front of me. There was no question as to what I wanted to do: go to Goderich. With clear and sunny skies and the temp over 30 degrees C, there’d be no better day to head up to my favourite beach town!

As you already know, I have many happy childhood memories of time spent at my grandparents’ trailer, then cottage in Goderich. There was a hiatus during my late teens/20’s when I didn’t get up to Goderich at all, and now the past few years, we make the effort to spend a day in “Canada’s prettiest town,” annually. (You can read about last year’s successful trip here, then an unsuccessful visit here).

I’ve never spent time in Goderich on my own! But, the idea of a solo excursion didn’t faze me. With all my travel experiences in Florida last year (a year ago today, July 20th, I was in Naples!), a day trip is nothing, man!

I was in the car by 9 a.m.:

i felt like wearing my sunglasses! these are the "kiki harharwoods." seinfeld fans will get the reference

Goderich is a 90 minute drive (that’s a JOKE, Dad!!) about 1h 45 minutes by car from Waterloo. It’s a peaceful, scenic, slow drive through farmland and small towns. I R E L A X-ed.

The beach was not at all busy when I got down there. I set up shop:

the essentials: globe and mail newspaper; chic lit fiction; x-word puzzle book; sunscreen (yes, mom, i wore it!)

of course i had my knitting! just made sure not to get sand in the yarn!


view from my towel

Normally, Goderich is a fair bit cooler than Waterloo, with a refreshing breeze coming right off Lake Huron. Not yesterday! It was stifling a real scorcher, even at the water’s edge.

This year, I did not complete the traditional Loop Walk, as per usual. Time to switch things up. Besides, I wanted to show you the Goderich Bandshell!

at the top of the hill, from the beach, you'll find harbour park (not very clear on the sign, there)...

tranquil and cool

the bandshell!

(Now that I’ve seen them both, recently, I must say the Waterloo Bandshell is cuter!).

i had to check up on my favourite cottage - circa 1913, according to the front plaque!

The Lighthouse is right across the way!

there were no trees AT ALL when i was a young 'un...


I wanted a self-portrait with the lighthouse in the background:

attempt #1...

effort #2...

try #3...

…and after 400 more snaps several more photos, I gave up.

Back down at the waterside, there was a ship in the harbour today!

a sighting like this always made us very excited, when we were little!

looking up at the lighthouse from the pier

I consumed absolutely nothing with any nutritional value whatsoever, at the beach:

you have to drive right by to get to the beach!

miss vicki swears by the cream puffs; i love the glazed donuts. had to have two. (choco chip won the taste test).

i was feeling for fresh fish 'n' chips!

hot from the fryer, enjoyed on the pier...

a pop is a must on the beach. that's just the way it is.

Man, it all tasted so good.

In the afternoon, the beach filled up with people. I situated myself so I could eavesdrop on conversations – love that. It was too hot to walk across the sand in bare feet!

I ventured into the water. At first dip, YIKES! freezing! Soon, it felt very nice.

so calm and clear!

the extent of my *swimming;* you can bet i was clutching my camera with both hands!

I ended my day downtown. Goderich centre is set up like a “big wheel” – there’s a one-way circular road:

..with streets that are "spokes" coming off the circle

the courthouse is in the centre

Of course, I HAD to visit my nostalgic favourite:

always unchanged

I headed home late aft, feeling very R E L A X-ed, happy, and calm. You know I love the beach, the heat, the sun…today was a wonderfully great day.

**Today’s blog post title is in reference to how I exercised my independence as a toddler. One of my favourite expressions when I wanted to do something on my own, was to exclaim, “My Byself!” – instead of by myself. And I still like to do things my way!

What spot would you name “the prettiest town?” Goderich makes a valid claim, if you ask me!

Have you been to the beach yet this summer? Grand Bend and Sauble Beach are also hot spots I’d love to revisit!

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  • Dorry  On July 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    What a wonderful day!! I love this post. I wish I could drive nearby and get to the beach. Galveston is the closest to Dallas, and it’s about 5 hours, I think. I love that you had your favorite beach foods and spent time in the ocean. We went to Mexico for Memorial Day, but I’d love to go to the beach again. πŸ™‚ I think Interlaken, Switzerland might be one of the prettiest places I’ve ever visited.

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm

      yes, that is quite the drive for you to get to the beach! and with the texas heat, you sure could use a seaside spot! thanks for sharing the european “prettiest town.” i know you’ve traveled a lot, so i will believe you!

  • Johanna B  On July 20, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Goderich is a pretty town. Glad you had a good day. I highly approve of your food choices. Looks mighty tasty – except for the Pepsi – I’d have to find diet coke. The prettiest town I’ve ever been to is Silverton, Colorado. I’d love to be the town librarian and hole up every winter with the townfolk and lots of reading material. The only drawback (other than being snowed in several months of the year) is that there’s no beach.

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      silverton – thanks for the tip! i’ve been to several spots in colorado but not there. estes park was incredible, too. diet coke is da bomb. πŸ™‚

  • Zo  On July 20, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I was just at the beach for the first time in ages, but was by the Atlantic. I also was inspired to eat differently–cheese fries! I love the now and then pics of you by the lighthouse!

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 20, 2011 at 12:26 pm

      cheese fries! never had those! they definitely sound like great beach eats. i would love to spend time at the JERSEY SHORE!! you are lucky being close to the atlantic!

  • The Orchard  On July 20, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I love Goderich too, but I think the prettiest town of all is in BC. Summerland, to be exact. The name suits it. I’ll be there in 2 days time.

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      enjoy summerland, tricia! i hope you post some photos! BC definitely has some very scenic spots.

  • Holly  On July 20, 2011 at 9:19 am

    “my byself” — so cute Cathy!

    Looks like you had a wonderful day — the sky and water look beautiful and the food you picked out looks so good. I love fish and chips — especially if they are freshly fried πŸ™‚ And who could say no to glazed donuts. I know I can’t.

    We went to the beach a few weeks ago, but didn’t do any swimming, just sitting on the sand. It was so nice. Hopefully we’ll get out a few more times this summer, it just needs to cool down a tad.

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

      yes, i hope you get back to the beach this summer, holly. i swear the fish n chips was 10x more delicious on the beach than if i had eaten them in town, here!

  • Gina Unger  On July 20, 2011 at 7:36 am

    I felt like I was in Goderich with you! Great pix (sorry about the lighthouse one, though.) What a lovely day you spent. We love the beach too and have been numerous times this year to various ones in Manitoba. πŸ™‚

    • 1970kikiproject  On July 20, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      thanks, gina! glad you’ve enjoyed some beach outings already this summer. the kids must absolutely adore the sand and water!

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