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August 25, 2011

The Last Days of Summer (please don't kill me)

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Well, these are the last bits of my summer, hopefully you still have some left to enjoy. We've returned from our six weeks in Canada and so the next 10 days will be spent trying to become normal again (I know, good luck eh?), the jetlag is pretty nasty. And then it's back to school for Baby Swelle, the indisputable sign that the fun is over.

After the Butterfly Convervatory and afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel, here are the rest of the snapshots (minus flowers, those are for tomorrow's Floral Friday) from my Canadian summer. The header photo is at my aunt Linda's pool which comes in very handy on those days where it's so hot that you break a sweat checking for the mail. They repainted the pool house the most awesome shade of pool blue which they should never, ever change.

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Niagara-on-the-Lake's Shaw Festival for English period plays

This is the Romance House. No, it's not the most charming brothel you've ever seen but the commercial home of local artist Tricia Romance. She once lived in the King St. dollhouse (doesn't it look like a giant dollhouse?) with her family, but after people caught on she opted for a little more privacy and moved to the outskirts of Niagara-on-the-Lake. It would take some real creepiness to get me to leave that house, but then maybe her new house was even neater.

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I love that no opportunity was spared in making the most of the pinky-beige and that fantastic greenish slate shade -  notice the contrasting detail and painted edges all over. You just don't see this kind of attention to detail with colour all that often, and when you do it's usually weird. (There's a house in my neighbourhood that looks like Rainbow Brite threw up all over it.) And it's impeccably maintained, it looks brand new every time I see it.


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And lastly, we have the Port Dalhousie carousel. Borrowing from my first post on this three years ago (in which I investigated why a grown man would take a ride on it):  The carousel was handcarved between 1898 and 1905 in Brooklyn, New York, this Charles Looff original was first an amusement at Hanlan's Point in Scarborough, Toronto. It found its current St. Catharines home on Lake Ontario way back in 1921, and still functions using the original organ - complete with twirling dancing girls - which was restored in 1985 thanks to Lottario funds. It boasts 68 animals and  many of the horses tails still sport real horse hair (cool or gross, depending). The nostalgic sentiments are reflected in the teenage carousel operators' uniform of a blue newsboy cap and shorts with red suspenders over a white, short-sleeved dress shirt (you know that a little piece of them dies every time they get dressed for work but it's a nice touch). To top it all off, it's still only 5 cents a ride. Imagine! You can take the family down to Port Dalhousie with a loonie and ride until all your butts are aching!

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If you drink the Lake Ontario water, this horse will start talking to you.

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Pink skies in Niagara-on-the-Lake, just before a big thunderstorm threw it down

Photos © The Swelle Life

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