This summer, I discovered a new way to de-stress and it is fabulous. There is a gorgeous park in Toronto called High Park that has successfully resisted encroachment by developers for well over a hundred years. It is 400 acres of landscaped views and huge tracts of natural, unspoiled land. Here's a brief list of some of what the park has to offer: a huge dog run, a children's zoo, a public swimming pool, a beautiful lake, sports fields, a stunning cherry blossom trail that attracts thousands of visitors every spring, hiking trails, ravines, a restaurant, Shakespeare in the Park on summer evenings, children's programming for the summer including a cooking course using ingredients the children have grown themselves in a small garden! There is so much more.
Every weekend finds families picnicking all over the park, setting up barbecues and volleyball nets.
The land was purchased in 1836 for sheep farming, but was bequeathed to the city in 1873. More land was purchased and added. For all intents and purposes, it has remained inviolate as a park since then.
Early in the summer, my daughter invited me to a 'tea party picnic' at the park. She hooked a small trailer onto the back of her bike and carted down gallons of homemade iced tea and goodies, cucumber, radish and cream cheese sandwiches, gorgeous meringue cakes, all sorts of home-baked cookies, all served in china tea cups and on silver serving trays. We also noshed on brie sandwiches, white chocolate cranberry scones and loads of cherries.
It was civilized and relaxing and one of the loveliest afternoons I've had in a long, long time. She had a great turnout of friends. I'm hoping she'll turn it into an annual event :-)
Since then, I've visited the park for a number of picnics. It's been this summer's go-to spot to relax. I hadn't been to High Park in the a long while and am so happy to rediscover it.
Here's a photo of the Maple Leaf Garden...
This has been my very lovely al fresco dining room…
Don't the planters look like giant blueberries? LOL
My view from here while I eat, a formal garden with fountains…
A few minutes after I enter the park, tension fades. While I'm there, I can't think about worries or responsibilities. I'm just relaxing and drinking in the beautiful views and nature.
Do you have a 'go-to' spot for getting away from it all? What is it? What do you do there?