By MAGGIE M, Editor, Wedgee-in-Chief, theWedge.LIVE
“C’mon! It feels great,” I howled from the deep end of the beach on Sand Lake in Westport. I was submerged up to my neck still wearing my capris, my underthings and my shirt. There was no patience in me to switch into swimming gear.
The sand was toe-curling smooth–no weeds. The water, clear. The views, luscious.
“Pawk! Pawk! Pawk!,” I taunted my friend who struggled with the urge to “just do it” remaining ankle-deep. Slowly, she sauntered into the water–fully dressed.
It’s a new thing. The opposite of skinny-dipping.
She lingered, oohing and aahing. My oddity was vindicated. She was freed from convention. I sat at a picnic table watching and chuckling at her complete abandon.
Our rebellious swim was a post-storm event–a storm which came with a sudden check move on our bliss. But we were not checkmated.
We visited with Seamus Cowan, owner of The Cove Inn, a favorite Westportian, as the sky closed-in with its wrath. We captured a socratic pose–no guitar, no acapela–just Seamus, before the sky fell.
The Cove patio is the heartbeat of the village during the summer.
Moments prior we were visiting another village favorite, Creative Gardens Floral Design, on Main St. Its Founder, Elizabeth Hess, was resplendent in lace and jewels, and the last rays of sun piercing her shop windows.
This is a transformed Creative Gardens, a radical shift from its former landscaping-nursery on Concession Street. The village wears this design entrepreneur well.
The Rox Rock Shoppe was a mandatory stop on our checklist. The geologists who run this shop-slash-museum on Bedford Street are successful because of their welcoming manner–and one of the most extensive rock collections I have seen in two small rooms. I first learned about obsidian in this unique place years ago.
We popped in to say, “Hi,” to Neil Kudrinko, the excellent town grocer and owner of Kudrinko’s. The produce grabs your salivary glands on entry. It was simply, ‘food merchandising art.’ Then we skirted off to his wife’s shop, Rosie Yumski’s Fine Foods. (Every local is connected in some way.)
My culinary friend disappeared in aisles of endless gourmet kitchen gagdets. She oohed and aahed again snapping up a bundle of thingies for icing cakes and serving tea.
We finished the day at Vanilla Bean’s Cafe & Creamery. I needed coffee. And a comfy chair.
The barrista introduced me to affogato : fresh brewed espresso poured over two scoops of your choice of Kawartha ice cream in a small bowl, served with a small spoon. I chose ‘death by chocolate,’ which quickly turned into ‘death by affogato.’ It is my new “gotta have it again.”
Days later. I returned solo to escalate my penchant for adventure.
I rolled up Foley Mountain Conservation Area and found the sweet spot to capture Westport from above. I climbed from rock to rock to rock until the vision opened. I found gold.
I returned to Main Street to capture one of Westport’s newest haunts, a craft brewery on Main Street. On stepping inside Westport Brewing Co., everything in me tugged, “I want to stay here and linger by the window.” The place dripped with charm. But my work was not done.
A light menu and a good selection of blonde, red and dark ale beers and a German lager brewed on the premise were offered to me in shots by its owner for tasting. My favorite was the red. No, the blonde. Maybe the dark one. I am usually more decisive; so, a ‘redo’ is in store.
A spectacular view of the harbor makes this place a must visit. And a good place for a first date.
I just had to return to Creative Gardens to capture those rare imports, blown glass art from Kenya. Hess calls it, “garden jewelry.” Just as well, because it is pricey. I was surprised to hear how quickly they disappeared from the shop.
People will spend on rare finds.
I returned to my favorite spot, the harbor. My goal is to return and soak in the sounds of the marina, the waves, the birds and leave the camera home. But I was determined to bring this romantic place to your screens.
I wrapped up my day at Vanilla Bean‘s again. An affogato in a comfy stuffed chair put a perfect bow on my Westport adventure.