One-Tank Trip for April 30/16
(c) By Jim Fox
The time is fast approaching when it’s incumbent to show mom some special love.
Mother’s Day is May 8, so “get your game on,” says Helen Lovekin of Ontario Tourism.
This celebration of mothers everywhere is said to be first celebrated in 1908 when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.
In the world according to Wikipedia, Mother’s Day in Canada “typically involves small celebrations and gift-giving to one’s mother, grandmother or other important female figures in one’s family.
Celebratory practices are similar to those of other western nations while a Quebec tradition is for men to offer roses or other flowers to the women.”
|Traditional afternoon teas, such as this Bermuda-style in the Heritage Court at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, are popular with moms. (Jim Fox photo)|
Don’t do as the late Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock suggested and let mother not only stay home to prepare the meal but let her clean up and wash the dishes afterwards – just because she insists and “we wanted just for once to humour her.”
Treat mom is breakfast in bed but don’t risk a Leacock-like scenario and leave her to clean up the messy kitchen afterwards.
“Instead, let her wake up in one of Ontario’s Finest Inns with full room service,” Lovekin suggests.
Packages are priced from $118 a person and gift certificates are available for moms who can’t get away on the day.
One example is the getaway at the historic Briars inn at Jacksons Point on Lake Simcoe.
|The Briars, a century-old inn on Lake Simcoe, is offering a Mother's Day getaway.|
The all-inclusive two-night stay includes an a la carte dinner each evening, full breakfast one morning , the “famous” Mother's Day Sunday brunch and a $50 spa gift certificate for $389 a person.
For details on inns and packages: ontariosfinestinns.com; 1-800-340-4667
Flowers and tea
“Bouquets are always nice but why stop there?” Lovekin asks.
Consider a family membership to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, which is hosting a lantern-lighted musical evening with the arboretum’s magnolia collection on May 7 and a Mother’s Day brunch the next day. rbg.ca
Take a stroll through the themed gardens at Parkwood Estate, former Oshawa home of Samuel McLaughlin, founder of General Motors of Canada.
|Parkwood Estate, the former home of General Motors of Canada founder Samuel McLaughlin, has themed gardens for mom to view.|
“It’s a fine way to spend a spring Sunday with your mother and you may well feel like an extra in one of the many Hollywood films lensed here, if that sensation is of interest,” Lovekin said. parkwoodestate.com
“Ever wonder what happened to all the architectural embellishments and Doric porticos that gave way to downtown’s steel and glass canyons?”
Take mom to visit them in their new home in Guild Park & Gardens on the eastern edge of the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto.
|Guild Park in Scarborough is a sculptural sanctuary with beautiful gardens.|
“The effect of disembodied architectural ornaments sprinkled throughout the formal gardens is undeniably surrealistic and entirely unexpected.” toronto.ca/parks
A really high tea is all about dainty pampering and here are some of Ontario’s best.
Toronto has a three-way tie for the best with the Windsor Arms, MoRoCo Chocolat and the Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-La Hotel.
“Each one perfectly balances tradition – porcelain cups, tiered trays with sweet and savory nibbles, leaf tea and Champagne – with its unique style.
Niagara-on-the-Lake understands the ritual of afternoon and high teas in the drawing room at the Prince of Wales Hotel.
Round out the excursion by taking mom to a performance of Chekov’s Uncle Vanya (matinee) or Wilder’s Our Town (evening) at the Shaw Festival. shawfest.com
“One cannot speak too highly of the high tea at Langdon Hall, near Cambridge,” Lovekin recommends.
“Possibly the ne plus ultra of this repast in Ontario,” she adds. langdonhall.ca
Finally, help mother “channel her inner Alice” in the red brick wonderland that is Ottawa’s Tea Party Cafe. theteapartycafe.com
For more suggestions, activities and events check ontariotravel.net
You can celebrate Mother’s Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village in London at brunch on May 7 and 8.
Served in the Pioneer Village Cafe, it will feature baked ham and roast chicken, seasonal vegetables and pie for $16.50 ($8 for children to age 12).
Reserved seatings are at noon and 2 p.m. fanshawepioneervillage.ca; (519) 457-1296
Jim Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca