The last leg of our homeward bound journey today from Hilton Head Island, SC was from Cortland, NY which is only a couple of hours from the Canadian border. Knowing that, we lingered this morning over breakfast at the hotel. We were chuffed upon leaving the hotel to drive into dazzling yellow sunshine surrounded by clear blue sky. The ribbon of highway through upstate New York to the border was a delight to drive. The scenery throughout is paramountly rural, vast hillsides and open fields, seemingly uninhabited and remote.
Upon crossing the border into Canada we quickly directed our passage to the 1000 Islands Parkway along the St. Lawrence River from Gananoque through Brockville to Prescott. The entry into Canada at this juncture is marked by its military history. As a former Regimental Sgt. Major of St. Andrew’s College Highland Cadet Corps the symbolism which insinuates the entire area is not lost on me.
Our initial target on terra firma was Katarina’s Coffee Shop, 513 King Street West in Prescott.
Katarina’s Coffee Shop is a family-owned and operated local café featuring our flavourful homemade food, drinks and dessert. We offer a variety of Kawartha Dairy ice cream, freshly baked pastries and desserts, various Panini’s, hot drinks and classic specialty coffee.
Established in 2014, the shop is located in Prescott, Ontario right on Highway 2 at the corner by Kelly’s Beach, making it a perfect destination while on the road to enjoy some local food and scenic views with our seasonal patio.
The “About Us” segment of Katarina’s web site doesn’t begin to tell the full story of the place. For those preferring a modern rendition of business model, Katarina’s satisfies. The owners are women. And young, beginning with Nicole Hudson and her mother. His Lordship Mike (father and husband respectively) is but an on-looker (albeit a contented one) and part-time assistant. The family has a history of business dealings with the public; viz., a hotel abroad. Nicole exemplifies all that is worthy of retail and the service industry. The salient and selling features of the business are its quality products, convenient location and hospitable service. There are however two items in particular which constitute for me an incomparable allure.
Double Baked Almond Croissant
We bake the croissants, soak them in a rum flavoured simple syrup and then bake them again before topping with sugar! Same great buttery taste of a regular croissant, but now sugary sweet.
Two scoops of Kawartha Dairy ice cream with a shot of espresso. Great in the traditional way with French Vanilla ice cream but why not be adventurous and try some other flavours?
In keeping with tradition we crowned our cheerful return to Canada by indulging ourselves in these two treats! Indeed so routine is our custom that even after an absence of five months our preference was recognized by the owner!
Outfitted with this happy recovery of familiar and delicious acquaintances we gently continued our sojourn northward to Ottawa and eventually to our beloved Almonte. We punctuated the recapitulation by pausing at Petro-Canada in Bells Corners to fill the gas tank and to purchase a Season’s Pass (car wash). It was notable – with shared opprobrium – that the attendant at the service station had put on considerable weight over the winter months.
The remainder of the day was spent unpacking the car and reinvesting our closets and dresser drawers with the clothing we had and had not used during our absence. Every year upon our return home we promise to bring less next year! Though never so far with success. Apart from the sartorial matters and toiletries, we wound the clocks, reactivated the internet and cable TV, purused the mail left by our housekeeper upon the dining room table and commenced a purgative laundry. Exhaustion characterizes the declining hours of the day. But it’s good to be home!