St. Jacobs 14 – 17 August – Summer 2018

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I really like this area and I wanted desperately to go to St Jacobs Market and African Lion Safari……….and so we did !

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We stayed at West Montrose Family Camp, site 88.  This is mostly seasonal people but they do have some temporary sites.  We could only have water and hydro at the temporary sites but they have a dump station.  It’s a very well maintained park and looks nice.

 

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The campground is located on the Grand River and we were almost beside the river, we could see it !  and we could also see the Famous Covered “Kissing” bridge from our site.  We went there one day but there are a lot of No Trespassing signs and not great places to park, oh well…

 

 

We did a lot of driving in this area, there are some cute towns.  St Jacobs, Elmira, Elora, Cambridge, etc not to mention the bigger cities like Kitchener- Waterloo.  Pleasant area and all the homes/properties we saw were all well maintained and there were some stunning homes that we drove past.

So we also did some breweries in this area…………I’ll put them all in the next paragraph so if you aren’t interested you can skip down to African Lion Safari !

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Innocente Brewery – Waterloo – nice place located in a strip mall.  Friendly staff and good quality beer.  You can really taste the difference at some of these places.  As soon as you had one sip you could taste the quality.  Great beer at this brewery.

 

Abe Erb Brewery – Kitchener – this is located in the old Lang Tannery building.  Okay place, fairly modern look and staff was not too friendly. They appeared to enjoy their phones more than the customers.  I had a hard time trying to pay our bill with one guy, almost to the point of Please take my money.  Their beer was meh, not so good.

The Lang Tanning Company building is pretty cool.  I loved the look of it.

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Short Finger Brewery – Kitchener –  we stopped by just to see the place as they do not have a license for tastings or to sell beer.  It’s in a warehouse painted with bright green trim on the doors and windows.  Can’t miss the place !

 

TWB Brewery –  Kitchener – I asked someone and they said it means Together We Brew. Someone else said it means Together We’re Bitter.   I like the first name better !  Very small place and only one seat at the bar.  There was a cute boxer dog in there while his human dad was having a beer.  We met a girl and her boyfriend and she is from Belleville, she went to school and grew up here in this area.  They are in the photo beside me below.  Nice place and nice beer.  Clint liked their stout and had one of our growlers filled up !

 

Bent Elbow –  Kitchener – this is not actually a brewery but we went there for dinner.  We sat outside and had a nice meal.  Clint had Curry Vegetarian Rice and I had a spinach wrap.  Nice deck outside and they have 40 beers on tap but none their own.

 

Rhythm and Brews Brewery –  Cambridge.  Great place and a great themed brewery.  Even the taster trays were in the shape of records.  They had old concert tickets laminated into their bar top and tons of concert photos on the walls.  Great place, did I mention that already?  Their beer was okay; they have a Smoked English Ale, Porter, Lager and more

 

JackAss Brewery – Cambridge – Well, it was a bit much seeing this on a huge sign !  Small place but friendly staff and the beer was pretty good.  Clint liked their stout.  I couldn’t decide which of us, Clint or I, should be featured under JackAss Sign so I am putting a photo of each us lol

 

Grand River Brewery –  Cambridge – large building and we had the pleasure to chat with the young girl working there.  She goes to McMaster University and works here part-time.  A big old red brick building, maybe an old factory ?   Also great beer.   They have lots of different ales and dark beers.  Great Selection.  And Trum got to visit with his little beer mug.

 

Block Three Brewery –   St Jacobs – This is right downtown in St Jacobs.  Great building inside and out.  They had a lot of different sour beers that we are not fond of.  What’s up with all the sour beers ?  A new fad I suppose…………….they had a nice amber and Clint had a glass of their flagship beer with was a citrus ale. They had all kinds of games and tables and we noticed a crokinole board so we sat there for a long time playing crokinole and then we played Snakes and Ladders !  Lots of fun.

 

Okay so on to some other stuff !  We wanted to find a good German restaurant and we had eaten at this one years ago when we were here and it was okay.  We couldn’t find any others that appeared to be open when we wanted to go. So back to the Metro Restaurant in Kitchener we went ………….We both enjoy German food and it’s not so easy to find a German restaurant anywhere.  Nothing had changed, including the menu, since the last time we were here.  The menu was quite large, lots of choices and we both had some type of schnitzel with red cabbage, potatoes etc.  It was okay but honestly I have had better.  In Trenton, where I live, there used to be a German restaurant called the Gasthouse Restaurant.  Not sure of the spelling and it closed down years ago but Man, I still remember the food there !  Really good.  Niagara Falls also had a terrific one but it too closed down.

St Jacob’s Market – Oh My !  You need a couple of hours here.  I am not a shopper mainly because I don’t like shopping but I do enjoy these types of “stores” or places like Niagara-On-The-Lake.  There are three large buildings to go through.  The main one has two floors and was rebuilt after a big fire burned it down a few years ago.  Then there is the outside, booth after booth after booth; tent after tent.  They sell everything here, fruits, vegetables, clothing, gifts, pastries, food, you name it, they probably have it.  This place is incredible and almost overwhelming but if you get the chance GO !

Across the road there are some discount stores.  Royal Doulton, Paderno, Skechers, Samsonite, Northern Reflections and more.

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Lots of Amish people live in this area and it’s pretty cool seeing the horse and buggies traveling around.

 

 

 

 

We went to a British Store downtown and bought a bunch of stuff and walked around some more, it did rain a bit while we were there.  But we need it, its’ been hotter than you know what all summer and dry…..

 

We also went to the St Jacobs Maple Syrup Museum !  It was pretty interesting.  They had lots of displays and information on Maple Syrup and they had other exhibits such as History of Electricity and Model Train displays.  We were there a while looking at and reading all these exhibits.  There was no charge, donation only.

 

AFRICAN LION SAFARI

African Lion Safari is located near Cambridge and I have been here a few times and always enjoyed it.  But where did all these people come from?  In the past when I have been here, there has not been so many people or so many cars going through the preserve.  Unbelievable.  We went through twice, maybe three times, can’t remember, it’s a blur.   They open at 9 but you can’t do the Safari until 10 and most of the rides aren’t open until 10 either.  We were there when it opened so we just walked around the park looking at everything else until we could do the Safari.

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Tons of things to do here, they have a train ride which is pretty cool.  It doesn’t take too long, maybe 15 minutes but we were right beside the Reindeer and some other animals.  And the Reindeer were not caged in but they also weren’t moving too much.  It was hot and I imagine they were resting up for the Big Day in December.   I should mention, once you pay to get in, everything is free including the Safari, train ride, boat ride etc.  Except of course your food and I think they charge extra for the Elephant rides.

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The boat ride was enjoyable, this also took 10-15 minutes.  The boat goes around a big lake and there are little islands here and there with different animals on them.  Mostly monkeys and lemurs.  It was fun and doesn’t cost extra.

 

They do shows at different times.  An Elephant show, bird show and some others.  They also have a petting zoo and who doesn’t love little goats ?

For the Safari drive you can take your own vehicle, at your own risk, or take a Safari bus.  We took our truck and took our chances, you can’t control the bus and stop where and when you want so who wants that?  It was funny a Parks Staff had to check our truck front to back each time we went in and out of the Park.  I guess they were checking for errant monkeys making their way out of there !  And those monkeys were all over the place, hopping on everyone’s vehicles, just hilarious.

The first trip we took  through the Safari Park we thought the Zebras were the most fun to watch.  They were galloping and prancing all over the place.  Standing in the road and coming up to the cars.  It’s a pretty fantastic place and the animals have so much room to roam and run.  Not like a lot of zoos for sure.

 

We drove to a bunch of different little towns in this region to wander around and investigate, Elmira and Fergus were some but one of my favourites is probably Elora.  We parked downtown and of course our first stop was the Elora Brewery.     Surprised?  It was a nice place and the beer was good quality but not to our taste.  Clint ordered the Bean Tomato soup with sourdough bread and it was really good.  The bread was REALLY good.  We left and walked around downtown and over to the old part of town.  We have been here years ago but this visit there was a ton of construction and renovations going on.  The buildings are so beautiful and old but they were making one part into a Spa and Hotel and we couldn’t see as much as we wanted to.  There were some cute little stores here and we went into a few to peruse the shelves.  Really cute items but we really don’t need any more cute little items so we just browsed.

And I ‘m pretty sure we will never be able to afford the spa and hotel but it’s lovely.  We walked to the gorge and walked along there for a bit.  Nice trail and this whole area is quite scenic.

We went through some of the stores and then headed back to our truck and on our way.  We left to go home but there was a stop I wanted to make first.  On the way in, I had noticed a spot I wanted to stop, we drove over a bridge and it looked interesting, river and steep cliffs on one side.  There was no place to park in this particular area so we drove down a short ways and parked at a baseball field and walked back down the road to the bridge. There was a view from the bridge which was nice and we could see trails but there were signs posted that the trails were closed.  Not sure what was going on but it would have been a great walk if we could have done it.  These are photos from the bridge, first one side and then we walked across the road to the other side.

 

We were heading home on a Friday and the night before we left was one of the most horrific thunderstorm I have ever heard.  At on point, we literally thought there was an explosion.  I have never heard anything quite like it and it rained a lot on our way home the next day.

Another trip done…………………

 

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