Water. Peacefulness. Family. Play.

So far this summer those words keep swirling in my head. For the first time, we have a pool and on such a scorcher of a summer, it is being used, a lot. By our children, grandparents, nieces, nephews, friends and critters. Critters? Yes, I have quickly become the champion saviour of little chipmunks, mice and frogs who mistake our pool for a fresh body of water, (or don’t see it in the night when they are out and about) and fall right in. My new set of skills as a critter rescue agent are becoming very developed. My son, B. well his sharp five-year old eyes spot those critters right from the windows and he tugs on my hand, I grab the skimmer and we try to save these poor little things. I have to move fast, disoriented and water-logged, oftentimes they jump right back into the pool out of the net and I have to resort to my hands to convince them to relocate to safer and dryer conditions in our lawn.

The best mornings are when Mr. L is working from home. He diligently gets up or takes a break from his office to help skim this pool, checks the levels while I scramble like crazy cleaning before the next set of guests. I hear a holler at some point, usually when I’m in the middle of something,

“Beck! Beck! Rebecca! Come here….”

And I know, a poor unfortunate critter soul is in the filter and guess who has to fish it out? Not the urbanite who is a foot taller than me who stands by the side of the pool that he desperately wanted, pointing down his face a mask of horror as a bloated mouse goes round and round. Not him but me, the once a long time ago small town gal must get down on her knees, try to get the critter out before the kids see and dispose of it.

Living on the Bay of Quinte also means we have a gorgeous body of water to play in and we have taken advantage.  Our boat, well-suited for the choppy waves of Lake Ontario is problematic on a shallow bay with multiple sandbanks. We soon figured out the proper routes for the deeper water, but discussions are underway to downsize. In any case, until that happens, we take it out, cruising on the smooth blue waters, in awe of where we live. The sunsets are amazing and even our kids got into the spirit, meditating at sunset on the balmy nights, (a practice that lasted exactly a week) and I got my fishing licence.

I got wind of a great winery with delicious lunch so when my girlfriend and her three kids visited, I figured we should check it out. Norman Hardie winery did not disappoint. With music playing, people buzzing around and an energetic vibe on the open patio and upstairs tasting bar, I knew I had found a new favourite place to visit. When the kids found the trampoline in the back and as soon as we sat down our served asked, “Do you want me to put on the kid’s pizzas right away?” I knew I had found a perfect place to wine and dine my friends for the summer.

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Norman Hardie Post Lunch Photo Op

I sampled their crisp but buttery Chardonnay that first visit and it went perfectly with, well, any of their mouth-watering pizzas. The kids also declared them best pizza to date. Of course, I’ve been back every week with a different set of friends and the rest of the wines do no disappoint. A little pricer than some other wines it is well worth the cost for a great PEC wine. Of note: County Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Mr. L bought a bottle of Riesling on one visit being a sweeter wine drinker and really enjoyed it too. Make sure to take the Pinot challenge, compare their County Pinot Noir with their Niagara Pinot Noir. Find your favourite. Norman Hardie is definitely worth a visit in Prince Edward County if you are driving down Loyalist Highway during the summer take a turn onto Greer Road, follow the long road through the fields and enjoy.

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Norman Hardie, PEC, Chardonnay (Don’t mind kids in background. They photobomb everything!)