Lavender Haze

One of my favourite day trips was a pre pandemic weekend visit to the beautiful family-run Terre Bleu Lavender Farm when T was 4.

I find the farm grounds very calming and enjoying lavender ice cream on a summer day is a treat.

Lavender is known for its calming qualities. You may have seen this meme often posted on parenting forums. Yup, that’s me too.

Finding calm moments for self care is so important as a parent of a child with FASD – and it’s vital to take a pause from time to time and focus on compassion and kindness with oneself.

That was our goal with our recent Canada Day weekend trip to Elora – to get lost in slow, unwinding, hazy calm.

I find small towns like Elora, a 90-minute drive from Toronto, so charming and idyllic.

I often get lost in a hazy daydream thinking about how T would be better suited to small town life – less busy, things move slower, lots of outdoor space to run around and explore.

The hubby and I plan to retire in a small town one day. But that’s another daydream.

After tubing down the gorge, we headed to downtown Elora. We were famished and enjoyed a late lunch at a pub. I had yummy fish and chips – and T had a burger, woohoo.

No family outing would be complete without ice cream for dessert…

… and the obligatory encounter with a cute dog.

We went on a post meal walk through the beautiful downtown – with its charming patios…

… stone buildings …

… lovely old homes …

… cheeky independent book stores …

… walking trails …

… that lead to lovely views of nature.

One of the highlights of our visit was stopping by the Terre Bleu shop, which recently opened in downtown Elora.

The store sold all kinds of lavender-infused products, from oils to candles, to spices, honey and the yummy lavender ice cream!

Ever savy with marketing, the shop also had a lovely lavender photo wall and the visitors to the store took plenty of photos with it.

The sign above the door to the photo op really spoke to me: “Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.”

The hubby, T and I have been dealing with, so to speak, revolving doors lately – either ourselves or helping T process losses – and this lavender-infused moment was a nice grounding moment for me.

A reminder that rushing rivers always lead to calm water.

29 thoughts on “Lavender Haze

  1. Mmmmm now that you said it…..lavender products I use in the house do have a calming effect…..those were nice places you saw on the trip and T likes furry creatures it seems….

    1. Lavender is very calming indeed. 😊 My hubby sometimes puts a few drops of lavender oil on a small pouch of dried lavender and puts it by his bedside table – the scent helps with good sleep!

  2. Elora seems like such a charming town or spend a few days in, or perhaps live at. Everything seems inviting and calming. I wonder about the lavender ice cream. I once had, well, try to have, lavender ice cream, and it was just awful.
    Thank you for the pictures and for a glimpse into your fun life!

    1. Thank you! Elora is a lovely town and I’m glad we had that experience.

      I only had lavender ice cream from this place so I don’t have another experience to compare it to. But this store’s brand is definitely top notch!

  3. Wonderful 😊 we have a Lavender Farm just a few miles away. It’s a great place to visit, Hawklad always buys a few plants and then I kill them off…. But the smell in the shop and restaurant. I love the lavender scones with lavender cream they do.

    1. That sounds awesome, Gary. Hey, if killing the plants relieves stress, then that means it’s also working out for you! 😆 I’ve never tried lavender scones but that sounds lovely. Scones and lavender cream sound heavenly just about now.

  4. I’ve always been a fan of lavender. I love the smell. Plus it apparently helps repel mosquitoes. I hear yah on the appeal of a small town and being closer to more outdoor spaces. That’s my plan for retirement too and bonus points if it’s near the water. I haven’t been to downtown Elora in years and have forgotten how charming it is.

    1. Elora was quite lovely and I do encourage a repeat visit if you haven’t been in years. It’s so nice to think about retirement from time to time – more from the perspective of being able to slow down and enjoy the world and nature around us more!

      Good tip about lavender and mosquitoes. I’ll have to remember that for our next forest hike!

      1. Here’s hoping they don’t raise the age of retirement anytime soon! Agreed, it is nice to think about, especially on stressful / busy days at the office (or when I have to go downtown to go into the office).

  5. This trip sounds like quite a success! Even thinking of lavender makes me calm a little bit. But I’ve never had lavender ice cream, and I heard that it can be quite an acquired taste.

    “Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” I really love this! We often see an exit as an escape, not an avenue for new opportunities.

    I hope you’re having a great summer, Ab!

    1. Thanks Bama. Summer is going great and hope you are having a good one too!

      I like unique ice cream flavors and lavender is definitely one. Growing up in the Philippines, my favorite and still my favorite is Ube (purple yam) with coconut chunks. We’re lucky to have Asian flavors here in the Asian grocer like green tea, Black sesame and ginger.

      Enjoy your weekend!

      1. Ohh I looove ube! Unfortunately, when I went to Manila back in 2011 I didn’t try it. It was only years later when I finally had it in Hong Kong.

  6. What a lovely and relaxing trip that must have been! Lavender fields, time in nature, and small town shops? That’s a hard act to follow. Like Jill, I’m not a fan of floral foods, but I might need to try lavender ice cream if I ever come across it.

  7. What a lovely place!!! That fish looks to die for and now my mouth is watering … at 3:30 a.m.!!! Everything looks and sounds exquisite, but … I’m not so sure about lavender ice cream! Our friends/neighbors the al-Dabbagh family from Iraq have introduced us to many new foods and they do sometimes use flowers in their cooking … but it’s not my favourite flavour … yet. I do keep an open mind, though! Glad you enjoyed the lavender haze!!!

    1. Thanks Jill. It was one of the better fish and chips I had. 😊 I like it when the batter is light but still crispy.

      I like Middle Eastern food and you’ll need to share what some of these new food adventures you’ve had are.

      And lavender ice cream is quite delicious. You’ll have to trust me on this one!

      1. It looked delicious in the picture … light but crunchy is exactly how I love it!

        Well, they do lamb kabobs with ground lamb and spices on the grill, which we love. And Kunafe, a yummy dessert with shredded filo dough, and a pudding-like cheese filling. Baklava … light, crispy treats. One time she made homemade yogurt which I couldn’t take more than one bite and struggled to actually swallow that! But most everything they make is delicious. Oh, and something called Bourak, sort of like a meat-filled eggroll. The first time they served them, I had trouble understanding what they were called, so Maha said, “Bourak, you know, like Barack Obama!” (He was president at that time!)

        Yes, I think I’ll trust you on the lavender ice cream!

      2. All this sounds delicious, Jill. Lamb kabobs especially sound so great right about now.

      3. I had never in my life eaten lamb until our friends introduced us to it, and the kabobs are, as far as I know, the only way I’ve ever tasted lamb! Hmmmm … yeah, it does sound pretty good about now … perhaps I’ll go next door and wake them and ask them to make me some now!!! 😉

  8. Right? The most noticeable thing for us after moving from the GTA to Sarnia was the change in pace, and as a result, the calmness that followed. Having said that, I think that you are creating a calm oasis for T wherever you are!

    1. Thanks Margie. I can assure you there is daily loud chaos in our home. And perhaps one way we try to find the calm is to not give it too much attention whenever possible.

      Speaking of Sarnia, we’re going to the other Sarnia this weekend – Sudbury. We’ll closeby anyway. Looking forward to some outdoor time with cousins. 🙂

      Take care and enjoy the time with the new baby!

  9. If I could toss in a few of the things you highlight to my small town Ab, I think it would be perfect! I love that bookstore sandwich board 🙂 I think you can’t have a small town main street without a bookstore- and it must have a cat or two sleeping on comfy chairs and ready for some stroking. T looks right at home there for sure!

    1. Thanks Deb. I think every small town has its charms, and yes, have common qualities like the indie bookstore and friendly cats! There was another bookstore I didn’t post, which had a cart of free books anyone could take at the front of the store with a picture of literary support Dolly Parton. So the cart was called Dolly Carton. 😆

  10. Oh geez, I think my stress level just went down 5 notches just reading this and looking at all your lovely pictures. I sometimes wonder if a small town would be better for my kids too but I always end up loving the diversity of where we live.

    Thanks for the lavander break, dear Ab!

    1. You bring up a good point about the pros and cons of city vs country/small town life. One of the things I will miss the most about city life is the diversity of cultural experiences, especially the food and ingredients you find in the grocery. But I could just regular stock up trips to the city. Hehe. One day kinda soon it’ll be time to retire in the calmer country. 😊😆

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