Life had been moving pretty fast lately, and it was time to slow down. But in order to slow down, I had to speed up, hit the 401, and leave our usual routine. My husband and I needed to go where a slower pace was welcomed. It had been awhile since we had a good night’s sleep. It had been awhile since we shared a proper meal together. It had been awhile since we had a good workout. It had been awhile since we enjoyed nature. Our couple’s retreat weekend in Maynooth had everything we needed to fill in those gaps.
We rented a room through Airbnb. The place was called Trails Edge Bed & Breakfast and it was absolutely lovely. It used to be a home that had been restored to the place that we called home for the weekend. Even though the place was spacious, it was hard to believe that 12 children were raised here. The Von Trapp family has nothing on this family!
Many of the home’s original features were preserved, including this gorgeous work on the walls.
All the details enamoured me. So much so that it was hard for me to fall asleep on the first night. Then as I listened to the sounds of nature, or even the sound of quiet, and I found myself having two peaceful sleeps here.
Checking out the local farmers’ market was a fun way to get to know the local community and get ideas for what I like to call our forager’s feast dinner. It also happened to be the Maynooth Garlic Festival. Before dinner, we joined in on the festivities that took place.
In addition to fresh garlic being sold, there were also other garlic items available for the public to enjoy such as preserved garlic, garlic chips, garlic chocolate chip cookies, and garlic ice cream.
Yes, you read those last two items right. I even have proof of it in this video.
My palate is pretty open-minded, even in the early hours of the day. I tasted both of these and I’d have to say that they were pleasantly good. There was also an exhibit called the Art of Garlic. My favourite paintings were those done by local artist Laura Culic.
I also loved this incredible piece of work by Rosanna Penner.
Those flower petals were made from garlic skins. Let me just say how in awe I am of the amount of innovation and patience it must have required to create such a piece.
Now about that proper meal I mentioned. I promised, it happened. As I was gathering ideas for dinner, I knew that garlic had to be one of the star ingredients. So I purchased a jar of preserved garlic. I used it in many ways for this dinner. I crushed the cloves to make a salad dressing a bed of greens with wild blueberries. I also used it to bake on top of a fillet of trout.
It was a joy to be cooking this local meal in the kitchen that was available to us. Most of all, it was nice just to sit down and enjoy each other’s company.
Originally, this weekend was meant to be spent doing stand up paddleboard. But with the weather being the way it has been, we knew that it might not have been possible. Saturday looked to be that way. We were able to be out on the water for half an hour on Saturday and then a full day on Sunday. It was calming, relaxing, and adventurous all at once.
The entire Maynooth area was beautiful. I couldn’t get enough of the calm scenery. Anywhere we went, there it was.
Since we planned our Saturday around wandering by foot, we checked out the old train station that was steps away from our place.
One of my favourite things about our Airbnb rental was this gorgeous backyard garden. I could have sat there all day.
Unfortunately for me, I didn’t. There was just too much to explore and do in this sweet little town! The town of Maynooth is a hidden gem that I’m so happy to have wandered along. If you’re ever looking for a time to reconnect then I’d highly recommend spending a weekend there!
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As one of our six Local Wanderer exploring Hastings County, Aysha enjoys arts and culture, agri-tourism and paddling adventures. She grew up in a rural community, suffers from an incurable travel bug, and is an ambassador for the road less travelled.
Learn more about Aysha and her adventures as well as the other five Local Wanderers and the excursions they have experienced across the county here.