Baillie’s Highlights of the Summer as an Ontario’s Blue Coast Summer Student
This year my summer has been a movie. It’s a film roll of all the different events we’ve attended, places we’ve toured and restaurants/shops we’ve enjoyed. When thinking about some of my highlights from this summer the must mentions are the nice hot days at a Blue Flag beach, delicious bites from local restaurants and amazing live music to get you off your feet. Honestly, what more could you have ask for in a summer?
Here is a detailed list of my highlights from my first year as an Ontario Blue Coast summer student.
Alvinston Pro Rodeo
This was one of our first events of the season and what a good way to start! I’ve never been to a rodeo before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’ve heard about events like this before in movies and the stampede in Calgary. But, I never really understood what we’d be watching and how much of a good time a rodeo could be! I was pleasantly surprised despite the weather being a little chilly. There was all sort of people performing, men and women of all ages riding crazy horses and bulls, tying calfs and weaving their horses through barriers at rapid speed. If you haven’t been to a rodeo yet make sure you get your tickets to next year’s Alvinston Pro Rodeo when they’re available!
Although it may be an ice cream staple to some Lambton County residents, I had never tried Rustic Scoops before this summer. I’ve seen it on my friends instagram stories. The lovely rustic yet sleek decor of the store and products always look amazing. They have a large menu filled of different ice cream options. You can get a regular scoop, sundaes, milkshakes, cotton candy burrito, deep-fried, froyo, and chillers of various flavours. Recently at the Corunna location they have started selling regular food items like chicken caesar wraps, fries, quesadillas, mozzerella sticks and more! When we visited, I decided to try their hot fudge sundae with nanaimo ice cream. I’ll proudly say it was the best sundae I’ve ever had. All the summer students can agree that Rustic Scoops deserves a 10/10 rating. All of their ice creams and creations are scrumptious.
Rock Glen Conservation Area
This spot is one of the most picturesque locations in the county. At any season Rock Glen Conservation Area is a beautiful spot for a hike and photos. Their trails span over 2 and half kilometres travelling over gravel, bridges and up and down long staircases. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a good workout in a beautiful location. The falls paired with the trees make you feel as if you’ve travelled to a whimsical parallel universe. If you thought fall smelling Bath and Body Works candles were good, you haven’t experienced the claming smell of Rock Glen that is fresh, crisp, and clean. There really is no place like it! Personally, I loved seeing the flowing falls in action and going on small hikes through the Carolinian Forest. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you stop and walk through Rock Glen Consvervation Area.
Picking Raspberries at Macklin’s Farm
While on our county wide road-trip we started off our journey at Macklin’s Farms. If you’re looking for fresh produce or a fun afternoon adventure you should visit! We made it in time for the raspberry season so, we were able to pick our own raspberries! You can fill up a litre container from the many rows and long stretches of bushes. This was such a fun activity and the perfect spot for your ‘cottagecore’ aesthetic. Time really flies by when visiting Macklin Farms!
Sweet Tree Cafe
Sweet Tree Cafe is the perfect spot to grab refreshing drink! Without the recommendation I would have never known that this great cafe existed! If you’re looking to go on a little road trip you have to head down to Sweet Tree Cafe on Walpole Island. They serve the most delicious chocolate chip cookies ever. They’re so soft and warm you’ll need a second. They also have a great list of drinks from cold teas, to juices, to hot coffee, and frappes. Their Matcha Frappe is perfect for a sweet summer day treat. While us summer students made our visit we were able to chat to the wonderful owners about their cafe and history. They were telling us about how covid inspired them to pursue their dream of owning a cafe. They quickly converted their shed to create the space they call Sweet Tree Cafe and we are thankful for it! If you are a cafe lover make sure to check it out.
Bluewater Borderfest is the greatest way to start the summer. My friends and I have always loved belting out the lyrics to some of our favourite songs. This time, as a Blue Coast Summer Student, we were able to help by running errands and we even got to listen to soundcheck. I absolutely adored helping out because it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see how much work goes into event planning. It really makes you appreciate the people who put on events and the artists performing.
Something different happened this summer at Borderfest that made a major impact on my listening habits. Although I’m a Sarnia local, I’ve never been one for country music. However since all these different genres of artists were coming to town, we summer students decided the best way to prepare was to listen to their music. I liked all of the artists but one really stuck out, Tim Hicks. His songs are so fun and lively. No Truck Song, Stronger Beer and Talk to Time are my favourite. After seeing him perform at Borderfest I became more of a fan of his music and a fan of the country genre. He put on a great performance, hyping up the crowd, signing cowboy hats and even signing our Tourism Sarnia Lambton beach ball! Thank you to Tim Hicks for the great performance! This year’s Bluewater Borderfest has to be my favourite!