On Valentine's weekend, D put me in the car after church and just started driving. I had no clue where he was taking me; he asked if I wanted to get a bite to eat (he may as well have asked if I enjoyed breathing), then promptly rejected all my suggestions. We headed South on hwy 21; I figured we were Goderich bound.
To my delight, we ended up in Port Albert, a tiny little burg near the water with a quaint general store and an even quainter Inn.
We'd been there once before, a few summers back on the motorbike, to see if they had any live music. I guess the Inn has a reputation for attracting wandering minstrals who come and jam at random. But our motorbike night was not one of those nights, so we didn't go in. This time, we did.
The cheerful owner informed us that we'd just missed brunch, but invited us to choose "anything you like" from the menu, which was a blackboard strung up over the polished bar. There were exactly 5 things to eat listed, which made us smile. Two older ladies beside us were cooing with delight over their soups, so D ordered two BLTs with a side of soup for our us.
The Inn's decor featured an eclectic mix of fishing and boating memorabilia, including a huge upside-down dory that was somehow embedded in the ceiling, and a map of all the Great Lake shipwrecks that had ever taken place, which D studied with great interest. A big, pot-bellied wood stove threw off delicious heat at our backs. The owner was very interested in who we were, where we hailed from, whose farm we'd bought, where we worked, etc. I liked him. Especially since he served 10W30 on draft (I'm going back in 3 months to indulge!).
His soup turned out to be homeade and delicious and the coffee was excellent (even though I had to get up and get it myself). I loved the whole atmosphere - the creaky wooden floors, the owner's wild shock of grey hair, the big red leather couch that curved around the fireplace. The place practically shouted "QUIRKY GOODNESS" at me, which is one of my favourite things. I said as much to D. He regarded me with a fond look and said, "I know. Why do you think I brought you here?" Lovely man, that D of mine. He's promised to take me back there in the spring to see the forsythia in bloom and the fish ladder, whatever the heck that is.
Sunday drives. Valentine's weekend. Homemade soup. A good man. You just can't beat 'em.