2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


As many of you know, I suffer from an Eating Disorder which is something I have mentioned on occasion in my blog posts (hence the reason I read so many books on ED and recovery). As part of my recovery program, I attend a Retreat that is held once a year for people with my disease. These retreats are extremely helpful as we read, write, share and basically spend some time quietly reflecting.

Every year, this Retreat is held in Alexandria, Ontario at Shalom House. This is a Catholic run Retreat that welcomes ALL denominations. I thought I would share my weekend in Alexandria which included a fun time in Downtown Alexandria and a visit to WHAT ELSE???? a used bookstore.

First off - I took a few pictures of the outside of the Shalom House.

It was cloudy and pretty cold out so we did not get out very much - but it was nice anyway. Although this is run by Catholic nuns, this Retreat is definitely more spiritual than religious - which I like.

After the Retreat, I decided to go home by train as I don't like driving very much (Alexandria is 1.5 hours from Montreal). I checked the train schedule and arrived at the station at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday to be told that the next train was at 6:44 p.m. and NOT at 3:03 p.m. as I was sure I saw on the Via Rail site. So, what to do for the next 4 hours?????? I decided to visit downtown Alexandria since I had never been before. I asked for directions on how to get there from the station and was about to head out when a patron joked - don't blink, you will miss it. Well, it turns out that downtown Alexandria is a sttttttreaccchhh at best. I did not know this, but Alexandria has a population of 3900 people - so needless to say the downtown core is spread out (especially if you are walking) and not exactly bubbling over with activity and excitement. Also, it seems that on Saturday afternoons in Alexandria - most of the stores close at 2:00 p.m. um!!!!!

After walking for about 20 minutes, the first stores appeared (sort of). A closed laundromat, quite a few empty spaces and I was getting a tad worried - until, until I saw it!!! THE SIGN - USED BOOKS!!!! I entered the store (thank goodness it was open) and I browsed in there for 1 hour. I found two books: Slightly Single (which I had already read a while ago, but had been looking for again and Four Horseman by Kyle Mills). The bookstore lady was very, very nice and her store was beautiful. Of course, I never thought of taking pictures ---- but if you are in downtown Alexandria and happen to have 4 hours to kill you should head out to: Second Time Around Books at 58 Main Street.

After eating a meal at a restaurant and walking and walking and walking, I ended up back at the train station, on my way I saw a beautiful little house (right next to the tracks!!) that was exactly the type of little house I would love to own. For some reason, I like houses with a porch.

FINALLY!! Back to the train station. I liked the station (nice and old looking) so I took a picture.AND FINALLY!!! The train arrives!!! Time to go home. I gothome at 9:30! not bad considering I left Shalom House at 2:30 p.m. and should technically have been home by 4:00 p.m. at the latest.


cindysloveofbooks said...

Its great you had fun this weekend Tina. Imagine living in a place where everything closes at 2pm. Thankfully the bookstore was open.

Wall-to-wall books said...

That looks like a great place, very pretty and peaceful. It sounds like you had a good time. A great place to get some healing.

Yvette Kelly said...

I love that little house too.You seem to have fun all the time.Love your posts!

Donna said...

Great post, Tina. I knew there was a 2nd hand bookstore in Alexandria but didn't know it's name. I'll have to make a detour the next time we go to Ottawa.

bermudaonion said...

The bookstore sounds like great fun. I hope the retreat was as successful for you.

Irene said...

What an interesting, highly descriptive post!! I felt like I was there. That house is very similar to small houses here in Saratoga Springs, and most of the historic homes are painted in Victorian colors, some the same colors as your little house.

Anonymous said...

I live near Alexandria, and yes it's a wonderful book store, they'll give you credit for your old books towards new (used) ones as well. It's a wonderful town.

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