The trip to Canada always sounds more exhausting in description than it feels in experience. The trip begins at a frenetic pace when we are still excited about the trip. As the week goes on and there might be risk of becoming overloaded or overwhelmed, the pace becomes more leisurely. I came home fully saturated but not exhausted. Here are some random thoughts and photos.
A bittersweet occasion during our visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake; I always look forward to our ‘same-time-next-year’ dinner with two women we met through their work in the Festival’s membership office. Sadly one of the two is gravely ill and was not able to join us. It’s sad to think that the last time we saw her may be the last time we see her but I wish her well and am grateful for having gotten to know her.
On the other side of the coin, the other of the two is grabbing life with both hands. She’s recovered fully after some surgery last year. Since last year’s visit, she has retired. She’s golfing again. She visited Barbados; her first time in the Caribbean, and she was off to Alaska shortly after our visit. Even more exciting, she has started a new relationship. We look forward to seeing her and meeting him next year.
I always enjoy the too-short visit to Toronto. This year it was especially enjoyable because I got to spend some time with blogger Buddy Bear. He was passing through T.O. on his way home from a gathering of blogger friends in Washington D.C. He shared stories of the fun in D.C. (only some of it scandalous) and introduced us to a couple of his favorite haunts in Toronto. It’s nice to meet people face-to-face whom you’ve met through blogging.
I struck out in my annual visit to Theatre Books; the universe’s way to telling me I already have too many books I haven’t read.
That didn’t hold true in my visit to Glad Day Bookshop. Part of what seems to be a disappearing breed, Glad Day is an independent, LGBT bookstore. I picked up a couple books including Shirts and Skins; the first novel by Canadian author Jeffrey Luscombe. Even more exciting, Buddy Bear, Harper’s Other Dad and I had the chance to chat with the author. He’s a charming man and I look forward to reading his book.
I enjoyed the unseasonably cool weather in Stratford. The locals and travelers from other places were not happy but after an Arizona summer it was pleasure to put on a sweatshirt and eat breakfast outdoors by the lake with temps in the lower 60’s.
I always look forward to reconnecting with two Michigan friends, in Stratford. We coordinate our annual visits so we can be there at the same time. This year we had the added pleasure of the company of bloggers; Laurent & Will. I thought they’d hit it off with our Michigan friends as well so I made plans for the six of us to have dinner. Small world! Not only had Will seen one of the Michigan boys perform; he is a pianist and an accompanist, but they have a mutual friend. Will & Laurent live in Ottawa, our other friends live in Michigan so, of course, it is perfectly natural that they would have mutual friends…in Argentina. I wish I shared their jet-set lives but I was glad they enjoyed each other. It was a wonderful dinner I won’t soon forget.
Everywhere we went we saw these buttons. I thought; “Well, how rude!”. I was assured, however, they refer to the Canadian politician.
Besides, if there is one thing we know about our Harper girl; she stops at nothing.
How could any dinner table be complete without one of these to hold the wine bottle?
Price of ceramic tchotchke; $30 CDN
Camp factor: Priceless
I was virtuous and resisted temptation but that is as good a name for a candy bar as I have ever seen.
A great place for breakfast though “Home of the Butter Tart” sounds suggestive.
A poster from an Irish Pub in NOTL. The next porcelain collectable on eBay? Oh, I hope not.
A souvenir of Canada for Harper; treats from The Barkery, from Laurent & Will.
I blogged previously about my lack of fondness for turbulence. The last half hour of the flight home was very choppy. I look across the aisle and see Harper’s Other Dad reading a book called “Ten Poems to Say Goodbye”. I was not reassured.
The creative minds behind Spo Reflections, Larry Muffin At Home, Willy or Won’t He, and Harper’s Valley plot the takeover of the blogosphere over after-theater cocktails.
We tend to drink our souvenirs…no rubbish.
Of course one of the highlights of every trip is coming home.