Sunday, August 24, 2014

Canadian Adventures

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are having a lovely weekend. We are in the midst of a nasty heatwave this weekend. We are hoping that some rain tomorrow will cool things down a bit.

Kristina and I had visited Peterborough Ontario earlier this month to attend my friends wedding. Despite our short time and crazy airlines delays, we had a lot of fun on our trip.

Our plane was an hour late getting into Peterborough. We would have been on time, but the airline staff hadn't shut one of the cargo doors correctly and the plane didn't register the problem until we were on the runway to start off. Then we had to wait in line until we could turn around back to the terminal, shut the door and refuel. From sitting on the runway for twenty minutes, we had wasted 600 gals of fuel. It's amazing what it takes to fuel a plane!

We arrived in Canada to the most wonderful customs personnel that I have encountered next to my experience with customs in England. Friendly and helpful. Definitely what we needed after a delayed flight.

Constance and Jim met us at the airport and took us to eat in a restaurant in the airport that was quite good. It was so nice to talk to Constance and Jim after so many years. Kristina and I peppered them with crazy questions about Canada. Afterwards we drove to Peterborough which is an hour and half away. Luckily it gave us a chance to see the cityscape of Toronto and the countryside of Canada.

Since we knew Constance and Jim would be busy for the rest of week with the wedding, Kristina and I took the time to enjoy the city. Our first morning in town, we found a cafe close to our hotel and had breakfast there.

We both opted for the French toast with maple syrup. We both fell in love with the dollar chips, which were lightly battered potatoes. When we asked our waitress what they were when we were ordering, she knew we were Americans. I wish we had dollar chips in America! Maybe the northern states have them since they are close to the Canadian border.

After breakfast we walked to a local house museum called the Hutchison House.

At the time we got there, we realized it wouldn't open until later in the afternoon because they were on 'summer hours' so we took the chance to walk back in the downtown area and wander around to see beautiful churches, various shops, bookstores, and even a grocery store (they had Kinder eggs! Wish they weren't illegal in the US).

The Hutchison House was quite beautiful. It was interesting to hear the early history of the town. We were quite amused that some of the sayings that Kristina and I have heard in our own local house museums, were common to the time period and in use in other countries in addition to America.

After visiting the museum, we walked back towards our hotel and I fell in love with a beautiful neglected building on the corner of George and Brock.

At the moment the building is housing a few businesses........but oh, what it could be! I was telling Kristina that I wish I had the money to buy the building, I can see it as a Victorian hotel. Who knows, perhaps it was a hotel at one time in its history?! Can't you just imagine it? I know I can!

On Saturday morning, we were hoping to go to a few more museums before Constance and Jim's wedding later in the afternoon, but unfortunately they had later hours on Saturdays compared to the rest of the week. Quite amusing compared to American hours with Saturday having regular hours and Sunday being the late hour day.

During our wanderings on Friday, we ran across a park so we decided to walk around it on Saturday morning. It was a gorgeous park with walking trails, quiet ponds, and lovely foliage next to a marina with touring boat rides and bike rentals. Unfortunately Kristina had hurt her foot prior to our trip otherwise I think I would have persuaded her to rent a bike with me so we could go riding along the trails.

After spending time in the park, we stopped and had ice cream at a small shop at the front of the park. I chose the mango ice cream, which was light and creamy. Perfect for a cool morning.

We went back to the hotel to rest a bit and have lunch before getting ready to go to the wedding. Since Kristina wasn't too hungry for lunch, I decided to go out and try McDonald's in Canada. I know it's ironic, but I wanted to see if it was any different.

I came back to the hotel with some food along with a Canadian specialty, poutine.

No great difference between McDonald's in either country, except the price is more in Canada than in America. The poutine was good, but a 'side' of poutine could a meal in itself so we only ate a little bit of it. All I can say is that it is potatoes, cheese, and gravy.

After eating, we got ready for the wedding. I wrapped Constance and Jim's gift and signed our card. Since their wedding theme was peacocks, I was on the hunt for the perfect card before leaving for Canada. I found a beautiful one by Papyrus. I wish I could have found a peacock themed gift bag, but had to settle for a pastel striped one.

One of the main reasons for choosing the hotel we stayed at in Peterborough was because it was so close to the wedding venue, literally on the street's corner! Since Constance and Jim share a love of theatre, they chose the Market Hall as their venue.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful. Constance was afraid that we wouldn't be impressed after attending our friend Nicole's wedding earlier this year. Both she and Constance had peacock themes. No need to fear, we loved Constance's interpretation of the theme. We especially loved the wedding cake!

The ceremony was gorgeous. The vows that Constance and Jim made to one another were beautiful. I had to keep myself from crying, I doubt I was only person with teary eyes......where's a tissue when you need it! They are such a lovely couple. I knew them only for a year in England while we were in grad school together, but in that time, I found them to be great friends. Jim's quirky humor and charm and Constance's kindness and patience......they definitely compliment each other's personality and anyone who has known them has benefited from their company.

As party favors, Constance and Jim supplied everyone with small jars of honey from their families' beehives. Sadly, we couldn't take it with us since we weren't sure if we could go through customs with something that wasn't factory manufactured.

I really wish we could have stayed for the dinner reception and the dancing afterwards, but by the time dinner was about to be served, we only had about 4-5 hours to sleep before getting up for an airport shuttle ride at 2am.

Our flight back to Atlanta was fine. We thought surely we would be leaving for Mobile on time, but instead of leaving Atlanta at noon, we ended up leaving at 4pm because of earlier flights that were delayed in Mobile.

All in all, we both had a lovely time in Canada. I just wish we had more time and not a few days. I know I would love to go back one day, especially to visit Prince Edward Island!

Thanks for inviting us to Canada!

Until next time ^____^

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