Tuesday, October 15, 2013

September on the Road

I rode my bike to and from work the other day, the first time in a month actually, and I can't believe just how fast the season is changing.  Peaceful morning and evening, leaves raining down, landing softly in the streets. It's so true that life continues to move faster and faster isn't it? Gone are the days of epic summer vacations that never seemed to end, swinging on my backyard swing-set until the sun went down. I am constantly surrounded by work colleagues who wish for the weekend the moment Monday begins, and I find myself telling them often not to wish their lives away so fast. Let's just slow down and enjoy today while we are young and able. 

September was filled with friendly and family dinners (officially introducing Shayne's and my parents-and cooking a huge meal for them). I finally got to see Chelsea Wolfe in concert, which was something special, as her music had become a bit of a soundtrack to my summer (especially my travels in Costa Rica) A visit with Bernie all the way from Germany and even starting a new job (and therefore beginning my new foray into the freelance world) 

And of course, all of these wonderful things were punctuated with a couple of little road trips through this beautiful land. Mid-September, Shayne and I decided on a complete whim to drive to Montreal. It had been five years since our last visit, and I was desperate to see the Mosaicultures exhibit at the Botanical Gardens, so we rented a car and were on our way.

And really, where else can you find a cheap hotel in an old walk-up converted house with exposed brick walls? Once again, Montreal immediately stole my heart.

We spent all day Saturday wandering around town, hitting some friend-recommended spots and even finding a cafe we passed five years ago, and were now determined to find it again and actually eat there  (and we did!) We also happened into the most amazing furniture store. Look at this place! Honestly, if I could live in this building, just as it is - ten dining room tables included - I totally would (and what a dinner party that would be!)

I think this office space suits me well for my imaginary-official job as photography assistant to Shayne Gray Photography, with a little moonlighting as a writer/cellist/artist/designer/pianist/opera singer, don't you?

Found some glider garden swings outside of a church to rest our feet for a while. Shayne asked me to pretend I was excited...this is the best I could muster? I'm disappointed in myself. What a haphazard attempt at excitement! Not to worry, I was feeling it all inside.

Afternoon drinks at Casa Del Popolo...

And lunch at Santropol, the cafe we had set out to find from five years earlier (and it was ridiculously delicious) This place is so whimsical, and makes me wish I was a little witch who lived in a cabin in the woods surrounded by gardens for my potions.

What do you think? Is this a good look for me?

Or perhaps this? (my real self showing through I think)

Can't go to Montreal without going to 3B for the sampler...now officially a tradition! But really, after drinks there, we had to remind ourselves how super-class we are and drown our livers in gin martinis at the swankiest place we could find (yeah, we totally belonged in there haha)

See? Totally us right?
Okay, well possibly more fitting to us was the late night, non-swanky, 'last resort' crepe place we went to where Shayne asked for a water... And he was told they only have bottled water...but I was looking right at the sink which had a perfectly operational set of taps on it!

And on our last day, we embarked on the reason behind this little trip. I had seen pictures of this exhibit and immediately knew I had to go there. It looked to me like it was the neatest dreamland and my imagination was burning at the sight of it. It was gorgeous, alas the crowds (!) they really took away from the experience.

Hello Bison!!

That just about ended our weekend in Montreal, but we still had Fredericton NB to look forward to! I knew our mini trip to New Brunswick would be great, but it ended up being even better than I could have imagined. We went there partly for work, to shoot our friends' wedding, but really, it was mostly for love! Since the bride and groom are good friends of ours, it never felt like work at all.

Shayne and I flew to Fredericton in a 'teeny tiny little restaurant in the sky' with Will, our super fun element of comedy (who clearly brought out that rooster costume side of me for the remainder of the trip) The three of us had an inseparable weekend of laughter, starting with lunch at The Blue Whore.

We do take a fabulous serious picture..but this is certainly more typical.

Feeling like a relationship councilor to these two guys as I sat across the table from them in the hotel bar. I think there's hope guys, I really do (those beers may be the key...)

We all stayed at the same hotel, on the same floor, which made for a great experience as we could wander up and down the hall easily to drop in on each other, or to visit the bride and groom: the reason for this wonderful trip.

Working hard...?

...or hardly working?

Saturday was a wonderful day filled with wedding bliss. Kate & Kyle pictures in the warm sun by the water, kissing in front of cornfields and spending time with their families. The ceremony at the art gallery was so special, and so very fun. Feeling super classy in my 'opera' dress, running around fetching things for his-photo-majesty, snapping off a ton of pictures myself (after Shayne set me loose with a camera) and tearing up during the ceremony (good thing I wasn't official photographer)

Being a photographer at your friends' wedding is really the best thing ever, you're awarded such an intimate picture of such a wonderful day. And doesn't everyone just look so snazzy?

Sunday morning, the newlyweds hosted a beautiful brunch at the hotel for the guests (where I tried my best to keep it classy and not spill anything...I think I actually managed!)
After brunch, Shayne, Will and I took our rental car out into the world and drove for hours to see a bit more of New Brunswick. The fall colours were coming in fast, and what better place to see them than on the east coast? The sun was shining, singing along with music on the stereo, life was good.

Sass & Class

Honestly, I never feel short, ever.

We walked this nice little lakeside forest path where the views were stunning, and swimming would have been perfect had it been slightly warmer (and if we hadn't been in our post-wedding brunch outfits) Everything was wonderfully peaceful, birds singing, breeze in the tree tops, soft moss underfoot...and then blammo! Rap music blasting from a docked boat near by. In an instant, Will yells "REALLY??!!" and just like that, the music stops. Peace restored. This guy is an opera singer: you can't mess with a voice like that (thank you Will)

Stopped to have lunch and pie at the busiest county diner on the planet, and no, I did not almost back into the broadside of a pickup truck. No I did not.


Waiting for the ferry ride home, and no, I did not nearly drive us into the river...
Postscript: I did have my eyes checked once back at home, only to find out I need glasses for driving. Sorry guys. Yikes!

We giggled our way all the way back to the airport, through the waiting time and onto the 'restaurant in the sky' where I think I was truly losing my marbles (or, at the very least, just enjoying myself fully) The last time I flew I was on my own, and this trip just proved how much better flying with loved ones truly is.

Onto a wonderful October! ...ok so it's already mid-October (but I can pretend, can't I?)