Emily’s Last Sail Before the Veil Part 2

Part 1 here.

SALUT! On Day 2 of Emilio’s Nauti Nautical Bachelorette in Montreal, we had a big ol’ sleep-in (seriously probably the latest I’ve slept in all summer, it was great) before heading out for a late breakfast. Really more of a lunch at that point. That crafty cat Sara, Emily’s sister, made us all sashes for our day activities, and Emily also brought shirts for us to wear. We were perfectly matchy-matchy in our bachelorette gear. One of our friends was unable to come so we even had extra clothing for Chester.

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He should be covered up while in public during the day, so that worked out.

We went to a really cute cafe around the corner from our hotel called Universe Déjeuner + Grillades (j’adore le Francais!)

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Sistas!

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Not sistas!

I loved the whole nautical theme Emily had going on. I thought we all looked fabbity-fab.

I figured that since I was in Montreal I needed to get something different for breakfast, and I really was craving something of the savoury variety… Enter my cheddar, apple and bacon crepe.

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Ohh yes. It was delicious. That picture doesn’t do it justice, but it really was. I was kind of sick all last week (so was Evan, and my Bestie Lisa, and Corina – I have no idea what we all had but it was annoying), so my appetite was not up to par alllll weekend and it was very disappointing. Especially since I was in Montreal. I wanted to eat all the french things but I just wasn’t up for it. I could barely eat half of that crepe, and I tried so hard!

The best part of breakfast was when our servers brought us shots to the table.

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I will not be saying the name of this shot, but I know you know what kind of shots these are.

I will tell you right now that this would not happen in Ontario. We do not just give out free alcohol, even if it is a bachelorette party. So that was pretty sweet. They brought one for all of us, but Emily got an extra glass with whipped cream all down the side. She had to get the whipped cream AND take the shot without using her hands. She was up for the task.

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It was pretty impressive.

After breakfast we picked up Joanna and Sherrie, who had arrived at the hotel while we were eating, and headed into Old Montreal, or specifically, Old Port.

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We were going on a boat ride!

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That “sauna boat” (our name for it) just ahead of the girls to the right was our boat for the next two hours. Hence Emily’s last sail before the veil and the nautical theme.

I don’t know if this is typical for this boat tour, and maybe it was because it was rainy, but our boat was completely empty. Aside from one other man we had the entire place to ourselves!

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Not to worry though, we weren’t lonely. We made friends with the crew.

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That guy was hilarious.

Even the captain came out to chat with us.

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We were sad that he did not have a captain’s hat that we could borrow…

Emily’s husband-to-be, Corey, might want to watch out because our little Emilio got proposed to by another crew member on our boat tour.

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The “ring” is the tab from like a Tropicana carton or something…

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But Em was really excited.

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It was cute.

Our new boat friends took us all around the St. Lawrence River.

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Molson brewery!

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Weirdest condo building I think I’ve ever seen…

It was a good time with the ladies!

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Love those cheeky minxes. After we got back to shore, we went over to Old Port and rented a bicycle built for SIX so we could tour around the area. Well, six plus Chester.

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Chester and his short little legs are useless, so he got to sit up front.

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We took our hot bike all around the shoreline.

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The sun was coming out again, so that was perfect timing. We passed a wedding that was happening, and the bride and groom were getting pictures with the wedding party. They actually stopped us so they could get a picture of themselves on the bike with Chester, and then they had us get in the picture with them. I wonder if that one will make it into the wedding album…

After we dropped off the bike we walked along the boardwalk where a street festival was happening. More shenanigans went down…

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That Bobbie was motorized and the man who was running it was making it follow us around. Well actually, I should say Dawn originally went over to the man who was running it and made it follow us around. She also hijacked the microphone to make it say “HELLO EMILY”. No one expected that and it was creepy.

And then we got free airbrush tattoos from the Parks Canada booth that was set up.

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We all got matching ones in the same spot. Even Chester got one.

After that we walked through Old Montreal. It is really beautiful and reminded us all of Europe (not that I’ve ever been there but I feel like I know what it looks like from movies and such). Just a few pics from around there.

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Very narrow streets and lots of cobblestone. It was gorgeous.

We had dinner reservations at an Italian tapas restaurant, also in Old Montreal, Dolcetto & Co.

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(Notice Emily is still wearing the tab from that carton, haha)

Dolcetto is nautical themed so it could not have been more perfect.

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I love kitschy places like this. It was the cutest little restaurant. AND it was really good. I ordered the pizza with proscuitto, burrata and pineapple.

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Normally that would not have come close to filling me up and I would have supplemented that with additional tapas, or shared with someone, but as I said, my appetite seemed to be taking a vacation. It was sad. It was good though. Everyone enjoyed their meals.

After dinner we headed back to our hotel to get ready and hang out before our second night on the town.

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Sara made those cookies, aren’t they amazing? They tasted amazing also.

We took mug shots…

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I am 5’9″, not 6’2″, haha…but I sure am Emily’s oldest friend!

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Aww, my Emilio is all grown up.

We were still in our nautical gear for the evening (Em asked us to wear stripes), and we all kept our sashes on as well. We again rounded up our props and headed out.

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We stayed at the hotel a bit longer than we anticipated, so we sadly did not make it to the male strip club early enough to get in, which was our original plan. That was disappointing. Not to worry though, we had just as good of a night as we did Friday flying by the seat of our pantalons. I tell you, no plans are the best plans.

Just a note if you go to Montreal and are female, club promoters are everywhere trying to get you into their bar before midnight, for free, and with free drinks. Both nights we ended up stopping by these kinds of bars for free drinks, because HELLO?! FREE DRINKS! But they are not a good time so you do not stay long. Get in there, get the goods, and get out.

After some more (extremely funny) street shenanigans we found a really awesome rooftop patio and spent our night there. It was exactly Emily’s speed and I personally thought it was a dream.

Things that happened:

Chester’s arm got ripped off and he deflated, so that was sad.

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We made friends.

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A lot of our new friends were other bachelorette parties…

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Emily kept receiving flares from the bartenders (and Sherrie was a big contributor to this) and she was really excited about it…

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They were pretty exciting, I have to agree with her.

Our dentist friends found us! They said they saw our giant inflatable friend from the street (we were on the roof, remember) and bet each other that it was us. That is one of the dentists trying to blow up Chester again (to no avail). As soon as we saw them we all yelled “DENTISTS!!!!!” which made me laugh really hard.

We found people who had twin tattoos…

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Only theirs were actually real. We totally blew their mind with all our tattoos though.

I wish I could remember the name of that place, ’cause we had a really good time there.

After the bar Emily, Sara, Sherrie and I walked to Five Guys for a late night snack…

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We traded a Superman pen for a picture with our inflatable friend (it got to the point when people would ask us for a picture we would ask them what they had to trade for one), so that is why they are being Superman in that picture.

At Five Guys I ordered poutine and it was the lamest poutine I have ever experienced, so I was really disappointed about that. You had to make it yourself!

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Quebec is supposed to be the land of poutine! WTF Five Guys?! I pay you to make my poutine!

Anyway, again, a really good time!

In the morning we got up and retook our mug shots.

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Annnd I have toothpaste on my face.

And then we drove back home in our SUV with the inappropriate drawings all over it.

J’adore Montreal, J’ADORE!!!

Emily’s Last Sail Before the Veil Part 1

Quick warning: This post is about a bachelorette party, and bachelorette’s, in my opinion, are not complete without items that are of the, uh, phallic nature. We had a giant inflatable one. Just letting you know. But if you like that sort of thing (and everyone who encountered us this weekend certainly did), giddy-up.

This weekend we celebrated the impending end of singledom of our good friend Emily (Emil, Emilio) in Montreal, Quebec. Montreal, by the way, will now forever be known as The Most Fun City In The Entire World. Montreal is about a 6 hour drive from Toronto and I have only been there once, for about an hour, at the tail end of a band trip back in high school (with Emily, coincidentally, my oldest friend!). I barely remember any of that, but after this time I already cannot wait to go back there.

The girls headed up Friday morning in this sweet SUV decorated by Emily’s sister Sara.

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We added a few more inappropriate “objects” to the windows and were on our way. We actually got honked at more on the way BACK on Sunday than we did on the way there, so that was an interesting development ’cause the party was over… But it was still a fun drive watching everyone’s reactions as we drove by them.

Before we got to the Ontario/Quebec border, we passed the Big Apple. Aptly named as it is literally a giant apple.

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It’s definitely a landmark along the 401 and it’s one of those places that you mean to stop at one day but you never do, and all of a sudden you’re over 30 and you’ve never been to the Big Apple. None of us had been there before so, we stopped. I was actually wary of stopping because all I could think about was Pingle’s “Fun” Farm and how big of an annoying cash grab it is so I thought it would be similar, if not worse. I was so wrong. It was so awesome and I’m glad the girls got me into it.

Our friend Chester was with us, as he usually is on occasions of this nature… He had a good time with the little goats.

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And doing all the tourist things…

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Definitely worth stopping at the Big Apple. The gift shop/bakery/restaurant is huge and has a lot of cool things. We were all kind of blown away. I will be going back when I have more time.

We stopped one other time to grab a quick lunch and we finally arrived in Montreal in the late afternoon. Just a heads up that driving in Montreal is crazy. I have always heard this but to experience it was something else entirely. People seem to enjoy making their own rules of the road and were just driving anywhere they wanted. I’m glad I wasn’t driving. Sara is a champ.

We stayed at Le Cantlie Suites right downtown, and I can’t say enough good things about it. If you’re looking for a Montreal hotel I would definitely recommend it. The staff were friendly and attentive (they really went above and beyond for us), the location was great, and our room was basically an apartment. We were living the suite life of Zack and Cody.

We had a bedroom with two beds, a living/dining room with a pullout couch, and a full kitchen.

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We wanted to check out the rooftop pool while we had a chance, so after we got settled in our room the first thing we did was get into our bathing suits and head up there.

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We caught the tail end of a storm, but it passed quickly and then it was warm and almost sunny. The pool was heated and it was probably the warmest pool I’ve ever swam in. Not quite a hot tub, but I’d call it a warm tub for sure. It was really nice. We made friends with three dentists who wandered up there and into our web of harassment (we are kind of like spiders – if you come near us we will be talking to you). They were from the US and in Montreal for a bachelor party, but half of their group bailed on them at the last minute. Poor guys. When we found out they were dentists we all just bombarded them with questions about our teeth. Evan and I just got the new Sonicare electric toothbrushes so I was telling them alllll about those (they concurred they are #1 dentist recommended). It was an interesting conversation. Everyone likes talking about teeth, right?

Anyway, we swam around for a while and then headed back to our room to get ready and eat dinner. We figured since we had a full kitchen in our room we’d save a dinner expense one night and eat in. We made lasagne!

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I was actually on Caesar salad duty and I COMPLETELY forgot, but it worked out, we had a lot of food without the salad. That lasagne was delicious. Thanks to Dawnald for bringing that along.

After dinner we gathered our props and headed out into the night!

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We had planned on Saturday being our big night out once Joanna and Sherrie arrived, and Friday was supposed to be the low-key, fly by the seat of our pants, let’s check out what Montreal has to offer, kind of night. Montreal had other plans for us though. As soon as we hit the road, hilarity ensued.

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People LOVED our giant inflatable friend. I felt like we were celebrities. Everyone was coming up to us and grabbing it, and we basically had a lineup everywhere we went of people requesting pictures with it. It was hilarious. Just walking through the streets was one of the funniest moments of my life.

We eventually stumbled across a street festival that had just ended and there were tons of people milling about. It was chaos, but it was great. My favourite was when other bachelor parties would come up to us with a list of things the bachelor had to do. Emily also had a list of things she had to do that our friend Crystal sent her (who couldn’t make it to the party, sadly), so that worked out well. They could trade off.

Sometimes it worked out so well that they both could cross something off their list in one activity. In one case a bachelor had to receive a piggyback, and on Emily’s list she had to give someone a piggyback. Perfect!

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That man also let us draw on his face. He was a good sport.

We also somehow acquired a giant bucket of ice cream.

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And then a “snowball” fight happened. That sounds really obnoxious but people LOVED it. Dawn was adamant that it was chocolate ice cream, but I tasted some and I think there was a little butterscotch ripple in there…

That street festival totally made our evening. I was completely overstimulated. There were so many hilarious things happening at one time that I didn’t even know where to look. I preferred to just stand back and watch all the antics.

Eventually we found ourselves at a bar called Thursdays, where Emily was able to cross more items off her list, like wearing the lunettes of a fine young gent.

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We all agreed that we didn’t know how Saturday was going to be able to top Friday night because it turned out to be one of the best nights out of our lives. We had such a good time.

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It set the bar high, I will tell you that. But Saturday ended up being equally as good, so I will be back with Part 2 of Emily’s Bachey Bash tomorrow. I am so glad Emilio had a good time!!!

32 (MORE) Reasons Why Evan is the Best Ever

Happy Birthday to the amazing Evan, who is turning 32 today!

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Last year on his 31st birthday I wrote 31 reasons why Evan is the best ever, and after I published it I was all “man, am I going to have to top that every year?” but as the year has gone on, I realized that I wanted to. Last year I wrote that just before we moved in together, and since that happened I honestly think of something every day that I could add to the list. I’m sure my friends are pretty sick of hearing about how amazing Evan is all the time, and the beautiful thing about the internet is if you don’t like reading it you can just click X and get out (or you can start a thread on me on GOMI, but I am a secret hamcat so I may join you in the snark).

Anyway, if you do enjoy reading about cheesy love things every once in a while then gather your cats, settle in, and read on.

32 (MORE) Reasons Why Evan is the Best Ever

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32. He is Mr. Community. He is friends with nearly everyone in our condo building and he seeks out situations where he can help out and be a good neighbour. A man in his 80s left a note on the bulletin board in the parking garage asking for help with his computer, Evan saw this and called him immediately offering his assistance. Evan is now not only his resident IT support, but also his friend.

31. Along those same lines, we rent our second parking spot from an old lady in our building (who actually just passed away, so that is very sad). Evan would go down every month to pay her for the parking spot, and she would invite him in and make him a drink. Three fingers of rum, straight. He would sit with her and chat for about an hour while he drank his straight rum, and it is especially heartwarming because she did not have any other friends in the building that we know of and I don’t think anyone else took the time to talk with her.

30. I am routinely in the elevator with older ladies in our building, and this excited outburst is a common occurrence: “Are you Evan’s girlfriend?! OHHHHH!!!! He’s such a nice boy!!!!” Yes, yes, I know.

29. He picked up two of those reaching grabber things so that we can pick up garbage when we’re out on walks in our neighbourhood (we have a lot of litterbugs in our neighbourhood). We definitely plan on using them, but in the meantime Evan has been using them on Winnie. And she loves it.

28. He uses surprising words/phrases to describe things and it always catches me off guard and makes me laugh unexpectedly hard. I mentioned last time that he calls people who are acting crazy a coconut. If we are in a crowded public place he will say that it is a banana plantation or a coconut factory. We were at the cottage and we were watching a group of people in this pontoon boat that they CLEARLY just rented because they obviously did not know what they were doing (they lifted the motor up while it was still running), and after watching them for a bit Evan said “Man, it’s like watching a box of doughnuts.” I didn’t even know what it meant but it made me laugh for a long time. One time I asked him to describe someone he had met and he said they were a “vegetable lasagne” (which is actually from Seinfeld), so I asked him to elaborate and he said “like a limp noodle. Plain Yogurt. Just…dull.”

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27. He will always offer me the last bite of whatever we’re eating if it’s really good. Or the last chocolate. Or the last slice of cake. Or the biggest piece. Or the best piece. Always.

26. I mentioned this before, but he’s clean. And it’s worth mentioning again because I noticed this before we lived together and I thought it might be an illusion, but it isn’t. I notice it even more now. Our condo is always neat. He makes the bed, he puts his clothes in the hamper, he does laundry, he cleans the kitchen and bathrooms, he does the dishes/loads the dishwasher, he’s a freak and he LOVES to vacuum. When we have cleaning days, we do it together (but in truth he is more neat and more thorough than I am).

25. He does not procrastinate. He is on things immediately. I briefly just sort of mention something that maybe we should do sometime, Evan picks up on it, and it’s done. He just gets it done. I have never had to nag him about anything…actually, I don’t even know if I’ve ever had to ask him to do something. He notices the toilet paper roll is empty, he fills it. The bathroom garbage needs to be emptied, he does it. His family mentions they want to redo the wood on the side of the driveway at the cottage sometime, Evan is on it and he is picking up that wood immediately.

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And he is looking hot doing it.

24. One evening he asked me how I would feel about having a ceiling fan in our dining area to replace the overhead light. I said I was down. The next day I get home from work and the fan is installed and running.

23. Last year when I went away for work for three days, I came home and he and Brotherman had redone our master bathroom.

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It was a quick fix and they did it on the super cheap, but it was so horrible before. It hadn’t been updated since the 70s. I appreciated it so much. I was SO excited. It was like While You Were Out! (the tile hadn’t been grouted yet in the above photo, so ignore those dark grout lines)

22. When my Bestie Lisa was visiting recently we were planning on having a best friend night here in the condo. Evan was totally welcome to stay around, but he knows we are loud when we get together (we basically just sit there and scream at each other) and that we had a lot of catching up to do, so instead of crashing our party he and Brotherman went to the cottage for the night just to get out of our hair.

21. He cleaned up for Lisa’s arrival, he tidied the kitchen, vacuumed, and he made our bed all nice. Then he texted me to let me know he left an extra (new) toothbrush and toothpaste in the bathroom in case Lisa needed it.

20. He and Brotherman installed the backsplash in the kitchen at my work.

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19. When we were staying with my mom in BC earlier this summer he fixed all the things in her house. No one asked him to, he just noticed that the toilet seat was loose, so he found her tools and tightened it up. The faucet in the bathtub was leaking, so he went out and got her a new one and installed it. Etc. etc.

18. He is the easiest traveler in the world. When we were galavanting around BC and Alberta, we were so busy every single day. I had us on a pretty packed itinerary. I have a feeling that Evan would have preferred to leisure around a bit more than we did but he never complained once. He was always up for anything and he was always very happy about it. I know he had one of the best trips of his life and was grateful that we did as much as we did.

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17. The shadow boxes he got me for Valentine’s Day.

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I am not the one who has been populating those with content. That’s all Evan right there.

16. He made me a really awesome stocking for Christmas, and it included this mug.

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15. He’s the most thoughtful gift buyer ever. He really listens when I say I like something or I want to do something (hence the Lion King tickets for my birthday). He and Brotherman do a lot of work around our condo building and they were painting the outside of the parking garage and the retired Super was helping them, just because he wanted to. They wanted to get him something as a thank you to let him know they really appreciated it, but they couldn’t figure out what. They brainstormed and brainstormed. Then his walker broke, so they decided to buy him a new walker. He LOVES it and he uses it all the time.

14. He makes coffee and breakfast every morning.

13. Ahem.

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No explanation necessary.

12. He sends me pictures of Winnie and Bolt when I’m away. His love for Winnie especially just melts my heart.

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11. I also love how he looks after Bolt and Winnie. He feeds them, cleans Winnie’s litter, takes Bolts for walks. So do I, of course, but he will do this also without my asking. It warms my heart that he takes care of them.

10. When he makes dinner (which is often, which is awesome), he packs it up for my lunch for the next day.

9. Speaking of dinner…

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I love it.

8. And every time that I make him dinner he tells me it is the best dinner he’s ever had.

7. He tells me I am beautiful every. single. day. Usually it is when I am not looking beautiful, as in I just woke up. Last night when I got home from work I immediately changed into my comfy home clothes and put my hair up and when he saw me he said “Look at you! You look so beautiful right now!”

6. He puts in effort to get to know the important people in my life. My family, my friends.

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He even puts in effort to get to know the important people to them. For example, when we were at my Bestie’s parents on Labour Day weekend, he spent a lot of time chatting with and getting to know her parents, and Corina.

5. This is maybe something that I love about our relationship in general, but we have a very similar schedule and are on the same page. We eat dinner together every night, we go to bed at the same time, we wake up at the same time, we eat breakfast together while watching the Weather Network. It’s simple, and I know it wouldn’t work in every relationship, but I really like it.

4. This is the first time that I have felt like I have a genuine partner in life. Evan is my teammate. Every day he does something, even a small gesture, to make my life easier and he genuinely always has my best interests at heart. Always, always! I cannot tell you how absolutely refreshing this has been!

3. He listens to everything I have to say, no matter how mundane it is.

2. He is respectful and confident and thoughtful and genuinely so nice to everyone. He goes out of his way to make people feel comfortable. My brother has a friend who is a bit shy and socially awkward, and Evan went out of his way to talk to him about things they have in common. I could tell it made the guy feel more comfortable and come out of his shell with us. People, in turn, genuinely really like him.

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1. He loves me. He genuinely really loves me.

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Every day he makes me feel like the luckiest girl on the planet. I wish that everyone has someone in their life who is as great as he is.

Happy Birthday Evan! You are THE BEST. EVER.

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If you would like to hear more reasons why Evan is the best ever, there are 31 right here!

Labour Day Lake Weekend

My very bestest buddy Lisa is currently visiting from Calgary so I was very lucky to be able to spend the majority of Labour Day weekend with her at her parents lake house.

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Yes, we have Labour Day in Canada, it is not only for Americans. But yes, we spell it Labour, with a U.

I can’t think of anywhere else I would have rather been.

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Beauty, beauty. Lisa’s good friend Corina was with us as well, who I also know pretty well as she was Lisa’s roomie in university and I spent a LOT of party nights at their place. Their uni house will always hold a special place in my heart. Ah the good ol’ days.

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The last time the three of us were together…almost two years ago!

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And this time.

Friday evening was pretty low key. We just went swimming, did some hot tubbing, and around 8:30 convinced Lisa’s dad to drive us to a Salvation Army sale that was happening (we could not drive ourselves as we had been drinking in the hot tub). Browsing around was pretty fun, but the sale turned out to be kind of a bust EXCEPT for this pretty sweet game Corina picked up.

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It is called Personal Preference and it is definitely from the 80s. Some of the people in the People category we had to Google because we didn’t know who they were, but it is definitely a good time. Basically you pick four cards in different categories and rank them secretly according to your personal preference. The other players then bet on the order of your preference. Corina already owns it but she has played it so many times with her friends she grabbed it in case one of them wanted it. She said she had been looking online and saw it for about $60 but at the Salvation Army she scored it for $1.99. Pretty sweet deal. It provided hours of entertainment.

Because of our late night trip we didn’t eat dinner until about 9:30pm, but we ate outside with Lisa’s parents (who I like to consider my second parents) and it was romantic.

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I didn’t take a picture of what we ate so I already forget. See, this is why I like a record of these things. But on Saturday morning we woke up to a famous Lisa’s dad’s (or Daddy Brook) breakfast.

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Waffles and peameal bacon. Yes and yes.

We leisured around for a bit until this guy arrived.

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Good thing too, because when I jumped in the lake the day before in my life jacket diaper I was wearing my sunglasses and they promptly fell off and sunk to the bottom of the lake. Not really a big deal, but they are prescription from Zenni and I like being able to see. Evan brought me an extra pair AND he brought goggles and went down and retrieved my lost ones as soon as he got there. That was very nice.

Life jacket diaper picture, for your reference.

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Evan brought Bolt along with him, and he immediately got settled into leisuring as well.

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Lisa’s parents have a little dog named Roxy, and Bolt has not always been great with other dogs (mainly ones that are bigger than him though) so I worried about how they were going to get along. But after a little first meeting tiff they were best friends. They immediately found a common interest in chasing squirrels and were good with each other for the rest of the weekend.

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They were so cute together.

We spent the afternoon swimming and hanging around on the dock.

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And eating.

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Lisa’s mom always has the BEST hotdog and hamburger relishes. 

In the late afternoon, Lisa’s parents took us all on a boat ride.

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I’ve never seen Bolt in a boat before so I wasn’t sure how he was going to react, but he was great.

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He had just gotten splashed here and did not really know what to think of that…

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Much boat ride, so happy.

I loved the boat ride. Lisa’s dad took us all through the locks/channels in the area.

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My favourite was looking at all the lake houses and deciding which one I would like to live in one day. Perhaps this blue one.

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The crazy thing about that blue house is that is the guest house. The actual house is even bigger behind it. But I’d seriously live in a shack if it was on a lake. A tent even.

The entire area is beautiful. All the rocks make me happy.

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This was our favourite dog that we saw…

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Can you spot him perched on the end of that makeshift diving board?

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So majestic.

Our ride was about an hour and took us over to the falls and back.

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Lots of time for doggy snuggles.

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Bolt is so snuggly. He likes to snuggle even more than Winnie, which I wouldn’t have thought possible. She lives for snuggling.

And then we got back and I promptly split my pants…

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They were wet from my bathing suit and the seams did not like that. They’re my favourite cottage pants!!! Sad day.

We had a nice family dinner together.

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We spent more time in the hot tub…

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And we played that Personal Preference game into the evening. Evan was making Lisa, Corina and I die of laughter. I don’t even know what he was doing, but I have said before that I just look at his facial expressions and it makes me laugh hard and I think that’s what was happening.

It was a dream day.

I think Sunday might have been Evan’s dream day though because he got to go sailing with the boys.

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He was pretty excited about that. We girls stayed back and had reading time. And I was pretty excited about THAT. I love my reading time. Every time Lisa and I are together we end up having reading time. We always have. I’d say the only difference in our reading time now and 20 years ago is our choices, but Lisa was re-reading Remember Me by Christopher Pike so it would appear that nothing has actually changed. I remember loving that book so much. I am going to have to re-read it.

Picture of Bolt and Lisa’s mom just because:

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And we had another amazing lunch.

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And then, sadly, it was time for Evan and I to hit the road.

On Sunday night, Lisa and I met up with the girls at my friend Dawn’s. Baby Scarlett slow danced with Donatello.

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And we spent some time catching up in the pool.

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It was really nice to have a low key night in with the ladies.

Perfect last weekend of summer. Just what I would have wanted to do.

Nanny’s Annual Elvis BBQ

Last Wednesday evening was the annual family appreciation barbecue at my Nana’s nursing home. Long time readers of my blog may remember this in previous years because the highlight of the barbecue is an Elvis tribute artist. He is not easily forgettable.

I have attended for the past five years or so and Elvis has been the same guy each year.

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He is pretty awesome. He is very good at getting the crowd excited. Last year was a particularly good time.

Anyway, after work on Wednesday, Evan and I made the trip up to the nursing home and found my excited little (100-year-old!) Nana camped out outside. She went down to the yard super early so she could score a prime location for our group. She doesn’t mess around. She snagged us the best seats in the house.

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Oh she is just so cute. She is still so chipper and spry. I think the Elvis barbecue might be the highlight of her year. Actually, I think it might be mine (EDIT: I was just reading my post about Elvis last year and I used the same line, embarrassingly… I am going to have to pick up the originality over here).

While we waited for Elvis to start his hilarious show, we did the barbecue thing…

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Same as usual, and pretty good. One thing my Nana has definitely not lost in her old age is her appetite. She ate half a hamburger, an entire hotdog, and both kinds of salad. Plus a big piece of cake. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, I know where I get my appetite from.

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This gal right here.

My family had a lot going on last week and unfortunately couldn’t make it to the party, but my Auntie Nancy’s childhood best friend Joanne and her husband Harry were in attendance.

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It was their first time coming to the Elvis party and I think they really enjoyed themselves. And I’ll tell you one thing about Harry…he’s a troublemaker. Just a jokester. They were very entertaining.

We ate and chatted and caught up for a bit, and then it was Elvis time. He made a beeline towards my Nana.

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Look at my Nana just clutching his hand with her sassy pink nails. Seeing her so happy just makes my heart want to explode. When Elvis first came out and was just talking she said to us “He doesn’t sound like Elvis!” but then he started singing and you know what, he actually does. He does a very good Elvis. And he’s quite the entertainer, doing the ol’ “what’s your room number, baby?” to all the old ladies, and I think an old man. Once he started doing his thing my Nana warmed up to him.

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She may have been in awe of him.

Evan too.

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Look how close they are in this picture.

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I’d say Elvis is Evan’s new best friend.

It was kind of cold outside so Elvis came over to the Nana and was all “Are you cold, baby? Do you need me to take you to your room to warm you up?”

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That scandalous Elvis.

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Nana’s all, no thanks I’m good.

And even Harry got in on the Elvis action.

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Elvis thought Joanne was my mom, so when he discovered she wasn’t he was all “Well who’s the mom here?” and Harry immediately said “I AM!” which made me laugh a lot harder than I would have expected. Harry’s cheesy humour just slays me.

Also during the Elvis barbecue, the staff at my Nana’s nursing home took part in the ALS ice bucket challenge, as they were all nominated by another nursing home.

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They are clearly enjoying that.

So it was once again a fantastic Elvis time.

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And Evan and I are once again thinking what we sort of events we have coming up that we could possibly book Elvis for. As we were leaving I told Elvis that we liked him and he was a good time and then I asked “Hey, do you want to come to our cottage and perform for us?” and he said that sounded like fun, so that could be an option… I am just sad we didn’t think of booking Elvis as a surprise for Brotherman’s wedding. Now THAT would have been a party.

Camping: The Food

So we ate pretty good when we were camping… I don’t know if it deserves its own blog post, but I like to have a record of what I ate so it’s getting one. On the way up in the car we were searching for a premium chip truck. We passed so many but we kept vetoing them thinking we would come across one that was even better. I don’t know what exactly we had in mind, but we did this for about two hours until we were all dying of starvation and agreed that we should have just stopped at the first chip truck we saw. Someone needed to make an executive decision there.

Anyway, we eventually stopped at the Native reserve right outside the park which had a fish truck. Stopping there ended up being the best decision because it was insanely delicious.

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The fish was apparently fresh white fish from Georgian Bay and I could definitely taste the fish more than I usually can in fish and chips, but I loved it. That tartar sauce too…dynamite. So it ended up working out.

Our first night camping we had tacos!

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Both hard and soft shells because that’s how you do tacos right. Tacos seem like they would be annoying to make camping, but they’re actually pretty ridiculously easy. The only thing you have to cook is your meat, and the vegetables are easy to chop. You may remember Evan and I had them the last time we were camping when the tarp full of rain water collapsed on Evan’s head as he was eating his taco…and I laughed about it for a week afterwards. I still laugh when I picture it.

Also featured when Evan and I were camping together last year is Ian’s fantastic camp stove.

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The BioLite! (not an ad, I just really like it!) You feed it little pieces of wood, light it, and a fan keeps it running. No propane required. Once it is hot enough you can not only cook on it but you can charge your devices or run things with the USB. It is extremely handy, and it works very well. It also has a sweet grill attachment that we tried out for the first time.

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Perfect for cooking alllll the wieners (we roasted a ton over the fire also. Bolt liked.)

And steaks. It was perfect for grilling up our steaks.

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On our second night for dinner we had steak, rice that we just cooked in a pot, and then corn that we cooked in tinfoil over the fire. It was amazing.

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That corn man. So good.

For breakfast on Sunday we had leftover steak, so we warmed them up on the stove and then cooked the old standby, bacon and eggs.

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I don’t know what it is about camping but everything you eat seems to taste better than usual. Maybe because it’s more work to make it so then it’s super rewarding when you get to eat it. I don’t know, but I like it.

Sunday was our big cliff beach adventuring day, so we brought ham and cheese wraps with us for a picnic, and then for dinner…

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Pasta with peppers, mushrooms, onions, and shredded cheddar cheese. It was SO GOOD. I remember thinking that it was the most perfect meal of all time as I was eating it. Ahhh, I love camping food!

We also roasted a ton of marshmallows over the fire, and of course s’mores happened…

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Errrrmagerrrrrd. And you know what else is really good to roast over the fire as an alternative to mashmallows? Starburst candies. I know, who would have thought. I read about it in that lame Buzzfeed camping hacks article so I brought some to try and they were awesome. The outside gets all crispy and crystalized and the inside is all soft and melty. That was the only useful information in that article. Everything else just seemed like unnecessary work.

And of course we had the chips that the racoons ate. I feel like we really did the camping food right! We were happy and not hungry, so that = success.

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