Category Archives: Summer

The Annual Blackstock Derby

Friday night I hit up my small hometown’s annual fair and demolition derby. Ah, good ol’ Blackstock, Ontario, barely on the map. I actually consider Port Perry and Blackstock my dual hometowns, because Blackstock only consists of a couple general stores, a couple churches and an arena (its slogan is “it’s small but it’s paid for!”), but it’s where I went to both high school and elementary school and many of my friends lived in town so I spent a lot of time there. Port Perry is larger and the closest legit town, where we would go if we actually wanted to do something, so I think of it as home, too. But I technically grew up outside of both Blackstock and Port Perry, in Scugog Point, which is sort of in the middle of nowhere and consists of some houses, a forest and the lake. It didn’t even have a general store. I enjoy the city but I love the country and really miss it sometimes. At least I can go back to visit.

Anyway, not that anyone cares, so onto the derby. The fair usually has about four rides, a game or two, some events and a couple of food stalls. I noticed that it has really downsized this year — there were no rides or games, just a barn full of animals, some 4-H activities, a flower show thing, chainsaw carving (I am not kidding), camel rides and a few food stands. But you know the highlight is the derby! Here’s a video from last year:

Congrats to Mark!!! He got third with his little white Ford in this entertaining mess.

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I took all my videos on my Snapchat (happyorhungry) this year and I forgot to save them, so hopefully you caught the action live! One of my coworkers did and she said she felt like she was there with me.

Mark’s car from last year unfortunately did not live to see another derby, so this year he had a new sweet ride.

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Scar’s car! (for Scarlett, Dawn and Mark’s daughter)

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Cute.

I don’t think derby’s are really city things so I’d better explain…usually there are at least six cars in the ring at a time, and they all deliberately smash into one another until there is only one car still running. The winner!

The cars have all been gutted and all the glass has been removed for safety precautions. They usually modify with roll bars and like…fire things, I don’t know…as well.

Last year Mark came in third overall, so we all had high hopes for this year. We scored a seat up front to watch the action.

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We got to talk to the man of the hour before his heat started.

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He definitely looked the derby driver part.

Go 97!
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His car was holding up well but there was a big jerk in his heat who was totally after him. He would purposely seek him out to smash into him, several times he would come barreling over from the opposite side of the ring and just crash into Mark as hard as possible. It was really annoying to watch. He also had a confederate flag on his car so we didn’t like that. I really wanted to see him lose. In the end the jerk won the heat, after he took out Mark.

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Mark got second, which is not too shabby at all. His car took a serious beating and I could not believe it ran for as long as it did. It really held up. He should be proud. Derby royalty right here.

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Mark would actually advance to the finals! If he could get his car running again, which…

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did not look promising.

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People were actually crowded around taking pictures of it.

While Mark worked on the car the girls walked over to his parents house (conveniently located directly next to the fairgrounds) and had a drink with his mom, so that was cute. By the time we got back Mark had gotten the car running again and was thinking the finals might happen, and then it stalled again forever, so that was the end of that.

Bye 97.

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So then we went to the beer tent (not really a tent, just a fenced-in area) and that was a total elementary/high school reunion. I saw a kid I used to teach swimming lessons to when I was like 13 and he was about 4 or 5. My friend Melissa and I (and sometimes Lisa too if she was at the cottage) started our own swim club in our neighbourhood, offering lessons to all the local children for $2.

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We didn’t have any official swimming instructor credentials or anything, but we spent the entire summer in the lake anyway so we figured we might as well make some money. Parents actually paid us $2 a week to teach their child how to swim. Not a liability issue at all!

So I saw one of the kids and we had a reunion and he was like “That is so crazy! I can’t believe my parents paid you to teach me how to swim!” I pointed out that he didn’t drown and asked him if he was a good swimmer now, and he said he’s a GREAT swimmer now! There ya go.

It was a really fun night. The entire evening was a hilarious experience that made me feel like I was back in high school. Can’t wait til next year!

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Blue Rodeo and CNE Date Night

Evan and I had tickets to see Blue Rodeo on Saturday night at the Molson Amp (again, I feel like I live there) and because you have to walk through the Canadian National Exhibition grounds to get to the concert venue we got into the CNE for free! aka the Ex. aka where all the crazy food is!!!

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The CNE only runs the last two weeks of summer, until Labour Day, and it is a quintessential Toronto summer activity. I used to go for years with my Nana when I was younger and she would go on all the rides with me! These days I prefer to check out the food situation – the food building is ridiculous. I was completely overstimulated and overwhelmed in there. I didn’t know where to look, let alone what to eat. I wrote a post last year on Buzzfeed about all the crazy foods. They add new food every year (and it keeps getting crazier) but they still had the old favourites, like the cronut and donut burgers that were all the rage a few years ago.

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That churro cheeseburger might be new though. And pizza in a cone.

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I guess I’m falling for the novelty of it because I do quite like the idea of pizza in a cone.

Evan and I did a lap of the perimeter and settled on sharing snow crab fries to start.

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Ehh, overrated. Too many fries, not enough crab. The crab was good but it was so skimpy that I can’t recommend for $11. Keep walkin.

Keel walkin right on over to the Vienna food stall with the POUTINE BALLS!!!!

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This was worth every penny. Little balls of mashed potato and cheese, deep fried and served with cheese curds and gravy. OH GOD YES. That was as good as it looks. Maybe even better than it looks. No regrets!

As we were walking out we passed the Japanese street food booth and this caught our eye… the RAMEN BURGER.

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That is a burger with ramen noodles as the bun. What a dream. I don’t know how you say no to that, so we got it to share. Really good. Kind of weird, but weirdly delicious. 100% would eat again.

After all the eating we walked around the grounds for a bit before heading over to the concert.

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Blue Rodeo was wonderful but seeing them on Saturday night meant we were missing the last Tragically Hip concert, which I was initially a bit bummed about. I have seen the Hip before a long time ago, but I know watching it would have been such an amazing and emotional experience. Although maybe for the best because I couldn’t even watch a commercial about the concert without tearing up…

I’m aware I have a lot of American readers (like, mostly American somehow) so just in case you’re not up to speed – the Tragically Hip is a Canadian rock band that is SUPER popular here in Canada. Strangely they don’t seem to have garnered much of a following outside of our country, but this means that we Canadians have been able to keep them to ourselves for all these years and we feel sort of protective towards them. They are ours. You might know Ahead By A Century.

Or maybe Bobcaygeon? Probably my favourite song to listen to at the cottage!

Ah, they just remind me of summers growing up.

Gord Downie, the lead singer of the Hip, was diagnosed with Glioblastoma (an aggressive form of incurable brain cancer) back in December, and so they announced they were going to do a final Canadian tour this summer.  They played three shows in Toronto a couple weeks ago and their last concert was Saturday night in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario. I can’t imagine traveling and performing like Gord has been over the last couple months while suffering from brain cancer. Truly amazing.

What the World Can Learn from Canda Tragically Hip -1-X2

Because this was such a big deal and so many people wanted to watch, the CBC (our national broadcaster, similar to NBC) decided to stream the concert live for the entire country. This bumped out Olympics prime time, and what I think is the most impressive thing, they streamed it without any commercials! CLASS. ACT. There were viewing parties all over the country, in bars, in parks, in homes, everywhere, and like a third of our entire population was watching live. Nuts! Our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was even there sporting a Hip shirt and a Canadian tuxedo! Here’s a good article about the whole thing. I think it was amazing that we can rally together like that for a rock band. It makes me very, very proud to be Canadian.

Anyway, so we were at Blue Rodeo and missed the Hip party. But that’s okay, we plan on watching it later and making a night of it. And Blue Rodeo was so good! They actually played Bobcaygeon in a very fitting (Blue Rodeo is also popular mostly in Canada, although maybe not quite on the same scale) and VERY emotional tribute to the Hip, while they showed CBC footage of the concert on their screens.

They also played Lost Together, my very very fave of theirs.

Evan and I slow danced during this and I was basically melting the entire time. Also Try, Hasn’t Hit Me Yet, and Five Days In May. So many of their hits. Hasn’t Hit Me Yet was also a pretty emotional experience, as it was the last song they played and this was the last concert Blue Rodeo would be playing with Bob Egan, their longtime pedal steel player (who is super impressive) because he’s leaving the band to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a librarian. I kid you not. They got the crowd to sing the first two verses of the song to Bob and you could just see him tearing up and ah. It was happy sad. I may have cried. You go fulfill your dreams and be the best librarian, Bob! Here’s that moment live (they actually start singing at about 2.40 in the below video):

Bob Egan SLAYS that steel!!! Evan and I loved them live and had such a good time.

We walked back through the CNE grounds when the concert was over, and it was all I could do to not get everything on these signs…

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I heard there were deep fried Reese’s peanut butter cups and I wanted them so bad but I couldn’t find them anywhere! I’m going back next week so I am making it my mission to find them. Instead I got an ice cream cone. Maybe for the best.

I also really wanted a little Pikachu. Evan is really good at games, as you may know, so I thought this could actually happen…

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We were wandering through the midway looking for a game Evan could easily win, when we came across the balloon darts game. Done. Evan was all “what do I have to do to win a Pikachu?” they gave him 8 darts and told him he needed to hit a balloon on every single throw. He not only did that, he got so cocky he started calling the balloons like he was playing pool. He’d be like “PINK! Bottom left! Yellow, top right!” I was dying. I got my Pikachu!

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And then we went on the gondola ride that goes over the entire park.

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He is not a ride fan so it’s the only one he’ll go on. Even that was almost too much for him, and it moves slowly! I get it, carnival rides arrive in a truck and are put together on site so I understand the apprehension about that (although I think the gondola is up all year). Gimme all the rides though, I love it. Minus the Zipper. No thanks.

It was quite the date night!

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The Summer of Concerts

I have been fortunate enough to make it to a lot of concerts this summer. Well, this year really, as I saw Death Cab for Cutie and Metric and then Garth Brooks back in March. I don’t know what is going on because typically I make it to maybe one concert a year, but this year a lot of my bucket list bands have been playing and I felt like I couldn’t miss them!

Back in June I scored some sweet tickets to Mumford & Sons at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto. I actually tried to get tickets the day they went on sale and was in queue for about an hour before the sale happened but somehow they were sold out immediately. I was pretty bummed about it, they’re on my must-see list. But wait! My friend Ciara at work follows Mumford & Sons on Facebook and a few weeks before the concert they announced on their page they were releasing more tickets. She came screaming over to my cubicle and told me to get on it, so I did, and I scored two tickets in the 200 section! Best seats I’ve ever had at the Molson Amp (well, minus floor for Blink182 back in high school).

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My pal Sherrie and I had such a good time at Death Cab for Cutie and Metric (like THE BEST time, I am still embarrassed at our scream-singing Snapchats from that night) I promised her the next concert I went to I would take her. She was excited.

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We made friends with two ladies before the concert while we were eating our poutine, one was also named Sherrie (but spelled Sheri).

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I think you can tell who the two Sherries are by their sass faces.

It was another amazing time. Mumford & Sons was so, so good. SO GOOD!!!

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I just loved them.

Video from my instagram:

The first song I loved by them. #littlelionman #mumfordandsons

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Sherrie makes a nice appearance at the end, haha.

The next concert was the Lumineers with my bestie! I scored us tickets through a radio presale for her birthday, once again at the Molson Amphitheatre.

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She is the one who introduced me to the Lumineers years ago when they first arrived on the scene, so it was fitting that I saw them with her.

Our seats weren’t even that great even though I got the presale, but not bad.

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The Molson Amp is my favourite concert venue, especially for summer concerts ’cause it’s fun being outside. And I really don’t think there is a bad seat – even the lawn seats aren’t too shabby. We were very excited.

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Ho Hey!

I am just loving their new album, especially Cleopatra, Ophelia and Sleep On The Floor. They played a bunch from it, and all their old faves. They were amazing and we had the best time. 100% would go again.

Next up, Evan got me tickets to see Bryan Adams for Christmas!

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Gahh, I just love him. Bryan Adams, I mean. Well, and Evan too.

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That Bryan is still a machine. He played a lot off his new album which I wasn’t super familiar with, but I like to do concert research when I’m seeing someone and I’ll usually listen to their new album as well as go through their setlist (setlist.fm is the best for this) to see what they usually play during their show. Bryan played allllll the classics: Can’t Stop This Thing We Started, Please Forgive Me, Run To You, Summer Of ’69 (my dance floor air guitar jam), All For Love, Everything I Do (I totally serenaded this to Evan). Ah, it was so great. Just a Canadian classic.

Everything I Do!

Oh that song makes me melt. Evan and I slow danced during it and it was maybe one of the most romantic moments of my life. And also ridiculous because I was screaming the lyrics in his ear. I also saw my friend Melissa there, totally sobbed through her first dance at her wedding last November because it was to this song. One of my all time faves.

So another great concert and I can cross Bryan Adams off the ol’ bucket list.

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Love you Bryan!!!

Two weeks later we were back at Molson Amp for Collective Soul and Goo Goo Dolls! With my dad! (aka Bobby)

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One of my dad’s very favourite bands is Collective Soul. I remember blasting Heavy in his disc man (hooked up to the tape deck) in his old white Lumina. So, for his birthday Evan and I got him tickets. Collective Soul was opening for the Goo Goo Dolls but they still had a great set and played all their hits, and stuff from their new album which I am really loving. I don’t know if it’s Bobby’s influence, but I freakin’ love Collective Soul. They really do have some great classic songs.

Like Shine, which may bring a tear to my eye…

And December…

And The World I Know, and Heavy. I was loving.

And my dad was LOVING HIS LIFE. I looked over at him at one point and I feel like he was about to cry with joy. Collective Soul is actually the first concert I ever went to, they played with the Cranberries also at Molson Amphitheatre, and my dad took me with my friends Dawn, Leanne and Julie. We sat on a patio overlooking the stage (no longer there) and convinced these guys to buy us screwdrivers when my dad wasn’t paying attention. Oh, memories.

My only complaint about Collective Soul is that their voice audio was kind of low, but it was fine for the Goo Goo Dolls, so I don’t know what was going on there.

Between sets we met up with my friend Melissa’s (mentioned above) sister Katie and hung out for a bit on the patio with her and her friend. Melissa and Katie grew up near us and my dad hasn’t seen her since she was maybe 12, so they had quite the reunion.

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I was pretty happy to see Goo Goo Dolls too. I don’t know if I would have specifically sought them out to see but they were definitely a nice bonus.

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They played a lot of stuff from their new album, which I only vaguely knew, but you know they played the faves. Name, for one. And it was pretty amazing.

My dad really likes Iris also, so he was happy to see that. Afterwards we were quizzing my dad on who he’s seen in concert. So many legendary bands! Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, The Guess Who (several times), Pink Floyd, Genesis, Neil Young (with Crosby Stills and Nash), Rush, Jethro Tull, Tom Petty, Deep Purple, Steely Dan, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Stones, The Band, etc. Just living the dream in the 70s!

So, summer’s been concert heavy and I have no regrets. I’m just channeling my inner Bobby. Gotta do it while I’m young! Actually this weekend Evan and I are back at Molson Amphitheatre to see Blue Rodeo, another iconic Canadian band. Can’t wait to hear Lost Together and Five Days In May in person!

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Toronto Times

One of the things I really wanted Eric and friends to experience while they were here was Choir! Choir! Choir! I know that going to choir on your vacation doesn’t exactly sound like the most fun time. Believe me, I wouldn’t have pegged myself as a “choir” joiner, even though I do love singing (by myself in my car)…but C!C!C! is different. I was pretty apprehensive my first time, but once you start singing you feel more comfortable and now I think I’d even go by myself if I couldn’t find someone to come with me. It’s also in a pub so, that definitely amps up the coolness. It is truly an amazing experience. Someone described going to C!C!C! as taking a soul bath and I think that is pretty accurate. It is uplifting and stress relieving and I always come out of there feeling so happy. I love it.

So last Tuesday after work I roped Eric, Kenya and Dixon into joining me at choir, and Emily and Dawn too as they have been wanting to come with me for a while. Party! C!C!C! happens at Clintons on Bloor West, so first we all went out for dinner at Ka Chi, a Korean restaurant just down the street (same restaurant I went to for HoH Eats The World – Korea). I LOVE the bibimbap there.

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So good.

After dinner we walked over to Clinton’s. It was a SUPER hot day so we were all sweaty and shiny-faced, but everyone was so at least we weren’t alone.

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I know that none of them have really done anything like this before so I was excited for them to experience it. We sang The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows in honour of the 50th anniversary of their album Revolver. Definitely an interesting (and psychedelic) song choice… I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but I know that all of Daveed and Nobu’s arrangements are amazing so I was pretty confident that it would be awesome. It totally was. And we got in the video!!!

Prominently. Dawn and Emily are right up front, just in front of Kenya and I (I’m wearing glasses in the vid), so we’re pretty much in the entire thing – although I wish I hoisted Kenya on my shoulders! Eric and Dixon are singing mids behind us. Eric’s bright shining face is prominently featured at exactly 3 minutes in, and you can catch a good glimpse of Dixon’s luscious locks in the beginning. I love it. And I feel like it’s a good souvenir of their trip! Pretty groovy. You can watch the video here if it doesn’t load above. They all said they loved the experience and were glad I dragged them to choir (probably better than the time I dragged Eric, Kenya and Dixon up a mountain in the pouring rain). I’m still a cool sister!

I got off work early on Friday so I picked up the trio and we met my dad at Nana’s, who just turned 102! She was SO EXCITED to see Eric.

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Although at first she didn’t realize who he was. I introduced Kenya and Dixon as Eric’s girlfriend and best friend, respectively, and she said “And how is Eric?!” and we were all “he’s standing right there!” and she just about lost her mind. She just kept saying “What a surprise!!!!” and of course “Beautiful! Wonderful! … Fantastic!”

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She is nearly completely deaf now so we write her love notes to communicate.

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Sometimes she writes back instead of speaking. I’m amazed at how quick her mind is and how great her writing (and spelling and grammar) still is. I asked her how she was doing and she wrote back “Very bad. Pain everywhere, all over my body, all the time. But…” and then she made a what-can-you-do motion with her hands and said “It’s okay! I’ll just carry on.” Aw, Nanners. That was sad, but she is so funny and never feels sorry for herself, so we didn’t dwell on it. I can’t imagine how crappy that must be though, and I am not sure how she stays so positive. Anyway, it was a cute visit. She was not understanding that Dixon was in fact not a girl (the hair confused her) so that was pretty entertaining.

After Nana’s we ordered takeout Chinese and watched the Opening Ceremonies back at our place.

On Saturday we went to da island!

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I like to show it off to the tourists. It was again a super hot day and Eric and Kenya have seen the more touristy side of the island with the gardens and Centreville amusement park, so we went to Hanlan’s Point Beach!

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It is the most beautiful beach on the island, in my opinion. A bunch of us had a great day there last year, you may remember me posting about it. And yes it’s a clothing optional beach and no our clothes did not come off. I mentioned last year that we all stayed fully clothed also and someone recently commented on that post and said “What a sad bunch of prudes” which…is the opposite of how I would describe my friends – they are very happy and inappropriate. I am in favour of doing what you feel, and I personally do not feel comfortable leisuring around in the nuddy-pants in my own city where I might actually run into people I work with. Awkward. Also this time my brother was here, so, that would be weird…

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We spent most of the day lounging around on the sand and swimming. The water is gorgeous! So clear and blue.

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Speaking of gorgeous…

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That hair.

My friend Hannah and a friend of hers met up with us for a while in the later afternoon (Hannah knows Eric as she came to Taste of the Danforth with us last year)

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This photo unfortunately had to get cropped as there was quite the bare bum behind Evan. This is my life in PG, always remember.

After beaching it up we got changed out of our bathing suits and headed back to the docks. We had to wait a bit for the ferry so in the meantime SKYLINE PHOTO SHOOT. I love Toronto!

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After we got back to the mainland we wandered around the harbour to the Amsterdam Brewhouse on the lake. We needed to hydrate so BEER FLIGHTS!

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And lots of water. I got the smoked brisket sandwich and I have zero regrets about it. Delicious.

I’m really going to miss those three. Luckily not for too long ’cause I’m heading out west on Labour Day weekend to stay with them for a couple nights (with Lisa, Sherrie and Sherrie’s friend Yamina from Switzerland – we have quiiiite the road trip planned that includes some camping in the mountains and hopefully some white water rafting, so I am super excited for those adventures!

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Dock Days of Summer

AHOY! Sorry for the blog hiatus. Summer be BUSY. I mean, I cannae complain because I elect to be busy and it’s busy with fun things (I don’t even have kids so I’m sure many of you are side-eyeing my “busyness” because I’m basically just leisuring), but when I’m out in the evenings after work and doing stuff all weekend my blogging suffers. I miss it! There are so many things I’ve been wanting to talk about. Hopefully I can still catch up with everything.

The most exciting thing lately is my BFF Lisa was visiting from Calgary, which I already mentioned, and also my brother Eric from Kelowna was here for a week and a half. He came out with his girlfriend Kenya and their friend Dixon (I just consider Dixon my second brother now) and have been staying with Evan and I.

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They arrived on the Friday of the long weekend and they just left this past Sunday, so it was a whirlwind squeezing in all the fun times with them. Lest we be boring hosts. They sure showed Evan and I a good time a couple summers ago so we needed to repay the favour. Eric and Kenya visited me a few years ago but Dixon has never been to Ontario so we needed to show him that a time without mountains can still be a time!

They arrived at 11:30pm on the Friday so Lisa and I picked them up from the airport and headed straight to the cottage for the weekend. She had slept over Thursday night as I took her to the Lumineers for her birthday (AMAZING), and I took Friday off work so we could go shopping for my wedding dress. More on that later but things actually looked pretty good on the ol’ bod so that was a success! Evan went up to the cottage a bit earlier in the afternoon to prepare for our arrival. The rest of us didn’t get to the cottage until like 1:30 in the morning but it is tradition to grab a beer and walk down to the dock on arrival so that’s what we did. The stars up there are beautiful and we had a good time catching up. I’m so glad Lisa was here at the same time as them, last year she was leaving as Eric was arriving so they only saw each other for like 10 minutes at the airport.

Anyway, cottage.

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Making breakfast at the cottage and then doing all the dishes is not my favourite. Dinner is easier ’cause we do it on the barbecue and lunch is usually a random assortment of snacks, but for breakfast Evan and I find it’s usually better to just go out. So the six of us headed to Golden Beach Resort. Their Boathouse Cafe has delicious food so it’s a cottage staple for Evan and I.

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And another cottage tradition:

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After breakfast we went in the gift shop and could not resist buying these shirts…

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Usually when we match it is not on purpose, like this time was a total accident…

You know you're best friends when you meet up for the first time in 3 months and you happen to be wearing the same shirt.

But this time we couldn’t resist. We weren’t the only matching besties!

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Doesn’t Dixon have incredible hair? We all raved to him about it. I’m sad I never got to braid it.

We had some friends up on Saturday so they started arriving once we got back from b-fast. It was gorgeous outside so we spent nearly the entire day on the water. We busted out the inner tubes and the party raft and it was just a big floating fest.

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I love the cottage. Everyone took the SUP boards for a spin, even little Scarlett!

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I should note that she enjoys wearing bandaids, for fun not for her injuries.

For dinner we did pork and veggie skewers, chicken burgers, and corn on the barbecue. Well, the chefs did, I just watched.

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Evan also made a white bean dip from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry and he does this amazing potato salad with halved small potatoes, grainy mustard and a bunch of herbs (basil, etc.). It’s so good.

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Summer barbecues are the best. After dinner it was back to the lake.

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Mark and Dawn brought their boat (and made Evan super jealous, next year I think we are just going to have to suck it up and get a boat) so at dusk the boys went on a fishing trip.

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Apparently Eric and Dixon were the only ones who caught anything. Just sunfish though, nothing crazy.

 

Once the lads got back we had a bonfire and spent the rest of the evening killing ourselves laughing. It was so much fun and probably my favourite day of the entire summer so far.

Sunday was overcast for most of the day so we had a bit of a break from the sun. Everyone had left and it was just Evan, Eric, Kenya, Dixon and I, so my dad (aka Bobby) came over in the afternoon to spend time with us.

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Upon meeting Dixon he said “Are you a musician?” (the hair) except we thought he said “Are you a MAGICIAN?” which I wish actually happened because it would have been way more funny. Dixon, for the record, is neither a musician or a magician…as far as I know. My dad also wanted to show us his back stretches, so suddenly he was doing yoga on the floor. That was entertaining. He’s a good time that Bobby.

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Bobby stayed for dinner (burgers!) and once he left the rest of us had quiet reading time inside. We also watched Demolition Man with Sylvester Stallone, which was pretty hilarious, though I fell asleep so I can’t tell you if the ending was any good.

Monday was a holiday in Canada so we stayed at the cottage until the afternoon. It was another ridiculously beautiful day so a lot of lake time happened.

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It was the best weekend. When I asked Eric, Kenya and Dixon the highlight of their trip to Ontario they all said the cottage. I’m going to recap some of our other adventures but I guess it’s all downhill from here so don’t get too excited!

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Showers of Happiness and Nostalgia

As a 33-year-old lady, I have been to many, many bridal and baby showers over the years. Many. So on Saturday I was pretty excited to finally attend a shower for me! Not for a baby…

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My bestie Lisa (aka my MOH!) is visiting from Calgary and she threw me a bridal shower!

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I should probably tell you that Evan and I have set a date for the wedding — May 2017 in Cuba! We’re actually doing it at the same resort we got engaged at. We’re also planning on having a small official family-only ceremony and dinner before we leave as many of our family members can’t make the Cuba trip. But yep, it’s happening and I am pumped. With the wedding next May the shower ended up being sort of early (though I don’t think there is a rule, people keep mentioning this to me) but timing-wise it worked out really well. Lisa has been talking about throwing my bridal showers for years and this was the only time she was guaranteed going to be in Ontario over the next year or so. Our friend Crystal is also visiting from Calgary so it was perfect. Well, it was probably the hottest day of the year and I was a sweaty mess the whole time, but otherwise it was perfect.

The shower was at Mark and Dawn’s humble abode and when I arrived Mark answered the door in a French maid’s outfit and started serving us drinks. Amazing.

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I was glad the food was left in Lisa’s capable hands because I know she is just as food-oriented as I am (here’s a link to the very first post I wrote about her ’cause I know she likes it – it’s also her birthday today so I will rededicate that to her). I was not disappointed. Things on sticks!

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J’adore. My good pal Sherrie unfortunately couldn’t make the shower but she sent along her famous taco dip, so that was a hit as well. Ah I love shower food so much. Did some quality food table stalking.

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The cake was also ridiculously delicious.

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Chocolate and vanilla with buttercream icing. Yes and yes.

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There were so many pictures of Evan and I up everywhere. I did not realize how many pics we have together until I saw about 100 of them scattered around Dawn’s. I thought that was a really nice touch. I also have no regrets about taking so many pictures because it’s fun to look back at all our adventures over the past few years. And I got to keep them all! We’re actually doing a gallery wall in our bedroom and needed to print photos for it, so now we’re all set!

There were shower games, like the typical don’t say certain words (Evan, wedding and bride) but instead of clothespins everyone had candy bracelets and if you heard someone say those words you could steal their bracelet. I was killing it for a while.

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It wasn’t that hard for me because I usually call Evan ‘my lover’ anyway, so not saying his name for a couple hours wasn’t a huge deal. In the end though my friend Hannah got a few bracelets in a row, she got a little cocky, her competitive nature kicked in and she overtook me. I’ll get her back one day.

A statue of Evan (well, a groom statue but it kind of looked like Evan) was hidden on the premises and the person who found that won the prize. The winner of that was Casey!

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I’m so glad her and Michelle made it!

The third game was my favourite. Pin the mustache on Evan.

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It was quite the giant and hilarious picture. It made me laugh hard. (We were in Chinatown when that was taken, hence the hat.)

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It was tricky.

I opened presents, as one does at showers…

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It was a hair-up kind of task because I don’t think I have ever been so hot in my life, and everyone staring at me didn’t help that. I discovered that I don’t enjoy being the centre of attention at a party for myself, however I do like being the centre of attention if the attention is already on someone else. Not that I am trying to steal anyone’s thunder, but if I am telling a funny story or something I like getting that kind of attention. Forced attention feels different and more awkward. It wasn’t as bad as I thought though, only a few awkward moments!

My aunt’s childhood best friend Jo-Ann got me a crystal bowl of my Nana’s that I had my eye on several years ago when we were moving out of her apartment and into her nursing home. I had no room to take it at the time but I’ll be finding a good home for it now!

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It is probably one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received.

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Thanks Jo-Ann, you’re a muffin.

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As is standard, I had to wear the ribbon and bow hat.

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I enjoy the groom statue sticking off of it and the stamp of the Holy Toast on the front (thanks for that Dawnald!)

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I really had the best time and I am so thankful to Lisa for organizing it. I know it was a lot of work. But I’ll get her back someday!!!

I know a lot of people couldn’t make it ’cause the summer is a tricky time to plan things, but I am so thankful to everyone who came. I felt so loved.

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^ My high school lovers (including our English teacher)

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My second mom!

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I needed my bridesmaids to help with the cake cutting (two are missing but I’m sure you’ll see them in other shenanigans).

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It was just a wonderful time and I feel really happy when I think about it.

After everyone left it was just my longtime loves and I for a sleepover. We all grew up together, except for Hannah who I met when she interned at OFSAA (where I worked) a few years ago. We became super close and I am excited to have her be part of the big day.

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I’m also glad the girls could get to know her. We had a little photoshoot outside…

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And then we got into our bathing suits and FINALLY got into Dawn’s pool. That was a dream. We ordered pizza and then after dinner drove to a boat launch for a boat ride on Lake Scugog.

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Which you may remember is the lake I grew up on! I love that Dawn moved back here. Being on that lake again was just the icing on the cake for me.

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Lisa’s old cottage! That’s how we met, her parents had a cottage just near our house when we were growing up. Someone has now painted a skull and crossbones on the boathouse so we assume it has been taken over by pirates.

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It was so, so nice. Until the boat broke down. Which, of course it did. We should have known it was going to. Something like this always happens when we’re all together. It was like the party and the rowboat all over again!

Thankfully we were close to shore and right by the boat launch down the street from my childhood home.

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Mark came and saved us and while that was happening, Lisa, Hannah and I went for a walk around my old block. I honestly felt like I was still home. Like I could just walk into my old house and my old room and everything would be just how it was when I left it 14ish years ago.

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It looks so different now, but still somehow the same. We also saw some neighbours who remembered us — the man was like “OMG Lindsey! Get in here!” gave me a huge hug and then noticed Lisa and was all “Ohhhh you two together, you two are trouble!” You know it! It was just like old times!!!

Afterwards we went back to Dawn’s and hung out in the pool and hot tub with some drinks and it was the perfect end to the best day. I feel so thankful for Lisa and all of my friends and family. What a time.

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