Tag Archives: travel

Back from BC and SK.

I’ve recently taken two weeks to visit Saltspring Island in B.C. for a wedding, Nanaimo for play-time with my friend’s newborn baby, Vancouver for some intense games of Settlers of Catan and knitting and excellent food, Saskatoon for dinner with my future mother-in-law, and Lac La Ronge Provincial in northern Saskatchewan where Corey and I saw two bears and went fishing.

please ignore the smudges in the photo.

It was my first time fishing. I went out with Corey at 6am and we each caught two fish. Went back later in the evening with Corey’s youngest brother and I caught two more. I am now a pro, or a specialist as it says on the new fishing rod that Corey bought for me.

We stayed at a cabin in Lac La Ronge that belonged to Corey’s dad’s family. It slept six of us and it was the only cabin on the little island in the big lake. How lovely!

In the photo above, I’m working on the Pas de Valse cardigan. I got back into knitting on the trip, thanks to being around one of my dearest friends who is also a knitter in vancouver.

In fact, once we got home, we decided to make a small IKEA trip to get some new things for our home, since we plan to stay here a little bit longer. We came home with this:

knitting shrine.

It’s also a shrine to my friend, apparently, because she also took that graffiti photo, made/sent those cards, shares the same Nancy Pearl librarian figurine, and is in the photo with me which was taken during our trip to Portugal.

We also bought a ton of picture frames, and even got one for our Scott Pilgrim cartoon poster. Since we have decided to stay for at least another year in our current apartment suite, we decided to put more effort into actually decorating our place, rather than just slapping things up on the walls here and there.

In other news, I have started up a book blog called Little Owl Reads. I debated for a very long time whether to do a YA book blog or an adult book blog, but decided to just talk about books that I read, in order, because that’s probably easiest for me right now. Never mind the fact that I just started part-time work at a local children’s bookstore. I love YA fic and there are so many amazing YA blogs out there that I wanted to start one too, but realistically I could never read that much YA because I love adult fic too. So my blog will have a mix of the two. A good friend of mine from library school bought the domain for me as a gift!

Italia.

I’m crediting my trip to Italy as the reason for my extended absence on this blog, but unfortunately I don’t have much of an excuse since I also had two weeks of unemployment a short time after that!

Corey and I traveled to Italy for about ten days last month. We met with my parents in Rome and the four of us enjoyed wandering Venice, hiking the Cinque Terre, and marveling at the outdoor museum that is Rome. It was my second time in Italy, and the first for everyone else. (In fact, it was my mother’s first time in Europe! My dad had been to Venice before for business but hadn’t seen any other parts of Italy.)

I bought Corey a Holga camera for his birthday last year, and I recently purchased a Diana F+ for myself. I took mostly digital, but came back with two rolls of film from the Diana, and Corey mostly went manual with his photography. Most of our photos turned out very beautifully…

One of my favourite photos of my mom, sitting in St. Mark's Square in Venice.

My dad and me at Palatine Hill in Rome.

Corey, in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre.

Me, at the Trevi Fountain in Rome.

If you’re interested in the digital photos, please visit my Flickr page:

Since we got back, my co-op work term ended so I have been enjoying (somewhat) my time at home. I’ve been knitting with a friend and watching Anne of Green Gables. I’ve been cooking and baking a bit more. I signed up for a six week semi-intensive French class, which started this past week. It’s on Mondays to Thursdays, from 9am to noon. As well, I’ve started my last distance course for the MLIS. It’s been raining here in Ottawa – yesterday it rained for the entire day. I plan to spend this gloomy Sunday enjoying the sound of the rain, reviewing my French, doing some coursework, and perhaps cutting out fabric for a new skirt.

Weekend in Quebec City, and also…

This past weekend, Corey and I drove up to Quebec City to celebrate our three year anniversary… and came home engaged! It was all planned and we decided to propose to each other. It was very important to me that we ask each other, and that he has something to show for the engagement as well. We’ve decided not to go with an engagement ring, so we got our wedding bands in advance and will wear them on chains around our necks until we are actually married. I’ll post photos of the bands soon, as I absolutely love them.

Quebec City was very beautiful. It is said to be the most European city in Canada, and I think that is certainly true. We stayed in Vieux Quebec, with cobblestone streets and gorgeous old stone buildings and little alleyways. Example:

We went to the Museum of Civilization, saw some interesting exhibits, walked around town, and took the funicular. We ate crepes after our long morning, and for dinner we went to a restaurant called 1640:

The food was great, dinner was lovely, and we got back to the hotel in time for Corey’s proposal to me – an inundation of text messages on my phone from various family and friends asking me to marry Corey. I’m quite glad he took care of all the announcing, as it takes some of the pressure off having to tell all your loved ones in person or on the phone. And it made me absolutely beam with joy to receive so many texts (over thirty at once!) from so many people around the world – Ottawa, Vancouver, Saskatoon, Portland, Seattle, New Zealand, Australia, etc. Even my parents texted from Thailand. And we had a couple stragglers, which made it even more fun. (“Gemini, will you marry Corey 20 minutes ago?”)

I am very giddy – although it doesn’t show well, because I also seem to be getting a cold. But there is giddiness beneath my pallid exterior.

Wedding & Vancouver.

I just got back from six days in British Columbia, spending some time at Strathcona Lodge for Michael’s wedding and Vancouver to see friends.

Michael gets married.

The wedding was amazing. The setting, the ceremony, the people – it was a great weekend in Strathcona Park. The bride, maid of honour, and bridesmaids (including myself) were rowed up to the ceremony in a war canoe. Pretty fantastic. I was nervous about my speech at the reception, but it went pretty well. All in all, the entire wedding weekend was a huge success, and now my best friend from high school is married!

I spent two more nights in Vancouver catching up with some old friends, running some errands, and eating some amazing food. I even tried some new restaurants (The Whip, Italian Kitchen) and some old favourites (Las Margaritas, Sandbar, dim sum at Floata).

Although I had an incredible time back in BC, it felt great coming back to Corey in London. Home is where the heart is.

Quebec.

I’ve just returned from a small road trip with Corey – we visited some of the Eastern Townships and Montreal in Quebec to see some of his family this past week. It was my first time in Quebec! In the Eastern Townships we mainly saw Lennoxville, which is a borough of Sherbrooke. We also spent some time in Magog, which is a touristy riverside town, and drove around the countryside, passing by Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley. One of Corey’s relatives lives outside of Sherbrooke, so we slept there. I must not have slept out in the country for a long time, because I couldn’t get over how dark it was.

Country life.

We spent part of Thursday in Montreal, visiting with an old friend of Corey’s. I had the best pastry of my life that morning. The weather took a turn for the worse with a massive thunder and lightning storm so we figured it was best to spend our sightseeing indoors. Corey’s friend lives very close to the Biodome, so we went there and admired all the wildlife, although they’re not in the wild anymore.

Birds in love.

Finally, for my sole purpose of going to Montreal in the first place, we went and had poutine at a popular place called La Banquise. It is a 24-hour poutine restaurant. Such a concept sounds absurdly wonderful. Corey ordered a large classic and I ordered a regular Trois Viandes (Three Meats).

Poutine at La Banquise.

It really did taste like the “real” poutine that everyone keeps telling me about – the cheese curds squeaked and the gravy was perfect. It was incredibly filling though; I made a dent in mine but had to leave a lot behind. Next time, I’ll just stick with the classic.

This was my first visit to Montreal, and I didn’t at all expect to see so many European style apartment buildings. Lots of three-storey buildings with the entrances on the outside, accessible by spiraling staircases. Most apartments that I’ve seen in Vancouver and London are apartment buildings, with one main entrance that you have to buzz in to enter. I like the Montreal style apartments, where most people still have their front door connected to the outside world instead of a hallway.

We also visited a shop called Planete BD, which sold French comics. Corey bought a French TinTin for me to practise my French.

On our drive home yesterday we hit up the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. This was, of course, mainly for Corey’s benefit, although I also thought it was pretty interesting. We got home just in time to see the thunder and lightning storm from our window instead of on the highway, but the drive outside of Toronto on a Friday afternoon was excruciatingly long. Term starts tomorrow and I don’t have classes until Wednesday, so I’ve been lounging about, watching movies, and playing with my brand new Kindle. Review to come!