New York

Sunday, September 23, 2012

You know those weekend getaways that you always say you're going to plan, or take, but somehow never happen? No?

Well, for us, New York City was one of those. It's "only" a 7 hour drive from Montreal, and the last time we visited was 8 years ago. That time it was just the two of us, we went for New Year's and we focused on eating, celebrating and experiencing the city during the holidays.

This time around, it being the three of us, the focus was a bit different. It was great to see the city through Aidan's perspective, to observe his amazement and his enthusiasm, though at times I wished I could have tamed his excitement.

We walked for hours, absorbing the energy that seems to permeate the city. I took a few hundred photos, and it seems impossible to properly capture the atmosphere, to do justice to such an amazing city. I love it's vibe, the buzz, the craziness, the noise. And the fact that all of this is offset by a perfect "little" oasis that is Central Park.

Here are some of my favorite shots of NYC:

The highlight of the trip for A. was taking a cab. After that, he tried to hail one himself for the rest of the trip. Picture a 4 1/2 year old, sitting in a stroller (yeah, he still does) waiving his arms and yelling "Taxi, Taxi", every time a yellow cab drives by. It was pretty funny.

For me, the highlight was being able to dash into "Purl Soho", for a blissful 30 minutes, to admire their goodies. Had it been at all acceptable I would have followed A's example and run down the street waiving my arms and yelling: "Yarn, Yarn". You knitters out there understand, no?

It was a magical weekend, and I can guarantee I will not let another 8 years pass by before going back!.

Next wekend, HOPEFULLY, I'll show off a finished Levenwick.

Love where you live

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Not only does the calendar say September, but I have noticed a nip in the air in the mornings. The sun is now only rising after I have taken my shower and there is that hint of gold in the tree-leaves. I am having a really hard time letting go of this summer, it's been so incredible, so our little family is making the most of the last few remaining summer weekends.

This time we visited a bee-farm. Intermiel is only a 30 minute drive from our home. Nestled in the hills, you come across an apple orchard where beehives are scattered between the rows of trees. The farm not only produces honey, but also maple syrup and an array of products related to the two. You can join a tour of the facility and learn about beekeeping or simply wander around and drink in the atmosphere. We chose to do both.

The kids were delighted to discover a petting zoo and a playground and burned off enough energy to quietly join us for some honey-tasting and a visit to the shop.

I cannot tell you how many fond memories this little adventure has brought back to me. My uncle kept beehives as a hobby when I was young. As we lived in the cit, joining him on weekends on his drives to the country to tend to the hives was a wonderful distraction. My sister, my cousin and I would pile into the car, drag along toys, books and snacks and simply enjoy time spent outdoors.

I loved the time we spent cooped up int his garage or basement, helping him work the honey extractor or label the jars. I still remember the smell of the wax and the honey, the sweetness that seemed to permeate everything. This visit brought me back to those days, and I can only hope that I can create similar experiences for my own son.

The next morning, as I stirred a spoonful of honey into my tea and the sun was shining through the kitchen window, I could not help but feel a pang thinking of those days.

As a family, we've made a conscious effort to explore our own surroundings a bit more, to acknowledge how lucky we are to be living here. This "attitude" and therefore this post was inspired by the "Love the place you live" feature on the "Design Mom" blog. It really opened my eyes to the importance of being appreciative of my own environment. Stay tuned for more!

What about you? Do you like exploring your own city?