Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Souvenirs

I didn't really shop much on this trip to Toronto. I often go and load up on CanLit, or shop at Canadian stores like Jacob (aw, sad), but not this time. However I did pick up a couple small souvenirs in Kensington Market.

It had been a long time since I visited Kensington.

Photos by Ronny Jaques, via the Kensington Market Historical Society

Well, maybe not that long. But I can tell you the exact date. August 14, 2003. I remember because it was the day of the 2003 blackout, and my friend and I went to Kensington, then tried to have lunch at the Red Room, but were thwarted by the blackout. We then walked all the way back to my parents' house in Cabbagetown, past all the streetcars stalled in the tracks, and the random people directing traffic. We also popped into the Hydro Building (now Ontario Power Building, apparently) to use the washrooms, and it/they were open though the place was completely dark.


Incidentally, I can also remember my first trip to Kensington Market. I was in grade 9 and I went with my friend Luisa to buy some cool duds like flannel shirts and army surplus jackets. I'll even wager that I was wearing a flannel shirt and jean cutoffs. Just a guess.

Anyhou, I digress. My point is that had been a long time, and yeah it has changed a lot. I seem to remember Augusta Street being kind of uninteresting. That's changed.

We went into Kid Icarus, and I'm sure everyone in Toronto is like ' yeah, we know that place is awesome', but I didn't know. I didn't! And it is. If my child hadn't been on his way to a heat-induced temper tantrum, I would have spent a lot longer in there, and a lot more money. There's always next time.

I picked up these few little souvenirs there, though:


I love them all. H. also got something, but he's already taken it to his office to keep at his desk so it's not included. Anyway, how cute are these? Canada buttons, which I have no intention of sharing, a Guelph magnet for memories of the big G, and a little Toronto notepad. In all honesty, I never even use notepads, but I will bring this to my (new!*) office on Monday and keep it on my desk.

Anyway, let's digress again, where were you during the great blackout? Don't you kind of wish it would happen again?

* Yes, a subtle mention that I am starting an exciting new job next week. Yay, me!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Progress/Non-progress

Oh, hey.

It's July 10. More than halfway through the year. Maybe I should visit my 2014 goals. And, spoiler alert, it ain't going well.

Before I get to that, we recently had a chance to spend an extra long weekend in the hometown.

Hey good lookin'.
H. had been complaining that we only go to Toronto when it's cold. True. When we do go in the summer, it's usually just a pit stop on the way to the cottage. So, we flew up and got to spend some time with my family, visiting Riverdale Farm, the Toronto Islands, browsing used bookstores on College Street, walking through Kensington Market, playing Taboo with my wildly smart friend, and even got to attend my nephew's 3rd birthday party! It was pretty pretty great.

L. especially had a nice time in the T-Dot. I'd say his favorite parts were: hugging my parents' very patient cat, morning walks in Riverdale Park to look at the dogs and the Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens which seemed to bring him endless joy. And all the delicious, fresh local strawberries. 

Also while in the 416 my father lectured me on my poor blog grammar and my mom complained that I never post on my blog. Ouch. Well, thanks for reading, Mom and Dad!

OK, now my mid-year progress/non-progress. Here are my goals for the year.

1. Get a driver's license. 
Nope. No progress. HOWEVER, I do have an appointment at the DMV tomorrow to get a new learner's permit, because mine expired like 2 years ago. So, that's kind of progress?

2. Learn Photoshop. 
Nope. 

3. Write more bloggy posts. 
Well, I have posted more than this time last year. And my goal of 100 this year is not impossible, although I did want to hit 50 by July 1, and only got to 31. I can do it, I think.

4.  Go a month without sugar. 
Hahaha! I've dabbled in sugarless living, let's say. I went about ten days. And then I went to Toronto and basically lived on an all-cake diet. I keep making excuses, like 'this event is coming up and there will be cake', or 'we are going on vacation and I have to enjoy'. But no more! Maybe the time has come? But maybe not, because we really are going to an event in a few weeks and I will have to eat ice cream.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

One

Somehow, my baby turned one yesterday.


We celebrated with family, and strawberry cake (a hit!).

I can't believe this little lion is already one.

After he was born, when H. and I were sitting in our hospital room marveling at this little fellow, H. pulled out his phone and played this song. Obviously, I felt all the feels and possibly sobbed happily. At this point, I'm sure it's a cliche for the parents of a little boy to be warmed by this song, but there you are.


Happy Birthday, my beautiful boy.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Savannah Shopping

I scored a whole bunch of treasures when we were in Savannah. Maybe too many treasures. But there are so many great shops in Savannah that I couldn't resist.

First treasure: I found another Rosenthal vase in an antique mall! As you may recall, I inherited two and bought another on eBay a couple years ago. I always keep an eye out for them, but I never find them, so I was stoked to find one!


A little research shows that this is a design by Bjorn Wiinblad. Here's a close up of the design:


I found the vase on our first afternoon in town at the Wright Square Antique Market. That's where we also found these Junior Deluxe Editions of classic children's books. I love the designs and now want to buy dozens of them for an adorable library for L.


I've found a bunch on Etsy and eBay now, so library forthcoming.

On Saturday we drove out to Keller's Flea Market.


I didn't really find much there, but it's fun to wander around and look at junk. H. bought a couple records, and I bought this weird cat plate.


Junk!


Back in town we went to ShopSCAD, which sells art by students, alumni and faculty of the Savannah College of Art and Design.


If you visit Savannah, I highly recommend you pop in here. They had lots of great and beautiful things, including paintings and prints, ceramics, scarves, toys, etc.

That's where I bought this pretty little Irene McCollam vase.


Which means I'm now hoarding white vases.



Which is cool, I guess.

Somewhere we looked but didn't buy anything was The Paris Market, which has a huge assortment of pretty and nice smelling things. I wanted to go back there and buy things, but we didn't have time. So, nothing to show, but worth a visit.

We also drove to the Habersham Antique Market. Once again, I didn't buy anything, but not for lack of coveting. Everything I liked was kind of big, and my suitcase was kind of full, and H. totally antique-blocked me. But treasures abound!

With all the boutiques and antique stores, Savannah is a tchotchke-hoarder's dream.


Savannah!

Guys, I am moving to Savannah! I wish.

Have you been to Savannah? Did you know it's awesome? I kind of knew, but didn't totally know.

This one is for sale!

H., L. and I spent 4.5 days in Savannah recently. Just a short holiday/extra long weekend. And what a lovely, lovely place. I guess everyone knows it's beautiful, but what I didn't expect is just how nice it all is. The people are friendly, the shops and boutiques are enticing (too enticing!), the food is delicious. It doesn't feel small - it has the sophistication of a big city, but yet feels small at the same time. It's just a really, really nice place.


If you were the kind of person who, say, enjoys sitting on a patio all afternoon leisurely having a sip of wine, this would be your heaven. Unfortunately, if you are the kind of people who have a wee child and getting day-drunk isn't an option, you can only watch those patio-sitters with a little bit of envy.

We booked a little cottage in the Historic District via Airbnb, called Laura's Cottage. And it was totally perfect.

Laura's Cottage - our home away from home for a few days
As I mentioned earlier, Laura's Cottage is allegedly haunted. I didn't know this until after I booked it. Eeeps! I'm happy to report that I saw no ghosts or experienced anything very spooky. However, on our last evening at the cottage I read other people's reports of sightings and paranormal experiences and then I got a little freaked out. That night, in the middle of the night, L. woke up and was pointing at something in the corner, and I admit that I was kind of spooked. But L. is really into pointing and points at everything, so he could have been pointing at a light or a picture frame or a speck of dust or an otherworldly apparition. Could have been anything.


The people of Savannah seem to love babies. Walking L. around, people would smile at him and make comments about him, or stop and chat with him. He loves dogs, and points at all dogs he sees, and people would bring their dogs over so he could have a closer look or pet them. H. and I were taken aback at first - maybe New Yorkers just really don't like babies and people outside New York really do. But L. got a lot of attention from strangers. Then again, he is the cutest.

Ghost hunter

Eating and Doing:

Traveling with a baby, we mainly ate out only for lunch, and made breakfasts and dinners in our cottage. This also saves money! But here are some good spots for eats:

Soho South Cafe - this was actually my favorite meal in Savannah. Not only is the space bright and airy, but the food was really good.

Belford's - This restaurant is pretty touristy, but that didn't take away from it being good food. They also had a nice patio for eating and people-watching, a waitress who my small child was clearly in love with, and they were pretty nice after my small child made a big mess.

The Crab Shack (Tybee Island) - Again, this place is very touristy, but was a really nice place to sit outside. And it was perfect for entertaining L. who was happy to watch the many cats that roam around and the dogs that are allowed to sit on the patio. And if you like mountains of crab and shellfish: this is your place!



Mostly we walked around town and admired the homes and squares. We moseyed.


We drove out to Tybee Island and climbed the lighthouse.



We also visited Fort Pulaski while we were out that way.

We visited Bonaventure Cemetery.

We (I) did a lot of shopping and window shopping. Good stuff! But I'll save those details for a post of their own.

We did not, actually, tour any mansions or go to any museums. That's kind of weird, I know. We will do it next time!

All in all, a good time was had by all. On the way home I tried to convince H. that we should move there and open a small business! I was only half-joking.

(All these photos were taken with our phones, because I forgot to bring my real camera! Dang!)

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