Happy Monday everyone! I am back and absolutely aglow from my anniversary weekend trip. I hope that you all had a beautiful feast of the Baptism of Our Lord, and last weekend in the Christmas season. We're now back on Ordinary Time until Ash Wednesday in mid-February, but no need to worry about that just yet. ;-)
So, my weekend! Mike and I traveled north to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, and I wanted to describe the highlights, since we had such a sublime time. I realize now that I should have taken more photos, I'm so bad about that. But I was busily enjoying the moments, so I guess I can't be too hard on myself for that. Let's begin at the beginning, and I usually tell you to get your tea for these long posts, which is extremely appropriate given how we started our weekend.
I mean...Oh my. As soon as we checked in (at a quaint inn, our room had a fireplace!) we headed to the historic Prince of Wales hotel and their Drawing Room for afternoon tea. To say that it was magnificent doesn't even come CLOSE to describing it. Mike and I had the place to ourselves, and chose to sit in a cozy nook by the fire. Here's Mike, displaying our table. :)
We each selected a tea, and can I tell you, it's all downhill from here with regard to tea. :0
NOTHING can live up to the tea that we had there, and I would have
bought a boatload to bring back if the prices hadn't made one gasp in
discreet shock. DIVINE, that's the only way to describe it. We also were
brought a tiered platter of tiny sandwiches, warm scones, cookies,
macaroons, fruit, quiche, and other pastries, all served with clotted
cream, butter and fresh raspberry jam. I mean...
I was so cozy, happy and absolutely contented, I was just beside myself. It was *magnificent*.
Mike: "You're really happy, aren't you?"
Me: "Are these fresh pink roses?! What? Oh my, yes!"
I was beaming the entire day. And our room at the inn was just adorable, I had that fireplace going day and night. And isn't it refreshing to know that even over the course of 10 years, some things never change?
Mike: "Are you warm enough yet, sweetie?" *beads of sweat appear on forehead*
Me: *bundled in fleece from head to toe* "Yes, FINALLY! But don't turn the fire off! I'll get cold again."
Women and the cold body temperature thing, I definitely have that, while Mike is the exact male opposite. :)
It wasn't all my own cold chemistry this weekend though. A cold front had moved in off of Lake Ontario, and hello! There is Niagara-on-the-Lake. We knew it would be cold, and I packed my new giant wool cowl, which I wore constantly:
And we're hearty Western New Yorkers, we're used to cold. Right?
Well. :) There is cold, and there is COLD. This was cold that we're not really used to. We'd get outside, bundled in our wool and fleece accessories, and have this conversation about a half dozen times over the course of the weekend:
"This isn't so bad! I mean, it's cold, but..."
*walk to intersection of street*
Wind that felt like icy knives assaulted our faces.
"Oh. We'd better go back inside. Else, we may die."
It as *insane,* everyone was talking about it. I have rarely felt wind chill quite like that. People were *running* from store to store, because being outside, even all bundled up, was just unbearable. We did what we could to see a few sights, but we did stay inside a lot. :)
But our outings did include a vineyard (ice wine season, come to mama!) and a trip to the local fudge shop for the kids. We enjoyed some wonderful meals, including our Saturday night official anniversary dinner at a winery. AND, we went to the vigil Mass at the very cute local parish for the feast of the Baptism of the Lord:
Mike: "Is this Mass going to be any different because we're in Canada?"
Me: "Um, no. There may be a slightly different scripture translation used for the readings...oh HELLO cute Canadian missal!"
Upon entering our pew I espied the hymnal plus a missal that I'd never seen before. It was much smaller and squatter than the missalettes I'm used to at our parish. I liked the way it fit into my hands so easily. Sure enough, when I opened it, I noticed that the reading translations were slightly different than in my Magnificat, and the copyright page noted that this missal was "approved for use in Canada." It included a lovely monthly calendar of saint feast days celebrated in Canada, and each Sunday had a reflection written by a Canadian. I kind of loved it. :0 I immediately bonded with it and placed my prayer cards in it to use as bookmarks for the readings and our place in the Order of Mass. I wished that I could take it home with me. ;-)
And the Mass was lovely. I missed my own parish, but I could tell that this was a close community of members. Loved.
I was sad when Sunday morning rolled around and it was time for us to leave. The wind chill had finally normalized somewhat, so we walked to a breakfast spot, and then were able to take a walk closer to the water before packing up to head home. I miss our little winter oasis. :)
I am SO glad that we went on this trip, and we've vowed to go back to Niagara-on-the-Lake for a weekend, just the two of us, when we get to our 12 year anniversary. The freedom to just spend uninterrupted time together and spontaneously do what we pleased for two days, it was just wonderful.
We got back Sunday to a happy reunion with the kids, and all is well. How was your weekend, dear reader? Leave me a comment. :)