Today was our second day where we didn’t have alarms set to embrace the day – although we were pretty busy.
Still, I woke up about 7 and watched 4 episodes of Friends while the birds began to sing, cars left their driveways, the breeze fluttered into the window. Ali got up about 9:30 and made me some breakfast and then we facetimed his mum and dad.
I don’t like facetime or skype or anything as it is. It always has connotations that you are talking to someone that you really wish you could see but can’t. In this case, they were telling us that everyone is so excited and happy and it makes me less sad about having to leave in a few days because I know we’ll return to very exciting things.
Afterwards, I got showered and ready for the day when all of a sudden…
Ali sits on my glasses.
Yes, he sits on them.
And they break.
And he freaks out and tries to fix them.
It’s not that big a deal because I brought another pair but every single pair of glasses something awful has happened to them. I’ve lost a pair in the sea, I’ve left them on the side of the motorway… I just do not have good luck with specks.
So that was obviously a very traumatic morning. (looking back this was literally not a big deal at all… Got the glasses replaced.)
Then Wayne brought us to the train station and we went onto west ‘Broadway’ and no, there’s not beautiful theatres advertising fun and cheery musicals. It’s just a dirty little street with sports outlets and mainstream cafes. We found some cheap rollerblades which I might buy tomorrow and then I went to ‘Michaels’ – an old favourite arts and crafts store. Then we walked for about 300 days to this longboard shop Ali wanted to go to and we actually got a longboard. So unique that we got featured on their facebook page #famous!!!
So Ali was longboarding about all day. Then I went into an amazing bookshop which was so beautiful – basically heaven.
We were on the way back to the train station when we saw a shop advertising second hand iMacs for $700. Ok… think about this. If we got an iMac for our future house (ahhhhh??!!!?) we would split the price right now, meaning we’d pay $350 each which equals out at about £175. For a 2011 21 inch iMac.
I really want one for my writing because it’s a big screen on a reliable processor (that sounds really smart) and Ali wants one because… well, it’s a mac.
So we stood there, mouths open, drooling over the insanity of the prices here so tempted to buy one of these when we decided we better do some research first.
But it would be kind of funny to watch our parents reaction as we walked through the airport doors with an iMac…
Anyway, we came home in the pouring rain and had dinner with Margaret and Wayne and then played Dutch Blitz until we couldn’t keep our eyes open.
Good, relaxed, fun, happy day. (we took no photos)
We didn’t and are not going to buy the iMac. It was a good & tempting offer but it would be a little impulsive.
Today we returned to the same places we went to yesterday to pick up some things we didn’t have time to get: Ali’s camera lens, cheaper Polaroids, second hand rollerblades, gourmet ice cream…
It was a cloudy cool day and not too busy. I felt gross spending the last few bits and pieces of our money but we only have two days left and everything is cheaper here.
We wandered about for ages just trying to find the right things, public bathrooms, a quick lunch, Rory & Laura…
Sorry what? Yes! We met up with Rory and Laura in Canada (Ali’s sister & her boyfriend)
It felt really weird because we are in Canada and we had a casual meal with them but everything was so normal and we had good food and a hearty catch up.
We laughed at all of each other’s funny stories including Laura waving down a water plane so she could catch the last flight.
Then Ali and I got the train back to Bridgeport where we were getting picked up and Ali suddenly realised that he was bursting for the toilet. Margaret was waiting for us and we told her he was desperate for the toilet (like a wee boy) and she drove us to a gas station and we sat in the truck giggling, wondering if he would make it in time.
Then back at the house, Ali and I stayed up eating grapes. Literally that was all we did. Trying to find the funniest ways to eat them and Ali was on the floor laughing and crying because of how ridiculous we have become. – I had a hilarious video of this but the image doesn’t show 😦 –
Last full day in Canada. Despite not wanting to leave, I am ready to go home. I am ready to see my friends and family and I had a dream last night that I came in the door and Milo hugged me so hard and told me I had gone away for too long. Ali said that probably won’t happen but I am so excited to see my dog.
I read my book for a while and then Ali made me scrambled eggs (how cool is he?) And we had breakfast together and then tried out my rollerblades and Ali’s long board. And it’s actually such a workout! Rollerblading is all about balance so you’re using your back and stomach muscles to the point where they ache. But it’s super fun!
I almost fell over about 100 times.
Then we came back and it’s somewhat sunny so we sat at the front of the house, me reading and Ali watching longboarding videos and enjoying some peace.
Margaret & Wayne got us more sushi for dinner which I still miss so much. So fresh and tasty! We had tons leftover so we put it in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow.
Saying goodnight to everyone was strange because it was the last time (for a while – we’ll be back)
I didn’t write anything for this day so I will retell it from fragmented memories. It was our last day in Canada. It was hard to look it in the face because it me sad. But also excited because going home meant wedding planning. It meant celebrating. But it also meant normality.
Wayne had an eye operation this morning which thankfully went well. We packed up our stuff, looking through Polaroids and bus tickets and putting our passports in accessible places.
We waved goodbye to Wayne as Margaret reversed out the driveway which was terribly sad. When we had to say goodbye to Margaret, I was using all my strength to hold back tears. This is my family. And although there are only traces of the same blood between us, there is still that family connection. Being with them was so easy, fun and memorable. We couldn’t have asked for a better family to stay with. I can’t wait to see them again!
On the flight, I didn’t pass out this time. (bravo) Pitch Perfect Two was one of the movies available to watch so I danced and whispered along songs in my seat, while laughing out loud at all the crude parts, forgetting how shocking they are. People were staring and Ali had to keep reminding me that I was getting louder and louder. When the food came round, there was a little tub with seasoned tomatoes. There was also bread & butter. What do I do? Make bruchetta on an airplane because why not. This woman across the aisle nudged her boyfriend, pointed to me and they both had a little giggle. I can see you, guys.
We had a long wait at Gatwick. Or Heathrow. Or whatever airport we were at. I felt groggy and sick and in desperate need of a shower. Finally, we got our next flight. Both our families met us at the airport which was great. That’s when it began: ring gazing, wedding chat, date-choosing-protests, questions, laughter, ideas, suggestions, gifts, and endless endless amounts of Engagement cards.
And to you, readers…
Whoever has faithfully read every single blog post, thank you. And whoever has gotten annoyed that I’ve dragged my 19 days in Canada out over three months, this isn’t for you.
I made these blog posts so that I could remember my trip. If I hadn’t scribbled words on that back of my hand, in my notes app, into journals, this trip would have been a blur. If I hadn’t had my camera around my neck, my Polaroid wrapped in a scarf at the front of backpack or the Go Pro on a stick, this trip would have been forgotten.
I made this diary for no one other than myself. If people have enjoyed being involved along the way, that’s just a bonus.
Things I have learned from this trip.
- Family is everything. You can go a decade without seeing them but it won’t make a difference to the way you are with each other. You can also go three weeks without seeing them and it is kind of hard.
- I am a creator. I am a writer. I take photographs. I need structure. I need spontaneity. I need a journal at my feet and a pen behind my ear. And even I don’t end up writing as much as I’d like, it’s better than nothing.
- I miss my dog a lot when I’m away from home.
- And, I really really like Ali.
“The true writer, the born writer, will scribble words on scraps of litter, the back of bus tickets, on the wall of a cell.” – David Nicholls