We are home! It was a fantastic trip and I was terribly sad when the weekend was through. It is very difficult to have two of my four children living with their wives on the opposite coast. So much distance is between us. It is strange because we have our children and never really think about the separation that often happens as they grow up and find their path in life. I am fortunate that my boys are good communicators. We have a family group text string that is used daily – multiple times each day. Sometimes about silly stuff and other times about important things. We are very much in touch with each other, which is great. But nothing beats being together, you know – in person. 🙂
Since we got home I have been mentally and emotionally processing the wedding. When I experience these big events in life, I love that feeling of thinking about it. Kind of mentally ingraining the memories so I will always have them. It is akin to the feeling when I finish a really good book. I usually wait a bit before starting another one as I am just enjoying thinking about the first one. Does that make sense?
My son’s wedding was absolutely perfect. He and his wife worked very hard to plan an event which represented the two of them. They knocked it out of the park. The ceremony and reception were held in a very small restaurant on the campus of University of Toronto, where my daughter-in-law both teaches and studies (she is working on her PhD, studying the religious artifacts from early Russian history.) Gallery Grill, located in Hart House, was a gorgeous venue for the event. There were fifty people at the celebration. The officiate was a Humanist minister and her ceremony was so beautiful. It incorporated the necessary, legal elements of a Canadian marriage ceremony as well as the philosophical elements that the bride and groom wanted. I found it interesting that the marriage documentation is signed during the wedding ceremony (as opposed to afterward, like we do in the States.) Both the bride and groom are led to a table where they sign the marriage certificate and then the two witnesses (the bride and groom’s older brothers) come and sign. It was so sweet. The ceremony culminated with the groom breaking a glass, which is a Jewish custom, signifying the fragility of a marriage and how it must be cared for by both parties. (There are many actually many interpretations of this custom. You can read more about it here.)
I didn’t take many pictures over the weekend. Sometimes the camera actually distracts a person from enjoying the experience. Also the wedding invitation specifically asked that guests take no pictures – the kids purchased the electronic files for the photos from the professional photographer and I know those will be far superior to anything I would have taken. When I get those, I will share a few. The one picture that is here was taken, on the sly, by my sister so she could quickly text it to the other four sisters who were unable to attend. My sister, Cathy, was our social media coordinator and she Face-Timed with several of the sisters, showing them the venue (so pretty), the food (amazing!!), the flowers (peonies in January??), and the cake (I ate a bit of all three flavors!) My sisters were able to get a good feel for the occasion, which was wonderful.
I very much enjoyed spending time with my daughter-in-law’s family. We had met them last summer, when they joined us in Maine for a few days. We enjoyed a few meals together and got to know each other a bit more. They are very sweet and it is wonderful for the kids to be living near family. (The bride grew up in Toronto.)
Oh, my thoughts on Toronto, you ask? Of course, here you go –
Toronto is freezing. Not just cold, more like stepping out onto an iceberg wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Here, in the mountains of Northern California, we get cold. We have many days where the high temp is in the 30’s and the lows can dip into the low 20’s. We see snow now and then. But I kid you not, it is a whole different sort of cold up there so close to the lake. We walked and walked as Kyle toured us through the city and the University. (He is a great tour guide, walking backward and showing us the sites, providing fun anecdotes along the way.) We had reasonably warm clothing but my face would just be numb, especially my chin for some reason. The local Torontonian’s kept telling us what beautiful weather we were experiencing because the high’s were in the low 20’s (farenheit). Yikes. I know that means it could have been much colder! Crazy kind of cold! The bride was more than a little disappointed by the lack of snow. She really wanted a dramatic, snowy day for her wedding. I tried to hide my joy in the lack of snow. 😉
We stopped by the National Hockey League hall of fame. We didn’t actually go in but I loved this sculpture that was out front. I’m thinking this is as close to a hockey game as I will ever get.
Black squirrels? I had never seen one. Apparently they are common on the East coast of the States and Canada, both. I looked it up and read that there are actually some living in the Bay Area here in California because they were introduced to the population at Stanford University. However, there are not many. (I wonder how the person got that squirrel here to California – Customs was digging through our bags both entering and leaving Canada. I am pretty sure I could not have hidden a squirrel in there anywhere! Haha.)
On the Sunday after the wedding my eldest son, his wife, Julia, and two friends took a day trip to see Niagara Falls. Ray and I didn’t have the energy for much so we declined. I think is was about an 80 mile drive to get there. They had a great time and I love this picture of the three of them.
Now that we are home, it is time to get back into my routines. I have been doing laundry constantly and today I need to clean up the house. It was so busy the week before we left, I had not cleaned or picked up around here, and now it is time to fix all that! I did get to sew a bit yesterday and will share that in another post. I am far behind in reading everyone’s blog posts. Last night I got caught up a bit but without commenting. Apologies for my rudeness. I’ll be back in touch soon. Also, I had the very good fortune to meet up with another quilt blogger in Toronto and will share that soon as well.
Glad to be home, sad to be separated from the kids. Such is life – always striving for a happy medium.
By the way, the picture of the map at the top of the page is a print I had made for the kids. It was done by a graphic artist who has a very unique Etsy shop, Ink of Me. Check it out.
It sounds like you had a lovely time. Rest up and enjoy savoring the weekend!
Thank you Wendy!
So glad everything went off without a hitch….(other than the one with the bride and groom…lol…ohhh …bad pun). Your son looks so much like you—and his new bride is very lovely. Their happiness shows on each of their faces…they look so content together. May it always remain so. Blessings….
p.s. black squirrels? I never heard of such of thing…verrrrrry interesting…
You are so funny. 🙂
They do make a very sweet couple and I also hope it is forever so.
The black squirrels took us by surprise. Deep black – very odd!
Bernie, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and sharing a bit of your trip. I can understand what you are feeling with the family being so far apart. You are so blessed in that you all talk and share with each other on a daily basis. Your photo of the hockey sculpture is my favorite! Thank you for sharing and have fun cleaning and catching up.
Brenda, I do feel lucky that the kids are so good about keeping in touch. I hope at some point we can all live closer together, at least on the same side of the continent!
So glad you had a nice time
There are some black squirrels in Fairfax, Virginia. I saw many when I went with Lizzie to
meet with someone about using the Town Hall for her wedding reception.
It was pretty cool. I like them.
Congratulations to everyone for a lovely “life event! with family and friends
Ah yes, another life event is on the books. The stuff of which wonderful memories are made. I especially love how weddings are so personalized and able to represent the bride and groom. This was a perfect wedding for the kids and they will have lovely memories of it now. So special. Hope you and your dad are doing well Rosemary!
So glad you had a great time! And I just love black squirrels.
Thank you! It was very special. Fun to see the place my son and his wife live too. Now I have a better visual image in my mind when we talk about what they are up to or how life is going in that huge city of theirs.
What a lovely young couple!!! You look so happy – that is such a terrific picture of you two. I am envious of your hair. Seems maintenance free. That you found time to meet with Lisa and have fun (trying to fit in had me laughing) made it a perfect vacation/trip.
Haha, Preeti. Maintenance free is certainly what my hair is! It is also really wild and I have never been able to have it any other way than very short. But it works for me.
The kids are a lovely couple and so happy. We are all happy to see them marry. I think they are perfect for each other. <3
I’m so glad the wedding was so sweet and happy and beautiful. Your family is so photogenic! Lower 20s as a high? Brrrrr! Good thing they both love the weather. 🙂 Love the print of their location – a beautiful reminder.
I didn’t get to see the print in person because I had it shipped directly to the kids. It had not arrived yet when we were there. But I love the idea of it. I think that Etsy shop has some really interesting items. I hope it looks good when it gets there! Plus it is very reasonably priced. I would use them again for a wedding or engagement gift (well, once I get confirmation of the quality when the kids receive it.)
Congratulations, Bernie, it sounds like a beautiful and happy wedding. I’m so glad that it was so full of joy and it sounds like a lovely union of two families.
Thank you. Wedding are always joyful – I love them. It is such a satisfying feeling to watch your children grow and take their paths. I feel especially lucky to have the women my sons have chosen as part of my family. <3
You are such an awesome Mom Bernie! You’ve figured out how to let your kids be their own selves and ‘Be-In-Touch’ in a sweet positive way. There are somethings that modern technology does really well and you’ve put it to good use!
Hmm…. I don’t think I can take credit here. My kids are all about technology. A few years ago they had to twist my arm pretty hard to get me to buy a smart phone so we could text. I kept saying — oh we can just call each other. They would say “mom, once you start you will see how much you like it.” They were so right. I love hearing from them all the time. The other day my niece (the boys’ cousin) had her third child. In that situation, the phones all start buzzing with people talking. It is pretty cool. Certainly not a substitute for living near them, but it makes it better. Happy Friday Kristi!!! (Just think, it won’t be long and your little guy will be off forging his way in the world.)
Looks like a great time was had by all. I totally understand the bride wanting snow. When you schedule a wedding for January, you’re kind of counting on it. But they look happy nonetheless! True fact–when we lived in Wisconsin, our neighborhood had a couple of albino squirrels. Completely white with pink eyes. And northern WI has both black and red squirrels.
It was a great time Mari. We saw some teeny snowflakes at one point but it never turned into anything. It was a beautiful wedding, even without the winter wonderland aspect.
Albino squirrels might just give me a nightmare. Eww. The black ones were cute though.
I often feel the very same way after big events. And picture taking. I rarely do either. We usually “assign” one person that share later as I too finds it distracts me from the moment. Your trip looks like you had a fantastic time and the couple happy and beautiful!! Thank you for sharing it will us. Oh! I’ve met a few of our bloggy friends in person…so fun!! Well, enjoy basking in the memories. 🙂
Hi, have you dug out from all the snow? What a crazy winter you’ve had! Which bloggers have you gotten to meet? I had so much fun chatting with Lisa and last summer I got to have lunch with Mari when we were up in Maine. Who knows…. maybe you will come down to Nor Cal someday. ☺
Thanks for sharing such a special trip, congratulations to the happy couple too. Here in the UK signing the register is part of the marriage ceremony too. I was lucky enough to visit Toronto in November 2003, I remember the black squirrels in my friend’s garden and a very chilly trip to Niagara Falls. Hope you don’t have to wait too long to see the wedding photos.
Thank you for commenting Allison. Interesting to hear about the commonalities with the marriage ceremony traditions (and surely not surprising). I thought it was a very sweet part of the ceremony and emphasized the importance of the decision that was being made. It was such a great trip. ☺❤
Glad you had a good visit. And yes, it is cold in Canada. brrrrrr…….
This is a great post Bernie: I laughed when you said it was freezing in Toronto. It’s been a pretty warm winter by my standards. I actually wish it would get a bit colder because it’s usually sunny when it’s cold and sunlight is my only need for happiness in the winter.