Our Friends {Up} North

You know those times that you feel like you could say “Thank You” a million times, and it still couldn’t begin to explain how blessed you feel?

Our weekend adventure left me and the Husband in just that state: Reeling with gratitude for friends, hospitality, surprising excursions, epicurean delights, wise words and the road we have ahead.

We trekked up to Ancaster, Ontario to visit our good friends, Gordon and Selena, and their son Harrison. Another set of friends, Phillip, Josie and baby Gabe, met us there over the weekend as well. (Note: Gabe was the most beautifully well-behaved child I have ever met. SUCH a sweetheart! And, he gave me kisses…)

We’ve known these wonderful families for a while, but have been itching to get to spend some real time together hanging out and having fun. This was the perfect opportunity!

We talked babies, education, faith, food, the arts, and…. TRAVEL. One of the many reasons we make the trip up was to get Selena’s world-class European travel advice. Yep: The Husband and I are planning a special trip to Italy in the spring….. and have been hopelessly at a loss as to where to begin.

No more! We think we might have a start, some ideas for a middle, and end. Details will emerge as we solidify them. Already can’t wait! {May 2012}.

Besides talking and eating Selena’s fabulous meals (seriously delicious pork & applesauce, jams, cheeses, steak & potatoes, pate, soup, salmon sandwiches and salads!… and her tea was fabulous as well.) and getting a new appreciation for wine and spirits from Gord, we visited the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), shopped, and ended our visit with a trip to the Falls and Niagra-on-the-Lake.

I also taught Harrison how to use a rubber-band wrapped around his hand as a gun (see upper left corner). I’m sure that made Selena happy. And no, I wasn’t kicked out the country for possessing firearms ; ) (Sorry guys…I had to use one Canadian joke. Just be proud I refrained from using “Eh?” in the title).Toronto was such a progressive, fun city – Lot’s of fabulous European influence and green living!

After breezing through several exhibits – (The dinos were our favorite!), we were treated to lunch at Crystal 5 (c5), a restaurant at the top of the museum, overlooking the city.

So beautiful. So delicious. {Goat cheese & beet salad  and pulled pork tacos, cappuccino and re-imagined french toast for dessert…}

Fortino’s was an amazing grocery – a little like Whole Foods, and packed with an amazing selection of produce, cheeses, prepared foods and products I hadn’t seen before (it takes me forever to shop at home…let alone when there is soooo much to see!).

The Falls were breathtaking. I’ve seen the American side, but I have to say our friends up north have a better view : ) LOVED the rainbow!

Lunch at the Oban restaurant at Niagra-on-the-Lake was perfect. Have you ever had a Caesar? A Canadian tradition, it’s like a Bloody Mary, but with Clamato juice. Doesn’t sound delicious… but it was actually pretty refreshing.

Such a pretty afternoon.

But I have to say, the Tiramisu & Bacio Gelato was the highlight of the day. (Think icy Nutella!). The spot on the top left is where Selena and Gord were engaged

A wonderful trip with wonderful friends. We’re already looking forward to the next get-together!

It’s the season of Thanks. What unusual thing are you thankful for? (Canadian friends and Goat Cheese are already taken…sorry).