Saturday, May 24, 2014

Blossoming in a Cold Spring

It is the end of May and the leaves have not yet fully emerged from the long harsh winter.  With each burst of warmth and sunshine, the buds appear to make up for lost time and accelerate their unfolding out of hibernation.

Not all of the greenery has emerged, as the north wind persists on bringing chilling breezes and frost warnings to same parts.  The plants, how do they know to be cautious and hold back?  But the lushness, colour and tranquility is savoured and appreciated so much more as a result.  

For me personally, there are major life changes going on behind the scenes, which will all come out in time.   And in the face of it, I wish to retain some sense of self and normalcy.

So I will continue to blog and express.  


Scheduled as a visit to a good old friend as well as a time to get away and reflect on my life changes, it did not disappoint.  Having grown up from ages 10-18 in Charlottesville, Virginia, this area (the geography, history and culture) feels somewhat like home and with that comes a feeling of comfort.  

My friend and her husband live in Greenbelt, Maryland, a cooperative community designed in the New Deal era.  It was fascinating, beautiful and fun.  I especially enjoyed dancing at the New Deal Cafe on the Friday night live band session.  

The two days that I spent in Washington D.C. proper were mostly filled with humidity and walking.   I spent the better part of one day in Georgetown, popping in and out of the boutiques, tasting the food and reminding myself of why I love U.S. history so much.  So in pictures:

Yo - White House!

Did you know this is the White House's neighbour?
It's the Old Executive Office Building, nearly completely demolished, but saved.

Saw this tucked beside a gas station walking down M Street.

I picked a random side street to walk up, and found this old elegant post office.

On the same street was this old-fashioned lane with mews.

Old Stone House on M Street, amidst the hoi poloi.
Did you know children were only allowed toys on Sundays?
And at that it was only a pair of dice.

...and then there is this post office.

Must be the most expensive daycare in the city.

The dome of the National Gallery literally took my breath away as I stood gaping up at it in shock.

Turn a corner out of the Italian Renaissance and see this room.  Stunned.

Upon my return home from D.C., I spent much of the long weekend with Henry, playing outside, going to the beach with his scooter and throwing rocks in the water.  We played in the park, and all that good stuff.  Recently, he's been playing with the older boys on the street, racing cars and scooters and kicking balls.  He loves the camaraderie and often just rides outside of the house, hoping that the boys will come out to play.

Walk to the ravine to throw sticks and stones in the creek.

Which catches us up to the present day.  Today Henry & I had a blast going to the Toronto Centre Island on one of the most perfect and gorgeous days of the year.  The transit strategy is a big part of the trip, and so it bears detailing.  We walked up the street to catch the streetcar.  Took the streetcar 4 stops to the GO train station.  Waited for 7 minutes for the GO train that got us all too quickly (in Henry's estimation,) to Union station.  There, Henry ate a snack, while pondering and questioning how the builders made the ceiling so high.  Good inquiry Mr. Henry!  Then we walked from Union down Bay street to the ferry terminal where we waited for the 9:30am ferry.  The ferry experience was deep.  A solemn boy, not believing his luck so far.  Once we arrived on the island, he wanted to see the rides.  As they didn't open until 10:30am, we walked up to the pier, threw rocks in the water, used the bathroom and then it was time!  The first ride was the Centreville train, which gave us a little tour of the amusements.  Henry wanted to only go on rides where we could be together, and absolutely nothing that spins.  He made another sharp inquiry "Mummy, why do so many rides spin?"  

Well Henry, I guess some people think they're fun.  I don't.   

Anyway, I digress.  

We had a beautifully peaceful lunch at a picnic table near the water.  After another ride and some ice cream, it was time for quiet time on a blanket by the beach.  We stayed there laughing and playing for over an hour until it was time to find our way back to the ferry.  A beautiful day that I will never forget.

And so the island trip in pictures:

Henry took this photo.

A bientot.