Today is Canada Day! I would like to wish a happy day and holiday weekend to all of my friends in Canadia. In honor of this day, I thought I would share with you the my top favorite Canadia* things.
1. The Stratford Festival - this event led to my very first trip north of the border, while I was a college student. Not only did it give me an appreciation for Shakespeare (which I had not really had before), but I love the town of Stratford, at least the part I am aware of near the Festival Theater. We used to stay in a B&B run by a lovely woman who our English professor (who was Canadian) knew one way or another. Since college, The Tim and I have had a few opportunities to return, and the festival and the town never disappoint.
2. Tim Horton's - sigh. Now there's one in NYC, and one in my hometown of Wheeling, West Virginia, but you really can't appreciate a Tim Horton's if you haven't been to one of the Canadian ones.
3. London, Ontario - a pretty little town, with a lovely public library. I visited during the fall, and it was like walking through a storybook place.
4. Toronto, Ontario - a great city, with tons of good stuff to see, and where The Tim and I were upgraded to a junior suite at the Four Seasons because they had overbooked. We did our best to accept such an inconvenience. The suite had two bathrooms, and we called my sister in WV to talk to her simultaneously. She said we were acting like Ma and Pa Kettle.
5. Montreal, Quebec - not only beautiful, but they speak French and English like it's no big deal. I tried to order a cheese croissant there, and the bakery clerk, who had spoken to me en Francais, said, "Oh sweetie, just speak English, it will be better for both of us." I went to Mass (also en Francais) at the more than gorgeous cathedral, and it was amazing. Also, walking all over the town underground was so much fun!
6. Halifax, Nova Scotia - oh, how I long to go back. On the water, hilly, beautiful with a poignant cemetery where many of the Titanic victims are laid to rest. We took tour of the harbor on a boat, and it was even more beautiful from the water.
7. St. John's, Newfoundland - OH! The speech with the heavy brogue, the hilly streets and little tucked away coves. It is one of the few places I've been that truly reminded me of home. Plus, it's an hour and a half time difference - now if that doesn't confuse you, nothing will! And we visited Cape Spear, where a) we were greeted by an awesome black Newfoundland dog named Skippy, and where the tour guide took us up into the upstairs of the lighthouse, 'cause it was off-season and he was bored.
8. Terra Nova Provincial Park - located in Newfoundland, and where we rented a lovely cabin in the woods near the water for four days. During our daily walks, we saw several foxes, squirrels of course, and deer. And one morning when I opened the curtains, there was a moose at the window looking right at me! (I'm not sure which one of us was more shocked ...)
9. The Canadian flag - I love maple leaves. Need I say more?
10. The weather - whenever I've visited and it was HOT here, it was always pleasant there. And they have serious winters, which of course I enjoy.
So many more things, and so much more of the country to explore! We used to visit at least once a year, for The Tim's job, which is how we got to see so much of the country other than just Stratford. Now we have to save our pennies to go on our own. Someday, I will see Sasaktoon, Saskatchewan, and fulfill the dream of my 4th-grade-self who demanded I go someplace with such an awesome name! And I need to see where Anne of Green Gables was set. And what about British Columbia? Oh, and ...
P.S. to Toronto Blue Jays fans - though I am sorry you lost your game today on your holiday, I'm afraid I'm still glad that the Phillies won. Forgive me, eh?
*And for those of you new-ish to the blog, we call it "Canadia" but we do in fact know that the country is actually Canada. We are not stupid Americans (well, at least not in that way ...)