Saturday, August 20, 2011

Road Trippin'

Hanging out with my friend Laurie is always a hoot. We love a lot of the same things (like Vinyl Cafe, pumpkin lattes, photography, blogging, country music, CBC, etc) so when we get together, we always have a good time. Those times, however, are few and far between. We live in cities about an hour away from each other and with the demands of daily life, it's hard to connect our schedules.

We dream of the fun we can have: road trip to Nashville, an afternoon of exploring with our cameras, concerts, etc. It's fun to dream. Well, this summer we decided to put our plans into action. A little too much action perhaps! We picked a day and cleared our calendars. We were hitting the road. To do what was a little unclear but we were determined! The list of ideas grew and soon we were creating a mosaic of all our plans into one day!

Laurie picked me up and after a quick tour of my new house, we hit the open road. Our route included St. Marys, Stratford, Shakespeare and possibly Elora...ummm, ya. We quickly narrowed that a bit! We landed in St. Marys and promptly got a coffee and started poking about in the quaint little shops. What fun! We discovered some real gems and picked up a few treasures as well. Soon enough we pulled our cameras out and took some "artsy" shots around town. Trying to combine our photo excursion with other adventures was spreading our focus too much (a little photog humour!) and soon we decided to leave the cameras in the car. That would be for another day.

Simply meandering through Stratford (my fave!) and lunching with Laurie made for a delicious day. We eventually ended up down by the Avon river, amongst the swans discussing the ups and downs of life. That is what I truly love about Laurie: I can open up to her and be real without feeling vulnerable. She understands.

Already looking forward to the next adventure Laur!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

This Is Country Music

I had the radio on, tapping my foot and singing along to an old-style country song. Sure it was Brad Paisley, but it had the styling of old-school country. For some reason, it got me to thinking about how we determine what is music to our ears and what sounds we'd rather avoid.

I love a variety of music and can often be found driving with the windows down listening to anything from Tony Bennett to Johnny Cash. Instrumental jazzy tunes or the melodic sounds of James Taylor, Jack Johnson or Reid Jamieson. Foot-stomping country or smooth crooning.

However, there is just something about country music that hits my sweet spot. This is what got me to pondering. Why does this twangy and sometimes sappy music make me happy? I started to wonder if this is perhaps because of the constant infusion of country music when I was a tyke. My dad firmly believes there is no other kind of music :) Do I associate it with happy times as a kid? Is it in my tight-fittin' genes? Or am I over-thinking this? Perhaps it's just good music.

I know most of my contemporaries would not consider cranking Conway Twitty when they're in the car but when he sings about those tight-fittin' jeans, my hand instinctively reaches for the volume. Yes, I may seem like an urban/modern woman but underneath it all, I'm just a country girl at heart!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The Peanut

My nephew Jesse recently turned 6 and as part of the celebration, he got to do something really special with Auntie Janice. Since Jesse has always been a huge fan of Lightning McQueen and the Cars movie in general I decided to take him to see real race cars. Actually, it was HIS idea and I thought it was a great one.

My friend Kim's brother races micro sprint cars, so I asked if we could go and see him race and get a "behind the scenes" look. Kim's dad was all over that and sent me free passes in the mail. Jesse was going to love it!

The day of "the big day out" as I like to call it, Jesse came over before lunch. First on the list was to play the wii. He LOVED it. Especially the boxing game. It was hilarious to watch him fling himself around like a wet noodle! When it was time for lunch, we consulted the Urban Spoon app on my iphone. Jesse thought The Green Lantern sounded cool so that's where we headed. He was quite thrilled to get a chocolate chip pancake for lunch...and he ate the whole thing!

The rest of the afternoon we spent making our way to Grand Bend Speedway, making stops along the way to meander through some interesting places. Of course, ice cream was on the agenda!

Once we got to the speedway, we walked around and found Mark. He was doing some maintenance to the car and explained a few things to Jesse. We decided to look around at the other cars and Jesse even got the chance to sit in one! Soon it was time for the races to begin. Exciting! They were loud, so we pulled out the earmuffs. The look on his face was priceless. We had a lot of fun.

Jesse had his first sleepover at Auntie Janice's that night and he did great! No tears or anything. In the morning I made chocolate chip pancakes as per his request and that was a big hit!

I had a blast hanging out with Jesse. Six year olds are such a great age....they are full of questions and everything is fascinating. During our drive to Grand Bend he didn't get bored once. He just looked out the window and gave me a running commentary of factoids he has picked up in his young years. He is quite hilarious. So, happy birthday Peanut! xo