Ah yes, 2017 in its infancy has so far been...fine, I guess. I'm only five days in and it seems like a normal sort of January. Cold, dry, relatively barren, wintery, slowly dying inside as I scrape my car in the morning, etc. Despite the cold (that I despise almost as much as cockroaches) I feel like I've been able to maintain a positive attitude about the future.
I've immediately started working on my New Years Resolutions, as I said I would, and I can happily tell you I have lost 1lb so far. Boo. Yah.
And it just so happens I've got plenty of work to do in the health and fitness department after my super exciting, beer-filled, Canadian New Years adventure.
I did mention that I was going to Canada for New Years Eve, right? Well it happened, and it was glorious. I spent about five days with my Bestie, Amanda and her new Fiancé, Mathew, along with their family & friends. I'm going to apologize right now for the amount of photos in this post.
Within 24 hours of landing in Toronto, we went to grab craft beers and pizza at Barnstormer Brewing Company. It was there, I was approached by a man who (knowing I was American) wanted to know if I knew his cousin in the States.
Normally, I would politely listen to someone who approched me like this, and say, "You know, that name sounds familiar but I just can't seem picture that person." (aka, "Sir, the United States of America has a really huge population. No. I've never met that person, and I likely never will. Please leave me alone so I can finish my drink").
I was about to roll my eyes, when he told me his cousin was none other than James Hinchcliffe, the famous Indycar driver. He then proceeded to show me family photos of them together on his phone. It was about as random as it sounds and I loved it.
I had such an incredible time with all of these people. I don't think there is enough room on the internet to even begin to give my experience with them Justice. First of all, Kevin and Diane Maloney (Mathew's parents) were more than accommodating. They were warm, kind, funny and a downright pleasure to be around.
The food was unbeatable. Those treats above, they were made with leftover pastry supplies, and they were so tasty! And yes, They're "Nun's Farts."
One evening a bunch of us in the wedding party went to a local favorite, Hungry Brew Hops for supper and of course...beer (not pictured, Renée)
I enjoyed grabbing coffee with both of them and watching the people pass the window prior to our first appointment. Isn't there just something nice about being in a warm room on a cold day, sharing open conversation?
All of my favorite travel memories involve experiences like this. Time moves slowly, coffee constantly flowing into ceramic cups. It's a simple pleasure, but it's one I never tire of.
Afer coffee, the dress hunt was fun at some moments and tough at other times. We went to one place and waited for approximately fifteen minutes before anyone even greeted us at the front desk, and we were on time for that appointment.
Anytime we women are required to try on important garments, drinks need to be at hand shortly thereafter. At somepoint during our hunt, we scurried into the only open bar we could find, and I tried one of Amanda's favorites, Steamwhistle (quite a good pilsner).
During this break, Renée helped me get acquainted with MOH responsibilities and how I can help with this long distance wedding. I'm going to admit, Even after some explaination I still feel a bit lost, and I'm nervous. I'm fearful I won't be a good bridesmaid; I won't meet Amanda's expectations. However, it puts my mind at ease knowing how well versed Renée is with how this process goes. I can't thank her enough for all of the organization and coaching.
We chugged our beers (and I do mean chugged) before getting back into the wedding dress shopping mayhem. Luckily, by the end of the day, Amanda was confident in her dress choice and, as cheesy as it is to say, she "said yes to the dress (and she looks pretty dang good in it, if I do say so myself)."
Which is exciting considering how adorable these two are together. Several times, I forced them to practice the "drinking through linked arms" thing that people only do for photos at their wedding. I don't know why, but I love it when people do this. To me, it is equally goofy and endearing, without being too sappy.
In fact, If you ever approach me and want to drink something through my linked arm, I won't even hesitate. It will happen.
New Years Eve was the main event, of course. Every year the Maloney's have a "Great Canadian New Years Eve Party," and I was lucky enough to be present for it! Kegs, Amber's infamous jello shots, and the ever Canadian Poutine were on the menu!
They made the poutine fresh that day and gave me the very first serving. I give it twenty thumbs up! Why is this not a thing in the good ol' US of A? Fresh cut fried potatoes, cheese curds, and GRAVY. You'd think it would've swept the states by now. I'm making it my personal mission.
Move out of the way Taco Bell, you former king of drunk food, you. There's a new ruler in town, and it's name is Poutine!
It was the best night I've been lucky enough to enjoy in a long time. Of course, all of the best nights end in song and impromptu guitar playing in perfect harmony with people who you know very very little about.
And now, I'm back to the States, trying hard to be the best version of myself that I can be. Selfishly, I want to look good, so I can rock that bridesmaid dress in October, but I also want to be fit, because why not.
Of course, I'm continuing to invest in my artwork. Below is a painting I completed this week.
I think I'm going to call it, "Convergence," or something vague like that. When I look at it, I feel like I'm of two worlds.
So, here I am at home, making improvements to my life and looking forward to my next trip to Canada.
Angela DeCamp is an Indianapolis based artist. who enjoys the finer things in life: black coffee, carnival tickets, the sound high heels make when they clickty-clack on the sidewalk.