Early yesterday evening, our regular UPS guy knocked on the door next to mine. I heard it loud and clear, because our house is a semi (meaning it’s attached to the house next door), and every knock on their door sounds like a knock on our door. I said hello to the delivery guy, and told him I’d inform the neighbour they had a package on their front stoop. I then headed upstairs to my office, stuck my head out the window, and hollered at my neighbour (who was entertaining guests on her back porch) that she had a box to collect at her front door. I didn’t think twice about the privacy issues… it’s always seemed like their business is our business, and vice versa. We can hear them through the shared wall in our house, and are often aware of their comings and goings, but it’s a peaceful co-existence.
I thought about my lovely cousin, who lives in the country with her small children, and how there are metres and metres of space (if not acres) between them and their neighbours. They would probably have no idea if the UPS guy left a package on their neighbour’s front stoop. When my cousin and her daughters came for a sleepover in the city earlier in the summer, my cousin’s eldest daughter told Clara that she had a forest in her backyard, and couldn’t believe how small our backyard was. It was so sweet! Clara, being the ultimate city kid, had no idea what she was talking about.
A friend recently shared something on Facebook about city living vs suburban living (this friend is moving to the ‘burbs soon). The post talked about which is “better”… living in the city, or living in the suburbs. As if there’s a right answer for everyone!
My family moved around a fair bit when I was growing up. We had 5 major moves before I was 13 years old (including moving from the States to Canada). I guess because of that, or because I’m a fairly practical person, I feel like I could make a home anywhere. I find the choices people make, and the variety of options to be fascinating.
We’ve seen a lot of friends decamp from the city for the ‘burbs or for the country, and I don’t think anyone has made a *wrong* decision. It’s just different. More than once we’ve thought about “cashing out” of Toronto’s insane real estate market and heading for the hills. But ultimately, I don’t think it would be right for me, for many reasons. It’s right for a lot of people, but not for me. So we stay. For now. For a while.
I do love hearing stories of how people live in various ways though. Have you seen the Motherhood Around the World series on the Cup of Jo blog? It’s so fantastic to read about all the wonderful and diverse ways there are to make a home and raise a family.
[photo above of my city backyard, so you can see how close the neighbours are. It’s tiny, but I really love it.]
You know I love to troll Airbnb for unique vacation rental properties. Check out these two I recently stumbled upon… a breathtaking modern ski chalet in Golden, British Columbia and a private island (that’s not insanely priced!) in Belize. Which one would you choose?
(not that you have to choose between them at all… it’s just a fun game to play)
Before Clara was born, Ian and I went camping a few times each summer. We really missed it, and now that Clara is 4 years old, we figured it was time to go as a family. So this past Friday, we packed our car to the max and headed for Pinery Provincial Park for a couple nights under the stars (or more accurately, a couple nights on an air mattress inside a huge tent – don’t judge).
Despite nasty weather (overcast and cold), Clara LOVED camping. Playing in the tent, cooking outside, building a campfire… even filling a bucket from the water tap was fascinating to her. She is a city kid after all, so camping was quite the novelty! Of course it wouldn’t be a camping trip without s’mores, which Clara called “outside sandwiches”. I told her it was like a sandwich with a special cookie cracker, marshmallow and chocolate, and you eat it outside… so “outside sandwich” it was!
Pinery is a gorgeous park with lots of hiking and biking trails, and beautiful beaches (including fresh water sand dunes that reminded me of the East Coast). It’s too bad that the weather was so gross. Overall, we think the weekend was a success, and can’t wait to go camping again in July.
The Toronto Flower Market now makes its home much closer to me – at 659 Queen Street East in Riverside. Their next monthly event is this Sunday, June 14. I went last month and picked up the gorgeous dahlias and freesias in the picture above.
The market always features whatever is in season, so you know what that means… peonies!!! My friend Rosie tells me her adorable flower truck, Qt, will be full of beautiful white peonies for you to pick up. Hot tip – get there early. The market opens at 10am, and the early bird gets the flower. Or however that’s supposed to go.
I was in Ottawa for the last 24 hours with Camp Tech. I had a couple hours to kill before my flight home, so I checked out the Tulip Festival. It’s so beautiful! Here are some pics of my favourites. Some of them don’t even look like tulips, like the Yellow Pomponettes. And some have funny names like Sensual Touch. Gorgeous. If you get a chance to check it out, I highly recommend!
I love fancy soap, so when I recently visited the amazing Cabbagetown shop Labour of Love, I picked up a bar of Eucalyptus Mint soap by Toronto company Leaves of Trees. Whoa. It is the best. Even Ian totally loves it. I had to have more, so I placed an order on their website, and also picked up the Lavender Sugar Scrub and Lavender Argan Oil.
Leaves of Trees is run by a medical doctor who makes everything herself. The product is wonderful, the packaging is gorgeous, and it’s well priced. I’m hooked.
Photo from Labour of Love’s Instagram feed
Lately Ian has been doing more than his fair share of the parenting duties as I’ve had a lot of work commitments. So to even the scales a little bit, and have some precious time with Clara (who is just shy of 4 years old), we had a girls-only date on Saturday.
We spent the afternoon at the TIFF Lightbox, having lunch at Canteen (we both had mac and cheese with bacon lardons… so yummy), watching The Little Mermaid on the big screen, and then checking out the DigiPlaySpace exhibit. It was so much fun. Highly recommended!
There’s a seismic monitoring station in Ecuador known as Casa del Arbo (“The Treehouse”). It has a rickety swing hanging from one of the tree branches, and it swings over a 100 foot drop. No harness, no net, or any other safety feature. The swing is commonly known as “the swing at the edge of the world.”
Would you swing on it? I don’t know if I would!
via Atlas Obscura. Top photo by David Silo, bottom left photo unknown credit, bottom right photo by Adam Rifkin.