Friday, November 12, 2010

Thirty-five Years and A Day On The Town

Congratulations are in order here.  My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary on November the 8th, with an overnight away and a day on the town.  Of course, with our house and home in its present state of upheaval, any excuse is a good excuse to knock the dust off our shoes, kick up our heels and escape.

The King Edward Hotel was our host overnight.  A traditional landmark since 1903, it has sheltered many famous people under its roof over the years.  We were in good company with Rudyard Kipling, Mark Twain and the Beatles, from back-in-the-day.  Our sumptuous room was a lovely oasis, and not a bed bug in sight!

Dinner never tasted so good!  The Canoe Restaurant atop the 54th floor of the TD Bank Tower, plied us with hedonistic delights from the first sip to the last crumb.  Complimentary dessert wine and a tray of berries and nuts were in honour of our milestone celebration.  As an added bonus, I came away with the name and vintage info of a delightful wine:  Grant Burge Miamba Vineyard Shiraz from Barossa Valley, Austrailia.  Turns out I can order it from the LCBO.  Yum. 

Sorry guys, no paparazzi photo action on our date night, but I made up for that the next day as I meandered around town for a few hours, doing the tourist thing.  These are done with my BB phone, not a real camera, and they look like it too. 

First stop was Castle Loma, "the house on the hill".  Built between 1911 - 1914, this 94 room mansion is a show piece for the glory days before the crash of the stock market in 1929.  Sir Henry Mill Pallatt paid the handsome sum of 3.5 million dollars to have 300 men spend three years on its construction.  Then-rare telephones, electricity and servants-trained-in-Britain were the envy of all who visited there. 



With the crash of the economy in 1929, Sir Henry went from owning 24% of Canada's wealth to being a pauper.  All his wealth went down the drain with poor real estate investments.  He and Lady Pallett had to give up their dream castle after living there for only 10 years.  At his death in 1939, he was still carrying the rank of Major General with the Queen's Own Rifles Regiment and Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO).

As I made my way down the hill from the castle and back towards town, I suddenly realized someone was trying to make a point, leave a message, make me think.  I stopped, looked around and retraced my steps.  On the first step down the three stage, cement staircase, there were question marks stenciled with black paint.  (Try to ignore the shadows cast by the handrails.)



The whole message came out as:  "Question Your Class Privilege".  hmmm....  As I looked back up the stairs, I saw this homeless man taking a nap in the sun.


It was quite the existential moment, giving me pause.  Where do I fit into the picture here?  Do I side with the Sir and Lady Pallett, with the Casa on the Hilla?  I don't think so.  But then again, I do not identify with the  homeless man sleeping on a public bench either.   I am going home to fill boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Not far down the hill from the Castle, I spotted the Toronto Archives Building.  The complex takes up an entire city block.


I guess even cities need a place to store their stuff.  Here we see the "repository" for Toronto's historical records.  Who knew????


A car crashing thru the side of a building?  Crashing out of a building, not into one.  Well, that's  not something we see every day in our small town.

Taxis in Toronto, like in any other metropolis, are luxurious and costly.  On Tuesday, I opted for the subway until my aching feet were ready to call a mutiny.


Three dollars gets you where you want to go, safely and efficiently, once one figures out how to get  a token and where to put it.  (A sweet lady saw my puzzled frown and showed me how things worked.)

A nostalgic visit to the Saint Laurence Market rounded out my visit in Toronto.  I headed home with a renewed spirit of perseverance, to face the final stages of renovations.  35 years of marriage have given me a faithful husband, three grown children, three grandchildren (and counting) and a more mature outlook on life.  I am grateful for my many blessings and am looking forward to the future with anticipation. 

The best is yet to come.

What are your views on the grand institution of Marriage?
Are you in the game? 
Are you in for the "long haul"?

Friday once again.  The painters are in the final stages of covering my walls in varying shades of "white", the kitchen cabinets are mysteriously coming together "off-site", appliances are waiting in the wings and everyone knows "THE KIDS ARE COMING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS"!  The clock is ticking.  Every assurance has been given that there will be a beautiful kitchen, laundry room and ground-floor powder room ready for use when they arrive. 

Thank you for visiting Steadfast.  We will be weighing anchor right after the holidays, and setting off for southern seas.  Can you stand the wait?  I can hardly believe it will come soon enough, but in the meantime, it's preparation for family celebrations and snow. 
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