Wednesday, August 21, 2013

::Montreal without the Mess::

These girls and this city have been through a lot this last decade. Some photos from the archive:
I can't wait to visit at 40, 50, 60, 70 and beyond.

Monday, August 19, 2013

::Color, color, color::

Running this messy, crazy 5k in Montreal was even more fun than I'd anticipated. It could have been a strategical nightmare. Between us we had a dozen kids to organize while we were away. The smallest, and perhaps most vocal came with us. We were crammed into a tiny wedge-shaped hotel room with a cot and a crib. Frankly, we were all exhausted before we even set foot in the city. And sorting out the construction detours and Metro lines may have been reduced us to  tears.
But that's not how it went down. It all just worked. We scooped up our Color Packets at the hotel, complete with t-shirt, sweatband, tattoos, bib number & extra dye packets. We WALKED and walked the city all afternoon. Tried to ignore how many glares were directed at baby Declan, whose mere presence seemed to offend the twenty-somethings on St. Catharine street. Recharged on Juliette & Chocolate, {with it's angry little waitress}. Then patched together "bathing suits" out of clothes we'd brought and swam in the hotel pool before bed.
Yes, morning came WAY too early. But we navigated the Metro system with ease. At one point we were walking through a tunnel to catch the next train, when we reached an intersection. Masses of Color runners in white t-shirts came pouring out of every nook and cranny, converging in one big blob. It felt like a music video. There should have been a soundtrack.
We hadn't expected to be dancing a Zumba workout as our pre-race warm-up But there we were, shaking our booties and kicking our feet while in hysterics. And then, we were herded into a long narrow gate headed for the Start line. Race shirts and sunglasses were rained down on us. Beach balls were being batted around. Color dye was being sprinkled in clouds of pink, orange, yellow and blue. They counted us down in groups of about a hundred. We were the third batch to go.
A few things we learned as we ran:
1. Country girls had an advantage-- the track was mostly gravel with pot holes here and there. I was thinking; Huh. Just like home.
2. We  have got to get ourselves some tutus. Boys. Girls. Babies. Everyone had tutus.
3. Apparently it's possible to run 5k in flip flops. . .
4. Don't smile while running through a Color station. Blue teeth ain't pretty.
5. Nix the tutus. Thirty year-olds shouldn't wear tutus.
6. Hats probably saved us hours worth of showering.
7. Passing on the left is a concept no one adheres to. It's more like dodge, duck n' weave.
8. This was a run for people who don't take themselves too seriously. In other words, it was a perfect place for the likes of us.

Monday, August 12, 2013

::My birthweek::

Rather than having a birthDAY to look forward to, I usually get to celebrate my birthWEEK. A family party, a Lantern Party, and then the day itself. I have it good. Here is a collection of photos from the whole week of fun and tastiness.
Stunning birthday roses from Mom and Dad Van Dyk.
August birthday-bash for Amanda, Ewan and I. Grilled gourmet sandwiches and a few cakes to choose from!
Lots and lots of kayaking.

A very fiery Lantern Party. First came the Creme Brules and girls wielding torches. Then came the heart-stopping release of the much anticipated sky lantern-- which proceeded to travel sideways, not up, at our forest with alarming speed. We watched in horror as it skimmed the top of a pine tree by a hand's-breadth. Only to blaze onwards and upwards in a ball of fire towards the Carp airport. Note, lantern instructions #1, as translated from the Chinese:
Should choose at the option open, calm environment released for flight. the tall building the floor, and so on have covers under the thing to release for flight, must leave outside the airport 10 kilometers from flying
My birthDAY was spent in pampered luxury at the home of dear ones in Wakefield. Little dancers, amazing food and lots of giggles. Curled up under blankets watching the night sky for falling fire.