Thursday, August 25, 2011

CINDERELLA.....PART DEUX, and the giving up of the slipper

if you haven't read part 1, go down a post, you must!!!

Life itself, is the Most Wonderful Fairy Tale
Hans Christian Anderson

Here is the end of my fairy tale vacation
Claudie, spraying us all with a bit of fairy dust before heading out for our day.

Even the river was sparkling that day, like it should in a fairy tale.

I totally must put up a photo of Julie (Miss Juliet) who did the majority of our picture taking
it is what she does
takes classes and everything
I LOVE how she dresses so funky, she was my fashionista

One more photo from our day in Montreal
They give horse drawn carriage rides and all the girls wanted a photo on the carriage
PINK is Claudies Signature color (kinda like the movie Steel Magnolia)
I took a pass on it............HECK, I ride in horse drawn carriages
all . the. time.
horses and cowboys..........It's what I do. 
but not in a dress, and um, not pink

Julie was the only single gal of the bunch.  So it was only appropriate that she get her photo taken with the waiters from the restaurant, remember in my last post
the ones who Loved us and ended up giving each of us a rose

Here we are doing what girls ALWAYS need to do
waiting in line

CC, Miss Bee, me, Claudie

Claudies sweet hubby, our personal chef the duration of most of this trip
yup....we all grabbed a blanky, and watched a movie outside in her yard
it was like a drive in  theatre.......without the necking
well.........I didn't really check on Claudie and her hubby

We watched Gregory Peck (swooon) and Audrey Hepburn
A Classic Black and White movie

Next day......we went to what is known as 1000 Islands
Part of it is in New York State.........holy freaking Big Apple (without actually being in the Big Apple)
I made it into New York State
It was an awesome place to see, as people would actually BUY an island, just a small one most of them, and build a cabin, house, whatever as their SUMMER HOME
What???... a summer home
we are talking some serious cash here
instead of 3 car garages, they had 3 boat garages as the only way to access them is by boat
It is on the Saint Lawrence River
This photo is what is called the smallest International Bridge in the world
on one side of the Bridge (where the house is) is Canada
and the other side is USA

(I wonder if the owner needs a passport to cross his bridge)

Seriously, it was amazing to see all these places built on , well, 1000 Islands............

Here is Julie and Claudie mapping out our plans for the day
or thinking.....crap, we better delete This photo

We crossed into New York State on a Ferry Boat.  We wanted to see Boldt Castle
It was amazing
Just Like a Fairy Tale
maybe like the one Cinderella visited
built in the early 1900's

Yes, it was built on an Island.  Mr. Boldt, being the Prince Charming he was in his day, built this for his wife who he Adored
but she died
(like in a classic fairy story eh)
before he had it finished, so he walked away never to return
It started to deteriorate, and NY State has been restoring it
here is a picture of one of the parlors

Like I said, he was super duper in love with his wife
and had many many things in the house built with Hearts around it
He EVEN had part of the island cut away to be somewhat in the shape of a heart

So here is me and Claudie, doing our Heart thing
in honor of their love
cause WHERE would we be without love

I wonder if I can convince Mr. Gorgeous to build me a corral in the shape of a heart??

After a full day of the Castle, we headed back on the Ferry Boat.  CC was a little pooped

Unfortunately I have NO pictures of our Italian Night that Chef Randy had waiting for us when we got back. When we got back to Claudies, he had Dean Martin music playing outside for us
and fixed us a HUGE dinner
It was, well, manufique (or however you spell it)
He spent all day preparing it for us

(I think he is in love with Claudie)

He made the bread that we dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
while sipping the vino....and listening to Dean-o
then served up the Eggplant Parmesean
then the chicken/pasta dish
with Tiramisu for dessert

Randy (and her son Colt) were just like Gus-Gus from the
movie Cinderella.  I adore them.

Next day....into our nations capital .....Ottawa
our capital building
once again, kinda like Montreal, it had amazing architecture

We took a drive down a street known as Embassy Street.
well.....I might have made that up
cause I don't remember the name of the street but it is where all the Embassy buildings are
from other countries

see this one of Kuwait
it was pretty cool to see them
I didn't say anything terroristic as we drove by....I tried not to make eye-contact
that's what they say to do ya know

We were actually on our way to see Claudie's moms cousin
who is a Nun
by the name of Sister Lauriette
Claudie said she had been excited to think of meeting us
so we drove to the place where she lives
and took a little tour around while we waited for her

We went into the chapel area, and Miss Bee took a seat in the confessional booth
Claudie went in and told her
"Miss Bee, we just don't have that kind of time right now to listen to all your transgressions"
tee,hee......sorry Miss Bee, couldn't resist

 I think Claudie was feeling a little bad about that
so she and Julie decided to "tap into" their spiritual side
Um....Julie. are you trying not to snicker??

Finally, we hooked up with Sister Lauriette
she is 90 years old and is very witty
I loved how she referred to all of us by where we came from
when addressing us, she'd say "so....Wendy from Calgary"
or "Jeanne from North Carolina"
it was very sweet
sometimes she'd have to pause as she is French speaking
and of course she'd talk to us in English

remember the autograph books I told you about in Part 1
well, we all took our books to her so she could write in them

Claudie had previously told her about the passing of my son
and I was very moved
to tears
by what she wrote in my book

She just made us laugh
filled us with joy that day
which goes to show
you don't need to wave a magic wand to find beautiful people in your lives

CC enjoying one of her stories

 Back to Claudies
not only is she a lover of people
but she loves animals, and rescues dogs
she has SEVEN of them at her house

As is what happens in all fairy tales
there comes an ending
on our last day there, we all put on our penoirs she bought for us
and played, just like little girls do, in dress up

 which goes to show
we don't really need to ever Grow old
cause like I said in the first post, we ranged in ages from 72 to 50

 I thought I'd grab Julies camera and see if I could "capture a moment"

We had Jeanne pose as the actress Marlene Dietrich
famous from the 1930's
which was hysterical actually
She was even holding a piece of the DRIFTWOOD I brought
for each of them to smoke
Oh yeah, I had to  bring a little country to the castle
they thought I'd lost my mind, and that maybe I'd smoked a few to many pieces of wood in my day

And so it Ends

Thanks Claudie for being my Fairy Godmother
Now the time has come when the clock has to strike midnight
I have to return to my own Prince Charming

It was fun to squeeze my bunioned foot into that glass slipper for a week

And as I dust my own Rustic Castle, and hear the coyotes and the hawks call
somewhere there'll be an echo of
Bibbity Boppity Boo

 I hope there is a fairy tale awaiting all of you someday

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I am back. I know it has been a month, but as I mentioned on my last post, I have been celebrating life. Here is the story. I took 600 photos, and will try to spare you from all of them....YOU'RE WELCOME

Part One

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you've imagined. (anonymous)

my dream vacation

This is the lady behind it all, Claudie. She has spent nearly a year
planning her event.....called SUMMER BREEZE

like Cinderella.......I was invited

Let me introduce you to the other Summer Breeze Gals

JULIE....From Vancouver, British Columbia

CC....(Catherine) from Georgia

Miss Bee....(Deborah) from North Carolina

Jeanne......also from North Carolina

all these photos were taken from my trip. I had to borrow from Jeanne for hers, but I tried to "catch" some of their personality. We promised each other to only post flattering pics.
We are all blogging pals
My FIRST time in meeting them

What an eclectic group we were.  Ranging in ages from 72 to 50, different upbringings, faiths, experiences
and YET

Joy and Sorrow.....Pain and Pleasure has sat at all of our tables

Claudies place was truly like a fairy tale.  Everything there was so fanciful, fun, colorful, and almost magical

The little cottage in the back is for guests.

This is an outdoor shower. It has a BIG pool at the back. Oh yeah, we spent time there.  Ontario is hot and humid.

Claudie even went to extraordinary efforts to  make our rooms just "perfect" for us.  She took the bedspreads off the hotel beds and put on some lovely ones from her own home.  She tried to decorate every ones room according to their personalities, styles, and likes.

Being the country girl I am, I had a country patchwork quilt on my bed.  She knows I love ladybugs, so she had these lights put around the mirror. The little picture on the desk was from her.

She made huge paper flowers and streamers that hung from the ceilings.  Since her favorite color is pink, she even put pink toilet paper in our bathrooms, along with lovely soaps. 
Not to mention the  room fridges stocked with soda, juice, cheese, chocolate
a simple hotel room was transformed
befitting Cinderella

Meet her husband Randy.  He did ALL the cooking for us and he is a chef supreme-o.
(he is opening some of the gifts we brought for him)

We all brought each other wonderful surprises, gifts. My whole carry on luggage was full of gifts
and even more full going home

Here is the bunch of us enjoying one of his breakfasts. Claudie's kitchen is like a doll house. I adored it.

Me and Claudie enjoying one of Chef Randy's meals outside.
yes, that is a river that runs along her back yard (sigh)

We did a lot of This..celebrate
and we also "danced to the music"

Since she had a pool in the back yard......she made sure we understood we would ALL be getting in, no matter if we still fit in our swimsuits. (or not)

so before getting ready for our first swim.....we had our "ah ha" meeting
get it out
tell everyone what we Hate about our bodies
but we also had to tell what we Loved about our bodies.
Guess which list was longer.

Now that they know of my still post pregnancy belly fat (youngest is 26), I guess I am ready for the Plunge
I am 5th one in

Even though I had 6 full days there, we were busy every day and still ran out of time

we went to Montreal...Oui
Old Montreal
It was like nothing I have ever seen before
Cobblestone streets, amazing architecture, shops, oh the food!! 

Julie and CC seem happy about their room

just being friends who can hold hands
and be ok
cause that's what friends do

We all had autograph books (which was one of our many gifts)
Everywhere we stopped, we tried to get people to sign our books.
We'd paste paper souvenirs in them
Here is one of our waiters signing our books
Can I just say the French men....Oooola la

Before we left, all the waiters came over
and they left us each with a red rose they bought from a street lady

Did I mention..........Ooooo la la 

We went for a walk along the pier and saw this sign.
Claudie, using her french charm
talked the owner into letting us get one for $5.00

why...I'll tell ya why
Henna does not last or set like a real tattoo
and it was so hot and humid that evening
the slightest touch would rub it off

All we had them put on each of us was the words
Well, I thought I'd get my sexy on, and have mine on my neck/chest area

So.....I am not really the french floozy that this photo looks like
I had to pull the shirt down so it wouldn't rub off
(that's my story and I'm sticking to it)

However, after all my efforts to protect it
by the end of the night it was a mess
It ended up looking like some broad who was getting laser treatments for a Bad Tattoo

Since it was such a muggy night, we all did a little dance in the fountain.
Sure, you're not supposed to


Not a bad photo for all us felons I guess.  Poor Julie isn't in this photo as she was our official picture taker.
That water felt dang good for all us menopausal women

We took a little detour home. Went on a ferry boat ride.  AGAIN, Claudie, using her irresistible charms, talked the captain down on the price
as it turned out.....he took us across 4 times just for fun
(it is only a 15 min. ride across the river)
One side of the river is Ontario, the other Quebec

(CC and Claudie)

Don't worry Jeanne, it's not that big of a river.
If you fall off, just paddle hard

Of course no trip to Canada would be complete without some POUTINE.
Eastern Canada makes the best
It is french fries covered with cheese curds and brown gravy

We only wanted one family order for our southern friends to try, but when they found out where we were all from
they gave us 2 for the price of 1
instead of only 1000 calories a mouthful, we got 2000

This is where I will leave you for now.
I am sure my carriage is about to turn into a pumpkin

enjoy this sunset from Claudies back yard
along the river

"a dream is a wish your heart makes"

stay tuned for part deux
that's french talk for two