My First Real Canadian Winter

I’m sure everyone’s sick of hearing that 2014 began colder on Earth than it was on Mars, but this level of chill is completely new to me! Growing up in Victoria, BC, winter meant a slightly wetter, chillier time of year. -10C was pretty much as cold as it got, and snow was light, beautiful and fleeting.

Pretty much the coldest winter I experienced in BC. Near Mt. Washington, Vancouver Island.

Pretty much the coldest winter I experienced in BC. Near Mt. Washington, Vancouver Island.

I knew that moving to Stratford would be an interesting experience once winter rolled around. The obvious answer is that it is cold. Cold. Cold. Cold.

This was also the year of the South-Ontario Ice Storm and the Mid-Western States’ so-called “Polar Vortex” (most Canadians would call it “Winter”).

Ice-encased antenna! I've never seen anything like this before!

Ice-encased antenna! I’ve never seen anything like this before!

I’m dumbfounded, I’m immobilized, I’m very, very cold. I’m also surprisingly… clumsy. I mean, I’ve never been the picture of grace, but walking in the knee-high snow and icy patches I am filled suddenly with childlike incoordination.

My arms stick out to keep precarious balance. My steps are small and quick and often result in slips. I stare at the ground to increase my chances of finding sturdy footholds, and when I fall, I fall all the way down and stay there until there is a strong hand to help me up.

Needless to say, it’s very time consuming and a bit embarrassing to go out for a walk. As a 25 year old adult, I’m re-learning how to walk.

Winter also offends my stylish side.

Other than the countless days indoors and the pillow-filled layers of clothing that render me almost completely immobile when I do go outside, winter in Ontario is remarkably enjoyable. I’m just glad I don’t own a car!

I have one friend from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who I know rolled her eyes through this; “Girl, you have NO IDEA.”

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Long-Time-No-See! Or Read?

I haven’t written in almost two months. I could blame this on being busy – which I gloriously have been – but it’s also laziness’ fault. Here are some of the things I’ve been up to, to tide you over until my next post 😛

I went to BC! Saw some nature, some ocean, some hippies, some Penthouses, and my friend’s wedding!

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Some nature.

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Some ocean.

Evidence of nearby hippies.

Evidence of nearby hippies.

Very excited to spend the morning on the Penthouse balcony!

Very excited to spend the morning on the Penthouse balcony!

Penthouse view.

Penthouse view.

The beautiful bride!

The beautiful bride.

I made a dope Halloween costume that I was WAY too proud of!

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I felt so badass as Bane!

And of course I needed a Batman!

And of course I needed a Batman!

Found some nature to look at in Ontario – I’m really glad that exists here too!

Wildwood, near St Mary's, ON

Wildwood, near St Mary’s, ON

Tobermory, at the tip o' the Bruce Peninsula on Lake Huron, ON. Photo credit to Tyler Maxwell Photographic Designs: http://tylerjgmaxwell.wix.com/photographic-designs

Tobermory, at the tip o’ the Bruce Peninsula on Lake Huron, ON.
Photo credit Tyler Maxwell Photographic Designs: http://tylerjgmaxwell.wix.com/photographic-designs

Tobermory, ON. Tyler Maxwell Photographic Designs: http://tylerjgmaxwell.wix.com/photographic-designs

Tobermory, ON.
Tyler Maxwell Photographic Designs:
http://tylerjgmaxwell.wix.com/photographic-designs

Thank you everyone for continuing to read even while I wasn’t posting fresh material! It’s incredibly flattering to see my number of views grow every day. Anyway, here’s hoping I get it together so I continue sharing my travel and life adventures!

 

Super, Natural British Columbia

Yup, that’s what the BC motto is!

Having just booked a trip to BC in October to attend a wedding, I find myself getting excited to see all the sights I used to call home!

Here are some nostalgic and beautiful pictures of the most wonderful place on earth!

Saltspring Island

Saltspring Island

Saltspring Island

Saltspring Island

Powell River

Powell River

Powell River

Powell River

Warship graveyard, Powell River

Warship graveyard, Powell River

Near Parksville, Vancouver Island

Near Parksville, Vancouver Island

Quallicum Beach, Vancouver Island

Quallicum Beach, Vancouver Island

Looking onto Brentwood Bay and Mt Baker (I think), Vancouver Island

Looking onto Brentwood Bay and Mt Baker (I think), Vancouver Island

Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island

Brentwood Bay, Vancouver Island

Sooke, Vancouver Island

Sooke, Vancouver Island

Victoria Inner Harbour, Vancouver Island

Victoria Inner Harbour, Vancouver Island

Vancouver

Vancouver

So stoked!!

Have you ever been to BC? Where is your favourite place?

 

A Love Letter to Canada

Canadian-Flag

My Dearest Canada,

I love the UK very much, and I’m sorry, but I needed to give our relationship a chance. We certainly had some good times. While I lived in Edinburgh I was able to experience so much. Some of it was good: beauty, history, independence, travel, solitude, friends and personal growth. Some of it was bad: finances, my living situation, jobs, cold people, short winter days, the inability to foster my own happiness, and increasing loneliness. In the end, the bad outweighed the good, and though I am stronger for the experience, Canada, I have returned to you.

Saltspring Island, BC

Saltspring Island, BC

Your beauty is boundless. From the mountainous west coast of British Columbia, to the vast flatness surrounding my current small-town Ontario residence.

Looking from the Malahat to Willis Point, Vancouver Island BC

Looking from the Malahat to Willis Point, Vancouver Island BC

Mt Baker from the Malahat, Vancouver Island BC

Mt Baker from the Malahat, Vancouver Island BC

Quallicum Beach, Vancouver Island BC

Quallicum Beach, Vancouver Island BC

Jellyfish forest (NOT usual!), Todd Inlet, Vancouver Island BC

Jellyfish forest (NOT usual!), Todd Inlet, Vancouver Island BC

Winter in Stratford ON

Winter in Stratford ON

The universal friendliness of your people is overwhelming. My first day back, I was smiled at and greeted by so many people that I ran to a mirror to see if there was something on my face! There wasn’t. This is just the way of Canadians. I had forgotten. And though the Canadian sense of style may not be up to par with the UK, there is a much greater appreciation for inner beauty.

Ziplining in Esquimalt, Vancouver Island BC

Ziplining in Esquimalt, Vancouver Island BC

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Warship graveyard, Powell River BC

Although we have our problems and our history, I still believe that you, Canada, are the lesser of many greater evils. And though I may very well walk away from you again in search of greener pastures, I will always, unfailingly, return.

Happy Canada Day.

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With everlasting love, (and a new patriotic t-shirt)

Ambling Alana xox