This weekend we went to Toronto and I got to go to a grownup concert to see Jill Barber at Massey Hall! And I got to see my Aunt Charlie, Uncle Todd and my soon-to-be cousin!!!
As Emelia told you, this weekend was our funster weekend off to the Big Smoke as a family to do all manner of things. This biggest of course was seeing our friend Jill Barber headline her first show in the Carnegie Hall of Canada in the historic Massey Hall. It is such a huge honour to play the iconic venue and a show on the billboard there is equally about being at a certain level in your career as it is about playing a theatre that has been home to many, many very famous performers. As a friend, and a fan of Jill we were so proud of her and happy to be there to witness her big night. Emelia more than any of us, was on the moon!
But more on that in a bit…
Something I am pretty sure we have yet to talk about here is that this week, we signed the paperwork for a new chariot to pull Wolfie around next year. After four years with our beloved CR-V and two summers using her to ferry Wolfie around to her campsites, we had started talking about whether the CR-V was a vehicle for the long haul (pun intended) when it came to our future camping plans. And while the CR-V was perfectly able to pull the trailer around, we did see a huge dip in the fuel economy and could see that the four cylinders and space of our compact sport utility, weren’t going to be the match for our voracious dive into trailer trash life. We started talking about possible *gasp* bigger vehicles to fit the bill.
A couple weeks ago when I was in for a service on the car it was determined that it was time to replace the tires. That sped up the conversation about the CR-V being the right fit—it was either sink another $1000 into the car for new all season tires, as well as possibly look in to a set of winter tires and rims too, at another $700 to $1000. Those kind of dollars going to the vehicle caused Danielle and I to assess the sort of long term relationship we were in with the CR-V. The more we talked about it, looking into a bigger, new vehicle made sense.
I tried – with little to no success – to convince Danielle that a Ridgeline was perfect for us and Wolfie. I have loved the much maligned look of the Ridgeline for some time but the one thing I always overlooked is that it is a truck. And Danielle hates trucks. And by hates, I mean haaaaaaates. But, truth be known, the vehicle we both agreed on, the one that also featured a V6, the Pilot, I thought was financially out of our reach. After a couple of emails back and forth with the salesperson we had dealt with to get the CR-V, it turned out that the Pilot was very much a reality. After a marathon session at London Honda on Thursday evening, we got the deal we liked and are handing over the CR-V early this upcoming week and replacing it with a brand new 2015 Honda Pilot SE in the same colour of our beloved CR-V.
Sadly we didn’t have the deal in place that the trade could be completed before our weekend trip to break in the new truck, but one last trip in the CR-V was probably for the better. We got to have one last trip before her bon voyage.
This weekend trip was hinged around the Jill Barber show, but with Emelia’s Aunt Chantelle entering the last month of her pregnancy we decided to stay down the night and have an impromptu quasi baby shower weekend for Charlie and Todd. I had managed to find a great deal on a loft condo right downtown that was being rented out by a Facebook friend in the music industry and the price was far better than a hotel and the amenities much nicer. It gave us plenty of room with a lot of the comforts we were used to at home. And it was located right downtown which put us wonderfully close to both the Massey Hall show as well as near Charlie and Todd. We’re definitely looking in to renting the place out again in December, the weekend after Charlie is due, so we can be down there to meet our new nephew and their son when he arrives.
The highlights of the night for us seeing Jill were two things: Emelia asking regularly after it was clear she was up after her bed time to see what time it was to assess how cool it was that she was up in grownup hours; and secondly, seeing Jill’s parents who were two rows behind us, just oozing with pride and love seeing their daughter play the iconic hall. It was also pretty great running into her husband, and also our very good friend CBC Radio host Grant Lawrence. The whole evening was a great time. The weekend with visits with Charlie and Tood on both Saturday and Sunday was great. And we also managed to slip in a quick visit with our friend Dawn before we headed back home.
This week calls for a visit to pick up the Pilot (which we’ll have to come up with a name for soon), as well as a date night to see our friends Jenn Grant and her husband Daniel Ledwell play the Aeolian Hall on Friday night! There’s a been a lot of live music for us these last few weeks and I have absolutely no problem with that.
Now, to squeeze out the last bits of relaxation out of this weekend before we find ourselves at tomorrow morning and the pace of the regular week. I think I hear the couch calling me.
Oh! It’s our last Sunday on the rock pile couch!
This weekend will certainly go down as one of the most memorable as a family. As John has said it was a dream for us to see one of friends and favourite singers reach her dream. Seeing Jill beam with happiness and pride on the historic stage was something that I will not soon forget. Having close friends and family involved in the music industry I know how horribly hard the business is, how heartbreaking, how hard you work to hope one day to make it. And Jill made it with a capital M. The venue was full and the show was magical. I honestly have never seen her happier and Emelia said to me tonight, she has never heard Jill sound so amazing. And coming from her one of youngest and biggest fans who has listened to Jill on repeat every night all night for the last 6 years that is saying something. We were so happy that we got to spend a few minutes with her after the show to tell her how happy we were for her.
For me there was two huge highlights of the weekend, seeing Jill of course but also spending so much time with my sister and Todd. Charlie is beaming with happiness and I cannot wait for this next month to fly by so we can finally meet the beautiful baby boy she is carrying around in that belly of hers. She is taking everything in such great stride and seeing her and Todd being so excited it is infectious.
We had quite a busy week leading up to the weekend between trips to the dealership, normal weekly activities and well work life/family life in general I was ready for the weekend to arrive. After a slower start of the day Saturday morning thanks to a brain splitting migraine we got to Toronto later than we had originally planned. We had promised Emelia a trip to American Girl as her choice for a special extra for the weekend.
Emelia is American Girl obsessed these days, she has been asking for one for a few years and after some less expensive knockoffs we felt she was ready for the real thing. They are very expensive so we wanted to know this would stick before moving forward. Well she is ready. And she was so over the moon when we arrived at the store. Her beloved Katie (her knockoff American Girl doll she has had for a few years) came with us in the store and Emelia was instantly overwhelmed with loving everything. I had a method to the madness of braving an American Girl store on a Saturday, I had missed a few things on our Christmas shopping list for her and wanted to quietly pick it up rather than paying to ship it. In that purchase we found a couple accessories she loved and one special treat for the weekend. A special dress for Katie that matched the dress Emelia had for the concert. So Katie was dressed beautifully for our special night.
After finally convincing Emelia that we were done for now at the store we had a quick lunch and then off to meet up with my sister and Todd at the condo we had rented. The condo was perfect, the location was perfect and we now know where we will stay from now on when we visit the city. Charlie and Todd met us at the condo and we gave them the start of our presents for the baby. Not much of a surprise since I asked Charlie flat out what did you need for the baby. I knew from having Emelia that you get so much that you don’t need, don’t want and you love and appreciate it all because it is given with love but you only need so much. So a diaper bag and baby carrier was not exactly the most exciting gifts but its what she needed and wanted.
We ventured out and found a place to feed my very hungry and very pregnant sister and we spent the rest of the afternoon together. Emelia just adores Charlie and Todd and our normally shy little girl was all over visiting her aunt and uncle. Emelia is so excited about her new baby cousin and cannot wait until we go down in less than a month again but this time to snuggle with our newest family member.
By the time dinner was over my sister was spent and we had to get ready for our night. With a beautiful although crisp night we decided to walk to the show. Emelia was so excited and walked like a trooper the ½ hour walk in the winter weather. The show was pure magic. Jill was glowing, her parents were beaming with pride and she sang so beautifully. To make the night even more magical her brother Matthew opened for her and they closed the night with a duet. All in all it was a perfect night. We hailed a cab and got a very tired little girl home and tucked into bed and quickly followed ourselves.
Today we took the morning at a quiet pace, we spent the morning lounging around the condo and then once cleaned up we squared up plans with my sister and met her and Todd at the Dakota for their famous bluegrass brunch. Once again Emelia loved it and loved spending so much time with her aunt and uncle. I just loved how much time we got to spend together and talk about how much their lives are about to change. I am so happy I got to spend this weekend with Charlie before she moves to the incredible next stage of their lives. Like I said this weekend was just about perfect!
And with that I am closing off for another week. It’s after my bedtime and we have a few more things to wrap up and 5:15 is going to come pretty early.