Halloween was this week! I had so much fun with my friends Trick Or Treating.
Saturday was the day this week that we’ve been looking forward for some time. A friend of ours Christine happens to play guitar in the band Bahamas that Danielle and I have loved for some time and seen ton as a result. Christine’s spouse Ali is actually someone who we have been friends with longer. Ali was the voice and creative drive behind Mama Yamma on Kids CBC who Emelia & I watched when Emelia was wee. Ali has been amazing in giving me with a ton of editing suggestions for the camping videos we have been making for Bonne Fires and loves campfires as much as I do.
At any rate, Ali & Christine were certain that they wanted us to be able see Bahamas when they played in Toronto as there wasn’t a London show in the works. So, some time ago we got the message from Christine that she had set aside tickets for us to go see Bahamas when they played this weekend. It was so thoughtful, and we were beyond delighted to be able to see such a talented group of musicians who love to play, and one of them happens to be a friend.
With the show being in the evening, and in Toronto, it just didn’t work for Emelia to be able come with us, so she went over to Mom & Dad’s for a sleepover. She also had gymnastics practice today, so a very late night for her just wouldn’t work. We were bound to be back at the earliest by 1am, so the night became a grownup night for Danielle and I. The added benefit of this trip down and back to Toronto, was that our espresso maker that is in a state of much-needed servicing could be dropped of at the service location as opposed to paying to ship it down so we headed down earlier in the afternoon to take care of that too.
Because we were down there, with the espresso maker dropped off early in the afternoon, we were able to make plans to meet our friend Dawn for a bite to eat on the Danforth near where the show was going to be. But, the other benefit to show being at The Danforth Music Hall, was it was very close to the childhood home of Danielle’s mother, so we were able to go for a walk in the neighbourhood and see the house how it looks today and have some reconnection to her mother by proxy. It was a crisp, cool, late-autumn day so the walk was perfect and it was neat to hear Danielle talk about her memories of the house and then to see it realized in how the house looks now. The neighbourhood feels so much like our own – just the houses probably cost four times as much!
For dinner, at the suggestion of a friend we went to Sher-E-Punjab – an Indian restaurant just down the street from the venue. The food was really great and it was very reasonably priced which surprised us. But, the best part was being able to meet and catch up with Dawn over an amazing meal of traditional Indian food. After we ate, it was a short walk down the street to The Danforth Music Hall for the show. It is the same intimate venue I was fortunate enough to see Arcade Fire in 2010, so I was super excited to see another show here finally. With Massey Hall closed for renovations, Bahamas opted for this smaller, more intimate setting and sold out five nights!
The show, unsurprisingly was amazing! Tim Baker who opened was the singer in the band Hey Rosetta! that Danielle & I have seen and love a bunch of times. I said to Danielle that I’ve always thought he had a great voice, but him playing solo and mostly acoustic, really drove that notion home. Next, Bahamas took the stage and we were – like we always are – blown away at the musicianship in the band and just how great they are live. They went on at nine on the nose and gave us an hour & forty minutes of show. The mind behind Bahamas is Afie Jurvanen and his mock, cocky swagger, and sometimes self-depreciating over-the-top-ness in his banter is something we are always entertained by.
But the best part of the night, was running into all sorts of our friends. I finally got to meet Amanda – a friend with a bunch of my music-making friends – with whom I had become internet friends with much like my pal Jim Bryson. And then, like we always do when we’re in Toronto, at a concert or music event, we ran into our old pal Lana Gay. And best off is we got to see (and hug) Christine after the show and tell her what a great night she gave us out in the big city. Unfortunately, a last minute job needed Ali, and we’ll have to rain-cheque that hug for another time!
Before eleven, we were on our way home with enough gas in the tank to make it all the way without stopping. We pulled into our driveway just ahead one in the morning and were off to sleep almost as fast. Because of stuff I was focused on for work last weekend that I was off, I was given the option of having a half day this week in reprieve. I wisely chose today so that I could sleep in a bit more after a long day down and back to Toronto. We took the advantage of having no alarms to wake up to, which gave us a quiet morning here before we went and collected Emelia for the usually Sunday itinerary (gymnastics, groceries, work, etc).
How a night out just as grownups to see a band can do so much for making Danielle & I feel like a couple again, and refuel us for being parents and a family.
It was the perfect remedy for the every day, last night as I was lost in the lights and sounds of a great show in the big smoke!
What a busy week. We had our normal gymnastics, dance, work, school and well life but add this week was Halloween made for a crazy week for Emelia.
Halloween is one day that Emelia and her friends plan and plan and plan for months if not a full year ahead. Every year the very next day her group of besties are already planning out next years group costume plans. The plans are always exciting for the girls and this year was no different.
This year the group of friends planned to be various animals with one being a farmer. It was a rather exotic farm they were creating with a cow, unicorn, sloth (Emelia), horse to name a few. The whole evening started right after school, Emelia ran home to grab her bag with her costume and make-up and run off to her best friends were a large group of their friends were gathering for pizza and to get ready for the night. From the pictures Emelia got you can tell they really had a great night.
By 6:00 I had the text from Susan (the twins mom) that the girls were ready and she would start out with them. I stayed home handing out candy until John got home and then headed out to meet with Susan and the group. The girls ran from house to house and had lots of fun running into all their friends from school. The night was pretty mild and no rain. We have had non-stop rain for what seems like forever so a dry Halloween was certainly an amazing surprise. After over 2 hours taking over the neighbourhood the girls went their separate way and headed home. A happy and slightly sugared up Emelia came home and thankfully crashed pretty quickly.
The rest of the week was more about gymnastics and Emelia really showing off even more skills she has been mastering this year. The latest on the tumble track this week was her round-off/back-handspring/back tuck. She could not wait to show me and I was able to get a few videos of her accomplishment to show her proud daddy.
The long week finally came to an end and Saturday was here. A day that John and I had been looking forward to for a long time. The night in Toronto was the perfect parent break for us. We were able to get down early enough to enjoy a bit of the Danforth area and even squeeze in some heartwarming nostalgia for me. My mum grew up in the Danforth area – after messaging a few relatives I was able to get the exact address of my mother’s childhood home and the first home I visited my gram and poppy at. I have so many of my favourite childhood memories at that home on Withrow Ave, so many in the area, playing at Withrow park, at the playground of my mother’s childhood grade school and visiting my aunt and uncle who also lived in the area when I was young.
The area has changed in so many ways since my mother’s youth. When she lived there it was a working class neighbourhood of large families in these turn of the century homes. The homes were filled to the brim and lots of kids everywhere. Now the area is still family homes but the homes are now in the millions to buy and the entire area has changed. Now the roots of the area are the same, the close narrow tree lined streets, the parkland, the brick homes. It felt amazing to walk the streets of my mother’s youth and chat with John about my memories there. A connection to my mum that I often feel disconnected from.
With a happy heart we moved back towards the music hall and to meet up with Dawn for dinner. The Indian restaurant that was suggested to us from a friend was amazing. Our visit with Dawn flew by and we wish we had more time. Off to the show. And what a show! Tim Baker was AMAZING! And well Bahamas – incredible – they always put on the best shows. We had such a great night. It was the perfect escape for this music loving couple and a great mini parenting break and time together we really needed.