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FRANCE

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Some memories from France.

Paris. We stayed in the 10th Arrondissement, near Canal St Martin. We soon learned there was a bit of a blossoming food scene in the 10th with a *gasp* North American/New World vibe. Filtered coffee at Ten Belles! Thick cut bacon and baked beans at Holy Belly! I admit, I loved it. It was homey.

I developed a strong, strong yearning for near-freezing coke this pregnancy. I will remember Paris evenings spent drinking Coke Zero (sorry! I know!) and watching Elementary. Don’t take this as a recommendation for Elementary. Listen, it had its moments. Sometimes you just want something pulpy.

Isn’t there a bit of an expectation to do stand-in-line things on trips like this? We decided to visit Musee d’Orsay. This memory makes me chuckle. Brandon was so appalled at the lineup. We were there in November!

Biarritz. My first breath stepping off the train was pure relief. The ocean air and misty rain. It was late and we headed straight to bed but I was so happy to be there.

We kind of had Biarritz to ourselves. We embraced the slow pace. It was the small things – sitting at the farmer’s market cafe with a cafe allonge, green leaves, and watching grannies go swimming in the ocean (it was barely 5 degrees!).

Uzes I found Uzes by staring at google maps. I was looking for a specific size of town. Easily walkable but still reachable by train/bus. We stayed in the neatest townhouse. It had one of the loveliest parks with Roman ruins strewn about. It was a bit hilarious. Roman ruins sitting around, blasé, like a bench or garbage can.

Nimes. Our last couple of days we sprung for a bed and breakfast. Our host was Miriam and she brought us local bread, jam, and fruit for breakfast. And a cafe allonge with hot milk. Breakfast really is the stuff, hey?

Nimes has some incredibly preserved Roman structures. Miriam told us that the amphitheatre was still in use “for big rock star concerts, like Sting”. We did a self guided tour (again, place to ourselves) and once my brain couldn’t hold more of the audio tour, I followed Brandon, found the sun and closed my eyes.

We flew out of Paris. In what was likely a staff mishap, there was only one border patrol booth open and hundreds of us were packed in a snaking line for hours. I was about one second away from passing out at all times. I was frantically fanning myself, pumping my legs, and stuffing oranges in my mouth. Mentally, I started feeling like a toddler. Am I the only one who wants to flop down and start crying?

The last gift of travel is coming home. The Toronto airport felt like the land of milk and honey. I delighted in the clean bathroom, turned my phone off airplane mode, and soaked in the comfort of easy.

*shot with Kodak Portra 160 and Fuji 400h*

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The Netherlands

Is my post title too boring? Should I follow the obnoxious trend of internet articles and call this “11 Photos of the Netherlands That You’ve Never Seen Before”?

Well now –

I can’t believe these photos survived! I’m baffled. I shot less than two rolls of film in Europe this past November and the first mistakenly ended up in my checked baggage. How that roll escaped the corruption of the x-ray I do not know. I laughed like a maniac on my drive home from the the photo lab.

We spent a week in Amsterdam with one day trip to Edam (where the cheese originates). Brandon was absolutely smitten with Amsterdam, the land of bikes, brick, and walkable amenities. I could see his heart swelling and breaking at the same time. We found his city.

My reality was that I felt blue at times during our trip. Brandon mentioned it in Amsterdam and I felt stumped by its cause. I think it came off as a lack of enthusiasm and I’m pretty easily enthused (or contented). It was my fourth month of pregnancy and I was craving…stability? Routine? A warm, well rounded meal? I didn’t have the stamina or care for a full day of checking landmarks off the list.

We found a flow that suited us. A slower morning. Me, trying to load up on food energy and strategizing where/when I’ll eat next. Afternoons were our time out, largely spent walking outside. I could have brought a warmer coat. My scarf was regularly tied up to my eyeballs. I can’t remember if we did anything that required a line-up or ticket? We came upon a really nice clothing shop called Tenue de Nimes, chatted with the manager, and he made us coffee. That’s pretty decent time spent I’d say. We walked through a market of knickknacks; I ate shawarma from a street stand.

Edam was slightly unbelievable. Like, people live here? For life? I peeped through so many windows and it almost made me mad. Good taste is rampant over there and it must be cultural because I don’t think the country is solely made up of designers.

I don’t want to cause any riots but if it was a contest, I’d live in Amsterdam over Paris hands down.

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Caileigh + Brady | Sea Cider, Vancouver Island

This day was glorious! I assisted my friend Joey Armstrong for this one. Can’t say how much I appreciated the opportunity.

We started the morning in downtown Victoria: just picture one of those perfectly warm and sunny mornings where everything feels right. The day continued further up the island at Sea Cider Farm. Apple orchards, water views, and sheep grazing galore. Caileigh and Brady were delightful people through and through.

Take me back!

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Checking In

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I took these photos at the end of August. My lovely friend Joey asked me to assist her at a wedding on Vancouver Island (uhhhhm YES). I decided to make a little holiday out of it and I’m just realizing how extra special it all was. See, it was the extended weekend of my dreams – eating, nature, ferry rides – all with Joey who speaks my food/photography language. The gal cooked for me. We dined out. Talked and didn’t talk (because: two introverts). It was so fun. All the more meaningful because the day after returning home I found out I was pregnant!

August till now has been one thing after the other.

September & October. Pregnancy nausea busted in and the best I could do was show up to shoots, edit photos from bed, and loath my computer screen for being so bright (sensory overload!). Blogging fell to the wayside.

November. Bran had always wanted to visit Europe so we just went for it. I was almost 12 weeks pregnant and it was perfect timing. We spent the month in the Netherlands and France. I’ll share more about that once I get my film developed.

December. My brother got married a week after we got back so we scurried off to Saskatoon. We had about two weeks to play catch up before heading to the farm for Christmas and Saskatoon for New Years.

I’m 21 weeks pregnant and we are very thrilled (!!). I’m tackling my 3rd cold/flu of the season. Can’t us northerners grow babies in Hawaii? Nevertheless – happy to be back in the swing of things.

The Colen Family

My time with the Colens started off with Kerryn bringing out cake! And then Tim made me a perfect cappuccino. I’d just like to stress that they’re from Australia and I hear they only make good coffee in that country.

I love chatting with Kerryn and when she talks of homesickness I start feeling homesick for Australia too. Not that I’ve been or anything (!) but I keep getting glimmers of the place and I think I’d fall right in.

I know I speak for many when I say we’re very glad to have them.

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