Canada & America- A Comparison: A Collab Post By Meredith And Jo

 

2019-02-03

Hello wonderful people of the earth! Or Narnia, Asgard, the Death Star, Middle Earth, whichever you come from. Hi. 🙂 First and most importantly, GET OFF THE DREADED READER IF YOU’RE ON IT AND GO CHECK OUT THE ACTUAL SITE THANKY YOU.

(I told myself I wouldn’t change my theme ever anymore, but.. well, it was Friday, and I finished my homework (ish) and I was bored and well. CHECK. THE. BLOG. OUT. It’s a drastic (and hopefully much better XD) change. So go and please, please check it out and I’m done sounding like a hopeless blogger even though I am XD)

Alright. On with this post. *plugs in Infinity War* *cracks knuckles* *dies*

B9EF66FA-B504-491B-A2BD-B0E1A3ECDE3BRight, so by now you’ve heard of Meredith, right? She’s the sweet and awesome blogger behind Artsy Arrow which, if you haven’t heard of before, you really should check it out. I’m so glad I got to know Meredith and bond with her about AIO, books, homeschooling, and, well, that’s she’s also in Ontario, Canada! 😀 Fancy that. We thought it would be pretty great if we could  share our experiences about the other’s country, since we both lived in the US/Canada for a time.

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I first went to the States when I was five for a family reunion, and to be perfectly honest… it feels like home. So I’m more than happy to talk about the differences between two countries I love. Hopefully y’all like it. 😉

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People are just kinda a notch or two warmer and friendlier, for some reason. 

If you’re scoffing at this, blame the fact I’m Canadian and wouldn’t really know what it’s like to be American. XD But Americans are just really friendly people! Sneeze in Walmart? Someone says “bless you”. Wait in line at a McDonalds? Any random person could say hi. Stop at a rest area at 2 am on a Friday night? You’ll find yourself being asked how your trip is. Canada is friendly.. but not in every part of the country like that. XD It’s nice.

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Patriotism’s really strong. 

I kinda grinned one time pulling up to my aunt’s neighborhood and seeing so many American flags from the windows and everywhere. And not just the flags- like seeing little “God Bless America” signs and just the.. vibe. Correct me if I’m wrong. 😛

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People say “you’re fine” when you say “thanks”.

I tested this at a store once. Approximately everyone I interacted with said “you’re fine” whenever I said “thank you”. It’s awfully sweet of them to confirm my emotional status, but, uh, I don’t think I can get used to it. XD

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You say “sir” and “ma’m” and not “tito” and “tita”.

Ah. Double culture. XD um, well, in Filipino culture, the equivalent of sir is tito and for ma’m, tita. Add in the fact that most of my Canadian world is Filipino, and I don’t get to say the English versions much. 😛 Although I did get to going to Ottawa, but yeah. I find that interesting.

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A lot of my family’s on the other side of the border.

Does this make a ton of difference? It kinda does for me. After people find out I’m “the cousin of so and so’s friend’s sister-in-law’s brother,” they just start asking questions and being friendly and I’m not very much used to that, because I’m a sheltered homeschooling bean. XD No, but really, I went to a Sunday-school once, and after my aunt told the teacher who I was, Mrs. Iforgotyournamebutthankyouforputtingupwithme just beamed. “Oh, we’ll make sure she has a great time!”

I really did. XD

Maybe that’s why I feel at home. Huh. Dunno.

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American sweet tea is sugar water with a weak strain of some powered Lipton tea! 

*gags* I’m not sure I like this part of American culture once. I tried Chikfila sweet tea and.. wow. That’s my sugar intake for the day. Finished in one sip. *shudders* How can anyone handle that sweetness? Someone help and explain. Anyway, our sweet tea’s really tea. XD Probably flavored with maple syrup. 😛

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SMALL TOWN AMERICA IS THE STUFF OF LEGENDS.

I’ve yet to really be in small town Canada (somewhere on the bucket list), but if it’s like small town America, I’d die of happiness. Again, I can’t say for sure what it’s really like, but my family walked into a Taco in Ohio somewhere once. There were like 2 people working the counter, and one was spoon-feeding her grandkid, who was eating there, there were two girls in the corner booth just talking. Then, one guy comes in, doesn’t order anything. I’ll never know why he came in, but everyone in the restaurant except for my family immediately shouted, “DON’T GIVE HIM HER NUMBER.”

Dorky me: I WANNA SEE THE REST OF THIS. AND WRITE IT DOWN. *dead*

I wish I could remember that town. I’ll go back one day.

I kinda wanna ask if he got her number, but I suppose that’s a mystery for the ages.

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America has the best franchises. Ever.

Chikfila. Cracker Barrel. TRADER JOE’S. We don’t have these wonders in Canada (except Chikfila’s coming here and I couldn’t be happier) and the obvious need for them SHOWS. I’ve been to Chikfila tons of times but I haven’t gotten to try a Chikn mini. I think that needs to change. Also, have you ever heard of Trader Joe runs? Yes, well, they’re part of the reason my family tries to road trip once a year- COOKIE BUTTER. *dies* I’d cross the border once a week for it. XD And Target didn’t even last in Canada like a yearish. 😦 Wah. I kinda miss it. Ish. It’s like Walmart but red.

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I hope this post wasn’t too cringey XD I had a ton of good memories writing it, and now I really wanna dash across the border to say hi to everyone I know in the states. 😛 All my friends are on the other side of the border, why is that? 😛  I had a hard time bottling up my wandering self in the pictures and I’ll probably do a wanderlust post of some sort sometime- but yeah.

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America is a beautiful country. It’s not perfect- no country is, but God’s really blessed me through the people (the ones I know, of course 😛 ) living there, and I hope what the wonderful U.S of A stands for doesn’t change. Even though it kinda already is, but that’s a topic for another time. As Thor said, “Asgard isn’t a place. It’s a people.” And so is America.

I wish I knew why God put me in Canada- apparently, if things had been just a tad different, I’d be an American. But there’s a reason, I suppose, why both countries feel like home, and until I figure it out, I’ll just enjoy living in the true North- or so they call Canada. XD Besides, if I hadn’t been living here, I’d never have gotten to really get to know Meredith! Go check out her post about Canada’s differences- sums it up better than I ever could! 😀

life is a highway, Jo

(me makesy new signoffy- does you likey? 🙂 )

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I Got Lost On A Retreat (But I survived! :D) And I Have Pictures To Tell The Tale

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Well, this is gonna be a random typical post with a random typical person and random typical pictures, glad you could stop by! 😀 Heya everyone! Happy Monday and the start of a long painful slow death.

I don’t know if you guys like travel posts, but I sure do! So, here goes before my brother finds our DVDs and I have to start school. XD

Anyway, last weekend was a pretty amazing weekend, one being that it was the weekend and two being that I got to go on my church’s youth winter retreat, which is a big deal considering there’s only like 10 of us and the last retreat was way back in 2008. And I fell hard for the whole thing.

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The world was quiet there. Still. Cold. Welcoming. The roads just stretched on and on and if I had the wheel, I wouldn’t have stopped driving. I also woulda crashed. 😛 But thankfully, neither happened. What did happen was a staying up late Bible study wherein we talked about the Rapture (still trying to figure out why), pizza, worship, and goofing around. Oh, and playing cards past 2. And than sharing our testimonies til 3.

I dunno, it was weird, but it was nice, too. 🙂

But forget that- that’s not the best part. XD

I’ve been trying for weeks now to practice shooting in manual- which is so stinkin’ hard at night- and when we came there I immediately let everyone know I wasn’t gonna follow lights out because the stars were there and who needs sleep when you have the stars?

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So while everyone was playing cards, I walked around the place. Quiet. Still. Semi-creepy. I like to think I got better at night photography.

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As for the stars themselves… I TRIED KAY. I tried.

Also, it’s humanly impossible to rewrite the stars friends. They’re too far up.

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That was… pathetic.

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Also pathetic. I can’t believe I took this at a shutter speed of 30 seconds, and this was all I got. *facesmacks* Someone give me tips or something please.

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Slightly better.

I was so excited when I took these photos though- I actually laid on the ground and raised my camera up- remind me to bring a tripod next time. XD I’m pretty sure I left tons of room for improvement- but hey, I walked around in the cold air by myself and had my lens fogged up. It was worth it. 🙂

And then I did the same thing again after like.. 4 hours of sleep because I was busy muttering Galatians at 3 and insomnia wasn’t a friendly, but it was morning, the sun was coming up, and there’s a part where Gale convinces her mom to let her stay up early to shoot the sunrise.

I wasn’t gonna let the opportunity slip by my window!

I even got two very groggy friends to come with me at 7:14 AM. And we set out in jammies.

No sun.

Nothing. Nada.

Rats!

Again, though, it was worth it- no regrets here. 😀

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There’s a lot of good memories.

Jogging to the lodge for breakfast and covertly sneaking bacon.

Feeling silly because we had to sing  really upbeat version of Jesus Loves Me.

Spending the morning reading the Word.

Scrambling to the gym and playing volleyball. Losing. I can’t serve- my dumb fist can take a punch, but not a spike. -_-

Playing ball hockey with a friend (also dude, thanks for not rubbing it in my face that I’m bad at it)

Trying to reach a ridiculously high curl up bar.

Giving up and heading outside where it was quiet and still and peaceful.

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Laughing at the poor unfortunates who trapped themselves in the cycle of fear that was the see-saw, and vowing to post their reactions online. I didn’t because I’m nice.

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Walking to the tiny lake and skipping rocks over the frozen surface. It made a satisfying thud sound.

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Scaling a tree and staying there while everyone was busy trying to throw a rock to the other side. And failing. I have a lot of blackmail to use now.

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Walking around, laughing with friends, forgetting that I’m not 10 and school starts day after tomorrow and so much is depending on me not messing up. Enjoying fresh air and being goofy. (Well, I’m always goofy but you know what I mean)

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Eating lunch and not caring about the lack of internet or that I didn’t bring my laptop, because who needs a screen when there a people around you and you’re here, aren’t you? 🙂

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Getting lost and just taking picture after picture because finally, manual works, hooray! I also really like these pictures. I got something really close to a sunflare. 😀

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Just enjoying being alone and happy because I could walk wherever I wanted and not worry about my parents being worried I’d be kidnapped and taken to Budapest to work for the FBI. XD When you’re close to the city, everything’s gotta be worried about.

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Hammering out tunes on the old piano in the corner.

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Driving away and just staring at all the farms and barns and horses and honestly, the scene reminds me of Just Come Home and now I really wanna finish that book XD Who knew two hours of fields was the push I needed? Not me.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough- but I’ll finish with saying that I’m grateful I got to go. I was planning to grumble about it to myself, but I guess God changed my heart because I have so much to be grateful for about that. For bacon, duh. For wandering. For the woods. For that guy who believed I could jump a fence if I tried hard enough. For friends. For family. For being challenged to love the Bible more.

What did I just say about rambling XD

Alright. Get to work guys- have a great Monday!

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Wherein I Start Being Patriotic And Visiting The Capital

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Yes, I know this is a midnight post.

Yes, I know I read too much.

And yes, I know I should be writing like any good vertically challenged writer should be doing.

Lemme just say, it’s good to be back home!

We drove into the garage at 10 something PM last night, and I celebrated by reading fan fiction until 2am. 😛

But anyway, the past two days have been filled with all sorts of awesome fun cold, and me being an unoriginal blogger (TM) I’m blogging about it. Because it’s fun. 😀 I’ve finished my bag of frozen raspberries and listening to some AIO scores, so, let’s get into it.

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It only took a few minutes on the road to get into wanderlust mode, not that I’m sorry about it. Endless trees, fields and barns just get me excited, for some reason. And itching to finish Just Come Home. XD You know how they say half the fun is getting there?
They were right.
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The other half was just as fun.
Add really, really cold to that list and you got it down pat.
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I’ve been to Ottawa once, when I was 7. That time it was night, it was chilly, and I had no clue just how beautiful this city was.
We technically weren’t even supposed to be in Ottawa. Split second decisions for the win.
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The vibe here- well, the ambience, pick whichever fits you- was so different from Montreal. not that is was bad or anything. I dunno, it was just different. Fresh. Old and new and… inspiring.
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It’s kinda amazing. To think that years ago, the people who founded your nation walked the same streets you stand on. Built the tower that you’re gaping at.
That a long time ago, it all started here.
And what’s weird, is that even though you’re not in a museum, history’s never been more alive than it is right now.
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Yep, that’s me struggling in the magenta jacket. And yes, that gargoyle is ugly.
After a good half hour of freezing cold, we finally made it into the building to get tickets to see the capital building- only to be told all the tour tickets we’d get were in French.
French.
As in the subject I flunked in a year ago.
But when you think about the fact that the capital won’t be open to the public for another 15 years, French isn’t so bad! Right?
And no, no it wasn’t. 😉
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The Eternal Flame was flaming all right- I forgot what it represents, but it apparently hasn’t stopped representing it. Good for you, old fire.
And heheh, I was messing around with angles. It seemed to be better than the selfies that everyone else were taking.  Though, taking a picture of yourself with a monument that stands for our rights as citizens, our freedoms, the blessings God gave us as Canadians (Or Americans or wherever y’all come from), with a reminder of what we stand for- that doesn’t seem too bad.
Except when we’re no longer sure just what we’re standing for, but here’s hoping we figure it out in time.
Was I being philosophical for a second there? Huh. 😛 Moving on.
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FACE REVEAL!
No, my brother’s not a gargoyle, sorry. XD He’s way handsomer than one and no, you aren’t allowed to tell him I said that. XD I think the best part about this trip was bonding with family. I mean, we do have to agree on where to stop for WIFI, right?
And looking up at Capitol Hill, I think it’s called, I couldn’t help but feel a tad proud of what Canada means. Sure we’ve made some dumb mistakes and tax is bad and that Christian belt of people isn’t as prominent as it really needs to be, but it has some good things too. Like maple syrup. And snow. You know, some good things.
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Pay attention to that statue to the right! 😛 The poor guy!
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My feet were cold, but my brain was working overtime to store all the architectural detail… everywhere! I love old buildings, no matter what style, and I practically jumped just turning around. A wonder I didn’t trip no anything.
Also, I dunno bout you, but I feel really sorry for Henry Albert Harper over there. Trying to save a gal from drowning and dying with her, at only 28. I gotta write a story about it sometime. It’s kinda sweet that of all the plaques they coulda picked up, they picked one random, lesser known hero.
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The streets were b e a u t i f u l.
It really was like walking through a story or something. I can only imagine what Ottawa looked like when it first started.
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I don’t know how my family managed to snag free tour tickets in French, but somehow, it worked out and we headed back to actually get inside. And that was awesome. If it wasn’t so cold. 😛 I really connected with those gargoyles, the poor guys stuck on the building for who knows how long. They look so done right now. Like I am with this post– moving on!
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And this is where all the huge arguments take place, friends. I wouldn’t know, because as helpful as our tour guide was, I couldn’t understand a single word he was saying. It’s not your fault Felix, you were great! Blame my total dunceness concerning any other language.
But seriously though. I’m learning French, and I’m gonna actually pay attention!
I bet my mom’s sighing in relief as she plans 7 days worth of French assignments at me. Have mercy…
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My absolutely no doubt about it most favorite part of the entire place was the library.
THE LIBRARY.
AHH.
Felix called it the bibliotech or something, and I’m pretty sure I spelled that wrong, but the library was so beautiful I can’t even.
AHHH.
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I mean, I woulda gladly spent the entire day inside the library, if it weren’t for the fact half the books were gone. For renovation purposes. Rats.
Also, all the designs were hand carved.

O_O
Moving on.
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The next part was the Peace Tower- as in the tower in front of the building, yup, that. I had no clue you could actually go and see the city- but you can. And it is so beautiful I could’ve been standing there for a long time if my feet didn’t hurt. XD We got up there by way of a small, dark elevator, and on the way up you could hear bells ringing.
Of course, I saved that in a folder of my brain for writing. It’s somewhere along with evil plans to take over the world and homework.
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Outside of the elevator was something else to look at. Practically the whole city you could see from that lookout. It was something to marvel at, alright.  And looking up- ahh, there wasn’t anywhere you could look at and not want to take a picture of. At least for me.
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Not Big Ben, but just as wow- worthy.
And so is the height we were up at.
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If that was all we got to see, that would’ve been more than enough for me. If we’d come back down and drove off, I’da been more than content.
But there was more.
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As one of the guides told us, one of the main reasons for building the Memorial Chamber (so sorry if I got like all these names wrong) was to never forget the first world war. They carved out stone and wrote down names, not expecting there would be another war.
Somehow the last fact makes me shut up and think really hard.
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There were books all around the room, sealed in glass cases.
On every page are the names of every soldier who gave their life for the war.
Fathers. Brothers. Lovers. Scientists. Random guys.
People.
Sometimes you really need to remember that,  y’know?
I walked out with a new appreciation of living in Canada. Because the freedom I have, the freedom I take for granted, people died for that. Can’t forget. I owe that much and more.
Anyhoo, we drove back home, and I successfully managed to get my entire family into the AIO fandom (YAAAASSSSSS). 10 episodes! 10 episodes nonstop! While I’ll be ranting on that on Welcome To Odyssey, I would like to note with pride that my parents listened to an episode with Jason Whittaker and liked it. It happened to be Accidental Dilemma, and they were promptly worried about Jason exploding himself.
Very proud fangirl right here.
Ahem, this post in on the long side, wouldn’t you say? So I think I’ll end it right now. Thanks a bunch for sticking through the end!
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Wish I knew what was going on in this photo. But I think it’s beautiful. 

There And Back Again: A Short Update, Newsy Post, if you’re interested in that sort of stuff

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It is Wednesday my dudes.

Sorry, I just had to. XD

Well hello from somewhere in Ontario, people! I’m currently typing this out at a hotel room, where we’re crashing after seeing Montreal.

Let’s start this again because that intro was awful.

Most Christmases usually have my family go from house to house to suffer small talk, itchy sweaters, and nothing to do. It’s not all that bad, there’s free food and there’s internet. So it’s bearable. Boring. But bearable.

This Christmas, though, was a little different in a very good way.  We decided we’d be by ourselves for the day and go somewhere new.

Which is neat, cause I’ve never been to another province. 😀

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There’s something special about a road trip, no matter where you’re going, and this trip was no exception. Even if we were late by like 5 hours and I lost my 4th sock and we couldn’t get the water to stop leaking. We managed to actually make it to the car. A small miracle!

Also, as it turns out, 6 hours in a car with no internet almost guarantees conversation. Who knew? Oh and laughter- it almost guarantees laughter. Which is nice. Laughter’s a nice gift.

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I got my family to listen to the Ties That Bind, pt. 2 and I’ve never been more proud of myself. Listening to AIO on a road trip is pretty nice. Except when my mom asks if Eugene and Katrina adopted Buck yet. Because I don’t have an answer to that. *sniff*

I got to play Christmas Chanced for my parents, and thankfully, they actually liked it. They laughed at the funny parts and got silent at the sad ones, and at the end they asked if that was it. So that’s pretty great. It’s interesting how an audio play got us talking about stories and imagination and creative writing- and hot chocolate. Randomness strikes again.

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On the way to the very cold city known as Montreal, I got to write a little. Well a lot, if you consider one k a lot. I’ll just say it was hard to keep from squealing when everyone was looking out the window. It’s not my fault there was a lot of angst and death and sadness and mean characters, kay?

And then Montreal itself was a new thing to not squeal over.

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It’s cold. That’s the very firstest thing I thought as soon as I stepped out the door. It’s a very cold city and suddenly I was grateful for turtlenecks and scarves and everything wool.  But where I was mildly bothered, my poor frozen family opted to stay inside the car while I walked around taking pictures. *sighs* So supportive. Also, manual is a hard mode to master at night. Really hard. So there’s only one example of my poor night photography.

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But it’s beautiful.

The lights up in the streets have a twinkle to them, all strung up. You have to step into the biting wind to properly enjoy it. Without the lights, Montreal has the fartooquietforitsowngood athmosphere that, in book genres, would be called a thriller. It’s quiet. Really quiet. And the streets are small. And the stairs are terrifying.  I dunno if you’ve ever seen the silly song with Larry, where Larry and a bunch of veggies have to carry a piano up a loong row of stairs, but if you did, that’s what the stairs in Montreal are like. You have to climb up whoknowshowmanystairs to reach the door, and then you have to climb even more stairs to reach your room. And if you live on the second floor, more stairs. I feel bad for all those feet. 😛

My feet hurt just walking along the Old Port something or other.

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Also, everything’s in French.

And by everything, I mean every single little word  from the signs to the WARNING DO NOT REMOVE tags to the menus at Tim Hortons. I know wish I paid more attention in French class. Unfortunately, I said that out loud in my mom’s hearing range. Ah well.

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Now, I’m not sure if you’re supposed to notice the alleys first, or the projects with the very dangerous stairs, or the smoke in the cold, but I did. And I guess no place is as pure as brochures let it be. Every city has its dark parts.

All that said, it’s fascinating. And cold. Very cold. XD

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Anyhoo, at last check we’re in another random part of the world, it is 9 pm, and I am off to finish off some ice cream, and I shall end this verbose rant-y post with this:

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Snowflakes are more intricate than I gave em credit for.

 

Mountains, Gandalf. Mountains!

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There are things in life that make you go, “wow.” It can be anything from a cake that plops out of the pan perfectly, to the Grand Canyon, finding out Mitch came back,  a really cool science experiment, a sunset, the ending of Infinity War, and a perfectly executed skate move. Take your pick.

My “wow” thing last Saturday was a random hike in bluffs in Scarborough.

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I love hikes, I love roughing it out, climbing things, risking falling, discovering new paths, and capturing the whole thing on my camera. Thanks to school though, and then other projects, those times are few and far in between. But when they do come, it’s pretty epic.

Last Saturday I was plugging on this laptop for said secret project that I’m super excited about that I ain’t saying a thing about when my mother told us to get moving. It was only when we were all in the car did I find out we were going to Bluffer’s, a place I haven’t been since I was nine. Long time. Good times. Anyway, let’s skip the part with traffic, headaches, and lack of internet and jump into the part we began walking.

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The good thing about fall hikes are no bug bites, beautiful foliage, and really fresh air. Not to mention perfect weather. The bad thing- where is the bad thing in this?

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Thanks, brother. The shot wouldn’t have been as interesting without you. Anyway, nothing said nostalgia like walking through those muddy paths again- a’course we walked right through some poor couple’s photoshoot, complete with real flash and what not. I hope they didn’t mind.

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Okay, so it wasn’t a mountain. It was still epic though. Although I probably was going to climb it if it weren’t for the obvious sign, the recent small landslide, certain death (because if the bluffs didn’t kill me my mother certainly would) and a camera. Hmph. 😦

But the view was more than worth it.

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Look at that. It’s beautiful.
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It was hard to take pictures of the whole thing without running into someone else taking a picture too, or (even worse) someone actually chipping off the bluffs. Which confuses me but oh well. 😛
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About ten times you’da heard someone yelling at me to slow down, and with a view like this? I didn’t blame them. It’s amazing how beautiful God’s creation is.

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Now, most of the time we go on hikes, we go to the main attraction, stay a while, then head back.

This time though, something musta taken over all of us, because we unanimously agreed to keep going. Which is probably a family thing, but oh well.

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Okay, now that I think about it I probably convinced everyone to keep going, considering how far ahead I was. 😛 But hey, it worked out!

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I think one of the “wow” things that made it for me was how peaceful the water was. It hardly looked like it was moving at all, and it kinda made me want to grab a canoe and paddle to the edge of the sea. Again, certain death stopped me. But still, it was so breath-taking. No joke, I had to catch my breath for a good five minutes.

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Someone set a wittle adowable gnomon here, so I shall show it to you as well. I almost knocked it and myself over the log in the process. XD

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By the time we decided to head back, we’d been walking for over two hours past a bluff, up a steep road, through a fancy neighborhood, and backwards (don’t ask.) And then there was one tiny problem.

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We had to walk down the side of the bluff. Like straight down. As you can see ^.

To avoid sounding like a fisherman who got the big one I’ll just say it was a really interesting trip down. 😀 And added to the “wow”.

Which this whole hike was. And which is why I enjoyed it.  My only problem later was I was hungry. XD

Have a good day, all y’all!

 

Labor Day (What I did, where I went, and why the name is deceptive)

Heyo.

It’s 11:01 pm. I should be asleep. I could use more sleep. In fact, I am dead. From school of course. Why am I writing a blog post?

*glares* Cause I can. Don’t judge.

Labor Day is deceptive.  YOU DON’T DO LABOR ON LABOR DAY. Why. It should be renamed. ‘Appreciation Of Labor Day’, how does that sound?

Anyway, regardless, it was a break. Yay! For me and my folks, we got to do cool stuff like driving to Toronto and seeing the sights.

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Yeah, ignore the graffiti. Toronto ain’t all neat and dandy. We’ve got a lot of things going on here.

(I say we, 😛 The traffic on our already long way to get here is tiring.)

Anyhoo, I’m a photographer. I capture what I see. So.. uh… here you go.

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That motorcycle looks so cool, I wanted to ride it. *nods*

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Toronto is BIG. Huge. You could spend a week here and still not see everything. The types of houses vary from street to street. This street, called Beaches, has really colorful matchbox houses. Some even looked like log cabins. Whaddya know.

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The sign on the last door is a sentiment shared by many Canadians far and wide, if you were wondering. 😉

Most of this was taken from a car window. There is zero parking space in Toronto, guys. If you wanted to tour the place, be prepared to walk. It’s crowded here.

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For this somewhat suburban kid, this was fascinating. There was so much little things to see. It was really narrow. The streets, the buildings, the bikes.

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Hi, random motorbike person. Thanks for letting me photograph ya.

Okay, peeps. Downtown is going down.

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This is Toronto. And that is the CN tower. I gotta figure out a way to get into the restaurant up there. It’s tall. It’s very tall. Oh, and that’s the Rogers Center. We have a thing for baseball. (Go, Jays!!! Please actually win or something.)

It was also very much traffic so go early if you wanna stop and take it all in.

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Ooh! Okay, so there’s a cool story behind this.

Those planes are the Canadian Snowbirds. That is an airshow they were putting at the CNE. Ever been? Neither have I, but I heard it’s a cool place. It’s one big fair or something. Anyway, while it cost money to get in the CNE, it doesn’t cost a penny to see the airshow. (I mean, they couldn’t charge us for it if they wanted to, it was an airshow after all.) It was spectacular. The planes did all sorts of loops and turns, and two planes even formed a heart with their contrails.

Was it awesome? Oh yeah. Made being stuck in the car absolutely worth it. Just made me wish I had a zoom lens.

The funny thing is if I wasn’t listening to the radio as I watched I would never have guessed that was an airshow. XD

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^ A rare glimpse of the CNE.

Then it was lake photography, which was really relaxing.

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There’s something about the lake. You can stare at it for a good half-hour and still not be bored. There’s this calming thing about the blue, the waves. And there’s this want to see what’s on the other side of the horizon. The adventure and looking for the unknown thing kicks in.

Deep musing thoughts over. XD

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Toronto’s interesting. It’s extremely diverse, and it’s as city as city goes, but I woulda never expected to be able to go fishing. How cool is that? Fishing. In a city. I’m trying that next time I come here. Some kids did try catching some fish and I was tempted to yell out, “Hope you catch something!” but didn’t want to look weirder than I already was.

If you need to know, I was walking around with a giant camera in hand. Need I say more?

But I quickly gave that up to swing on the monkey bars.

It was a great Labor Day.

I miss it.

The labor started after Labor Day.

And now I’m sleepy. Glad you stuck through it til the end!

Goodnight.

 

Takeaways From August (Scribble Scrabble)

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*eyes gleam evilly*

I have waited very long for this. My fingers have missed the clickety clackety of the keyboard. And ha, you thought I milked every drop outta August? Not yet! 😛

It’s Friday. It’s the last Friday of August 2018. BAAAAAAAAAWWWHHH.

Anyway.. I’da waited til September, but I have enough pictures to make one last August post. Hence a Scribble Scrabble XD *waits for pictures to load*

We still gotta talk about Julie, my bell pepper plant! Well, guess what. She grew up! It’s red. A red bell pepper plant.

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I mean, considering how I only want to grow stuff to eat them, this is kinda pathetic. But, hey, IT’S A VEGETABLE. Not a bad start. *sobs* She’s all grown up!

Ooh, yay, the pictures are loading!

Ahem. Anyway, so…

Crabapples. Or at least I think they’re crab apples.

We had stopped in front of a friend’s house to drop off equipment and a crab apple tree was in bloom. At least I think they’re crab apples. For all I know they could be the Forbidden fruit.. or something. These little things are lots of fun to pick and hurl onto the road for cars to squash em flat to take pictures of, of course.

They just taste weird. I tried.

But wait, if they indeed are the forbidden fruit, then *gasp* I should be dead!

*shudders*

L&HD News will update you on this alert as it unravels.

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Bye, crab apples of August. Hope you don’t kill me.

Anyhoo, I never did get to finish that challenge of Cassia’s.. oops. Sorry about that. I’m still looking for a train station. Heehee.

But I did get some puddles. One puddle, to be precise.

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Puddles, puddles, puddles! Splashing in em, taking pictures in em, getting my mom scared that I’ll ruin my dslr by putting it a tiny bit too close to the edge.. puddles are fun. It was a rainy Sunday, so. *nods*

So yeah August was fun. Hard. The storm.

-lotsa questions

-some glares

-lotsa 5 am belting out random songs

-heat (It’s HOT)

-late night talks

-Solid Joys. I’ve been listening to the devotionals by Pastor John Piper, and they really make you stop and think about the Bible. As well they should.

-mug cakes

-microwave cooking (which my mom doesn’t really like but it’s a means to an end!)

-roleplaying with a lot of great people (and some videochatting and staying up late)

-scheduling for school (nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!)

-geeking out about Adventures In Odyssey cause I’m like the only kid who hasn’t hear it yet and I wanna buy the album

-actually doing homework

And I’ve been writing. BOOM! It’s been tons of fun. Especially if you change the text color. It’s my personal opinion that textbooks would be a lot more interesting to read if you could pick the color. Who wants to read in black all the time?

Done ranting. More random photos.

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Puppies!!!!!! Those little wittle puppies!

Ahem.

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Random photography is my favorite. Cause, y’know, I’m pretty random meself?

Anyway… the fun part!

Playing Favorites!

It’s time, yep. I get to choose my favorites, and you get to suffer reading about it! 😛

Favorite Book

This month’s favorite would have to be…….

Okay, I would totally pick one of the books I’m alpha reading. But since they haven’t exactly been published yet, I’m gonna have to pick something that is. *sniffles* And this is a good book. This is Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, by Nabeel Quershi. Reading about his life, and how he came to Christ, has been inspiring, and it’s helped me see things in a different angle. Did I enjoy this book? Yep. Was I challenged to be stronger and less passive in my faith? Yep.

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Favorite Song

Wanna know what I’ve been listening to to keep me awake?

Rewrite The Stars, The Piano Guys cover.

*sniffles* The lyrics of the original are.. meh.. but this cover is beautiful. I’ve been trying to learn it on the violin, but like everything else, it’s gonna take some work.

Go check it out! Unless you’re not a fan of cello or piano music, or that kinda music isn’t your thing or.. yeah.

Favorite Quote

🙂

This has summed up my month, along with Mary Slessor’s “Pray on, dear one- the power lies that way.”

Hope this random post put a grin on your face. See ya.

Summer Went Out With The Sunset (Or, In Which I Post Some Pictures In The Hopes You Can See Them.)

Greetings everybody! Well. It looks like I’m gonna need some audience participation. My pictures haven’t been showing up recently, have they?

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Let’s see. If you all can see these pictures of clouds and sunsets and whatnot, yay!

 

If not… boo.

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Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the 25th of August, right?

*sobs*

Summer’s over.

NOOOOOOOOOO!!

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I don’t want summer to end! I like waking up and doing nothing in the mornings except just watching the view outside. I like the lemonades and the barbeques and the air conditioning. Please don’t tell me it’s all gonna end!!

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But y’know, I’ve had a great summer, and I’m grateful for that.

Next Saturday is the first of September, the start of a new month, the start of a long haul. And I gotta admit I’m excited for that too.

 

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I’m excited to feel cool air when I step outside, to make a huge dent in the mountain of schoolwork looming in front of me, to have a good reason to wear my boots and kick up leaves.

Not to mention Album 65 of Adventures In Odyssey is gonna air on the 6th, and boy am I excited for that!!

Ok, it’s official. I’m a hopeless fangirl.

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I’m glad summer is over and sad at the same time. So many things have happened and I need at least a year to process it all.  xD

But I’ve gotten to make the most outta these months. And I’m content.

 

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Now I’m really hoping you all can see these pictures, because they’re my favorite group of sunsets. I experimented with a lot of filters and effects, and I must say, I’m quite pleased with the results.

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Some of the effects make it really vibrant, which I’m still deciding if I like that effect. It\s been pretty interesting.

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I kinda like this picture, even though it’s heavily colorized. 😛

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I better get back to re-writing. My charries have become quite annoyed with me for leaving them uncompleted for weeks at a time. I guess I’ve been a wee bit too busy staring at the sunset.


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 Well, see ya.

A Year Ago This Happened

Nope, today’s not my blogsiversary. Though it sure feels long enough.

Today’s the day after the great eclipse of 2017 day. Also known as The Broken Van anniversary. It’s a long story.

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And here you can now see an example of my horrible photography. My hands were kinda shaky.

For those wondering, no, there was no totality here in Ontario. There was, however, totality in Greenville, SC, which is where we hightailed to after church. Boy, that was fun. And when the eclipse came, it was pretty spectacular. Hence the shaky hands. Among other reasons.

 

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If I’m a bad photographer now, I was even worse back then. But it shall suffice til the next one. If I live to see the next eclipse.

Funny thing, though. When I remember August 21 and 22, I remember catching up with friends I’ve never met. I remember sparking conversations with complete strangers, and feeling more connected to them than people I’ve known all my life. I remember pizza after the eclipse, and arguing over sweet and unsweetened Chikfila tea, and whether one should mix the two. I remember laughter and joy, and horrible bug bites. I remember the thrill of watching the sky turn dark in the middle of the day. I remember everybody’s faces staring up at the sky.

And August 22? Well, that was the day we were supposed to leave. But our car had broken down. Trust our family car to break down day of departure. But even that was a good memory. Like when we were all eating at Chikfila. Or when we were walking around this huge place. And the sad memory of trying not to cry when we said goodbye is still there.

Can’t believe it’s been exactly 365 days since the eclipse happened. A lot has happened since then. And I wonder what will happen in the 365 days from here til the next August 22.

Right now, I’m ready to live one day at a time.

At least I think I am.

Summer + Camp NaNo = Memories to Treasure

It is just me, or does anybody else think the summer is flying waay too fast? But, as they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

Let’s change that: time flies when you’re doing things you love with loved ones, because that’s been my summer. 🙂

Which is interesting, because before I used to lament the fact that we couldn’t do as much as we used to. I’ve learned to take any opportunity that comes my way, and it’s been a blast.

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Niagara Falls is probably the ultimate place for anyone in Canada to see, and as it is, we visited the falls last week. Let’s just say, that in the few years since our last visit, it hasn’t changed a bit.

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Before actually seeing the falls, we usually stop at the Dufferin Islands. Or at least I think they’re called the Dufferin Islands. It’s either much smaller than I remember or I grew up since the last visit. Hm..

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There’s always a mass of people at the falls, and that day was no exception. it was pretty hard to keep up, since I kept stopping to take pictures. XD

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No matter how many times I visit this place, I always have to stop and marvel at this beauty, only one example of God’s creation.

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After dodging tourists other people taking pictures, I started changing up the perspective. Again. 😛 What can I say, I notice different things!

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Not to toot my own horn, but I do like the pictures of the falls through the railing. It was fun to look down- if you’re not scared of heights, and I’m not. Much.

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I took so many pictures of the buildings, but I think I’ll leave you one from an ice cream shop. It reminds me a lot of Whit’s End! (Uh, if you’re not an AIO fan, just scroll past- random fandom thing. XD )

Later in the evening, we went to Niagara-On-The-Lake, a small little town on the edge of Lake Ontario. It was really fun to wade in the lake and throw rocks. Fun story about the fort you see in the picture: some say that fort is on the U.S side. *nods* One day, I’d love to visit that.

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Yep, Niagara was fun, little tiring, and very nostalgic to visit again. I took a lot more pictures, but those will have to do.

*writer’s block*

I’m having writer’s block talking about writer’s block. Ayayay, what shall we do?

In all honesty, I’m really enjoying the miniscule amount of writing I’m doing. The characters, the setting, everything lines up except for the timeline. *facepalm* I’m getting there, and while I’m at it, I got awesome cabinmates who don’t give up. At all. 🙂

Shall I leave you with flowers? Yes, I shall, because I really need to write some more! And go clear up some challenges for Summer Bored Games. 😉 I’ll be seeing ya.

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