Such breathtaking sights, such warm people, such food – such bears! I’ve just returned from three weeks in quite possibly my new favourite country. Three incredible weeks of using the word ‘awesome’ with embarrassing frequency for a Brit, talking almost incessantly about bears and wondering if it’s acceptable to eat poutine for breakfast.
We visited Toronto, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Banff and Jasper National Parks and numerous places in-between. I saw paintings I’ve long admired in the Gallery of Ontario, whales and dolphins from the seat of a kayak, frozen mountain-top lakes and adorable baby black bears clambering in the branches of a tree.
I could go on about Canada all day. Especially as Britain seems to have had a meltdown in my absence (seriously, you leave a country alone for three weeks…). But as this isn’t technically a travel blog I want to mention the Canada-specific makes I whipped up for the trip. I made four things – two self-drafted raglan sweatshirts, a Desmond roll-top backpack (from Taylor Tailor) and a pair of Seamwork Weston shorts. In my head it was going to be way more, but then in my head I don’t sleep, eat, socialise or do anything except sew.
I actually had a bit of a meltdown (not quite as a big as Britain’s though) on the old ‘what to wear’ dilemma – we had two cities to visit (one hot, one not), a wedding to attend on the windy prairies, sea kayaking in the Pacific and mountain climbing in places where it still snows in June. A packing nightmare, I tell you. And so I also purchased a fair few new clothes for this holiday, which was a bit of a shock to the system (and the purse) as I’d hardly bought anything readymade in months. But with the best will in the world one cannot sew up a pair of hiking boots, and my wardrobe was entirely lacking in the sort of ‘rugged’ gear one needs to tackle mountains, lakes and bears.
The thing is, it sounds superficial and frivolous, but having the right clothes really can matter. I never want to be that person who can’t take part because they’re wearing the wrong shoes; who can’t hike that hike because it’s raining, or freezing, or blowing a gale. But it was also hugely important to me that I, the least rugged of un-rugged people, still felt like myself amidst all the ‘sensible layering’ I was going to endure. This meant that at times I was probably sporting more floral prints than everyone else in the Rockies put together, but it also meant that I felt as good as I would prancing around Florence in a fifties frock. And partly this was thanks to my me-made items, which felt so fundamentally me.
Anyway, I’m actually going to be cheeky and save the individual pieces I made for their own, separate blog posts, having waffled on for long enough already today. Be assured it’ll be worth the wait (and the extra reading) though as we took some amazeballs outfit pics. Yes, I do use that word almost non-ironically now. Especially since when I spotted the gigantic First Nations’ totem poles in Vancouver airport I decided to replace ‘totes’ with ‘totem’ and went around describing everything as ‘totem amazeballs’ – so silly I couldn’t resist. So yep, you have some totem amazeballs photos to look forward to. Like this one of two hugging marmots I saw.
With love from your friendly wannabe-Canadian x