I landed in Hamilton to meet with my good friend Jen, an awesome chick I had met when I was a teacher in Guatemala years ago. We had stayed in touch over the years, and I was looking forward to seeing her again. This time, her life was very different, as she had a little baby! To be honest most of my friends are single and no children, so its always buzz for me to be around little kids.
Ryker was a real little cutie patootie. A good little boy but lots of work for his Mummy! It was nice to spend some quality time with Jen and her little baby.
I went for a walk around the neighbourhood on my first evening, and peacefully snapped a few flowers and animals near by. I find photography meditative, it really gets me in my flow zone and enables me to focus purely on my present moment, not in the past, nor in the future, but in the now. So powerful, and important to appreciate our present reality.
I managed to get out quite a bit and take some nice walks and jogs. On one of the days I decided to go for a workout at the local YMCA. I am so excited about the recreation centres here in Canada. They are so well equipped!! It makes exercising a real joy. I went to two exercise classes back to back, mostly strength and fitness, they were both great workouts. Then I went and swam laps at the indoor pool. I felt great after my workout, and the best thing? MY first visit was free! I hope I can get a chance to go back there again.
The next day, Jen and I decided to drive to London to visit her Mum and John. I had met her parents years ago on holidays in Roatan Island Honduras. I really enjoy their company and it was a joy to spend time in their home. We all had a nice dinner together when we arrived and chilled out in the evening together.
I decided to go for a walk after dinner with my camera to see where I had landed. I found a lovely park near by and a little community garden. I managed to get some great photos of a bumblebee and flowers, focusing on getting a good photo really makes me feel good. I was really impressed by the community gardens, full of vegetables and flowers and little plots, it looked like a lot of fun and a great way to bring people together, and spend more time outside.
On the same evening I stumbled across an Art exhibition at Westland Gallery. I was pleasantly surprised to see a very colourful art opening going on by a very talented artist Vicki McFarland. There were some amazing Images to admire, and I have included some here too. I love colour, I have always been attracted to bright happy colours. I always wear bright colours, my photos represent illuminate colour, and even my house is adorned with very bright colours. Colour to me equals energy, I fully believe in colour therapy and its positive effect on mood.
The next morning I went for a quick run around the burbs to get my blood flowing again, which was a great start to my day. On return John and I jumped into the hot tub, the hot warm bubbling water was comforting and fun. We chatted in their for ages and enjoyed the relaxing tub under the cool rain outside. My body was warm for a good half an hour later too, what a great experience. I never go in hot tubs so I will jump in at any chance I get.
In the afternoon I decided to take a yoga class. I found this great studio in the middle of town in London, Ontario called the Yoga Shack. It was a hot yoga class, and I really enjoyed the stretch, down time and work out for my body. As the sweat dripped from every limb, I tried my best to hold the poses and practise correct technique, breathing through each hold, breathing out my stress and tension. Yoga has really helped me to calm my mind, strengthen my body and let go.
We relaxed in the evening inside as the night stormed around us with thunder and lightning. It might me summer in the northern hemisphere, but the weather sure did not demonstrate! Early the next morning I took another walk around the suburbs.
Tim Hortons is a real Canadian coffee experience. I wasn’t much of a fan of the actual coffee to be honest but I did learn some interesting facts from John while we were soaking in the hot tub. Apparently Horton was a famous Ice hockey player in the ’60s and decided to open a chain of restaurants to help his post hockey career. Sadly, Horton was killed in a car accident in 1974, at the time of his death at age 44, he had 60 Tim Hortons restaurants. You can read more about Hortons history here. Love a good death story. He sounded like a great guy, pity he died so young.
I find stories of death interesting, that is weird right? I enjoy learning how some people reach success early, do the utmost in health and accomplishment and are still faced with adversity and face a tragic ending. It is a continual reminder to us all to live our lives to our best, our lives are finite on this planet. Go do it! Live your dreams!
I will stop it there and continue with part 2 for my time in Toronto in the next post… Stay tuned for more beautiful photos and travel tales.
Love, Anita xx