Monday was an important day for three reasons: it was sunny, it was a holiday (much needed), and it was the day after the first anniversary of our marriage. While Riccardo spent the morning editing photos (he never gets a real holiday), I tried to come up with a relaxing way to spend a day outside the city instead of the same-old same-old: lounging on some sun-soaked terrasse in the Mile End, or picnicking at Lachine Canal… yawn. Riccardo challenged me to stay within 100 km; a challenge I was fully prepared for.
I settled on Bromont: it fit the distance requirement, it’s cute, and there was little chance we’d bump into someone we knew. Google told me we could even go for an easy hike! Like the giant dorks we are, we suited up accordingly and headed south. Bromont welcomed us with clearly-marked information stations and friendly staff, letting us know how perfectly we fit into their target demographic of thirty-something day trippers from Montreal.
Hiking turned out to be a bust. I chose a “trail” that winds through a somewhat wooded area and then goes through the centre of Bromont, continuing on to the “real” wilderness. But the town was so serene and inviting that we never made it past that point. Furthermore, as if we were being compelled not to hike by some divine intervention, there was some sort of chocolate festival happening on that particular day. A sign, of course.
It was a glorious day. We strolled down the main drag pretending to admire the architecture (ok, I admit, we are such geeks that we actually were admiring it), we fought fleeting urges to buy overpriced antiques at adorable shops, we attended a beer and chocolate tasting (part of the chocolate festival), and we meandered around sampling local delicacies. One vendor, a thoroughly delightful girl representing a squash farm, blew us away with her knowledge of and enthusiasm for her product. It was difficult not to buy every last jar of squash marmelade, jelly, and relish she was selling, and I have gained a newfound appreciation for the lowly gourd. We settled on a jelly, got some cheese to go with it, and found a sunny spot to enjoy some perfectly lazy dixieland music being played for a crowd of about ten as part of the festival. I resisted the urge to respond to the flashing red light on my BlackBerry, which felt marvellous.
At one point we discussed the fundamental personality differences in little boys versus little girls, since we’re having one of the former and I am somewhat terrified of the inevitable running and leaping and broken bones. I explained that girls are much easier; they don’t feel the need to run around like maniacs, they sit quietly and play with dolls like normal people. As if on cue, an adorable little boy of about three lumbered past us and straight towards a group of demure little girls standing nearby. His face was expressionless, as if in a trance, unstoppable in his mission to scare and bother the girls by ROARING loudly and furiously. The scene was so funny (maybe you had to be there) and so perfectly illustrated my point that I burst into a fit of giggling and couldn’t stop for a good five minutes. We just sat in the sun laughing irrepressibly without a care in the world and it was certainly a very silly moment.
Alas, our carefree jaunt in Bromont had to come to an end: Montreal and game 2 of the series against the New York Rangers beckoned. We grabbed a coffee and a slice of pie and got back on the road, making it to our friends’ place just in time for the opening face-off. On the way home we listened to our wedding CD, each feeling grateful to have found someone who’s happy to celebrate an anniversary without fanfare but with an impromptu picnic, a dixieland band, and uncontrollable fits of laughter.