I miss my Swedes. To remember our awesome time together, this post is dedicated to our trip to New York. The adventure that I never recorded here on Scottawa.
Near the end of last semester, my friends Oskar and Rebecca and I decided to go to New York. We talked about it for months and finally got everything booked and our bags packed. We would bus over night and stay in a hostel in Brooklyn.
We arrived at the Greyhound bus station on the last Wednesday of November. The station was quiet and broken, which was exactly what I had expected from Greyhound. But the bus was different. Our journey was cosy and comfortable and I soon fell asleep. We had to wake up every couple of hours for stops and border security and more stops. But then, in almost a blink, we were there.
American Thanksgiving was taking over the city when we arrived. And we were perfectly on time for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Giant balloons of American characters flooded the streets and people of all ages cheered and chatted and took photos.
My favourite part about being in New York was the feeling that I had seen it all before. I recognised places and streets and stores as if they were part of my own memory. I would say This parade was in Jingle All The Way!…This park was in Home Alone!… This library was in The Day After Tomorrow… This building was in Godzilla… Spiderman… Ghostbusters… Independence Day…
Walking around New York was like wandering through my childhood memories. The extent of my movie knowledge is enough to make my parents proud. We have this joke in my family that if you don’t get a movie trivia question correct then my Mum and Dad would exclaim We have failed as parents! What uneducated children we have! And I love those moments, they illustrate the wonderfully relaxed and culture-orientated way I was brought up. Movies, movies, movies. Old, new, action, romance, sci-fi, ’90s, Disney, etc etc etc. And New York embodies so many of these memories for me.
Central Park was even better than I had imagined. Beautiful. Magical. And memories of Friends episodes sprung to mind. We visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and I was reminded of When Harry met Sally and my friend Rebecca exclaimed These steps were in Gossip Girl! We saw the Statue of Liberty, which I’m sure everyone has seen in a few movies. King Kong being the major one. One evening we drank at McGee’s, the bar which inspired the hangout place for How I Met Your Mother. That night we got tipsy Barney Stinson style and partied all over the Big Apple. Our Belgium friend Anne-Sophie and German friend Matti joined us on our late-night adventure.
The next day we found a secret burger place hidden inside a hotel. Down a marble corridor and behind a red curtain lay a small wooden room. The walls were covered in writing and drawings from previous customers. And they sold the best burgers I have ever tasted.
We spent hours wandering around New York, seeing the art and the beauty and the ruggedness in the everyday. On our last day, we skated in Central Park. And I had this flashback of a young Macaulay Culkin sliding across the ice with an angry Harry and Marv running close behind.
I looked around me, at the black and gold city and it’s bright lights, the skating couples and horse drawn-carriages. And I thought to myself, this is New York… Where memories are created years before you even step inside the city.
Love JillTwo Swedes and a Scot take on New York I miss my Swedes. To remember our awesome time together, this post is dedicated to our trip to New York.
For all who know me personally, or have seen my many activist posts on Facebook, you will know that I am a staunch feminist.
I believe in equal rights for everyone. I believe that no man, no woman, or anyone of a gender-in-between, should be afraid.
I believe that we should all be aware of our privileges. We should all make ourselves aware of the different forms of oppression which holds others…
With new friends in a hand-built cottage surrounded by snow. This is how I spent my best weekend in Canada.
Classes are almost over and Spring is nearly here (though you wouldn’t know it). For the last weekend in March, I went on a mini adventure. My journalism friend Caroline invited me to her friend’s cottage with her boyfriend Josh’s group of friends. I was told to pack warm and bring food.
The adventure began in Kevin’s car. The guitar riffs from Hotel California played in the background while Caroline filled me in on everyone’s stories. Who does what, who dates who, and who did that funny thing that time.
The group is made up of mainly high school friends. They are all about three years older than me and most have full-time jobs in technology. Of the people I met, there are three couples and four singles.
And then began the stories of the cottage. For six years they have visited the cottage bi-annually. For Christmas and summer holidays. In the winter everyone skis, builds igloos, has snowball fights, and drinks to stay warm. In the summer they roast food on bonfires, swim and canoe in the lake, eat endless hot-dogs and never sleep.
We drive up snow-covered roads and over countryside hills and along a dirt path hugged by trees. And then we arrive at the most beautiful wooden home I have ever seen. I meet Jonny and he shows me around his family’s cottage. The place was built by Jonny’s father over thirty years ago. It is beautiful. Everything is wooden. Upstairs is made up of six bedrooms filled with three or four beds each. Ladders are everywhere and bunk-bed’s appear to be carved into the walls. A log fire in the living room keeps the whole home warm.
The cottage is rented out to large groups all year round. Sometimes students, or middle-aged friends, or big families. Sometimes the place is left in a mess and sometimes it is left cleaner than when a group first arrives.
Once the mini-tour was over, it was time for me to meet the people. So far we have Caroline, Josh, Kevin and Jonny. Then I meet Marta, Ian, Victoria, Shawn, Sophie, and Mikael.
We spend the rest of the night drinking, eating chili and playing games. Over the weekend, there is a never ending flow of food as everyone takes it in turns to make meals for the group.
On Saturday we feast on eggs, bacon and hash-browns. Then venture out into the wilderness. We investigate igloos made by the last group of cottagers. A snowman is built and named Arnold for his American-football shaped head.
We amble over to the frozen lake with beers in one hand and snowballs in the other. The lake is beautiful. I look around and all I can think is how perfectly Canadian everything seemed. The snow, the deer, the hiking hills and the canoeing lakes.
People tell me stories from past summers; of snapping turtles, catching tadpoles and being Kings and Queens of the lake.
That evening we played Sardines and it was awesome. Sardines is similar to hide-and-seek except one person hides and everyone looks, when you find the person you have to hide with them. The last person to find everyone is the loser. And in a cottage filled with hidden spaces and secret rooms, the game was one hundred times more difficult and one hundred times more fun.
Eventually everyone was sweaty from searching and cramming into tiny places. We played cards instead. Kevin made dinner for everyone, he called it ‘a modern aboriginal meal’. We devoured our food and continued the games late into the evening.
The games ended in the early hours and one-by-one we fell asleep. Caroline says they used to stay up all night and drink heavy and party loud. She says there used to be more people but many have come and gone over the years. The group dynamic at the cottage has changed as often as the leaves on the trees outside. Everyone has grown up and is dealing with the realities of adulthood; heartbreak, uncertainty, being stuck in a job you don’t like, and feeling lonely.
But the beautiful thing about this weekend was that it didn’t matter what everyone was feeling about their lives or relationships or jobs when they arrived. The cottage thawed everyone. And for a couple of days everything was more than okay. Everything and everyone were perfect.
Love JillThe Weekend at Jonny’s Cottage With new friends in a hand-built cottage surrounded by snow. This is how I spent my best weekend in Canada.
I loved the whole experience. We had bubble tea and pancakes in the Underground City, took photos of ourselves with a disposable camera for an art project, came across a wonderfully accepting Church, saw the stadium for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and made friends with a Porcupine and a Beaver at the Biodome.
Love JillAdventures in Québécois Land (The Photos) I loved the whole experience. We had bubble tea and pancakes in the Underground City, took photos of ourselves with a disposable camera for
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