As that modern philosopher Ferris Bueller once said, "life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Serdic and I agreed at the beginning of November that life was moving pretty fast these days, and only going to get crazier the closer we got to Christmas, so we made a pact that the last weekend in November we would do nothing. Accept no invitations, make no plans, agree to no commitments. As all the other weekends in November and December filled up we stuck to our pact and left this one completely free (not quite true, as we went curling with Nail and his lovely wife on Friday evening and my muscles still have not recovered, but that's another story). At first we thought we might try to get away for one of our infamous minibreaks (one of our favourite things to do) but we eventually decided that that would add stress and expense to a weekend we were trying to keep lowkey.
Eventually we decided that what we would like to do was just get out of the city for the day on Saturday, and we settled on Manotick, about a twenty minute drive from downtown. I have a soft spot for Manotick, as my Grandad was minister at the United Church there for most of my childhood, so we spent a lot of holidays in this pretty little village, but I hadn't been back there in years. So we headed out late morning and spent a lovely couple of hours wandering the streets and in the shops, and then grabbed a late lunch. There was also a Christmas market going on in the old mill (see photo above) so that was a nice treat. We did a drive by of some of my childhood places, too, including Grandad's church (photo to the right) and the house my grandparents lived in on Rideau Bend. I may or may not have teared up seeing the house and remembering all the fun family holidays we spent there. A very special place. We were also blessed, as you can see from the photos, with the most beautiful day we've had in weeks -- blue skies and bright sunshine. It was a delightful treat.
Sunday we lounged about until late afternoon, when we decided we should really bring the tree in from the garage before it got dark and the forecasted winter storm hit. After dinner we put it together and spent a lovely couple of hours decorating. I had put up most of the non-tree things through this week, so the tree was the finishing touch. It's twinkling away in the corner of our living room now, and it makes me smile every time I catch sight of it. A bit early, perhaps, but I'm truly in the Christmas spirit now, and looking forward to December, even as it promises to get crazier and crazier. I tried to take some pictures of the tree and other decorations, but I haven't gotten any really nice ones yet. I'll keep trying. I love my new(ish) camera, but I'm still figuring it out!