In Queensborough, dreaming of the great big world


Queensborough is a very pretty place, but I am glad that my travels have taken me to places that are beautiful in a different way. This is the town of Vaison-la-Romaine, France, where Raymond and I spent part of our honeymoon in April 2008. (Photo by Raymond Brassard)

It seems funny to report, given this whole blog devoted to Raymond and me having returned to my childhood home in Queensborough, that a great deal of that same childhood was spent dreaming of travelling far, far away. From a very early age I knew that I wanted to visit as many parts of the world as I possibly could. I would read the Travel section in the Saturday Globe and Mail from cover to cover (ads included), imagining myself exploring the narrow old streets of London, or the green seacoast of Ireland, or the relics of ancient Rome and Greece. I thought Russia (then the U.S.S.R.) would be fascinating, and Australia unbelievably exotic. I was always particularly interested in France, because, well, who isn’t? But I wanted to go everywhere. Much as I loved growing up Queensborough, in this very house, I knew that there was a whole lot more world out there.

I was reflecting on that youthful wanderlust recently as I transferred from one file to another some photos that Raymond and I took on our honeymoon in France six years ago – the Best Honeymoon Ever, as we like to refer to it. We kept a diary of that trip, and every year on the anniversary of the day we landed in Paris, we start a daily ritual of reading to each other from the diary. It is always a delight to revisit the stories and memories; inevitably we come across details that we’ve forgotten in the intervening year – a wonderful meal, a street scene observed, a “find” in a shop or a museum. “Oh yes!” we’ll exclaim. “Remember that?” And all the images, the sights and sounds and smells and tastes, come rushing back.

Breakfast at the Hotel des Grandes Ecoles

This is me having breakfast in the courtyard of our Paris hotel, the Hôtel des Grandes Ecoles. (Photo by Raymond Brassard)

While that visit to Paris and the south of France was super-extra-special, we’ve both been fortunate enough to do a fair bit of other travelling – to lots and lots of places in New England and the rest of the U.S., to many parts of Canada, and to quite a few places in Europe. Why, I’ve even been to the far corners of the South Pacific, thanks to a trip my dad and I took back in the late ’80s to visit my Aunt Marion, Dad’s sister, who was teaching nursing on a missionary posting in a remote part of Papua New Guinea. (I wrote about that trip, and how Dad found me the Southern Cross on it, here.) And we both hope and expect to have many more travels in the future.

It gives me pleasure to think how happy my much younger self would have been had she known that she would eventually get to many of the places she spent so many hours dreaming of. I wonder if the Manse, whose walls contained those youthful dreams, is also happy to see them fulfilled.

Anyway, dear readers, I shall sign off for this evening because … it is time for Raymond and me to start reading our travel diary! But so you’ll have a little taste of what we’re reading about, here are a few photos:

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