A Tourist in My Own Town

Tourist in My Own Town
Some days fill you with a deep sense of gratitude for your life. For me, today was such a day.

Justin at Georgia OKeeffe

Justin is home after a week visiting his father in Curacao (who is there staying with a friend). It was so good for him to go and so weird for us to be apart. We Skyped every day and throughout the week Justin would send me fun pictures of his adventures, from the surprise of iguanas to grocery shopping with his dad.

My fear of flying made the beginning and the end the hardest part of the trip, even though it wasn’t me that was getting on the plane! On each travel day, I loaded Justin’s airline number into a tracker and watched its progress with anticipation, sending love to the flight and everyone on it. I am so thankful he arrived and returned safe and sound.

Georgia O'Keefe at the AGO

Today we went on a wonderful Saturday adventure to the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario. This year I decided to become a member and I am so thrilled I did. There is such joy in not only being able to go whenever I like but also in being able to share. I went to the Mystical Landscapes exhibit three times, once by myself, once with Justin and once with Shannon. Plus, I’m surprised by how much I feel like (and like feeling like) a part of the gallery.

I knew I would enjoy this exhibit and I did, especially the abstract pieces and yes, of course, the flowers. I was captivated again and again not only by colour but also by composition.

But even more than the art, I was fascinated by the artist. I searched through the gallery’s write-ups for clues about who she was as a creative and as a person. I was struck by her strength and her presence. I wanted to sit with her at a table under the night’s sky with a glass of wine or a cup of tea and listen to her talk about her life and her work for hours.

After our visit to the gallery, Justin and I kept with our tradition of going out for a bite and chatting about what we had seen. Of course, we also stuck with our tradition of taking a while to choose a place to eat! It didn’t matter. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the temperature was idyllic. We walked by our old apartment building right behind the Art Gallery and meandered through the familiar Queen West neighbourhood. We remembered Justin’s late night walks and remarked on how so many of the stores and restaurants on the street had changed. ¬†We reminisced about Taro, The Tequila Bookworm (still there but much changed) and Velvet Underground. (The photo is of the door to that club.)

We stopped for a coffee and perused Yelp for a good spot for a bite. We decided on Beast and it looked like a treat but by the time we arrived¬†they were wrapping up lunch service. We put it on our list for another day. In fact, it inspired a fun idea. Perhaps you’ve seen people create their 40 in 40 lists – 40 things they want to do in their 40th year (or 30 in 30, 50 in 50 etc.) Justin and I have decided to do a similar list based on the years we’ve been married – our 15 in 15! So far we’ll be making homemade gnocchi and going to the Scarborough Bluffs.

For today, we ended up at Canteen on King Street, sitting on the patio with a view of the CN Tower and having a lovely meal. It was so good to be together, chatting about art, eating lovely food, having walked 10,000 steps in downtown Toronto, through old haunts and new finds, doing it all together.


  1. scr4pl80 says:

    What a great story, Jamie! We did something similar while in Reno this past week. Ours was a “Big City Hunt” and it was a scavenger hunt through the city of Reno (although they have them for almost any city and I have gotten another one for us to do in San Francisco. I’ll be writing about it on my blog soon because I had a VERY emotional moment when we came upon my word of the year, Believe, in a huge sculpture. It was fun spending the day walking around the town with my husband discovering new things. Glad Justin made it back safely. Even without a fear of flying, travel nowadays is sometimes scary! I’d be doing a 62 in 62 for my birthday thing or 33 in 33 for our anniversary. You’ve got some catching up to do! Looking forward to reading about your 15 in 15!

    • Jamie says:

      Look at all that goodness and magic! Thank you so much for sharing your story – and your word! I hope you have a wondrefull 62 in 62 and 33 in 33 hehe!

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