with pretty well a month of summer to go (i love being out of school and getting to enjoy the summer all the way into the end of september - none of this labour day signifies summer is over bullshit) i snatched up the opportunity to spend the day on toronto island (one of my 30 by 30 items) when last minute plans to make the short trip up to toronto were made. my good friend cass/cashie and i were on the road bright and early saturday morning, and on our way to stay with our girlfriend neena. we're a dirty little threesome, and always have the best time together, usually including the most girlie of things like raiding neena's stellar closet, having her do our hair and making pretty breakfasts. i always leave a visit with neena feeling extra inspired and aware of how lucky i am to have them both in my life. as a freelance hair and makeup artist, she was committed to working that afternoon, so she dropped cashie and i off at the waterfront, to grab a ferry to the island.
the ferry rate was on target/tarjay as they are coming to canada and were doing a butt load of advertising for it, so everyone had target swag and the ferry's were decorated to the tits. within a half an hour we were on the island and ready to explore. neena had mapped things out for us, explaining which dock to get off on to see the neighbourhoods, and which beach we should go to. i had heard how adorable the cottages on the island were, so we took a stroll through the sweetest little neighbourhood i have ever seen. rumour has it the wait list to obtain a property on the island is around 10 years, and i can see why -- each cottage is completely unique from it's neighbour and utterly charming; gingerbread details, bold bright colours, pots of flowers and so much character, it felt like a perfect little piece of cape cod.
by the time we made our way down all the paths and "streets" (cars are not permitted on the island, so everyone gets around on bicycles) i had decided which cottage i wanted and what colours
i would paul would paint it. as adorable as the little blue number below is, if mine, it would be mint green with baby pink trim in a heartbeat. complete with lace curatins and a garden full of flowers, ferns and a magnolia tree no questions asked. swap out the interlocking brick path for a more natural flagstone number and a canadian flag off the porch and i would be happier than a pig in shit. yes, that's all i ask.
after our self-guided neighbourhood tour, we were sweating like hookers in church and were ready for the beach and picnic we had packed. the 6 hour walk (maybe more like hour and a bit) from one end of the island to the other damn near killed me, but was worth it all day long. we walked along the boardwalk past the most amazing tall ships, random small beaches and took a few breaks to enjoy the shade.
at certain points, it felt like we were walking through central park -- as i specifically remember how it had the most incredible way of fooling you into feeling like you weren't in the middle of a concrete jungle. randomly getting to catch a glimpse of the cn tower popping up from among the tree line, it was like that little reminder that we were in the big city, just when you felt like you were away on vacation somewhere perfectly beachy and rural.
once we finally reached the beach suggested by neena (which happened to be a clothing optional beach, however clothing is never optional for me, mostly required, especially in public, because i'm a giant pussy), we were ready to veg out and enjoy the rest of the hot afternoon sun. the water sparkled and people jumped off boats that were docked in the shallow shore. we sipped on pink lemonade and vodka, chat chitting away with the most hilarious girl nestled in what was clearly her usual spot. nicki, "like minaj only without the fame or money" was how she introduced herself, offering to share her snacks/joints/ipod stocked with marley with us if we wanted it, she knew almost everyone who stepped foot on that beach, and was the perfect stranger to share our 30 by 30 island day with. at one point during one of her stories, she said "you gotta be good to people, you have to be nice. if you're good to others, it will come back to you, i promise you that hon-nay".
and you know what? she's absolutely right.
and you know what? she's absolutely right.
nicki, cashie & neena, and the island were a perfect reminder of all of that.