em>**consider this your warning for the upcoming photo heavy post!**;)
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of witnessing my eldest brother marry the woman of his dreams! It was a magical day and I couldn’t be happier for my big brother and new sister-in-law.
Being that we live in Ontario, there’s always a risk of having a wedding in the dead of winter due to unpredictable weather conditions. Up until last weekend, winter here in our neck of the woods (the greater Toronto area) has been pretty non-existant. So, it’s only fitting that our luck would have to run out THE DAY that the majority of our side of the family had to make the 4.5 hour trek to our Nation’s capital, Ottawa, for my brother’s big day.
I had spent most of my Thursday stressing out at work while I continued to check Enivronment Canada and The Weather Network in hopes of some miracle to occur and stop the impending storm. No dice.
Thankfully Chris and I had Friday off with a plan to drive to Ottawa in the morning, and pump out a quick cardio workout at the hotel gym before going to the rehersal. Needless to say, things didn’t really go exaclty as planned. We left our house at 9:30am on the dot and hit the completely snow-covered/scary 401 highway. I was at the wheel because my car is the only one with snow tires and Chris doesn’t really know how it handles in winter (it has a manual transmission) and I was pretty much shaking the moment I left the house.
The road was BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD. As in, the snow was falling like mad, the wind was howling and there was no sign of a plow.
For the first part of the drive – as in the first 1.5-2hrs I don’t think I drove any faster than 60km/hr. You couldn’t see the tracks of other cars on the road and visibility was next to nothing. At that point, I needed a break and pulled off at a service center. To give you an idea, here’s a shot I took looking out the window of the center.
You could barely see across the parking lot!
While on that break, Chris enjoyed a turkey sandwich from Tim Horton’s, a mozza burger from A&W and an egg white breakfast sandwich from Tim Horton’s. LOL!!! .. I had my 1/2 of an apple and 10 almonds. 😉
After the short break, I mustered up the courage to keep on going so off we went. I then suggested that Chris snap some shots of the road to give you all a better idea of what we had to deal with. These were all taken around Kingston, but the road pretty much looked like this or even worse the entire way.
We finally pulled up to our hotel at about 4:15pm – meaning out trip, which normally takes just over 4 hours, took just under SEVEN!! Upon checking in, we essentially had time to get our bags to the room, and pretty ourselves up before heading to my parent’s hotel for the rehersal.
The rehearsal went off with out a hitch and we finished off the day with an INCREDIBLE supper at the restaurant e18ghteen. I tried so desperately to snap photos of my food all weekend, but the lighting in the restaurants was less than ideal, so you’ll just have to drool over the description of the food I ate. For my appetizer I had: TOMATO SALAD – Micha goat cheese, black olive tapenade, Bekkah Valley Lebanese olive oil (amazing!!), for my main I had: ROASTED ALBERTA BEEF TENDERLOIN –
sherry onion confit, bordelaise sauce, truffle whipped potatoes and Le Coprin Mushrooms. Next up was cheese: PATTE BLANCHE, QUEBEC – this is a triple cream cow’s milk cheese with flavors of hazelnuts mushrooms and sweet butter. And to finish up for dessert I had: CHOCOLATE CUBE – with passion fruit sauce and passion fruit gelato. It was a perfect meal.
Now let’s fast forward to the wedding day!
The snow had stopped, and the temperature had plumeted. After a not-so-successful hunt for breakfast within our hotel, we had to bundle up and walk the 2 blocks to an Eggspectation. It was FLIPPIN COLD!!! As in the wind chill was about -35 degrees C!!!! Upon our arrival, I downed a nice hot mug of coffee and this delightful breakfast (along with some toast).
Oh and to give an idea of the snow fall from the day before, check this out. I snapped this shot from the restaurant showing a tractor trailer hauling snow out of the downtown core.
With our bellies full, we headed back to our hotel – The Minto Suites, which was fantastic btw – and got changed to go to the gym. We pounded out our workouts (which you read about yesterday) and then ate some lunch and got ready for the main event!!
It was my first time in a limo and I was pumped!! Can you tell?? 😉
We were a little early.. *cough cough Joey* .. as in 30 minutes early! (I think someone was excited!) So we cruised around Ottawa a bit in the limo before arriving at our destination – the wedding venue in the Byward Market.
I don’t think they could have picked a better venue. It was just gorgeous!!! And all of the decorations complimented the building itself perfectly.
With the ceremony ready to begin, I got my camera ready to with the plan to watch my big brother’s face as his bride began her walk down the aisle. If I remember correctly, I think the words “Wow! she looks sooo pretty!” came out of his mouth as she began her walk. She did look STUNNING.
The ceremony was just right. It was perfect. It even included a reading by yours truely (my heart may have been pounding at this point)
With the “I-Do’s” said, and my brother now a husband – giving me a new sister!! – it was time for the party to begin.
Roasted butternut squash soup with garlic maple syrup and crème fraiche
Salad – organic mixed lettuces, toasted pumpkin seeds, blueberries, ginger and maple emulsion
Salmon – pan seared line caught organic salmon, cauliflower, capers, rasins, lentils, leeks, yuzu vinaigrette (I wish I could have gotten a better shot, but had to use the flash)
Cheesecake – gorgonzola cheesecake, maple-braised pears, butterscotch, hazlenut praline
Everything was SO amazing and they couldn’t have picked a better menu!! MMm I’m still drooling now as I look at these photos because I know how amazing it tasted!!! 😉
Following the outstanding supper, we all got up and danced the night away. Despite having really sore feet at the end of the night, the day and night couldn’t have been more perfect. I am so so happy for my brother and new sister-and-law and can only hopw that they are already completely relaxed enjoying the sunny skies as they embark on their cruise today. 🙂
..oh and just to finish this off… for interest sake.. Chris shot these off to the side of the highway just outside of Ottawa. The aftermath of the Friday storm!
I can’t believe my brothers and I are all married now!!! We’re all grown up!