After my European holidays, I went to Ottawa, my hometown, to attend the nuptials of Jen and Rob and to spend time with my parents and close friends. The little group of us – Jen, Sarah, Ali, Bill and I – has known each other for over 25 years. Cocktails were served the evening before the big day, on the penthouse (24th floor) of the Westin Hotel downtown. We were all struck by Ottawa’s ‘picturesqueness’ – I, personally had never seen such a view of my own city. After an unfortunate month of deluges, the day of the wedding party couldn’t have been more blessed. Undeniably, it was me who brought the clear skies and sun from the Mediterranean. *wink*
Friends from all corners of the world had flown in for the happy couple’s big event. In addition to their respective families in Canada, Germany and the United States, friends and co-workers from Sweden, Jordan, India and The Hague, where they’ve both been living and working for years, made the trip to attend. The evening wedding and reception took place across the river in the Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Québec. Glass and totem poles dramatically rise up to the top of the building, like a modern cathedral, and frame a stunning view of the city of Ottawa. Elegant beyond belief, it was the wedding of the millennium.:)
The other reunion in Ottawa on this visit was that of me and Janice, a dear friend and colleague from Architecture School. Janice and I shared a truly unique experience – we were roommates in Prague, Czech Republic during a Directed Studies Abroad trip while in our 4th year of university. Shortly after graduating, she moved to Hong Kong where she’s been working ever since with theatre and casino developers on the island of Macau. It’s a high responsibility, high-stress job on a relentlessly intense and fast-track construction timeline.
Catching up on the years since we last saw each other, she expressed fond memories of us night swimming many moons ago in the Gatineau River at my family’s cottage in Chelsea so we made a point to stay up there overnight. The moon was a light bulb in the sky. Surrounded by arresting tranquillity and stars, the moments we spent there couldn’t possibly have been more different than the life she now leads in the ‘Bright Lights, Big City’ of Hong Kong.