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Travel Diary #1: My First Time Being a Bridesmaid

August 7, 2018
Travel Diary #1 - My First Time Being a Bridesmaid _ Tiny Ambitions

It seems weird to be sharing a travel diary in written form (isn’t that what Instagram is for?). However, it was such a wonderful weekend that I wanted to take time to savour it and share all the best bits with you. If you do follow me on Instagram, you know we were back in southern Ontario last week for the wedding of my dear friend’s, Leigh-Anna and Jason. Leigh-Anna wrote a guest post for me about planning her minimalist wedding and it’s awesome (you can read it here). Here’s how our trip down south went!

Weather Story

Our vacation started like so many other vacations out there – with delays at the airport. Of course, we didn’t know about the one hour and a half delay until we were already at the airport and through security. Classic. I’m an anxious traveller and the fact that we had a pretty tight connection did not help. But, we did end up making it all the way to London, Ontario without a hitch. It was a little later than expected, but nothing that a good night’s sleep couldn’t fix.

Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
No matter how often I fly, I’m always in awe of being above the clouds.

We started our day in London with breakfast with my mom. She was gracious enough to bring Mr. TA’s car up so we could drive it to Peterborough (and then to Kingston to sell it).

With the car in hand, it was onto the 401! If you don’t live in Canada or Ontario and you don’t know what the 401 is, count yourself lucky. Even at 10:30 am, traffic was already backing up, so as soon as we could we got on the 407 toll road (so worth the money). It was smooth sailing after that!

After many hours of driving, we made it to Peterborough! It was a quick salad in my face and change for me and then off to the wedding venue to help with set up and dress rehearsal. I have never been so stressed to walk in a straight line.

It was unbelievable to see just how much time, effort and attention to detail go into a wedding. I have mad respect for my friends and their family because this could not have been easy to organize around their jobs and lives. Never having been in a wedding before, I didn’t really know what to expect out of the rehearsal dinner. Those are two big scary words that romantic comedies have taught me to fear. But, it was so lovely and I got to spend more of my evening hanging out with dogs. (So, it was pretty much the best night ever).

Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
My friends have the cutest fur babies.

Nice Day for a Friend’s Wedding

After a very restless night’s sleep (let’s pretend I was just taking stress off the bride), it was time for the wedding! I opted to pay to have my hair and makeup done because I have zero skills in that department so my day started with that. It was an amazing experience (and so worth the $120 we paid) and now I know why it looks like I’m never wearing makeup even though I do on a daily basis – I’m not using nearly enough!

After a couple more hours of set up, photos and lunch, it was time for the big event! Everyone looked amazing and we all somehow managed to keep it together as my friend came down the aisle. Everyone except the groom, of course, he was a mess (but, we expected this lol).

It was a beautiful experience to get to witness my two close friends tie the knot. There really isn’t anything better than seeing two people in love making that commitment to each other in front of their closest friends and family. And with that, it was time to boogie!

Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
I guess we clean up ok.
Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
The award for best legs at the wedding goes to the lady standing behind me.

I was starting to feel a little under the weather (thanks zero sleep and lots of travel), so I didn’t partake in the liquid celebrations as much as I would have otherwise. That was probably for the best since the next morning I felt as fresh as a daisy (minus the cold that was brewing inside my head).

The morning after we headed back to the venue for breakfast, takedown and presents. As a minimalist, I was curious to see what the wedding ‘stuff’ would look like. Leigh-Anna and Jason did something super cool for wedding gifts that I would do if I ever get married. They accepted monetary gifts to go directly towards their honeymoon next year. I just had to call up their travel agent and give them my details. It’s a genius idea and one that I’d never come across before. Plus, it’s way more useful than some gravy boat or china set that you’ll probably never use.

Way Down to Trent Town

After we finished with the wedding festivities, Mr. TA and I hit the road to Kingston. But, we had to first stop at my Alma Mater, Trent University. Trent isn’t the only school I went to for post-secondary (thank you, Masters degree), but it is the one I remember most fondly.

Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
My alma mater is prettier than yours. Fact.

The campus is unbelievably gorgeous, especially in the summer. Walking through campus, I thought about how weird it is that we spend up to four years in a place, and then never really go back (or at least, that’s been my experience). It seems weird that such a memory-laden place at such a formative time in a young person’s life doesn’t hold more value.

I wish I lived closer to Trent because I would visit it every chance I had.

Travel Diary #1 _ Tiny Ambitions
I mean, come on. Who wouldn’t want to go here?

The Backroads to Kingston

Something you might not know about my relationship with Mr. TA is that our primary bonding happened/happens when we’re in the car, on long road trips through rural and remote places.

This time, we drove from Peterborough to Kingston through a dozen small towns that are only a couple of streets and houses big. Since moving to northern Ontario last year, I had forgotten how beautiful and picturesque southern Ontario (and eastern Ontario in particular) can be. Of course, I didn’t manage to take any photos while we were driving so use your imagination.

The Great Ring Debacle of 2018

We had dinner that night with family and when we got home I realized I had left an expensive (i.e priceless) family heirloom (the ring I wear on my middle finger), in the restaurant’s bathroom. I immediately panicked and called the restaurant. By the grace of some unknown power, the ring was still there so I sent Mr. TA back into town while I hyperventilated in peace (and finally undid my wedding hair and makeup).

Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
At least if I’d lost it, I’d have this sweet photo as a reminder.

All’s well that ends well, but I’m going to write more about this little debacle in a future post because it’s had me thinking about heirlooms, memories and minimalism.

Saying Hi to Gord

The next morning, we went into Kingston to check out the new redevelopment of the pier and to pay homage to Gord Downie. For those of you who don’t know, Gord Downie was the frontman of the Canadian rock band, The Tragically Hip, who passed away from a rare form of brain cancer last year. His death rocked all of Canada, not because we didn’t see it coming, but because Gord represented the good and the great of Canada. He was also a fierce Indigenous advocate and wanted to make a difference in the lives of people.

Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
Mr. TA always coordinates his outfits with the monuments he’s visitings.

Related: Tiny Bites 07: Gord Downie and Letting Go

The Hip are from Kingston and also happen to be one of Mr.TA’s favourite bands. Kingston decided to name the new pier in memory of Gord and it is a beautiful monument.

Back to the Bay

At this point, it was time to catch my flight home. Thanks to my cold, the flight was a less than pleasant experience thanks to a coughing attack and some seriously painful plugged ears (now I know why babies have such a hard time on flights).

Travel Diary #1 | Tiny Ambitions
I wasn’t joking when I said I love up-in-the-air shots.

I made it home without incident and was greeted by a very sleepy fuzz monster. While we were away, we booked a pet sitter to come and check on our cat every day. Because Bacall gets anxious when in a new space, this was the best $84 I’ve ever spent. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

It was a quick trip home but it was perfect. It was slow and fast all at once. Most of all, it was a celebration of love between two people I hold dear. If that’s not a good excuse to take time off work, I don’t know what is. This also happened to be the only vacation we had during the summer. But, I think it’s safe to say that we enjoyed every moment of it.

What have you been up to this summer? Share your adventures in the comments!

Image Credit: Tiny Ambitions

  • Lisa August 9, 2018 at 3:54 am

    Welcome back! I so enjoyed reading your travel diary, Britt! I had so been looking forward to reading this! You look absolutely radiant and relaxed at the wedding, and what a gorgeous lavender dress too. (Also, I love how Mr TA’s wedding outfit shirt perfectly matches your bridesmaid dress! Very matchy and chic. ☺️ ) It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Trent University looks really beautiful. It reminds me a bit of my own alma mater here in Brisbane (Uni of Qld), where there is a big lake teeming with wildlife, surrounded by trees and grass and with some nice boardwalks, too. Personally I find that kind of university so much nicer than the more modern concrete-heavy unis that are common in inner-city areas. Anyway, I’m now looking forward to your future post on heirlooms, Britt! That’s an interesting topic that always sparks a lot of conversation and reflections.

    • Britt August 9, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Thanks, Lisa! It was a lovely mini-vacation. I’d say that we didn’t plan Mr.TA’s outfit to match, but I’d be lying lol I really loved that dress. Now I have to figure out how to alter it to wear it again for other, less fancy occasions.

      Your Alma Mater sounds so nice! There are a lot of urban universities in Canada and they never appealed to me because of their concrete factor. It just never seemed like the ideal environment to encourage higher thinking.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Erin | Reaching for FI August 8, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Aw it looks like you had a lovely trip, and omg you looked amazing for the wedding!

    Haha the experiences aren’t great while we’re going through them, but isn’t it amazing how unpleasant things make for good blog post ideas?! Glad you found your ring!

    • Britt August 8, 2018 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks, Erin! And you’re right. Everything that doesn’t go according to plan becomes a blog post. Not a terrible way of coming up with content!

  • The Luxe Strategist August 8, 2018 at 12:51 pm

    That bridesmaids dress was made for you! Such a pretty color and perfect fit.

    I also couldn’t sleep the night of my friend’s wedding. I don’t know why–it’s not like I was the one getting married! But I was so nervous for some reason.

    This summer is going to end in a bang–going to Iceland and then a few days after on a family trip to Texas over Labor Day!

    • Britt August 8, 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks, Luxe! I’d like to thank my IG followers for voting on the neckline 😉.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets stressed for other people’s weddings.

      I can’t wait to read about your adventures! Iceland sounds amazing!

  • Sarah August 7, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful getaway. I’m glad you guys were able to get some time to make it a real vacation. And here’s to road trip chats, we’re all for those too!

    That bridesmaid dress is so pretty, the colour looks so great on you!

    • Britt August 7, 2018 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! It was nice to get to turn it into a little vacay after the wedding (to give ourselves time to recover). I absolutely loved the dress too! Now I just have to figure out how I want to tailor it for wear on less formal occasions because I think it’s so cool.

  • Tread Lightly, Retire Early August 7, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Seriously cute bridesmaid’s dress! I’ve been in a couple of weddings now but they’ve all been pretty laid back (including my own), so I don’t know what I’ll do if I’m ever in a fancy wedding lol

    • Britt August 7, 2018 at 7:27 pm

      Haha thanks! This one was pretty laid back too. I’ve been to some fancy weddings and I always feel so out of place!

  • Leigh-Anna August 7, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    So thankful for you my dear friend ❤️❤️

    • Britt August 7, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      I’m still so honoured and grateful that you wanted to include me in your big day. It was an amazing night and I can’t wait to keep making memories with you and Jason. <3

  • Clare August 7, 2018 at 7:11 am

    I’ve been a bridesmaid five times. I’ve always found it incredibly stressful (mostly because I didn’t want to mess anything up on someone else’s big day), but looking back at it now it was worth it. So many great memories, and photos! It looks like you had a great time. I also live in Ontario so can relate to part about the highways – even though I am careful with money the 407 is usually worth it to me, so much less stress and hassle, and time sitting in traffic!

    • Britt August 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm

      I know the feeling – I didn’t want to ruin Leigh-Anna’s big day. Since we live in northern Ontario, we very seldom have to worry about travelling on the 400 series highways. It makes spending the money on the 407 all the more worth it! If it was more of a common occurrence, we’d definitely think twice about it, since it is so pricey. Thanks for reading!

    Hey! I'm Britt. I write about living a tiny, simple, intentional life. Because life doesn't need to be lived big.