The original plan was to fly to Washington, DC for a few days then head back to Toronto for the concert, but circumstances left me having to change the plans and they ended up being even better. It's amazing how God knows the timing of everything in our lives and just what we'll need and when we'll need it!
|Building in the Distillery District.|
I flew into Toronto on Monday (June 10) and spent the first few days of my holiday visiting with wonderful friends and their newborn son just East of Toronto. They were great hosts and it was so nice to get to spend time with them and see both the Beaches and the Distillery District. I'd never been to either and besides being different than the run of the mill city experience, both were a photographers paradise which made me very happy that I brought my dslr camera with me. I loved getting to experiment with it in two uniquely different environments.
On Wednesday night I headed back to Toronto for a few days at the InterContinental hotel downtown (thank you online specials!). It was a really nice hotel and in a good location for exploring the city. On Thursday I headed up to the Eaton Centre area to visit with a friend and take part in a few of the activities happening in Dundas Square, including free concerts for a festival that was on.
Friday my brother, sister-in-law and nephew came down to the hotel to visit me. They were staying nearby few a few months while my brother took some courses for work and it was great to see them and spend the day together lounging by the pool and doing a bit of shopping.
After they left I spent some time wandering the streets of Toronto, praying for the people and asking God for opportunities to share His love and it was a prayer that He answered. I had two really incredible encounters with strangers while I was there and it was a faith builder for sure. I'm learning that reaching out to those around us isn't all that complicated once you cross the fear hurdle. God wants to use us and He doesn't leave us hanging for words or details when we are both willing and in tune with Him.
|Taylor performing "Stay, Stay, Stay"|
Saturday was the Taylor Swift concert and it didn't disappoint. I have been to many concerts over the years, but unlike some concerts, this was like a theatre show mixed with the music. There was great special effects like confetti canons, sparklers and fireworks, but also amazing sets that created a different atmosphere for each number. One moment it felt like you were at the Phantom of the Opera, the next at a Cinderella ball, and then it was like the 1920's. The crowd was massive, sold out at 45,000 people and that really added to the atmosphere. It was definitely an experience I won't soon forget and worth every penny!
|View from my room of the waterfront and|
and Toronto's island airport (right).
Sunday morning I spent reading in my room and enjoying the great view I had of the waterfront. After check out time rolled around I snuck in a last trip to Starbucks and then headed home on a Porter Airlines flight, just in time to celebrate Father's Day with my Opa and the rest of the family.
The trip was a real mix of events and atmospheres, but it was truly what the doctor ordered. Or should I say God ordained. Only He could of known the timing that I would receive some really tough news that week and would desperately need time away from home to get some perspective and time to myself to start to process both the news and the implications of it. While I'm not grateful (yet) for that phone call, I am so thankful about the way that everything worked out and for the grace that He sent my way.