I love when a Saturday road trip turns into something even the one who surprised the other with the idea didn’t expect.
All I could do today, when I felt the warmth of the new April sunshine on my cheeks for what felt like the first time in months, was sigh in contentment. It was the perfect day for a drive.
Around here we have cities named after the iconic cities of Europe: London and Paris. I hadn’t remembered ever visiting Paris, but the downtown area was supposed to be a wonderful little spot.
As we drove into the town it was clear that something was going on. Parking spots were hard to come by and the street was full of people, some wearing kilts. We parked a few blocks away and over the bridge, happy to walk the extra little bit. As we stopped, briefly at the railing, I listened to the rushing water of the river below and felt perfect happiness.
It took us a while of walking around the concessions of carnival food and the live entertainment to learn what this event was.
The Lions Club was there putting on a pancake brunch, with local maple syrup. This was The Maple Syrup Festival.
The scent of sausages, hot dogs, and French fries was on the fresh spring air. The noise of the vendors could be too much for me at moments, but the town camaraderie was a lovely thing to behold.
I love small town festivals and seasonal events. Seeing families out for a nice day together and people, neighbours and friends talking and laughing together is lovely to witness.
I’ll admit some of the live entertainment and local talent wasn’t my cup of tea, but to each his own.
Any place with baked goods, cheesecake, a bookstore, and a chocolate and fudge shop is just fine by me.
Maple cupcakes, maple bacon doughnuts, maple everything. The live demonstrations of maple syrup-making showcase what the area has to offer.
The best possible finale was a catchy early season pipe band performance. As the bagpipers played “Scotland the Brave” it made me think of a scene in the third part of the miniseries: “Anne of Green Gables – The Continuing Story”, a particular scene when the soldiers are going off on the ferry to fight in World War I to honour their homeland and Britain. The pressure to be patriotic gives the scene a strong sadness. I never forgot that song. Hearing the bagpipes playing it live and right in front of me made me feel the connection to the Maritimes I still can’t explain.
This was no Paris, France (no city of love, lights, and romance), but it meant just as much to walk hand in hand with my favourite person; it’s all about the one you’re with, not where you find yourself. That right person and the perfect circumstances, that can make the moment. He hadn’t looked up events happening in Paris, but there we were, watching his beloved Celtic performers. It felt like the kind of fate that can be found in Paris, France in a novel; some things are meant to be. This lovely combination of Paris and Scotland was the perfect touch of Europe here at home in Canada.