I was in Montreal and Vermont over the past week.  I was born in Montreal and loved the city.  It’s urban, Euro, pretty (in most places), has amazing shopping and food, and the people are beautiful without even trying.  Growing up, I always felt there was no better living than city living.  We had a pleasant 4 days there and then drove to Stowe, Vermont for my niece’s wedding.

The last time I was in Stowe, my daughter was 5 months old and glued to me most of the time, and the weather was horrible, so I guess I didn’t have a true appreciation for the beauty of the town and its surroundings.  This time, I fell in love with it and wished we’d had more time to spend there.  It’s a mountainous town full of active people who like to run, bike, hike, kayak…  We drove up the mountain and took a short hike to see the beautiful Bingham Falls, a natural wonder.  The water was crystal clear.

To get back to Toronto from Vermont, we decided to drive the scenic route that took us through the High Peaks region of Adirondack Park in New York.  This included a pleasant 1-hour ferry ride across Lake Champlain.  The winding drive through the Adirondacks was worthy of any Mercedes car commercial!  The views were absolutely stunning.  The highway runs adjacnt to the west branch of the gorgeous Ausable River and I swore I could see Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt fly-fishing in it!

The natural beauty of Stowe and the Adirondacks brought me back to a question that I’ve often asked myself: does nature nurture your psyche?  I find I am incredibly at peace when listening to waves in a lake or ocean, or staring at beautiful mountain ranges or a roaring fire.  It’s (almost) as nurturing as going to a spa!  In the midst of nature’s beauty, I am in the moment, which is how we’re told we should always live.  But how easy is that when you’re stuck in yet another traffic jam on the 401 (don’t worry, though; it’s “just volume”), surrounded by haze and car fumes, and an inchworm can move faster than you?

Every fall, we go to Prince Edward County and every time we’re there, we always ask ourselves, “Should we move here?”  It’s a quaint, sleepy area on Lake Ontario; it would be a simpler life.  Wouldn’t we be so much happier?  Then I open my eyes and think, “But where will I go for my sushi?!” and the dream ends.  For now, I suppose, a good escape to be one with nature is good enough for the soul, but I know there’s a reason I keep thinking about it…!

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