Just a thought… Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes – including you. [Anne Lamott]
Hello from the road. From Kingston we go today to Ottawa at long last to spend time with our sweet four-year-old Colin. His Halloween costume yesterday was perfection: a Mountie! I wish we’d been with him for trick-or-treating, but it was too hard a push. Maybe another year?
Instead, we stopped in Aurora at one of my favourite stores, The One and Only Boutique (just west off Yonge, north of Wellington in the St. Andrews Shopping Centre). The theme this year for the Markham Stouffville Hospital Celebration of Hope is “Even Santa Loves Pink” and I had to get my emcee dress.
There are still tickets available for this fun Sunday of shopping, hilarity (with Jessica Holmes) and inspiration, so please do consider joining us if you can. There’s a link in the ‘What’s Up’ section of my homepage, or just scroll up if you’re reading this on Thursday. We’re planning a tribute to Debbie Cooper, too, since she’s a past Hope Award recipient.
Here’s the dress that Maxine at The One and Only came up with for me. I love the ladies at this store and am grateful to them for supporting MSH and making sure I have just the right dress no matter what I’m doing. They always have.
My only regret when I’m in there is that the life I live now, with the exception of this week’s funeral and three emcee events to come, is just so very casual. See the shoes above? They’re way pointier than the Skechers I usually wear. Laugh if you want, but my toes are going “What the heck is this?” when it comes to anything that isn’t super comfy! Ah well, as my mother used to joke (and her mother before her, I’m sure) “You’ve gotta suffer to be beautiful!”
The best part of our shopping trip yesterday was my dear pal Allan Bell and his mum coming by to visit while we chose the dress and shoes for Allan’s huge event. (Holy Moses – I just realized I was in my late 20’s when I first did this Celebration of Hope for Allan. That’s how far back our friendship goes!)
I took a moment to sit and tell them and the two women at the store about the incredible hotel experience Rob and I had. I thought I’d share it with you today, just in case you’re looking for something like this in the future.
The other night, when we realized we’d be coming to Toronto a week earlier than we’d initially planned, I started searching for a hotel room. I went to my go-to, TripAdvisor and up pops The Ivy at Verity – a boutique hotel that happened to be marked down for the two nights we needed.
I knew the Verity as a women’s-only club that had meeting rooms, a gym and many other lovely facilities; when I was hosting Women of Influence events for all of those years, they were a regular sponsor. But I knew nothing of four private and sound-proofed hotel rooms that face onto a courtyard on the second floor of this 1850s vintage building.
The room was as lovely as any in which we have ever stayed and you know we’ve travelled widely, including to luxury resorts with CHFI listeners. An open sitting room with honour bar welcomes guests, and off that area was Room 4, a suite featuring an enormous bathroom with marble features and a private commode and separate shower, plus a bathtub so long I couldn’t touch the end. Three scented salts were offered and I loved the lavender so much that I put the little dish of it next to my bed both nights.
The handcrafted bed was a pillow-topped king with Italian sheets and a mattress that a feature story posted in the lobby stated was $30,000. Okay, what? And it wasn’t topped with George Clooney? Wow. Still, despite our time-confused bodies, we had the quietest, best sleep we’ll have for this entire trip, I’m sure. It was all exceptional from check-in to departure. Yes, parking on Queen Street East (near Jarvis) can get costly. That’s one drawback, so I’d try hard to leave the car at home.
Oh, I almost left out one of the nicest touches: a breakfast tray left at our door at 8 am both mornings featured warm croissants, a carafe of coffee, juices, fresh fruit and yogurt and granola parfaits. All part of the room charge which we were lucky to get at $299 a night. It could easily have cost nearly double (and at certain times, given the fluctuation of travel prices, I’ve no doubt it is).
We couldn’t have been happier and I highly recommend the Ivy to anyone wanting a getaway with a girlfriend, a significant other, or just on your own, if you can swing it. There’s also a luxurious spa there, too, as well as a gym that is for women’s use only.
I didn’t get any discount in return for writing this and am offered no reward or remuneration for sharing my hotel experience. I just thought, if you were my girlfriend, I’d tell you about this place in a heartbeat. So that’s what I did. And if it’s out of your price range – and trust me, I know a getaaway like this is, for most – maybe just some lavender scented bath salts from the drug store could be your own spahhhhhh touch this upcoming November weekend?
Have a fantastic day and I’ll be back here with you tomorrow.