But we have the better part of a year before the wedding becomes a story, so permit me to proceed to more banal thoughts: at which I excel.
As we drove around town I recalled our little family holiday almost fifty years ago. It was probably less that a week long, more like four or possibly five days. From Montreal, we visited Eastern Ontario, specifically Kingston, Brockville and Cornwall. I imagine it was a bit of a nostalgic stroll down memory lane for my parents who had lived near Kingston for a few years. You see, for a short time, Dad had been a minister in a nearby town and mom had given birth to me in the Kingston General Hospital. My maternal grandmother's clan also hailed from around Cornwall, and mom had spent a lot of time in that area as a girl.
The highlights of the trip were probably supposed to be visiting tourist attractions such as Old Fort Henry in Kingston and the Robert Moses Dam and cruising the Thousand Islands. But I also remember the hotels at which we stayed. I remember the Revere Hotel in Brockville (pretty darn sure that was the name) and one in Cornwall whose name I forget, but it was probably my favourite because it had a very special elevator.
Until then, I had only ridden in elevators that were operated by white-gloved, uniformed women in department stores like Eatons in Montreal. But this elevator I could drive all by myself. And drive it I did. What a kick! I would seize any opportunity to get on the contraption and push the buttons that would take me downstairs to the lobby and back up. I probably drove everybody crazy! You can tell that I was a deprived child.
Yesterday, as we drove around Kingston, memories of the little hotel there suddenly popped into my head. "Of course, it's long gone AC; it wasn't a very grand place way back then after all." Then, about thirty seconds later, didn't we drive by Hotel Belvedere. By golly, that was it! The very same hotel. (Photo from their website, from the side and looking better than it did straight-on from the front.)
I wouldn't have recognized it by sight, I don't think because fifty years ago, I believe we got there in the evening and left early the next morning. But once I saw the name, I knew it: Hotel Belvedere. Partly, I think I remember the name because I kept souvenirs from this trip for a few years: matchbooks and those typical hotel soap bars to be exact: items with the hotel's name in other words. Strange souvenirs, I know, but we didn't get out much, and I'm sure there would have been precious little money for normal souvenirs.
Oh my! Writing that brings to mind that there were, indeed, other souvenirs. I remember now. I also collected pennants from that trip. I'm pretty sure there was one from Old Fort Henry and probably from the rather new St Lawrence Seaway and probably one from the Thousand Islands. I now remember that they hung on my wall for several years.
So, that's the long version. The short version is that yesterday, I drove by a hotel in Kingston that I stayed at for one night about fifty years ago.