Tuesday, April 25, 2006

And finally, the low-down on being downtown TO...

Ok, let's all take a deep breath and pretend the previous post didn't happen.

Let's go back to a simpler time when all I have to report is who I saw, where and eating what....

We are traversing the annals of time, back by, er, about 2 weeks when Dave and I left LAX (having just seen Prince - the popstar, not Dave's parent's dog) in transit to TO.

And because I am trying to erase squeamish images from your brain I am now going to pepper it with inconsequential details to lull you into greater forgetfulness. This is the blogging equivalent of Men in Black's black sticky thing that makes you forget. (A sentence which would have sounded a whole lot cooler if I knew the name for the 'black sticky thing'.)

Anyway after seeing the petite and glowering Prince, Dave and I hung out in the smallest Air Canada lounge in the world...so small you have to leave it and cross several hallways to get to a bathroom. (I forgive Air Canada.....I forgive Air Canada).

Strangely the smallest muffins in the world that they were serving up for breakfast weren't filling me up and so I was absolutely forced, ney, compelled - almost dragged with my arm twisted behind my back, as it were - to Starbucks. There I ordered a Venti Latte (with 1 shot...don't hate me, I don't really like coffee). Meanwhile Dave ordered his bafflingly complicated Chai latte (one of the joys of being in the US is that the Starbucks staff actually understand our drink orders first time round.....oh ho, not so in UK or NZ).

Yes I tell you this fascinating detail about me ordering the latte for 2 reasons:

1) I have learned from the great blogger Alyn Jones that it's all in the details


2) I am preparing to brag that I made that extra hot Venti latte last for 2 hours into the flight.

Yes, ladies and gents...I was still enjoying that beverage 1 hours and 59 minutes AFTER Dave had guzzled down his thermo-nuclear-reactor-hot chai. This is particularly pleasing as it was one of those flights on which they serve you no food....even though it is about 5 hours long. (Repeat after me...I forgive Air Canada....I forgive Air Canada)

Ok I am seriously going to have to rein in the level of detail from now on or this WILL be the never-ending post.

Anyway eventually we arrived into Toronto....with a frenzy of excitement that was making my hair curl...and stampeded out of the immigration and luggagey places to meet our smiling friends.

Who weren't there.


Quickly we deduced that we'd come out of some weird alternative portal and that Sarah, Lynley & Stuart were waiting at another place down the hallway. This gave me the opportunity of rushing at them from an unexpected angle and throwing myself on Lynley before any of them had spotted us. Now THAT was fun.

Then there was lots of screaming and hugging (that was just Stuart)....and admiring of Lynley's bump and Sarah's new jeans...and lo and behold...we were back!

OH MY GOSH. It was just so amazing...and totally weird. I think cos I'd imagined it for so long, it was totally surreal to actually be experiencing it. Clearly I was all about eating at Milestones...not that I'd been craving the spinach and artichoke dip for the longest time....so off we went.

Happy sigh.

Anyway, it was just so fab to catch up. And I realised that Toronto feels like home...seems like home only feels like home after we leave it. What is it with that? Will we ever catch up with ourselves and feel at home where we are?

And I nearly cried when I saw the multiplex cinema at Queensway - in all its huge, multi-screened-ness. Such a far cry from Taupo cinema and its glossy advertising.

So that was Thursday evening.

Friday, Stu and Lynley had taken the day off and we started by going to TACF (how's that day off coming there Stuart?) and having a tour of the new school building. But oooh, oooh, ooh, I forgot to mention my FIRST TIM HORTONS BAGEL. Can I describe the joy of its toasted wholewheatness and it's gloopy cream cheeseness? No I cannot. It was divine.

Yep anyway so we saw the new building (gorgeous) and went around TACF to try and say Hi to people. Sadly we seemed to pick the day when no-one was at work....but we did get to see Robbie and Jon P...and Laura again...and Kimiko...so that was cool. But no Russ, Jo, Caroline, Bill, Nicole, Joanna or Peter.....sniff, sniff....

Then we headed off for lunch, kidnapping Sarah on the way. Clearly we had to go to the Thai Royal Orchid. I re-introduced my stomach to thai food for the first time in 3 months....KAPOW. (Or was this Saturday? I forget)

Then I think we went to Yorkdale just to bask in it's glossy bigness. Again I nearly wept with joy. If I wanted nail polish remover or pot pourri - I could find it in this town!

Lynley, Sarah and I went to Thyme Maternity...while Dave and Stu went to the Mac store. There I got ambushed by the manager of the store who clearly recognised fresh blood when she saw it. She herded me into a changing room and brought out, conservatively, about 800 outfits for me to try on. Lynley explained the pregnany clothes options....something about banded, roll uppy things...and er....I seem to have forgotten the rest. Then they gave me this weird pad that you strap around your tummy to add 3 months of pregnancy....and I saw myself in the mirror.

That took 10 minutes to recover from. I mean it's not like I looked horrible with a giant distended stomach. I think pregnant woman look fab. It's just seeing yourself pregnant for the first time....is pretty freaky!! Anyway, I got over that and with Lynley and Sarah's help we managed to steer clear of the bright pink tie dye tops the manager kept thrusting on me...and I bought my first maternity clothes. AW. A proud moment indeed. I got a pair of dark blue jeans, some smart brown trousers and a couple of tops.

We had dinner at Stu & Lynley's and watched a movie...and it was all just SO totally amazing to be there again and be with them.

Saturday night I had some girly hang out time with the beauteous Sarah Dalley which was, again, amazing and wonderful....and I am going to cry now I've written this stupid post cos it was all so fab and I miss you all so much.


What else?

Another highlight was seeing Cathy...she was just back from Dallas...and she took Monday off to hang. So we went to Milestones and ate eggs and then went shopping for boots. Cos when you're needing winter boots and Cathy's around - you know you are going to score the jackpot. We went to Dixie Outlet and found a plethora of divine boots at half price and below. So I bought a fabulous pair of Aldo knee length light brown suede boots with furry lining for FIFTY BUCKS....and another pair of ankle boots for half price....woohoo.

Then to Starbucks for more catching up and chatting and as always being inspired by Cathy's view on life and God and her compassionate heart. Oh my gosh it was Sooooooooo good.

I've lost track of days but sometime, Jon P took us out to dinner at the Queen Mother Cafe where we had just too much fun to shake a stick at. I mean is anyone more fun than JP???

I had Starbucks with former student Joy who had driven up from Michigan to see me....wow, now you feel valued when someone does that! It was so great to see her...and then I bust into Carol's cell group and disrupted that for a bit before having lunch with the lovely Carol.

Oh, and Sarah cooked dinner for Stu, Lynley, Gordon, Cathy and me and Dave...and then Alyn and AJ showed up cos they'd just arrived back from Australia and it was a room full of my favourite people (not exclusively you know)....and ok, going to cry again.

Yeah so, in conclusion it was great. Managed to get a few hugs with Linda Cho....missed Shannon...missed Bill & Caroline....missed Peter and Joanna...oh and so many people, which was really sad. But I guess when you come back for 4 days what do you expect? Bah.

And then we had to say goodbye again...and not know when we were going to see each other again...and bla bla you know how that goes. Well if you don't, I know enough for the 2 of us.

So yeah. It was a dream come true.


Anonymous Alyn said...

It's all in the details babe, it's all in the details. Great blog update.

And not to be an Air Canada defender, but all North American flights now-a-days have the food to purchase 'feature' (unless you are in the J cabin). Which sucks, especially on a five hour flight from/to LAX.

It was truly a treat to see you both when you were here in good old Toronto.

10:57 PM  
Blogger A.J. said...

We miss you too.... do you have another sibling that can get married in the summer?

1:59 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

You have such a great way with words - I felt like I was there and now I miss everyone too and I'm not anywhere near as close to them as you are, but I still miss all those lovely people and ofcourse you as well.

Love Ash x

3:43 AM  
Blogger s@bd said...

seeing as you went to all of my favourite places while you were here, it's actually pretty weird that we didn't run into each other ...

1:46 PM  
Anonymous caroline<> said...

Glad you had your love tank well filled on the whirl wind of all whirlwind trips to the UK:) We were sorry to have missed you too, we both saw Dave briefly (which was good, except I was swamped with work at the time)
but nay adele... sniff sniff, would have loved a hug, a giggle and brief low down from the turquoise queen... but heh at the rate the Richards travel around the globe, we will hopefully see you again soon~ maybe with baby richards... soo very very excited for you both, and of course the baby who is going to be loved, doted upon and taken on amazing fun filled adventures by its mum and dad.
Hugs from TO.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous caroline <> said...

also do have to add I am on a continual journey of forgiveness with Air Canada as well. How can people compare it with BA... I mean really!?!

3:37 PM  
Blogger JP said...

It was sweet to see you!

By the way, who was that chap who roomed with you?

2:43 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Loved having you here.. It felt like normal life, or life as it should be, except maybe we would all be in new zealand then!!
love you crazy dear friend...

10:32 PM  

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