Warning: This is a VERY long monologue post about our long weekend. Come along on our journey… if you dare 😀
Brian, the Mr., and I have a life much like everybody else’s, we work. Literally day and night. Me, here at the store during the day 10 – 5 (weekends are reserved for soap and candle making), Brian has the night shift from 7 – 7. I get up as he is getting home, I get home, we eat and he heads out. Well, late friday for the Victoria Day weekend, or May 24 if you prefer, he decided that we need a long weekend too. So rather than heading north like everyone else, we headed to Toronto!
We arrived late Saturday morning. Since we were going to be staying at a friends over the weekend and he was out doing his thing for the day we had lots of time to just wander around. First thing we did was take a stroll through the Eaton Centre. We stopped at the fountain to watch the water shoot into the air. We watched as the pool slowly filled up to overflowing, then it drained, then we waited for the woosh of water hurtling itself into the air… What we saw was NOTHING 😦 Apparently it doesn’t do that anymore. Boo, that was the whole fun of watching the fountain, the anticipation waiting for the great gush of water, a geiser if you will, rising not once, not twice, but three times into the air at heights of, I believe, over 80 feet! Anyway, we toddled on to brows some shops.
Even when I’m not here in the store, my head is, so I’m always looking for inspiration for displays and such, so it was fun to see how the “big boys” do it. There was a store that sold handmade soaps etc. in the mall so of course I had to check that out! I have never been in this particular brand of store, I’d only ever seen their website. They have a fantastic concept and they have some unique ways of displaying their wares, but I just didn’t like the smell. Maybe it was just a certain fragrance that I’m not partial to or a combination that just wasn’t right for my nose but I unfortunately I couldn’t stay very long. And, I read their ingredient lists. All this time I had this image that they were the be all and end all of luxury bath items. 😦 Anyway off to continue our stroll.
On the trip from MoFo to TO the zipper on my “good going out on the town purse” broke, and since I haven’t had a new purse in years, I decided to buy a new one. I know, I know, I SELL purses, but you know the story about the shoemaker… well just think of me that way 😀 I knock around town with this really old bag that I call the “Black Hole of Calcutta”. Generally anything that goes in it never sees the light of day again. I’m serious!!! Somehow I had managed to lose my garden shears in there! I couldn’t find them for about 3 months, I ALWAYS put them back in the same place so I honestly have no idea how or why they were in my purse! So we stopped in one bag shop. Nope nothing in there that I liked, so we went across the mall and there was another shop with bags and luggage, took a poke around and some of the bags were already on sale with another 25% off on top of that!!! SWEET!! Tada!! Mama’s got a brand new bag!! 😀
My new purse!
Well we criss crossed our way through the mall then out onto Young Street, the longest street in the world. Wow, has it ever changed! I remember spending countless hours in the arcades with Brian. Yes, yes that was many, many moons ago since I’ve worked in Toronto and even more since I lived there, but still, have I gotten THAT old!?! Now there are tones of places to eat, side by side by side and a Brick store…. a BRICK store on Young Street of all places! I was completely lost on a street that I used to frequent. Thank goodness Brian has a great sense of direction because I was all turned around, I couldn’t even find the Pickle Barrel while almost standing on top of it! The only place I recognized was the Zanzibar Tavern and if you don’t know the Zanzy then you probably don’t want to know, so that’s all I’ll say about that! 😀
Now I have very, very bad knees, and for me this was a LOT of walking so Brian hailed us a cab and we went down to Queen Street since our friend Garth doesn’t live too far away from there. We toddled along Queen for a bit, then since time was getting on and we were getting a bit dry we stopped in at the Friar for a drink. You may think that we live in the stone age, but neither Brian or I have a cell phone. We were supposed to give Garth a call before heading over to his place to be sure he was home. Well seems there is no such thing as a pay phone on the streets anymore so I asked our waiter where we might be able to find one. He told us there weren’t any but kindly let us use the house phone to make our call. Our timing was bang on because apparently Garth had just gotten home about 5 minutes earlier 🙂 So now it’s off to Garth’s apartment for a comfy sit down and chin wag.
Now Garth is an aficionado of beer and he had just returned home from a beer fest in the States. While he was there I very sweetly asked him to bring me home something nice. He did!! This is what he got for me that is not available in Canada. Cool eh!
Pretty cool, huh?
He also had a little gift for Brian.
Bet ya can’t guess what this is
You may not recognize what it is right off but as soon as Brian opened the box he knew. Yes, dear readers, it is a Sigmoidoscope! Garth’s father was a physician and this was one of his instruments. Years ago Brian was helping Garth clean out a shed and they came across this packed away. Brian had commented on how cool it was and Garth had remembered. You are probably thinking that that is kind of a strange gift to give someone, but trust me, not to us. Brian is a Registered Nurse and I have some medical background in my past too so it is absolutely PERFECT and it will take pride of place with Brian’s hearse collection… don’t ask, we are strange folks 😀
Garth made us a lovely spaghetti dinner and we spent the evening sprawled out on his couches and watched the ball game and listened to people shooting off fireworks.
Sunday morning came and Brian and I got up, had coffee and figured out what to do. We decided on going to the Distillery District and, as luck would have it, there was Artfest at the Distillery going on. They had just about everything happening. We listened to some musicians, watch a glass blower, saw a $110 pepper mill (no, it wasn’t made of gold either, just wood), and all kinds of things. These are a few of the pictures we took as we walked around of some of the original brewing stuff, trucks, kegs etc.
As we walked past one booth there was a woman wearing a coat and tunic that both Brian and I commented that it looked really nice. We stopped back later and had another look and talk with her. It was made of boiled wool in a waterfall style. No buttons or pockets and because it was made of boiled wool it had just raw edges so there was nothing to take away from its simple elegance. I tried one on and LOVED it and Brian said it looked good on me too. Unfortunately I just couldn’t afford it 😦 And, stupid me, I didn’t even think to get the woman’s card or anything but Brian did read that she’s from Loretto so I’m in the process of trying to track her down 🙂 No I’m not a cyber stalker, I just really, really liked the coat! We went to The Beer Hall at the Mill Street Brew Pub and had a glass of their very own Root Beer that they brew on site. It was really tasty and they gave us a little plate of mini muffins to nibble on too. 😀 After we left there we went back towards Garth’s place and stopped at a pub called The Ballroom a place where you can eat, drink and bowl! We didn’t bowl, but we did eat and drink and watch the start of the ball game on one of there many tv’s.
Garth’s apartment overlooks the AGO and there is a little park that we could watch people play with their dogs from the balcony. With it being Victoria Day weekend people were firing off fireworks. Well, as I was out on the balcony I heard some guys yelling at each other, so me being naturally kind of
nosey curious and being 19 floors up, I thought I’d just take a peek to see what all the hubub was about. There were two groups of guys just yelling and huffing and puffing at each other then they just turned and walked away. Then suddenly there is this big bang and a ball of blue fire that one group had fired off at the other group. The part that really shocked me is nothing came of it. Both groups just casually walked away from each other, no shouts or anything… the guys who were fired upon didn’t even run away!! Oh well, I guess that’s Toronto.
The noises from the fireworks continued on until finally it got dark enough that we could actually see them. Way across the city we were able to watch the fireworks from about 5 different places along the skyline and somebody down in the park set off a few that we were able to watch a little closer. They were pretty but they just don’t have the oooh aaah factor when you are looking down on them but they were still nice to see.
Anyway Garth made us some Lillian Lasagna for dinner. Lillian is Garth’s mom, and her lasagna is like no other lasagna you’ve ever had. Next time you make it try this… instead of using ground beef substitute it for pepperoni… Sooooo Goood!! Tired out and with a full belly, we hit the sack.
Monday was another walking tour of the city. First we hit China Town. Wandered along the street and Brian said that finally I’ve found a place that suits my calling… Asked him what he meant and he said it’s the only place that people walk slower than me!!! LOL, The Nerve!! We saw a sign for breast enhancing massage and Brian wondered if they were hiring!! We saw all kinds of stuff that was hanging in the windows, some of it we recognized as chickens or ducks, but some of it I have no idea what they were! There were these florescent orange things with a large balloony part with these smaller tentacle type things hanging down… I don’t think I’d wanna put that in my mouth!!! Ewe!!! But hey, each to their own. We went to one of the Chinese malls and browsed in a pet store and Brian bought me an air plant 😀
We continued our walk over to the Kensington Market. We stopped for a bite to eat at a place called Tempelton’s (I think) where even before you order the waiter brings you a big bottle of nice cold water and glasses. It was very much appreciated as it was a very warm sunny day. As we were enjoying our meal on the patio, Brian was once again mistaken for Alan Rickman!!! Yes folks, it’s not the first time this has happened when we have been out! Hehehehe, when the guy said “Hey, are you Alan Rickman?” Brian just put his finger to his lips and said “Shhh”, the guy went away happy figuring he saw a star I guess. 😀 Maybe Brian should work on his British accent, ya know, just to enhance the effect.
Neither Brian or I see the resemblance, do you?
Not Alan Rickman
We finished up there and headed off again, finally making our way to Queen Street again where we took a break to rest my knees at the Horseshoe Tavern. Cummon, when you are on Queen you’ve just gotta stop at the Shoe 😀 Since time was winding down we had to get back to pack up and go out with Garth for a good bye drink and dinner at the Town Cryer before heading home. Now, I don’t drink beer but I’ve always wondered what Cider tasted like. I didn’t want to order a glass only to find out it was yucky and not drink it. Garth asked the waiter if he would give me a couple of samples to try and he did! They were both nice but the one I decided to have with dinner was called Liefmans Fruitesse. Turns out this really tasty fruity drink is a beer after all! Brian and I are going to see if we can get it ordered in at our LCBO in MoFo (they really don’t have much of a selection) to enjoy on our patio during the hopefully hot summer to come. We finished dinner, thanked Garth for putting us up,
putting up with us hugged and were on our way home.
Now the one thing, THE ONE THING, I wanted to bring home with me was some Baklava (insert drool here). Usually, there are shawarma shops all over where I’ll pop in, get two of each variety and bring them home to slice off little bits and savour. The one shop that Garth told us about was closed on the monday when we went by (we couldn’t find it earlier) and the second one had moved or something, so no baklava for me… yes, I am very pouty about it too. 😦
While we are away, our good friend Jeff, takes over the role of “Critter Sitter”. He comes into the house to make sure the cat, Cleopatra, bunny, Of No Particular Name, and birds, Coco, Moe and the Babies, are fed, watered and entertained. We always try to find a little gift to bring back for him to say thank you for the great job he does. Well, this whole time wandering through town, we kept an eye out but didn’t find anything that was appropriate. Luckily as we were on our way back to Garth’s place to pack up, we passed a place that sold the most beautiful Geodes, Fossils and stones. What caught my attention was this large Dinosaur Skull in the window with a sign saying “For The Person Who Has Everything” so of course we had to stop in. Now Jeff has a lot of stuff, but I don’t think he has everything so we didn’t get him the skull, but we did get something dinosaur related. We got him some Coprolite!
So when I saw Jeff on Tuesday when he gave me back the keys to the house I said to him “Sorry buddy, we looked and looked for something for you but this time we got you (I said a different word here) pooh”. He just shrugged his shoulders and said “oh well”… nothing much upsets Jeff. I said “no really, come here, we got you pooh!” and handed him his little gift wrapped in white tissue. Well, he grinned and laughed and knew what it was right away and thought it was a pretty cool gift! FYI, for those of you who aren’t aware, Coprolite is fossilized Dinosaur Pooh.
Anyway, we got back home worn out but happy to have been away doing something completely different for a change.
Thanks for coming along on our trip. I hope you were able to enjoy it vicariously through my writing 😀