Jan 30, 2014

Posted by in Canada, North America, Ontario | 0 Comments

Returning to Toronto

Our epic year of travel and freedom was quickly coming to an end, but sitting in the Ottawa train station time could have been standing still. The train was slightly delayed and so were our party plans. We certainly weren’t late; we arrived with plenty of time before check in, only to find that there was no baggage car on our train. Generally the allowed limit on the commuter train is two forty-pound bags. They tried to convince us to send our bags on to Winnipeg without us, but after seeing what happens to unclaimed bags the day before we weren’t jumping at that chance. Because we were travelling on the Can Rail Pass and Toronto was one of our stopovers, the guys circled our baggage allowance, and we just had to take over the baggage storage at the front of the car.
IMG_7442Carrying everything we own is just as much fun as it sounds. If it weren’t for the fact that I was MOVING back to NZ and didn’t know when I’d be back to Canada, and the fact that we were travelling through both Winter and Summer to get there, I’d like to think that I would have had a LOT less stuff. One backpack, one daypack, and my handbag, all stuffed full. Stuff-itis.

Arriving in Union, we navigated the best way to get out and going the direction we wanted by asking for advice. One lady sent us one way, only for a man to tell us to go back the way we’d come! A little bit of explanation, and he was escorting us exactly where we needed to be. My friends Mel and Chris live a mere two blocks from Union Station. We stored Thom’s hockey bag in their locker storage, and then got on with the New Years celebrations.

They’d prepared an awesome potluck dinner, which we promptly tucked into. The 11 of us spent what was left of the year playing the card game for terrible people, Cards Against Humanity.

We just a few days in Toronto, and instead of cramming in a whole lot of touristy sights, we just laid low and spent time with my beloved friends.

On New Years Day, we took the Go Bus out to Unionville to watch the Winter Classic hockey game at the pub with my bestie, Melissa from The Mellyboo Project and her beau. We spent the night watching movies and shooting shit for the last time for a while (insert sad face! I’d gotten used to having Melly handy).

Returning to the city the next day, we ventured out in the deep freeze to grab a few groceries to cook dinner for Mel and Chris. I’d come across a recipe for a Chickpea & Mint salad that were going to try, and Thom was going to whip up some apricot chicken + couscous.
IMG_7456Thom and I love cooking, and it was awesome to be back in the kitchen. We took our time, and even made chicken stock from the bone-in chicken to flavor the couscous.  While cooking, I dabbled in a bit of Wisers with Chris, and like I said, we took our time cooking, allowing for a lot more drinking time than I was prepared for. Once my belly was full of delicious dinner, I was ready to sleep like a baby!

The next day, Mel continued to prepare her exams and worked on a little gratitude and reflection, preparing to start the year on a positive note.
IMG_7458That evening we had another games night with another couple of my friends from university, this time testing our brainpower with Scattergories. I can’t believe that the whole time I was in Toronto, I didn’t take one photo with any of my friends. I guess that’s what living in the moment can do to you, and it’s not the worst thing, I suppose.

On Saturday, I got up bright and early to meet one of my fellow Luscious Life ladies on the subway. We were going to a New Years kickoff motivational talk. Our plan of when and where to meet was completely hindered by a water main breaking at Bloor-Yonge station, which resulted in being bussed to St George station and then pretty much going in circles to find each other at the station. I was proud of myself for navigating my way around detours though, a true sign of how much I’d grown since the first time I was in Toronto nearly 10 years ago, and completely intimidated by the whole system.

Our departing train was scheduled to leave at 10pm that evening, and during the day I got a voicemail message for Thom informing us that the train wouldn’t be leaving until 12.30am. This was only the beginning what was already a long trip.


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