The TDot Experiment*: Day One-Nineteen

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I thought I would save time writing out this blog entry in my notebook in the odd downtime but–what do you know?–on a bleary red-eye flight on Tuesday-Wednesday, I left it on the airplane! Oh well, I needed to move on and start using a new notebook anyway.

My mini-holiday to Vancouver over Christmas could be described as perfectly splendid. I want to do it all over again but in fairness, I think next year will be in Halifax and it will be 180o different. Sniff, sad already.

Friday. As I last blogged, I made it to the airport in the nick of time despite having a departure time very close to when I got off work. Traffic not being crazy and a last-minute half-hour delay of my flight gave me time to queue in the longest YYZ Tim Hortons line ever and get dinner for the flight. We were further delayed another hour for take-off with having to remove checked baggage of passengers who failed to show up at the gate (I don’t know how that happens) and let on stand-by passengers. Knowing that flying west takes longer than flying east, and having gotten myself onto the flight, I was rather impatient and for once flying wasn’t a pure joy. Perhaps I was also not accustomed to sitting on the right side of the plane which is where I had to sit based on checking in “late”. My flight was so late NPY got to watch his entire Canucks game before picking me up and we did a little shopping on the way downtown. I was adamant about having Japanese ramen this trip but nothing was open in Coal Harbour on a Friday after 11 p.m. We ended up at our old stand-by, Congee Noodle House, which was acceptable to me on the grounds that we were ordering different dishes from “the usual.” Using FourSquare, I checked in which was fortunate because Ed and Olive saw the notification and joined us and it is super fun and energetic whenever they are around!

Saturday/Christmas Eve. Since I passed out so hard the night before, we successfully managed to meet up with my paternal grandmother and uncle at 12 for lunch. I selected Duotian where you design your own noodles and design your own claypot rice. It’s a bit new-fangled for my relatives but then I don’t mind taking the reins because I get what I want! Then I met up with Kitty for coffee and a short turn around the mall. When I saw her last in the beginning of December, we also met up with Cari and Cari and I really dominated with our fresh and exciting news (all about jobs) so it was nice to just get caught up with Kitty. Then we were scheduled to join NPY’s parents and his paternal grandmother for a gut-busting four-entree Chinese dinner at Congee Noodle King, another favourite of ours. I was too full of food somehow already and ate only vegetables and egg tofu. And two shrimp and a few bites of rice forced upon me. I cannot pass up the fried egg tofu in the Buddha’s Feast dish there.

Sunday/Christmas Day. I wondered if I would dread Christmas Day and opening presents at NPY’s as I do at home with my family. Although Christmas Day usually turns out alright, there’s a fragility to the merriment in my household that comes from the family dynamics, the overbearing sense of broken dreams, and whatever else. I’ve griped to NPY about how he couldn’t understand where I come from, his family being so normal… but is it his fault? With three “kids” and parents who are young and young at heart, there is a lot of levity in his house on Christmas Day. They bought presents in pairs like the same Bench jacket for me and his sister, the same North Face jacket for brothers, and magenta Hunter boots for mother and daughter. Of course we took pictures wearing our matching gear! Then we had to scatter and hustle to prepare for being out the rest of the day. NPY and I stopped by my aunt’s house in Point Grey. We were there before dinner to spend time with the family before their rush. I enjoyed getting caught up with cousin Meg who was studying abroad for a year and when her sister Karin speaks up, we pepper her with questions because she often takes part in some really unique activities… like recently being a wine fairy through her circus school…. We stayed long enough for my Toronto cousin Alan to come by for dinner and NPY could meet one more of my cousins to get the complete(ish) picture of my family. Then we were off to NPY’s Uncle Andy’s for their buffet-style meal in their house that’s kind of like a playhouse with Fußball, table tennis, movies, gaming devices, and poker and mahjong table set up! The house was full to the seams with each of four siblings on this mother’s side having two or three children apiece amounting to a large number of cousins and significant others. NPY and I are the oldest cousins but we don’t really notice with the parents’ generation being so active.

Monday/Boxing Day. I wasn’t sure I could last much longer with the abundance of food and waking up “early”. We met up with Ed and Olive (again) and Bonny for afternoon tea. Thankfully where I had chosen for us to have proper French afternoon tea on Boxing Day was a winner. Faubourg is a bit of Paris (they say, I haven’t been) in Kerrisdale and we had Pink Tea sets augmented with some bowls of cream of mushroom soup. We might have been feeling burned out and went over to Andy’s where rules and propriety don’t really exist and just hung out. I love when he gives a tour of his PH and friends are just floored by his new digs on the west side. I still hadn’t gotten my Japanese ramen and my craving was strong so we brought Ed and Olive along to Kintaro for the most unfabulous dinner with the 20-minute wait, not sitting together, and very hole-in-the-wall venue. Still, I got my ramen and finally got to try out Kintaro! Then we were back to Andy’s and fatigue just overtook me. Alas!

Tuesday. Originally, we had plans to meet up with Frank and I had selected Yagger’s where one could get from a light to real meal. But, like us all, the holiday burn out caught up with him and we’ll have to catch him the next time. Eventually, NPY and I made it out the door and to Thierry where I originally wanted to meet Kitty. Another new patisserie, this time in the heart of downtown. We couldn’t try nearly as much as I wanted to which just means there’s a reason to return next time! We hit a couple of malls to get out of the soggy outdoors–it rained every day I was there prompting NPY to say I brought the rain with me, ha!–before joining his family for a birthday dinner at Fatty Cow for hot pot. Hot pot is a fun way to get together for an informal good-value group dinner and seems to be a “traditional” ever since it was so funny (not) that time Lil Sis and I had hot pot before a flight and I was just miserable in discomfort. These days, I’ve learned to wear leggings for the dinner and going into the flight! NPY saw me off to the airport and… we’ll just skip ahead to the part where I got onto my flight! ;)

96 hours in Vancouver. 37 hours in Toronto. 60 hours in Halifax. Then back in Toronto. That was the last week and the week to come!

******** This is a blog series complementing my regular blog posts with the original idea was to share our parallel lives, NPY’s and mine, while I’m in Toronto and he’s in Vancouver, 3,400 km away. For me, it’s been pretty fun because I’m this long-time blogger and enjoy repackaging parts of my life in “blog bites”. It’s been more difficult for NPY who hasn’t experienced a change in scenery (although I do not think it is necessary) so I’ll be continuing this with just my photos. I might have something every day. I might not.

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