It is with the heaviest heart ever that I have the time to blog and write this post because it means that NPY’s weeklong trip to Toronto is wrapped and he is back in Vancouver. After last October’s trip that was nothing short of disaster on all fronts, I needed to make sure this trip did not permanently scar him about the city that will, in some way, always be a part of me, my home-away-from-hometown. So these are the things that I did to make sure I struck a balance between presenting the city as a place to call home and making it feel like a trip with new things to see and do (emphasized in bold).
Part way through the week, he asked me if I wasn’t making it so nice with the activities I had planned that he could stay. Yes!! No!! I just wanted him to have a good trip. Toronto ain’t so bad….
- cleaned out a drawer so he wasn’t living out of a suitcase, freed up a bathroom bin
- apartment tour to show off the amenities like fancy gym, squash courts, basketball court and pool
- a home-cooked pasta “carb-loading meal”
- a trip to my local market, Longos in the fancy Maple Leaf Sports complex
- meeting up with me and Lil Sis at the Exhibition grounds after the Yonge Street 10K
- indulging in one of our traditional post-run brunches at swanky Thomson Diner
- getting good use of our two-rides-for-one TTC day pass zipping to Bloor-Yonge/Yorkville, Bloor-Christie (Koreatown), Chinatown and Kensington Market, including a visit to Carole’s Cheesecake Cafe for taffy apple cheesecake that pleased NPY (apple) and me (cheesecake)
- watching the Canucks’ last game of 2011/2012 on the two-storey screen at Real Sports (North America’s best sport’s bar, according to ESPN)
- “road trip” to the ‘burbs to check out large and new-ish Vaughan Mills mall that has the Banana Republic Outlet that delights us
- visiting an enormous bubble tea house, Destiny Tea House, at the “plaza” of big box restaurants at Highway 7 and East Beaver Creek
- an all-you-can eat Japanese food feast at Ten-Ichi in Scarborough where NPY ate three handrolls
- DYO salad and DYO grilled cheese lunch from Druxy’s, a favourite and standby for me
- my gift of a $10 GC to Second Cup so he can enjoy the honey vanilla tea latte I discovered
- on-the-point directions through the PATH from my work (southern tip) north to the Eaton Centre
- meet-up with his client at a Panera, in Canada only in Ontario so far
- take a dip in one of two condo hot tubs followed by visiting the sauna–not just for fun but therapeutic reasons
- lunch at Clipper Cafe, for Bay Street people “in the know”
- pre-movie dinner at Bannock for Canadian-sourced comfort food
- finally watching The Hunger Games and NPY, who ignored all reviews, was roundly impressed and says he’ll read the next two books in the trilogy!
- lunch from Soup Nutsy was marred by it being 1 p.m. and they were out of the sherried lobster bisque I wanted NPY to try and the chunky chicken noodle soup he wanted to try; dessert to our lunch was a divine chocolate cupcake with strawberry icing from Prairie Girl Bakery
- totally spoiled him for dinner because I can now easily execute two dish dinners in my dream kitchen (i.e., roomy, bright, modern, long counters); dinner consisted of beer mac & cheese, soy sautéed asparagus-zucchini-grape tomatoes, NHL Alumni Hat Trick wine (a blend of Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay), fresh fruit dessert of mango and strawberries, and a second cupcake from Prairie Girl Bakery with chocolate cake and cafe au lait icing.
- lunch at Marche was unfortunately very average
- dinner with L&V at swanky, lounge-y Spice Route and an eye-opening tour of SPiN, the table tennis club found in New York and Milwaukee
- since making it for myself a few weeks ago, I was looking forward to making Spam & Egg “Mc”Muffin with hashbrown patties as our lazy Saturday brunch dish
- followed by a big exploration day on the TTC pass we could share: Toronto Music Garden where we made our own fun, St. Lawrence Market, Distillery District and a visit to Mill St. Brewpub to catch part of the NYR-WAS game until all the screens were changed to Blue Jays baseball, bleh. We strolled through Trinity Bellwoods Park and sought out the exterior of Being Erica’s apartment at 337 Palmerston Boulevard. We ate in Korea Town at Tofu Village which has exceptionally high reviews.
I almost feel like I was on a week-long vacation with some work that occurred at regular intervals during the day. It was brilliant but real life resumes now.