May 2-4 weekend (Toronto Life Ep. 263)

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It was a glorious weather Sunday and I was mostly cheerful to be on my own, free to set my own schedule. And then, in a blink of an eye, the weekend was over.

Lil Sis told me that what we call Victoria Day, the last Monday before May 25, is known in these parts as “May 2-4“, a nod to the opportunity to drink an extra day and possibly outdoors as the weather tends to be nice by this time. She wrinkles her nose at the bastardization of what traditionally honours Queen Victoria’s birthday and I’m not too pleased to know this either.

I was ambitious and accomplished on Saturday. Set out on foot on a big circle hitting up the ghetto-fabulous Dollarama on Spadina to shop, as much as possible, steals from the bargain basement (literally) store. I count amongst things that are worth getting at $1-$2 citronella candles, double-sided tape, lightbulbs (4s), batteries (4s) and document folders. Well, that’s just what I got. Then I took my potential-$5 coupon to Canadian Tire to get a 2-in-1 floor lamp and reading lamp that was $11.99 (60%) off and hoping for an additional $5 off. Just my luck, $5 coupon was not for Canadian Tire but their partner in the offer, M&M Meat Shops. Boo. And with a leisurely visit to Loblaws on Queens Quay, I’m set for food for a few days.

On Sunday, I actually made it out onto my balcony. But it was not until the mid-afternoon and my balcony is 100% shaded by my building. While it will make for a cooler space when the city really heats up in summer, it’s not too much fun only getting to bask in sunshine in the morning. Something is just wrong with that.

On Sunday night, I bargained with myself about running for two hours and ten minutes on a treadmill or a much-needed run the next morning outdoors. The morning run outdoors won out, of course, because it meant postponing the difficult task and I had no difficulty waking up. Lil Sis and I deliberated if I shouldn’t run straight up Yonge Street and stop a few blocks short of her place and it would be the 13 miles I needed. I was really tempted as we would be having dim sum lunch with relatives in Thornhill and it would be quite the novelty and shock to tell them I ran all the way from 1 Yonge Street to Richmond Hill (8000 Yonge Street). That is similar to the awe we’d get running from the Broadway Running Room to New Westminster when we really get up there in marathon training. But I had to bring the long overdue presents for my new “niece” (whom the parents, first cousins of mine, informed me is actually my “cousin once removed”) so I had to design a run that returns to my apartment. It turned out that 6.5 miles would take me out to Humber Bay Arch Bridge which is a new(ish) icon of Toronto and I’ve long to see in person. I set out from my apartment without so much as a watch or my phone or money to hop onto transit, not 100% certain of the “trails” to get there. It’s not much of a surprise that I only got as far as Ontario Place when my brain quit the run. It wasn’t going to be a scenic or high-trafficked route. The pay-off (seeing the bridge but with no camera to memorialize it) was not enough. I was listening to the most aggravating audiobook (or book) ever (David Nicholls’ One Day) but I feel committed to the story now having listened to 45% so far. So I turned around and walked/ran my way back to civilization, wondering if I would have stuck out if I had run up Yonge Street. It is chockful of civilization although counting up to 8000 was surely going to make it seem like I would never make it. When I got back to the apartment, I did a good 60 minutes on the treadmill with all sorts of interesting stimuli watching the Victoria Day revelers leaving Union Station and heading to some festivities or touristing along Queens Quay, watching Live! with Kelly through closed captioning and listening to a far more interesting novel (The Girl Who Played with Fire).

Working out in the condo gym, I felt like I could get myself that much prettier than a two-hour sweat-soaked outdoor run and then I head up to Thornhill via subway. I read tuned out everything and read East of Eden. Lunch with relatives is pretty predictable. How are you? Everything’s good. How’s work? It’s busy but good. Downloaded any new iPhone apps? From which I learned about Logos Quiz and I’m stuck on the first level! 90 minutes later, I was back on a train heading downtown. More East of Eden read. Because I wanted to visit one shop on Bloor, I got off there and walked very slowly the rest of the way home as my pretty espadrilles are comfortable until the soles of my feet start to burn and the laces have worn away some of the delicate top of foot skin.

That is enough excitement for me!

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