This past weekend my dear friends Chad and Joel came up from Columbus (Ohio) to have a few days in Toronto and to celebrate Joel's birthday. These guys are heaps of fun and always up for a good talk about a million topics, so we had an awesome weekend of talking pretty much continuously while doing different things around the city... I showed them around some of my favourtie parts of the amazing city of Toronto, and while we looked around I also had the opportunity to start to say goodbye to this town. In exactly a month I'll be in the air, flying home across the Pacific. Mum talks about a process by which homes becomes houses: up until now Toronto has been a home; I am now transitioning to just staying here. I don't love it any less, but I have a different connection while I find my mind and heart turning to the next steps.
While they were here, we celebrated Joel's birthday. I love birthdays - mine and everyone else's - and in this case we celebrated it across two days... his 'actual' birthday on Saturday and a birthday dinner on Sunday. I refuse to not have a birthday cake of some sort, no matter what the circumstances, so on Saturday evening after we sat out on my porch enjoying yummy food we'd picked up at markets over the course of the day, interspersing each course with a gin n tonic course, we had a candle in a 'cake' for Joel. The cake? A small pile of marshmallows, handmade by a little candy store we found, which were (allegedly) gin n tonic flavoured!
|Happy Birthday Joel - the GnT marshmallow bday cake|
Nadine came and joined us for dinner on Sunday, and we went to a place called 'Canoe' which is an extremely fancy-pants restaurant in Toronto with amazing views and very flash food! It was a lovely time, and the originality and freshness of the food was such a feature of the time there... I admit that I discovered something apparently everyone else knew... if you order 'Beef Tartare' it means the meat is raw. And, in this case, has a raw quail's egg on top of it! Hm, not exactly the style of steak and eggs I grew up with (which was cooked hehe) but hey, diversity is a beautiful thing! :) For me, it was a once in a lifetime experience... something to ponder and memories to relish.
|A rose between two thorns...? Hehe|
|The Canadian contingent|
Speaking of canoes, I realised this weekend that I am ready to come home to the Pacific... I love it here, and have such good friends here, but as I turn my mind towards my ocean I can feel a salty tidal tug also on my heart.
This morning, Daniel and his two dogs Raven and BamBam (BamBam is forever known as FatDog to me tho - such a sweet thing!) are hopping into a prius and driving across to Vancouver. Driving for 6 days in one direction can only be done in a country of Canada's size and magnitude, and I have to say I can't wait... Daniel is finishing off packing the car, and I'm staying out of his hair while he does the last few things, and any minute now we'll be heading off! A huge adventure... which I'm looking forward to immensely. We'll go through towns, cities, prairies, rockies... and it will take a full 2 days of driving just to get out of Ontario! A mammoth trip in a gigantic country. Will be blogging every nite.
Journeys remind me of roads and rivers. There are stones out the back of Daniel and Kent's place, near where we had a bonfire last nite and burned some of their paper rubbish in the warm evening. There are stones in my rivers at home. There are stones in Manoa valley. There are stones in a small town called Mildura in Australia. Kohatu. Stones. My heart is in all of these places...