Left sunny Vancouver yesterday at 5am only to arrive in down-pouring rainy Toronto a few hours later. The flight my sister and I were on was supposed to arrive one minute after the flight my parents were on so we could meet up conveniently at the baggage carousel... only problem was due to the rain they had only one runway open! Then it took us 3 hours to sort through luggage, van rentals and drive to our B&B in downtown Toronto in the middle of rush hour gridlock traffic. Ah, the joys of big city life!
I must say though, I know I haven't had much time to blog recently. Life has been so insanely hectic in Vancouver. I was desperate to get away for a break to round up the family for a little "vacation" in Toronto. You know you're wound up when you think Toronto will be a restful place for vacation compared to the leisurely pace of Vancouver!
But it turns out it's still enough of the change of pace I needed to slow down and open my eyes. I don't usually have fond memories of Toronto itself -- other than all the visits over coffees and meals with friends each round of 3 weeks I spend out here every year. But I found myself quite enjoying pointing out the sights to my mom who was sitting beside me in the van while my sister and dad sat in the front navigating the rush hour traffic, weaving through express ways and one way streets.
Florence and Dad were like two peas in a pod in the front seats and really worked well together in getting us to places. Mom and I were like two peas in another pod, chatting on and off in the back, nodding off here and there because we had both been up all night getting ready for the trip (surprise surprise). If there was ever any doubt about how my sister is a carbon copy of my dad and I am cut of the same cloth as my mother, this trip expels all question about that!
I noticed for the first time in awhile the endearing mom and pop shops and character of the older brick buildings around town, compared to the slick shiny glassy buildings of Vancouver. Of course there are the usual franchise stores, but a lot more family shops and restaurants to balance it out. I was reading in my dad's CAA guide that Honest Ed's is the best bargain shop around still (a few floors of Army and Navy type of goodness)... no big box stores to be seen here!
Then I was reminded and inspired to take mom and dad around all the neat little neighbourhoods around town just to walk around and take in the sights. I hope we get time to do that... the trip has turned from "vacation" to helping my sister settle in and find a place to live (she got her dream job with CBC Toronto as a Media Librarian... a perfect combo of her background in history, journalism and library sciences... way to go Flo!)
Overall I think we are in a healthy place in our relationships with each other, but still am noticing our communication patterns that can be improved. It was quite funny tonight when my sister said in a hushed voice to me, "I didn't realize how loud our family talks!" I couldn't hear her over the fan of my laptop, so I kept saying, "what?! what? I can't hear you!" and she finally said more loudly "I didn't realize how loud our family talks!" Classic irony. :)
Anyway, I should probably go to bed now... I thought I had adjusted to the three hour time change forward due to being wiped from my previous all-nighter which got me in bed at normal Toronto time last night, but here I go the second night in town now staying up until 4am local time... I guess my insane hours are more of a pattern than I wish, no matter which part of the coutnry I may find myself in!
Goodnight... or perhaps shall I say, good morning!