Saturday in YYZ.

May 31, 2010

I understand that Edmonton is having some horrific weather back home and I'm not one bit displeased to be amidst +30 sunshine here in Toronto. This is the first time in 2010 when I've been able to walk home after midnight in a strapless dress and still feel warm. How dreamy!

The sounds, smells, and diversity of this great city are still continue to delight.

On Saturday Dexter and I walked up Yonge and strolled about.

Stopped to browse at Holt's and had a very civilized luncheon at the café. Note to moms out there. This place has a wonderful mom's room in the ladies washroom. Change table and chair for nursing! All the restaurants we have been going to have been very helpful with letting us keep Dexter's milk in their fridges. With the hot weather and lack of fridge in the hotel room we've had to be pretty resourceful about it.

Ordered pasta so Dexter could share too.

Dexter slept for the first half of lunch. I took the opportunity to enjoy a prosecco while lounging on the comfy seats.

Upon waking Dexter was ready to party, and charmed all the wait staff. This seems to be a recurring theme here. It's surprising how many people are moms or just love kids. They come right over and take Dexter to go play for 5 minutes at a time, which makes it really easy for me to have him out and about. People have been very helpful.

Something about having the super cute kid (I know I am biased) means immediately having a community of people around you who want to help you take care of the little dude.

Hot hot days require stopping off at the hotel post shopping adventures (two dresses that day) so Dexter can have a cool bath and early evening nap.

And after two receptions at the hotel (conference related) we set out as a family to go meet our wonderful friends, Christian and Salima, who amongst our Edmonton expatriate friends.

Gotta love the tall buildings.

We went to Dazzling on King W. Asian fusion. Yes, please!

The green coconut curry is delicious.

So are the green dragon rolls.

And the company was both divine in intellect and presentation.

I love that Salima can pull this colour off. It's one of the few that makes my skin look like dirt.


We ended the evening hanging out at their apartment with blizzards from Dairy Queen. Yeah, I know. How ethnic! Mine was mint oreo.

And there's nothing like street meat on the way home to confirm that you're in a big, bustling city.

Obviously the novelty of Toronto hasn't worn off for me. Still loving it!


May 29, 2010

There are a lot of things I like about Toronto. I think the street cars are the cutest, and I'm happy to be here again to hear their bells dinging as they crawl up and down the streets.

And speaking of crawling, Dexter is in LOVE with the hotel bed. I'm not sure what makes this one so superior to the beds at home. Maybe because it's very high off the ground? He spent a good forty minutes crawling around on it and throwing himself into the pillows.

The weather here is fantastic. Dexter prefers not to wear clothes.

We did get him decent, however, for some strolling and shopping on Queen W.

We're here because Don is attending the FCM conference. It's super super cute to see people from all over the country here. Upon exiting the hotel Dexter and I were engulfed in a sea of khaki shorts, white running shoes, visors, and cameras/cell phones attached to belts. I suppose we're tourists here too, but I like to think we blend in a little more.

However, Toronto is a big city in the sense that anything goes!

We saw the Amsterdam's twin sister!

Stumbled across a neat dress store. It didn't take me long to make a purchase.

Love crinoline. But the dress I got is sans crinoline.

Beautiful people out and about.

Riding in sandals.

The Subway!

Speedy and convenient.

And surprisingly clean too.

Geoff takes us to Korean BBQ.

Once there we met with Andrea too. We both wore black and white.

So delicious. Don and I are trying to stay away from eating western food while in Toronto. This is THE city for authentic ethnic foods. It's too good an opportunity to pass up on.

Yum Yum.

And we decided to walk back to the hotel via little Italy and made a gelato stop too.

I was saying to Geoff and Andrea that last night I saw more people out walking in the streets on the way home than I have seen in Edmonton in the last 5 years combined. It helped that the weather was fab, so it was the first ideal weekend to be out strolling, but it was just great to see. I know every city has its pros and cons, but since I'm here for vacation I'm going to stick to the positive things.

I love the ethnic diversity here. I love the endless number of eateries that are tasty and convenient to get to on foot or by transit. I love how many cyclists I see out here. In Edmonton it's pretty convenient for me to ride because I live in a central location. I'm sure it's no surprised that back home, bike commuting is a hard sell at times. Here it's not even about looking chic or being environmentally friendly or wanting to make a statement. It just makes sense. It's way faster than cars, without the waiting of transit. Just grab your bike and put your stuff on it and GO.

The only thing that seems scary are all the street car tracks. I hear bike tires have the nasty habit of getting stuck in those. Egads.

The parade of visiting with the most excellent old friends has begun. Can't wait for more!

Mobile Office Take 3.

May 27, 2010

The crunch is on. I leave for Toronto early tomorrow morning and the bibliography is oh-so-close to completion. I made decent progress yesterday, but not enough for my liking. It's not due for a couple more days but I don't want to have to work on it while I'm away. I'm okay with editing it a few times, but not okay with having to lay the foundation.

Speaking of Toronto. I'll be in the T.O. from midday Friday (28th) until early in the morning Tuesday (June 2nd). Don will be at his conference most of the time, but Dexter and I will be bumming around. I have no idea what my schedule is like since our extended network in YYZ is vast, but rather scattered and disorganized. Well, the lawyers all seem to be about scheduling. The creatives are a little more fly by the seat of our pants:)

In any case, if you want to hang out, send me an email.

The reason I keep riding the Amsterdam is because this pannier doesn't fit very well on the Pashley. Takes too long to loop the buckles through Pashley's rack. Plus, I've really been enjoying Amsterdam lately. So light for a cruiser. So light!

I love my new shoes. I know. It's weird. They're so... unassuming.

I've been calling them my potato shoes because they make my feet look like spuds.

Something about them makes me feel like I just baked tons of bread in a wood fire oven, and now I have to load my loaves up into my bike and go sell them at the market. They induce very pastoral sentiments for me.

Notes notes notes. So much reading and writing.

At least I got to do it outdoors in the sun.

I also stalk people enjoying the weather on their lunch break.

Despite the deadlines I had to go meet my friend Chrissy after work. She is moving back to Edmonton from Vancouver at the end of next month! This is my best friend since grade 1. It's a big deal to me. Also, she is pregnant with twins so I will have a mom friend.

Now to do some packing. Never underestimate the amount of stuff Dexter needs. However, I will operate under my usual travel mantra. If you forget it, buy a new one when you get there. Done!

Family Bike Date.

May 24, 2010

If you're a girl bike blogger chances are you've already heard about and are likely participating in LGRAB's Summer Games!

With all my bibliography work before my upcoming trip to Toronto I figured I wouldn't get any of the tasks in the first section done until my return home next week. I'm still riding my bike all the time, I just assumed it wouldn't be things like going on a bike date or a family ride. More like going to the library and parking myself in cafés so I can read and write up a storm.

Despite how stupidly busy both of us are this week, Don suggested we go for a family bike ride after pancakes this morning. It's a long weekend in Canada (Victoria Day) so that's why Don didn't have to go into work. I was still teaching, but not until later in the afternoon.

It was a multi-task bike trip. First we rode around with Dougal so he could have a nice sprint before he was left home alone. Notice the white pickup truck behind!

He's really frisky and hyperactive if he doesn't expend enough energy so biking is really good for the dog too.

Don rode with Dexter in the Madsen. We haven't had time to change the saddle out yet. I think the one it comes with is utterly terrible. I always make Don do the more labour intensive things, anyway. I know that's so typical, but he is more than twice my size!

After picking up supplies for Dexter at Planet Organic we were hungry for lunch and Don said we should do something out of the ordinary. We set out for Tasty Tom's, this place that is totally delicious for brunch but has funny hours (from what I remember). Half a block away we saw Dawaat, this Indian place we like, and I joked about buffet for lunch. Don stopped the bike and said all joking aside, that curries and naan sounded really appealing. So we locked up and went!

I won't classify this as a "bike date" for the summer games because neither of us were dressed up. However, it did qualify as a date in that we got to sit down and hang out and talk about stuff other than the logistics of our daily stuff.

I wore this new dress I got from Joe. It sort of has an identity crisis. On the bottom it's this beautiful satin black and white full skirt with pockets. But, it's attached to a flimsy jersey top. I'm not usually a fan of buying thin jersey stuff. I find that it warps and pills and although it is very comfortable, it doesn't look very structured, tailored, or finished. I've been wearing this with a cardigan on top but now that it's getting warmer maybe I can just embrace the upper half.

Don is waiting for Dexter to finish giving high fives before we head home.

Dexter likes to hold on to the edge of his car seat's canopy when we're on the move.

I'll use today's outing as a illustration of family bicycling. I'm hoping to get a bobike on one of my rides soon, so that I don't have to always take the bucket out. Nice thing about the bucket, though, is that it carried the baby and TONS of groceries too. We ran into some friends on the way home and one of them said, "You could go to Costco with that thing!" It's true.

In a lot of the reading I am doing for my Masters there is a frequent distinction made about why cycling in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany is more popular than it is in North America. Education is one of the major factors. Kids across the pond are taught how to cycle when they are young children in school. Generally most of these kids are also taught to ride a bike (as a commuter) very early on in life and it's just how their families get around. These kids grow up with bikes being a normal, regular, easy form of transportation. Imagine that!

I hope Dexter grows up to like riding as well. Then HE can ride the bucket bike to get all the groceries!

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