Flashback Friday!

June 6, 2014

I've been run off my feet! Although Niagara Falls are gorgeous to behold (as you can see above), the conference we were at was also incredibly busy and eventful. All very good, meeting wonderful people and getting caught up with some politico-friends, though also exhausting once you get home and realize you were ON much of the time being your most extroverted self. Takes a lot of energy! Plus, upon arriving home around midnight on Tuesday, there was little sleep before picking up my babies and then getting going with the rest of the day packed with meetings and teaching and all the juggling required to make the household work. 

I have even done laundry. 

As I was saying before, Niagara Falls is terrifying and beautiful at the same time - Truly wondrous! I had many opportunities to see the Falls from all angles (above, below, behind, beside) and donned a plastic poncho many times. 

Niagara Falls (the city) is actually quite strange. There is a mixture of weird midway-type stuff (think carnies and haunted houses) and also super tacky mini Las Vegas stuff, with chain restaurants everywhere. Moms and pops coffee shop? No way. I'm sure if you're a local there are many hidden secrets, but few my googling was able to uncover. I did run past a fascinating collection of dilapidated motel parking lots, though!

Outside city limits, there are tons of fantastic wineries from small to big. I adored the tasting we had at Small Talk. The ones we sampled were fresh and delicious, and the tasting was so wonderful just being outside under a some trees next to the vines. Definitely one of the highlights of my time away. 

I had been to Niagara On The Lake many years ago with my cousin, though it was lovely to go back a few more times to enjoy the promenade, the gardens, and tasty meals. I found a little place called Treadwell that was a far cry from the food I ate in the city of Niagara Falls. When I saw the words farm to table I immediately found the hostess and asked for a place in the sun. 

I had a very memorable meal (pork belly bennies) with rosé. It was also the first solitary sit down meal at a restaurant that I have had in a LONG TIME. What a treat!

After the conference, it was time to get back to Toronto, home to all our expatriate friends. It was fabulous to see everybody again, and doing so well! Made me feel like I was in my early 20s - In a good way.

 Hung out at the Queen and Beaver with some of our delightful crew, and the next day I had a glass of prosecco at Lil' Bacci while holding a new baby!

My kids sleep through the night now, but I've still got the touch! Alice used to be pretty hungry and restless as a newborn, so I've mastered the art of many positions and subtle, percussive movement. Babies melt in my arms. 

 After a very quick stop in Toronto, it was time to grab some Momofuku noodles and catch a plane.

 I've been holding and kissing the kids since being back - I really missed them! It's been great seeing my students too. As June unfolds, different students are slowly finishing up with lessons. The wonderful Thank Yous have been trickling in and I am reminded again about how much I love the students and parents that I work with. I really do feel blessed about my work - Out of everything packed into my life, my teaching is predictable, consuming (meaning, I'm not bored nor does my mind wander), and incredibly rewarding.

Have a few things on the books this weekend, like riding my bike in the Pride Parade on Saturday! The kids are coming too and Don will take them in the Madsen.

Otherwise, I actually cleared a lot of my schedule so that I could cuddle with the kids and watch a movie with them. After loads and loads of extrovert time, it's time to recharge. 

See you on the other side!


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