Our trip back to our old stomping grounds in Toronto was all at once exciting, fun, sad, exhausting, and surreal.
The surreal part came when we wandered into stores or through our old school and people just smiled and nodded to us as if we’d never left. Very Rip Van Winklish.
The excitement of leaving the city for a great adventure helped us to skim over the sadness of goodbyes last year, but that sadness hit my better half like a Mack truck on this trip. It all came to a head after dinner with her best Toronto friend, when she realized we wouldn’t see her again before we left town. L absolutely lost it, howling with despair and spitting out those fearsome words “Why did we even have to move?!” and “Why didn’t you ask me if we should move?!”
After the tears subsided she rallied somewhat, because she is nothing if not a trooper, but ever since that night she’s been a bit fragile, especially when it comes to her friends here. We just don’t have as many of them as we did in Toronto, I guess.
Plus when she gazes at the city lights she becomes rapturous. She does love the city.
I paused on the front doorstep and asked the Boss…
Me: Do you want to walk through one last time and say goodbye to the house?
Her: Not really.
The wisdom of six-year-olds.
Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in. – Michael Corleone
At some point during our epic last day in Toronto I had a sense of being ensnared… it just went on and on and we couldn’t get away… it was as if the city was reaching out to grab onto my leg, howling “don’t go!”… we were caught in a sticky web of complications and endless things-to-take-care-of. Besides the spontaneously regenerating piles of stuff to clear out (see step 71), there always seemed to be just one more task, one more, one more, one more…
Like in the horror movie when, just as you’re turning to leave the cemetery… a bony hand shoots out of the earth to seize your ankle in a hellish death-grip!
Must… leave… town… Must… get… away…
Noooooo! Don’t go!
favourite restaurant – Yumi sushi
Last dinner out, and farewell to other favourite places in Bloor West Village…
Our favourite old-school diner, complete with pictures of hockey players and race horses on the walls, and old-timers sitting at the counter. The first place that Lizzie ever blew bubbles in a glass of milk with a straw.
Lizzie’s favourite smoothie place
Lizzie will miss this place!
fountain at Jane and Bloor
This is the spot where they put a big Christmas tree made of lights every year, and a rather alarming Santa Claus totters around the crowd.
After wandering through the neighbourhood on a gorgeous warm summer evening, we end up at the house of my best friend, ally, support, comedic relief, sympathetic ear, cocktail taster, organizational whirlwind, style counsel, shopping guru, and fount of general good advice. Hard to leave!
ooooh so tired!
last sleep in an empty house
One of our favourite things to do on long weekends in the summer is to jump on the bike after dark – Lizzie in her jammies – and just follow the sound of fireworks… follow them to wherever they’re being set off by generous neighbourhood dads and giddy teenagers, in parks, schoolyards, soccer fields, or even (ill-advisedly) from balconies and on street corners.
Happy Canada Day, Toronto!
Shocking fact: neither Vancouver nor Victoria have subways! Farewell magical underground train!
Wait a minute, back up a bit. I missed a few steps that occurred before the truck arrived…
As a way to keep your spirits up, always underestimate how much work lies ahead. If possible, invite people over for goodbye visits right when you’ve got the most packing to do…
We hosted an open house deck party for two afternoons a mere 2 days before the moving truck arrived. Either the smartest or the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.
On the downside… 2 days before the moving truck arrived. Aieeee!
On the upside… I really needed a break from the packing tape and bubble wrap.
On the downside… the Boss had fun but was definitely becoming irked with constant goodbyes and “smile for the photo”s.
On the upside… some sweet goodbye time with good friends. (And some lovely photos too.)
P.S. On the topic of over-extending myself… did I mention we made special Canada Day cookies too? (Am I insane?)
Inflict another annoyance on soon-to-be-ex-neighbours, as monster truck pulls up. Grovel about asking people to move their cars. Panic over last minute packing. And then panic some more. Marvel as movers manoeuvres the piano. Then get back to panicking. Hyperventilate and dash about. Repeat.
And I KNEW I didn’t need a truck that big! My stuff only took up about 1/4 of the space in that thing. Even so… I came by train to Toronto 24 years ago with all my belongings in a trunk. The accumulation of detritus is sobering. I am a tiny snowball rolling down a hill, transforming effortlessly into a colossal town-crusher of an ice bomb.
But, I hasten to emphasize, I didn’t FILL the truck. I didn’t. I hope my neighbours don’t think I filled the truck. How many of them saw the truck anyway? My belongings only took up the front part of it. I really don’t have that much stuff. I am not a candidate for that hoarders show! (Am I?)
(Hmm. Why am I so embarrassed by my possessions? I rather like my possessions – that’s why I possess them.)
Ah well, back to work. Bubble wrap the artwork, seal up the boxes, stay out of the way of the movers, make the keep-it-or-toss-it decision about a million times in rapid succession… The boss grew weary of the whole procedure pretty quickly, and defected to a friend’s place for the afternoon. I soldiered on, until…
… bye bye stuff! See ya on the other side!
To be honest, we started this last fall, when we went up the CN Tower. There were a few places we’ve never been that I thought we should see before we leave. Our tour has included:
So handy to have all the year-end stuff popping up in the middle of packing! Today is the last day of school, and I think we’re all done – last gymnastics class (with handmade card for teacher), BIG dance recital (ditto card), last school library books returned, school concert (in sweltering gym), last babysitter day (handmade card), plus another card and gift for teacher… done done and done!
(p.s. kudos to the Boss for sitting down agreeably and churning out all those cards!)