TGIF: Home Sweet Home (Almost)

April 4, 2014

food fun toronto

Ahhh… It’s Day 21 of my 23 days of travel, and I have to say: it feels so good to be back in British Columbia. No matter how many times I fly from Toronto to Victoria, the smell of the air when you step off the plane is always a surprise. When you grow up on the island, you don’t realize how clean the air is – and it’s not until you leave and come back that you appreciate the smell of salt water in the breeze. I love it.

Even though I’m happy to be almost-home, I have to say this past trip to Toronto was one of my favourites so far. For starters, let’s talk about some of the food I shared with people: like the post-brunch donuts with Melissa, pizza + gelato with Jess, and burgers + bacon, fudge and sea salt smoothies with Preet. (Yes, that’s a real thing… and it was delicious!) I also came close to licking a bowl of pasta clean, when I met long-time commenter Dayle for dinner. I watched Erik eat “the Caker” at Hazel’s Diner, when I had breakfast with the social media team from ING DIRECT Canada. And then the team had lunches at Fresh and Sprout (best pho at Yonge/St. Clair), and one dinner at Sabai Sabai. I’m getting hungry again, just remembering it all!

Aside from all the good food, though, it was just so nice to see my co-workers and friends again. Four months is the longest stretch I’ve had between visits, since I moved back to BC, and it felt like too long. The good news is that it looks like I’ll be in Toronto for work every 2-3 months going forward! That gives me just enough time to go on a clean eating diet, workout and prep for my next visit / restaurant tour. ; )

The low of my week was having my ear pop on my flight home last night. It happened in the last 20 minutes of the flight and was so incredibly painful… I hope the ringing is gone, by the time you read this.

The high of my week was walking through Random House of Canada, to meet with some friends in another office, and walking out with a stack of new books. (Thanks again, M & S!) When I was in my early 20s, I used to dream of moving to Toronto and working for Random House; it was so cool to walk through their space and just see shelves upon shelves of books they’ve published.

A blog post I loved was Should You Give It Away for Free? Nicole’s post had some good follow-up points to what I was trying to say in Monday’s post (and she even interviewed me for it!).

The best money I spent was probably $3 for the donuts you can see in the top left corner of this picture. Actually, I’ll say that + the $4 almond milk latte I ordered with it. (If you haven’t had brunch at The Steady, I suggest you go soon.)

My plans this weekend include taking a vacation day today, so I can get a bunch of errands done, before hosting my girlfriend’s bachelorette party tomorrow! Then I’ll squeeze in a visit with the fam on Sunday morning, before catching an afternoon ferry home. I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed!

How was your week? What are you up to this weekend?

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction April 4, 2014 at 5:19 am

    My favourite part about working at a book-store in my teens was the fact that they had advanced copies of so many titles and we could have them! It was always such a surprise to me. Honestly, working in Random House would be a dream… even though I don’t have a single skill that would lend itself to publishing :)

    My week was jumbled. My work was closed for M-W because of VERY bad snow storms. We lost power for 18 hours and the house went down to 12 degrees. Then we got new neighbours on Tuesday that smoke weed All. Day. Long. and it’s started to come into our apartment as well. Not impressed. Trying to figure out how to proceed with the landlord, but it’s definitely not what we signed up for when we moved in (the new neighbours replaced a 70+ year old neighbour).

    This weekend will entail getting the place spotless, and looking at places to move to potentially. So unhappy, because I love our apartment. We’ve only been there for a year, and I don’t feel like we should have to move because the landlord brought in disrespectful tenants (just go out on your balcony to smoke, please!). Also, it will likely come with a rent increase if we do move (we’re about $200 under the going rate around here… which might be why we have unemployed stoners for neighbours… but still). *End Rant*

    • Cait Flanders April 4, 2014 at 10:41 am

      I applied to so many bookstores when I was a teenager and no one was ever hiring, so I’m extremely jealous of that experience. Honestly, I sometimes think about getting a part-time job at Chapters, just so I could be around books all day. But there are only so many hours in a day/week. ;)

      That’s awful about your new neighbours. The neighbours at my first place in New Westminster smoked cigarettes on their patio 24/7 and it was constantly wafting into my living room and bedroom… disgusting. Moving would suck, but you have to be happy in your home. Don’t rule out talking to the landlord though!

      • Alicia April 4, 2014 at 5:37 pm

        Talked to the landlord when it was super pungent. He walked in and was like “oh yeah, I see what you mean!”. He will be talking to them again. Hopefully that closes that headache down. I don’t want to move!

  • Dayle April 4, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Hi Cait, and Happy Friday!

    Thank you so very much for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet up with me! That was so fun and I felt like two hours just flew by…very nice to get the opportunity to chat with a very like-minded person!

    Thanks for sharing Nicole’s blog post…she had some very good points and tips.

    For me, this week was busy as usual, and the weekend is going to be no different! Tonight, bf and I are heading down to the Jays Home Opener …so excited for that! Tomorrow I’m running in the Harry’s Spring Run Off 8K race in High Park, then taking my mom out for lunch for her b-day. I’m meeting some friends for dinner who are in town from Ottawa that I haven’t seen in forever! And Sunday I plan to catch up on a little sleep, and then I’m working in the afternoon. I also need to start studying for my exam. Bf is on nights so he’ll be sleeping while I’m using all my spare time to study.

    Have a great time at the Bachelorette party! Talk to you soon.


    • Cait Flanders April 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      Thank YOU for making the trip to the city! You’re there/back so many times this week, I’m grateful you were willing to make an extra trip to hangout :)

      Have an amazing weekend, Dayle!

  • Marg S April 4, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Hi Cait – I think I want to go to Toronto just to try that food! :o) – Enjoy your weekend (and finally getting home).

    My week was eventful. I’m really glad it’s Friday.

    The low of my week – I’m under a great deal of stress at work. I’m trying hard to get through it – and that’s all there is to say about it. Except that I’m hoping some better karma comes my way.

    The high of my week – with apologies in advance to Leafs, Habs and Canucks fans – well the Bruins are (were) doing well. Anytime I can watch them win I’m happy.

    A blog post I loved – um not so much a blog post but a YouTube video that a Leafs fan named Steve Dangle posted. If you follow him on YouTube it’s the one he posted after their 7th loss and involved him shall we say drowning his sorrows. He’s hiliarious – but I gotta say even the mean horrible nasty Bruins fan in me felt for him.

    The best money – well I haven’t spent it yet and I’m not sure it counts as the best or worst money. I have to buy my boss lunch today (thanks to the Habs snapping the Bruins win streak). I know you all feel awful for me (lol). But it will be fun – and the person joining us has threatened to wear a referee’s shirt because of how much we debate the pros and cons of our respective favourite teams.

    My plans this weekend – I likely have to work some but I can do it from home. In my sweats. In peace and quiet. I’ll watch some hockey and take the rest of the weekend to try and relax.

    Enjoy your weekend everyone.

    • Cait Flanders April 4, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Sorry to hear you’re stressed out at work, but sounds like you had an ok week / have some plans to relax this weekend. Enjoy!

  • Sarah April 4, 2014 at 6:35 am

    I am so jealous about your trip to Random House. Seriously, that would have been pinch-me-I’m-dreaming status for me! Sounds like you had a great time in TO. When I came home from NYC it was the dead of summer, and I remember there being such a relief when I stepped off the plane at YVR and came outside. The air! The lack of smog! The clean streets! It was a beautiful thing.

    • Cait Flanders April 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm

      You got it! The oxygen in the air is intoxicating :)

  • Rob April 4, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Hi Cait.

    Welp, it’s cloudy, cold and rainy here in Toronto this morning so you got out of town just in time! Sure wish that spring weather would get here though. Happy to read that your visit here was enjoyable (and I do hope that your ears have stopped ringing after the flight back home! :-)

    It’s been a busy week for me outside nevertheless, what with raking the lawn and flower beds, which still had lots of yard waste left over from our Christmas ice storm. Today though I’m gonna take things easy – going out to play bingo with my wife and her mom this afternoon at a seniors center – woo woo – be still mah heart from all the excitement! :-)

    Enjoy your weekend, my blogging friend!

    • Cait Flanders April 5, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      The West Coast isn’t looking much better, I’m afraid! Yesterday was beautiful, but it’s cloudy and raining today… oh well. It’s warmer than TO, I’m sure. ;)

      Enjoy your weekend! Try to contain your excitement!

  • Cassie April 4, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Almond milk latte? Bacon, fudge and sea salt smoothie? You’re making me hungry!! (Err, thirsty?)

    I’m crossing my fingers and hoping to finish up the rest of my renos this weekend! It’s been such a long time coming, it’ll be nice to look back at the finished product and go “yep, we did that. It looks good.” :D

    • Cait Flanders April 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      The smoothie could’ve been a meal on its own, haha.

      Good luck w/ the renos! Would be nice to finish stuff up, so you can focus on other things, eh? ;)

  • Trista April 4, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Hey Cait!

    I know all about coming home and smelling the salt sea air, there’s nothing like it. I even notice the difference from St. John’s to my home down (and we are all on the water).

    I am putting my notice in today at my second job. My physiotherapist agrees that it is impeding my recovery (not sure if I mentioned that my upper back has some sort of soft tissue injury). I had a major set back this week and I think it was due to working Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the store. My last day will be April 17th. I’m excited as this means I can go home for Easter. I haven’t been to my hometown since Christmas.

    This weekend I’m under strict instructions from my physiotherapist and my occupational therapist to RELAX. So I’ve got no big plans.

    I hope you have fun at the bachelorette party. I have one next month. :)

    • Cait Flanders April 5, 2014 at 1:15 pm

      Congrats on making the decision to quit your second job, Trista! Follow your orders and relax this weekend. I’d love to do the same… so maybe relax twice as much for me?

      • Trista April 7, 2014 at 2:32 am

        So my boss terminated me immediately as I couldn’t work this Saturday. Kinda sucked because I was hoping to get one last shop in with my 50% discount. Our relationship had been deteriorating for quite awhile so I wasnt surprised. Although any one who has heard what she did has been. I wasnt getting any consideration when it came to my injury. Apparently no one even asked about me this weekend. Oh well. Chapter closed. It helpe become debt free and I loved about 75% of my time there.

        I did relax a lot the weekend. Almost too much. My injury and leaving my job has made me feel pretty down and spending almost the entire weekend in my apartment by myself didn’t help. But my back is feeling a little better. I am starting to wonder what I will do with all my time now. I’m so used to being busy. Once the snow finally goes I’m hoping to get outside more. I may also join a gym once my back has recovered.

        Not having the second job has certainly changed my budget. I’m going to have to stay completely on track for the next five months to have the money for my trip. So wish me luck. Ha ha.

  • Selina April 15, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I know what you mean about the sea air – I don’t live on an island but I’ve lived by the sea most of my life and there’s nothing like coming home to it after travelling (despite wanting to desperately leave in the first place) ;)

    Following you on Twitter so I can read more!