Last night my daughter and I were to meet her aunt and two adult cousins in Toronto’s Beaches community for dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Sushi was on the menu.
Originally the plan was for my whole family to go. In about three weeks it’ll be my son’s birthday and the extended family wanted to see him. The aunt in question (my SIL) lives about three hours east of us but was flying out of Toronto on Saturday for business which is why she was coming into town.
Turns out the boys have hockey.
But, as these things go, there was all kinds of hoopla and adventure in a simple dinner date plan. Because this is what life is like around here, as many of you know. 🙄
This is also one of the main reasons I blog. May as well entertain the
masses thirty-or-so people who read here. 😂
It all began with a text from the girl child after school.
Can you pick me up?
My stomach hurts…
This was at 3 pm. I asked the usual questions but pictured her standing in the arctic tundra that is our landscape at the moment freezing to death.
I sighed and went to the bedroom and reached for my jeans to put over my tights, then a hoodie, went to the hall, put on boots, hat, coat, gloves, blah blah BLAH, took the car keys from the drawer, went outside, came back in, switched the car keys, got into his car which was blocking mine, started it, changed all the mirrors, and drove the four minutes to the corner where she was waiting for me. #WinterInCanada
FOR THE RECORD: This is why I usually say no to picking children up. Too much work, and she could have hopped on the streetcar.
In my defense: she called me mommy. She’s 12 and rarely calls me this name anymore but…ugh.
I’m a sucker.
Note to self: turn phone sound notifications off at 2:55 pm. 😛
She gets in the car with her coat open.
“Aren’t you cold?” I ask her.
She starts asking questions about the sushi date.
“I thought you were sick?”
Her stomach hurts but it comes and goes and oh, is there pie, she’s hungry.
(Why, why, why…) #momlife #tweens #girls #ficklegirls
We get home. There’s hand washing to eliminate #CoronaVirus, and she turns on the kettle.
Side note: we trained the kids since preschool to wash their hands every single time they come home from somewhere, no matter where they were. Hand washing upon entry into the house is an inbred habit for all of us. This is one thing of many wrong things we have done right.
So now, there’s tea for both of us so we can warm up from the ridiculous subarctic temperatures outside, and a slice pie for her, and she plugs into her macbook and begins drawing in her sketchbook.
I putter in the kitchen, organize the leftovers for the hockey people, and sit on the couch to read some blogs.
A message pops up.
The driving aunt is crawling in white-out conditions, she expects to be delayed at the restaurant. #SnowInFebruaryInCanada
She is talking to the voice-activated thingy in her car and I’m responding by texting back.
“It hasn’t started here yet,” I typed. “If it’s still clear at 5:30 we’ll start driving.”
After she hangs up, I check the weather network on TV, the other station with the traffic report, and pull up Intellicast, a website pilots use to plan their routes based on radar.
Looks like my area is just grazed by the storm. Nothing major along the Gardiner Expressway.
Earlier, when my teen came home, he said it was snowing but when I looked outside it appeared more like flurries.
It didn’t seem that dramatic.
Fast forward to 5:30. There’s no text from the cousins or the aunt saying the dinner was canceled. I’m assuming all is well, know that at least one cousin is still working, and get us ready.
My kid and I leave.
I anticipate rush hour gridlock and delays on the major routes into Toronto, but it wasn’t bad. I suspect many people are as weary of winter as I am and choose to stay home on a Friday night rather than battle the elements after a long work week and drive someplace.
The drive toward Toronto’s pretty skyline was uneventful and moving at a relatively respectful pace. Not highway speed, but also not stop and go.
My girl and I chatted and she navigated the GPS map on the screen on the dashboard for me.
At about the halfway mark, she gets a text on her phone.
“Mom, it’s cancelled!”
The driving aunt texted the working cousin she’s not even in Oshawa yet, meaning it’ll be minimum another hour, if not more, for her to get to the Beaches restaurant. The cousin in turn sent my kid the text to alert her the dinner is not happening.
We exited at Spadina, a road which leads up toward Toronto’s China Town.
While we sat in traffic I educated the girl a little about Toronto’s city streets.
“There are very few diagonal streets,” I told her. “Most streets in this city are east/west or north/south.”
She didn’t know that.
“Yonge Street divides the city into east and west,” I continued. “If a road intersects Yonge St., like Queen Street for instance, then it will be named accordingly. So east of Yonge it’ll be Queen Street East, and the other side is Queen Street West.”
We made a left on Front St. which ends at Bathurst, a road that leads back to Lake Shore Blvd. which is where I wanted to go.
Front St. had numerous, gigantic condo buildings under construction. One thing Toronto doesn’t need more of is high-rise condos, but I digress…
Anyway. The conversation on the return was mostly about what to do for dinner now that our date was canceled, and we decided to pick up Bento boxes of sushi someplace.
We ate them at home, and I ended up going to bed early again only because there was nothing else to do except read.
I’m reading Stephen King’s On Writing which is not really about writing, more like a memoir, but I’ll talk about that book another time.
And that was my exciting Friday night.
How was yours?