Friday, May 26, 2006

Seven days (II): Shop 'till you drop

In which Our Heroine, less than twelve hours after returning from a week-long work trip, goes on two more trips in two days. How does she do it?!?!

Right! So! Where was I? Oh yes - what I did when I got home from Thunder Bay. Well, first, I unpacked, which is completely unprecedented. Normally, I let my suitcase sit in the middle of my room for no less than a week, maybe digging out my makeup bag at some point. Not this time. Then I packed for my next trip(s), which was pretty easy since it was going to be short.

The next morning, at the ungodly hour of 6:30am, I left for Toronto, where I was meeting Julie, who was visiting her parents. When I called her from Barrie at 9:30ish, I managed to surprise her (she wasn't expecting me until noon - had I known that I could have had an extra two hours sleep!). When I arrived, I was entertained by her mother, Waterlily, and got to see some pictures from her recent trip to the Caribbean.

Then it was off to the big city! We caught the subway down to the Eaton Centre, and wandered through, making the requisite stops at a couple of shoe stores. See, I have this theory - the reason we women gravitate to shoe stories is because they are our secret temples. Before we embark on any sort of shopping excursion, we need to pay homage to the shopping goddesses in order to ensure bargains galore, helpful salespeople, and good energy levels. Even though we don't always buy the shoes (there was a close-call in Rockports, though) or even appreciation the shoes (those 4-inch-heeled-lace-up monstrosities? Argh!), we must at least visit them.

After fighting our way through the crowds, we made it out to the street and down the block to the World's Biggest Book Store and the used bookstore next door (Julie - help? What's the name again?). I lucked out at the used bookstore, and found the book Hard Core Logo was based on, as well as three books about web page design.

Really, we didn't have a plan besides cruising down Younge St., hitting all the bookstores*, getting bubble tea, having dinner somewhere, and then finishing off the day at Insomnia with martinis. The highlights:

  • At Elliot's, a used bookstore on Younge, it was so quiet at the back of the store on the main level that my ears were ringing.
  • Being charmed by the elderly Greek clerk at the outdoor surplus store.
  • The very angry man who was taking out his anger on the newspaper boxes. Everyone was watching, but no one wanted to make eye contact.
  • Dinner at the ultra-hip Saigon Sister. I tried tofu for the first time, and although I didn't much care for the way it was prepared, I didn't completely hate it.
Almost 12 hours after we got on the subway, we got home again. Then bedtime, and sleep.

On Sunday, I headed to my parents' for the rest of the weekend. This was the weekend we were celebrating my grandfather's 79th birthday (it's actually tomorrow - give him some love!). Poker was played, music was made, kittens were cuddled, and much food was prepared and devoured. It was good to be home again, even if only for a little while.

And, finally, Monday I drove home and collapsed on my doorstep. Ta-da!

* We were both really excited about going to Bakka Books. Until we got to where it was supposed to be, when Julie remembered seeing it somewhere on Queen St., and I remembered reading somewhere that it had moved. Bummer!