Sunday, November 13, 2011 in I Forgot To Pick A Category

Toronto visit

Yeah totally skipping over last month…

Anyway, Ron and I went to Toronto last weekend to attend and speak at what is known as a WordCamp. Basically, it’s a bunch of our nerdy friend talking code. And some normal people trying to figure out how to even use WP.

We got up a o’dark o’clock on Friday to head down to Fredericton airport. Mom met us there to take Emma & Meaghan to her place, after a shopping trip. Ron got to pick the seats on the plane, and chose the last row for us. That was an experience. At least we got on almost first. :D There were a bunch of Australian military guys also on the plane. They were headed home so were joking with each other, and eventually us too.

The flight was pretty uneventful actually. It is becoming old hat. Takes abut 2 hours or so in air time to get to Toronto. We did go into Pearson, even tho there was a special to go to the smaller airport. We just didn’t want to transfer in Montreal. It turns out we know someone who has done that way a couple times, and he pointed out all the up sides, so we might try it. It does save a $50 cab ride downtown.

Not that we had to worry about that when we got there. :D One of the organizers met us there and gave us a list. It was awesome being picked up.

By now it was lunch time locally so we were starving. I was a bit worried at the hotel check-in as our credit card company called us a few days before we left to say our cc had been lifted and they canceled it and were sending a new one. Which, naturally, did not get here before we left. But the hotel let us pay cash with a deposit. so *phew*. We dumped our stuff, grabbed a map of downtown from the lobby and headed off to Eaton Centre. Man, it seems bigger than it was 20 years ago.

We found lunch and stood around to eat it as there was only a small section with chairs nearby and all full. Then fortified, we made our way up and down. Ron bought a new hat and a book at Chapters. It was nice having time to look around, but the crowds were ugh. Completely missed the Apple store too.

After that, we hung out in our hotel room waiting for the speaker’s dinner. Some of the others from out of town were in the same hotel so we walked down with our buddy Dale. Another invisible internet friend who actually does exist!

The dinner was held in a chi-chi frou frou restaurant called the Bowery. Supposedly New York Chic with a bit of old timey farm hipster kitsch tossed in. Yes really. There were hay rakes as a ceiling decoration with ripped up half-renoed walls. Mismatched silverware. Rough wood tables. Kinda like home really. Very noisy – the music was so loud most of us were complaining.

We got there at 7, the appointed time, and finally started getting food around 8:30 or so. Seriously. Our party had a fixed menu, so we had three choices for starter, main and dessert. I am still kicking myself for not taking pictures of the food, even though I had the camera right next to me and took pictures of other people. We thought the salad was a safe pick but it has something in the vinaigrette that burned my lips off. I still have dry and flakey skin around my upper lip today. It was that spicy. I had maybe 6 bites hoping it would get better.

The chicken I had was good though. It was grilled and on a bed of chard and mushroom with some lentils. Very earthy tasting but went well with the chicken. Turns out they get their chickens from the local Mennonites. Ron had the steak. We both had cheesecake for dessert. It was very Food Network like.

The next day I was groggy and headachy because we couldn’t figure out how to close the curtains. Turns out they were hiding behind the sheers. After a full day of socializing and work stuff (basically) we skipped out on the after party and took a cab over to cousin Dave’s place.

Much quieter! :D Even with the baby occasionally protesting over the terrible indignities babies have to put up with. Like, you are using a fork I want! Sybil made me miss Izzy. :) It turns out they also have the Going To Bed book, which Ashley and I wound up reciting. I think she’s read it almost as many times as we have. Eventually, we both had to pee. This is important, I swear. Ron went first, and when he came downstairs had such a big grin on his face, even Dave & Ashley wanted to know what was up. “You’ll see when you get there.” And I did.

When I came back downstairs, I pointed at him and went “SEE? TOLD YA it would look nice!” Turns out they had renovated their bathroom exactly the way I wanted to do ours in the old house. DOH. White subway tiles halfway up the walls and hexagon tiles on the floor. And it looked really good too.

We stayed until we all were yawning, and then we called the cab guy who drove us there. I think that’s neat – they give you a card to get the same guy directly next time. We had a great conversation with him too. He wanted to know how cheap it was to live in NB. Not as many cabs here tho.

Sunday we slept better since we found the dark curtains. Well, except for the 5am wake up from the gals down the hall who left like it was 10am. And then made as much noise as possible in the courtyard, which our room overlooked. Our window was open a crack too. We lingered over breakfast, talking with other attendees who were staying in the same hotel, then worked on the laptop in turns, since wed had internet issues the day before, and called the kids. Then we checked out, lugged our stuff a few blocks to a Wendy’s and back to the venue for the afternoon.

Ron & I taught a joint workshop for 3 hours – at least that was the scheduled time. It was another half hour till we had everyone taken care of, and another half hour to finish up with the organizers. We had thought abut getting something to eat and then heading to the airport, but decided to just go to the airport instead. Good thing too, as we had to wait around for a cab, then a half hour cab ride, then go through security. We were so tired, it took us a bit to realize we really should eat supper, so we did. The cafe was slow & crowded. But again, we hopped on the free wifi to check on things.

On the plane back, we had seats in the first row, so we got on almost last. And had to check our bag, which had a book Ron wanted to read in it. I even had to put my purse in the overhead compartment as there were no seats in front of us to put our stuff under. The guy across from us was really inconsiderate too, getting in everyone’s way.

A rather uneventful and quick flight home, plus we got to see everything lit up. We even flew over Montreal. I texted Sarah as soon as we got out in the parking lot, which way maybe 5 whole minutes after the plane door opened. We got to her place and Emma was fast asleep, so I had to wake her up and we bundled her and Meaghan and all their stuff into the car and drove home in the quiet dark.

1:30am and we were halfway into our own beds.

I think I’m still recovering.