Taking a needed breather

 

IMG_2782

Time for a break!

 

By Caitlin Kelly

Luckily, I have good friends in Toronto willing to host me for a week, and I’ve been enjoying time away from the endless toxicity of American politics, work and health issues.

Late summer is a good time to visit this city, as winter can be bitter and midwinter days depressingly gray. (My husband, Jose, is busy right now photo editing the U.S. Open Tennis, ending his work shift as late as 1 or even 2:00 a.m. after the final evening match.)

I arrived here bringing champagne and chocolate and books. I try hard to be a low-maintenance guest, since we have often hosted friends in our one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, and I know it can feel overwhelming. My friends have a large enough house we can all disappear when needed — and one sign of a good friendship is the ability to do so, and no one feels offended, since everyone needs quiet time alone.

I grew up in Toronto, ages five to 30, so I still have many deep friendships and lots of memories here — I usually return once or twice a year, the last time in April with Jose.

This visit I shared a friend’s 70th birthday celebrations, caught up with five more of my friends and just enjoyed some badly needed downtime; (several more local pals were posting FB photos of their trips to Paris and Prague.)

Like most of my visits, it was filled with reminders of my history here. One of the party guests knew me as a baby (!) and hadn’t seen me since. Another knew me from fifth grade at a Toronto girls’ school. And I worked with yet another at Canadian Press — in January 1982.

I slept in, visited with my hosts and binge-watched The Alienist. Shopped at my favorite store, Gravity Pope. Ate a few good meals.

What a gift to detach from work and all things medical for a while!

A few images…

 

IMG_2874

Every Toronto summer ends with the Canadian National Exhibition, aka The Ex, which closes on Labor Day. I hadn’t been in about eight or nine years, met a good friend there and wandered. But it’s gotten stupidly expensive ($20 admission alone) and too commercial for my taste.

 

IMG_2839

My friend’s party had such delicious food — ribs and salmon and corn and caprese salad and lots of wine and this amazing pavlova for dessert, made by one of his daughters. Yum!

 

IMG_2879

It’s trendy as hell, but a good spot for a cold beer and lunch on a scorchingly hot day.

 

IMG_2878

I’m total and unrepentant fan of all things aviation related, so the CNE air show was so so so cool!  It was a little terrifying to hear the thundering of jets flying low over downtown, but what skills!

17 thoughts on “Taking a needed breather

  1. Pavlova, eh? (I’ll bet you didn’t know I spoke Canadian.) I have no idea what it is, but I’m thinking I would make a happy plate. If you aren’t inclined to relieve me of my ignorance, I guess I can google it. I’ve got to say, you take the best vacations. I’m totally envious.

  2. You’re in Toronto, I’m in DC! We’re both in capital cities. How about that? Anyway, hope you’re in for a good rest…and that it’s cooler up there than it is here. The walk from the station to the hotel turned me into a sweat waterfall!

      1. Oh yeah! I’ve been showering twice every day. Thank heaven I will soon be freezing my butt off in northern Ontario where the night-time temps are 40 degrees! What a trip.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s