Toronto

Got up at the crack of noon to catch my flight to Toronto… it’s always hard to say good-bye to Gerry and the dog but I knew this trip would be a short one (unlike my epic tour last year) so good-bye was more like “see you in a few days”.

leaving on a jet plane...

The airline gate/waiting area was FULL of kids. I think at last count there was something like 11 babies and a handful of kid/toddlers. Ugh. I love kids and enjoy spending time with them … but I wasn’t looking forward to spending 5 hours in a tin-can hurdling through the air with them.

up up and away
But lucky for me – all the kiddlets were spread out evenly throughout the plane and I didn’t have anyone around me. I had the seats to myself and had lots of room to spread out and watch I Love You Man on my iphone. I rented it because I thought it would be light silly and fun to watch and it was all that and more. I laughed through the whole thing… Paul Rudd is hilarious.

Of course I brought my own food on the trip … never trust an airline to have stuff for you to eat. airplane food

One of the best parts of getting to go to Toronto is being able to stay with my friends Shoshana & Maury. Sho I’ve known since I was 2 years old (39 nine years of friendship is no laughing matter) and Maury I’ve known since I was 14 or 15? It’s incredible to have friendships that are wrapped up in so much history … and to still like each other. *laugh*

Their beautiful little boy Henry is growing by leaps and bounds. He’s hilarious, smart, silly and a little crazy in that way 2 year old boys are and I’m so happy I got to spend some quality time with him.

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We immediately congregated in the kitchen (as we always do) and made toast (as we always do) and caught up on life since we saw each other a year ago.

Sho’s toaster oven is the same one she had when she lived with her Mum back in the 80’s.

Toaster Oven

This contraption has made me a lot of toast over the years and I was almost as happy to see the toaster as I was my friends. The stories this toaster could tell you …  🙂

The next couple of days was spent getting ready for my Canada AM appearance. I was expecting a big box of products to arrive from Vegan Essentials to discuss on the show – but it never arrived. It turns out that UPS squished the box and ruined everything inside … I hope the driver enjoyed those vegan marshmallows. 🙂  Sho took me to Whole Pay-cheque to purchase some products and I ended up with more than enough stuff.

I also got to spend some good quality time with all my Toronto friends. We had a big BBQ where I made Big Ben’s Lentil Burgers (from HIAV) and corn, salad, etc etc. Good friends. Good food. Lots of love and laughs.  My kind of night …  🙂

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Canada AM was fun. I mean … getting up at 5:15am (2:15am Victoria time) wasn’t fun but getting to be in a big TV studio was pretty cool. I was BEYOND tired (Sometimes I wish I drank coffee…) but they shellacked my face with make-up to hide the exhaustion and I tried my best to be perky and upbeat during my segment.

The set
I had my own dressing room where I could get changed and iron my dress.

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The green room was full of photos from past guests …

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Can you believe THE HULK was here?

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The set was smaller than it looks on TV but that wasn’t surprising… show business is all smoke and mirrors.  There were a lot of TANNED hosts on set with a lot of frosted highlights and eyelashes. *laugh*
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All in all … I think the segment went well. The biggest drag about the whole thing is that the producers told me I would have 5 minutes to chat about all things vegan…. as the interview was ending (quickly) I realized that they had shrunk my segment (without telling me) so it ended up only being 2:30 minutes. If I had known it was going to be so short … I would have done things a lot differently.  🙁 That’s show business I guess.  If you didn’t get a chance to see the show – you can watch the video HERE.

I went home and did an interview with Animal Voices (which I’m sure you’ll be able to stream soon). I was soooo tired during this interview – I barely remember what we talked about. I hope I was coherent.  🙂 Next on the To Do list was my book launch party/fundraiser at Panacea but a GIANT NAP was in order before I went to do that.

I was trying to get all my media/event stuff done in one day … and in retrospect that was a mistake. It was exhausting and by the time I woke up from my nap – I could feel a stress headache coming on and by the time I hit Panacea for the party my headache was in full bloom. 🙁

It was a lovely party and I got to meet & greet with lots of wonderful people. I gave a little speech about the history of HIAV but I must apologize for the shortness of it. I had a whole thing planned out but by the end of the night I was in a lot of pain and wasn’t my best self – but regardless I think everyone had a good time. I know I did.  🙂

My child-hood friend Rebbecca showed up at the party. I’ve known her for almost as long as Shoshana … it was great to see her as an adult. It’s been a while.  🙂

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And much to my surprise my buddy DUNGAREE DOLLY and her partner drove up from the States to say hi.

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I was so happy to finally meet her in person. She is so sweet and gave me an beautiful purse … I can’t say enough about Dolly’s bags. She is amazing!! 🙂

Thanks so much to Ken at Panacea and Steve at Left Feet for putting together such a fun party.

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I went back to Panacea the next day to do a little shopping and it’s so exciting to see a store like this in Toronto. The entire store is filled with vegan goodies. Next time you’re in town – this is the place to go.

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My favourite moment of the night was after the party at Panacea – my friends and I walked up the street to a pub and sat around shooting the shit in that way that old friends do.

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Having this amazing group of people in my life who have loved and supported me my entire life is an incredible gift and one that I don’t take for granted. I cherish each and everyone one of them and am so thankful that we made it through our childhood years without too much suffering. Well … actually there was a lot of suffering … but we made it.  🙂

The hardest part for me is when I have to say good-bye. They all live over there and I live over here…  but that’s what makes these visits so special.

My last night in town – I went for dinner with my dear dear friends Jen, Chris, Kieran and Gavin. We went to Ethiopian House and the food was incredible. I got to see with these guys in the summer when they came to Victoria for a visit … so what a nice treat to get to see them twice in one year.
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I didn’t eat out much when I was in TO. Besides Ethiopian – I hit up FRESH for a quick bite to eat before the party and that was it for restaurants… but that doesn’t mean I didn’t eat a lot of food. *laugh*

I accidentally left Sho’s freezer door open one night and I ruined EVERYTHING inside … but we managed to salvage most of it.

my body is amazing!

I made Banana Bread from HIAV but used the melted blueberries (instead of the dates) in the recipe. We had a bowl full of frozen peas that we turned into a nice salad by adding it to spinach and tossing with a lemon/mustard vinaigrette.

We even salvaged the pizza dough and made a pesto pizza with sun dried toms, broccoli & chick-peas. I think this was my favourite meal of the whole trip.

Pizza

My trip was a lot of fun. Even with the mouse that kept me awake all night and the early morning wake-up calls from Henry (why do kids get up so early?). Big thanks to Sho & Mo for the bed to sleep in and all the late night chats and youtube sing-a-longs and thanks to EVERYONE who came to the party and to everyone in Toronto for all the love. I miss you guys already …

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