Toronto and the Toll-Master

Ooga Chaka ooga ooga
Ooga Chaka ooga ooga
I’m hooked on a feeling
I’m high on believing you’re in love with me

This is the song that plays over and over in my head and I hear my wee nephew Oliver’s voice singing it to me, his Auntie Hanna.

It’s was a good trip more than a few weeks ago now.   I Left Calgary on a Saturday and it was minus 25 and getting colder. Met by my brother Rob and his wife Nicole and two nephews Oliver and Liam at YYZ.

Back home I’m sleeping in Oliver’s  room for the next week or so. I’ve brought plenty of cash as Oly has many inventive ways to relieve me of it. This time he’s operating a tollbooth for access to the living room. I think a dollar each time is fair and so does he. I pre-pay with a five dollar bill. He is the Toll-Master beside the bridge and allows Boys to  pass for free. That means Mom and I must pay for passage. Oly, Liam and Dad traverse at will.

Once we have had some yummy fish tacos we settle in the living room under the watchful eye of our Toll-Master, making sure we don’t access the washroom on the other side of his booth without paying the fare. So far we pay a dollar for a return trip. He hasn’t thought to apply his toll in each direction yet. We watch Sing which is quite marvellous and then off to bed we all go, heigh-ho.
Sunday it’s brunch at a Danish vegan restaurant in Parkdale. Really good. We have some big hungry-man/woman breakfasts and share an Oreo cookie cake for dessert.



Afterwards, my brother and I go uptown to try to get a battery for my Bulgari watch which is difficult. I should have bought a Cartier. But alas my battery is dead two years now and I long to feel it’s fabulessness on my wrist and to know the time whenever I want with a simple turn of the wrist, just like you do.

Mom and boys head to the library for some fun crafts and such. We all meet back at home.  The successful and the unsuccessful for a great stir fry dinner with tons of amazing veggies, pumpkin noodles and chicken. I pass through the toll and  am prepared to decrement my counter another dollar.  But the toll master has been distracted with random fun adventures and I sneak through to pass for free. I still have a few dollars left in my account but this trip is free. Ah-ha  the feeling of sticking it to “the man”.  We watch Sing again because we liked it so much the night before and more importantly, the toll-master likes it and he controls Netflix on both sides of the bridge.


It’s off to bed we all go. Monday morning and the routines kick in Oly is off to school, Liam sleeps, Mom is first up doing a bit of laundry and Dad is next. He works from home but has a meeting today in Mississauga so very convenient as I’m going to Club Med Streetsville today, otherwise known as the home of my dear friends Tania, Larry, Steven, Anne, Mama and Tata some of the finest people you would ever be fortunate to meet.
I am dropped off in the village for coffee and then call an Uber to take me to Club Med.
So lovely to see these fine people and meet young Steven for the first time. Champagne, wine and a fantastic meal  ensue. I love the  “little guys” otherwise known as chabappi, (which is how it is pronounced but not how its spelled) made of ground beef and lamb.

Larry takes the picture while the “beautiful people” pose and smile from the Club Streetsville executive dining room.


I Uber back downtown Toronto for dinner with my old friend Stan at a fantastic Greek restaurant in Ossington village in Toronto. Just a short walk from my Bro’s house.  Sadly the pictures taken that night needed a flash so they are too dark to post here.

Wednesday it’s lunch with Roxanne at Joso’s, my Toronto favourite. A great lunch with some wine, the best risotto pescatore and a few shared memories. We have both had our challenges these past years and emerged smiling. Later in the week I’m invited to dinner at her beautiful and elegant condo at Harbourfront. This brings back a few memories as once upon a time I lived in this condo building with my first serious boyfriend and had my first home ownership experience.


Saturday morning and Nicole and I walk over to Gravity Pope for some shoe shopping. She establishes the need for a “safe” word in case the prices get too ridiculous. I am just happy when something nice fits over my brace. I have secured a pair of Campers when the salesperson brings out a beautiful pair of simple black very soft leather elfin booties from France. From the other side of the store I hear “titties, titties” in a loud whisper. It’s our safe word and here’s Nicole to protect me from the cost of soft leather shoes from France. Expensive but not as bad as I thought. And they fit and will look great when I go to my interview in Vancouver next week.

I miss my flight to Calgary but can luckily be booked on a later one.  Sadly a woman beside me in line has also missed the flight but is travelling on a fare that can’t be altered.  The agent is explaining that her bag and her fine self must travel together on the same plane so while she might make it to the gate in time, her checked bag will not.  Lesson to everyone, pay for the slightly higher fare that gives flexability in such circumstances.

We had dinner at this lovely Ossington spot, which I highly recommend if you happen to find yourself in this neighborhood, (it’s he same spot I had dinner with Stan at the beginning of my visit):



Photo-bombed by the Toll-Master!IMG_1523

The following weekend it was off to Vancouver for an interview wearing my beautiful new French booties.  It was a good trip, Vancouver was lovely and warm.  Travel keeps getting easier….it helps when the airline you fly is soooooo helpful in assisting with transportation to and from the gate.  I love Westjet!!!!!  I did not get the job.

It’s all over now and I’m safely home in my little piece of Paradise in the mountains. Still cold and snowy but it’s March now so Spring will be springing upon us in the coming weeks.  And I have plans.  I’ll be doing a lot of hiking this Spring and Summer plus I’ll be starting my garden in early May.

My new car arrives sometime in May as well so I”ll be tooling around town this year, perhaps stopping for a coffee or a book in town— such small blessings.  Don’t take yours for granted, I sure don’t anymore!

I am strong and and I am beautiful
And so are you!

I am so blessed with good friends and family.

Stay Awesome!

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