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22nd December
written by Steph
Ok, not really, but having spent the last two years here in Nashville, being whisked away to Toronto to spend the holiday season is comparable, right?  It's been unseasonably chilly here the past few weeks (normally it doesn't get really cold here until Feb), but I'm still mentally balking at the idea of having to wear boots lest my feet become little blocks of ice.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to be going home after an extremely prolonged period away, and yes, I do love the sight of a lawn blanketed in snow... it's dealing with all that frozen water that gets me!  Still, there are plenty of things to look forward to, especially seeing friends and family after being far too long away.  And I'm also looking forward to blazing through the streets of Toronto, with Tony in tow, reveling in the fantastic shopping AND the great food.  This year we have a few particular treats in mind that Tony's never experienced: street meat (read: hot dog from one of the myriad vendors.  We've eaten a lot of hot dogs together, but in my mind, Toronto hot dogs cannot be beat!), nanaimo bars, REAL Canadian bacon (i.e., "back" bacon/pemeal bacon... preferably purchased in sandwich form at the St Lawrence Market... one of my greatest annoyances in life is how American call limp pieces of ham "Canadian bacon" when they are nothing of the sort!), and poutine!  We'll also be hitting up our old favourites, namely dim sum and the fantastic Chinese bakery in China town, and if I can score some Hakka food as well, I'll be a happy camper who will uncomplainingly brave any weather Jack Frost chooses to throw our way.  It's times like the holidays when I wish we had four stomachs, all the better to eat all the fabulous food there is to eat... Anyway, we fly out bright and early tomorrow morning, and I desperately hope that we don't hit any delays in Chicago, where we'll connect for Toronto.  In the past I am always far too ambitious in terms of the scope of my plans, as I always underestimate how much traveling takes it out of me, and how much Tony and I need this annual break to just recharge our batteries.  Along with socializing and traipsing about town, we'll also be squeezing in a trip to the DMV so I can renew my driver's license and hitting up the dentist.  Aw yeah, what a wild and merry Christmas we'll be having! 😉  I don't foresee that I'll be getting tons of reading done as I never do around this time of year, and probably even less blogging, however I'll be bringing home Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, which I'm smack dab in the middle of and am really loving (I'm hoping it will renew my reading spirits so I can start 2010 firing on all four cylinders).  I'll also have Great Expectations by Charles Dickens in case I should finish the Austen... perhaps being snowbound in Toronto is the setting I need to finally conquer that sucker! 😉  I don't want to pack too much, as we'll inevitably have gifts we'll need to bring back with us and will do some shopping as well, so we need to keep room in our bags for anticipatory loot! So, for now I'll bid you all adieu and wish you all very happy holidays, whatever and wherever it is you may be celebrating.  I'm not sure if I'll have a chance to update prior to the New Year, BUT you can look forward to a 2009 roundup in which I talk a little bit about my reading this year and name a few of my favourite (and not-so-favourite!) titles.  Happy reading to all of you, and I hope that you all have a restful and safe rest of 2009 and a very happy new year!


  1. 12/22/2009

    I hope you have a wonderful time, and I look forward to the strong possibility of seeing food pictures posted on your blog when you return!

    Happy Holidays and may your feet stay warm!!!

  2. 12/22/2009

    Steph!! So excited for you!! I know how much you’ve missed Toronto. I won’t be downtown much but maybe I’ll run into you. Happy holidays to you and Tony!!

  3. Have an amazing time! I’m currently at home for the holidays (far colder here too with lots of snow) and it’s funny how we always think that our home-city has the best cuisines! I had to have Indian food soon after arriving and there were other places that I had to visit as well as seeing family and friends.

    Enjoy and happy holidays!

  4. 12/22/2009

    Happy Holidays to you and Tony! I hope you have a wonderful time, and I look forward to your thoughts on Northanger Abbey when you return (I loved it!).

  5. 12/22/2009

    Happy Holidays, Steph! I have very fond memories of my one trip ever to Toronto, so I have no doubt you will have a blast there whether you read anything or not!

  6. Laura

    hey you guys,
    can’t wait to see you two soon!
    Umm.. Two things – don’t count on snow for Christmas…it’s been cold the past few days but there’s no snow in the forecast. And I would check the DMV website for info about renewing your license as their employees have been on strike for the past couple months (I think it might be just actual driving tests that have been cancelled but I’ve heard line-ups are ridiculously long!)
    I hope the flights go smoothly. see you boxing day!!

  7. 12/22/2009

    Happy Holidays to you and Tony! Enjoy you trip “to the North Pole”!

  8. Claire

    Enjoy your trip, and please bring some snow with you!

  9. 12/22/2009

    Happy holidays!

  10. 12/22/2009

    Oh goodness — did I know you live in Nashville? That is where my son and brother currently reside 🙂

    I hope you have uneventful travels, arrive in Toronto safe and sound, and enjoy all the traditions of home!

    Merry Christmas to you both!

  11. 12/22/2009

    Just wanted to stop by to say Happy Holidays to you an yours. Thanks for being a loyal blogging buddy.

  12. 12/22/2009

    Oh yeah, Toronto is definitely the North Pole. 😀

    I read an article about poutine in the New Yorker last month. The author was quite complimentary, especially about all the variety. I’m still not sold, though.

    Happy holidays!

  13. 12/22/2009

    Have a nice trip, happy holidays, and don’t freeze!

  14. 12/22/2009

    Happy Holidays to you! I hope it’s a wonderful and relaxing trip.

  15. Eva

    Have fun!

  16. 12/23/2009

    Have a great trip! I’ll be across the lake from you in Rochester.

  17. 12/23/2009

    Happy Holidays and safe travels, Steph!

  18. 12/23/2009

    Ooooh, Nanaimo bars and poutine …. I’m drooling just thinking of them! And I have soft spot for Swiss Chalet, too (it’s the sauce) so I can’t wait to have all three when we go back to Newfoundland next summer! (There’s no way I’d go up there now – I’d spend my whole visit inside. At least in the summer I have a decent shot of experiencing the great outdoors).

    Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday!

  19. 12/23/2009

    Happy holidays! I hope your little footsies stay warm! 🙂

  20. I hope you have a wonderful time! I look forward to your round up of 2009 reads.

    Happy Christmas!

  21. 12/28/2009

    I hope your holiday is fantastic and that you continue to enjoy Northanger Abbey – one of my favourite Austen’s. Looking forward to hearing your reading wrap up of 2009 too.

  22. 12/29/2009

    Sounds like you have a very exciting holiday planned! I hope everything goes very smoothly on your flight and that you have an awesome time! I am a little late on my Christmas wishes, but I hope you have an amazing New Year!!

  23. 12/30/2009

    Happy holidays. I will look out for your Austen review.

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