Ten years ago (well, ten years and ten days) Blake and I got married.
Since we're still married we decided to celebrate by taking a grown-up
holiday, a weekend away. Last Friday night we left the girls with
Baba and Zaida and checked into the Novotel downtown. Our room was
on the third floor, room 314, and it was a little disappointing, to be
honest. A paltry selection of free toiletries, a teeny bathtub, and
the best view of a gravel roof and building mechanics I, for one,
have ever seen.
And also engineers. Undergrad engineers. The Novotel happened
to be hosting the Organization of Professional Engineers Student
Conference (or something) that very weekend. And most of them
seemed to be on the third floor. We settled into our room just
as the engineers were massing to go to dinner. Noisily. I called the front
desk to ask whether there was perhaps a room on a different floor, a floor
with fewer engineers.
They moved us up to the top floor, and in so doing, upgraded us
to a deluxe room which satisfied
many more of my hotel room desires: flat screen TV, schmancy bathroom,
superfluous toiletries. The bathtub was still lame; I've
realized that if you want a hotel with an awesome bathtub you need to go
to a hotel which advertises their awesome bathtubs. And the view...
well, it turns out the Novotel in Toronto doesn't have any good views.
After settling in again, we went out for dinner and beer at C'Est What.
The next morning we availed ourselves of the breakfast buffet, another
of my hotel must-haves. This one was exquisite: fresh, flaky pastries,
French toast, bacon, sausages (such good sausages!), ham, cheese,
at least five kinds of bread, yogurt, fruit, coffee, tea, hot chocolate,
chocolate milk, fruits. I was in breakfast heaven.
After eating about three breakfasts worth of breakfast, we waddled
over to the St Lawrence Market to shop, window shop and sample things.
I got some earrings, some strange grains, and gifts: genmaicha for
Tanya and Douglas, and mince tarts for Andy.
Our next mission was to find a Shopper's Drug Mart, which you
usually can't walk a block without stumbling over but were
uncharacteristically thin on the ground over by the market there.
So we carried on to the south end of Sherbourne and Toronto's newest
Sugar Beach. It was a gloomy day and we had
the waterfront to ourselves as we walked back towards Yonge Street.
We eventually wandered back to the hotel for an afternoon of
lying around reading newspapers and books. Later we walked up to
Dundas and over to Spadina for delicious Chinese food at E-Pan. (As
it turns out the girls were having dinner just a block south of us.)
We walked back to the St Lawrence Market area for uninspiring
ice cream at Lettieri, then back to the hotel.
Sunday morning I woke up early and went down to the restaurant for
a cappuccino while Blake slept in. Once he came downstairs we crossed
the street to sit in the sun and wait for Scotland Yard to open for
breakfast. An hour later we breakfasted in the company
of some very vociferous football (soccer) fans. Then back to the hotel
to check out, and we took the TTC home.
It was a lovely weekend but kind of ephemeral. I wish we had done
something spectacular like go to a concert, but after paying for the
hotel we didn't have the budget for any grand gestures. Still, it was
lovely to spend time together without any pressing demands on our time.