The country mouse visited the city mouse, and had a good time! Alison lives near the corner of Yonge and St. Clair, so we were minutes from the city by foot or subway. We also drove around in the car, so I was able to see quite a lot of Toronto in four and a half days.
When leaving the house Alison has to program the motion-sensitive alarm. As I secretly felt smug because of where we live, you can only imagine my chagrin at a call from Luke that we’d been robbed while I was away!
Nicky was home alone, and fast asleep, as were the dogs, so someone just helped themselves to a bunch of car parts and tools in the unlocked garage. Luke came home from Thailand the following day, and found out about it from a freaked-out Nicky.
Thankfully Luke is a computer and all-around electronics genius. In one day he and his pal Tyson layered on the security. Thanks to them we have cameras, alarms and motion-sensitive lights, and now the place feels as secure as its nickname, The Compound.
But back in Toronto, there wasn’t a thing I could do about it, except to feel briefly perturbed. I was too busy. We began with all-out cultcha in the form of the Picasso exhibit, followed by the play War Horse. A sob fest if you love animals, so just a heads up.
I had the first manicure of my life, as there are several Vietnamese-owned nail salons near Alison’s house. I bought a vintage half-slip at a store in Kensington called Courage My Love. We later did a driving tour of Cabbagetown and Rosedale.
The morning always began with lovely coffee and a great read. Alison and J.T. are avid newspaper readers, so I was in my element. I’ve decided I simply have to try to find the Sunday New York Times someplace in Kelowna.
Because I’ve been pals with Alison since we were six we have our own way of interacting. For example, when I developed blisters from all the walking, Alison stopped and said, “Okay, give me your shoes.” Because we have the same size feet she decided by switching shoes I could survive because the pressure points would be different.
And speaking of shoes, we went to the Bata Shoe Museum, which is well worth it. We also saw a cute French farce one evening entitled The Game of Love and Chance. Lunch one day was at the cutest restaurant I’ve ever been in in my life, called The Red Tea Box on Queens.
Alison pointed out the author John Irving two tables over one night when we all went out for dinner. Walking along Yonge it’s like this: “Hana!” (Gartner) “Alison!” They hug, and chat. Celebs by the bucket.
Alison said, “Oh there’s Geddy Lee (from Rush). He and I go to the same gym.” I just adore knowing Alison.
And all too soon, the country mouse had to pack and leave, my suitcase filled with fabulous finds. But now that I know how pleasant it is in Toronto, I’ll certainly be planning to do that again.