Working remotely in my job means that occasionally I get to fly back to Canada to do some project work with our clients. It also means that I get to fit in some quality time with my family and friends. This most recent trip was no exception.
I was in Canada for 16 days, and I definitely made the most of it.
Day 1-2: Toby Cat
First and foremost, I was reunited with Toby, my little dude and got in alllll the kitty snuggles that I could. When I’m home, Toby rarely leaves my side, which is equally precious and heartbreaking. He also ensures that I don’t get much sleep so that we can maximize our time together. How sweet. I was actually working every day I was home and so had to fit in things in between working hours and late-night prep for projects.
Day 3: TIFF with a Friend
Luckily, I was able to be in Toronto during TIFF. However, I didn’t have time to check out any movies this year, but a friend and I went out for dinner at Momofuku and had drinks at the Shangri-la as all the fancy TIFF people do. The people-watching was excellent and catching up with a friend was even better.
Day 4-5: Family visits in Belleville
I rented a car for my first weekend back to go to Belleville to visit family. First, with my mama and then with Rob’s mama and Grandpa. On Sunday morning, I went to visit my godson and his mom (my sister from another mister) and sister. We then went off on a little adventure, which Colton was convinced we were just lost, to a cidery and the apple store.
Although it wasn’t nearly enough time with any of them, I had to head back to Toronto to get ready for an early flight the next morning to Iqaluit.
Day 6-10: Work in Iqaluit
Going from Costa Rica to Iqaluit is quite the transition. It was 25 degrees when I left Costa Rica and 5 degrees when I arrived in Iqaluit. Actually, it wasn’t so bad. I’m not looking forward to doing this in February when the difference is much more drastic. Luckily I had my Toronto stopover to pick up my books and warm clothes/jacket.
I spent 5 days in Iqaluit for work where I was facilitating a 3-days session. One of the afternoons, we were facilitating some activities in Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park. I had this idea of an activity I wanted to run, but not knowing the area or the landscape, I needed to go there the night before the check it out. So, off I went, dragging my boss along with me to collect rocks in the Territorial Park. There aren’t any trees which make for a unique landscape. Picture autumn on Mars. The colours were all beautiful golds, yellows, reds and oranges.
I got what I needed, planned out the activity and called it a day. It just so happens that there is also a brewery just outside of the park, so we rewarded ourselves with a flight of NuBrew beers. It also happened to be trivia night. As it turns out, space trivia is not my forte.
The 5 days in Iqaluit were a whirlwind. Between planning and facilitating the 3-day session, meeting with other clients, and staying on top of all the other work that doesn’t go away just because you aren’t in the office, it was a long, exhausting week.
Day 10-12: Bachelorette Pary in Ottawa
Instead of flying back to Toronto, I flew into Ottawa and stayed for the weekend to celebrate my dear friend Kaija’s bachelorette party. When we had initially planned this event, I didn’t know yet that I was going to be living in Costa Rica. So, I thought I wouldn’t get to attend but am so grateful that it worked out. It was a wonderful reunion with my university besties/roomies, and it was the first time in a very long time that we were all together.
These friendships are so special to me. These are the friends that you know will always be there if you needed them. Even when months or years pass of not seeing each other or chatting, you can pick up right where you left off. It is rare to find these friendships, so I hold them very close to my heart.
For the bachelorette party, we went to the Nordic spa in Chelsea, Quebec for the day and it was everything I needed. I knew my body was fighting off a cold, so sitting in a sauna and steam room was exactly what I needed.
We then continued the celebration with a nice dinner and fancy drinks at a lounge. And then, as girls do, we stayed up late just chatting and catching up.
Day 12: Eating in Ottawa with Family and Friends
On my last day in Ottawa, my dad came to visit me for lunch. I couldn’t complete a trip to Canada without seeing him. And I took this opportunity to have some poutine. Shocker: I haven’t found this in Costa Rica yet. Then, I headed over to my friends’ place and had the most delicious dinner cooked for me and then went to this quirky little bar for some Moscow mules. I also finally met the infamous Homer Jr. (aka Hoju), and he did not disappoint.
Day 13-14: Work in Halifax
The next morning was an early one and started with a flight to Halifax for another work thing for two days. Turns out, we weren’t staying in Halifax as I had thought but Truro. It was a pretty cute little town with the sweetest bookstore and cafe. We didn’t get up to much other than work and drinking coffee, and then it was another flight back to Toronto.
Day 15: Wine Club
My last social activity before heading back to Costa Rica was Wine Club (without the wine). A night where my group of girlfriends get together and usually drink wine, eat an abundance of cheese and other snacks and catch up on life. It was the perfect send-off back to Costa Rica.
Day 16: Farewell Canada
The next morning, I headed off to the airport to return to Costa Rica and be reunited with the Rob to my Roberica. Although when I showed up at the airport, the lovely staff told me I missed my flight because they did not know the accurate time of the flight nor how to read a clock. But, I didn’t miss my flight (okay, maybe it was a close call) and I made it back after w complete two week whirlwind across eastern Canada.