Monday, June 25, 2012

Phew! What a busy few weeks!

SO! Lots has happened in the last few weeks that I have barely had time to sleep, let alone write. I have been feeling rather guilty for not writing,t hen I consoled myself that no one probably reads the blog. Just when I got comfortable with that thought, I had two emails asking what happened. So here I am, trying to cram a month's worth of events into one post.

Work: It has been an incredibly busy two months with trying to wrap up projects before instructors and other staff go on vacation starting in June. I've also attended a number of workshops as well as delivered a few. I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Edmonton on Sustainability and Curriculum Design. It was two and a half very long days of very intensive work but it was great to meet people who are doing good work in trying to embed sustainability into their courses. I was very impressed with what the University of Alberta is doing with their sustainability initiatives. You can see how wealthy they are because the university has its own utility company! Never heard of that. Usually universities are always broke and looking for money.

Mom: I mentioned that Mom is now in a retirement apartment and I think she is settling in quite nicely. I'm judging from the her complaints that have gotten so infrequent as to almost be gone. I went to have happy hour with her which is usually on Fridays from 3:30-3:4:30pm. They have a bar which serves wine and liquor for $2.50/drink. If I was a drinker, that would be a good deal. They also have entertainment for the hour. She came over on Saturday and I asked her if she wanted to go strawberry picking with me yesterday and she declined because she didn't want to miss her exercise classes! I think the real reason was that she was going over to Karran's with Sophie and Darwin.
My Toronto trip (for convocation): That was on June 11. We left on Friday and met Sunita in Toronto and then drove directly out to Niagara Falls. We walked for about 3 hours - to the falls, down the Niagara Parkway and then through the town and back to the hotel. It was as spectacular as it was the first time I saw it it 1970.

Niagara Horsehoe Falls

Maid of the Mist

Horseshoe Falls

That evening, we drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake and had dinner at a wonderful Greek restaurant called Yanni's. The food was so tasty and the back courtyard so perfect that if I closed my eyes, I could convince myself that I was back in Santorini. Then it was off to the theatre where I had bought tickets previously for a musical called Ragtime. When I went to pick up the tickets, the attendant asked my name and I told her. She pulled out the tickets and said, "Here you go Dr. Sukhan." I was tempted to look behind me to see who she was talking to but she was looking straight at me. What a weird feeling to be called Dr. Hmmm, first time someone has called me that in a kind of official capacity.

We left on Saturday for Toronto to do the touristy thing of walking from the Rogers Centre (previously the Skydome) to the Kensington Market - twice in one day! The CN Tower was right next door to the hotel where we were staying at the Rogers Centre but after seeing the line and seeing the price for a short walk around the top, we decided that we would strike that off our list of things to do. Kensington Market was nice - at Chinatown and very busy!
CN Tower

Kensington Market

View of Chinatown
The next day we checked out of that hotel and like three hobos, we went to the St Lawrence Market. We saw tons of people with their dogs and thought that the market must be a dog-friendly market.  We soon realized that there was no market that day but a dog convention. There was every breed of dog you could think of. We wanted to eat a late breakfast but after attempting two restaurants that were located right at the event, we decided that eating lunch with the distinctly heavy smell of wet dog fur was not pleasing to the palate. We found a nice shwarma restaurant a safe distance away and enjoyed a wonderful sidewalk lunch.

After that it was off to the Annex district and low and behold - there was a street festival that day with lots of free entertainment and activities and dozens of vendors selling everything from handmade jewellry to roasted and buttered corn. All we wanted that day though was to find a nice shady place from the blistering sun. We found a nice reprieve on the steps of a church which we felt must have been conveniently placed there just for us.

We left there and checked into our third hotel in as many days. That one was in North York close to the university. We decided that it was much better to be in that location on Sunday than try to leave downtown in rush hour traffic on Monday morning to be at the university for 9am. We went out for dinner at a really nice Thai restaurant on Jane street and went for another evening walk - as if we had not walked enough already for the three days. Time to settle in to bed for a good night's sleep and be ready for my grad. That's the next post.


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