I miss my daddy so so so so so much but mommy has been making lots of fun plans to make the time go faster. I got to go to Toronto on the weekend and meet my new friend Ruby, I just love her. And I got to go to the American Girl store and now I know what I am going to save my allowance for.
Week one is under my belt officially as of today and what a week it was! Working 2:00 to 11:00pm when you add in the three hours forward their clock runs and that was probably the biggest achievement of the week. But, also connecting with the group that I am here with, as well as the store team we’re training with has been the biggest success for me. It was been an amazing experience all around!
The big challenge has really been the time away from Danielle and Emelia. With the time difference of three hours and then the shifts being what they are, we just aren’t able connect via iMessage or FaceTime as much as we have in past trips and that part has been difficult. Especially when I have Danielle telling me that Emelia had a rough night missing me—there’s little I can do from 3501km away. So that part has been a bit of a challenge. Thankfully this trip is only two weeks this time.
We’ve been fortunate enough while we’re here to get out and see some of the sights and connect as as group. Monday night we brought one of the geniuses who just so happens to be here for training out for dinner. She was just at the point in her third week where she was starting to get home sick and I was just so happy to be able to connect with someone from our store in California of all places. We went record shopping and then closed the evening out with some amazing sushi.
The rest of the week, with shifts ending at a 11pm it was mostly finding whatever we could that was still open and serving food at that time of night. But the real gem of the week was the place we found to have a libation (or three) after work on Wednesday night. We found – through the recommendation of one of the manager’s co-workers at his store – a speakeasy that served drinks in the style and ambiance of the Prohibition Era, complete with secret password to gain entrance. The place was called Bourbon & Branch and as it turns out was the exact location of a speakeasy during the very real prohibition period. They played amazing era-specific jazz music and the drinks literally took ten minutes to be made as a mixologist crafted them together like a chemistry experiment. It was truly a unique experience—I felt like we were on the set of Boardwalk Empire in one of Nucky Thompson’s joints.
Saturday was an earlier day for us, we worked from 10:00 to 7:00pm and with us being off early and celebrating the end of week one, we decided to have a fantastic dining experience. With a member of our group having emigrated to Canada from India, we decided to use his skill to have an Indian dinner. We settled on a place called Dosa which is apparently a type of meal in their cuisine. The food was amazing but even better was having someone guide us both through the food and culture. It was easily the best meal I have had since being here.
Today was our first day off after such a long stretch that started really last Sunday. We started off by heading in the car to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to head into Muir Woods National Park to see a mature and awe-inspiring redwood forest. We spent about two and a half hours hiking through a forest of massive trees that left my jaw left open most of the time as well as my legs equally exercised from all the walking and elevation changes. It was some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen – I really wished Danielle and Emelie were here for that.
We then came back to San Francisco making a stop at the Golden Gate Bridge to get some obligatory selfies. We went much higher up to a scenic lookout I had never been too, and was thankful we did go that extra distance because we ended up with a vista view of the city of San Fran, the bay & bridge, as well as the stunning Pacific Ocean. I managed to get a panorama that I think just might be the solution to the artwork over our headboard in our bedroom that we’ve been looking for.
And today ended with some much needed family time. Now it wasn’t the immediate family that I was really missing but it is my family away from family in the Delbons (my aunt) who live out here and have welcomed me in every trip I have been out here. It’s such a saving grace when I happen to be away from the people I love the most to have that time with family.
Now… Mother’s Day. It pains me greatly to be away from the two Mother’s that mean everything to me in the world. The one who gave me life—nurturing and the encouraging me to be who I am today. And, the one who game me fatherhood—inspiring and loving me in a way no one else can. Mom and Danielle, you mean the world to me and I am sorry I wasn’t there to make you feel more special, but just know you weren’t thought about any less, loved any less, or cared about any less just because I was so far away. I wish you all the love in the world you can stand and the understanding completely of just how much you have meant to your kids. Thank you for being you and making me, me!
Well we have survived the first week! We had a packed week of activities and well just balancing the work of the house on my shoulders there was rarely a dull moment. Between work, the kids, yard work, housework, groceries, food prep, homework, activities and a couple trips to the gym the week few by. The first full night after John was gone I made a comment that I was going to go stir crazy by the end of the two weeks, well I haven’t had time to.
The week started off flying right from the beginning. Later last week we were told that there would be a dance performance at school that Emelia’s dance group would be performing in. With the help of Poppa we made it to the performance and the kids had a blast. Thankfully there were all so well behaved so I got to take in another chance to see Emelia at school. There has to be some advantages to working from home with wee ones in tow.
Monday night was a normal night, school run, homework, cleaning, daycare prep and Emelia and I managed to get a trip to the gym so I could burn off some much needed energy.
Tuesday Emelia had her sketching class so I managed to get in a workout as well as some other errands in while she was there. Otherwise the day was pretty uneventful. The rest of the week seemed to be the same.
Until while putting things in Wolfie Tuesday I noticed something wasn’t right with her door. The bottom hinge had come right off and the screws were stripped from the trailer. Crap! I have no idea what I am doing with fibreglass repair! With John 3000KM away it was terrible timing, add in that next weekend we are planning on going on a family camping trip the timing could not have been worse.
What to do, what to do?
Thankfully after a lot of back and forth with John and brainstorming I was able to find one of our good friends who has experience with fibreglass and Chris was able to come over yesterday and make quick repair of it. As I said to Leanne (who is married to Chris) we are so incredibly grateful to have such great friends who help you out in a bind. One less thing to worry about.
Thursday was another milestone for Emelia. Her typical Thursday Sparks meeting was an advancement celebration where the Sparks are advanced to Brownies for the fall. Emelia is so excited to move to Brownies and this night was pretty special for her as well as best friends Anna and Grace.
The rest of the week went by quickly, I had little time to take anything in, I was going from one thing to the next, keeping on top of it all.
Then the weekend, the glorious weekend!
With John’s trip to California looming one of our close friends who we had lost contact with for years had invited Emelia and I down for a visit. I didn’t have to think twice and happily accepted the invitation to see Jude, her husband Dan and incredibly beautiful daughter Ruby for part of the weekend. So Friday after the last little one left Emelia and I grabbed a quick bite and after grabbing a coffee for the road we were off!Emelia was so excited, she was telling everyone she could that she was going to Toronto with me for the weekend. And I have to say the chance to see Jude after all these years had me a little giddy too. And it was like time hadn’t past, once Emelia FINALLY went to sleep Jude and I spent the evening catching up, sharing mom stories, some wine and lots and lots of laughs. It was the start of an amazing visit.
We certainly cannot stay up to all wee hours like we used to before kids so we made an earlier night of it and the next day the girls had us up with the birds and ready to go, go, go. Emelia and Ruby hit it off instantly. Emelia really took to taking care of her new much younger little friend. Hey it’s almost like she lives in a daycare! And Ruby took to her equally needing to follow Emelia around and know everything she was doing. It made your heart melt. After we had some breakfast and got ready we were off to the Science Centre.The Science Centre was Emelia’s request, and honestly I wasn’t complaining, it is not only part of my childhood memories of living in Toronto we also have a membership so I was able to get all 4 of us in for free.
We spent the next 3-4 hours wandering around, the girls playing hand in hand and getting along so well. It was a pretty picture perfect start of the day. After a few hours Jude tucked out with Ruby with the hope that a short drive in the car would give Ruby a nap. Well she wanted nothing of that, she had a new friend after all! So Emelia and I joined our friends and we made our ay back to Jude, Dan and Ruby’s house. The girls played and played and played in the bouncy castle they have and generally having a great time. The weather was perfect, the company was perfect and the day was well… perfect.
After dinner we had to leave to allow Ruby to get to bed as she was exhausted, we exchanged hugs and promises that we will get together again and soon.
At this point it was only 6:30, Emelia was likely to fall asleep in the car if I ventured down the highway so we decided that we would make our way to Yorkdale to putter around and kill some time before getting on the highway at a better time for Emelia to crash out in the backseat.
She and I walked around and I certainly realized quickly that I cannot afford about 95% of the stores in the mall. It had always been a more upscale mall but in the last few years it has turned all high end with the exceptions of a few stores. It was fun to look around but I certainly know I could not afford to shop there. The night was getting later and I wanted to make one more stop. Starbucks! Well little did I know going in the wrong door would lead me to another 45 minutes in the mall and a memorized little girl.
Indigo here in Canada has just recently started selling the beloved American Girl dolls. Basically the are larger realistic dolls that are expensive but sought after by many little girls Emelia’s age, including Emelia. Crap!
Well after a long visit and lingering around I finally made it out of the store. Emelia in love and determined that her allowance will be saved so she can one day own an American Doll that looks just like her – one day!
After a long drive home I got Emelia settled in bed and I wasn’t much further after.
And then today! Mother’s Day. It is certainly a bitter sweet day for me. It reminds me how much I miss my mother terribly and how much she would have adored Emelia. But at the same time it reminds me that in spite of all the odds we have an incredible, beautiful, smart, funny, painfully shy little girl. I really missed today that John wasn’t here to be with us on this day. Like I said bitter sweet.
Emelia of course woke me up early in spite of the late bedtime. I got up and got her some breakfast and then she gave me a bit more time in bed to rest before getting up and making my own breakfast. I would like to say I and a relaxing morning to enjoy Mother’s Day but who am I kidding? Shortly after breakfast I got ready and packed Emelia up as we had to go shopping because she had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. Off we went to Indigo in town and picked up a present and made our way back home so she could make a card for her friend and for grandma. And then we were off to the party, after getting her settled I was off again to get some groceries, some flowers for grandma for Mother’s Day and the back home to unpack everything to turn around and go back and convince Emelia it was time to leave the party as we had Mother’s Day for her grandmother that afternoon.
Emelia and I then went over to Poppa and Grandma’s to celebrate Mother’s Day with grandma. It was another great visit with the family and a quick FaceTime conversation with John. I then had to get a tired little girl home for bed.
And that is where I am now. I am going to sign off for this week as the to do list is still long before I can get to bed myself.
I will likely finish posting tomorrow for the blog as I need to wait for John to give me his part and photos from his adventures. Until next weekend!