The house where I grew up is renovated a wee bit but the three birch trees still stand tall on the lawn. The strip mall across the street is still there. The Beer Store which had a burglar alarm that my next door neighbour could set off by turning on the tap in the laundry room sink to the amusement of the entire street as he was an OPP officer. Many of the other stores had changed but the Fish & Chips store is still there and the Variety store. Lots of memories and just a few stories told. It was fun to be the one to say "oh that used to be..." and be able to know the back roads and alternate routes to what the GPS was indicating.
We spent the later part of the day touring the Hockey Hall of Fame. My metamour and I felt deep compersion for my partners as they waded in the essence of their first love...hockey. I took photos of all the important players who had the great fortune to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs and various bits of displayed memorbilia. J was moved to tears by the ability to actually touch the token of his love...The Stanley Cup.
I took various photos of it with both of my partners and close ups of the inscription where the Maple Leafs had won it as well as the ring for the year the Victoria Cougars won it. Everytime J thought about that moment with his true love, he teared up. Such a wonderful moment. The guys had some retail therapy in the Spirit of Hockey store and I was gifted with an umbrella sporting the Leafs' logo.
We met my brother, sister-in-law and their two young children for dinner. St. Louis Wings and Ribs was fabulous if a bit rowdy. We slipped up the street to a much quieter Gelato place for a tasty ending to the meal. My nephew who is 4 years old was full of wiggles and Gelato. He inspired silliness in my partner J and they got along famously. My niece who is 6 yrs old sat beside me in the first restaurant and chatted with me as we ate. She slipped her hand in mine to walk down the street to the Gelato place and directed me to sit in a certain seat. As we left the Gelato place she slipped her hand in mine again and I asked if I might do up her jacket for her. Then she slipped her hand in mine as we left that place. This is my niece who has met me once before when their family travelled to Victoria in August of this year. I was very touched that she honoured me with guiding her safety as we walked along the street. We discussed our shoes and jackets and their general uselessness in the monsoon of rain and high winds. J caught my eye as I walked hand in hand with the most precious little girl in the world and our eyes met, filled with tears and I knew that another moment of compersion had passed between us.
J experienced the Toronto subway system and at rush hour and survived. My partners both learned that I did learn something growing up in the Toronto area - how to use the TTC and even though I had to tell them each five times that I was SURE what stop to get off, they do believe me now.
Hot tub for them, pool for me and off to bed. Tomorrow we drive to Ottawa.