Hello! I’m back in The Hague and back to blogging after a 3+ week (unintended!) break, including a visit from my sister and her lovely family, and then a two week trip to Toronto.
This summer has been amazing. I’ve had so many visitors in my neck of the woods, and have just had the most wonderful time in Toronto (with a bonus trip to Ottawa to see my extended family!).
This blog is supposed to be about my life here in the Netherlands, but I just can’t resist sharing a glimpse of my time back home!
We were extremely lucky to have the best weather the city’s had all summer, and enjoyed it as much as we could.
There was a trip to the Scarborough Bluffs …
… and several trips to the Toronto islands, including Ward’s Island and – of course – Centre Island for a morning of fun with all four nieces & nephews! My heart basically exploded from all the cuteness.
During our weekend trip to Ottawa, we took Pieter to check out the parliament. The city is beautiful but – more importantly – it was amazing to finally be able to introduce Pieter to a lot of my French Canadian family. There was tons of delicious food and wine and lots of laughs! The best part: Pieter fit right in. He even got to experience a true family road trip both directions – whether or not that’s a positive for him is debatable!
Of course, food was a dominant theme throughout my time back home.
One evening, my brother and sister-in-law took us out to Bloor & Ossington for customized, made-on-the-spot ice cream sandwiches at Bakerbots. One word: YES. If you’re in Toronto, you need to make it out there. My ice cream sandwich – cinnamon toast crunch ice cream between one oatmeal and one ginger cookie – was phenomenal. Writing about it now is making me a bit sad that I didn’t go back before I left!
Another night, Evelyne took me out for delicious Pho at The Golden Turtle at Argyle & Ossington (two wins at Ossington!) and then across the street to Venezia Bakery for mind-blowingly good Portuguese custard pies. Oh. Man. They were insanely good. On the car ride home, we sang ‘custard piiiiie – custard piiiiie!’ in mournful tones, lamenting the quick devouring of such tasty treats … before I quickly dug into the box Evelyne had so sweetly purchased for our parents.
It was so good to see all of my friends so shortly after my last visit. I was also extremely lucky to be able to celebrate my 25th birthday with my entire immediate family and all significant others! It was the first time ever that we were all in the same room: all four kids, all boyfriends/spouses, all siblings, and both of my parents. It was also the first time since 2011 that I was home for my birthday. What a great feeling!
To celebrate, my mom took me out to see Wicked at the Ed Mirvish theatre. From the moment the curtains went up to the moment they came back down again, I was totally entranced. I’d seen it before but it was just as good – if not better – the second time around. If you get the chance, definitely go see it.
It was overall a fantastic trip and, as usual, far too short. I’m trying to stay excited about fall and our perpetual apartment-hunting …
I may miss my friends and family back home but there is plenty to be happy about here … even if jet lag isn’t one of them!