Canada is awesome, though chilly.
I must say though, Canadians on planes are obnoxious. On my flight from Vancouver to Toronto, all the passangers seemed to be acting like wankers - I was concerned that the homeland rep of being nice and friendly was dead for me, until a woman randomly gave me her extra token yesterday. Awwwww!
I arrived home exhausted and smelly, as you do after a 20 hour door-to-door trip. I have a ton of luggage, of which maybe only a tenth is meant to come back with me - along with all the shopping I can do in two days in the city! The girls have made me the cutest sign saying, "Welcome Home Aunt Amanda" and covered with stickers.
Sunday morning I was woken by loud shouts - Chloe is not a quiet toddler. However, what with the jet lag, this is not a problem, as I had crashed before midnight while trying to read the night before. We ended up going to the park to watch the men play baseball and the kids just play. Afterwords we all came home for a nap, though my attempts to take one were scuppered as Emily kept coming in to visit. Nana, Julie, Alan and the cousins came over to fix the ghetto house (more on that latter) and swim in the pool. We had a very Canadian dinner of corn-on-the-cob, steak, salad and baked potatoes.
As for the ghetto house, well, I've stayed in SE Asian guesthouses for $5 a night with less warnings attached - the water was out today, there are no seats on the toilets, and, oh, the tap in the kitchen is broken! My uncle has been installing the new super-envirnomental toilets my parents bought and apparently when they got them in the sale, the shop was out of seats... These things flush very loudly and quickly and certainly beat Korean plumbing hands down.
Yesterday when I woke up to my morning alarm of shouting toddlers, I went downstairs and enquired if Emily had eaten breakfast. Her reply was, "Grandpa CAN make pancakes, but he doesn't." So, I figured, okay, we can make pancakes. It occurs to me that I have not actually made pancakes in at least 10 years. The assistance of small children slightly hindered efforts, as we ended up with too much flour. Thus, we had to double the recipe. At this point, Grandpa walks in and comments that the reason he doesn't make them pancakes is that they don't eat more than one and he's stuck eating 5 himself! Being a novice pancake chef, I flipped the first couple far too early in the process and they were rather unappealing looking, but thankfully the under-5 set aren't picky, so long as they have plenty of syrup to dip.
I popped over to a police station to get my police check. Took 5 minutes to fill out the form, about a half hour of waiting and $45 to collect this key piece of paper - oh, and a $2000 flight home! Thus, my only real errand that needed to be covered is now complete.
Then, I got dropped off at a shopping mecca - a North American mall! My god! Sizes that fit! Many colors and options! Changing rooms! Woot! I found out right before leaving that my new job has no dress code. Apparently jeans and t-shirts are just fine. Can I say how much better this dude is than my current boss??? Anyway, I've already bought a few things, though by the time I got there the afternoon nap thing was kicking in. I fell asleep on the subway over to Yonge and Eglington, where Jas and I went for fantastic Indian food, gellato, and lots of chat.
Day two of the shopping extravaganza is about to commence. This once a year shopping is great - no guilt at all for spending a small fortune! Sadly, I'm not seeing much in the way of sweaters... Last year I was shopping a tiny bit later and the sale racks in the department stores yielded some super cheap sweaters. This year I've not been lucky so far. Shoes... gah. Haven't even really started there.