Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not Quite as Planned (Checking in Live!)

Daily 5 lists will resume when I get home. It's easier that way. I'll post the lists, probably with some pictures that go with them.

We arrived safely late on Friday evening, and have been laughing and adventuring and exploring ever since.

I'm feeling incredibly laid back, and that, to me, is a miracle.

Yesterday L and I spent a large chunk of the day at the CN Tower. I'm not totally sure we recommend it as a tourist event (in fact, I'm fairly sure we wouldn't recommend it all that highly), but we do now have the distinction of being able to say that we have been on the highest observation deck in the world. My friend A. (we're staying with her and her husband here in Toronto) met us after we finished up at the CN Tower and we wandered around downtown Toronto for a couple more hours.

There has been much laughter, and great conversations. I find myself soaking in the chance to simply be. To fellowship with friends and find rest in that.

Today, after a lazy start to the morning, A. and L. and I headed out to explore Kensington Market (unique and fun - bought a great new sweater at a funny little shop that mostly sells stuff from India. A bought a couple of scarves - apparently my tendency for scarf wearing is being passed on, as L. bought a scarf yesterday as well.) We found a little shop that sold Chilean empanadas for lunch, and then A. headed home to go out with her husband to join some of his relatives that live locally for a Thanksgiving dinner.

L. and I headed to a place called Casa Loma. Basically a castle in the middle of the city. It was a tourist attraction that was part of a deal we bought called the City Pass, that will get us into the places we actually really wanted to see for an affordable price. We weren't expecting much, but it turned out to be quite enjoyable. A nice mix of history, but very self guided. And lovely gardens. Much photo taking ensued, but I won't be able to upload photos until I get back to Calgary.

Following that the plan was to buy some groceries, return to A.'s apartment, cook ourselves some supper, and have a lazy evening reading or watching a dvd. We made it through the grocery buying, but the plans took a turn when we struggled mightily with the key A. had left us for the door of her apartment. Since we couldn't immediately reach A or her husband, we looked at each other, realized the groceries we'd bought would have to feed us a different night, and headed out to explore and find something to eat, hauling our couple decent sized bags of groceries along with us.

We ended up discovering a Peruvian restaurant nearby that looked busy, offered a tasty sounding menu, and affordable prices. Those of you who know me will know that my heart lept at any connection to Peru, and that was where we had dinner. AND, it was really good. The service was lovely, and we both really enjoyed the dishes we chose rather tentatively off the menu.

Since we still hadn't heard from A., we went with our backup plan, went to the local drugstore that we'd walked past on our way to find a restaurant, eventually purchase a magazine and newspaper, and headed for a lovely bakery/coffee shop that we'd also walked past earlier. Armed with reading material, rich chocolate desserts, and beverages, we passed a very happy hour or so sitting in the coffee shop until it closed. Just as we were nearing her apartment building, A. called with tips on getting the lock to work from her husband, and as I talked to her on the phone, we managed to get in.

What's fun in all of this is that a situation like that would normally make me panic, and maybe even cry. Instead I just had to laugh as I saw Jesus' hand in what turned out to be a very enjoyable and relaxing evening. I saw his hand in introducing me to Peruvian cuisine, and in a lazy evening in a coffee shop, and in the timing of A returning my call. I was in a totally strange city, and not frightened when life didn't go as planned, and that is so incredibly encouraging to recognize in myself.

Tomorrow's agenda should involve a (sort of) Thanksgiving dinner with A. and her husband, and one of my dearest friends who lives in a nearby city. More fellowship and laughter. And a hug from the person whom I have several times now flown across the country to collect a hug from, and offer one in return.

I'm tired from tons of walking the last two days, but I am feeling so at peace, so joyful, and like I'm resting in spite of doing so much. And those are things that make me incredibly grateful.

I think I'll sign off here for now. Happy Thanksgiving!