Peace out, Pearson!
With an hour and 20 minutes until boarding this feels entirely too surreal. In the car ride over I had all these terrible feelings that something bad might happen, but really it's all been pretty smooth sailing thus far. I woke up at 3:30 AM and figured I should probably put a face on. Not being used to my parents' new bathroom, my bronzer slid off the vanity and smashed on the floor - but did not break.
Anyone who has ever had to clean up brown powder off a tiled floor can attest to the feeling of having her heart in her mouth (or his?) when you hear that all to familiar clang on the floor. I was pretty happy about that one. Score.
Getting to the airport took about an hour - way less time than expected. It was pitch black outside except for the glare of the lights lining the petrol trucks leading the way on the 401 at 4 AM. Once I arrived at the airport we weighed my suitcases which were 50 lbs each - right on the money. My carry-on was oversized, however, so I had to take out my character shoes, a pair of boots, a onesie, and a couple of other things. It was that or the kids books and seeing as I'll be teaching age 5 - 15 I wanted to have all the lovely Robert Munsch books on which I could get my hands. For those of you who haven't read Bobby Munsch (as my Mother affectionately called him) now's the time. They never get old.
I sailed through US Customs (*phew*), dropped off my luggage (yep - when you're flying through the states you still have to go through customs with all your crap), and went to grab a coffee. Looking back, I must have packed and repacked at least 6 or 7 times. I have no idea what I managed to get into my bags. Hopefully it will be professional enough for my classes, and hopefully all the toiletries I purchased at Shopper's before leaving made it into my bags as well. Squeamish Gentlemen: earmuffs, goggles, whatever until after the jump, please.
I bought 5 deodorants, 5 tubes of toothpaste, 200 tampons, 4 razors, and 3 toothbrushes as apparently these items are quite expensive and scented in a way that North American women would not be used to experiencing. Evidently the toothpaste doesn't have fluoride either, and these pearly whites need all the help they can get especially since my wisdom teeth are coming in.
I had hoped to get some Starbucks instant coffee sticks as well (a tall coffee at Starbucks is 5,000 Korean Won which is nearly $6 Canadian). It seems as though the Starbucks locations are way more accessible in International departures than American. The music on this side has been mostly country. John (Cougar?) Mellencamp's "This is Our Country" as I neared my gate headed to JFK, a couple of Carrie Underwood tunes already, Johnny Cash crooning "Ring of Fire", and right now everyone is planning on having fun and will Wang Chung tonight.
Reflecting on the past 3 months I've got to say that even though I've dealt with some very strange situations with old friends reacting negatively to my move, some necessary absolute evil to ascertain closure, and moving all my furniture to Port Hope, ON, these months have been the best. People came out and made sure that they knew I was important to them (and man - did we have some great times!), I got in a lot of great workouts with the incomparable Mark Sparks, and work in a relaxed environment (well...for me. It was a less stressful job than I've been used to, but up the ladder there are a lot of moving parts), and great food. I got to eat at Rose and Sons, Big Crow, and Fat Pasha (the #1 New Toronto Restaurant 2014 from The Globe and Mail).
My last few weeks were a wild ride of ensuring my perfect little Toronto loft was all packed up, ensuring that I got to try out some of Toronto's top bars and restaurants (while not blowing my entire budget for Korea), and seeing the friends that I will miss like crazy (ps. please either visit or plan a trip to Thailand, Indonesia, India, or Vietnam so I can see YOU!). Most notable were my trips with J to Dailo (well - mostly Lo Pan), a photoshoot with a talented photographer on an extraordinarily cold day in Toronto, Harlem East with A, as well as dining at Rhum Corner with D, and finally my last night in Toronto having too many beers with A & A at The Garrison (they were $4...how could you not?) between Champagne toasts and dreams with my beautiful Rose and Sons team, and finally ending up with K and A at Boehmer (ps. glad I got to meet G :P). You'll likely notice my love of Mac and Cheese. I'll have to figure out how to make that in SK (you may need to send me KD just to satisfy my cravings...).
My parents worked so hard to get their new (beautiful) home all together before my arrival and had a party for me on Saturday. Family came from far and wide (ie. really far away) in a crazy snow storm. We had a delicious candied ham (thanks, Dad) and some of my Mom's famous potato salad and Heather Wood's (from Toronto Children's Chorus days) killer coleslaw. It was so tasty! We enjoyed lots of laughs with my sisters and cousins and I'm so glad they were all able to make it out. It meant a lot to me to see them all before leaving.
I'm at the airport, so I'll have to add all the delicious photos later (you may see them in my instagram feed here).
I'm headed to South Korea with a lot of pre-conceived notions based on the experiences of others (I've read a LOT of blogs and have heard a lot of stories from friends of friends). I'm trying to leave them here at the gate. A new adventure awaits. See you all from the other side.