Home Sweet Home!

In August I had 2 weeks holidays and I headed home. I had not been home for over 2 years and was so, so, so excited to be able to go and see my mom, my family and my friends. 

Being at home was fantastic! I absolutely love Toronto in the summer. I love the long days and warm (but not ridiculously hot) days and I love outdoor patios and Canadian summer activities. My mom also took 2 weeks off work so we were able to spend lots of time together. She picked me up at the airport and my first meal in Toronto was Swiss Chalet. I was shocked to see the size of the meals… they were HUGE! I couldn’t finish all of that food but boy was it good.

The main purpose of my visit home was to take care of my driver’s license and to spend as much time as possible with my mom. The two of us had a wonderful time together. We spent a lot of time chatting and catching up. We also went on a couple of mini-trips. We went to Elora and had a great time walking around the town, shopping and eating yogurt ice cream. We also went up to Barrie to visit my cousins who live up north. It was also nice to do some of our daily life routines like visiting the local supermarket and buying lots and lots of fruit. The thing I miss the most about Canada is its produce. I always just took it for granted but in Canada we are incredibly lucy to be able to have fresh fruit all year round, as well as a great variety for a great price. I will never complain about the price of produce in Canada when I have seen a melon being sold in Japan for over $30. Ridiculous.

I also had a chance to spend some quality with as many of my friends as I was able to see in 2 weeks. By the way after being away from home for 2 years, 2 weeks is way too short of a holiday. A few days after I arrived in Canada there was a BBQ at my friend Emma’s house. Some of my high school girlfriends were there and we had a great evening catching up, chatting and yes, maybe we did do a little gossiping. It was wonderful to see all my friends doing well and doing great things in their own lives. My friend Jaime has been married for over a year now and made us all laugh with stories about the world of marriage. We talked about the good ol’ days in high school, some of our worst fashion moments as teens and the boys in our lives. I wish that night could have gone on and on but alas all good things come to an end.

A few days after that I went to Ontario Place with my cousins who were visiting from the States and we spent a great time together. They even went on a helicopter ride over the Toronto skyline and at the end of the afternoon I me tup with my uni friends. I had some free time before dinner so I walked around the University of Toronto campus where I went to university. It was very odd to be walking there again except that this time I was no longer a student. I left for Japan 2 days after my graduation so this was my first time going back. I came to the conclusion that while I still want to continue studying and taking courses I don’t think UofT is the right path for me anymore. Who knows? maybe when I go back to Toronto I will change my mind and pursue graduate studies there as well.

After my walk around campus I met up with my university friends. It was wonderful to see them again! Is always nice to see familiar faces and to see that they are doing well. We had dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and spent a couple of hours catching up and gossiping about life. A few days later I met up again with them and spend the afternoon shopping away on Queen’s Street, one of my favourite shopping spots in all of Toronto. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to meet up with them after that afternoon, as I became busy with other family reunions, but I hope to see them again very soon.

A few days before returning to Japan I went back to Scotiabank and visited my old co-workers. It was really fun to see them and to walk around the office that I worked at for 4 years. In many ways many things have changed, but in many other, things remain the same. They had many questions about my time in Japan and enjoyed looking at my photo album. After that visit I wanted to spend some more quality time with my mom, so we went to the movies and watched Harry Potter in IMAX and 3D. It was AWESOME! After we walked to the Harbour Front and ate dinner at one of the many restaurants facing Lake Ontario. My mom and I always have a fantastic time together. I think the one thing I enjoy the most about growing up is the fact that I have become closer to my mom and we have very interesting talks. We walked around the marina and then took the train home.

On my last evening in Toronto we went to visit the Neglia’s. They are our closest family friends and they invited us for a BBQ at their home. It was nice to see the family and the children growing up. The food was delicious as usual and the conversations were also enjoyable. We finished the night with a bonfire by the pool, while the children went swimming and the rest of us caught up with the events of the past 2 years. The perfect way to end my stay at home.

Before I knew it, the holidays were done and I was on my way back to Japan. I am very glad I was able to go home. I really needed to go and see how I felt there and was very, very happy to see that as much as I love traveling at the end of this adventure I will go home because in the end home is home.