A Whirlwind of a Week - AnnTheGran in Toronto

It feels as if I was just packing for this trip and here I am home again! Bill and I had a fabulous time in Toronto. First and foremost it was a delight to have a 3rd annual "Spring Fling" with our dear friends Loes and Theo van der Heijden from the Netherlands. Second, it was wonderful to get out of the pre-seasonal Florida heat. It was over 100°F on our front porch the day before we left. We visited all the local touristy spots, Casa Loma (charming), Chinatown (colorful), the CN tower (very tall), Niagara Falls (magnificent), etc. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner, grilled by my favorite Beamish boy at his lovely home along with his delightful wife, 2 beautiful daughters, his spit-n-image son and his charming father. Who knew Greg could cook!?!

The first day we bought tickets for the hop-on-hop-off double decker bus and harbor cruise. It was cold and windy and we were freezing! The second day, prepared for the cold, we set out for Chinatown and the CN Tower and it was hot. The weather kept on in that fashion, always catching us unprepared for either the heat or the cold. It didn't dampen our fun in any way, though.

A Busman's Holiday
bus·man's holiday
Pronunciation: \bəs-mənz-\
Function: noun
Date: 1893
: a holiday spent in following or observing the practice of one's usual occupation

On Monday we had lunch with Monica Anderton a machine embroidery colleague from almost the very beginning. Monica's designs were some of the first in the Design Exchange (now our Free Designs section). So much water has passed under the bridge. It was great to get together to reminisce about the "good old days" and catch up with what we've all been up to recently. After lunch we all walked to the Royal Ontario Museum. What a wonderful place! First we headed to the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume, a diverse international collection of costume and textiles, including Chinese imperial court garments, early Islamic textiles, Western fashion from the 18th century to the present, and early Canadian textiles.

Another day we drove to St. Jacobs where there was a quilt festival. What serendipity! Everywhere we went there seemed to be something going on having to do with clothing and textiles. Anyway, the most striking thing we saw in St. Jacobs was a quilt car cover. I can't imagine how long it too to fit and measure, not to mention sew, the thing. It was amazing! The car quilt was made by Judy Taylor, pieced and quilted with left over quilt blocks that are sometimes called "orphan blocks" or "UFO's" (unfinished objects). It was sewn together with 33,000 metres (1,287,000 inches) of thread. The car is fully driveable when dressed in the quilt and it has appeared in several parades.Can you imagine?!?

A little too comfy?
Our last stop on Thursday was to visit Greg in his office. He looks a little too comfortable there, don't you think? Perhaps he doesn't have enough to do. While in Greg's office I got to talk to Pat on the phone. This Internet is truly a remarkable vehicle. Here I am in Orlando, Pat in San Diego, Cathy in Portland, Greg in Toronto and you all all over the world, yet we come together here with no borders, no feeling of  any distance between us. I'm constantly amazed.

Escorted out of my own country!!
On our way from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake, Theo's GPS unit took us across the bridge into the US. There was no way to turn around and go back. So, we had to cross the border. Our passports were collected and we had to get out of the car and go into the border control building. After cooling our heels for a while, Loes and Theo were called into a room. A short while later they came out with a smiling homeland security officer. Everything was okay, of course. But this officer stayed with us until we were safely in the car and pointed back to Canada. As we were walking I said to him, "This is something, being escorted out of my own country." He replied, "You're leaving of your own choice." To which I replied, "Yes, but you're escorting me!" It was pretty funny, even if it didn't seem that way at the time. The GPS unit, fondly called "James" because of its British accent and impeccable manners was sent to time out. Naughty James!

Who is this Rogers guy and why is his name on everything?
As we flew out of Toronto I was left with one burning question: Who is this Rogers guy and why is his name on everything? From the first time I turned on my cell phone when we landed and his name appeared on the screen until the last day when we passed the Rogers Centre on our way to the airport, I don't think an hour went by when we weren't seeing the name "Rogers" somewhere. What's the deal?

So, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Now to unpack, do some laundry and settle back in at home. TTYL!


Comments (10) -

Sounds like you had a lot of fun.  I was delighted to be able to talk with you on Thursday.  I am so looking forward to new and exciting things happening here at ATG.

Greg and the gang have been so great to me as well.  All the ATG affiliates are so terrific, not a dull one in the bunch.

Cathy just made her first FSL and I can see she is hooked.  I love doing them around the holidays for hanging on Christmas Trees or decorating for Hanukkah.  

Glad your trip was safe AND they let you back into the USA...


jalcumbrack 5/31/2008 9:18:33 PM

Sounds like a wonderful trip Ann,wished I could have been there as well. I would have loved to have seen the quilt car cover..........Amazing! I can't even begin to imagine how long that took just to measure and re-measure making sure every part was correct.I make baby quilts and they take me forever,I am constantly measuring to make sure it is right.My grandmother always told me measure twice,cut once ! every time I don't recheck things it comes out a bit off.(or maybe it is just my brain is crooked)

It is always nice to know someone elses GPS takes them on side trips........been on a few of those.Hubby calls it the scenic route.

BB looks a bit too comfy there. I think he needs more to do! I agree with you about the internet,it is truly amazing.Much different than when I took college for data processing way back in the stone ages.I learned cobal,basic and fortran.....Yeah it's been a while ago! That's when a computer took up a whole floor , now we carry them around.

glad you are back in florida Ann,It has been a scorcher already.We are back to ditto for the summer( 90's days,70's nights 10% chance of rain) I looked at the thermometer the other day and it was 94.This is when I get a lot of sewing done,as it is way too hot out side to do much.

I am looking forward to all the new stuff coming on ATG.Sounds like a lot is in the air for the future,just keep doing what you're doing and it will be a hit.

Glad you enjoyed your trip and welcome back !

travelbug1237 5/31/2008 9:38:04 PM

Welcome back Ann!!!

Glad you had such a great trip!!! I loved reading your blog...great photos tooo and some REAL stories to tell the grandkids ...........and us!!!Smile

Holy Cow....being escorted .....brings back a few memories for me too,

but this is YOUR blog so I'm going to zip my lips.....Don't faint.! Smile

E and I are off to the beach for a week....yeah...watch out razor clams...

Here we come!!!


I was just talking to British friends this morning and they are going to Toronto and staying in Niagra on the Lake.  I was telling what we did there and then your article comes.  I am going to sent the email to them so they can see it all for themselves.  They are ultimately going to see mutual friends in WaWa, Ontario.  Thanks for the help.  Joyce

grammacandy 5/31/2008 10:20:40 PM


powderlyclark 5/31/2008 10:53:22 PM

Oh my...NIagara on the Lake was such a quaint little place when we visited there about ten years ago. Are the wineries and the Butterfly Arboretum still there? Sounds like you had a really memorable trip!


Gee I wish I knew you were going to visit St. Jacobs for the quilt festival I would have met you somewhere - or maybe Imissed it if you mentioned it was on your list to visit? - anyway I am only 10 minutes from there - sorry I missed you - it is a very colourful place to be at anytime and the quilts are amazing.  They do very unique items as you found out with the car.  glad you had time to visit our neck of the woods.

Glad you got back into your own country.  That reminded me of the time we took friends on a trip with us and we stopped at Ft. Knox and was going to take them thru it.  Since they didn't have any photo ID of themselves, we were turned down.

I love to travel tho'; my husband has been to Prince Edward Island and I would love to go there one of these days.  I hear the lobster is outstanding.  Are there quilt shops there?  That would be my first place to go.

carolpeachey 6/1/2008 9:22:53 PM

Dear Anne,I have just bought the Janome 300E embroidery machine so I am trying to learn my way around how to usr the patterns,some sew small and some big,and i'm australian so that says it all ,thanks for the imformation ,happy sewing,reguards Carol.

Sounds like you had a great time.  Thank you for sharing with us.  

I love the quilted car!  Here in Syracuse, NY someone has covered an abadoned gas station with knitted and quilted pieces.  Everything is covered right down to the hoses on the gas pumps.  It is really quite a colorful site.

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