Arriving Home After Six Months of

Sunday, June 6th, 2004: Toronto, Stratford, Ontario

N 43°
W 080°

Southwestern Ontario is lush and green from a cool and wet spring. Our rush hour drive home from the airport takes us through the gentle rolling hills of both Wellington and Perth Counties and is uneventful other than the usual end of work day traffic on the 401. We arrive to a beautiful late spring dinner of BBQ’d trout with rosti potatoes and fresh asparagus prepared by John’s sister Liz. Lots of fun, laughs and wine.

Too Short a Time

Our time in Stratford is all too short. We spend it unpacking and re-packing, planting John’s mother’s flower beds and visiting local friends and enjoying my best friend Lucy Peacock’s opening of Macbeth at the Stratford Festival on Friday night. John’s mum is dealing with a chest cold while we are home and we help with the nursing, bringing trays of chicken soup and glasses of orange juice up to her bedroom sanctuary on the third floor of Hibernia Street. Saturday evening, with John’s sister Pam, brother Eric and nephew Nimi home for our visit, she is well enough to take us out for a lovely dinner at one of the local restaurants. Liz and Janet pop their heads in between classes at their popular cooking school, Chez Soleil, saying hi and sharing stories.

Planning, Planning, Planning

We start to focus on the next part of our trip. Germany and northern Europe are pretty well organized until we head for St. Petersburg on July 1st. We buy the Lonely Planet and Rough guides to Europe and confirm our train to St. Petersburg. We connect with our Russian guide, Nikolay, and repack our bags for our hectic second week in Toronto. We will return to Stratford in exactly a week for the final repack of our trip bags and won’t be returning until the snow flies in Canada in December.

I find it hard to believe that five and a half months have flown by already.

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