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I am back, eh!

September 7, 2011

Call off the search parties! I am alive and well and terribly sorry for disappearing for a week without notice. Eric and I got invited to a wedding in Toronto this Labor Day weekend, so we decided to extend our trip to a full week and spend some time with mom and my university friends. I had all the intentions of blogging while there. I brought my camera, laptop, and the USB cord to sync the pictures. But along with my other optimistic aspirations, like doing a 16 mile long run, checking out my mom’s yoga studio and sticking to my low carb diet, none of which ever ended up happening, neither did blogging.

I took lots of pictures so I will tell you all about my adventure that mostly centered over my mom babying us for a week, 3 trips to the Russian store, 3 homemade apple pies (everything comes in threes in Russia, don’t you know?), fabulous wedding festivities in various parts of Toronto, Russian comedies and non-stop eating which my mom disguised with the code phrase “how about some tea?”

The groom, Jeff is one of my closest friends. We met on the first day of class at the University of Waterloo. I sat next to this guy who was stretched out on the desk fast asleep. I was drawn to the sleeping beauty to avoid awkward small talk in a class full of teenage boys. I believe it was a calculus class, at the end of which, he asked to borrow my notes and a true engineering bond was formed. I was good at math and his brain was wired in 1s and 0s. I did all of our lab reports while he coded up our assignments. Together we’ve seen each other through first loves and heartbreaks, family trouble and money problems, failed courses and near-failed exams, crazy drunken nights and not-so-fun hangover mornings, tears and laughter, and most importantly amazing memories that only college students share.

After graduation, Jeff got a job in Japan, as he was so taken with the culture during his first internship there, and I moved to Seattle. We stayed in touch through Skype, facebook and email, and I was so touched when he flew 33 hours to be at my wedding. That’s when I met Rino, his girlfriend at the time and I knew she was the one (women have a sense for these things). She was super-smart, ambitious, organized, confident, easygoing and a perfect match for Jeff. A few months later, Jeff called and told me they were engaged!

The Rehearsal dinner was a Japanese themed event in Etobicoke (a suburb of Toronto), hosted by Jeff’s old neighbor and mentor.

A large buffet of tempura, sushi, yakisoba, teriyaki skewers waited for us when we arrived.

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Of course, I had to try a bit of everything.

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These two look familiar. I think his name might be Eric Smile

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The wedding was super-fun. It started off with a ferry ride from Royal Canadian Yacht Club to a small island on Lake Ontario.

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This is the first wedding (after my own) that I attended with my best friend, who also knew Jeff from school.

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The ceremony took place at a lovely church where we were greeted by a flutist.

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Here comes the bride in Vera Wang and Jane is ready with the camera.

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The officiant was an old friend of Rino’s family, so he made the lovebirds do homework and write up what they loved and cherished most about each other and their relationship. He then read it to the congregation.

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I stole the groom for a second when he was snacking on hors d’oeuvres to snap a photo.

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and then again a few minutes later. I am a crazy stalker who loves taking picture for her blog.

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Jeff and Rino are terrific dancers, so for their first dance they chose tango, which was super fun to watch.

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Those two are good!

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The meal was divine – corn chowder, greens with orange slices, almonds and avocado. Unfortunately, the only thing I remembered to take a picture of was the beef tenderloin, which was the most tender piece of beef I’ve ever had.

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Love was in the air! A little PDA is totally acceptable at weddings.

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Other trip highlights included:

A dinner at my favorite restaurant in Toronto, Me Va Me. It’s Israeli/Middle eastern type food – fresh, healthy, with giant portions and even bigger drinks that everyone in my family enjoyed.

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We started with warm pita and a trio of green eggplant, hummus and Baba ghanoush dips.

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Then came salad and complimentary pickles

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Main course of lamb skewers and steamed veggies

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White chocolate raspberry cheese cake and Naana tea are a perfect finish

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Best part about visiting mom is to get babied with childhood favorites like blintzes filled with cottage cheese (or baked apple for Eric)

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Fresh Salad and Pelmeni (пельмени, dumplings with chicken) that we enjoyed like tzars, served on gold-plated dishes

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Homemade Apple pie from my grandma’s recipe, and chocolate covered marshmallows

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Shopping at Roots is another must on my checklist.

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A stroll around Yorkville to check out local elites and bizarre sculptures.

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Daily visits to Tim Horton’s

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which offers the best selection of donut holes ever, known as Timbits! We only had those on the last day.

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Canadian booze!

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We returned home on Tuesday night tired but happy (and in my case, 4 pounds heavier). Our hearts are filled with warmth and  our bodies are still feeling the tight embraces from all the loved ones (or maybe our clothes got tight? Smile). I just wish they weren’t over 2500 miles away.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2011 10:09 pm

    I love Tim Horton’s – if I would have known you were heading to Canada I would have pleaded for you to import a bag of Old Dutch Ketchup Potato Chips for me. I used to have a roomate from Toronto & she would always bring goodies home from her visits. BTW – your dress you wore to the wedding looked great on you, loved the red!

    • September 8, 2011 5:19 am

      i love ketchup chips and coffee crisps 🙂 Next time I’ll pick some up. Surprisingly I was the only one in red at the entire party. Made it easy for Eric not to lose me in the crowd.

  2. September 8, 2011 11:59 am

    Looks like you had so much fun + had some tasty treats! The wedding looked amazing! Welcome back 🙂

  3. Jeff permalink
    September 21, 2012 6:26 am

    Brilliant Jane! Can’t believe I didn’t see this before. Let’s definitely catch up soon!

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