Tuesday I flew to Toronto to meet dear friend Jenny and her family and was treated to an exquisite, serene birthday dinner at The Globe Bistro. Then a pre-dawn flight Wednesday to Vancouver for an amazing executive education conference (UNICON). What a city! Got to know the team better, met lots of great new exec ed colleagues from all over the world, and was served the freshest sushi ever by the cutest Japanese waiter ever (sorry but it's true). Then back across the continent yesterday to Toronto for aforementioned friend's 50th birthday party, which happens tonight, and back home tomorrow.
Hotelwise, it's been an all-Fairmont week. The convention was at the Fairmont Vancouver, my own hotel was the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver, and at the moment I have been hogging a wing chair all morning in the Gold Level Lounge at the Fairmont Royal York here in Toronto (Chicago's closest correlate would be the Drake). Candice has just brought over an unsolicited pot of tea and a macaroon. Oh, and now she's handed me a recipe for the macaroons which have evidently been made here since 1929. Proper old-school macaroons with about a 5:1 ratio of coconut to sugar. Classical music is playing, it's nearly empty in here, and the only thing that would make it perfect is my husband sitting in the other wing chair nearby.
|Rough life: To do list = ice the champagne.|
In my former life as a consultant, I frequently had the opportunity to travel this way (minus the champagne, unless John Stanek was along). It has been many, many years since I have been treated in this manner for several days in a row. Not surprisingly, it is extremely comfortable, relaxing, and pleasant. So seductive, in fact, that you begin to question why you shouldn't have attractive, friendly people bringing you tea and macaroons and bacon all the time. You can see how, over time, this might skew your Weltanschaaung. (1)
Although I haven't been away from home this long on my own for a very long time, I do like to take advantage of forced solitude to do things I wouldn't normally take the time to do. Or sometimes, NOT doing anything, which is nicest of all. It's been a great week and will be capped by a wonderful birthday celebration tonight, in a beautiful place, with people very dear to me. And tomorrow, I will be aiming all my energy straight out the front of the plane as we aim toward Chicago where my heart seeks its answering call in Sean and the kids. Here's to taking opportunities when they arise, being grateful for them, and then being able to come back home with a similar sense of gratitude.
(1) I am trying to shoehorn "Weltanschaaung" into common parlance since it makes you sound obnoxious and is really just fancypants for "worldview." Also "zeitgeist," "germane," "converse" (not the shoes), and "corollary." I would LOVE to start using one of my friend Tracy's pet words primarily because of its rhythm in German - "Kraftwagenanlage" - as soon as I can determine what it means. But it might be fun to just start peppering conversations with "Kraftwagenanlage" just to see what happens. Conversely, I would like to encourage people to ramp down usage of "plethora." There are, in fact, a plethora of people of saying "plethora," and it's really gotten old. Time to pick some other obnoxious words.
PS - A guy who looks pretty much exactly like Salman Rushdie just came into the Gold Floor lounge and made himself comfortable. Wonder if he likes champagne? Maybe he could crash the party.