my good buddy phil came to visit this weekend!!
for many people our story is a bizarre one. see, phil was my first boyfriend. sophomore year of high school (toward the end) until freshman year of college (ended before thanksgiving). we both went to university of michigan for college and it was there that we finally acknowledged (though he made ME vocalize and end it. grumble) that we werent a good match, romantically. however, i saw no reason why we couldnt stay friends. i didnt stress it or force the situation, but we were able to remain friends. we are still close to this day (14 years and counting) and, honestly, he and dave get along great, i would even say that theyre friends. im definitely lucky. :)
anyway, phil flew in on friday night and dave picked him up. X decided she could stay up and wait for his arrival. and lucky she did, uncle phil came with presents: an adorable pink plaid dress with a pink shirt and cream tights (baby tights! cute.), plus a beautiful soft pink bunny blanket. he has always been great at picking out gifts (he also brought me a birthday gift. a green/blue cashmere wrap. awesome!).
after gifts, we just hung out and caught up. meanwhile, a wee headache i had had earlier in the day was working its way through my brain so that i became basically crippled by nights end. it made me hurt in my face, in my neck, in my shoulders. i was thirsty, hungry, nauseous. i was alternating ice pack and heat pack to get it to go away to the point where i could peacefully sleep the rest of it off. mainly, i was pissed that it was ruining my precious time with a friend who had traveled so far. then...things got really dicey when X decided to wake up about 3 times after we had put her down for the night. things did not look good...
yet, somehow i woke up from the brain fog in the morning, not restored or perfect but feeling somewhat like a human being. phil came over and we hung out before Xs first nap. during naptime, dave took phil on a visit to our newly opened farmers market (supposedly one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the world). when they got back, we were awake and i was looking forward to the day because i was finally feeling good.
(phil and X. awwwww)
we decided to stay close to the apartment and just show phil the city on saturday. we stopped at our sushi place for lunch before heading to the public gardens. we dont visit the gardens nearly as much as we should, seeing as it is so close to us. apparently it is one of the best examples of a formal victorian garden in north america (relatively unchanged since it opened in 1867), and the variety of flowers that were in bloom while we were visiting was amazing. with plenty of shade and color and design elements (ponds, bridges, statues, gazebo, fountain, etc.), it really is a lovely place in the city.
of course, X needed another nap so we grabbed some frozen drinks on our way back and i stayed home to get her to sleep while dave took phil to tour the dalhousie campus, point pleasant park, and to have a beer at henry house. then, once everyone was awake and ready, we walked down along the waterfront in search of dinner. our first choice (called "the grill at cut") was closed for a wedding, so we were thinking about the hart & thistle pub.
when we arrived at the pub (time: approx 7:30p), they told us they were no longer taking tables of children because the kitchen was too slow to get food out fast enough for them (but...she drinks milk, not shit from your kids menu). so, we were turned away. scrambling for another food idea we settled on climbing the steep halifax hills up to the wooden monkey, a local/organic food-type restaurant. once there, they warned that they could seat us, but that we had to be cashed out by 9p because of their liquor license rules. the lady seemed less than pleased when we accepted the terms (it was only 7:40p. we had plenty of time to make it before this 9p deadline).
thankfully we did have a good meal, well phil and i at least (me: lentil burger, phil: lamb burger...dave: a smokey tofu pasta. smokey? ack.). we were amused on the patio of the restaurant by watching all the people heading into the club "taboo" down the street (before 9p!). quite a collection of misfits, plus the drink girls in red spandex outside the club were interesting. oh, and isnt it a sign of being super classy that your club is next door to a "pizza pizza?"
anyway, our night of ups and downs ended with a game of mille bornes. lol. phils mom is french canadian so he had played it as a kid. i guess its something i missed out on while my mom was playing UNO with us and forcing me to endure Skipbo. ;)
then came sunday, save the best for last. the morning started off with a swim in phils hotel pool. Xs first encounter. it was so cute! i think shes really going to like the water. at first the pool temperature was too cool for her (takes after me in that respect!) but as dave slowly inched her further down, she did get used to it. by the end she was kicking around and smiling at everything. very fun, we hope to find a swim class for her soon.
after the swim and a rinse and a nap, we were ready to hit the trail at duncans cove. i think this will be a permanent visitors destination. we saw SO many seals this time. tons on the rocks and many in the water, their heads bobbing in the waves. a nice breeze this time meant we had a very pleasant experience. phil said it reminded him of the landscape in cape town, south africa.
(all of us at duncans cove)
and finally, to cap off the day and the visit, dave got to make a recipe from his grill pan cookbook: grilled halibut steaks with mango salsa. he hadnt cooked halibut steaks before, but everything turned out delicious (small price to pay: a fishy smelling apartment). and when dave and phil finished off the last of the beer in the house, it was time to say goodbye. it was so great to have such a nice visit. great weather, great company, and a relaxed yet still fulfilling pace for activities. yay. thanks so much for making the trip phil!