Tiana was blogging from Montreal and New York.


Thank you for joining me on my vacation.
You can contact me at tianadueck[at]pm.me with any comments.
If you want to hang out virtually, say hello to algae here.
Vacation vlogs

Water under the bridge,

10.24.21 ~ Flight Day

I woke up around 8:30 and got ready for the day. Laurel and I had some chat and started brainstorming the construction of our mobile art piece, which is made up of bells, a stick, and clear string. I went skateboarding around Park Slope until about 11AM. I walked through a farmers market at one point, which was refreshing. There were a lot of hills I skated down, then walked up. I got a couple shuvs and ollies in before heading back. Laurel was making a bit of progress on our mobile among other things. She offered to film me skateboarding for my vlog, you'll see that soon. We had fun filmming. We named the tree in front of her house vivienne, and admired the leaves on the trees and shrubs. I did a couple tricks on my skateboard - I strive for mediocracy and that's what I got. Nevertheless, I am very glad with the footage we collected.

Back up in Laurel's apartment, we began construction on our mobile. 5 strings hanging from a stick with bells at the ends. Laurel will later add photos and poems to the strings. It can hang in a few places around her cozy place, and travels easily anywhere really. A candle that is supposed to bring motivation burned as we crafted.
We both made bracelets with some glass beads I got, and the remaining string. As we crafted, we filmmed a video log for Norm and Yatu. We thought about how ambiently hanging out digitally with friends is special.

I made Amy's Quinoa, Kale & Red Lentil Soup and enjoyed it before packing up my things, it would be time to leave soon. I saved some for Laurel to enjoy later.
Anxiety inevitably strikes little by little while a boarding time approaches. I got everything together, hung out with Laurel a while longer, and bitter-sweetly left the firefly sanctuary.
Laurel and I hugged goodbye, and I trudded over to the metro station... A minute into my walk I realized my jacket was in Laurel's closet still! I called her and walked back. Laurel ran down the steps with my jacket, we met halfway down the block and embraced one last time! Goodbye again.
I always forget something, good thing I caught that. it was about 2:30 and my boarding time was at 5:45. I was going to take me at least and hour to get ther, and I wasn't sure if I had to go through customs before so I was a bit on edge on my way to the station.

My phone was only at 30%, but I made the train (which was very late due to construction). 20 or so stops later, through the underground of Manhattan and eventually back into Brooklyn closer to Legardia airport, I got off the metro and walked over to the bus stop. NYC Metro has this stupid ticket system for some buses where you need to pay at this kiosk for a special ticket, but if you don't have enough funds on your metro card, they pretty much never have another kiosk for you to refill the thing. So you're just standing there like, what do you want from me. The bus arrived and I didn't have enough money on my metro card. Thank this lovely woman for just letting me on the bus. I felt calmer now, this was it! I just needed to get off at my stop and then it was the regular airport routine.

At the airport, I checked in and a nice lady helped me with my bag and checked my PCR test. It's sort of insulting, how little they look at those tests. Like, I paid so much money... F.
I got to my gate in one piece, luckily costums were on the other side of the flight. My air canada app freaked me out for a second -- for some reason one of the screens showed the details for another flight at my gate, and I worried that I had assumed 1600 as 6PM, as I sometimes do... so for a couple minutes my heart rate was up. But no worry, the time on my boarding pass was in fact 1820. All good... I had a couple snacks, read the copies of Mail Blog that Laurel gave to me before I left, and waited and waited. I called my Nana to wish her a happy (belated) birthday. We talked about traveling and she said I looked beautiful in my photos! Thanks, you too. I think I look a Lot like her actually.
Finally I get on the plane and you know it went how all plane rides go. When they announced that we were landing for some reason they noted the emergency exits and stuff and I was like... why are you telling me this again, is everything okay??? Yeah, everything was fine. But I did brace for impact... the woman next to me probably saw it on my face and in my body language that I was accepting this as my last day.
Getting off was slow, people are impatient. Whateverrr I got to customs swiftly and you know it was tedious and all that. The luggage took forever to arrive... finally around 9 it came and I went to meet my mom at the pick up spot. She was worried about a storm rolling in. Toronto has been incredibly rainy and stormy and it continues to be. I was lucky on my travels to have been met with such lovely weather.

On the ride home I meditated on this new appreciation I have for where I live, and regarding a new calm I had found in myself for life. I can take life slowly, one step at a time. If I do my best, life will be okay. So, I'm feeling very good. Thanks for reading. Vlog coming soon...
Here is some music I listened to on my travels, though I was mostly listening to the bustling city ambience.

Thank you and see you next time,

10.23.21 ~ Last Full Day in NYC

My test came back negative! I paid too much money to know that.
Laurel and I had a slow morning, around 11:20 Henry came by and we made our way to Artists Space in Chinatown. Arriving to Artists Space, the exhibition was chaotic to enter, but not in a messy way. The chaos had a lot of thought and care behing it. It was a Milford Graves exhibition. We met with one of Laurel's friends there who was really sweet. I sent pictures and videos of it to my percussionist friend Tim.
Images and videos of Graves doing martial arts, dancing, playing the saxaphone, playing the drums, singing, and more. There was a lot of freedom of expression. There was a lot of thought about Black Art. What makes Black Art, and how can it let Western impacts fall by the wayside.
In another part of the exhibition was a big sculpture that showcased a piece of music that Graves composed with a software and his heart beat.
In the basement, an artifact of the Social Muscle Club. Cafe tables set up all around, and a wooden patio structure with a water fixture - like a river around the half wall surrounding the patio. Apparently the water is from a place in Asia (somewhere in Japan?) that I am forgetting, and it may be radioactive... It was nice.

Laurel ordered us some Falafel sandwiches that we picked up on the way back to her place. We met Anna back at Laurel's -- where we prepared for the water tasting in Prospect Park. Laurel got all of her tools together and we helped her lug it all over to the park. There were about 6 of us reviewing sparkling water together in the park that evening. Sometimes I would look out of the corner of my eye to notice people watching us as they walked past. Grins on their faces, curious about this table with 8 different sparkling waters on it, and a group of people using Muji container lids as clipboards, to write notes about the water on. If only we were wearing lab jackets. It was a nice meditative experience. I like how people really immersed themselves in the process and got creative with their reviews. Everyone was a real joy to meet.

When the water tasting was over, Henry, Laurel, and I head back to L's place where we put away all the water tasting tools, and look a moment to refresh. We were thinking of meeting with our friends again for dinner, but L and H ended up calling it a night. I decided to buy a ticket to my friend's band's show that night in Brooklyn (PACKS). I took the train there... waiting for the train, there was some construction going on on the track next to me. I started choking on the air a little bit. Only then did I notice the "DANGER ASBESTOS" sign... There was a large plastic shield between me and the construction but WHY WAS I CHOKING ON THe air??? I got worried. On the train I googled "How much asbestos is too much"
I got to the show, there was a nice crowd there. I got a whiskey ginger. Three bands played, all women lead. They were all awesome, and the crowd and I loved them.
I met Madeline (of PACKS) after she played -- she was in rock show mode so it was a bit scattered. It would be nice to hang out with her one day but it was awesome to see her in rocker mode. She is a really talented musician, and her band was also top notch. I also chatted with her friend Andrew, who was very nice and Cool. I ordered a Lyft home, so to avoid the abestos at my home station. Yikes.

When I got back, L and H had the television on the floor as they watch some videos on the ground. We watched some youtube videos and started a Milford Graves documentary, but didn't get very far into it because we were all quite sleepy.
Going to bed felt bitter sweet, knowing that it was my last sleepover with Laurel. But I was also excited to get back to my normal life at home.

10.22.21 ~ Testing Testing 123

Rereading some of my entries... the grammar and spelling can be a bit scattered. I write each one in about 20 minutes and don't really edit them after, so just keep that in mind.
Today I went to Williamsburg for my PCR test, so to get back into Canada. It went quickly. It's amazing how much bank some people are making from this testing industry now... I'm trying not to think about how much I paid. Oh well... water under the bridge now.
Then I took the J train to SoHo, to visit the Rick Owens store. When I arrived, it hadn't opened yet. So I stopped at a cafe for some flax, banana, & walnut bread. Yum. I took a walk around SoHo with the rest of my extra time, and finally, I entered.
The employees were so Rick Owens. At any point I wouldn't have been surprised if more people started showing up and the whole thing became a rave. They had the perfect bass booming through the whole store that made pulled the whole ambience together. I strolled along the first floor which was full of cool shoes... but today I was more about clothes, so I went upstairs. I looked through everything on the hangers. All the materials were magical. The atmosphere felt too high end for me to try anything on, but it's just a facade. I asked the grunge employee if I could try on a few things and he was very helpful.
We pulled about 4 items and he took me to the fitting room. This guy has a nice job imo. Especially in my highend experiences, the connections you make with employees feels more genuine than one with a fast fashion employee. Since they actually care about the clothes.
Puting on the clothes was like putting on a second skin. All the garments were so comfortable, I had a hard time taking them off because my whole being wanted to wear them forever. I handed the clothes back to the man and headed off to my next stop. Oh, they also had a golden doodle in the store who was so beautiful.
My next stop was If Boutique, but they were closed for about another half hour. So I got a coffee at Starbucks, and a little snack. The next corner I turned had a cute cafe though, I felt a bit sad that I had settled for Starbucks. But it was alright. I sat at their patio for a while since it wasn't busy, then checked out this Japanese market outlet that I happened upon. They had a bunch of cool stuff, but I'm always on the look out for the beauty section. They always have the best lip stick stuff. I got this tinted lip balm and left happily.
If Boutique was finally open and I couldn't have imagined how much fun I was about to have. I looked through each item of clothing closely, and made sure to note the diverse textures of each piece. Crunchy canvas to fluid wools... every feeling had its own character, and when someone wears them, that energy becomes their own. After sifting through the whole store... I was ready to ask one of the employees for a fitting room. They were all dressed like paul harnden models, so it felt like I had time traveled to the 40s. The person who was helping me choose what items to try on was very knowledgable about the clothing, and obviously a passionate fashionista. I kind of wish I got his instagram so we could stay in touch. I ended up choosing a few trousers, jackets, and a dress. I'll talk more specifically about the pieces in another blog post but I'll just say Wow. I became a whole new person in those clothes, and I carry that feeling with me even now.

It was time to catch a train up to Bryant Park, where a neat bead/craft store resides called TOHO Shoji NY. There I bought some bells, beads, and string for Laurel and I to craft with tomorrow. It was nice to visit a place that had everything you needed for the perfect bracelet or key chain. The was a whole foods next door, I grabbed some lunch, and muffins to share from there and sat in Bryant park to eat. There was some construction happening on the park, but the atmosphere was cozy with all the park tables around with various folks gathering to eat lunch and bond with friends or themselves. Afterwards, I decided to make the 20 minute walk up to Central Park.
I walked up 6th Ave, and later shifted over to 5th ave for a change of scenery, on my way up to the park. The city was bustling chaotically, I heard little slices of conversations as a walked, a salad of different energies coming at me from all over. It's easy to sonder in New York, and pretend you're in someone elses shoes.
Finally up at the park, I found some wifi across the street to text Elliott and Lydia with, who I was about to meet there.
We decided on a location to meet at in about a half hour, in the mean time I walked over to Bloomingdales for a bathroom. My feet were pretty tired at this point. I worried about walking around Central Park with E and L, if I was going to be fit enough for it. Anyways, I got back in one piece and found a bench where we were planning to meet. Soon enough I found them looking over The Pond, and swiftly made my way over. It felt a bit catalytic to be meeting Elliott, after everything his websites have actually done for me, and what meeting the community that surrounds them has brought into my life. Almost everyone I met over this trip to NYC was because of who I had met over special.fish and gossips.cafe -- so I must give him credit for opening those doors for me.
I said "Hello!" and we started walking. Over my time in NYC I have been hanging out with a lot of extroverts, E and L were more like introverts, so there was a special change in energy. We walked and walked over to a gated off dog area, entered and found a big central park rock to hang out on for the evening. We talked about the internet, crypto, Lego, and more... the most special thing about meeting internet friends is getting to witness their moments inbetween thoughts and actions. It was nice just to be around them and get to know their presence. I felt comfortable and glad. I offered them pumpkin muffins (from whole foods) and we all enjoyed one.
We left the park when it got dark around 7:30, they walked me to the F train and we embraced before parting ways.

Back at Laurels, Her and Henry were hanging out on the roof. I had some alone time before they came down, I put my frozen annie's vegan lasagna in the oven. By the time they came down, I was eating my lasagna. It was actually really good. We all sat on Laurel's carpet with some banana bread and pumpkin muffins for desert. We talked about water, dreams (ones that have stuck with us since childhood and ones we had last night), listening in (I read them some fun quotes that I've noted from my walks around the city), and such.
I really like being around Laurel and Henry, the word Zenergy (Zen Energy) comes to mind. They use the word "special" a lot, which I think says a lot about how kind and gentle they are. There are indeed a lot of special things all around us every day.
We all got very sleepy. Henry went home and Laurel and I went to bed.

10.21.21 ~ Water Day

I left Laurels at 8:50AM to make it to a boat tour in Manhattan. It was nice to just sit around on a boat for a while. The guide was an older man who had an amazing talking voice. When went under the BMW bridges and back. It was nice to feel the wind in my hair.
I took a bus down to chelsea market, actually because the tour guide pointed it out. I liked the aestehtics but everthing was pretty expensive imo. I got a couple japanese inspired tacos from some place that was there. I ate outside on the street, in an area designated by the market. It was nice to people watch. Fashionable people and families march around me.
Then I made my way over to the Little Island, not far from the market. It's this man-made 'island' of sorts with a park atop it. It's too bad that in NYC, a lot of the grass is fenced off to the public... fair because it would get so brutally trampeled, but I think people should be allowed to lay and sit upon it.
It had a nice view but was a bit too crowded for me.
I took a bus to Tokio 7 around the east village or something. They had some really amazing clothing. I took some selfies of me in the stuff I tried on. I am really falling in love with trying on clothing that is out of my budget. I said goodbye to the garments and over to Van Leeuwen Ice Cream to inquire about a vegan milkshake. Luckily they had a vegan option, I got a cookies and cream caramel swirl milkshake and it was incredible.
I drank it on my walk to the subway home - I thought laurel's water tasting was today but it was actually not until saturday, which made sense, not sure what slipped in my brain, oopsie - I got back to Laurel's and we hung out for a bit. I shed my sweater and scarf that I brought regarding the wind on the boat tour, trading them for a sweater vest. I made it back out of the apartment just in time to visit ekhaus latta before it closed. I tried on a pair of pants, one size lower than yesterday. They fit, just a bit snug, but good around the waist.. hmmm, i can't decide! At least now I know what fits... pants are complicated, it's what makes them so charming.
From there I went straight to a hang out with Mad, Shea, Becca, and Laurel. We all met at one of Laurel's fav spots for dinner. I met everyone (except Laurel) for the first time that night! Again, it was a bundle of once only internet friends, turned real. So much magic this week... I do wish I could have spent some time with them 1 on 1, since it can be hard to really vibe with an individual in a group setting, nevertheless it was a perfect little outing, with really amazing people who inspire me a lot. Being around them, just hanging out, it sometimes escaped me how cool I think they are, like rock stars, because they all made me feel so comfortable and welcomed. I am excited to keep getting to know them all as the clock keeps ticking.
We all walked home for a bit in the same direction, then dropping off one by one.

10.20.21 ~ Normal

My alarm rung at 5:30AM. By 6 I was out of bed, preparing for my bike tour over the Brooklyn bridge and around all that buzz. I took the bus, arriving about a half hour early. Nobody was there... approaching 8, the time of the tour, still nobody... the ticket noted to come a half hour early. I wondered if it was canceled. finally the bike guide arrived and informed me that I would be the only one on the tour. I was a bit shook! I went to the washroom before we started out tour. I looked myself in the mirror. Do I want to be here right now? I don't know... do I really want to go on a 2 hour bike tour alone? Not really... do I? I asked the guy if we could do 1 hour instead of 2 and he agreed.
The tour was peaceful and insightful. He showed me some touristy photogenic spots, and some more local highlights like Wegmans. I was glad I had gone on the tour.
I met up with Norman at a park nearby. Sometimes when you meet with someone for the first time, the air is tight and you feel a little awkward, but Norm is so easy to hang out with, it was simple to have fun. We walked over to a breakfast spot he knew and took it to go. We walked around and stopped inside an old cinema to see the neat architecture inside, promptly being told to leave because it was closed (but the door was open to buy tickets). We walked around some more until we decided to go visit the factory. Visit norman-o-hagan on are.na for more about all that jazz. Norm was a very good guide, I followed him like a cat in one of those mesh bags from train to train. The Factory was a special creative space to visit. It was also incredibly hot. The sun pierced through the windows like a sword, lighting up the space to a heavenly degree, all the colours were amplified and beautiful. We put on our workwear and tried to sew a patch onto Norm's sweatpants, but the machine ran out of thread and we didn't have time to rethread the thing. We walked over to Norm and Yatu's place, which they call the playground. It was a bit messy because they had just traveled, and were just about to go on another trip, actually. When Norm and I arrived, Yatu was there on calls and texting their friends to coordinate a sudden trip to Lisbon for a crypto conference. I had come at quite a hectic time for them! Norm had to get to some work before their trip, so I hung out with Yatu for a while a the playground. I was a bit disoriented from all the exploring with Norm, and Yatu was in a bit of a scattered state, so our hang out was a bit chaotic, which made it pretty special. The sun was so intense that it started to mess with me. I kept looking around, just happy to be there after seeing them living in it online for about a year now. Something I've been noticing is that everyone I've been meeting is about my height. Except John who is tall af.
I said fare thee well to Norm as Yatu and I left the playground. Yatu was going to get some food while I was headed to the train station. My melting mind was in no state to find the right train home, and on the way out I lost my access to wifi. I couldn't decide where I was going on top of it all. Yatu did his best to help me, it was a little messy LOL but it Yatu was so nice and helpful. Just hanging out with him for that short while, I could tell he is truly amazing at being a friend.
I decided on going back to Laurel's and made it back in one piece. I just sat and gathered myself for a while with her, then we went for a walk before heading out to our evening plans. Laurel was going to watch the full moon with her partner, and I was going to check out Greenwich.
On the way, I stopped at Ekhaus Latta to try on a pair of pants. They fit perfectly, but were $400 CAD. I cannot do that right now hah. But I will one day.
That night my plan was just to walk up and down Bleeker street. And so I did. I stopped for some food at some pub called Carroll's Place or something. The men at the table next to me were talking about opiods and films, it was good to listen in over a drink and some butternut squash. The food at every restaurant I passed was so expensive, so I just got a side dish and a drink, which ended up being enough.
Walking along the street, it was a pleasure to people watch and see the classic architecture. It was just beautiful.
I went back to Laurel's and had the place to myself for the night. zzz

10.19.21 ~ Arrival to Firefly Sanctuary

I woke up at 8 or so AM, packed up my things, had a shower, and began my journey to Laurel's place in Brooklyn.
I wasnt as anxious as I thought I would be to be on my way to meet her, it kind of felt like I'd done it before. The trek was a bit awkward, rolling my heavy bags about.
Arriving in Park Slope was refreshing after the anticipation of it for the past couple weeks. It was finally happening! I made it! I took in my surroundings and thought about how what I was looking at was what Laurel, and my other friends who live near there, see almost every day.
I made it to her house and she came down to meet me. I was so happy to finally meet her! And I was in a whirlwind of emotions, thinking about how what started as a pretty anonymous internet friendship turned into a couchsurfing vacation at her place. I am so grateful to have been welcomed so warmly into her home! When I arrived, Laurel brought a couple at home antigen tests down with her for us to take. I hadn't done one on myself before, but we made it happen. After testing negative, I we made our way upstairs and a set my stuff down. The first thing I noticed, overwhelmingly so, were the scents. Because I had met her visually already online and now in person, something that I had never experienced with Laurel was how she and her spaces smell.
It smelt like a spa - tea tree and white pumpkin hand sanitizer. It made the whole experience much warmer. We hang out and it felt natural. It had been a long time coming.
Laurel had some work to do and I had plans with my friend John, so we parted ways. I made the journey to Beacon's Closet in Greenpoint, where I would find some amazing, huge, chunky, ralph corduroy pants, and a crafty floral shirt. John met me there about an hour later (2pm). We embraced and began our hang out, one I will never forget. He showed me around the area, pointing our classic donought shops, ethereal antique furniture spots, vintage and local clothing stores, and more. We left Greenpoint around 5 to check out Dover Street Market quickly.
John told me on the train to DSM that the train we took there went underwater, so our ears popped. We traveled up and down the 7 stories of DSM in record time. John got a wallet for his dear friend, and I got pictures of some of the garments that spoke to me. More on that another time.
We parted ways, it was bitter sweet knowing that we wouldn't see eachother eye to eye again for some time.
Back at Laurel's, we hung out and gossiped. It was awesome to see Laurel doing her everyday things, I had only ever seen what parts of her life are shared on social media. We (mostly Laurel, actually) made vegan chili for dinner, checking out the grocery store beforehand. Over dinner she suggested plenty of things for me to do around town, offering a super helpful Google doc of ideas!
We went to bed soundly, happy and full of beans.

10.18.21 ~ SoHo and Chinatown

Today I slept in a little bit because my windows were shut, while i was expecting the light to wake me. I got myself ready by 11pm - and wished a little that I had gotten up sooner, but not to worry, the day ahead was going to be amazing.
I took the bus down to SoHo to start my day at a coffee shop and walk around from there. I got an iced coffee with a shot of pumpkin spice, a cupcake for later, and began my jaunt. I walked up prince street to broadway and walked up and down it a bunch. I stopped at uniqlo and bought 8 pairs of socks... they have great socks. Other stores I entered: pacsun, brandy melville (I got rings, earrings, and necklaces), miu miu, rag & bone, & stella mccartney.
I went to spicy moon vegan szechuan and it was absolutely thrilling. The atmosphere was whimsical, the servers were sweet :), and the food was unbelievably great. I actually stayed for a couple hours, eating noodles and dumplings, drinking water and sake, and having a chat will laurel about our plan for my arrival tomorrow.
I started my walk to chinatown around 3. I was planning to go to ekaus latta... little did i know it was closed. It took me a while to find it, since it was in a mall but I thought it was a store front. Eventually I found it, and told myself I'd try again soon. There was this amazing vintage designer store called James Veloria, where I found the best sweater in the history of sweaters, for only $90.
I walked up chinatown to columbus park, and discovered mulberry street, I had forgotten that it was a street I wanted to visit! I walked up and down it. Then stopped at a place close to prince street for a few beverages. I found some wifi there, read, and people watched. It was nice to just hang out after so much walking. I wondered about the state of my cupcake.
I took the subway back to my hotel, and bought some snacks for the evening. It was about 7pm. When I got back, I told the front desk that my thermostat wasn't working. They gave me a new room, one with a queen size bed :) and a view of the empire state building... I could not afford this room. I am so grateful to be in a warm room with 3 windows right now. If only for about 12 hours.
I watched some youtube videos, and continued watching the 3rd season of You, but it's such a stressful show so I took a few breaks... Now I'm here. Goodnight.

10.17.21 ~ Let's go to New York!

I woke up at 2 am sharp, and was ready by 3. I had scheduled an Uber for 3am, but they canceled as soon as the time came... UGH. So Jeremy helped me in my panic.. we called a couple taxi places, and I tried for another Uber. Some Taxi places didn't pick up, or we didn't understand the french prompts. Finally, a Taxi place picked up and came to us ASAP. I had another Uber on the way, and canceled it... I was charged $6 for the cancelation. Thanks a lot Uber! I could finally calm down on my way to the airport. Everything was set, and I was in the car. I made it to the airport 2 hours early, just incase. My COVID test docs were approved online. I checked my bags and made my flight over... I had a 1 hour layover in Toronto. I almost missed my flight to customs, but managed to make my way over just in time... then they delayed the flight for an hour because of the other folks who had to go through customs. I napped the whole way to New York, and when I got there, it was time to rock!
I took the subway/bus to my hotel. A couple people on the Metro were not wearing masks... it always makes me feel unsafe/uneasy like.. not only are you putting yourself and me at risk, but it's just a clear signal to everyone that you don't care if you're the reason they die... dark. I got off at Grand Central. I love that building... it was a warm welcome to the city, finally.
I got ready for my day at the hotel, and then skipped over to my friend John's place of work, to grab a coffee with him, and meet him for the first time. Everyone I am going to meet on this trip is someone I will be meeting in person for the first time. So wild. John was a real pleasure to meet, he was gracious enough to buy me a coffee and muffin for my birthday. "This is my birthday party" I said. He suggested a few things, and I noted them down.
After that, I spent the day walking around central park, and shopping around Park/Lexington. I bought a book and a notebook, and got some pizza. There was the most magnificent rainbow. I made my way home and stopped at walgreens for some things to snack on. It was only 7pm but it was dark and I was alone, so I had a netflix night in the hotel. I called my mom, responded to some birthday messages, and crashed.

10.16.21 ~ Don't Phunk With My Heart

I didn't get much sleep, and in the middle of the night I opened adobe acrobat, edited my name in the document, and emailed it over to Elna Medical to approve. At 7:55 am I learned that there was no need to stress, because they approved the document and sent me a new QR code. Thank god.
Jeremy went to get his COVID vaccine QR code from the Quebec gov, while I napped for a while. Then, we went to a market in little italy, sat down for food and coffee, and got strawberries. Sitting at the cafe was really sweet. It was raining but the restaurant had a perfect covering that kept us warm and dry. On the way home, we stopped at a board game store. He got Frozen themed Uno and Unicorn themed playing cards for us to maybe play later. We got home, got into our pjs, and watched the new season of You. It's pretty good! Then we did a couple Tarot readings, played some UNO, and went to bed.

10.15.21 ~ Jeremy!

I am staying with Jeremy in Montreal for a few days! I went for my COVID test in the morning (Elna Medical btw, incase you're ever lookingin mtl. Book through Sante Medic), and wandered Old Port alone while Jeremy was at work. I spent a couple hours in SSENSE. My stylist there was really charming Chelsey! They are a fashion designer and were very helpful and lovely to play dressup with. I walked around the Old Port with a cold brew, seeing the sights. And ate a salad at a restaurant called Venice -- It was alright. I kept walking, I walked and walked to the lakefront and into the little theme park area they had. I thought about going on the Carousel but decided otherwise, just enjoying the red leaved trees on the ground. I walked back up to Old Port to find a bus - but got distracted by buskers and a bustling street. I got a cookies and cream beever tail :) So good...
In the evening, Jeremy and I met back at his apartment. That night we did a little walking around, and Jeremy ordered some sushi. We had a night in, watching Netflix and catching up. We have been friends for a very long time now, and he is a very easy person to talk to and feel relaxed around. So it was awesome. Then, I realized that my COVID test document had misspelled my name... I was sent into a bit of an anxoiuos spiral, because the clinic I had gone to was closed the next day.

10.13-14.21 ~ Hello again!

I got a bit swept away and didn't write yesterday, so I'll just write a short update today.
Yesterday I got up around 9AM again, and took a bus up Mount Royal. I had awful blisters on both heels so I didn't hike up, but I did explore the paths during my visit by foot. Once at the top of the Mountain, I found a picnic table and called my Nana and Gramps. It was a long overdue catch up chat about what we've been up to and such. I miss them a lot!
The trees are all turning red and yellow this time of year, and they are constantly floating down from the trees. It was a blessing to visit at this time of year. The weather was also perfect for walking... and pants. I kept getting lost trying to get from Mount Royal Park to the lookout spot, so I took the bus to it. Lookouts are always charming, I didn't really know what I was looking at LOL... Montreal of course. I am discovering slowly that Montreal does not in fact fill the void. It is a beautiful city, and I love the vibes... I think it's the French that I'll personally never catch up on. I just don't have the drive to learn it, and to get a job here it's kind of important. Maybe one day.
I met George back at his place, he picked up some supplies for cookies on his way home. We made some chocolate chip, walnut, oat cookies from a Penner family traditional reciepe that George followed by memory. He is a wizard in the kitchen. The cookies were great - perfect for breakfast. Crumbly in the right way, not too sweet, just right.
In the evening I walked over to a Thai restaurant not far from George and Sara's to meet my friend Charolette for the first time! We had chatted over insta a few times and connected over music and design thingz. She was a pleasure to meet - I love her energy. A real free spirit who follows her heart, while also being truly smart and well rounded. The food was awesome, and making a new friend felt nice :)
I got home and started panicing a bit about the COVID test I need to get in order to enter the USA. Charolette was reassuring, since I actually needed to reschedule what I had planned - something to do with timing, anyways, I had to wait until the place opened again at 6AM, but managed to sleep through some anxiety. I rescheduled with another company that's closer to what I'll be around tomorrow. That's at noon tomorrow... wish me luck.
So I started today booking that test, then slept some more, before heading to the Botanical Gardens. It is fall so most of the blooms have retired for the season, but the trees, water plants, fish, and some flowers were still bursting with energy. I loved walking around the gardens... I stayed for a few hours, then got some lunch at their restaurant. They had a nice Tofu Banh Mi Wrap... yum. Then, I visited the skateparks next to the garden. Vans, and whatever they call that one tube skate spot that everyone posts about online. The Vans bowl was a bit much for me as someone just visiting, not trying to break a leg. I'm not really up for being as daring as I usually might be when I'm not around friends and am not sure where the nearest hospital is... anyways, it was sweet. Good parks. I need to learn to drop in vert more confidently.
I took the metro home and packed up my things at George and Sara's I bid them farewell, they were so great to stay with :), and made my way over to Jeremy's apartment, not a 20 minutes bus ride away. It was amazing to reunite with my precious old pal Jeremy. We caught up and watched Netflix all night, and made some amazing pasta for dinner.
Anywas, see you tomorrow. Wish me luck with my COVID test!!!
P.S. Jeremy and I made pasta for dinner and it was delicious.

10.12.21 ~ Day Three

Today I woke up around 9:30AM. George got called into work, and Sara was having a laundry and errands day. Sara and I had some coffee while we got our days started. We got to spend a lot of time together today, it was nice to get to know her better.
I had a shower - I've been using a microfiber towel my dad lent me... it's compact for travel but the texture and science of it is so weird. Drying myself off feels like using paper... and it seems to never get wet... but it works so that's good.
I left the house around 12 - setting off to a pharmacy for more blister bandages. I had to wear my skate shoes today since I was meeting with Jess, a skater friend of mine who recently moved to montreal. So I prepared my hydro seal + large waterproof bandaid pairing.
Jess and I met at a skatepark and shreded for a little before going to a restarant on Parc. I got chili, a grilled cheese, and grapefruit juice; while Jess got mango juice. We caught up for a while - it was nice. Jess is such a warm and welcoming human.
We made our way back to the skatepark to meet with Jess's cousin. We skated while we waited, and soon after we parted ways. For the rest of the afternoon, I napped at George and Sara's. The sun was intense with all the skating, and my stamina was low from general travel fatigue. I napped until about 6pm.
Sara and I chatted after our afternoon rests about getting dinner and our evening plans. We had some beer and food before heading to ping pong club bar. We got a couple drinks and chatted about who we were in highschool, our hair journeys, and more. Afterwards, we took a walk around little italy and greeted a few outdoor cats.
We made our way home and found George at his desk playing CS Go. Before parting for slumber, we promised to make cookies tomorrow, starting the process around 3pm.
I'm pretty sleepy, so I'll leave you with that. Tomorrow I'm going to call my Nana and Gramps first thing, then do some city exploring. I want to see different parts of town!

10.11.21 ~ Day Two

We woke up around 9 or 10 and had some coffee. Today was one for walking and shopping. We started our adventure at the pharmacy near their dwelling to pick up some bandaids for the blisters on my heels from breaking in new shoes... After some mending, we headed to a genuine Montreal bagel shop. On the way there, my Vegan multivitamin kicked in and subsequently kicked my ass. We sat down on a random step for a couple minutes while some nausea and pain passed... once that ended I felt wonderful. Anyways, we bought 6 bagels to share amongst each other. Delicious.
We headed over to a street a couple blocks over to find some vintage shopping. Not long after, we met up with another friend, who joined us at a park between shops. I bought 2 books during our spree: The Black Stalion, and Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.
We walked and walked some more to find some grub... it took us a while since it was a holiday, most places were closed. Finally landing on copper branch, we made our way over to another park to eat. My body was exhausted and I was trembling with hunger... the food and company was amazing. I should have brought a water bottle.
Our friend left to go study, and we started our walk back home. Stopping at another pharmacy to buy some hair clippers for a haircut session later.
Getting home, we had a little nap... we were very tired and all needed a bit of alone time.
Then we hung out and I cut Sara's hair, and Sara cut George's with the clippers. George made some amazing mediterranean-style-ish rice for dinner (it rocked). Finally, we watched Point Break to wind down... and now I am here. "Little hand says it's time to rock and roll." Bonne nuit!

10.10.21 ~ My first day ever in Montreal.

I took a bus to Montreal today. It was about 6 hours long. Arriving in Montreal, I didn't feel too tired. Some immediate thoughts apon arrival: "Why haven't I been here before?" "The trees here are nice." "There are a lot of pretty people around." "Where am I?"
I got off the bus and headed to the subway, and purchased a couple tickets for the night, and a weekly pass that starts tomorrow. The subway felt more euro than the one in Toronto. I boarded a subway and sat down on one of the glossy blue seats. It took off quickly, I didn't expect it to be so fast!
Getting off the subway, I hauled my heavy suitcase up the stairs... a train of thoughts on loop like a song stuck in my head repeated "why did you pack so much stuff -- what do you mean, I left space? -- not enough..."
I walked over to my destination, my friend George's cousin's place. Arriving, I looked up at the stairs... they were about 10 feet tall, maybe more, and steep. Luckily, as a filmmaker, I am familiar with hauling uncomfortably heavy and shaped items around any terrain, so we made it happen.
I was welcomed warmly by George, his partner and my friend Sara, and a few other new beautiful faces. I thought about how lucky I was to arrive in a new city to such a wholesome gathering. They were all very sweet, we drank wine, ate a thanksgiving dinner, played games, and listened to music until the sun went down.
George, Sara, and I headed back to their place, where I am staying for a few nights. A couple hills and another charming set of stairs later, I could finally lay my suitcase to rest someplace nice. Their apartment is a long hallway with rooms parting off to the left. In the centre of the place is a square living room, kind of the meadow of the apartment. This is where I am right now, typing.
So we hung out for a bit, I rested my things, and we headed out for a walk. I put on my new skate shoes and a few blocks in I realized I'd need to visit a pharmacy tomorrow for some bandaids. Blisters are afoot (lol). Anyways, the city at night had light air, neat brick buildings that were just the right height, and again, nice trees. My impression of Montreal in the dark was that it is modest while confident. It expresses itself genuinly, and has a bit of side eye towards those who don't.
We stopped at a skatepark near their house, the concrete was polished and smooth, and I scoped out a lot of potential for the days to come. We walked past a couple parks and shops, George and Sara gave me the run-down of their area, of which I'm not sure how much I have retained.
When we got back, I had a Tim's bagel my dad had bought me back in Toronto, after toasting it in their oven. We chatted until we were tired. Sara help me set up my futon, and we parted ways for the night. The futon is comfy and smells like my friends. It feels nice to have hospitable people in my life. During the night, their cats Herbie and Fern meowed and jumped on and off of me. I loved it a lot.

10.09.21 ~ Welcome to my vacation blog.

I'm going on vacation and blogging about it here.
I can't believe I'm leaving tomorrow. I am so underprepared. I have been working all week and am so tired... COVID tests are booked though, so I think it'll be alright.
I've been planning a couple hang outs with friends, but it is mostly going to be a very chill time by myself. The long train ride to Montreal should give me enough time to mentally catch up with myself.
Leaving: October 10th, 2021 | Returning: October 24th, 2021
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