Weekend Update: A Rainy US Thanksgiving Holiday in Vancouver

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For the US holiday of Thanksgiving, OvenMitt was lucky enough to have five days off. Luckier still, he was able to spend them in his favourite place in the entire world– the Vancouver apartment of Panda! Here’s a day-by-day list of the time the two spent together:

Wednesday

  • Brunch at Twisted Fork
  • Ice skating at the Kitsilano Rink
  • OvenMitt went shopping for a winter coat at Hills while Panda visited her mother.
  • Grocery shopping at Safeway for mini-US Thanksgiving the next day
  • Dinner (pizza and salad) at Panda’s apartment.

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All ready to skate!

Thursday

  • Breakfast of leftovers from Twisted Fork and some delicious scrambled eggs prepared by Panda
  • A trip to McDonald’s for waffle fries and a Potato Rosti and Bacon Burger
  • OvenMitt cooked creamed spinach and warmed up the frozen scalloped potatoes while Panda picked up some chicken.
  • Mini-US Thanksgiving dinner of chicken, potatoes, spinach, and pumpkin pie.
  • Panda, in the first of her many coups of the weekend, introduced OvenMitt to the wonders of Flight of the Conchords.

Friday

  • Brunch at Lucy’s Eastside Diner
  • A semi-disastrous trip to Toys “R” Us to buy presents for Panda’s friends’ kids where forgetful, bossy clerks along with unwieldy company policies turned a simple request for separate gift receipts into a nightmare
  • A much more successful trip to Chapters to look at books and gifts
  • Dinner of leftovers from mini-US Thanksgiving dinner
  • A visit to Minami sushi bar for drinks, snacks, and a visit with OvenMitt’s teacher friend, Test Kangaroo, who was in town for the evening with her family and some friends
  • Panda, in another of her brilliant moves of the weekend, showed OvenMitt the movie What We Do in the Shadows

Saturday

  • A day spent sleeping/napping/lying around while eating leftovers and watching sports on television (Ohio State beating Michigan and the Canadiens beating the Red Wings— both in overtime)
  • Dinner with Panda’s friends the Test Kangaroos*– pizza, wine, cheesecake, pictures of the hosts’ recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, and delightful conversation

Sunday

  • Brunch at Parlour (sitting next to a trio of bros talking about being hungover, betting on professional sports, Juventus losing a stunner to Genoa, fighting, spending too much money at strip clubs, etc.)
  • Writing this blog post and enjoying the last few hours in each other’s company before OvenMitt returns to Seattle for a week of work before his Birthday Acknowledgement Weekend next weekend (and before Panda returns to work on Monday for the first time in six months…)

A delightful moment watching Flight of the Conchords

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*These Test Kangaroos not to be confused with the earlier Test Kangaroo

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Weekend Update: A Rainy Rendez-Vous in Vancouver

Panda and OvenMitt had many plans for this weekend– brunch and snacking, sleeping and napping, watching hockey on television and even some French practice. Happily, despite some rain and a few misadventures along the way, they were able to do all that and more!

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Here are four things you need to know about their weekend:

1) Panda and OvenMitt were very excited to start reading their newly-acquired copy of Jacques Demers authorized biography Jacques Demers: En Toutes Lettres (written by Mario Leclerc). Panda is always looking for an opportunity to read fine French literature, and OvenMitt has many happy memories of Demers, the friendly grandfatherly coach everyone always wants for their team, skippering the St. Louis Blues back in the 1980s. The book will take a long time to read, however, for these two non-French speakers. (Because of the slow going translating the words Panda doesn’t know yet, they were onlyable to read the first two paragraphs this weekend.) Luckily, Panda and OvenMitt have many opportunities to improve their French language skills each and every day (see 2 below)

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2) OvenMitt was very happy on Saturday when Panda showed him several episodes of one of her favourite French-language children’s cartoons (everyone knows that watching cartoons is a great way to learn a new language). The cartoon is called Le Petit Nicolas, and it’s great. You should watch for yourself, and you will agree that it is an easy and exciting way to learn French!

3) One of the most important Sunday morning traditions that Panda and OvenMitt have developed is eating delicious biscuits with butter in bed. The hardest part is making sure not to get crumbs everywhere! Panda really appreciates the way that OvenMitt carefully cuts off small pieces of biscuit and butters them for her.

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4) There was one harrowing incident, however, when Panda and OvenMitt got trapped inside the Coach bag they travel in. Thank goodness, the internet has handy advice on what to do about a stuck zipper.

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(Above– rescued from the bag. The secret was lip balm from the dentist’s office!)

For the past few months, Panda and OvenMitt have only been able to get together on occasional weekends– the next few months, however, will be different. With a trip to Chicago, the US Thanksgiving holiday, and a vacation in Nice, France all on the agenda before the end of 2016, Panda and OvenMitt will get to see a lot more of each other. Just as long as neither of them gets stuck inside a bag…

Hockey Card Album

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Back in the spring of 1991, Panda had to travel to Toronto to do her EEG practicum at Sick Kids (aka the Hospital for Sick Children). While she was in Toronto, Panda lived in a dorm-like residence with her own room but a shared bathroom. Panda did not know anybody in Toronto, so, when she wasn’t working, wandering around Yonge Street, or going to the mall to buy a now-long-lost silver bunny bracelet, she would go to the sports cards shop to buy Upper Deck hockey cards. Panda would always buy a pack or two at a time, and, even though there was no bubble gum with these cards, she would still be excited to open and then carefully place them in a blue hockey card album (pictured above). At the time, Panda made the decision to organize the cards alphabetically by team name (rather than by city name– a decision she is still happy with today) starting with the Blackhawks (Jeremy Roenick) and ending with the Whalers (Dean Evason).

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Above: end of the Bruins pages and start of the Canadiens

Whenever she got a card, rather than playing those games that kids play with them, Panda would carefully figure out where they went in the binder and put them there.

Below: Rod Brind’Amour!

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Eventually Panda finished her EEG practicum and left Toronto, and the album went into into Panda’s mom’s bookcase in her dusty British Columbia basement. There the cards sat for decades until finally Panda met OvenMitt. Shortly after meeting OvenMitt, Panda found out that they had a shared interest in ice hockey and knew that OvenMitt would want to see the hockey cards, so she went to her mother’s house and found them. And now last weekend, after a long week of waiting for OvenMitt to drive up in his truck to Vancouver from Seattle, the two of them finally got to look at the hockey cards together.

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What could be more fun than that on a rainy Saturday night? And what other hockey-related memorabilia could Panda possibly have to show OvenMitt?

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Sidenote– While looking through the hockey card album, Panda and OvenMitt also took a trip down memory lane watching postgame coverage of this year’s NHL Heritage Classic. Look– it’s Gretzky and Hawerchuk on the television screen!

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