Friday, June 19, 2015

we moved!

about 3 months ago (maybe a little less?) we had some leaking in our apartment. at first, it was just a few drips, but then one day when dylan got home in the afternoon, water was all over our den and everything in the hall closet soaked. we had workers coming in and our of our place for weeks unable to find the problem. was it rain? was it coming from the unit above? was it coming from the mechanical room? it was a mystery. we had to move most of our stuff from the den (luckily nothing was ruined) into the living area and we were living in a mess. then water started coming up through the floors! it smelled and our place was disgusting. after about 4 weeks, they finally discovered it (but wouldn't pass on any information to us) and then had workers in and out fixing things up. but between then, they had completely ripped out our closet, torn down drywall in the den, and made everything a general mess. it was awful.

all of this was basically the icing on the cake to move. now that we're not there anymore, i feel i can say where we lived - we were on the 48th floor of the one of the newer towers in cityplace. i'm just putting it out there if you're from toronto or thinking of moving there -- DO NOT DO IT. the building was so poorly run and the people that started moving in recently are not people we want to live with. and then there are the elevator situations. there are 49 floors in the condo we were in and 3 elevators. 3!! and i would say for about the last 6 months, there was always one down, meaning 2 elevators were now servicing 49 floors. rush hours were miserable and 20-30 minute waits were not unusual. forget weekends when another would be on service for people moving in or out, you might as well not even try to leave your place unless you want to take the stairs (which we did a few times).

this is all to say, we finally said enough is enough, we have to get out of here!  dylan wanted to be around the st lawrence market and i agreed that it's a great neighborhood. i looked online at a bunch of places and finally found a listing i liked. i booked a viewing without dylan because he was sleeping from work and i actually really liked it. i showed him the video i took and he was sold. 6 days after we got home from italy, we packed everything up and got the hell out of our old place.

our new place is fantastic. the building is a little older, much smaller, and a much higher percentage of owner occupancy vs renters, which means that the people here actually care about where they live. we moved from the 48th floor to the 2nd, and elevators aren't even part of our life anymore! we decided to forego the shiny new stainless steel appliances in favour of location and a unit that was a little bigger. we moved from about 600 square feet to almost 800 and let me tell you, it feels so much bigger. and bonus: the new place has a locker! oh and the laundry in our unit? in a massive storage room where we can hang coats, keep towels, tools, our vacuum etc. so even though we have slightly less cabinet space overall, we definitely have more storage.
let's go!

that's enough for the first day!
we were able to put the middle piece of our sectional back in after 2 years in storage. if you can believe it, with the built in cabinetry in the old place, the width of the couch didn't even fit.
a real dining area. finally.
we found this fantastic bar sign at the st lawrence antique market.

1 day after moving in, we had my parents over for dinner. definitely motivation to get everything in place.

the den is still very much a work in progress. dylan is looking for the right futon, he's still got a new tv stand to put together, and he's ordered a bunch of star wars posters to be hung. it's basically going to be his video game, board game, nerdy man den.

and that's the tour! we're so much happier here and really love the neighborhood. one of the upside of renting is being able to try different areas and move along when you please.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

bridesmaid on duty...

a few weeks ago one of my girl friend's got engaged. on friday evening she had a bunch of us girls over and asked us to be her bridesmaids! she had boxes laid out on the dining room table with our names on them and inside were these bridesmaid hangers! this is my first time being a bridesmaid and i'm so excited! she's told us that the wedding will be around 350-400 people (yikes) and so now i just have to prepare myself that i will be walking into a room full of people at the reception! luckily, i've got about 14 months ;)

fun story: the last time i was in a wedding, i was probably 7-9 years old and i was a junior bridesmaid. i was a little chubby back in the day, and between each dress fitting the dress was getting tighter. the dressmaker had to keep letting the dress out between each fitting because i was gaining a little weight each time! it wasn't until years later when i was told this story and i just have to laugh about it now. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

italy diary: AMALFI/ROME

on our final full day in italy, we had until 3pm to do as we pleased in amalfi. after that, we had a long drive (about 6 hours with a few stops) back to rome where we spent one last night before leaving for the airport at 10am. we spent our time eating more sandwiches, cannolis, and savoring our last few hours of vacation.

back in a hotel in rome at 9:30pm.
 one last visit to the spanish steps.

goodbye rome. goodbye italy!

all in all, the trip was fantastic and i can't believe that it's been nearly a month since we left already (3 days shy). it definitely put the travel bug in us and all i can think about is, where to next?? we took plenty of video on our gopro, which dylan will be putting together at some point, and i can't wait to see it and relive our time.

Monday, June 1, 2015

italy diary: AMALFI

after riding our boat into the open sea (oh, how i wish we were back!), we took a little break in the hotel before going out for dinner and walking around the town. we had dinner at one of the first places we passed; it was so quaint and the guy on the street drew us in with his little spiel. i can't even remember the name of this place, but the service was great (small family-run place) and the food was classic and delicious.
from our hotel roof.

i wish we had cute little alleys like this in toronto and we could eat dinner outside.

the next morning was the day we were most looking forward to the whole trip - kayaking along the amalfi coast! it was supposed to be a 4 hour long private tour with stops along beaches and beautiful sites. we were to meet our guide at 10:30 on a beach right by our hotel. just after that time, he still wasn't there and dylan was sure we were getting stood up when they weren't answering their phone to see where they were or if we were in the wrong spot (dylan, ever the optimist). finally, about 15 minutes later, we got a call back and it turns out that our guide had actually fallen down stairs going down the cliff and was pretty badly injured, like bone sticking out of his forearm bad. they asked if we could wait until about noon and they would send someone out by then.
killing time waiting for the new guide.
once our guide (antonio) got there, he gave us a quick lesson. kayaking in a lake (like we've done here in toronto) is a little different than kayaking in the sea with big waves. i was nervous because the water was looking pretty choppy, but off we went. unfortunately, dylan was just not comfortable in the kayak and there was no way he was making it for 4 hours. we lasted about an hour and then decided to end it.

even though we didn't get to see the sites we really wanted to, and it didn't turn out exactly as planned, it was still a lot of time. after some grueling arm work (haha), we took a dip in the water, then went back to the hotel to dry off, and then of course - more exploring.

gelato. all the gelato.

after lunch, we decided to just follow staircases up to who knows where. we would come to a set of two, pick a way, and continue on up. we had no idea where we were going or what not, but just seeing how people live and the town was built was quite interesting.

all that walking paid off.

i mean...

we deserved a drink.
that night we had a really awesome dinner at da gemma.
caprese salad 3 ways. incredible.

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