I've been meaning to tell you a bit about my week, but by the time things got a little slower, and I managed to catch my breath, I didn't feel much like hanging out on a computer. But today it's stifling hot outside, and since the beach trip didn't work out because of a sick kid, I'm hiding in the pleasantly cool basement with the computer.
It started last Sunday with a flight to Toronto... oh wait - let me go back a bit. For those of you who don't know, I have a very cool job that I love most of the time. This week was one of those times. It was crazy busy, but it was the kind of fun adrenalin rush that makes busy worthwhile. We've just had some major developments that are managing to change the face of the organization. We're an ecumenical organization with a lofty mission to "end hunger", and we just signed on two new member agencies. BIG agencies, which represent huge numbers of Canadians. So that was what my travel was all about - meeting the new kids on the block.
Getting back to Toronto... Taking the subway downtown on Sunday night on the way to the hotel room my contact had booked for me close to her office, I kept wondering why "Church Street" sounded so familiar. Had I stayed there before? Was it close to my favourite downtown bed and breakfast?
When I left my hotel room a little later to get a bite to eat, it didn't take me long to have that "a-ha" moment. "Oh yeah, I remember now - It's the gay district." (And yes, it turns out it's also close to my favourite b&b.) Well, talk about an interesting place to wander at 10:00 at night! I had dinner at a lovely Thai place, and then bought an ice cream cone at Baskin Robbins and wandered around doing some serious people watching. Hmm... cross dressers and lots of gay men with expensive tastes in clothing - makes for fascinating watching. It was quite enjoyable knowing that this was one street I could walk down that late at night and not worry one bit about being harrassed or hit on. If I'd been a man, it might have been a different story.
The next day I was in meetings all day, and then I flew to Montreal to meet with the head of the second agency that just recently joined our ranks. When I got there, one of my contacts took it upon herself to serve as my personal tour guide. (I'd been to Montreal before, but never had much chance for sightseeing.) We drove up the "mountain" that the city was named after, and ended up at a delightful little park jutting out into the St. Lawrence where we watched the sun set over the city. Aaaahhhh.... Then we headed to Old Montreal to try to find a place to eat. My tour guide couldn't find either of the restaurants she'd considered taking me to, so after much wandering, while our tummies grumbled in complaint, we ended up at a Greek place where we ate in the garden and sipped wine until nearly midnight. Yes, it was another lovely evening.
Tuesday was another day of meetings, and then I flew home. On Wednesday I worked all day preparing for a big event we were hosting on Thursday morning. It was a media event, so I had to do all the prerequisite work like sending out press releases, working out the details with the political big wigs, etc.
Thursday morning - the big event. A couple of politicians flew out from Ottawa to attend a celebratory event we put on where they announced that the government was increasing our annual funding from $16 million to $20 million. Yikes! Plus we gave a sneak preview of the video we'll be releasing with Steve Bell. (Remember the trip to Ethiopia with the film crew? The first of two videos from that trip is basically completed. I'll share the link once we have it online.)
The event went smashingly well. Lots of people showed up, everyone was in a good mood, there was good food to eat, the sound system worked well, the media showed up, nobody screwed up their speeches, I didn't forget the names of any of the important people (I was the MC), and there were warm fuzzies all around. Whew! I made it!
So, with a busy, intense week behind me, I celebrated by taking Friday off. We took the bikes to Assiniboine Park and rode the trails there, and ended up at the local ice cream joint. Felt like a fitting end to a crazy week.