happy birthday to me

I have been alive on this planet 47 years today. The number is shocking to me, but I'm damn glad to be here. (I feel like quoting Keith, happy to be anywhere.)

Because of work schedules, we celebrated yesterday. And because of wmtc3 and our upcoming Newfoundland trip, I hadn't thought about planning anything. So we went with what's become our favourite Toronto place to celebrate, Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar.

If you like small plates or tapas-style eating, and you like a stylish wine bar atmosphere and excellent service, this place is tops. They also use almost all local ingredients and work with Canadian food artisans, with superb results. This restaurant is also home to one of Toronto's great food finds: the Yukon Gold frites, a generous cone of the best French fries you will ever eat for a mere five bucks. (I noticed I blogged about Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar on two other birthdays, both mine and Allan's!)

After enjoying several small plates of deliciousness with several small glasses of wine, we drove out to Scarborough and took a walk on the Lake in Bluffer's Park. We hadn't been there yet, and it's a beautiful park. Is there a way to walk on the cliffs, above the park? We didn't see any access.

On the road where The Beaches turns into Scarborough are a lot of sad-looking businesses and many empty storefronts. I wondered if some big development is in the works; so many unrented stores often points to that. Also, who stays at all those cheap motels? The old motel strip in Etobicoke, not far from where we used to live in Port Credit, is all closed now. But the ones in Scarborough are all open for business. There are at least a dozen of them.

Today I'm spending a quiet day at home, reading and blogging. Allan's still sleeping, so I haven't seen any presents yet, but I know they're in the works.


Scott M. said...

Dawn and I would like to wish you a very happy birthday. Congradulations on making it this far!

Nigel Patel said...

Happy birthday to you!

redsock said...

Happy Birthday!

While I dozed, the dogs were hard at work.

James said...

To quote Owl (who can spell his own name, W-O-L):


There are places along the tops of the cliffs where you can walk, though much of the bluffs are people's back yards.

Some good bluff walks:

Scarborough Heights Park has a flat park at the top of the bluffs and a walk along the water at the bottom. There's also an interesting sculpture on the water, at the bottom of the road that runs down the ravine.

Cathedral Bluffs Park looks over Bluffer's Park, and to the east there's Cudia Park as well.

Sylvan Park is a wilder version of Scarborough Heights Park.

Actually, there are a bunch along the lake there, you can just scroll with Google Maps. But I'll also mention this one at Beechgrove Drive, attached to Eastpoint Park. It's a little hard to make out on the map, but if you park in the grey square west of Beechgrove, there's a path that runs south of the buildings and ponds, diagonally down the bluffs (with a view of Pickering), and then turns up into a great riverside trail in Colonel Danforth Park that I love to bike, or you can continue east towards the Rouge River.

I took these photos where the path goes under the railroad bridge:

Foggy lake
Bridge connecting Col Danforth with Eastpoint
Spider web under the bridge

I have a friend who would stay at those cheap motels when he was visiting from California, but then he realized that they were so far from the subway that the savings weren't worth the added transit time.

ErinOrtlund said...

Happy Birthday!

Amy said...

Happy Birthday, Laura! I wish you a wonderful day, a world at peace, lots of good steak and wine, and a Red Sox World Championship!

L-girl said...

Thanks everyone!

James, thank you for the park info, I knew you'd come through. We saw a sign to Cathedral Bluffs, but didn't have time (had to get back for the Sox of course!). I'll look forward to exploring more another day.

Re motels, I thought the same thing. It would be a cheap way to stay in Toronto, but what a pain in terms of travel. I wonder who is using them, though.

L-girl said...

Amy, that's what I call a beautiful birthday wish. Thank you very much.

James said...

Re motels, I thought the same thing. It would be a cheap way to stay in Toronto, but what a pain in terms of travel. I wonder who is using them, though.

Kingston Road provides a not-bad route into downtown if you have a car, which is probably why they're still going.

John said...

Many happy returns!

In Atlantic Canada, it is traditional to ambush the birthday boy/girl and smear some butter on their nose.

Redsock, are you reading this?

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Happy birthday, Laura!

s1c said...

Happy birthday to you!!!

(don't let that friday the 13th thing get you)

L-girl said...

Thank you, all!

I actually like my birthday best when it falls on a Friday.

Butter on those nose? I'd better watch out.

This reminds me I must call my nephew in California. It's his birthday today too. He was my birthday present when I turned 20. :)

Also, some wmtc readers are leaving HBD messages on my rarely-used Facebook wall. Oh my. Looks like I'm in for real now. (Although I will NOT be posting there! Ever!)

sassy said...

Happy 47th wise young Laura

Ferdzy said...

Happy Birthday!

Kim_in_TO said...

I only posted on FB because I know it sends you email. (Then I saw your BD post this morning and wanted to as well but was at work and couldn't log in.) So Happy BD again!

Re: the old motels
Didn't I hear that CIC uses some of them to hold refugees?

L-girl said...

I was very happy to get both messages, Kim. :)

Sassy?? Are you my old blog-friend Sassycat? Or someone else?

Re old motels, I wondered about that. In the US, they would be used as "welfare motels", places cities stick homeless people. I was wondering if there was an equivalent here, or if there was perhaps another governmental use.

sassy said...


I'm someone else, sorry bout that ;)

I'm sure it would have been a real treat to have a blast from the past turn up on your special day but HB nonetheless.

L-girl said...

Aw thanks, Sassy. You are very welcome here and thanks so much for the birthday wishes.

Tom said...

Happy Birthday Trail Blazer! (in so many ways)

dogsled_stacie said...

Happy Birthday!
-Rupert :)

Lisa said...

Happy birthday!!

I've lived in T.O my whole life, and (finally!) went to the Scarborough Bluffs a few weeks ago for the first time! Beautiful.

I was at the Rosetta McClain Gardens and saw a fox! Just casually trotting along, occasionally rolling around in the grass, soaking in the sunshine, and completely at ease with people. I followed it/him/her for about half an hour. It looked like a dog and moved like a cat. Just brilliant. I LOVE foxes! (You posted a while back about untamed animal sightings in the city, so thought I'd mention this..:)

Anyway, ummmm, happy b-day!

L-girl said...

Thank you Rupert! :>)

My own dogs always give me cards and presents. Dogs are so thoughtful that way.

Hi Lisa! Wow, a fox!! That is very cool. I've heard of people seeing foxes in Mississauga, although I certainly never have. They are beautiful animals. You're right, they seem part canine and part feline.

Thanks for stopping by and for the bday wishes.

Tom, aw shucks, you too. :)

redsock said...

Rupert never wished me a happy birthday. :<(

Driving out of our little development at 11:15 or so this morning, I saw a rabbit munching some grass on someone's front yard. It was across the street from the spot I once saw a rabbit driving home after midnight, so it may be the same one.

Plus there was a pair of ducks that wandered up our driveway a little while back.

redsock said...

P.S. I was driving, not the rabbit. He was sitting on the sidewalk.

L-girl said...

Rupert never wished me a happy birthday. :<(

You have to start selfishly blogging about yourself like I do. Maybe then he'll notice.

Plus there was a pair of ducks that wandered up our driveway a little while back.

I'm pretty sure that's the post Lisa was referring to, where I said it's cool to be visited by a non-domestic animal.

Your rabbit sentence was grammatical by the way. You didn't say "Driving to work the other day, a rabbit was...". Including "I saw" makes it ok. See, you're a better writer than you think!

deang said...

Happy birthday!

Lisa said...

"I saw a rabbit munching some grass on someone's front yard."

My (much) younger sister took home the classroom rabbit for the summer (this was a VERY long time ago) and wow, this is an animal who should NEVER be a pet. It just wants to bounce around and forage, and that doesn't work so well in homes! But having got up close and personal with at least one rabbit personality..oh my god do they rock!

Whenever I camp at the Niagara Escarpment I keep seeing the "country cousins" of the city raccoons. As you know, they run rampant in Toronto.. (one of them turned up on my kitchen table one evening, pissed as hell and as a result freaking scary as hell..."omg there's a totally pissed off miniature bear in my kitchen looking for a way out!!"...I locked myself in my bedroom and waited for one of my braver roommates to come home:)

In the "country", raccoons look totally different. Much smaller, no black and white markings, mostly brown, and much much slimmer (slimmer pickings in the country I'm thinking!).

I had NO idea that raccoons came in so many flavours.

"undomesticated"...MUCH better terminology than untamed...I think I had the Little Prince at the back of my mind (childhood favourite....you can only tame me if you love me etc etc..:))

L-girl said...

Yeah, these urban raccoons are enormous!! Tough mamas.

The woman who is dog/house-sitting for us when we're in Nfld has two bunnies. She is bringing them in their crates and putting them in the spare bedroom.

I'm a little nervous about it b/c Tala has a very strong prey drive and would love to chase and kill a rabbit.

But the room the bunnies will be in has a door that shuts, and Tala is crated when no one's home. So I think it will be ok... but I'm not completely comfortable with it!

And lastly, I love The Little Prince. :)

neutron said...

Happy belated birthday!

Daniel wbc said...

Belated greetings and well wishes ... glad you're here, too :-)

L-girl said...

Thanks Neutron and DWBC!