I went tobogganing today for the first time in my life. I guess the saying “better late than never” is apt in this scenario. My friend Chris and his wife invited me to their home for an early breakfast (homemade pancakes! smoothies!) – the perfect breakfast for a very chilly day. It was -20C when I left my house this morning. Not quite the balmy day. As an aside, I really enjoy T.O. on Sunday mornings. The city is quiet and I feel like I can explore without being in my usual iPod-wearing bubble, trying to drown out the constant whirs and whines of a big city.

Chris, his little girl and I made it out to the Winthrow Park “baby hill” around 10:30am. While the hill is considered small by T.O. standards, I was more than a little nervous once I climbed to the top of the hill. Even though there were 4 years olds flying down the hill like Canadian geese in flight south for winter, I had nervous little butterflies in my tummy! Chris and his daughter went down first as I got my “feet wet” and nerves up. Up next – the Texan – and in my best Texas accent asked “now how do I do this exactly?” The stares from the regulars were intense! The three of us went down together and it was exactly what I’d hoped it would be – super fun! Because the snow was fluffy and powdery, we all got face fulls of snow on the way down. Chris’s daughter was none too happy about it and thus ended her trips down the hill. I, however, was like a kid in a candy store and went down a few more times on my own. I even caught air on a big bump! Sweet. We made snow angels and threw snowballs, and then packed it in and headed home.

Later that same day, I got ready to go to the annual Toronto Maple Leafs “Have a Heart” dinner. The Leafs players serve the attendees at different stations around the venue – in this case, the Boiler House at the Distillery District – and raise money for their Leafs 4 Kids charity. My friend Carolyn came with me and had a drink at Pure Spirits beforehand (note to self: must try this place again soon – good vibe and what smelled like good food).
Afterwards, we headed over to the Boiler House and were conveniently too late to purcahse a “mystery bag”, although we later found out that they were basically selling old and outdated TML merch. Bogus! We had dinner after introductions served to us by all the Leafs VIP’s – Coach, GM, and players. Overall, it was a way cool event complete with a TML BBQ set and Players cookbook as the party swag…sweet!

Me with Tomas Kaberle


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