Tu-lippy Day

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Today started at 4:15a.m. for me. That was when the alarm clock went off… Walked Sandy to the taxi downstairs at 5a.m. She’s off to Vancouver then Taiwan…and this is the last time I will see her in Toronto. (Have a great vacation, Sandy! Looking forward to seeing you in Singapore/Taiwan someday…)

At 5:45a.m. Tingfang and I set off to Chinatown Center to meet Shiqi, Huijun, Huimei, Huixuan and their mom and we were off to the Tulip Festival in Ottawa courtesy of Safeway Tours. We spent the 5 hr drive alternately sleeping and playing scrabble with my new travel scrabble set (which immediately proved to be a sound investment). And then there were those long moments when I simply stared at the wide open fields and blue sky whizzing by and slipped into reverie… There’s something about long coach drives and foreign scenery that always facilitate me slipping into daydream and reminiscence. “Memories light the corners of my mind…misty water-coloured memories of the way we were…”

A couple of rest-stops and a hearty lunch break later, we arrived in Ottawa and spent the next 3.5 hrs getting busy with our cameras. Being in a tour group, we were perpetually rushed for time, which made for a lot of interesting behavior. The intermittent cloud cover had us pausing to take photos with frenzy everytime the sun came out and scrambling for the next patch of tulips whenever the sky clouded over. Managed to take over 100 photos a few of which were actually nice and had a lot of fun with the girls. The draw of the tulips was so great that I actually managed to ignore the temptations of the ice-cream and hot-dog stands strewn throughout the tulip path. I even resisted a chocolate fondue stand! If we had not been so rushed for time I would most definitely have succumbed…

After a long, wonderful nap on the return trip, the seven of us had a late dinner at Goldstone and had the unexpected pleasure of getting to know the Chew sisters better through their mother who regaled us with entertaining stories of their childhood. Ah, mothers and their stories…

So here I am, at the end of a long day… marveling at how quickly the last 12 hours has passed and how many miles I’ve travelled. And feeling extremely grateful for the warmth and fellowship I’ve shared today as well as the beautiful weather God blessed us with. Gotta go snooze now… I’ve been away from Dreamland long enough today!

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