This week Sam and I were in Toronto for Congress. That’s a big meeting every spring where many Canadian professional academic associations in the Humanities and Social Sciences, including the Canadian Philosophical Association. It was an extra special big deal this year for a couple of reasons. One, Sam became the President of the Canadian Philosophical Association (go, Sam!). Two, I finally got to meet blog regulars Cate and Susan.
Sam arranged for us to get together with them, Sarah, and Violetta on Monday night at Planta. Planta is a vegan dream like none I’ve ever experienced. It’s a high end restaurant that’s totally plant-based. That’s really unusual. I haven’t really had “fancy food” since I became vegan (except once when I went to Candle 79 in Manhattan). I used to love going out for fine dining but in my experience most restaurants of that caliber don’t do vegan well and few vegan restaurants have positioned themselves in that bracket.
So it’s a rare treat and I loved every minute of it. And it wasn’t just because of the food and the atmosphere. It was also because of the great company! It was super cool to meet people who I recognized right away (as I did Cate and Susan) and feel like I kind of know even though I’ve never met them in person before.
When the server first came to our table after we had all arrived she said,” How do you all know one another?” That’s a strange question that I’ve never been asked before. I said, “We blog together. Why?”
To the “why?” she gave the best answer ever, something like: Most times when groups of women come they all look sort of the same. But you all look so different from one another. I just had to ask how you met.
Maybe it was a bit different from that because at the time what she said sounded awesome but now that I write it it sounds less so. Maybe you had to be there.
Violetta is a long standing friend of mine and Sam’s and a dedicated reader of the blog who has participated in group posts (like last year’s Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon report). It was fun to hear her talk to Cate and Susan, whom she’d never met, about what they’ve written for the blog. “I love your Auntie posts!” she said to Cate.
As the server brought dish after dish of amazing food for us to taste and share, we chatted about past and upcoming events. Cate had just returned from Uganda and is doing a duathlon in Milton on the weekend. They’ve all been training for the Friends for Life bike rally again. Susan is gearing up for this year’s Niagara Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday. I just finished the MEC half with Anita last weekend.
The food just kept coming: pizza, “crab” cakes (made of hearts of palm), cauliflower tots, Thai noodle salad, battered and “chicken” fried mushrooms, queso dip, lettuce wraps, beet “tartare.” I was way too full. I’m usually good at stopping before I get there but everyone was just so good that I kept going.
Before we knew it we were eating dessert (something chocolate and delicious). Then paying our bills. Then calling it a night. I didn’t take any pics of the food (Cate?), but I do have this fantastic picture of the group, looking happy, fit, and feminist!