MAY 22ND, 2018
By LANA CARBON & JOHN LILIES
[Lana] It has been a rather busy year for us away from our lives as Carbon Lilies, and so it has taken all this time until May for us to have one of our little misadventures that we felt was worthy of sharing. Let me first give you a little set-up by telling you what happened the day before.
My brother-in-law (Wam Veddar) had to do some job training in the city for a few days, so my sister (Drake Warn) decided to come out on the Friday to join him for his last couple of days. Drake asked me if I wanted to meet up for a visit while she was in town and, of course, my answer was a big Y-E-S! We chatted back and forth at first, unsure as to what activities to do but we decided on going to a movie and mini-golf before meeting up with John and Wam for supper. We had a great time; the glow-in-the-dark golf was a blast and the movie… though terrible… was perfect for us since we enjoy making fun of really bad movies. We all then convened at Wam and Drake’s hotel room (even though John somehow got lost on her way) before going across the street for an excellent supper. After returning to the room again for a short chat afterwards, John and I headed home. It was a great day but it just felt too short.
[John] Yeah, that getting lost thing… I decided to take a road I usually avoid because it tends to confuse me but this time I was sure I had it sorted. Turns out, when there is a wind storm and I am dodging debris flying through the streets at 115 km/hr during rush-hour traffic, navigating a confusing place for me is not a strength. Lesson learned. Maybe. In hindsight, this was likely a mini misadventure foreshadow.
[Lana] John and I had always planned on going out somewhere on the Saturday and now that Drake and Wam were in town, we thought it would be a nice idea to invite them along. I had been looking for some unique places we could go and had come across a blurb about the Markham Expo 2018. It sounded like it would be fun; there was supposed to be singing, dancing, food trucks, games for the kids, etc. It opened at 2:00 p.m. which worked out perfectly for us all. We decided we would meet at the Tim Horton’s right across the street from the venue and then check out the Expo.
John and I arrived at the Timmy’s just before 2:00 but didn’t see Drake or Wam. We texted them after a few minutes to find out they were already across the street at the venue. In the time it took us to get across ourselves, they had gone back to the coffee shop to meet us. We found their vehicles at least, but not our compatriots. Another text later and we saw them walking back across to us so that finally we could all be in the same place at the same time. We gave our welcoming hugs and questioned if we had the right place considering we didn’t see any of the “many food trucks” that should have been there. With a bit of trepidation, we decided to go inside.
[John] While awaiting Wam and Drake to come back to their cars, looking around and realizing the confusion we were already experiencing just trying to get the four of us together, I asked Lana if this was foreshadowing anything and wondered just what the afternoon was going to be like. Lana laughed and said, “Since when do we turn down a misadventure?” Yep. Truer words…
[Lana] Now, I must remind you that the Expo was supposed to start at 2:00 and it was now after that. The band was not even close to being set up. Of the 50-75 tables that I am guessing were supposed to have presenters or vendors at them, I don’t know if they were even half full. The people who were there were definitely meant for children of the under 10 years of age range. So, needless to say, a quick tour of the floor was more than enough for us 40+ crowd. We decided it was best to take our leave.
[John] Normally I’m one to offer that we give an opportunity the chance to prove itself great, but in this case, I quickly realized this was definitely not what we had signed up for and reminded Lana that it was, after all, advertised as the Markham Youth Expo; a fact which Lana had quite conveniently not seen or overlooked until I mentioned it that morning. Ha. I’m glad I always read the fine print.
[Lana] Markham Expo 2018 – Held by the Youth Council… anyways. John suggested that we show Drake Antiques on 48, a shop which we knew would be right up her alley. Everyone seemed happy with this plan and off we went.
We were driving merrily along when we unexpectedly came to a road closure. We pulled into a mall which happened to be at the lights where the road ended for us, to decide our next move and check the map to see how best to detour. (There were no detour signs to be found anywhere on the road itself.) John and I were also starting to get a tad peckish as it had been a while since we had eaten. Drake and Wam weren’t hungry however, and we didn’t want to sit in a restaurant if they weren’t having anything. We had hoped there was a Timmy’s here where we could at least get a bagel or something but we decided to push on and hope to find something further down the road. Perhaps if we had realized the mall was bigger than we had originally thought, we would have known there was a Tim Horton’s directly behind the building we were previously parked beside. After getting back out on the road, we whipped right back into the parking lot and hit the drive thru. Drake and Wam must have thought we were batty.
[John] Keep in mind, Lana and I were in our car, while Wam was in his car having spent the week in the city for his course, and Drake was in her own car having come out to meet Wam in the city. Because Wam and Drake were joining us for an afternoon on their way back home, they each had to drive a car and thus we were three cars happily going along. Drake likened us to a convoy, however, I think maybe a really super tiny extreme mini convoy would be pushing it.
[Lana] With our bagels in hand and our detour route planned out, we were firmly back on the road. It was a nice drive, as it usually is when you don’t take the direct path. However, backroads can be confusing. The road we were travelling came to an end and we had the choice of turning left or right. It would make sense to turn right as the detour had taken us to the left and we did want to return to the original road quite yet but in this case, it was the left that we needed to take. Luckily, there was a crossroad which we had passed earlier and took it to return us back to the detour route. With our fondness of eclairs, I likened our large oval turnaround to one, as opposed to the tighter doughnut that so many race winners like to perform. Once more, we were back on the right path.
[John] Okay… so this was totally my fault. We had been heading north when we came across the closed road. We headed east to meet up with another north-south road. We took the north route again, knowing we had to jog east and then veer north, before going slightly west to join back up with our original northern direction. I kind of forgot while we were driving, which road we had just turned on to and so in my head I was a road ahead (or maybe behind?) of where we actually were. Thus, my left turn should have been a right turn and thankfully we caught it before we had gone way too far.
[Lana] To be honest, she just likes making left hand turns.
[John] That’s only part of the issue. Also, in my head the left would have taken us west but in truth it was actually taking us back south somehow… this is why I try not to only quickly study the map in a too-short time frame without zooming in and memorizing the details; usually I hand it to Lana to navigate while I drive. However, that isn’t always the best decision either.
[Lana] Not long afterwards, I received a phone call. It was Wam; he had been noticing that many of the places we had been passing did not have any lights on. This is because of the violent windstorm the day before, which had knocked out power in a lot of different communities, not to mention all of the damage it had also caused. Wam was concerned that we would finally get to Antiques on 48 only to find it closed due to a power outage. We were close enough now though, that we assured him it would at least be worth checking out and he agreed. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have even mentioned this call in the article but as it turns out, the timing couldn’t have been worse.
[John] I will say now that after my navigational hiccup which Lana corrected quickly for us, I handed him the map to keep us on track the rest of the way.
[Lana] While I was on the phone, John came to a ‘Y’ in the road. I couldn’t look at the map since I was on the phone so I surmised it was best to stay on the road that appeared to be more travelled. That was the wrong way, naturally.
[John] Lana also didn’t consider opening the map on my phone. Just sayin’. I even asked him if he was sure we should continue to the right, because I thought Lana had told me that when the road veered to the right, we would actually continue straight instead. But, he said, “No, veer to the right with this road.” So, I did.
[Lana] As soon as I hung up with Wam and checked the map, I saw the mistake. Luckily, it only took us a couple of kilometres out of our way.
[John] Considering how far out of our way our self-planned detour had already taken us, a couple of kilometres was really not a big deal and we did get to drive through some really nice little communities.
[Lana] It may have taken quite a bit longer than we had thought but we finally reached the antique shop. It seemed to be worth it; we spent over an hour and a half just looking at all of the interesting goods. Drake looked like she was enjoying the store and even Wam appeared to be having a good time. (Woohoo…bonus!)
When we were finished here, this was where John and I parted ways with Drake and Wam as we all decided we were going to take our time heading to our separate homes. I knew that they were planning to pass through my family’s old stomping grounds of Port Perry. We, on the other hand, decided to head through Newmarket on our way home as we don’t often find ourselves in that area.
It was now getting later and the bagels, which had done their job earlier, were no longer up to the task. We had to stop for a bite to eat. We found this amazing place in Newmarket called Palace Pizza and Spaghetti House. It is in a strip mall so if you visit, don’t be fooled by its exterior. This little Italian restaurant is a gem if ever I have been to one. They have owned it for 44 years and you can taste that experience in the food. We ordered the panzerottis and when they came, the dough was so flaky and light, the ingredients they used for the fillings were all super fresh and the marinara… oh my… that marinara!!! Not only was the food excellent though, the service was outstanding. They checked on us at least three times just to make sure everything was “okay”. No… this is not okay… this is amazing! I told them when we left, that it was the best panzerotti I have ever had and I have had some great panzerottis.
[John] Lana is quite the panzerotti fan and the fact that he was as delighted as I with this supper, was quite nice. He doesn’t joke about the marinara… I even told them it was so good that I just wanted to drink it (and I honestly did want to). Their dinnerware was old school and nostalgic, adding to the comfy-cozy atmosphere and I really wished I had two stomachs so I could just keep eating.
[Lana] After this fantastic and filling meal we would be completely satisfied, right? Well yes, we would have been had we not seen the sign up the road for Kawartha Dairy ice cream. Some way, some how, we were going to fit that in us too. The parking lot was extremely busy and, even though we have a small car, we couldn’t fit in the spaces that were left open. We went to pull into the last one we could fit into but John being the nice person she is, gave it to someone else. We pulled back around and went to the drive thru window. We only ordered small cones considering the meal we had just had at the Pizza Palace and Spaghetti House, and it was a good thing too. Yes, the cone was small but they packed it full and then proceeded to top it with two ginormous scoops of our chosen ice cream flavours. These things were massive. We pulled into an empty parking lot and polished off those monstrous cones before entering into somewhat of a food coma for the remainder of our trip home. The rest of the ride was very quiet and uneventful… other than the occasional belch (excuse me).
[John] I think we really were in a food-induced daze. I remember paying attention to the roads and noticing just how many intersections still had no power from the day before, but though we had chosen to avoid the speeding highways, our route home was so quiet and direct that I can barely remember it. All I could really think about was that flaky dough and yummy marinara sauce.
… and now I want to go back.
So… all in all, not an extreme misadventure but it certainly was a nice one to start our summer season of day trips and road travel. How else would Carbon Lilies start a road trip season but with an unexpected detour?
Thanks so much for sticking close to us during our little unplanned hiatus from the blog. We are aiming to be back for the next while at least, as we do have many stories we would like to share.
We hope you are all well! If you have a misadventure of your own that you would like to tell us about, please do connect with us here or on Facebook or Twitter. If you’re interested, we are also on Instagram and Pinterest.