My phone started buzzing at approximately 7:30 a.m. I was, of course, still sleeping off last night’s Dark Matter season 3 wrap party and in no mood to get up, much less answer – but something told me it, maybe, wasn’t a wrong number. I reached up, grabbed my cell, and checked the number on the call display. Jodelle Ferland.
Jodelle? Wasn’t she supposed to be on a flight to Denver? What the heck was going on?
Well, it turned out she had gone to the airport to catch her flight, ended up in the wrong line, discovered she was in the wrong line, tried to find someone to help her but either a) couldn’t find anyone or b) was roundly ignored (coincidentally, by the very same Air Canada employee who was rude to her the last time she flew out of Toronto). By the time she figured things out, she’d missed the cut off for boarding and so, was forced to reschedule to the next available flight – tomorrow morning!
Stranded at the airport, the production offices closed, unsure of what to do, she decided to throw a Hail Mary – and gave me a call.
“You’re like a homestay dad,”Akemi observed as I jumped out of bed, got dressed and headed out the, while she got started on cleaning up the apartment, spurred at the prospect of having Jodelle crash in our guest room tonight.
On the way to the airport, I was able to book Jodelle the last available room at the hotel next door.
Toronto’s Pearson Airport is a maze and, unlike other airports, offers no real directions to an ARRIVALS section. No signage or instructions on their website. I attempted to call for information but was put on hold. And so, instead, I pulled into Terminal 1, section A, called Jodelle, and waited for her to find her way.
When she finally found me, she was clearly exhausted. “Welcome back to Toronto!”I said, greeting her with a big hug. We popped her luggage in the back of the SUV and we were on our way!
Poor Jodelle. I checked her into her room, then headed back up to my place where I watched Bruce McDonald’s director’s cut of Episode 312 (the recently titled “My Final Gift To You”). A slew of secrets revealed in this one – and plenty of surprises to boot!
On the one hand, Jodelle had a miserable morning, missed her flight, and was operating on about an hour’s sleep. On the bright side, she got to join Akemi, Ivon Bartok, Jason Priestley and I for dim sum!
If there’s one thing Jason loves, it’s dim sum. And we made sure to cover all the bases: pork buns, spring rolls, daikon mocha, shrimp dumplings and even a vegetarian noodle dish for Jodelle that arrived after we’d all eaten way too much.
From there, it was a short walk over to a Daits, a little shop on the basement level of a nearby mall. The specialty – dates! Surprised? They’re imported from Saudi Arabia and come in a variety of flavors – almond butter stuffed, pistachio-crusted, covered in dark chocolate and adorned with gold leaf. There’s also Akemi’s favorite, the crispy florentine, she calls “Pachi Pachi” because, well, that’s what it feels like when you chew it. We got a dozen to share and a mix – despite the woman’s attempts to hard-sell the pistachio and the ones with the candied ginger inside.
We parted ways with Jason and Ivon, then headed back to our place where Jodelle got to say hi to the dogs. Lulu, for one, was glad she’d missed her morning flight and immediately staked claim to her lap.
We headed downstairs where we met up with my longtime friend and writer/story editor Anne-Marie Perrotta and her husband Jerome before heading over to SOMA Chocolates for ice cream and –
For Jodelle, an affogato (coconut sorbet and espresso).
By that time it was a little past 3 p.m. and those dinners plans we’d made seemed most unlikely. We were all stuffed. We couldn’t eat another bite. Until we walked by Starbucks and saw a sign for their limited Unicorn Frappuccino.
“Do you want one?”I asked Jodelle.
“No,”she said. “But I WOULD try one.”
Jodelle samples the Unicorn. And likes what she tastes.
In fact, both Akemi and Jodelle gave it the thumbs up. I, on the other hand, didn’t like the frappuccino’s underlying sourness – no doubt a result of its unicorn milk component.
Tonight, we cap things off with tea and a screening of some Dark Matter production cuts! And, tomorrow, Jodelle should be on her way.