I always felt guilty for not being at Kenneth and Karen’s wedding. There are periods in my life I regretted not being such a good friend and missing that event is one of those. My first great American road trip was with Ken. We lived in England for three years and know each other’s kabalastugan. Away from our parents, he grew his hair long and I had my head shaved. Visiting him and spending time with his family in Toronto somehow made up for my past flub. It was great to see Ken, the exceptional family man that he’s become and greater still, our kids with staircase ages of 8, 7, 6 and 5, became fast, rowdy and shrieking friends.
Of all places to have our first boodle fight, it was in a Pinoy restaurant, Tinuno in Toronto where customers line up to experience eating with your bare hands on banana leaves instead of plates. Everyone dives into the divine garlic rice in the middle of the table, topped with mouth-watering barbecued bangus, tilapia, chicken, liempo, squid, pork, shrimp, mussels and veggies. The next night, Jason prepares his specialty hotpot for everyone. It’s like the Chinese version of the boodle fight, fishing for noodles, tofu, mushroom, lamb, beef, fish balls, potato and cabbage from the boiling pot. This time, we finally found an Asian store that had thinly sliced rolls of meat so we didn’t have to substitute it with bacon.
We tag along their family trip to the Muskoka Maple Festival three hours north of Toronto where we had an enormous pancake breakfast. While Ken and Karen chatted with the maple syrup producers, the kids chased each other, horsed around and ate cotton candy as if the gigantic breakfast was not enough.
Wine nights for the adults and Lego, Moana, swimming and air hockey for the kids. Lake, beach, boardwalk and sun for everyone.
I had an inkling that Karen was a superwoman but talking to her even made me more convinced that she is the female Clark Kent in disguise. On top of her law office management work, she runs a musical theater program for kids, sings in a band for events and is a radio talk show host. She is as active in the community as much as she is a dedicated mom who personally tutors her two daughters. Idol! We have an inspiring Parenting 101 session that gives me new ideas to try. The next phase of her life can only be more exciting.
Check out Karen on Youtube: