Spent a wonderful week in Canada. It was my second visit, but my first in the summer. A few random thoughts:
- Canadian money is colorful and thus more functional, however, one and two dollar coins are a little annoying. My purse got heavier and heavier as each day went by.
- 86 degrees, oops I mean 30 degrees in August is what I call a beautiful summer’s day.
- I forgot how much I enjoyed constantly hearing other languages and accents when you’re in a big city (Toronto). Here in Frederick, MD I only hear English, Spanish and see Sign Language.
- I’m always surprised at how much folks from other countries are tuned into our news.
- Talking politics with Canadians was interesting as well. Apparently they don’t mix their social issues with fiscal ones. They would never waste time debating gay marriage when fiscal problems need to be solved. They think we’re insane for constantly allowing our differing dogmas to distract from what needs to get done. They’re right.
- They say, “pop” not “soda” which is not only awesome but correct, damn it!
- I found a grocery store called Longos which is my Mom’s maiden name so I not only shopped there, but we also had dinner there which was delicious. It was like the Wegman’s of Toronto.
- A small coffee is actually “small” as in 1/2 the size of a kid’s drink in the states. Kudos to them for portion control. Paying the American price for a small, however, kind of sucked.
Seeing my gorgeous friend Michelle, her husband Steve and their daughter’s Alex and Josie after 10 years was the highlight of our trip. Having lunch made by Michelle who’s a fabulous cook was delicious. The fact that the kids got along after a decade long break was wonderful.
- Michelle tried and failed to open a bottle of wine via the trunk of a tree. This is how it’s supposed to work:
- But Michelle’s can-do attitude along with a pen knife and ink-pen, got the job done. Kudos to her for her tenacity.
Our trip consisted of visiting Niagara Falls.
It’s definitely worth the passport hassle to see Niagra Falls from the Canadian side. The views were amazing. Looking back toward the US and not seeing a bunch of commercial shit behind the falls was a relief. Imagine this picture with golden arches, casino lights and giant hotel marquees in the background? That would’ve been awful. Kudos for the people of Niagra Falls, New York for allowing nature to remain the star.
I was surprised at how much cheesiness was just beyond the beauty on the Canadian side. It was a cross between the Ocean City, Maryland boardwalk and the bright lights of Times Square.
On a side note: Sadly, it appears that visitors to the Falls like to urinate from a distance. Thus along with taking a ride on The Maid of The Mist, my husband came dangerously close to becoming “The Man of The Mist” on quite a few occasions. Luckily he has quick reflexes.
We then explored, Niagra On The Lake, an adorable and picturesque town 30 minutes north of the falls. You can hang out on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Or explore the Ma and Pa type shops while enjoying the flowers in town.
Then we headed to Toronto which was a blast. Loved the Hockey Hall of Fame:
Right outside our hotel was the ferry to the Toronto Islands.
We spent the afternoon on Centre Island, opting not to explore the “clothing optional” beach at Hanlan’s Point. Instead we enjoyed walking around
as well as hanging out at the beach. This was the first time I have ever relaxed on a beach, under a tree, which is now officially my favorite kind of sun bathing. If all beaches had shade trees, I’d probably go more often.
We saw Billy Elliot. Great show. Piss off! is my new go-to cuss word when yelling at the kids. It’s fun and communicates that I mean business without being personally degrading in any way as opposed to Fuck Off! which is too harsh and raunchy to use as a parenting device if you ask me. Leave it to the British to come up with a more civil way of cursing at each other.
And of course, no trip to Toronto would be complete without a visit to the CN Tower. One of the world’s tallest towers and a great example of how you can take something a city needs (i.e., better radio communication) and turn it into a money making attraction as well.
I don’t like heights. Well, I don’t mind being up high, if I’m going fast, like on a roller coaster, but looking off the side of a giant building, really doesn’t do it for me. Standing on a plexiglass floor 360-some meters above the ground, also seems like a bad idea.
And if you asked me to go OUTSIDE this tower and walk around?
I’m talking about this craziness…
From inside the tower, you can watch via a live cam all of the adrenaline junkies that pay $150 to walk on the outside edge of the CN Tower. These fellas were enjoying the view from the outside, while I was getting a little sick to my stomach on the inside.
When we were safe on the ground, we decided to sit a spell before heading back to the hotel. Before leaving, I took one last look up at the tower, only to see 5 asses staring down at me…
This was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
Canada was great and even though Gary and Jarin didn’t get to enjoy a traditional beach like they wanted, we got time in and around water while Paige and I got to explore a big city. I will say that being in Canada both during the winter and now the summer, I remember a lot more from this trip. Not freezing our asses off, we meandered more, walked everywhere, opting often to simply sit and people watch. We spent a ton of time outside as opposed to spending all of it in their underground PATH system that allows you to explore the city without having to brave the elements.
My kids loved Canada. My youngest wants to move there. In all fairness, she would move anywhere, but still, I told her she might want to come back in say, February and then decide if Toronto is the place for her. Being on the water when it’s 30 below, just might have her saying, Piss Off! or worse!