Arrived in Toronto at 5:30 and was greeted by family friend Cathy at the terminal. Really lovely chatty older lady. We caught the bus to a suburb near her house when she had parked the car and drove home from there. I think she is scared of driving to be honest. Her house is super cute and she had been tidying all day for my arrival K way to kind/unnecessary. My room was perfection, she had brought me a pair of slippers. She had brought all food for me. She is vegetarian and super healthy organic eater which I appreciate as my weight has come back on after Ohio! We had broccoli soup for dinner, roast vegetables and weird organic things I don’t know the name of.. tasted good though winning. she had brought me biscuits for dessert. We then watched some murder mystery series… I hate these programs. I cant sleep. So long behold, didn’t.
Was a bus full of international students… 99% Brazilian. Literally. The Brazilians are super social. Pretty much immediately I had some come over and start chatting to me real touchy (both boys and girls) like your old friends. So that was kind of nice. First stop: a winery. Not sure how this makes sense to take a bunch of students to a winery before you take them to a waterfall :/ but sure Canada, whatever works for ya. I’’ve always wanted to step on the grapes and make wine juice J didn’t get too, but still do. tried a few wines, don’t really like wine but ill drink free alcohol. One was a peach wine… omonomom. Everyone was holding the glasses up in the light, smelling, spinning, smelling. I didn’t even know how to hold the glass correctly. And I had shocking chipped nail polish. Awkies. After that we stopped by an area called Niagara By the Lake, next to Lake Ontario. Really cool little area with cute houses next to Lake Ontario. Another bloody big lake that really should be named an ocean to avoid confusion. Lots of little stores and boutiques here, could have easily spent the day dammmn wish I had allocated more time to Canada. At this point I was eating something Cathy had packed for me (cutie), I think it is Indian called Paprokas. And it tastes/looks like fried chicken but its actually vegetables like chickpeas and such all stuffed together. Was rather delicious. And she gave me chocolate covered cranberries! Was a happy chappy. And the sun was shining! Oh good times. I got to take one of my four layers off :D Bordered back on and arrived at Niagara Falls at 3pm. We had an hour and my friends wanted to get food so we calked up Clifton Hill first which is the main street and oh my gosh it it like a mini Vegas with its lights/Disneyland with its attractions. Absolutely crazy. Top knozzle fun if you’re a child. I saw a cinema advertising Spongebob in 4D! 4D… what on earth. Went to Wendy’s (Wendy’s is like maccas) and got some poutine. Traiditonal Canadian meal –fries topped with cheese and gravy… heart attack in a ball. But tasted so so good. Must try make this or something. With fish and chip chips from Marmion. Oh my gosh excitement for home time. By this point it was 4:10 and we were meeting back at 4:10 and I was wondering why nobody was stressing so I bailed and went to see the waterfall. This time from the Canadian side J.
There was like two main parts to it.. one was typical, and I think what most Americans see. And then the other which you have to walk further down too was like filled with mist water and you could barely see but it looked real cool… like a big cloud in front of it. started walking up to get to this beast quite fast asking people to take my photo along the way infront of the fall. Was such a challenge because the sun kept coming and going as it liked so all the photos were turning out really dark. As I walked up the border I must have asked about twelve people to take me photo and only got one with adequate light. Got to the misty ball, got sprayed, and headed back to bus. Very cool, there was even some rain bowing over the fall going on. As I half walk half ran back I got real close to the bus and then saw it leave K plan was meet at 4:10 to go to the outlet mall for 3 hours. It was 4:07. I called the tour guide and was like um I can see you am right behind you could you please wait two minutes? And she said sorry no catch a taxi. I felt my blood actually boil. So I walked back up and down that 100m st for three hours. Ready to kill. Haven’t had internet on my cell in Canada which made things a bit more difficult but I managed to discover one side of the road connected me to my American network and the other to the Canadian. So I could get my internet on the left side so did some face booking for a bit J then my battery died. Fark. Was actually so ticked off aha when the bus came back at 7pm., (was late 10 minutes) she apologized and I gave her the ‘its fine’. Hope she knows it definitely was not. With no phone I was preparing for a long 2 hour ride back but then the bus played Hunger Games which made me awfully happy. Good movie. Got back into the city at 9pm. Made my way to the subway and then Sandra picked me up from there. Toronto TTC is so easy to navigate. We should get a subway.
Got up at 8:30 and had my usual breakfast routine. Cathy had left me a total of seven maps by this point, so I began figuring out the plan of attack for the day. Brought a subway day pass $10 and started on Danforth Avenue which is mainly a Greek area. Actually where My Big Fat Greek Wedding is based, and partially filmed. So actually a huge Greek area. Lots of small groceries, Greek food, Greek clothing. Greek. Was a nice stroll. Then popped back onto the subway and headed into the city. Went into a shoe store and saw some shoes I liked. Bad Emily. But resisted the urge. They were so pretty though. Damn suitcase. I was trying on some scarves in there and they had this sales assistant who kept staring at me. But from a close distance. Like she was waiting to see if I’d steal, or needed help. Really not sure. But it was so uncomfortable. So I started staring back. And she’d smile. But then she’d walk around the other side, still really close and stare. And then I was staring back/giving weird facial expressions to her. I am so off put by shopping and sales assistants right now aha no shopping for a while. Once I get back. That and the fact, everything in Australia now just seems a gazillion dollars. Walked down Yonge St to which is rather cultural all the way down to the Eaton Center, the main city three level huge shopping mall. The wind was chilling… I don’t know how everybody does it. I swear I look like retard with everything I wear a blue beanie, red scarf, huge coat, pink hand muffins. And im walking around covering my face with my scarf cos its so damn cold. And this is warm weather for them. Like Ohio, they have begun experiencing warmer winters over the past few months. North America finally seems to be acknowledging global warming. I was taking refuge in shops along the way to escape the cold. After the center I continued with my map (my first city maps without google maps was doing alright) down to the markets… shame they were closed. Down to the waterfront… and it started to snow. My teeth were chattering. Most people welcome snow. I start swearing at it. Gloomy day, but typical day I am told similar to Seattle. Would be nice another season of year. They also have the CN tower, similar to Seattle’s space needle. What is this! Toronto’s city architecture is really defined. Lots of tall buildings. But tall shiny glass buildings. Almost alien like. All the new tall buildings make the citizens angry I am told. Caught the subway into Chinatown where I have heard good things slash everything is so cheap I like looking. Got a shot glass for my collection (just you wait). Oh I forget to mention how devastated I was wandering around the shops as Canada is so much mores expensive than America. Should have done my research. More like Sydney pricing.
Then caught the subway back home and met Cathy for dinner on Greek Street (yay it rhymes) at Mocha, a health food restaurant, shocking! I may have had a Grilled Turkey Club Sandwich… not sure how that is ultra healthy. After setting Cathy up with Facebook and iTunes I began my packing… again. This is getting old! Took me a long time to pack… because I am having to come up with new ways to make my suitcase not 50 pounds. So I stuffed as much as physically possible into the guitar case. Poor bugger. And my backpack. Sure that I would have to begin my losses at the terminal tomorrow.
Awoke at 4am for my 4:30 shuttle to Toronto Airport. Nasty. Gulped down the usual breakfast, fairwell’d Cathy and began my trip with a loverly taxi man from Bangladesh. I love chatty taxi drivers, asking them where they are from what they are doing. Poor bugger is an engineer but couldn’t get work over here something about applying for tests directly when September 11 happened and then being screwed. I told him to come to Perth, he’d be most welcome on the mines. Got through airport easily passing through baggage with a swift 49 pounds J good packing Emily. Good to be back in a country that doesn’t charge you for your checked baggage! I always forget to empty my bloody water bottle and have to buy a new one. Got to give it to flight attendants, rarely do you see a moody flight attendant, they really are always chipper. And the main male flight attendant on the plane to Vancouver was such a hoot! He spoke really fast thrughough the directions part giving each of the three female flight attendants (whom he referred to as the “three lovely ladies” with a fake Spanish accent) a name and introducing them. As he was reading the manual things he was referring to them as “if you haven’t been around for the past 50 years here we go”, immediately liked him. He continued saying if you needed assistance “like his ex wife”, and if you were caught smoking you would have to step outside the aircraft and be “gone with the wind”. Made my day. The captain of the plane doing the voice overs was also in on it telling passengers to check they have their personal belongings and “if they forget something they will be able to collect it within the hour… on ebay”. And “thankyou for travelling with us, we know you have a choice when choosing airlines and – well, lets be honest, we are the best”.
Caught the Canadian Line train to City Center station took about 30 minutes and then lugged my luggage 5 minutes up the street to hostel. I look like such a twit with the luggage because I can only carry it a few meters at a time before stopping to rest... so I pretend im putting it down for some other reason like answering my phone, looking on a map etc. Hostel located right in shopping district… bloody hell. Checked in at 2:30pm and then went out into the city center and did some exploring. I walked over to Granville Island which took about half and hour crossing over the huge bridge. Vancouver is such a beautiful city! Sky scrapers on one side, mountains on the others and lake underneath. Really is a sight. Prefer it to Toronto. Walked around the boutique stores and then found the markets. I do enjoy market. And Chinatowns, apparently. Inside the market I found, and got so excited over – a sausage roll! Haven’t seen one of those in a longgg time. It was deli and gone within a minute. The downtown area is pretty easy to walk around, grid mapped and not too big.
Got up for my first day and went to Stanley Park. Bit of a foggy day but suited the forest like atmosphere I was entering. Similar to Baimbridge Island in Seattle with the forest and wildlife. You can walk around the entire park on the waterfront and also go through it… its magical. Was walking for about three hours. Then headed to Gastown which is meant to be trendy and artistic. Was slightly disappointed but that’s okay… its next to Chinatown so headed that way. Bit of a dodge china town. Later went into a Starbucks with laptop and did they American coffee study thing. That was fun. Cept I don’t drink coffee I won’t lie it was a gingerbread latte J Decided to go and see Les Miserables that night as it is a bit of the rage right now. Was insanely amazing. Like, think I have a new favourite movie amazing. Enjoyed it so ridiculously much. I wanted to stay in the cinema and watch it again for 2.5 hours. So good.
Monday morning I woke and demolished the free breakfast taking extra muffins and apples for my day. Caught the seabus (ferry) over to Northern Vancouver which took about 10 minutes max and then a bus to the base of Grouse Mountain. Had heard there was an exceptional view, gondola ride and events up the top. The lady charged me $50 for a 8 minute gondola ride cramped in with 30 skiiers… I got upto the top and the only thing I could do was the sleigh ride… which took 5 minutes. I was a tad pissed off. Amazing view, but not worth $50. There was nothing to do. grrrr.
|back to the show ho|
Came back down and wandered around town, was a sunny day which was nice. Went to false creek which is like the boat harbor and then came home and started packing! I have gotten oh so sneaky and creative with my packing and have many back up plans for when they tell me I am overweight. Including pulling out a bag out of my bag, storing more in the guitar – I don’t want to throw things away please don’t make me! I then caught the bus to Granville Island and went and watched the Vancouver Theatresports 6:30 – 8:30. Theatresports is a live version of Thank God You’re here… comedy improve. Rather hilarious. So much funding for the arts here they have there own space and sell shows and what not... was really enjoyable. Then went back downtown to buy last minute crap and everything was closed. Devs. Last sleep in a random bed woohoo. Although this hostel bed is extremely comfy. Maybe moreso than my own.
Woke up at 7:20 to make the most of my last free breakfast. And steal some. Left hostel at 8 and made the treacherous walk down to the subway line… not going to miss that. Got to airport at 8:45 and found China Southern Airlines easy. Yes, CSA. Don’t get me started on my worry/dislike/hate. They are impossible to contact literally. The phone number doesn’t work and they only email in Chinese K spent the last of my Canada money in the airport. Was told I can’t buy duty free alcohol as I have a lay over (in the middle of China. Guangzhou, to be exact). And now here I am… ready for home J America… lived up to the stereotypes. Best thing I ever did. Went too fast, but I knew it would. Always said I was born in the wrong country… and maybe I was. But am so thankful to be an Aussie and am so excited to be going home J Thank you U S of A.