I am back from our vacation in Toronto, Canada and I am exhausted. Now I am surrounded by stacks of laundry and keeping an eye on Hurricane Bud. How exactly does one prepare for a hurricane in the desert? Anyway here are some of the highlights of the trip.
Favorite Food: Tim Horton’s maple glazed donut. I always thought people were crazy being all excited about how we have In-n-Out Burgers but now I get it. That is how I feel about Tim Horton’s!
Favorite Place: Ripley’s Aquarium. We did a lot in Toronto (CN Tower, Bluejays game, Casa Loma (the castle), Center Islands, Hockey Hall of Fame, St. Lawrence Market as well as a trip to Niagara Falls) and the aquarium was the most impressive. When I saw the name “Ripley’s” I was afraid it was going to be full of three headed fish but even though it was “that Ripley” it was a normal aquarium. A really cool, large, fantastic aquarium.
The stereotype is true: Everyone in Canada was very friendly, crazy polite and super helpful. Not one surly waitress or impatient cashier. People held doors, cars waited to make right hand turns while we were in the crosswalk and every time my husband screwed up the credit card reader (which was every time he used it) they just laughed and reset it and helped him out. Our condo had this weird (to us) key fob thing that you used to get in the outer lobby door and to use the elevator. We had an access code to get us in the first time (the key was in the unlocked condo) and that was supposed to magically work the elevator to our floor. Only a bunch of people were going in and they held the door for us so when we got in the elevator we could not get to our floor. But a guy in the elevator was going to the floor beneath ours and took us up the one flight of stairs and unlocked the fire door for us. How nice was that?
The Journey To and From: Surprisingly smooth. No delays, no turbulence, no lost luggage. The only issues we had were with technology. Passport readers never worked easily for us and when we checked in for our return trip our luggage tags printed but not our boarding passes. But in typical Canadian style an agent was right there and whisked us over to a computer terminal and got us all set. I was surprised at how computerized the Customs and Immigration process was and breathed a sigh of relief when we passed through after all the problems we had with the machine reading our passport barcodes (coming and going, sheesh).
The Kindness of Neighbors: As bad luck will happen our hot water heater had a valve fail from corrosion (we have very hard water here) and spewed three inches of water into the garage. Our neighbor leaving for work at 6:15a.m. noticed the water coming out under the garage door and shut the water off at the main valve. He then called his friend who he knew worked with my husband. From there three of my husband’s co-workers/friends (including the guy who was checking on the pool for us while we were gone) came over and cleared out the garage, set up some floor driers, contacted the hot water heater guy and sent him a picture of the corroded valve so he could order a new one. We still don’t have hot water but the garage dried out nicely (it helped that is has been 105° everyday) and there is no sign of mildew or even a smell. Whew!