Tuesday, June 28

Toronto Diary - Day Two.

Sunday, June 19

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That first morning in the city, I quickly realized that this wasn’t going to be a vacation as much as it was going to be a whirlwind tour of duty. Sherry had meticulously planned out every angstrom of this trip, and we only had so much time to take in every single attraction in Toronto, one of the biggest cities on the planet.

Opening my eyes, it took me a while to realize just where I was. The lush, king-sized bed in the hotel room put a good three feet of space between me and the Missus, so while pawing around in the darkness; I thought I was all by myself. Knocking my watch off the nightstand, I grabbed the remote control and turned on the television, switching to Much Music, the Canadian equivalent of MTV.

A quick word on Much Music. It’s an interesting network. We used to have it here in the states, but about five years ago they pulled the plug in favor of Fuse, a network out of New York City. They play standard Music Television fare, but then they surprise you with Canadian bands that are still an underground novelty here in the states. The first thing I saw when I turned on the station was an Arcade Fire video, followed by Death From Above 1979. I instantly felt that I belonged here.

“Happy Anniversary”, I told the Missus as she opened her bleary eyes.

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After breakfast, the first big Toronto stop was the world-famous CN Tower. This is the tallest observation deck in the world, at least that’s what the sign told me. The CN Tower is right next to the Rogers Centre, where the Toronto Blue Jays play. Ironically, the Milwaukee Brewers were in town that day for an afternoon ass-whooping.

It was here at the CN Tower where we exchanged more American money and bought a City Pass. A City Pass is a neat way to get admission to a bunch of local attractions for one price. For about $50, we got well over $100 worth of tickets to most of the things we had been planning on seeing in the first place.

Another quick word on Canadian money. They have one and two dollar coins in Canada. The one dollar coin has a picture of a Loon on it, so they are referred to as "Loonies". The two dollar coin is referred to as a "Toonie". Now you know.

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The four of us got into the elevator, shooting us straight into the air at about 15 miles per hour. The elevator was glass, so it was nothing short of awful watching the ground disappear from under you so quickly. Our tour guide was a funny, sarcastic young woman who kept me from vomiting all over her. Here’s some sample dialogue that she had with us, some overall-wearing rednecks and a group of French-speaking tourists sharing an elevator:

Redneck: “How fast are we going?”
Guide: “About 15 miles per hour. This is actually the same speed as an opened parachute falling from a plane.”
Redneck: “A military parachute?”
Guide: “No. Actually, the military chutes fall a little faster because they’re in a hurry…to kill people.”

(Silence and muffled laughter by the four of us)

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The CN Tower gave us some truly amazing views of the city we were about to dissect. The tour guide also let us know that the Much Music Video Awards were going on tonight, and they were closing off some streets and broadcasting live. We decided that we would check that out if we had the chance, or at least watch it on television. The Arcade Fire was playing live, so I was pretty adamant about checking it ‘oot.

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After seeing every square inch of the CN Tower, we found our car and were off to the Toronto Zoo. But first, a few words on parking.

Parking & You: How to Lose $100 a Day for No Reason

Driving in Toronto is nothing short of a sick joke. However, I despise public transportation and choose to avoid it at all costs. It’s because of this that we spent literally hundreds of dollars just on parking in those eight short days.

Parking at the Rogers Centre was $14, and we found places that were as cheap as $6 throughout the week, but we usually had to park at anywhere from 2-5 different spots per day. You can do the math. Take it from me, if you plan on spending any length of time in Downtown Toronto, I strongly recommend taking the Subway or using some sort of tour bus. I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it.

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Now then, the Toronto Zoo was beckoning. Several hours and several more miles of walking later, we came to the conclusion that it was a pretty large zoo. We saw every animal you would think that would inhabit a zoo, and we also saw some things that I had never seen before. Like turtles mating.

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Maybe it was the heat. Maybe it was the sheer amount of walking. Maybe it was the pungent scent of sunscreen emitting from a million screaming children. Somewhere along the way, we all started to get a little cranky. So early into the trip, and we were starting to take potshots at each other and argue over insignificant stuff. The zoo was beautiful and one of a kind, but it was a welcome treat to get back to the air-conditioned vehicle.

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We had some time to kill before dinner, so we decided to check out one of the beaches in the city. I cannot stand beaches, as I can’t swim and my skin is milky white. I get sunburn just sitting too close to a computer monitor, so I normally don’t have many good things to say about beaches. This beach was no different. Some highlights were Ben getting hassled by a clearly intoxicated German man ("cut your hair!"), or a woman collecting litter dressed as a clown, complete with makeup and red nose. I couldn’t leave fast enough.

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My pants are rolled up in a fruity fashion because I didn't want to get them dirty. Don't worry about me.

Before getting back to the hotel, we drove by Much Music studios to check out the crowd for the awards show. There were already 15,000 people there three hours before show time, so we thought it better to watch the awards on television. We got dinner at the hotel, and the waitress bothered us about basically everything. She made poor Ben feel so guilty about not finishing his food, he wrapped it up just to make her feel better, knowing full well that we had no fridge or preserving device in our hotel. We had a mini-bar, but I instructed nobody to open that thing if they valued their money or sanity. A mini-bar in a hotel is like a Pandora’s Box of alcohol and cashews. Avoid it at all costs.

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During the Much Music Video Awards, we decided to quickly run to the nearest airport to exchange a bunch of money. This eventually resulted in an hour of wasted time, money wasted on parking, and no money exchanged. The changing station was perpetually closed, and the man we asked was nothing short of a complete ass to me and my friends. Again, we were starting to see how the rest of the planet viewed Americans. Then again, most of the inhabitants of Toronto are French, so it’s possible that they’re like this all the time. I kid the French only because they hate me. We made a vow to never return to the airport again (we returned two more times), and went back to watch the rest of the awards. By the time I got back in front of the television, the Arcade Fire had already performed. I sipped my Guinness in shame, and felt very worthless and small.


(Questions, comments or concerns about day two? Sound off in the comments section.)

Heat? Are you sure you were in Canada? Canada is really, really cold.
One of my relatives actually told me to bring a jacket along. It was never lower than 80 degrees all week.

Someone at work was telling me that it was 35 degrees there. She was right, of course, but thought it was fahrenheit. Some people, I tells you.

Canada isn't any more of a frozen hostile wasteland than Wisconsin. Come to think of it, that's plenty awful.
The baseball field picture is very cool. The picture of you on the beach, not so cool.
I still think that the guy yelled "Tails are out!" after he told one of us to get a haircut. In that case, he was referring to you Ryan as you are the only one with a tail :)
My "tail" was non-existant. He was clearly yelling at Ben, because he's shaggy, like the cartoon character of the same name.

Or maybe he was just yelling gibberish at the lake, because he was smashed at 2 in the afternoon.
"Tails are out!" If this is indeed what the drunk German said, it would be the single weirdest thing I've ever had yelled at me by a drunk. I mean, seriously, that makes little to no sense whatsoever.
Sherry had a ponytail in, too, so they could have been yelling at her...I reckon they could have been yelling at me because my hair is flipped out 50's style. They were probably yelling at Ben though, the damn hippy.
There was a clown picking up trash on a beach and you DIDN'T TAKE A PICTURE?!? What is your deal? That's something you don't see everyday.
We were too frightened to stare. That clown was scary.

The beach flat-out sucked. Broken glass everywhere, drunks staggering around in the afternoon, clowns picking up dog poop. I was suspicious every time someone was walking towards me, and I eventually told the kids that I had to get outta there.

I didn't think that a beach in broad daylight would be more spooky than downtown Milwaukee at midnight, but I was wrong.
I think you said "I have to get out of here" pretty much every place we went...
You knew that I hated groups of more than 4 people when you met me.

I pretty much turn into Buster Bluth when I'm surrounded by strangers. I'm going to panic, and something bad's going to happen.
I thought I was the only one who did that. Time to start an introverts' club, which shall never convene.
Yeah. "Sorry, I can't make the meeting again. I have to...um, clean the fridge."

"That's okay, I'm not going either."

"Don't touch me!"
The "Don't touch me!" made me literally laugh out loud. It's funny because it's true.

Have you ever taken the Myers Briggs personality test? Have we discussed that already?
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I'm an INTJ. Woot!
INTP 4 life, yo.
So am I! Woot! That's a good write-up. We're so compatible that we hate each other. Thanks, E-Harmony!
I'm an INTJ, like the Missus, just to clarify.
INTx's will rule the world!
We already do...we just let the extroverts THINK they do :)
I can barely hold reign over my kitchen. The world can be someone else's mess to clean.

Oh, all right, I'll take care of it. When do you need it done by?
I don't know, I hate scheduling things. I probably wouldn't be a good leader anyway, since I lack the confidence of the INTJ.
I'm a great leader, when I'm up to it. Catch me on a different day, and I don't want to talk to anyone.

Like today, for example. My supervisor asked me if I could edit some stuff for her. I punched her in the neck and lit the computer on fire. Any other day of the week, and I probably would have lacked the leadership skills that got me out of that situation.
I guess on those terms I am a good leader, then.
I'm the leader of our household...more like dictator, actually. The cats bow before me..
Yeah, and you don't even feed them.
I am a:
distinctively expressed introvert

moderately expressed intuitive personality

moderately expressed feeling personality

moderately expressed judging personality

I'm more of a Romantic, and I have a sense of adventure. I think that's where the F comes in.
I read the description of my letters (INFJ), and it brought tears to my eyes because it was so right on. Finally, through this test, I can understand why I am so screwed up...
We're all a little screwed up, Berry. That's what makes us...us.

Knowing is half the battle.
Yo Joe!

Yeah, mine was dead on. I like it because I can blame weird behavior on it. Once you know another persons type, you can also start telling them when they are acting on their type. "Oh you're just doing that because you're an F." It makes them less of a person and more of a robot, which is nice.

I joined a yahoo group once for my type, and I hated them all. I don't know what that means.
Dehumanization is the future. Nobody is responsible for their actions, and I blame O.J. for some reason.
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I just read your type, Sherry. http://typelogic.com/infj.html

Is that the one you read? That one doesn't sound like you at ALL!
Oh, FYI, mine was:

You are:

very expressed introvert

moderately expressed intuitive personality

distinctively expressed thinking personality

very expressed judging personality

There we go with the judging again...
I took the test again, and it said that I was a DINK, whatever that means.

I bet the "K" stands for "Kind".
I read both of the descriptions from that specific page. The description by Marina Margaret Heiss is the one that made tears come to my eyes. I don't know.. maybe I don't know myself at all. Maybe I too will have a breakdown like Ryan.. right about... now!

Maybe I shouldn't joke about Ryan's breakdown. What happened?
This page has some good MB descriptions, too.
I'm fine, Sherry. I was just saying that doing a huge Blog post every day (writing & re-writing, selecting & resizing photos, uploading & organizing, etc.) was really taking a lot of my time.

As I started to write for Day Four, I really didn't do it justice because I was flat-oot sick of talking about Toronto. I needed a day or 2 off so I could look at it fresh again. People may not know it, but each one of these big, intensive posts takes quite a few man hours. Not only that, but I have a real job that's been jerking me around lately.

Day Four will be up before you know it, and the rest will soon follow.

See you tomorrow!
"INFJ's are very sensitive to conflict, and cannot tolerate it very well. Situations which are charged with conflict may drive the normally peaceful INFJ into a state of agitation or charged anger."

Yep... those descriptions are right on.
i'm an ISTP... kind of creepy how close the description is... even down to riding motorcycles and being a police officer. scary..

oo! it says i have sex appeal! score!

yet, it explains why my relationships fail... stupid personality test.

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