The Great Canadian Adventure, Day 1!

So yeah, the Great Canadian Adventure has begun, folks! and I made it safely to Toronto last night, after a surprisingly relaxed and groovy jaunt out of Sea-Tac. Thanks to kindly running us down to the airport on his way to work, we got there super-early and had acres of time to kill. We wound up walking all up and down all the various wings of the airport, and even stopped for 15-minute massages at a massage bar in one wing. Which was beautiful and relaxing, and which is something that should be done more often before flying, I feel.

We also looked at various bits of airport art. Most of this are of a big mural we found at the end of the A wing, which looked really cool with the sun coming down through it, and I quite liked the sleeping figures at the top. For comparison, though, I also present the dubious brown bits of sculpture that we wound elsewhere in our airport wanderings–sculpture that wasn’t particularly improved by the proximity of similarly shaped white pieces hanging from the nearby ceiling.

And we wound up having all this time to kill at the airport even given the madhouse that SeaTac was, thanks to mechanical failures and flight cancellations. We got a baggage fee waived even though Dara’s bouzouki was oversized, and even the security line was surprisingly quick and painless; neither of us got dinged for the full-body scanner, thankfully.

The flight was a bit bumpy, but we made it in okay, and Canadian customs was also quick and painless. came to meet us and escort us back to Chez Cow, and then we popped back out again to go get a very late (by local time) dinner at Cow’s nearby preferred pub. We had lovely service from the Croatian bartender there and got to try a local cider, for the first volley in this Adventure’s objective of CIDER SCIENCE! Verdict on the Waupoos: a good light, dry cider, not as overt in flavor as Strongbow, but that stuff’s hard to beat. The fish and chips were tasty as well, and we eventually keeled back over at Chez Cow around midnightish.

Much to my amazement, my brain popped online around sixish–i.e., threeish Pacific time. And I was astonishingly awake and have mostly remained so all day! When the HELL did I turn into a morning person, anyway?

But today was relaxed and groovy, an overall theme for this trip. We wandered out through the Leslieville district, had some nice lunch at a Japanese place, and then a lovely walk along the beach of Lake Ontario. Internets, this is the first time I’d ever been to one of the Great Lakes! And the sheer visual size of it just blew me away. I’m used to Lake Washington–which, don’t get me wrong, is no tiny pond–but even with Lake Washington, I can see the distant shorelines way down at the other end.

With Lake Ontario, though, there’s nothing out there but blue horizon. The weird thing, though, is that it looks like it ought to be ocean, except that there are no waves and no tides, and the air doesn’t smell like salt. It was great fun to wade down into the beautiful clear water, though, and see some tiny wriggling mini-fish. Here’s the shots I got of the lake!

Our evening went to Ethopian food for dinner, and then a casual stroll got us back to Chez Cow. I got a couple more pics on the way! I giggled at the No Hockey sign, but also the Traffic Calming one, because apparently the local streets just wanted a nice relaxing cup of tea. The mural and the tunnel, though, those were awesome. And the tunnel totally makes me think a scene of some sort ought to take place in it.

We are closing this first day in Toronto with experiments in margaritas and vodka. And tomorrow there will be meeting of fellow Le Vent du Nord fan Susan!