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Canada

Rideshare to Toronto

Waseq (aka Rick) was a little late picking me up, apparently there was traffic and he went to the wrong street corner, far away from where I was standing.

We picked up his three girlfriends, Heba, and I can't remember the other two. One of the ladies was from the Philippines, where she trained to be a nurse. She came here to take a get this, marketing degree at Ottawa U. Bizarre.

Anyway, I got to Toronto way earlier than I had planned and so I decided to slowly make my way downtown to the hotel. I got dropped off at Islington station which is forever away from downtown, but no matter. There was a lot of time before I had to meet Owen, I don't think he was supposed to get to the hotel until at least 1 a.m.

There were no maps in the subway car I was in, so I got lost of course. There was a lady looking drunk and swaying around. I figured she would be a good person to ask directions of. She told me I was on the wrong subway line. Yeah, I know. She told me how to get there, and I thought I was back on track.

"So what are you doing tonight?" I ask.

"Going to see Avatar."

"Oh..." sad look on my face, I did not want to see Avatar. "I have a few hours to kill, so I was hoping it was something exciting."

"Ohhhhhhhh but it's in a special space."

I laugh, "What? What kind of space?"

"What do you do in Ottawa?"

"Oh I work for a travel website."

"Oh OK, it's a pot cafe."

"Haaaaaaaaahaha what? I'm TOTALLY in."

Her name is Naomi and she takes me on a wild goose chase to try and find the subway to "Clandestiny" the head shop where in the back, there is a secret room with clocks all stopped at 4:20, people nearly passed out on couches, large hookahs scattered about and dogs romping around the room.

By the time we get there, Avatar is halfway done, and that's good anyway, since I kind of have to get back by 12:30 ish. The movie sucks but it's a nice way to end my travel to Toronto.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Brunch with Andrew, mom, dad

I have not seen Andrew since he lived in Ottawa, which was a few years ago, so I scheduled brunch with him at Cafe Crepe smack downtown in Toronto.

We munched on overpriced pancakes and talked about our lives etc. etc.

Andrew had to go meet with Thomas, so my mom, dad, aunt, uncle and Mike went to the Steam Whistle Brewery. Mom kept calling it the "whistle stop" brewery and it became a running joke.

The tour was pretty interesting, and you get a beer and glass to take home afterward. I actually got to pull the steam whistle at the end. Yes! The glass will come in handy for taste testing beers at the beerfest in Montreal in June. I hope to go again this year.

Aunt Anne et. al. left after that, and the rest of us went to the St. Lawrence Market. We didn't realize it was closed on Sundays. Sucks. Because of this, we also missed the famous St. Patrick's Day parade. Nuts.

So what do you do if you are bored in Toronto on a Sunday?

The old standby, Chinatown. If everything is closed in the world, you can always bet that Chinatown will be open. And fun. And cheap.

We stopped at the Chinese Bakery and I found some steamed pork buns (delicious) and bought some donuts to take for the road.

Mom looked for a purse, didn't find one, and dad and I got some bubble tea. She will come back to Chinatown next time we go to Toronto and hopefully find one.

Steam Whistle

Steam Whistle


Mom vs. CN Tower

Mom vs. CN Tower


CN Tower

CN Tower


Steam Whistle

Steam Whistle


Me and mom vs. Steam Whistle beer

Me and mom vs. Steam Whistle beer


Steam Whistle Brewery

Steam Whistle Brewery


Aunt Anne vs. Steam Whistle

Aunt Anne vs. Steam Whistle


Train

Train


Train

Train


Mom vs. Chinese Bakery

Mom vs. Chinese Bakery

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Everything got screwed up

In the morning, mom and I went to Senses Spa in the Americana Hotel.

Before that though, we went to the Thai grocery store to look for the Thai coffee mix that I so desperately want to find. We didn't find it.

We also went to "Liquidation World" and I marveled at the explosion of sex shops now competing with Lilly 'n' Lace on Lundy's Lane.

Anyway, the massage was lovely. I had a "deep tissue" massage and it was worth every penny. I walked out feeling like a dream.

Mom met this lady who she sort of knew in high school in the "sanctuary" room. Basically the waiting room, but with a prettier name. So that was funny.

The only weird thing was that the lady who was supposed to give me a massage got me mixed up with my mom and we had some confusion but that didn't last long.

I also got a free half hour basically, because the massage lady accidentally went for a long time. I guess she doesn't really know what she's doing.

The spa was located at the back of a water park, so we had to walk through that to get to it. There were crazy kids running around because it was March Break. There was also a snake display in the lobby, which was a little unsettling after leaving the spa, don't you think?

For some reason, Mom had an urge to buy me some bras, so after the massage we headed to the La Senza at Niagara Square before it closed. I got three.

Later on, we had tickets to the "dinner and comedy" show at House of Comedy. I put it in quotes because the dinner is a little insulting. You get pasta, salad and a bun with your show. Later I realized that this dinner is not really supposed to satisfy you. It is only a legal ploy, so that if anyone tries to drive home drunk after the show, they can say they tried their best to provide food to their customers.

So, I had seen the comedian the last time I went to a comedy show in Niagara, Larry Smith. He kept mentioning to the audience about how he "really" needs a ride home and also mentioning to the ladies about how he's also "really" good at oral sex. It got really lame after a while. He has a few really funny jokes, but that's about it.

Anyway, we had a nice time with Alicia, Bill and her Hungarian friend, I can't remember his name, sorry.

House of Comedy

House of Comedy


House of Comedy

House of Comedy


Me vs. cold bun

Me vs. cold bun


House of Comedy

House of Comedy

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Rideshare to Toronto, Greyhound to Niagara

So the plan this weekend, was to head over to Toronto for Canadian Music Week with Lorina, just like last year.

A day before we were meant to leave, Lorina suddenly remembered that she was leaving for Toronto Friday morning, not after work. So I can't go anymore.

"Well can't you find a rideshare and meet us there?"

"Yeah, I could."

So I do that, but my couch for the weekend still had not been confirmed by Mr. Alan Parker, so I decide to make the trek all the way to Niagara instead of Toronto.

I meet my rideshare after work, leaving my bicycle locked to a parking meter. I am a little apprehensive about this, but I don't have a choice because my driver is leaving from across town at 4:30.

The car is full with Jenny and Janet who are nice ladies and we chat all the way to Toronto.

When we get there, it is pouring rain and we have to run through it to get to the subway. By the time I make my way to the Greyhound station, I find out that I was 10 minutes late for the 9:30 bus to Niagara.

That makes me a little sad, the next bus comes in 1.5 hours so I lay down, read a few chapters of Lord of the Rings (yeah I'm actually reading that book, don't judge) and before I know it, it's time to get on the bus.

I actually got on Coach Canada this time, which I've never done. I have to say the driver was a lot friendlier than the Greyhound drivers usually are.

The whole way down, this guy across the aisle keeps bugging me. He's been fidgeting and generally looking like he's on some sort of stimulant since he got on the bus.

"That's a good book eh?" He says to me.

"Yep."

"Where are you going?"

"Niagara."

"Oh yeah? Me too, are you going to the casino?"

"Nope."

"No? Where are you going then?"

"Visiting my parents."

"Oh that's nice that you have parents, mine are both dead."

"Yep, sorry to hear that."

"Yeah, it's nice to have someone care about you."

.... "Yep."

...... two minutes passes.....

"What's your name?"

"Louise."

"I'm George."

"Hi George."

....another two minutes....

"Do you want to come to the casino with me? We could have a good time."

"No."

"OK, I'll stop bugging you now."

.... another two minutes....

"Do you need a light? It's dark in here, you can have mine."

He shifts his light over directing it at me.

"Better? You sure you don't want to come to the casino?"

"Yes, I'm sure."

"OK, I'll stop bothering you."

.....two more minutes

"Am I bothering you?"

"Yes."

"OK, I'll stop bothering you."

He goes to sleep and then I switch spots.

By the time I got to Niagara, it was after midnight. My dad picked me up, but I had not packed very well, I was FREEZING COLD.

I had only my small windbreaker and a scarf to keep me warm outside the closed terminal. Dad shows up pretty quickly and I meet mom at home.

I had brought some videos to watch because they had to go back to the video store on Monday, so we watched The Picture of Dorian Gray until 3 a.m.

Phew, long day.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Rideshare back to Ottawa

Eva gave me a ride back to the Metro station in the morning before she had to go to work, I had a Sausage McMuffin and went straight to work.

The strange man from London who had also hitched a ride with us tried to get my number. I walked him to the mall so that he could catch the bus to Gatineau, I guess he took that as a sign that I was flirting with him? I dunno, is there something strange about the way that I act? I think that lots of boys don't really understand my friendliness and mistake it for flirtiness.

How does a person be friendly, but not flirty? I think it's all in the eye of the beholder, I don't think there's anything I can do but be myself. If some people take it the wrong way, that's their problem.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Greyhound it back to Montreal

I slept in and then went downtown in the afternoon. I never went skating the whole weekend, but I had been lugging my skates around nevertheless, like a dutiful Golden retriever.

Back on the bus they go, say goodbye to Owen and then I end up in Montreal a lot earlier than I expected.

When lots of people are going to a certain place, usually they will herd you all onto the same bus and then speed that bus along to your destination. Luckily, there were a bunch of people going to Montreal, so we managed to miss a bunch of little towns in New England and head straight over to Montreal.

So, I got there early, called Eva up, who was surprised to hear from me so soon, and she awesomely picked me right up and then I went straight to bed!

Her hot water heater had been on the fritz so I didn't get a shower, but honestly, who cares. The bed was lovely.

One thing though! I had a crazy dream. A false awakening, I dreamed I woke up and there was a young girl sitting on the end of my bed. She was saying something to me but I was straining to hear/understand. Then I woke up. Freaky right? I thought it was a ghost!

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Rideshare to Montreal with Cathy

After work, I met Cathy and the rest of the ridesharers for a quick jaunt to Montreal in the back of Cathy's black Suzuki SUV.

As soon as I got there, I called Marilyn, when I meant to call Marc-Andre. I had a mission to find some chocolate that had been left there for me by a couchsurfer of mine.

She cancelled on me, felt bad, so she left some chocolate for me to pick up.

Long story short, I never found the chocolate. Marilyn was home, and I sat waiting for the bus to her house for at least 45 minutes.

That was OK, because then I left with some French girls to go drink a beer before heading off to Boston.

We had a nice time, and then I walked to the bus station to catch my bus.

I tried to sleep all the way to Boston, but I couldn't because a man from Vermont sat beside me and SQUISHED various parts of my body as he tried to get comfortable using my arm and leg as a pillow.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

We drive to Woodstock, almost...

So this morning we flipped a coin in the car and it told us to go to Bethel, NY, the place where the famous you know, Woodstock thing happened.

We knew it wouldn't look like anything in the winter, but that wasn't the point of it.

After Dave's dad called him, he had a change of heart and decided we should turn back and go home. His dad was kind of worried that we would get in an accident I think.

So we missed Woodstock by maybe an hour drive. I figure it probably wouldn't look any different than any other field in New York, but who knows.

We just drove back home the same way we got here. We stopped at the Duty Free and Dave smuggled in some native cigarettes. With my crazy record, I did not chance it.

On the way back, the 416 was backed up with TWO PLOWS driving SIDE BY SIDE for about an hour. It was so crazy. I had heard of this happening in urban myths, but I had never witnessed it myself. Incredible.

And that's the end of the trip! I managed to get to bed before midnight and start 2010 on a kind of random and awkward foot.

But hey, that's how she goes.

Update: Dave finally sent me the list of things we did in Albany, so in no particular order:

1. Made faces at a baby.2. Bomber's Burrito Bar, the night before it closed for a month.3. Drank terrible alcohol/speed thing, and luckily didn't have a heart attack

4. Karaoke'd Renegades of Funk and Dirty Old Town 5. Saw the modernist Stonehenge and an after-hours mall with beautiful paintings in it6. Saw the winter light show

7. Saw a terrible punk band and left without paying8. Passed by Cairo, Amsterdam, and Mexico.9. Conquered the catskills.10. Almost went to Woodstock

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Rideshare back to Ottawa

Caught the rideshare back with the Rottweilers early in the morning.

One of them almost bit my hand off. Don't worry, I had fast reflexes.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Skating

We went skating after a crazy ice storm on that rink they set up near Niagara Falls. It was totally over-hyped. If they do this again next year, please don't waste your money on it.

Me and mom skating but blurry

Me and mom skating but blurry


Me and mom skating but blurry

Me and mom skating but blurry

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

I can't remember what we did

I remember we ate a lot of food, and Elsie probably came over.

Oh and my dad got a Wii and I played that a lot with my cousin, Mike.

Mom and grandma

Mom and grandma


Grandma me mom

Grandma me mom


Me vs. Christmas presents

Me vs. Christmas presents


Me and mom vs. Christmas presents

Me and mom vs. Christmas presents


Me and mom vs. Christmas presents

Me and mom vs. Christmas presents


Me vs. Christmas presents

Me vs. Christmas presents


Grandma and mom

Grandma and mom


Me grandma mom

Me grandma mom


Dad

Dad

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Probably we went to church

I'm pretty sure we went to church on Christmas Eve, as usual.

The new priest is kind of crazy and condescending, he treats everyone like children, but whatever.

My mom is in charge of the kids' play, so she directed that.

Oh yeah, and I went to my ex-boyfriend's Christmas party, then I was sad and cried because I don't like him as much as I used to, which in turn made him angry and so I think we'll ever see each other again.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

The rideshare with the Rottweilers

I drove down to Niagara with a guy who had a giant sound system and two Rottweilers in the back seat.

He used to be a DJ at a strip club and "once spent thousands of dollars on hookers and blow in a weekend".

He's clean and sober now, working at a Loblaws near Bayshore.

He's a nice guy actually, don't worry.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

An afternoon in High Park, Toronto

Shylo and I got up to meet her parents at their hotel again. We checked out and headed down to High Park to go to Dr. Generosity. It was way too full, so we went across the street to Sunset Grill. I had an unremarkable breakfast, with some really crap coffee, but we had a good time.

Shylo and her mom and dad went back to the hotel to go get ready to see King Tut, and me and my parents went our separate ways. Out to Diempflmeier to buy some bread and things that make us fat. Namely, jelly donuts and salty pretzels.

After that me and mom and dad just sort of wandered around High Park, shopping and stuff.

Dad came across some free wine samples, so we had some of that and annoyed the lady at the wine store for a while. Mom bought some greenery from some sort of florist and a big box of blueberries and chestnuts (for roasting on an open fire, dontchyaknow)

We had some Vietnamese for dinner. Dad got some surprisingly authentic Thai fish cakes and I had some surprisingly inauthentic Thai iced coffee. I still haven't found the same stuff anywhere in Canada. Not that I've been trying too hard.

Soon it was time for me to go back to the Scarborough Town Centre to meet Anuj for my ride home. I had an hour or so to kill before meeting him so I just walked around looking for wi-fi to save me from spending any more money. I had blown through at LEAST $300 on this trip already. I don't know where it went.

This time I rode in the front of the car and the two girls in the back promptly passed out, leaving me to stay awake and chat the whole way home... oh well. We got back at about midnight. Pretty fast.

Me mom, dad, Shylo's mom at Sunset Grill

Me mom, dad, Shylo's mom at Sunset Grill


Me vs. Thai Iced Coffee

Me vs. Thai Iced Coffee

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Is Weezer just as good 11 years later?

Soooooooo, what did we do today? We woke up pretty early and went for breakfast at Richtree. I had a pretty good omlette, but it was cold by the time I got it to my seat. Also, the toaster didn't work quite right. But it's cheap and relatively healthy, so that's good.

We had seen a craft show on the internet, so we went down there to check it out. We didn't find anything that was reasonable, so we just left.

After that, we couldn't think of what to do. We knew that there were two exhibits about the Dead Sea Scrolls and King Tut, but they were super expensive. We chose the cheap one, the Dead Sea Scrolls. It was a little bit disappointing. You could only view about 10 small chunks of the actual scrolls, and we found that the exhibit itself was disjointed and nonsensical.

Also visitors at the Royal Ontario Museum can no longer see out of the crystal windows. They had boarded them up years ago, and I wasn't aware of that. So there was another disappointment.

We walked around looking at random pieces of dead animals on display. I especially liked a lit up wall of dead things in jars. There was a great exhibit on Vanity Fair magazine on the top floor that I enjoyed very much. It's crazy to see how influential this magazine has been in recent decades.

Soon, it was time to head to Shylo's parents' hotel. They were staying at the Westin Harbour Castle. It was way nicer than ours, but they paid a lot more too. They got a package to see King Tut included in their hotel price.

Just realized I never took any pictures of it... oh well...

We walked down to Queen St. The concierge told Mrs. Pruyn it would only take 9 minutes to get there, but he was wrong. The restaurant they wanted to go to was too full, so we went right next door to a place called Nawlin's, where we dined on alligator meat and pasta with crap parmesan cheese. It was OK, but not the best. That's what I get for ordering the special.

By the time we were done dinner, we were just in time for the Weezer show. We said goodbye to Shylo's mom and dad and went to check out the stadium.

Nothing was going on so we got some Coors Light in a plastic cup with a straw and lid. It tastes like bubblegum through a straw, really try it, I mean it. Shylo disagrees.

Motion City Soundtrack was utterly forgettable, but Ill Scarlett was TONS OF FUN. Oh my god. I love them so muchly. We danced and we danced and we skanked and it was over too soon. One of my favourites was Milkshakes and Razorblades. Sweet.

Unfortunately we missed Jack's Mannequin because we were too busy talking about important issues. But we heard them from the hallway outside, so that's OK.

Finally, Weezer came on and we threw our coats into a big pile at the edge of the crowd (no coatcheck, ugh) and we danced some more. We knew all of the words by heart. They played SO many songs from the Blue Album and Pinkerton, it was awesome.

We danced around with this group of kids that were just as excited as we were. At one point, Rivers appeared at a second stage just behind us, so we all ran over there. I accidentally ran into this lady, who was shielding her daughter, who was old enough to take cafe of herself. The lady glared back at me like I had just kicked a puppy.

Oops. I just kept on going to the 2nd stage and forgot about it. More dancing ensued.

At the end of the show Mr. Cuomo dressed up like Lady Gaga and sang one of her songs along with an MGMT song. Sian would have loved it.

Before we knew it, the show was over. We took a bunch of pictures of us and way too many random people jumped into them.

We walked back to our hotel tired, Shylo bought a pizza slice and I drank a giant carton of chocolate milk.

Then, bed time!

Shylo vs. the Royal Ontario Museum

Shylo vs. the Royal Ontario Museum


Awesome wall of dead things in jars

Awesome wall of dead things in jars


Sharks hung up on the ceiling

Sharks hung up on the ceiling


Dinosaur bones

Dinosaur bones


Me vs. alligator

Me vs. alligator


Me vs. Weezer   flash

Me vs. Weezer + flash


Shylo vs. Weezer   flash

Shylo vs. Weezer + flash


Shylo vs. Weezer - flash

Shylo vs. Weezer - flash


Me vs. Weezer - flash

Me vs. Weezer - flash


Me vs. Coors through a straw

Me vs. Coors through a straw


Shylo vs. Coors through a straw

Shylo vs. Coors through a straw


Not Ill Scarlett

Not Ill Scarlett


Me vs. Ill Scarlett

Me vs. Ill Scarlett


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Me and Shylo vs. Weezer crowd

Me and Shylo vs. Weezer crowd


Me and Shylo vs. Weezer crowd

Me and Shylo vs. Weezer crowd


Me and Shylo vs. randoms that jumped in our pictur

Me and Shylo vs. randoms that jumped in our pictur


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Weezer

Weezer


Shylo vs. Weezer lights

Shylo vs. Weezer lights


Me vs. Weezer lights

Me vs. Weezer lights


Shylo vs. Weezer lights

Shylo vs. Weezer lights


Shylo vs. random again

Shylo vs. random again


Shylo vs. Weezer lights and another random

Shylo vs. Weezer lights and another random


Shylo vs. Weezer light

Shylo vs. Weezer light

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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