Let's go to Canada, let's leave today

Okay, the incredibly overdue Canada post. Before I get into the details themselves, I will say that yes. There are pictures. You can find them at my photo gallery. The bulk of the photos were taken on my nice little digital camera, but I did get some shots with my 35mm film camera as well. The 35mm shots are at the end of each sub-album. (The CN tower sub-album is digital only.)

Oct 6: Dallas.The day started off pretty well. I had actually managed to get myself packed the night before, so I didn’t have much last minute running around to do that day. Being packed even a day in advance is slowly becoming an accomplishment for me, sadly. I had arranged a ride to the airport via SuperShuttle, and had intentionally chosen the next-to-last window of time for them to pick me up. I figured that time slot was best, it gave me enough time to shower and get ready, but it also left extra buffer time, in case anything went wrong. I was very glad I had the foresight to choose that time slot. The driver ended up being late; picking me up almost 10 minutes after the end of that scheduled window. Even worse? I was the first one for him to pick up. So it wasn’t like he was late because I was last, he was just plain late. We had two more passengers to pick up before we were on our way to the airport. The driver took the most circuitous routes possible, I could have easily gotten him there in at least half the time, if I’d known where we were going. I had to wonder if he even bothered to use mapquest to map out the stops.

I admit to worrying like crazy that we weren’t going to make it to the airport in time, even though there really wasn’t a danger of that. (But hey, you miss one flight due to incompetent airport parking shuttle people, and it’s easy to start panicking.) Of course there was a lengthy line at the ticket counter, and since my flight was international, I couldn’t use the self-service kiosk. Thankfully the line moved at a reasonable rate, and there was no need to worry about being late. Getting through security was relatively easy as well. After buying lunch (which was barely eaten) and a snack for the plane, it was almost time to board. I killed a little bit of time playing online before boarding. The flight was absolutely PACKED, but it was nice and quiet. I was VERY glad that water was allowed on the plane again and that I’d bought myself a bottle to bring with me, because the portions you get with the “drink service” is absolutely ridiculous.

After landing in Toronto, it was a very easy trip through customs. I was almost beat up by a porter while I was waiting on my luggage. He was grabbing 25 suitcases for a party of 30 that had been on my plane and repeatedly almost hit me with the bags. My mom also called frantically several times because the internet, which I already posted about. After I made it out of baggage claim without any bruises, I found Emily in the main concourse and we headed out to find her dad. We had fun on the drive back to her family’s home in Peterborough, laughing at the radio and the traffic, until exhaustion took over and she and I fell asleep.

Oct 6-8: Peterborough, ONT. Canadian Thanksgiving was on Oct 10, but Emily’s family was wonderful and had their dinner on the 7th so that I could come. Well, we would have gone either way, that just made it so we had the Peterborough trip at the front end of my vacation instead of in the middle. Hee. I had a lot of fun that weekend, meeting her family, playing games, and even hanging out watching movies. Thanksgiving dinner was wonderful, and (to me) what a Thanksgiving dinner should be. It beats my typical Thanksgiving by a landslide*.

I also got a tour of Peterborough and some of the surrounding area. Oh my god, it’s absolutely beautiful up there. The trees were all such beautiful shades of red, gold, yellow, and oranges. Her family kept telling me the trees were a little “dull” this year, but it didn’t seem it to me. The foliage down here typically just goes from green to dead, without the gorgeous changing of colors. So even a “little dull” for what they’re used to is beyond amazing to me. I had fun getting to see where Emily grew up and getting to know her family.

*(Side note: Thanksgiving has never been much of a Thanksgiving in my household because my mom is British. Since she didn’t have a Thanksgiving when she grew up in England, that somewhat translated into how we celebrated it when I was growing up. Occasionally we’d get together with family, but that was usually more stressful than fun. With my dad gone now, and the fact that my brother rarely visits, it seems silly to have a great big feast for 2 people.)

Emily had said I should wait and post this all at once. But I think that’s turning into a dangerous thing to do, and has the potential to not get posted that way. Details on more of the trip will be posted later.

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