So, yes, went to Canada on Friday, came back yesterday. Fun times. We caught our flight early on Friday morning and a delay or two later landed in Buffalo, NY around 1 p.m. Rented a Pontiac Grand Prix (for only $5 more a day, thank you very much, plus it was better than a Suzuki) hopped on 190 and made it to Canada.
We got to the border and got through inspections with a minimal amount of hassle from the guy in the booth. Changed over our money, which then made us feel really rich because we made money on this transaction. This also made us a little freer in our spending since it didn't feel like real money. Side note: What is it with the coins? Does the government not believe in $1 bills? Why must it be coins? Is this to encourage spending and boosting the economy because no one wants to be weighed down by $10 in coins and so will spend them quickly? Just wondering.
So, then we pay an entrance fee into the country (apparently Canada is becoming a theme park, onle $3.50 Can to get into the place)and we are on our way on the QEW. Driving along, moving smoothly, driving 100 (km/h mind you) and then...traffic jam. Rubberneckers looking at an accident. Good to see it's not just a Florida thing :)
Finally we make it to Toronto, find the hotel and I park the car with no incident...yet. We check in to the Grand Hotel and Suites, four stars thank you very much, get the room keys and a parking tag for the car. Underground parking garage, no problem, I'm great with parking garages, been parking in them for the past 10 years. But, I haven't been parking in underground garages, only above ground garages. I scratched the hell out of the left rear quarter panel and door on that car. Good thing I got the insurance. Why do they put those walls so close to the cars?
I go back to the room and we order room service (how exciting) and eat our sandwiches while watching LotR part one. More relaxing, more relaxing and then we start getting ready for our show. For tonight, we are going to see...Eddie Izzard, lovely British transvestite comedian. So, we get ready and head downstairs to have the bellman hail a cab. Except, the bellman is nowhere to be found (of course not, this hotel is just not living up to the standards it put forth in it's advertisements), so I hail a cab (first time too, I think I did a good job, no one was injured). We get to the venue about a half hour before show start so we hang around out front watching all the Canadians walk by. Fascinating. It's not that cold out, 19C (i don't know what that is in F, but, it wasn't that cold to us, and we are from Florida). We were amazed by how most of the people had their jackets and what not on when it wasn't that bad!! Ah well, foreigners :)
I would like someone to also explain this to me, why are there no payphones in Toronto? Hmmmmm??? Why did I have to walk about 2 blocks to find one phone?? Hmm? Explain yourself Canada!! So, I finally get to a phone after the show (which was absolutely fan-fucking-tastic, heather's laugh was recognized at one point and she was happy, but not really, but she was, but not really)and call the friend that lives in the city. We agree to meet at a pub that is just down the street from the venue. We get there, and lo and behold the beginning of our evening journey, the kitchen is closed. This seems to be a pattern that repeats itself around the entire metro area until we find a pizza place that sells by the slice and you get to eat outside standing up watching the drag queens go by. This was pretty cool. :)
After about two-three hours of wandering the city in search of beer, justice and something to eat, we finally talk the guys into going back to our hotel and ordering room service for food and drink. The bar turns out to be open for another few minutes, so we order drinks and a bottle of Baileys to take up to the room with us (the drinks we had to have in the bar, so I let the room service guy in the room and then retired back down to the bar while they finished their drinks) After everyone was done we headed back to the room and drank the bottle and then Heather and I finally got to bed around 4:00 am. WOO!!
Saturday morning arrives (well, the later morning) and we order breakfast (I love room service), and I eat in bed watching the BBC and drinking coffee and juice in my bathrobe (which we had to get them to give us since they forgot to put them in our room, *sigh* you just can't get good service these days*) and pajamas. We got ready to get going, repacked and gathered everything, headed downstairs, checked out, paid the high room service bill and parking fee (can you believe it?) and made it to the car. Got out on the road and it was clear sailing all the way until...Customs. We changed our money back (losing some in the process, the dollar was not strong yesterday my friends) and proceed to the inspection area. We waited for an hour. Yes, an hour, in the car, moving slowly. Slow, slow, slow and slower. Finally, we get to the booth.
"Hello, where you headed?"
"Buffalo and then back to Florida."
"Florida huh? How long were you in Canada?"
"Just for the night."
"Just one day. You came from Florida to Canada for just one day."
"Yes. We went to Toronto to see a show."
"I see. How did you get here?"
"We flew into Buffalo and then drove from the airport to Toronto."
"I see. Turn off your car and open the trunk."
We are then told to move along and park the car and go into the customs office. We wait there for about 20 minutes with no one telling us anything. Wait a bit more and then they finally tell me to move the car into the inspection bay. Honestly, can't they have two of these things just to keep the people moving along swiftly? So, I pull the car into the bay and they separate me and Heather. One guy takes her into the office and asks her questions and the other guy starts asking me questions.
"Is this your car?"
"No, it's a rental, from Enterprise, here's the paperwork."
"Why did you go to Canada?"
"To see a comedian. The music hall theater. We tried to get tickets to see him in NY, Boston, Philly, everything was sold out, so we came here."
"Oh, do you follow him around?"
"No, we just wanted to see him live for once."
"How do you know the other girl."
"We went to high school together. We've been friends for about 8 years now."
"Is there anything I should be aware of in the car?"
"Just an empty liquor bottle and some clothes. Do you mind if I put my jacket on, it's a bit chilly?"
"No, go ahead."
(Note: if i was a drug smuggler, wouldn't you ask to check the fucking jacket before I put it on, the thing could have been lined with weed, heroin, coke, what have you. Assholes.)
"Do you have anything in your pockets?"
I am then led into the room where Heather is, and they proceed to rip the car apart and put it back together again. It is now 3:30, I have to have the car back in 30 minutes. They finally let us go and we move on. Can you understand how pissed off we were? How REALLY pissed off I was? We got pulled aside because we 1) were from Florida, 2) went to a foreign city for one night, and 3) I have a spanish last name. How fucked up is that? Bastards.
That's about the summation of the trip, the rest of it is just "I hate my fellow passengers on this plane" stories because they all annoyed the fuck out of me throughout the flight. So, now my throat is sore from Canadian cigarettes and dry airplane air. I am still sleepy and sore from running around airports and sitting in tiny chairs. But, I had fun for the most part. And that's what counts.