Well it’s back to work after an amazing holiday so once again time to share that beloved (really?) what I learned on my summer vacation piece (in the form of a Top 10 list) with my devoted (they’d have to be to put up with this stuff) readers…..
1. Canada’s big. Now that’s maybe not news but when you set out at noon from Kelowna to Fredericton via Toronto you soon learn that it takes an entire day (maybe more) to fly across this great country of ours. YLW to YYZ went fine, and we were even a bit early but for some reason the last leg to YFC was delayed by over two hours so we got in about 3:30 a.m. local time the next day (which in B.C. time is only 11:30 and technically the same day but you get the idea).
2. Fredericton’s fine. A pretty place with lots of beautiful historic buildings and even more trees. Real estate’s cheap and the people are friendly but I hear the winter’s are a little rough: OK that might be an understatement for the last couple but one citizen told me she only missed one day of work due to snowstorms last year and from what I saw on the weather channel that’s amazing.
3. Grand Lake. It truly is. It’s the biggest lake in New Brunswick and my sister-in-law, who has a cabin (sorry, cottage) there and let us stay with her so we could attend her wedding, swears by it and she used to live in B.C. and everything. And it lived up to its billing (as did the wedding): wonderful spot and great people.
4. Lobster lovely. At the rehearsal dinner at the aforementioned Grand Lake we had an epic lobster feast/golf tourney. I’m not really a seafood guy normally but lobster transcends the category and the Maritimes is the best place in the world to get it.
5. Fundy fun. Although the road to the Bay of Fundy was basically under construction much of the way, it was worth the drive to see the world’s largest tides at Alma, N.B. We walked for miles and despite muddy shoes, socks, pants and even shirts somehow, thoroughly enjoyed one of nature’s wonders.
6. Hogtown hurrah. Stopped in T.O. on the way back for five nights and our timing couldn’t have been more perfect as the Blue Jays went on a trading rampage and we arrived just in time to see Troy Tulowitzki’s amazing debut against the Phillies. Tu….lo indeed.
7. Baseball buzz. The excitement in the centre of Canada (or is it the universe?) is palpable and the kids ended up going to four games and my wife and I took in two and despite the high price of beer it was truly enjoyable.
8. Tremendous tower. Although the lineup (and the price somewhat, although you get used to handing over money in TO) was a bit of a drag, the CN Tower is a feat worth witnessing. And speaking of feet, looking down from the clouds from a glass floor is pretty darn cool and more than a little disconcerting.
9. Falling for Niagara. To be honest we kind of went to the falls because my wife agreed to go to at least two Blue Jays games and the Hockey Hall of Fame, which she thoroughly enjoyed by the way, but I have to admit this natural wonder left me pretty much speechless. It provokes a very, very powerful response for every one of the five senses but ‘wow’ over and over attempts to nail it.
10. Dundas dandy. We walked to everything from our centrally located hotel and it was cool taking in the cosmopolitan flavour of our biggest city for the very first time. The corner of Dundas and Yonge is a bit of a mini Times Square (not that I’ve been to NYC) complete with giant TV screens and a free outdoor music venue and enough shopping and eating choices at the Eaton Centre et al to satisfy anyone from small-town Canada.
So basically a wonderful grad trip for us and the boys (although a year and three years belated, respectively, ahem) and great timing seeing how one is already in Thailand and the other is heading to the Island for school in a few short weeks.