Archive for October, 2009

October 23, 2009 2

Rhi^2 Road Trip, Setpember 2008: Canada (part 2)

By in Rhi^2 Road Trip

The thing I liked most about Canada was the NIGHT DANGER signs. How fantastically dramatic! There was also another sign that had a much more frenzied silhouette of a leaping deer, which was also pretty fantastic. Hey, when you’re driving this much, it’s the little things that keep you going.

Montreal

SO, we made it to Montreal, where we had another go around with couchsurfing. Gen turned out to be super cool, and she had a cat!!!!!! She told us that another couchsurfer would be staying with us, a guy from Germany. Hunky Toni came in, and we were definitely OK hanging out with our new couchsurfer. We immediately took to sightseeing and drove to the top of Mount Royal to take in an awesome view of the city.

It was actually really nice to have Toni along with us, as he was just as interested in sightseeing as we were. The next day we headed out on the town to see what we could find. While wandering around, we heard rock and roll and disco in the distance. I thought it might have been some concert in the park, but it turned out to be some sort of protest. Because it was in French, we never quite figured out what was going on, but we think it had something to do with tourist industry workers. Nonetheless, I YMCAed as I picketed and Toni got some free hot dogs.

We visited museums, walked around downtown and Old Montreal, took a river boat cruise and went to the top of the Olympic Stadium. On our last night in town, Gen took us to the bar where her cousin worked, for a night of fun and cheap drinks. An American, an Australian, a Canadian and a German walk into a bar…

It was sad to part ways with Toni, but he was off to experience USA! as part of his months-long world tour. We really had a great time, and we realized that this was the true essence of couch surfing. Montreal was pretty neat, too, as it was the most European city I had ever experienced. While everyone spoke both English and French, for the first time I was somewhere where English was not the #1 choice. And I quickly learned that the very basics of high school French had escaped my brain. Oh well! On our last day, we decided to find a place to eat. After wandering aimlessly (for some reason we frequently had trouble finding places to eat) we settled on a Russian buffet lunch. It was…interesting. Well, after almost a week in Canada, it was time to go back to USA! USA!

October 18, 2009 4

Rhi^2 Road Trip, Setpember 2008: Canada (part 1)

By in Rhi^2 Road Trip

Niagara Falls

I went to Niagara Falls once when I was 19 and wanted to drink legally. I briefly saw the falls at night, but that was about it. This time I was ready to see the falls from the Maid of the Mist! There was a couple on board who got married…so basically I saw the real life Jim & Pam, even though I had no idea at the time (needless to say, I was even more emotional during that episode)! After the falls we had every intention of hitting the casino, but I had killer cramps, so we decided to head out to Toronto.

Toronto

So, Toronto was our second couchsurfing destination, and it wasn’t quite what we expected. The girl was nice enough and all, but the whole thing was quite shady, especially her roommate and his friends. Neither of us slept well (part fear of being robbed and part loud partying), and we peaced out of there early the next morning. Eventually we found a hostel for the next night. I had never stayed in one before, but it was actually a pretty ok experience, considering my only experience with a hostel was this commercial. I’m so glad everything worked out.

Per usual, we did our sightseeing, but it was a gray, dreary and foggy day. We went to the CN Tower and I was pretty disappointed. When they said it was a glass floor, I was expecting the entire floor to be glass, like you were walking on air. Instead it was just small glass inserts here and there. I still don’t think I would have been all that impressed even if it was a nice day. I don’t recall doing a whole lot, except spending a good deal of time wandering around the downtown. Toronto is a gritty, urban city, but I kinda liked it. We met up with Rhi’s friend who took us out to a Mexican restaurant and then to a gallery featuring poster art and experimental music.

As was the case with every other city, we had perfect weather…on the day we left. Ahh, figures. Before we hit the road we went to Casa Loma, a Canadian castle.

Ottawa

OK, so I love love LOVE Ottawa. Love! We got in at night and stayed at the Ottawa Jail Hostel (which I LOVED).

Ottawa was a bit chilly, but I didn’t let that stop me from falling in love. It is this beautiful, old, historic city and the perfect capital for the country! The only thing I didn’t like was that this was only a layover to break up the driving and we that didn’t have more time to explore. I’m definitely going back! There were just good vibes all around, from the time we got there and ordered poutine and Canadian beer, to the cute little retro diner we stopped at for breakfast the next day.

I seriously considered trying to find a nice Canadian man to marry so that I could make it my new home. I found out that Richard Wright of Pink Floyd died when we were leaving. Devastating news, but I couldn’t let that put a damper on the trip. We still had one more Canadian stop…