Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | November 26, 2011

Attempts At Learning To Love Toronto: Day Two

So here I am again, in my hotel room, but this time, I promise I have not spent my entire day here.  In fact, I’m only just getting back, at nine-thirty at night.  Not exactly late, but a significant improvement over yesterday, n’est pas?

I didn’t sleep very well last night.  I have this problem where, before travel or other time-sensitive events, I am paranoid about sleeping through my alarm so wake up every hour or so to check to make sure that isn’t what I did at all.  Add a late night to bed on top of that because I’m still on Yellowknife, and what you end up with is five and a half hours of interrupted sleep.  But I got up and dressed in time for my course, at the botanical gardens.

I didn’t explore the gardens, in large part, because it is fall (not prime garden season, for obvious reasons), but I did meet some interesting people in my course.  There isn’t a restaurant at the botanical gardens, so I tagged along with Suzanne, one of my course mates, when we went for lunch. Her car is a thing of beauty – a Honda Del Sol in a matte black that purrs like a tiger.  It was glorious zipping around in the city.  We picked up lunch at a place called freshii’s or something like that, and I had a vegan wrap because it had avocado and balsamic dressing and it sounded like heaven.  And was it ever.  I love when vegetables taste like vegetables.  At home, they are trucked up and are washed out versions of their flavours by the time they land on your plate, if they aren’t mouldy or rotten.

At the end of my course, Suzanne asked if I had plans.  Other than go back to my hotel to eat and try to catch up on my neglected Nano (my national novel writing month effort), I didn’t.  She was meeting friends, since one of them was having a birthday, dinner and then to go see another friend play in a band at the Hard Rock.

We had a little time before dinner, so she zipped us around the scenic route so I could see more of the city (and spend more time in the beautiful, beautiful car).  We had dinner at the Bier Markt.  I didn’t try any beer (scotch I can handle, but beer tends to go straight to my head and make me stupid) but had Prosecco instead since I love it, and I had the snitzel, since I’d never tried it before.  It was delicious.  Clearly, I am not even close to a vegan, since I made up for my meat free meal with one made of veal.  It was a lot of fun, even though I didn’t really know anyone in the group except Suzanne, and only a day for that!  Toronto is definitely working a little harder to make me love it by sending me in the path of such nice people, that’s for sure.

We then crowded into a car to get to the Hard Rock.  Once there, we met up with Suzanne’s friend in the band. It turns out there was a cover charge, which is fine, but it was a little steep for my level of interest in the type of music (ska), so I decided to cab it back to my hotel for the night, especially since dinner wasn’t super cheap.  Not expensive, but certainly with the cab far across town on top of things, I decided it was time to put the brakes on any more daily spending. And the cab driver was super nice and friendly.  And now, I can make an effort to catch myself up on my novel.  Or at least stay a day behind rather than hit two days, which I’m not sure I could surmount.

Tomorrow I check out of the hotel and make my way to the Beaches, for a brand new adventure with my BFF.  Until then, Toronto, keep up the good work.  You haven’t grown on me yet, but I’m thawing.

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