I spent a lovely holiday weekend in Toronto (my third visit there) in order to see my pseudo little (6'2) brother graduate from Upper Canadian College. He just received the honor of being dubbed the #1 high school drummer in the whole country (Canada). As a result, paired with his many academic achievements too, he's received several scholarships. Everyone was very proud.
Since I've been to visit the very clean city before, I didn't do the usual tourist stuff that I did before like go see a show at Second City or ride up the CN Tower and visit the Blue Jays stadium, but rather I was hanging out like a real Torontonian (Yeah, I made that term up). I even went disco bowling and scored a 113, which is high for me since I haven't played in at least several years. I did some bragging as a result, yup I'm that girl. Being an observer of the city once again, I couldn't help but be reminded of some unique things that make the city in fact in another country like the large English, French and Asian cultural presence, the fact that bathrooms are labeled "washrooms," and that there aren't just liquor stores but large beer stores, which are operated by the government. Another highlight that I noticed the last time and again this time was the fun sidewalk art that's throughout the city. I don't mean art that is on display on the sidewalk, like Central Park/China Town style, but actual chalk pictures drawn on the sidewalk a la Mary Poppins. It's all very charming, although I can't say the same for the many punk looking white kids walking around with spiked colored hair and numerous piercings, who just looked like they stepped out of an 80s video instead of menacing or displaying angst as I'm assuming is their intent. Also during the graduation ceremony I was able to actually hear the words to their national anthem beyond the repetition of "Oh Canada," but it obviously didn't pack the same punch for me being a "foreigner."
The bad news though is that I missed Fleet Week in New York City. Ah well, maybe that was a blessing in disguise...lead us not into temptation ;)
Here are some photos from the trip: