Saturday, July 02, 2005
Trip to Toronto part I
This is my first time back in Toronto in a long, long time; I came here on a "bolt" back in my college days, 1988 or so. Suffice it to say that I don't remember much; I may have had a drink or two, as was my custom at the time.
Friday was the perfect day to start off a weekend with our neighbours to the north; Canada Day, the celebration of Canada's 138 years of sovereignty. Maple-leaf flags flew everywhere, as Gail and I started our day with lunch, as we are wont to do while on holiday. A combination Hungarian-Thai restaurant, which is a good snapshot of this community; like Vancouver, immigrants from all over the world make Toronto truly metropolitan. After a large meal of schnitzel, spring rolls, goulash and lemon-grass chicken (!) we meandered towards the waterfront, gathering some groceries along the way.
We rushed to the ferry terminal, where we met up with Gail's friend Serge and his friend David, from Chile; and our online friend Dax, and two of his friends. Dax came up with the plan to go out to the islands on Lake Ontario, have a picnic on the beach, and watch the fireworks from a great vantage point.
Which is what we did. The weather during the day and in the city was hot and muggy, but later out on the island it got very cool as the sun went down. So like many of the others on the beach, we gathered driftwood for a campfire. (As a group, we seven were not exactly forest rangers; we had to borrow starter bricks and a lighter from another group down the beach; and even forks, to eat the salads that Wanda had brought!) Dax, Chris and I gathered some driftwood and fallen timber, and eventually managed to set it blazing as the stiff wind whipped around.
We couldn't help snickering. Could you? What if he was wearing, as this gent was, dark socks and sandals? We all thought this to be a fashion faux pas; clothing may be optional, but we needn't be savages.