Monday, December 05, 2005

Casa Loma

Today is Monday and I'm just basically hanging out at the hostel doing lots of things on the internet that I need to do before I have to go 3 full days without internet access on the train. I'm looking into where the train station in Seattle is relative to the University of Washington. I also had to look into where I might stay in Chicago for the night. It'll either be the youth hostel or the Holiday Inn. Both are close to the train station, it's just a matter of where I feel like staying once I get there. It looks like the youth hostel doesn't have private rooms, so if I feel like sleeping alone I'll go to the Holiday Inn. I'm also working on uploading more photos to Flickr.

Yesterday I went to Casa Loma. It was very easy to get to via the Spadina streetcar and then the University-Spadina subway line. It's an interesting place. This guy Sir Henry Pellatt built it over several many many years, making it ever more extravagant until he ran out of money and ended up basically forfeiting it to the city of Toronto for unpaid taxes. A lot of his possessions had been auctioned off when he started running out of money. However, some of them have made their way back to the castle thanks to generous donations and such. It's a very gaudy Victorian style castle. It's really not my style, but it was interesting. There was some very fun people watching though. The first funny thing that happened was this little boy trying to use one of the display bathrooms in the house. I was walking through taking pictures of Sir Henry's bathroom (the one in the pictures with the crazy shower). These two little boys were walking through with their mother and grandmother. The younger boy must have only been about 2 years old. He saw the bathroom and figured it was okay for him to use, so he just starts pulling his pants down right there. Luckily his mom caught him in time and was like "no, this is not a bathroom you can use". I was giggling a bit at the situation, as were mom and grandmom. Grandmom said I should've taken a picture. I'm not that fast with catching moments that I should be taking pictures of. But, it was very amusing.

More fun people watching came from the actors who were participating in the Alice in Wonderland play at the museum. The Mad Hatter in particular was very cute with the kids. There's a picture of him and some kids in my Flickr pile. The kids were totally enthralled with the fake mouse he had. I didn't exactly catch what he was pretending with the mouse, but it was funny to watch the kids faces when he pulled it out of his pocket.

Then there was another moment when I went to go check out the Swimming Pool. Sir Henry had this grand plan for an underground swimming pool that was going to be marble and columns and fancy. It never came through cause he ran out of money. But, the room is there with this shell of what could have become a pool. At the moment the museum has a display of a cave in there with knights and a dragon. I'll upload the picture. As you'll see it's very dark in there and there were dragon roaring noises coming from the room. So, I'm walking towards this and there is this little girl (maybe 5/6 years old) standing in the doorway of the room that leads into the room with the swimming pool. She is PETRIFIED to take another step. She is totally terrified to move one more inch. She is explaining to the woman who is already in the room trying to coax her through why she doesn't want to go through. The woman is trying to tell her that it's fake. Then she's trying to say that the knights (which were really just suits of armor) would protect them. A woman who I can only assume was this little girl's mother was sitting next to the doorway with a baby. She apologized to me and I reassured her that no apology was necessary. At that moment the little girl noticed someone was behind her. She asked if I would maybe go in with her and it might help. I said of course I would go in with her and reassured her that indeed her mother and the other woman were right, that it was pretend and nothing would hurt her. Once we were all in there she was completely fascinated with the display. It was so adorable. Then on the way out the other woman with them said "Thank you" to me. I'm not sure if it was thank you for going in with us or thank you for not being annoyed at the kid blocking the way for 5 minutes making up her mind about going in. But, whatever it was, I just said "no problem".

Oh, and I saw a group of Brownies. They have Girl Guides in Canada, which is obviously connected to the Girl Scouts in the States. They reminded me of the troop of Juniors back in PA. I think they would have enjoyed Casa Loma and particularly the Alice in Wonderland characters. Casa Loma also had a Big Comfy Couch show that happened on the hour. There was an actual big comfy couch and a woman playing Luna and someone under the couch working the Molly puppet. It was also cute, but that show is geared towards much younger kids. There was a large crowd though for the shows that happpened while I was in the museum.

I came back from the museum, did some things online that obviously did not include updating, cause I just wasn't feeling very loquacious. Then I went out and got some sushi for dinner and then came back and did laundry. I couldn't find a place to get single use laundry detergent or dryer sheets, so I had to buy full size ones and now I've just donated them to the other guests at the Backpackers. After laundry I just watched tv and went to bed.

Today so far I went and got breakfast and then came back here to work on the computer. There is nothing left in Toronto that I feel like I haven't done. I'm pretty happy just chilling out here today before I leave early tomorrow morning. I'm very very excited about the train trip to Vancouver.


Anonymous Todd Tyrtle said...

Sounds like a great time - there wasn't nearly as much interesting happening there the one time I went there. It was interesting for one trip, though.

Great photos btw.

5/12/05 6:18 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

The Big Comfy Couch Show is for younger kids?

Not that I, uh, used to watch it or anything.

6/12/05 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Adam S. said...'s your former (*sigh*) cube neighbor, Adam. Skimmed through the blog....first time I have ever read a blog actually. Toronto has got to be fun. I loved Montreal when I went up there. Jen Lebisky is giving birth December 28. I am sure Tiff and I will be bringing over grub for them. Tiff and I are going to visit Dave Lomastro this weekend in sight seeing....that crap....John left the mailroom at PFPC and we have a new guy....not bad. Everyone misses you dearly and is still hanging on to a glimmer of hope that you will want to come back after seeing the good 'ol USA. Take care of yourself, bundle up and BE SAFE. Your pal, Me

8/12/05 4:49 PM  

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