I am in Toronto. I have finally made it across the Canadian border for the first time in my life. So far, I like Canada a lot. The money takes a little getting used to. There's a lot more coins than in the US. They use $1 and $2 coins. It makes for quite the pocketful of change.
I'm staying at the Global Village Backpackers youth hostel in Toronto. It's a pretty nice place, although they keep the rooms at about 25 degrees Celsius, which is around 77 degrees fahrenheit. That is REALLY warm for me. I like rooms around 60 degrees or less. My bedroom growing up was always really cold in the winter cause I refused to turn on the heat cause it made a clicking sound. Yes, I know, I'm wierd, but the noise woke me up. My mom frequently said "You can see your breath in here, how do you stand it". I was perfectly happy. You can always bundle up more, you can only take off so much. I slept in shorts and a t-shirt last night and barely had a sheet over me and I was roasting.
But, enough complaining. Other than the heat issues it's a great place. They've got free wireless internet, which makes posting really easy. There's a bar inside the hostel and lots of interesting people. It seems that it's summer vacation in Australia, so there's a lot of Aussie's here. I'm actually sharing a room with 3 Aussie girls. They act something like 14, but they are probably late teens/early twenties. Last night I also met two girls from Ireland. It sounded like they were spending several months exploring Canada. But, I couldn't really understand everything they said between their accents and the loud music.
I got into Toronto last night around 6pm (caught that earlier train) and got together with my friend Mike and got sushi. It wasn't very good sushi, but it was more about meeting up with Mike. We actually had never met in person. I know him from working at The Validation Group. I was a junior accountant and he was one of the many field guys. So, we always talked on the phone and emailed, never met in person. Then I got back to the hostel and pretty much crashed.
Woke up this morning around 10:30 and then went wandering aimlessly around Toronto. It was wonderful. The weather was nice, not too cold. I walked all over the place. I got lunch at this great little crepe place. Then I went down to Eaton Centre, the local mall, to look for a phone charger (since I'm an idiot and forgot mine at Turk's place). I got the phone charger and also found a nice inexpensive cable lock for my luggage. It'll make me feel a little better when I'm on the train. I'll be able to lock my stuff to the bars in the luggage storage shelves. It'll just help with my paranoia. :)
Tonight I had the most amazing Italian dinner I've had in a very very long time. I found this restaurant called Piero's on Richmond near John St. (for those of you in or traveling to Toronto). I had Pollo Supremo (chicken parmesan). That was SO GOOD. The sauce was incredible. It was so perfect. Oh, and I got Prosciutto con melone (prosciutto ham on cantelope slices) for appetizer which was also most excellent. Then for desert there was coffee that's got me goin' and tiramisu. Both were tasty. There is a very good chance I will go back to that restaurant before I leave.
And now we have reached the point of the story where we are at the present moment. I'm back at the hostel and surfing the internet and updating and trying to plan the rest of my visit. I'm hoping to go to the Science Centre on Saturday with Todd and family. Todd clued me in to the Toronto CityPass which gets you entry into the CN Tower, Science Centre, Ontario Art Gallery, Art Museum, Zoo and I think a couple other things. It's $47CAD and it's worth something like $97CAD. With the weather, it looks like my best bet for the CN Tower might be Sunday. It's going to be snowing tonight and tomorrow and then mostly cloudy on Saturday. Only partly cloudy on Sunday, then back to snowing on Monday. I leave early Tuesday morning. That's all for now, good night.