ANNUAL SUMMER VISIT TO ATTICA PART 1 TORONTO

It is summer and my plans to drive from Phoenix to Attica, N.Y. got put on hold with
gas at $4.25+ a gallon.  I was late getting the car aligned and after paying $500 to replace the
undercarriage, I decided to fly.  It was already the end of June and ticket prices were up to
$600 plus so I used 32500 frequent flyer points and booked a connecting flight on Delta
through Atlanta.  I was returning on August 31st to Phoenix but then going back for my 45th
class reunion on Delta again.  This should put me over the limit on miles so Delta would have
to pay for my next trip.  Once I got my free flight  I would never fly Delta again.
    Peggy , Chris’s sister and a neighbor, bless her soul, picked me up at 7:30 Wednesday
morning the 9th of July and dropped me at the terminal 2 hours early.  I boarded then
arrived at Atlanta airport terminal B Gate 4 at around 5pm with a connecting flight departing
at 6:40pm at the same terminal Gate 29.  Gate 29 was at the same terminal but what seemed
like 5 miles away.  I raced down to Gate 29 to find the next flight departed to Alaska.  Excuse
me sir…what happened to the flight to Buffalo?  Yes well you have to go to Gate 27…no
problem…at Terminal A.  PROBLEM.  Now I return back to the lobby area then go to the
lower level to catch a train to Terminal A only to discover Gate 27 is also about 5 miles away. 
I huffed and puffed my way just in time to be told the plane hadn’t arrived yet so we couldn’t
be it would be in around 7 pm.  That put me in Buffalo at 9 pm.  That was 20 minutes late so I
thought my ride would still be there and no need to try and contact him.  We boarded around
7:10 and then sat on the runway for   30 minutes before the pilot announced that our runway
was too windy.  A previous plane almost crashed on take off so the control tower was sending
all the planes to another runway that faced away from the wind.  “All the planes” was like 100!
  Looking out my window, they all looked like a swarm of bees with no place to go.  We finally
took off then arrived in Buffalo at around 10:30 in the evening or almost 2 hours later then
what I had told my ride.   He was at Wegmans supermarket shopping.  He didn’t want to waste
the time sitting in the parking lot.  I ran out front ,while waiting for my bags, and saw him
driving by while I motioned that the bags haven’t arrived…he motioned back with the “finger”.
  Gary circled the parking lot four times, being motioned on by the police until I finally showed
at the curb with my bags.  I tried to explain we had a bomb threat and had to evacuate the
plane, then they left our baggage behind in a hurry to get us to Buffalo but Gary didn’t buy it. 
    Mom was patiently waiting at the front door when we showed up around 11:30 having hit a
traffic jam at Darien Lake Amusement Park when it closed.  After unpacking I headed for the
refrigerator to get the meal they no longer offer on the airplane.  The refrigerator was empty!
  Apparently Bill, Mom’s roomer who does most of the shopping now that he is the only mobile
person available, thought that with the tomato scare all food should only be purchased the
day you eat it.  I did discover some peanut butter in the cupboard and lots of cheap white
bread. 
     The weather was great the next day, so I drove Mom to Twilight Meadows (an Attica
institution that started as a Charcoal Hot Dog highway joint) for a nice lunch.  The restaurant
was packed when we were seated.  Mom likes to check out everyone and while looking around she suddenly stopped to stare at another elderly lady like  herself.  Small, shrunken, crippled hands, thin sparse gray-yellow hair, child like sitting in a booth and barely able to see over the table let alone eat her meal.  It was like an infant in a high chair looks around and sees another for the first time realizing there is someone out there that is like them!  I finally had to catch her attention. Mom ordered the Liver and Onions with Bacon Dinner.  She must have skipped breakfast.  I had a cup of homemade Bean and Sausage soup with a Reuben Sandwich and a side of Macaroni Salad with Tuna Fish.  Neither of us could finish our meals.  I took home a half a sandwich and Mom took home Liver and Onions with Bacon Dinner, which she ate for three days.    
    That evening, I went over to the  other Attica institution…the Attica Hotel and had a Roast Beef on Kimmelweck, two Labatt’s Blue Lite Lagers and a dozen steamed fresh Little Neck Clams…all for $12 and it was excellent.
    Friday night I took Mom to the Attica Hotel.  Built in 1895 it was in remarkable condition, served a good drink and had fantastic Beef on Wicks, Chicken Wings, and the famous Friday Fish Fry for $7.95.  My babysitter was there with her husband when we arrived.  She is 67 now and still works as a full time nurse after all these years.  She loves it and I think Jack, her husband does too.  We chatted while browsing the menu.  Mom and I ordered a glass of red wine and a fish fry. Then I ordered another glass of wine and when the Fish Fry arrived, ordered another!  Now I could relax and enjoy.  I took Mom home and decided to return to do the Friday in Attica bar scene starting with Louie’s.  Louie was playing Attica’s favorite card game, Euchre,  at a table with three other patrons.  I sat at the bar and chatted with a few locals before taking off for the American Legion post.  I bought a few lottery tickets, had a beer then returned to the Attica Hotel.  I met a lady in a wheelchair about the same age as Mom who used to work with her at the Attica Knitting Mill.  As we were leaving, I noticed her daughter had cigarettes.  Having had a few beers I bummed my first cigarette in 4 days.  
    Another Blue Lite Labatt’s Lager later I was at the Stage House.  This was built in 1840 before the railroad arrived as an overnight stop for the Carriage trade.  The builder knew the  railroad would end up going right by his place and a few years later. He made a fortune when the first railroad depot went up across the street.  The Stage House should have fallen down about 35 years ago but through some miracle, still stands.  I bought Woody, an old Attica town philosopher and drunk, a beer.  I asked if he had been over to the Hotel lately and he proceeded to tell me they threw him out.  It appears that he had one too many and went to the bathroom there but the urinal was out of order.  The management had put saran wrap around the urinal so no one would use it and a sign above stating it was out of order.  Woody didn’t notice the sign and apprently the saran wrap either until he discovered he was pissing all over his shoes and the floor.  He argued it was the managements fault and the management threw him out.
    The next day we went to shop the yard sales.  That is Mom’s favorite past time.  We only found one in the country and they were just cleaning out their junk.  I spent about 10 minutes then sat in the air conditioned car.  Mom came over and pounded on the window…I need your help,  there is something for a TV but I’m not sure what it is.  I trudged back out of my comfort zone to assist her.  It was a Nintendo game!  Then she picked up a Polaroid Camera that the women talked her into buying.  Polaroid discontinued making them this year and in 83 years, I never saw my mother take one picture!  I returned to the car with three bags of books and junk to resume my relaxation when another pound on the door came.  I think I want that bike.  That bike is a training bike for 6 year olds.  Yes but it has training wheels and I could ride it around Attica to go shopping.  I really don’t think it would hold a 150 pound person.  Well I do and it is brand new!  She bought a walker instead.  Never mind that I bought her two much nicer ones because this one was only a dollar.
    After three hours of running around looking for and shopping at the yard sale, I returned home and relaxed to play Sudoku.  Mom came in within an hour to inform me that Carol was across the street on her porch and I should go visit her.  I declined.  Well after all she has done for you with your messages on the internet and bringing me leftover soup it is the least you could do!  When are you going to call your Granddaughter!  Mary would like to see you too.   Edith said she had hoped you were going to visit her!  Now her voice was raised and she had a scowl and was stamping her feet.  I was wishing I had stayed in Phoenix but decided it is best to get out of the house and away before I did something I would regret.  I found Carol with a cell phone stuck in her ear so just waved and decided to visit Edith who I always enjoy.  Edith is over 90 and hopes to make a hundred as an example to her grandchildren.  She is still sharp but doesn’t see or hear so well.  We sat on her front porch to visit.  I had to raise my voice so the whole neighborhood including Carol and my mother could hear everything from three house down.  I had a pleasant conversation and decided to go out and sneak in a bottle of Vodka to  make it through the night.
    We had arranged to meet my Granddaughter Rose Sunday to take her and Mom to
Strykersville for the Fireman’s Chicken BBQ that afternoon.  When we arrived at the Burger
King to meet her, it was raining and miserable.  I took her and Mom to Anderson’s Roast Beef
for a Roast Beef and Ice Cream…their two biggest sellers. 
It was still raining when we left and Rose wanted money to repair her car.  She already asked
Mom, David and Kathy (her adoptive parents) and me.  Mom was going to give it to her but
had given her over $2000 last year so I told her I would loan her the money.  She didn’t have
to pay me back until she could afford to and I would still remember her birthday…BUT if she
ever asked me for emergency money again, she couldn’t get it until she has paid me back the
first loan.  We had a nice visit and after giving her the money, we agreed to meet again
August 2.  I would bring her to Attica to visit Mom and attend the Lawn Fete with me at the
American Legion.
    Bill bought us a Pizza that night and I left the next morning for Toronto.  I wanted to get on
the internet at the library to load my Magellan GPS with a subscription from AAA that kept
you informed of all the traffic information.  I also needed to get Canada loaded into it.  When
I punched in Toronto, it didn’t recognize Ontario Canada but did come up with 4 or 5
Toronto’s in the US.  The library was closed so I punched in the AAA office in Lockport and
decided to stop on the way so they could do all that for me.  When I arrived, the lady explained
they didn’t know how and only the AAA branch in Williamsville sold the GPS units.  They
could do it for me.  So I backtracked to Williamsville and the women explained they didn’t sell
that model yet so couldn’t program the traffic but if I looked under options on the GPS unit, I
could select Canada as the region I wanted.  I guess I should have read the manual. 
I left Attica three hours, 82.5 gallons of gas and two AAA branches ago before arriving at the
Border Crossing.  I forgot my passport that was packed away in my suitcase in the trunk.  No
bother, my Arizona driver’s license got me through.  I crossed the Peace Bridge
and my GPS guided me to the front door of my downtown Victorian B & B in Toronto at
around 3 pm. 
Unal Bargu met me at the door and helped me with my bags.  Yes, Unal Bargu!  It could have
been Barack Obama except he was gay.  I like that.  Gay people pay attention to detail .  The
Victorian Garden B & B was very clean , air conditioned, served a great breakfast, had free
WiFi and it only cost $16 extra to be able to park my car right out front. The permit Unal
provided was good for the week.
    That afternoon I walked over to a Vietnamese restaurant that Unal recommended in the
Cabbage Town District. 
I ordered and went to pay with what I thought was Canadian money I found before leaving
Arizona.  It was English Pounds from Britain.  The lady kept looking at the picture of Queen
Elizabeth but couldn’t find anything that said Canada on it.  I realized my mistake but hadn’t
been to the ATM machine and left my dollars back in the room.  She took my credit card then
after Chicken Curry and Vietnamese coffee I ran to the bank and drew out $200 Canadian
dollars which is now worth the same as American for the first time ever. I walked over to
McVeigh’s Irish Pub and said hello to Paul the proprietor then returned to get an early sleep. 
    Breakfast was an international affair with 2 people from Belgium, one from France, a
couple from Boston and a young man from Finland.  There were a couple of young girls from
the States and I inquired as to their recommendations for Toronto.  She suggested the Islands
just in the bay of Lake Ontario. It was a short ferry ride from Toronto.  I had purchased a tour
bus pass the day before so walked through my neighborhood
to Yonge St
(the longest in the world…1179 miles to be exact) and boarded the tour bus
with the idea of getting off at the ferry station. When we arrived , they explained I could
purchase their tour pass to the Islands for $10 more but it included a tour of the Harbor. 
I did and was off to the Islands for the rest of the afternoon.  The weather was great. 
I walked quite a bit and noticed a sign for Hanlon Beach…the only clothing optional beach
around. “Notice the sign…never in the U.S.”
It was too far to walk and it was late so I decided to return on another sunny day and rent a
bike to do the whole Island.  The gardens there reminded me of the Toulieries in Paris. 
Everyone was speaking different languages from Polish , French, Arabic, and some I didn’t
couldn’t recognize at all.  I sat on a park bench to relax and do a Sudoku puzzle.  Ten minutes
later, I looked over and saw another older gentleman doing the same thing.  Is this what I have
to look forward to? 
Swans with two babies on her back.
I returned to the dock and boarded the return trip back,
then hopped the bus tour again.  When I returned to my original starting point
I wanted a beer and had the urge for a cigarette. 
    I knew of a place that was supposed to have good food so decided to visit it.  I walked
through Eaton plaza and as I was exiting to go around the corner to the Duke of Richmond
restaurant, I noticed a lady having a cigarette.  I approached her and asked where I might buy
some cigarettes.  She directed me back into Eaton Plaza down the escalator to the bottom
floor, then make a right and follow the alley around the corner and through the double doors.
  Then at the end of the hall there is a News stand and the clerk and help you. When I arrived,
I didn’t see any cigarettes in sight but inquired as to where I might find some.  He asked me
to wait, then after taking care of a few customers he reached under the counter and pulled out
a pack of Marlboro Lights.  Ten dollars please.  I thought I misunderstood him but didn’t. 
The cigarettes here have all the poison chemicals listed on the pack…formaldehyde, benzine,
carbon monoxide, nicotine and a lot more along with warnings about nicotine being as
addictive as heroin and cocaine.  Inside the pack was another warning.  I was afraid to light
one up but after getting my $7 pint of Steam Beer at the Dukes place, I did.  They have a sales
tax that is added to the beer and an Alcohol Tax of 10%, then the tip and it was a $10 drink
with a $10 cigarette.  I’m surprised anyone smokes or drinks in Toronto. The cheapest , I
mean most inexpensive item on the Dukes menu was a Cheese Quesadilla for $13.
    I returned to the Irish Pub
to eat as the prices at the Dukes place seemed to high.  I ordered another $7 pint of Guinness
then Lamb Curry.  Curry seems to be popular here.  There are a lot of Indians, Pakistanis,
Blacks, Carribeans, Irish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Portuguese, and oh some Canadians
thrown in for good measure.  The population, at around Toronto (means Meeting place in
Native American Indian)  is over 50% from countries other than Canada.  It is the most
Multinational City in the world.  Everyone seems to get along.  I was told that is because the
police have surveillance cameras on every corner.   I finished the delicious Curry and took
another Guinness to the patio for a smoke.  Seamus came out and introduced himself as a 64
year old Irishman that played a Squeeze Box.  He knew Bill Craig, the musician friend of mine
I met in Phoenix who is playing this weekend at McVeigh’s.  Bill has played here for over 20
years.  Seamus drew up a chair, bummed a smoke and proceeded to rattle off Irish joke after
joke the likes of were a little off color.  What do you call an Irish Queer?  A man that prefers
women over the drink.  You get the point.  We chatted until my drink was almost done and it
was getting dark and chilly.  He asked if I might have another Pint and I replied “If he did”…
well that can be arranged he said.  Now I was hoping I could find my way back.  I did and fell
right asleep.
 Today I took the tour bus (pass is good for 7 days) and got off downtown for lunch.  Toronto
has a Summerlicious Special deal in about 60 of the top restaurants.  You can buy a lunch for
$15-25 and a dinner for $30-35 that includes an Appetizer,Main Course and Dessert.  I
stopped at the Urban and paid $20 for Gazpacho, Pulled Pork BBQ sandwich with Salad and
Fresh Fruit salad to dip in a Chocolate Grand Mariner Sauce.  I also ordered an  Ice Tea. 
Now Iced Tea is not the same as in the U.S.  They don’t put Ice in it!    Canada as in Europe
and the rest of the world, no one give you more than three ice cubes if your lucky…only in the
USA.  Canada has lots of different taxes.  My bill was $20 plus $4 for a glass of Iced Tea
(there are no refills on tea, soda or coffee…like in the USA…here you pay per glass) and $1.92
for a PST tax and $1.20 for a GST tax which brought my $20 lunch to $27.12 and with a 15%
gratuity came to $31 for lunch. I was surprised the use of silverware was free.
I skipped the happy hour beer and returned home to play Texas Holdem on my computer…
FREE.  The sunsets are around 9 pm so I took a nice stroll around the neighborhood before
returning to watch some TV and bed down.
I awoke feeling terribly guilty and weak at having broken down and bought cigarettes so took
them with me to find someone that would want them.  On the way to the bus I noticed two
people walking by that were both smoking cigarettes but they were so overweight I didn’t
want to encourage them to smoke anymore.  Then I noticed a girl on a bicycle that stopped
and bummed a cigarette from someone waiting for the bus.  She rode my me so fast I didn’t
have a chance to give them to her.  Then a bum reached out with a lighter in his hand asking
if I would put some money in it.  I thought if he had a lighter, he must smoke so offered him
the cigarettes.  He took them but explained he gave up a long time ago.  The lighter was for
the “crack” he smoked!  Go figure. 
    Each morning, on the way to the kitchen for breakfast, I kept hearing this loud noise outside
for about 5 minutes.  It sounded like a garbage truck compactor.  I finally saw what it was
while walking to the Tour Bus.  The City of Toronto vacuums up the trash!  Seriously!  They
have a guy riding a small vehicle with a large hose attached to a swivel hook.  He rides down
the sidewalk and sucks up all the trash in the gutter of the street as well as on and around the
sidewalk.  It beats a blower. Noisy but no dust.
    I arrived at the Bus Tour around 10:30 and got off at Spadina Museum at 11:30.  The
Spadina Museum
was the home of the Austin family for 7 generations and each room is decorated with original
furniture of the period.  Each room on the tour represents each generation.
    A little about Toronto’s preservation of it’s architecture:  Toronto passed a law that no
commercial building built before 1940 could be altered in any way.  Union Train Station was
built almost 100 years ago and is not allowed any air conditioning even though thousands of
commuters as well as travelers from Montreal , Vancouver and all over Canada come in every
day.  The station where the Porters work is the same as when Union Station was built.  The
area they sit and wait for the business is the same they sat at 100 years ago.  The wall they
leaned their heads on has circles of oil from the hair of every Porter that worked there and
they are not allowed to remove or clean it off!   The residential homes are different.  No one
can alter the facade of the home but they can remodel the interior.
    Meanwhile back at the Spadina Museum:  The  bus guide never told me the museum didn’t
open until 12 Noon and the tour lasted until after 1pm.  That blew my plans for a cheap lunch
with live music at another festival in Nathan Square at City Hall.  I spent a half hour touring
the beautiful gardens
that are maintained by the Toronto Garden Society.   The tour was done by a very
knowledgeable man and consisted of just me and a lady from New Jersey.  Afterwards I got
back on the bus then off in Chinatown
and decided to walk around.  It was much bigger than I expected and merged with Kensington
Market which was almost as big as Chinatown. Kensington Market merged with Little Italy.
    Chinatown was very impressive with all kinds of vegetables, herbs, trinkets, incense, food
stalls, and of course Chinamen.  I was gaining stride and decided to keep walking on to
Kensington Market. 
This was a cross between a flea market, hippy haven, Mom and Pop stores, Palm readers,
with  an international row of food markets, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants.  I went into at
least three cheese stores that astounded me with a selection of cheeses
I had never seen anywhere.  They kept giving me samples so I had a light lunch then decided
to wash it down at the Kensington Coffee House with a fantastic Cappuccino.  I later passed a
place called Roach A Rama.  It was not an exterminator but a head shop with bongs and pipes
and assorted stuff for those who enjoy an occasional joint.  I stopped in to compare prices.  It
looked like a regular “High Times” you would see in Phoenix, until I noticed what appeared to
be a Vaporizer.  Let me explain.  I have seen these in magazines and in coffee shops in
Amsterdam but they can be very expensive…$300 to $400.  What a Vaporizer does is heat
your marijuana in a sealed container to an intense heat so it is actually vaporized.  Hardly
even an ash left.  The high tech ones have a fan that when you press a button, expels the
vapors into a plastic bag that you then seal with a mouthpiece.  Then you can separate the
bag from the vaporizer and  inhale the vapors as you wish. No fuss no muss and NO WASTE
or residue, etc.  Just a nice buzz.  He explained that one model was $175 and the other about
$350.  I thanked him then went back to see if he had a card or a website where one might be
able to purchase a Vaporizor at that price.  He asked if I would like to try it first!  Excuse me?
      Yes for $20 refundable deposit, I could bring my own Marijuana into his shop and sit at
the table in the back (in plain sight mind you) and use it until my heart was content. You
would have to pay an additional charge of $4 for wear and tear, then the $20 would be
refunded when you were finished.  Wow, I like Canada.  Last week, for $250, you would be
given a gram of 5 different strains of Marijuana to judge for the Cannabis Cup of Canada. 
Two grams on Saturday then the other 3 on Sunday when you would take a boat trip in the
Harbour and then vote on which of the 5 submissions win the prize.  People were complaining
that the 5 grams wasn’t adaquate to even get a buzz but others brought there own and shared
so no one really complained.  They even had a machine that would pulverize your Marijuana
with water and produce a block of hash when done. 
    I continued my journey through Kensington Market then decided to branch out into Little
Italy.  I walked and walked (about an hour and a half now) until I saw all the street signs
turned into Green, Red and White to look like the Italian flag and were marked “Little Italy”
with the Street listed under.  I didn’t see any markets or street cafes.  I did see a bunch of
Guinness Bars and finally Joe’s Italian Pizza.  Now I was 2 hours and about 42 miles into my
walk. I starting to feel light headed and high. 
That could have been from my visit to Roach A Rama but I began to think I was getting
dehydrated so started to look for a place to have a beer.  I did see some businesses with an I
on the end …like Ricci but it turned out to be Martini Bars.  No Catanias, Mancuso’s, Puccio’s
but a few empty Cafes with olive oil on the tables…could have been Italian but I needed to
return before I collapsed.  I had a stride going and was afraid if I stopped that I would never
start again.  I saw all these college students or prostitutes walking along and chatting away
with their cell phones glued to their ears.  I could never walk and talk at the same time. Hell I
can hardly breath.  I made it back to Chinatown and noticed a sign for Bubbly Tea with picture
s of these different colored concoctions that had what looked like blueberries in the bottom of
the glass.  I saw some Chinese girls walking by sipping them from straws so stopped in what
looked like a Chinese Starbucks or Bubbly Tea place.  They had 39 different flavors.  When I
told him I wanted Iced Tea and pointed to the board, he said this is not like the Tea you drink
in the U.S.  I explained that I wanted one with the Lemon flavor, thinking that would taste
something like the tea I drink. Then he asked if I wanted it with the Tapioca or not.  I assumed
that was those balls in the bottom of the glass that looked like blueberries.  I said , of course ,
trying to sound like I order this everyday.  $5 later , I’m out the door with my Bubbly Tea. 
There was nothing bubbly about it and I was beginning to think he pulled a fast one on this
Rube.  It did look like the picture in the window and tasted pretty good except when you
sucked it through the extra large straw, about 5 of the little black”tapioca” balls, the size of a
blueberry would pop into your mouth with the tea. 
If you bite them in half, then you have two little balls.  They are like gum candy but you can’t
chew them.  It’s like chewing a small rubber ball with a sweet flavor and slightly sticky. 
I discovered that if I swish them around I could get one in the hole where my tooth used to be.
  Mouth Pool using my tongue as the Q Stick.  Then when I finished drinking the tea, the
straw acted like a pea shooter.  The balls shot up so fast, they slid right down your throat
without stopping.  If you did manage to stop one, then you could shoot them against the Bus
Stop sign.  They stuck too!  This was starting to be entertaining when my bus pulled up and I
returned to the real world.  I was enjoying the view from the top of the bus when I heard
shouting and a large bicycle passed us.


    I got off near my Irish Pub and stopped in for a wee pint.  The bartender remembered my
Guinness and I ordered the Beef Burrito Canadian Style.  It came with Sour Cream and a
salsa that was HOT like you would get in the Caribbean. The Burrito was grilled not Fried and
had rice, beans, and corn in with the beef.  Very tasty but nothing like Phoenix.  $32 for two
Guinness and a Burrito.  While finishing my last pint I met Jerry North ,from Denver, sitting
next to me.  He flies here for 3 days a week and his partner the other 3 days.  They build hi
rises in Denver and a few months ago were approached by some investors in Toronto that
wanted them to build in Toronto. He has never done a job out of Denver and their company
has …I think he said build 5 high rises in Denver.  He was born and raised there but came to
Toronto to discuss it with the investors.  They are paying him 5 times what he gets for the
same Hi Rise in Denver so he took the job.  Its been over 5 months now and he said he has to
pinch himself everyday when he gets up.  The job is scheduled for 5 years and they already are
suggesting another one that would add on 5 more years. They take care of all the legalities and
have moved his supervisory crew up with their family on 2 year work visas, pay all their
expenses and unbelievable wages.  It was neat to see this happen.  He said in his 30 years of
construction this , at 55 years old, is a dream come true.  His crew is even asking how they
become Canadian Citizens.  He said when he started the project , which is the Trump Towers,
he was scraping the barrel to get his people to come up and now he has a waiting line and is
recruiting from NY State.  The union here got all his people on board with a big welcome.
    I walked back to my room.  The walk is a mile and when I arrived it seemed a major chore
but now it was like a walk in the park. I retired and rose early to see the Royal Ontario
Museum with lunch at the Lawrence Market and finish the day with a Pint at the Historic
Distillery District where I might ride a Segway.
     Well I did get up early but the Tour Bus changed it’s route and we by passed my stop before
I realized it.  I had to wait a little longer and arrived at the Museum
around 11am. It was well worth it but much larger than I anticipated. It took a good 3.5 hours
and I still didn’t see it all.  I went up the street after to have a coffee at a unique shop called
“L’Expresso”  The L in front meant $8 for a Cappuccino!  It was the best I had and the place
was the classiest Coffee Shop since the Cafe Central in Vienna.  I then hopped the bus for the
Market
to try the famous PeaMeal Bacon Sandwich that Emeril Lagasse recommends and eats when
he is in Toronto instead of New Orleans.  That was worth all $5.99 but now it was later than
anticipated, I went next door to one of only two liquor stores that I knew of in Toronto and
decided to buy a pint of Vodka for the room.  Well they only sell 375 ml or 750 ml bottles.  I
bought the cheapest 375 ml bottle for $13.  I passed the duty free coming through the border
…big mistake.  I could have bootlegged liquor in Toronto and paid for my trip.  I walked home
from there and arrived to be greeted by a German family of 5.  They got in somehow and was
waiting for Unal.  I went to my room to play Texas Holdem. 
      Saturday I slept in and again played Texas Holdem, read, and basically sat around enjoying
doing nothing.  That evening I strolled out in the rain and found a dollar store to purchase
expensive souvenirs for all my friends back home.  I also got an umbrella, so of course it
stopped raining as I came out.  I noticed the Alibaba fast food type place that looked inviting. 
I ordered a Swarmi Chicken Pita Sandwich.  They use all fresh , fresh ingredients and the
sandwich was fabulous.  They had fish platters, and lamb shank, different falafel, and gyros
sandwiches, fresh humus, balaclava,etc….too many to mention and I can’t spell them anyway. 
I arrived at McVeigh’s to listen to Bill Craig.  He didn’t start till 10 pm and it was 7:30 so after
two pints and two cigarettes, thanks to an obliging Canadian lady on the patio, I left for
P.J. O’Brien’s Irish Pub down the street.  They had entertainment there also but it was so
crowded I could only find a seat in the back dining room so returned just as Bill arrived. 
We chatted and then he took the stage before a group of ladies from Glasgow, Scotland and
Torino, Italy.  There was a small group from Ireland and some folks from Milano Italy.  I met
a man from West Cork , Ireland who proudly announced he was a Republican and showed
me a commemorative medallion with Bobby Sands picture painted on the front and the list
of all who died in prison on the back.  I told him I was Republican too but I think he was
skeptical. Bill played lots of requests, made some good jokes, and was chatting it up with
everyone.  It was very enjoyable but I left at a little after Midnight and went right to bed.
    Sunday morning I was welcomed by rain that put a damper on my plans to visit the Brazilian
Festival on the Island.  I hung out then went out to visit Alibaba’s then have a drink at
P.J. O’Brien’s.  Home early and back to Attica tomorrow. 
     I did decide to visit Bill one more time.   I stopped at Ali Babbas for another great Pita
sandwich then walked down to P J O’Brien’s but they were closed on Sunday.  I returned to
McVeigh’s for a Molson’s Canadian.  When in Rome.  After about 15 Canadians and a new
found friend from Adelaide Australia I was on a roll and so was Bill.  The place was packed. 
I mean PACKED.  They were all Irish , except for a few Germans from Frankfort and it was
dancing on the tables.  I couldn’t leave.  It was great fun but I was the oldest in the group.  My
Australian friend was the second oldest.  He had a beautiful girl with him that he had met
from Toronto and he mentioned that he had a room at the hotel by himself.  She said, “If you
think I’m going to fuck you, your crazy!”  He replied , that he never said anything of the sort
and could care less as she left her Guinness and him behind.  He ended up with me…drinking
a few (15) beers then I booked it outside to sneak a cigarette from my Frankfurt friend.  He
was supposed to watch my seat while I discussed her bicycle trip from Frankfurt to Barcelona
and then another from Frankfurt to Estonia.  We never imagined doing that when I was a
youth.  We fantasized about hitchhiking around Europe but never on a bicycle!  When I came
back it was wall to wall Irish that were on work visas to Toronto.  You couldn’t move and it
was now 2am and my
Australian friend had abandon me so I snuck out back on the patio to bum another cigarette
from a crack dealer in Toronto when I met a vagrant bumming money from Grenada.  I told
him I gave the last to the bartender and shared my been with him.  The Crack dealer told me
all the crime in Toronto was because of Americans dealing guns for Coke.  The man from
Grenada said it was because of him dealing Coke for money.  I gave the street man $20 and
told the crack dealer he was partially right but the shootings in Toronto aren’t anything
compared to N.Y.C. or Phoenix. The Aussie passed by in the street and I complained he
never watched my seat like he said.  He said I’m still welcome in Adelaide to visit in 2010
when I told him I would be there.  We will hunt Roos.   I returned to say goodbye to Bill but
after such a great performance he booked it back to Hamilton…God Bless Him.   The Crack
dealer offered me a cigarette on the way out.  I took it.  I hailed a cab and $6 later I was home
and threw out the cigarette and went to bed.  Until the next trip…see the world before you
leave it…David in Toronto.

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