I woke up this morning with just enough time to shower before I had to walk to King Station so I could make it to Museum Station in time to meet Nathan. After getting on the wrong subway for just one stop, I got myself moving the right way. I got to Museum early, then got a message from Nathan letting me know he was running a little late, so I went to do a little exploring in the area around the Royal Ontario Museum.
I checked a map and saw that the Legislative Assembly of Ontario wasn’t far at all, so I made the walk through Queen’s Park to get there. Queen’s Park had a plethora of black squirrels in it (I was just as flustered by them here as I was in Stanley Park, something I explained to Shanu on our walk the other day)! The Legislative Assembly was just onto other side of the park, but I made sure to walk around to the front to get the full effect of the building.
Feeling adequately impressed, I walked back towards the park and ducked through the underpass that led to the University of Toronto campus to take a walk around. The campus there is so gorgeous, and definitely a lot bigger than our campus at the U of M. It looked very different by day than it did in the dead of a January night two years ago and I really liked it. I walked by their drama centre, then looped over the visitors’ centre to grab a copy of their grad studies brochure — always nice to explore options. When I got out of the visitors’ centre, Nathan messaged me to say that he had made it to the station.
I walked over to meet him and we made our way into the ROM after a quick catch-up about the end of his year in St. John’s. The ROM is totally massive with a little bit of everything; parts of it reminded me of the British Museum of Natural History in London, the Field Museum in Chicago, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Nathan and I were there almost four hours, and we barely saw everything they had! Other than the dinosaurs (my perennial favorite), the best thing I saw today was the display containing hockey equipment that touted its similarities to the medieval knights’ armor in the cases the next room over — Canada, eh?
After the museum, Nathan and I grabbed a quick snack at New York Fries, then it was time for me to head back towards home to get ready for the game. Nathan rode the subway back with me as far as my stop at King Station, so we didn’t have to say goodbye too quickly. Janette, Paul, and I had a quick dinner of cannelloni from the market before I had to jet off to meet Jan at the game. Janette had a lot of get down before her trip to Halifax and decided to sit the game out, so Jan’s roommate Hugh, from New Zealand, joined us instead.
I met them at Gate 5 of the Rogers Centre after a quick ride on the streetcar, thankful that the retractable roof was closed. We found our seats and settled in to watch the Blue Jays take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Neither Jan nor Hugh was very familiar with baseball, so I explained the rules to them as we watched. It felt weird to cheer for a team other than the Twins and I was thankful the Jays weren’t playing them tonight, though they do go to Minnesota after this series.
To say that it was a rough night for the Blue Jays would be an understatement, so it was with feelings of utter defeat that we made our way to Shoeless Joe’s to watch the Warriors and Thunder game. Jan is a big basketball fan, so he wanted to keep current on the playoff games. While we watched the game, the three of us talked music, movies, and, given the madness going on at home, politics. I had actually asked the guys earlier what the classic questions are that they tend to get when people find out where they’re from: Hugh says he gets asked if he’s Maori and has tribal tattoos, while Jan says he usually gets questions about beer. For me, the classic question people have when they find out I’m American is what I think about Donald Trump.
The basketball game ended, an exciting start to the series with neither team totally running away with the game, and it was time for all of us to head home. We jumped on the streetcar and said our goodbyes when we got to my stop on Sherbourne. Hopefully I’ll be able to get together with them again sometime, maybe during my long layover in Toronto on my way back to Winnipeg at the end of the month.
I got back into the condo as quietly as I could and started packing up all my stuff. I have an early morning tomorrow with the 8:20 am train to Niagara Falls. I’m excited to see the falls, but I’m sad to be leaving Toronto as well. Janette and Paul have been amazing, and it was so nice seeing my friends who live here and making new ones. I look forward to coming back to Toronto again, preferably someday very soon!