Travelogue: Toronto Recap

I am writing another post in offline mode while I wait for my connecting flight in the Chicago-O’hare airport. I’m not sure what’s so flawed about my little laptop that it can’t connect to either of the two open networks here in the terminal. It has to be my laptop, right? It’s not like one of the largest airports in the world would have substandard WiFi. I hope.

Let’s see, what can I talk about while I pass the time?

  • Toronto is a great city. A few observations, though: even after three days, the Toronto accent with all of its “oots” was endearingly charming. I can only imagine what American accents must sound like to other English speakers. I know that we all sound neutral to ourselves, but surely, that doesn’t change the sound of the cadence and tone of someone’s accent, does it? American accents seem harsh in comparison. I’ve never heard or read anybody who said they really liked the way Americans speak English, even though listening to one of the more prim British accents is, for me, a reason to fall in love and marry a person. I might have shared too much here.
  • Another observation from Toronto: it’s probably the largest city I’ve been in if we exclude all the airports I’ve been hanging out in recently. It’s sleek and modern, and its skyline reminds me of the movie Inception. Seriously, they have this thing going on where every high-rise condo is built in a pair, so you have sets of twins popping up all over the horizon. It’s kind of cool, but it looks like somebody was playing SimCity and hit Ctrl + V a whole bunch. It really looks like the skyline from Inception. I kept expecting the horizon to fold up like a giant taco, which would have been exciting.
  • I was thinking about writing a blog post about tourists behaving badly, but after I watched a guy try to break off a piece of crystal from a display in the Royal Ontario Museum, I was just too bummed out. On a more egalitarian note, all the dickish tourists I observed were from different nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. No one people on this earth seem to have a monopoly on being a jerk. Equality abounds! Consequently, I feel bad for the locals in every tourist spot on the planet. Including myself (hey, people come from all over to check out our Desert Museum).
  • Speaking of the Royal Ontario Museum, that place is kickass. I saw a lot of amazing dinosaur bones, including a tyrannosaurus rex. It was the first time I’d ever seen a tyrannosaurus rex in person! It was very exciting. They had a lot of other great exhibits there, including an Egyptian mummy, but I’m going to be honest: I was there for the dinosaur bones and I was not disappointed.
  • Standing on the glass floor on the CN tower and looking down reminded me that I’m not actually cured of my fear of heights; I’m just really good at dealing with it. The 58 second elevator ride reminded me that the same is true for my claustrophobia. Despite these personal revelations, it was still a great experience, because I felt like a total boss sliding past all the scared people at the edge of the glass floor to go tromp around and stamp my feet to show my complete faith in Canadian engineering and my complete disdain for gravity.
  • I’m kvetching a lot here, but that’s only because I think it’s the cynical stuff that makes for good reading. I’m sure a blog post about all the amazing beers I drank and the amazing architecture I saw and the cool video game exhibit I got to play in, etc. etc. would just make everybody dislike me. So I won’t talk about that, at least not anymore than I already have.
  • In conclusion, Toronto was an amazing city. It was incredibly multicultural, filled with interesting history, great beer, and friendly people. I think it’s something we in the States take for granted, but the relationship between our countries is pretty special. For instance, we share the longest undefended border in the entire world. I don’t think we could ask for better neighbors. Consequently, we should be really grateful that they’re too polite to ask us to move, so that they can have better neighbors. I kid, I kid. . . well, mostly.

That’s about it for now. I’ll post this when I can, which probably won’t be until I get back to Tucson. I still have another hour before my flight boards, but after that it’s going to be four hours of sitting in the same chair, so I think I’m going to get up and move around in an open space while I still have the chance. See you in Tucson!

Travelogue: Live From Sky Harbor

I’ve flown for twenty minutes and I’m already writing my first travelogue. God, I’m such a nerd.

There aren’t a lot of things to do while waiting for one’s next flight. One can read, of course, and you can be certain that I brought an ample supply of literary material to keep my mind so occupied. One can also drink beer, which is something I’m doing right now; this may well be my final Kiltlifter until I return to the western United States next week. I’m not certain this fine brew has made it all the way back to the east. In fact, I’m not sure if any of my favorite brews are known to the people of my ancestral land. I’ll have to investigate while I’m there.

What else can one do while waiting for your next flight? One can blog, which is what I’m doing! The WiFi is fairly shoddy, though, so there is a very curious time-delay between what I type and what appears on the screen. It’s unfortunate when I notice a typo, because the text tends to keep scrolling for several more seconds until I can arrow back to correct myself.

I started my travels in Tucson little more than an hour ago. My first flight brought me to Phoenix, which I noted was slightly ironic given how excited I was to fly out of Tucson . . . right into Phoenix, which where I always fly. All roads lead to the Shy Harbor, it seems.

It’s going to be a long night for me. My next leg will take me into Philadelphia, which is an airport I’ve never seen before. I worry that they won’t have any of my favorite beers. I’ll probably have to drink some strange Pennsylvanian beers. I wonder what that’s going to be like.

It’s funny, because as much as I’ve grumbled to myself and my coworkers this week about the amount of layover I’m going to have (almost as much layover as actual travel time!), the truth is, I’m really enjoying myself. Aside from my horrific experience last year, I really enjoy traveling. I like the flow and the feel of it. I like people watching. I like drinking in strange airports and typing on my little laptop and thinking about the world.

I also really enjoy red eye flights. Seriously, the plane from Tucson to Phoenix was less than a third full. When the captain told us he needed several people to move to the back of the plane to “balance things out,” rather than worry about the fact that planes can apparently become unbalanced, I leaped to my feet and proceeded to back of the plane to secure my very own emergency exit row. As I explained to the guy behind me, I really enjoy the extra leg room . . . and if the plane did go down, I could totally be a minor hero by valiantly opening the emergency exit and ushering my fellow humans to safety.

The only downside to this experience was that I’m now completely spoiled for the rest of the trip. I doubt I’ll be lucky enough to get my own row again, but we wants it, precious, we wants it. Ahem.

What else can I tell you? Not much; it’s incredibly weird to be on a flight that lasts only 2o minutes. I kept looking out of the window trying to figure out which Tucson streets we were flying over only to realize that we were already over Phoenix and preparing for landing. That was strange!

In my opinion, all flights should be twenty minutes long and allow you to have your own row. This would make flying an optimal experience.

That’s probably what it feels like for rich people when they fly. I think I would like to be rich someday. I may or may not blog again when I arrive in Philadelphia. We shall see!