Last week I was in Toronto.  It was a bit harried getting here.  I was first contacted to teach this training in December and in fact spent some of my vacation time in December trying to get the paperwork submitted for a work visa, since the trip was supposed to happen in January.  But the client (The Ontario Ministry of Education) had not signed the contract yet, so I was asked to hold off.  I replied, “Ok, but keep in mind we will need some lead time once we do have a contract.”  So all through January and into February, they kept this job on the horizon, and I kept reminding them to think of the work visa.

So late February they called and said they were getting the contract signed by the end of the week and wanted me in Toronto on Monday…..uh,  guys, that won’t work.  My contact said “oh yes, it will be fine.  Since we have a contract, you don’t need a work visa.”  My team’s immigration specialist wasn’t buying.  So for a week we were jumping through hoops, and honestly I thought I would not be going.  But some special strings were pulled and Thursday I got a signed exception from Canadian immigration, and Saturday I was on a plane.

The day before I left Mike and I did take a day and go into Denver to the Museum of Science and Natural History.. It was nice to spend the day together and what a gorgeous day it was too!!

When traveling I always try to find something unique to that country and have noticed before that Canada provides a challenge.  They are just so similar to America culturally.  But on the train from the airport I saw a restaurant listing, and one category they had was Poutine, with a number of routine restaurants around town.  My heart was happy. I do remember Poutine from previous Canadian visits, and it is a favorite of mine. Poutine for those who don’t know, is french fries with mozzarella cheese curds and gravy on top … What could be wrong with that?  So first thing after I dropped my bags at the hotel I headed for “Smokey’s Poutinerie!”  Turns out the concept of Poutine has grown since I’ve been here before and you can get all sorts of kinds of Poutine.  I got bacon cheese burger Poutine…. ummm French fries with cheese and bacon and ground beef and gravy on top!  Sounded good, but turned out to be more than my generally clean-er palette is used to.  I think regular Poutine might have been a better choice.

My hotel, downtown Toronto had nice views from the room top balcony.  so later that evening I enjoyed the view of the CN Tower and the Yonge-Dundas Square, Toronto’s Time Square.  The morning found me there awaiting the City Tour Bus.  A two hour tour that I thought might introduce me to a broad view of the city and teach me a bit of the history/facts.  It was a good choice.  I was interested in the many examples of architecture that was identified as historic and therefore they couldn’t change the exterior but had additions cropping out of them that were glass etc.   Difficult to explain, but interesting.

In the middle of the hop-on, hop-off, bus tour I hopped off and went op the CN-Tower.  It was interesting, and as the weather was beautiful the views were wonderful.  They have a glass floor, similar to many glass floors I have visited lately.. which I can’t stand on (Although the sky box at the Sears Tower in Chicago is the most remarkable one).  And just as at the St. Louis Arch, I found the movie about the building of the tower fascinating.

I Geocached out on the pier before catching the bus, and finishing the tour.  That evening I walked over to the iconic “Toronto” sign before going catching a Second City performance.  All in all a very nice day.

The rest of the day was cold and snowy!  The office I was teaching the class in was right across the street from the hotel, so I didn’t have to go far, and between preparation in the evenings and long work days, I didn’t even notice the snow, no time to do any other exploring.

I came home Friday night after Mike had left Friday morning to visit his parents in Utah.  We recently had to cancel our spring break plans to get out there and he has been feeling the urge to go visit more often, so he went and I was home with Nai.  He had a nice stay with them and I know they appreciated him being there.  He returned home Wednesday because he had to teach skiing on Thursday, and Friday I went to Denver for a class Friday, Saturday and Sunday… So we haven’t been seeing enough of each other lately, but perhaps we appreciate the time we do have together more.

The class I took in Denver is the beginning Theta Healing class.  Mike and I took the series last year and so we can audit again as many times as we like.  I find it fascinating and was pleasantly surprised at how much easier it was this year, a testament to the fact that I must be getting better at it… yeah!

Anyhow, I’m home now for three days before heading off to California to attend a square dance festival that I like in Bakersfield.  One of the bonus’s is the time I get to visit with Jackie Zev!  I guess if I figure I ought to get out to visit her once a year anyway, why not make it a Bakerfield festival weekend!  This year my new friend and festival Square dance partner, Sol, from Santa Fe, will be going with me.  He is interested in finding a couple of dedicated dance partners that want to attend festivals, so that works for me.  He and I will be dancing in Albuquerque in April too… The dance is much nicer without the pressure of looking for partners all night long.  Guess the photos from that will have to follow, since I don’t want to wait to publish this until next week… Too much going on!

Until next time, Happy St. Patricks Day!

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