Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Travels: Ocean City - Toronto

So although a bit behind on this, I am going to go back and chronicle my traveling from Ocean City Maryland through Canada.

Ocean City: July 14 - 16

Was a very relaxing time. Made the trip in 8 hours and 15 minutes, not stopping once. Met up with my cousin, Zac - who I am making this Canadian trip with and my Uncle Neil and Aunt Bet while in Ocean City. Went back to my grandmothers and just spent some time with her.

Later, my cousin and uncle came back over and we watched the home run derby. All in all, was a good day and enjoyed spending time with some family.

July 15 went on to the boardwalk at Ocean City. Didn't stay long and was not able to do much, but had a good time anyhow. Afterwards went back to my grandmothers and was able to just sit out on the front porch and talk with her for 2 hours. She told me how to pickle cucumbers and told me about her garden she was working on on the back porch. She is growing peppers and tomatoes and was very upset at the lack of production from the tomatoes.

July 16 left Ocean City around 11 am and heading to Baltimore where Zac lives. Got there in about 2 hrs 30 minutes.

July 17 went to the batting cages and proceeded to strike out often. Hit a few but think they would have been foul.

July 18 took Zac to get some blood work done. Everything came back normal. Was able to finally meet Dr. Chan for the first time. Later, went to an Orioles game. They played the Detroit Tigers and won 7 - 4.

July 19 proceeded to go to D.C. for the day. Zac was getting packed so I went to the city by myself to just walk around. Had a good time. Went to a few Smithsonian's and ate at Potbelly's. Spent about 4 hours down there and enjoyed it very much.

July 20 started the trip to Canada. Our first stop was Cooperstown, NY. Got there in good timing but the tolls were outrageous. If you go the "quickest route" on your GPS, be prepared to spend nearly $20+ on toll roads. Fortunate for us, my aunt has an EZ-Pass and let us use it. So saved me a lot of money. Thanks Aunt Sharon!!

Got into Cooperstown around 3 PM. Headed straight to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Very small, kind of humble museum. Had 3 rooms and the gift shop. The "shire" was the largest room by far and it was definitely something all baseball fans should go see. Also got a AAA discount of 10% :)

Afterwards, walked around the "city" of Cooperstown. All 1 road of it. Went into a lot of baseball card and memorabilia shops and ate at some Cafe (Doubleday Cafe maybe?). While walking around, we came across Doubleday Field. When we got there, we were the only one's in there and it was something.

Got to our hotel and proceeded to realize that they did not have any internet connection. But a single-A baseball team was staying there too, but most of them didn't speak English.

July 21 went back into Cooperstown and sent off some postcards. Having a postcard of a Hall of Fame player and a postmark from Cooperstown, NY is pretty cool I think. Went into a few more shops and then proceeded to Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Was only 3 hrs. 30 minutes but for some reason the ride seemed to go on forever. When I got to the border I got interrogated by the customs lady. But they were questions that I am sure everyone gets asked. But still. Do I look like I'm packing heat?!

We went to our hotel first - The Ritz. Don't let the name fool you. It was a cinder-block room with hard, sticky tile floors and smelled like a tobacco factory. BUT the good side to it was the hotel not even 2 blocks away was charging double AND we were only 5 blocks away from Niagara Falls - so pretty cool I must say.

But once we left the hotel room we proceeded to go eat at a restraunt called The Happy Wanderer. It was a German-Canadian cuisine restraunt and on the outside it had a banner that read "Breakfast $1.99" so I figured that it would be a decent priced (cheap) place to eat.

Well...it was and it wasn't. A "hamburger" costs $12. But this "hamburger" was no ordinary hamburger. It came without a bun, sauteed with onions, came with green beans, beets, fries, salad and bread. And everything tasted amazing. It was well worth the initial "sticker shock" and I would recommend going there. The lady serving us - who was obviously German - said that they had been there for 40 years.

After eating we headed on to Niagara Falls. It was amazing. We started getting "misted" on about 3 blocks from even being near the edge of the water - which was probably a quarter mile away from the falls themselves. Zac and I got wet but got some good pictures and were able to cross another thing off our list of "things to do". Niagara is a nice city and as I later learned has a population of around 80,000.

After that we walked around some of the city and stopped in a few gift shops. We headed back to the hotel for the night.

July 22 went out to Denny's for breakfast. Walked about a mile to get there and noticed an obvious increase in price. But they did take American currency at a 1:1 ratio so I didn't really mind. Headed off and tried to find a post office in Niagara. Talked to an old couple who told me that they didn't even know where one was any longer because, as they put it "they keep moving". They told me a little about the town (hence my knowledge of the population of their city) and said they liked to color of the van. The gent told me he was originally from Ottawa and told me to have fun while I was there.

We then headed off to Toronto.

It took around 1hr 30 minutes to get there. But when we got into Toronto, we knew it. Big sky scrapers, the RN Tower, a huge wind turbine. Tinted blue glass building everywhere. It was everything you expect a big city to be.

We went to our hotel and the person at the desk, after I told him this was the first time I've been here, got real excited, pulled out a map and told me places to go and how to get there. Even though his directions were wrong - and the GPS got confused for a short time - we got to downtown Toronto, paid our $10 to park, and started walking towards the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Hockey HOF was completely different than the Baseball HOF. It was a much larger building that you had to walk through a mall to get to. My camera died but Zac took lots of pictures. The set up was more of just walking around looking at the people who were in it and their jersey's, sticks, trophies, etc. But the amount of memorabilia, trophies, movies, etc that they had there was simply amazing. And, oh yea, we got to touch The Stanly Cup. Yea, pretty amazing I got to say. It was THE REAL Stanley Cup.

After we left, we walked around the city, staying on Young Street, which I was told was one of the main streets in the city. We stopped at a McDonalds and got a quick bite and continued just walking around the city. As we turned and headed back to the car, we took a detour and walked by the CN Tower and the Rogers Center. We then headed back to the hotel - which is much nicer than the Ritz (Canada's Best Value - and in fact it might just be that) - and then went to a mall which is located just a mile away from the hotel and had dinner at some Mediterranean place.

I will try to keep my traveling updated and maybe expand on the past traveling as well.

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Tomatoes are a difficult thing to grow, tell your grandmother i said to just keep watering and praying.

As for the ocean, isnt it just great to see it? It has to be. I miss it so much i think i'd give my right big toe to just see it for five minutes sometimes.

Hmmm... lesse. I want a postcard. I think you should send me one. It would be cool, and it would add to the many reasons you are my hero.

I'm glad you're having such a good time and seeing beautiful things. ^_^ You deserve to see things that are as awesome as you... But Know that columbia is missing a sherman greatly. Jus'Sayin'