Returning to Toronto…

March 10, 2019, 12:17 PM

In about a month, I’m going traveling.  Elyse and I are going to Toronto for about a week, and we’re going to see as much as we can in the five days that we will have on site.  My goal is to see as many Today’s Special filming locations as possible.  I’ve done a lot of research on these for the new version of the Today’s Special site that I’m still working on, and have written about these filming locations in the past.  I plan not only to visit the store again, but also a whole lot of others.  Meanwhile, Elyse has given me a list of stuff that she wants to see – a lot of it elevators – and we’re going to work as many of those in as we can as well.

It’s funny about what I’m doing similarly to my original trip to Toronto back in 1999, and what I’m doing differently.  We’re staying the Chelsea Hotel at Gerrard and Yonge, just like I did last time.  I booked a deluxe room, just like I did in the nineties, which should place us on a relatively high floor.  Mom and I had room 1667 back in 1999, and then I suppose that we’ll see what they give us this time around.  I would laugh if we got room 2137, which is also the number of Elyse’s favorite Metrobus.  We’ll see, I suppose.  From the photos that I saw, though, the Chelsea has been renovated since we were there before, so the Chelsea will be a very different experience than before, as I imagine that everything will look quite different.  The rooftop bar is now a fitness center, for one.  And speaking of the rooftop, unlike last time, when I was just under the age requirement to go on the roof deck (you had to be 19, and I was 18), and Mom brought me in anyway, I now am well above the age requirement to go in there.

I also wonder if the fire alarm will go off this time, like it did back in 1999.  I remember being a little uptight about that whole situation before.  After all, all of my experience prior to this was that if the fire alarm sounds, you leave the building.  They only evacuated three floors: the fire floor, and the floors immediately above and below.  I found out later that it was a relatively minor electrical fire on the 20th floor that was the source of all of the commotion.  Nowadays, I know a lot more about how high-rise fire alarm systems work, and might be a bit more sedate should something like that happen again.  I wonder if it still has those Pyrotronics pull stations.  Funny, though – I still remember what their alarm sounded like almost twenty years later.  That was the first time that I had ever heard a voice evacuation system, or a two-stage system.  It was memorable, but also a bit unnerving, since this was well outside of my experience, plus it was getting close to the time that we needed to leave to head home.

Meanwhile, we’re doing one major thing differently this time vs. back in 1999: we’re driving.  We’re loading up the HR-V and driving the eight or so hours to Toronto.  It turns out that it’s cheaper to drive once you have more than one person traveling compared to flying, taking a train, or going via intercity bus.  Plus we can bring as much luggage as we want, and I’m not exactly a light traveler.  I’m not a big fan of flying, and in fact, the trip to Canada in 1999 still is the last time that I ever went flying.  Every time that there’s any kind of bump, I’m thinking about how far down it is, which is not a nice thing to have running through your head when you’re however many thousand feet up in the air.  That said, I don’t miss flying in the least.  By driving, I am in complete control of the trip, and I don’t have to take my shoes off for anyone.

In driving, we’re taking different routes going up and down.  Going up, we’re taking a more westerly route, going through Breezewood, around Pittsburgh, and then up to Lake Erie, where we’re following the shore via until we get to Buffalo.  In other words, we’re taking I-70 to the Pennsylvania Turnpike to I-79 to I-90, and then in Canada, we’re taking the Queen Elizabeth Way to the Gardiner Expressway to Yonge Street.  Then on the return, we’re going to visit a friend in North Chili, New York, and then heading down from there, zigzagging over to Altoona to visit the Sheetz flagship store, and then going home via Breezewood.

I’m also getting some shirts made for this trip.  I’m getting Camp Rainbow reprinted fresh, and I’m getting my TXL shirt remade.  I’m also getting a shirt with the “Hello Friend” blissymbols on it.  After all, if I’m seeing Today’s Special filming locations, I need Today’s Special themed shirts for this.

So all in all, I’m excited.  I get to, like, nerd out for the better part of a week.

Categories: Canada, Travel