As I have said before, you can be the best planner and itemize a trip down to the exact day here and there, but it’s always the changes that happen en-route that are the best. Changes of the mind and changes of heart. My Niagra Falls experience was brilliant, such an adrenaline rush and unique to that moment. Another form of fuelled adrenaline is the excitement of meeting family, sharing stories, hugging and just spending time in each others company and wanting more.
As you grow older that seems to lessen and lessen unfortunately and it’s nobody’s fault. We all feel we should do more, see loved ones and close friends more, but everyone has a different path in life. The most recent poll indicates there are some 7.6 billion people in the world – yowzer. What will blow you’re heads is that number is not even accurate, there’s plenty more as in certain areas of the world, families are a lot larger and people without a residence are not registered to vote, to some they don’t exist.
Here it is as a number: 7,600,000,000 to 1. Jesus, I we all have a better chance of winning the lottery! I always remember when I was rite young, spending New Year’s up at Patsy & Mick’s, stealing a can of Sweetheart stout, actually getting on with the mothers daughter and all the shouting, then signing songs that happened. Songs like…
Every nicht I sit here by my window – window
Starin down the lonely avenue – avenuuuueee
Watching lovers holding hands and laughin – laughin
Thinkin bout the things they used to do – Thinkin bout things……
Times you would never change with Jessie, Kev & Moira, Bri & Di, Pam and Neil. Alan & May, Michael and Denny and Teresa and Owen. Multiple birthday B-B-Q’s @ 20 Tweedsmuir Road, with Rigadon, Fordy, Dave and John Joseph. Not forgetting those legendary Dickens Barbie’s that morphed into the Saints Club celebrations as well, front and centre most times were Denzil and Gary, Omar moaning about something. Darling’s come and go until you find that one. Anyway, as i stop rabbiting on, I headed up to Toronto as my Favourite cousin called Chuck (I only have one), was passing thru Toronto back home and changed all his plans to not only meet up with me, he put me up in a swanky hotel and had a bottle of Tanqueray for our nightcap every night. He’s a good lad.
I got the Megabus up from Niagra Falls, which was a sweet ride with wifi. I get there Saturday, an hour before the Champions League final and I have a place picked out to watch the match. That was until I find there’s a queue outside? Hussle down to another ‘pub’, I’m in, Stella going down well and grub ordered – shame about the result. Saturday night on my tod was quite interesting, Toronto is a cool place to go out in. Sunday comes and Chuck has put me onto a flea market, lots on old stuff, vinyl, picket watches, coins and the likes so I head down to kill some time. I love that sort of shit, hence why i went round twice and spent 3 hours there. The gaff is miles away, but I hot foot it cos its a lovely day and i have Bowie tracks on the go.
We meet up and he takes me to the right trendy spot to get some scran and a few beers. We watch some of the NBA and head back for a nightcap, got a big day tomorrow. Chuck is retired and lives the good life. Summer’s in London, Ontario and winters in Australia (he even has the accent). Were both used to long lye ins!! I never knew Toronto housed the hockey Hall of Fame and were going baby, Chuck is paying as well. I was in hog heaven in the place, all the history, teams, players, nations, kit masks and memorabilia. It’s definitely up there with one of the top 5 places (Museums and the likes), I’ve visited on my travels. Chuck is so knowledgeable, he’s a great ‘guide’. We have a go at taking shots on a hockey simulator. Wardy 0 Chuck 2. On the hockey fuseball – Wardy 1 Chuck 8. Best part of the day – Photo taken with the actual Stanley Cup, with ma Cous!!! I touched it, I caressed it and kissed it baby! You have to go right to the bottom tho, see what I did there.
A few streets away is the local ferry to Toronto island, which gives you great views of the city. It’s scorchio so we head over for an ice cream, a beer and to fight with the seagulls. We cant stay too long tho, Alison and John have very kindly driven for an hour in busy traffic to come out for a meal and a catch up. Where do we go – Scotland Yard of course and it was great to see them both. Get this – John was tellin us about a drone he has been bought as a gift, that he can set up to follow him on his Harley Davidson as he heads down the motorway, how cool is that. The Stanley cup play offs are on and there are one or two boisterous Caps fans in the boozer, so I’m cheering for Vegas Baby. A couple of beers and cos I’m being noisy Chuck orders me back to the gaff, to catch the end of the game and some more gin.
Earlier start on Tuesday, as despite having to get a train back down the road, Chuck makes time to take me out to Whitby to see the McLuskie’s, confusingly both called Alan. Our family have not been the greatest at naming Boys born. I think when there are a couple of names up for grabs, they always decide just to go with Alan. Chuck’s up early to get the Meats, breads and salad for lunch and were on the GO train. Despite only buying this condo overlooking the marina about a year ago, Alan has it sold and they are moving yet again. Not had time to unpack, so its handy they will be packing again. Now the Mcluskie’s and I mean all of them, can talk, which is great as there is soo much to learn and find out, with what’s going on in everyone’s life. Auld Alan is in fine fettle, good appetite and keen to get back to Scotland to see family, friends and get to the bookies. Despite it being only a quick two hour pit stop, its was a heart warming and cozy pit stop. We get the GO Train back and say our goodbye’s at the station. Chuck is on his waaaay home and I have another night till I head to NYC. I wander the street looking for a good place to eat, rather than look online. Lots of opportunity to get good, funny snapshots to send to pals on facebook and Instagram.
A fantastic time catching up with family and seeing Toronto. As much as I want New York, New York to be as good, I feel it will not even come close. Did you know, when Chuck had a condo in a trendy area of the city, he was approached by a film company to film scene’s outside and inside his property for the film – My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Hence the title.
PS. Check out the photo of Walter “Babe” Pratt, that’s boy is family – doozy