1 Jun 2013
Thanks for joining me for Episode 101 of KaTsZoNe!
I'm cheating a bit calling this episode "Part 2" of Oh, The Places I'll Go! As you may recall, in my previous episode, I mentioned that I had quit my job. For now, I have not been job hunting since my mom is still in the hospital. She has escaped from ICU (WOOHOO!!!) and hopefully, she will recover from pneumonia completely and rehabilitate from a lengthy hospital stay. It is a day by day journey. I just ask my family and friends to continue praying for my mom.
We are all on some kind of journey - going through or recovering from an illness, studying for a career (1st, 2nd or 3rd one), changing jobs, taking care of a new baby, raising kids, renovating our homes, or literally travelling to an unknown town, city or country. Oh, The Places I'll Go! was and is inspired by a Dr. Seuss book, Oh, The Places You'll Go! Even at my age, and really at any age, Dr. Seuss is a great teacher and everyone can learn and enjoy it! I get really excited by it. If you have not read it, you can read it to your child, or watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQRWeZy-S8Q and let me know what you think!
Our life's journey is personal. We may be accompanied by loved ones along the way - our family, dear friends, co-workers and acquaintances, but, in reality, we walk this unique journey by ourselves. No one else lives exactly the same life, walk the walk and talk the talk exactly the same way as you or me. We might share some similar experiences, but, we have to realize that our journey is our own.
I use to do many things on my own - go to movies, shop, travel to other countries, etc. Then, I opened up to others and began to experience things with others. Growing up as an only child (even though I have older half-siblings), I had a few close friends, but, when it came to doing things or going places, I was quite content taking my own steps. Many of you, especially those with sibilings, have asked if I am okay doing this or that on my own. Oh, sure. Why not?
If you're wondering if I actually travelled anywhere last month, I did find a change in scenery - not quite so far from home but nevertheless, I was able to have a companion as well as experience things on my own. Larry worked in Hamilton and Barrie in May, so, I hitched a ride with him and found ways to amuse myself in those two cities.
In Hamilton, Larry worked at Copps Coliseum for the Motley Crue show. We arrived early in the morning. I started my morning with a delicious strawberry and bananas crepe (with whipped cream and chocolate sauce) and latte for breakfast at Famous Waffles & Crepes located at the lower level in Jackson Square right beside the Sheraton Hotel. Energized for the day, my sightseeing began at the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum on a rainy day. Then, I headed to Dundurn Castle by taxi. Afterwards, there was a bit of break from the rain, so, I walked from Dundurn Castle towards Jackson Square, but, my crepes no longer gave me enough steam to move on, not to mention that my phone had lost its energy too! Luckily, I passed a Vietnamese restaurant and quickly devoured a beef noodle soup for lunch, and the waitress kindly "fed" my phone too! Think someone took too many photos at the warplane museum and Dundurn Castle. So, we carried on after lunch, and I headed towards Copps Coliseum (which is beside Jackso Square), said hello to Larry, and immediately went to the Sheraton Hotel to find a plug to completely charge up my phone. Because of the rain, I spent a lot of time getting really acquainted with Jackson Square which also houses a farmer's market. At some point, I fell asleep at the Sheraton, as I went to charge up my phone again. Before I knew it, it was dinner time! Even though the rain (with occasional downpours) limited my outdoor activities, I am glad that I managed to enjoy a vegetarian kung pao chicken combo for dinner at Affinity Vegetarian Restaurant which I had read about before my trip to Hamilton (Reviews: www.urbanspoon.com/r/242/1432757/restaurant/Ontario/Affinity-Vegetarian-Restaurant-Hamilton)! My fun-filled and busy day, ended with me hanging out with scalpers and vendors selling merch on the sidewalk outside of Copps Coliseum. Did I see any celebrities, you ask? Well, no, I am apparently blind to them, but, I did meet the bus driver for Vince Neil (lead singer of Motley Crue) as I stood on the sidewalk - LOL.
A week ago, I went to Barrie with Larry, who worked at the Waterfront Festival. It was a windy and cold weekend! To me, it felt like winter was coming! I needed fleece and a jacket and did not even think of bringing mittens, although folks in Barrie were out windsurfing (but not many of those), and wearing a t-shirt or light jacket. I'm so glad I rented a car for sightseeing! On Friday night, I popped down to the Waterfront Festival which had rides and vendors, but no music at that time of night. It was so picturesque - moon hung brightly in the sky over the water. My photo made the moon look like it had a ring around it, looking like the planet Saturn! But, beneath that picturesque scene were people shivering in the cold. All I could think about was a hot shower!
On Saturday, I drove down to the Tanger Outlets (formerly known as the Cookstown Manufacturers Outlet Mall) and The 400 Market, both located along Hwy 400, just south of Barrie. Then, I headed back to Barrie and walked around Heritage Park and Minet's Point Park. I found myself wandering along Dunlop St. East and had an Indian food buffet lunch at Spice Indian Cuisine as I figured that curry was just perfect for a chilly day! After returning the Chevrolet Sonic rental car on Saturday afternoon, I felt like I had no legs anymore! But, at least Larry and I were able to spend some time together, but, without a car, after Larry and I had dinner, I stayed in at the hotel - no more freezing waterfront activities for me!
On Sunday morning, after Larry finished work at the waterfront, we watched the Monte Carlo Grand Prix on tv at the hotel. Coincidentally, there was a racecar event at the Barrie Molson Centre called Formula North which we attended. The 2nd annual Formula North event featured competing engineering students across North America who had built their own Formula One cars. After watching the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and knowing that the Indy 500 was also taking place that Sunday, I was thrilled that these future engineers could be contributing to the future of motorsports, and hopefully, I will still be enjoying more races when I am a senior!
I am sure there is more to see just in Ontario this summer. With my mom still in hospital, I am not able to go away for long. Some of you might also be limited in time for a vacation, perhaps. I would like to encourage you to explore close to home. Hamilton and Barrie are not far from Toronto. I just wanted to tell you about what is out there, and a bit of online searching can give you some ideas whether you are taking a day trip or a weekend trip. I literally decided to go to Hamilton and Barrie two days before I went. If you are going to stay at a hotel or rent a car, check if you can take advantage of discounts, like I did, particularly if you are an alumni of a college or university, or a member of organizations. Make sure you keep your membership ID up to date, as most places will request to see it. I am not going to touch on overseas trips, cruises, etc. as I have not made arrangements like that for eons! Instead of major trips, my priority has been contributing to a student award at York University for years, so, I have been happily taking small trips.
Those of you who are my Facebook friends, check out my Spring 2013 photo album (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151505996492086.1073741825.512587085&type=1&l=9c5b71e2cf) for photos of the Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum, Dundurn Castle, Heritage Park, and Minet's Point Park. In that same album, I also have photos of fireworks from Victoria Day and more! I apologize to those who are not on Facebook, but, for privacy reasons, I do not allow everyone on the internet to view my photos, so, that is the reason why you would not be able to access it. Having said that, if you ever do join Facebook, feel free to connect with me. Please see my websites below!
Looking forward to summer! Woohoo!!! Thanks for hanging out with me for another episode of KaTsZoNe!
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