My Canadian Trip

rMy vacation started out as a time to get away and spend with my friend Sarrah. I arranged with her to stay at her place during my vacation and she was going to take me site seeing. I planned my time so that I was with her for her birthday. I verified with her that the dates were okay before I made my reservations and arranged to meet up with some of the Canadian rotary guys. I flew out of my home city around 7:50AM and arrived in Toronto, Ontario around 6:30PM and waited at the airport for Sarrah. After about 2.5 hours of waiting and her not answering her cell phone I gave up on her. I called a shuttle for a hotel and decided to sleep there for the night.

The hotel had a business center so I posted on the RX-7 Forum that I was in Toronto without a place to stay. I knew I had a place to stay Saturday night since a guy named Mark posted that people could crash it his place after the rotary get together if they needed to. I spent the night in the hotel and woke up around 10AM and took a shower and got ready for the day. Around 11:30AM I got a call from Mark saying he could pick me up for the rotary get together. I was relieved since check out time was noon.

Mark picked me up and we went to his place to drop off my luggage, then went and met the local rotary guys. The local guys are really cool and down to earth, even the FD guys. We hung out and ate lunch and then went to a big arcade and the guys played a lot of the interactive games for a few hours. After that we ended up back at Mark's place. We ordered pizza and Mark treated. Plus most people drank a little bit to get ready to go out to a club that Mark used to frequent. A few of the underage folks went home and the rest of us went out to Lime Lite. It is a cool club with three levels and different music on each level. One thing about Canada that I am not used to is paying for my sodas. I do not drink and in California they offer free sodas for the designated drivers. So when I go to a bar or a club I never have to pay for anything except maybe a cover charge.

After the club we went back to Mark's place (since a few people we going to crash there) and played Dreamcast for a bit. The next morning we woke up around noon or so. A guy named Will was who made a big impression on me. He spoke French and had a strong accent that I noticed. It was interesting to hear him speak and the terms he used that were different from what I was used to in California. After people left Mark and I kind of hung out and did not do much. It was nice to be able to just relax after having such a stressful past couple days.

Monday morning Mark had to go to court for a moving violation he had got a few weeks prior. It was interesting to see the courthouse and speak with a few people that were waiting with us. We then went over to A-spec to get his oil changed and talk with some rotary guys.

A-spec is a cool shop that is to big for there shop. They are building a nice FD with a big twin turbo setup. They do not plan to compete with the car, just drive around in a really nice and powerful FD for a little advertisement of what the shop is capable of. The plan on running a Haltech in the car, so hopefully I will be hearing from them in the future for help. They are looking for a used dyno and I could not locate one for them, so if you know of one for sale please email me so I can tell them.

That night I went out with Mark and Chris and saw some of the sites. We went and ate at a New York type place and then went over to the skydome. They took me around to some of the other great places to see like the tallest free standing (as opposed to a non-freestanding) building, and some of the new buildings that had been built. Most everything is downtown and easily accessible on foot. I can tell you this, it was darn cold there!

The next day Mark and I had planned to go to Niagara Falls. This ended up not working out since it was raining really bad. It is normally a 1.5 hour drive from Mark's house and with rain it would make the drive even worse. We ended up going to the video store and renting a couple movies on DVD.

That night we watched the movies and also watched Junkyard Wars on TLC. It was a good show to watch since I was American and he was Canadian. Of course it was an episode were there were three teams competing, Americans, British, and Russians. So there was a little rivalry going on with him going for the Brits. Naturally the all might Americans prevailed and I was very happy. After that two hour special we played a little Metropolitan Street Racer. Every race was extremely close and Mark really could not come close to the amazing techniques I had (not really, but I do not want to say I lost 95% of the time).

The last day I was there I slept in and Mark and I played some more MSR and then I was off to the airport. He dropped me off and I was already to go home. The only problem was my flight was cancelled since there was ice on the runway at Dallas/Fort Worth (Texas). The lady at the airline found me another flight that was going into DFW, but was scheduled to arrive 30 minutes later. Not a problem since I originally had 70 minutes between flights. I flew out of Toronto on an Air Canada flight, which I really liked. The seats were roomy and the service was great. We ended up landing later than scheduled so I missed my flight. I did not think it was a big deal, so I went over and tried to get on the next flight. The only problem was the next flight was departing the next morning on a completely different airline. So I planned to stay in the airport that night and save some money. I called my mother and told her what was going on (especially since she was supposed to pick me up) and she offered to pay for a hotel room for me. That was good, I could get a decent nights rest since I was supposed to work the next day. I figured while I was in Dallas I would look up Steve Kan (an FD guy that has been featured in a couple magazines and runs 9s). I called him and left a message on his machine to try and call me. The only problem was I called him from the airport and then left to go to the hotel. He did call back, but I did not get the call or knew he called. I spent the night in the hotel and then woke up the next morning around 5:30AM to catch my 7AM flight. I flew into St. Louis and then had an eight hour lay-over. Not a big deal, I wondered this huge airport and read a little bit. I found out that from one end of the airport to the other end was just over 1 mile. I walked it off and boy was it a long walk. Obviously I had nothing better to do. I did however end up on an earlier flight that arrived in San Francisco at 4:45PM. I took that flight because I was at least closer to home and out of the bad weather. I ended up flying out of SFO at 7PM and that was on a two prop plane. Three seats across the plane and around 14 seats deep. It was a good flight and air time was around 30 minutes. When I finally landed I was very happy to be home.

I want to make sure I thank Mark for his extreme generosity in letting me sleep at his house. I hope he knows I am very grateful to him and he will always have a place to stay if he is ever in the Sacramento area. Thank you again Mark.

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