Finally getting back to this one... something you can enjoy, instead of my head strife. :)

A few minutes to myself, time to update.

Well, the last few days have been nothing but time to myself -- at work, at least. After work, that's different. But it's been good. :)

Anyhow, back way up to the trip to Toronto. Monday afternoon OFK and I headed off, getting into the city after dinner that night. The drive down was uneventful; lots of singing to the music we brought along, stops for food -- and here I must confess I did eat McDonalds on the drive down. I also bought some cheapo keychains that had little lights in them. Of course, only one of them worked, but it got used as a map light for awhile, so I gloated about how it was a dollar well-spent. Then OFK went on about how it was his dollar (true; I'd mooched a dollar from him so I could get a second keychain for my uncle), but his dollar bought the non-working keychain, now that I think about it... so hah!

We checked into the hotel, unimpressed with the concierge, dropped off our crap and headed out to the Kelsey's nearby for some snacks -- we'd found a note saying that Kelsey's offered a discount upon presentation of the room keys, but of course we managed to forget to actually get the discount that night. As with everything on the trip, I blamed OFK. ;) I am a *JOY* with which to travel! Really great service at the restaurant, though.

There was also a Chapters nearby, so I ran in quickly before it closed and picked up some trashy romance novels and a magazine (which I still haven't read). All week I kept seeing other Chapters and talking about wanting to go in, and then I didn't, and so that was okay. Stupid Chapters homing beacons...

All week we slept in nice and late -- the only morning we wound up getting up early was Friday, because we wanted to grab the breakfast buffet (which ended at 10) and we had to get checked out by around 11. But more on that later.

So Tuesday we slept in, then eventually got our butts in gear and aimed for downtown. First, however, we drove up the road to the Markham Shopping Centre to hit up Pickle Barrel for breakfast. I remembered Pickle Barrel from my various trips to Toronto to visit the ex-, so it seemed a decent option. After breakfast, we were off. OFK picked up a new pair of shoes, and mainly we wandered the downtown core, just looking around and talking. We passed by the Much Music location, and got to see the newest (I think) VJ doing a bit. They still had openings in the audience, but OFK wasn't interested in joining. Truth be told, I wasn't that much interested either, but... it's weird -- regardless of the fact that I work around so-called 'celebrities' at both of my jobs and don't much care there, when I see them in another context or see the ones I don't see on a regular basis, it's still a bit cool for me. I ramble.

We hit up a store called Come As You Are, which is much like the Venus Envy's in Halifax and Ottawa, and another store in Vancouver, and spent some time going through their book collection and graphic novels. I left with three books; the Nerve guide to dating etiquette, a bunch of columns from a lady who had something like the Whore's Boudoir, but on a much grander scale, and a book of S&M stories.

Dinner that night was at Kelsey's, since I hadn't had the chance to eat anything the previous night, and then we were back at the hotel to hang out, watch tv and veg. Weird how sleeping in seems to make you tired earlier. :P

Wednesday I awoke to my work cell phone going off, so I dealt with that, then we both got up and started getting ready for the day. Breakfast was at the nearby Timmy's, and the plan for the day was hanging out at the Ontario Science Centre. We spent a little too long in exhibits like the Genome and Space centre, so we didn't find the cool interactive stuff until right when the Centre was closing. But we did get to be sorted in the knowledge exhibit and I found the bouncy bridge, and I went into the disturbing box and sent OFK in after me, so it was all good. (You want into a metal closet of sorts, and an announcer talks about how a particular racial group was shipped somewhere in spaces this big... then the box starts to shrink and it talks about how another racial group -- I think Jewish people -- were shipped in a space that size... I almost had a heart attack when the box started shrinking... for some reason I seemed to think that it was going to go too small and I wouldn't fit anymore or something).

We met up with M for dinner (yummy Italian!) and gossip, then OFK and I headed back to the hotel and rented Anchorman, which he'd never seen. Still a funny movie. :)

Thursday we decided to head out to Niagara Falls, and we managed to get there a bit before 4 -- it was a decently long drive from our hotel, but traffic was pretty average. We looked at the Falls, which were quite foggy, then wandered down the road a little bit to try to see the Canadian Falls better. Afterwards, we headed over the main "fun" road, and checked out a few exhibits: we went in to see a 4-D movie at the Ripley's Believe It or Not ride (not the museum, OFK was against any fun museum they had there!), and the ride was kinda cool... then we saw the Mystery Maze, which wasn't especially mysterious, and the loudspeaker repeating the same stupid lines all the time was rather annoying.

After the Maze, we headed over to Boston Pizza for some food and wound up playing some DDR there, too. I actually did fairly well, even on some settings that are higher than I usually play. Maybe I really do get self-conscious when others are sitting around watching... I didn't think so, but there you have it.

We finished up DDR and headed into one of the four haunted houses. We decided to go into the noname haunted house, rather than Frankenstein's Haunted House (which had a giant Frankenstein on top of it eating a Whopper as a tie-in to the Burger King beside/underneath it), or Dracula's Haunted House, or the fourth one that was further up the street. OFK kept making me go first, which wasn't very nice, but I was helping out by noting all of the sensor panels and announcing that we could probably expect to see something soon. At one pitch-black part, I became convinced that there were stairs or something that I was going to fall down, so I made OFK go first there. The Haunted House ended in the tackiest gift shop I've seen in a long time, and then we were back out on the street.

We wandered up to the casino, and OFK made me lose my $20. I was up a couple of times and ready to end at 9, but he said he was having fun and told me to keep playing, so I did, and then my money was gone. So out of my two casino experiences, I've won money and lost money. Ah well. :)

We hit up the Hershey's store, and I bought myself a t-shirt and some junk food. Hershey's is now making chocolate kisses with caramel inside, and they're really good -- much higher quality chocolate than regular Hershey Kisses, it seems. I'm still waiting for the perfect opportunity to wear my t-shirt, which is actually a junior's x-large -- they didn't have the saying I wanted in adult sizes, and it's not necessarily the colour I would've picked, but what the hell. It's cute, and maybe I'll wear it in on my birthday, or if I'm around a guy that's just not getting the hint. Heh.

After all of the rampant consumerism, we headed back to the hotel. I didn't want to stay out *too* late, since we still had about an hour and a half drive back. Once we were in the car, the ex- called, and he and I made tentative plans to get together once he was back in Toronto; he'd been in Ottawa visiting his folks, and wasn't staying the full week. I called my folks to invite myself over to dinner the Sunday following our return, since I didn't have to work at the radio station that day, and then I just monopolized the music choices, as I did all the time. :)

Friday morning saw us actually getting up early, since check-out was around 11, and we wanted to grab the free breakfast at least once, and have as much time as we could at the Zoo, which closed at 4:30. Neither of us did much talking at breakfast... something tells me that OFK is as much of a morning person as I am. Once we finished packing up, we were off. Yayayayay, animals! :)

I took the majority of my pictures at the Zoo, but was having a bit of a tough time of it, since I had turned off my flash and a lot of the animal required zooming in -- so a lot of pictures wound up kinda blurry, or with the animals difficult to identify. I did get to see all of the big cats except the snow leopard, and I think the tigers were my favourite (three teenaged cubs! very cute). Although the lionness that turned everytime I tried to take her picture was also fun. :) We didn't get to to all of the trails, partly because we spent a lot of time in Africa and started running low on time. I did the Eurasia walk on my own, and didn't really linger much... my camera's batteries had died, and I wanted to make sure I still had time to get back to the other side of the park, and most importantly, get in the gift shop. :)

We also didn't do the Canada trail, 'cause, well, we live in Canada, and those animals aren't quite as exotic as like, say, elephants or giraffes or whatever. I'd love to go back sometime in the summer and spend a day there, but then the place would likely be even more overrun with little rugrats and other people... we were late enough in the season that it was fairly quiet, and we really didn't have much difficulty seeing anything, anywhere we went -- including the Science Centre and so on.

So I met back up with OFK, spoke with the ex- while I snacked on a sandwich in the snack bar and made plans for dinner that night. We went into the gift shop and I picked out a cute little tiger with big eyes for me, a couple of postcards and a package of elephant poo paper for I'm not sure who yet. The whole time we were in there, the two girls at the counter were complaining about hours and their boss and so on, and I distinctly heard one of 'em say 'fuck.' Now, I'm so not against bad language or bitching about your bosses/coworkers -- lord knows I've done enough of it myself -- but there's a time and a place. When you're at work, maybe, but when you have customers in the store? Not so much. Especially with the swearing. Part of me wanted to go over and say something, but at the same time, I just couldn't be bothered. At all. Bah.

So OFK took me over to the ex-'s place, and I got the tour of the house. We sat up in his room and caught up, then went over to the local Swiss Chalet for food. Afterwards, back to the house for some more chatting, and OFK came and got me, and back we went to his friend's place for hanging out and crashing.

Saturday morning we got up, had some breakfast and repacked our stuff, then went over to a pub to meet up with one of OFK's coworkers, who was in town. After some lunch and chatting with her (and an episode of Voyageur that I was semi-distractedly watching for no good reason, except that it was vaguely amusing to see a hologram -- and not the doctor -- freaking out... you geeks'll know the episode, I'm sure), we were back on the road.

The weather back was pretty atrocious. It poured the whole way we were on the road, and combine that with the short stretch of driving I did, I wasn't exactly relaxed for the drive. I'd heard so many horror stories of the 401, or the Don Valley Parkway (which we had to drive every day if we wanted to go anywhere that wasn't in Markham), but we didn't have any problems, and we really didn't even hit that much in the way of traffic.

When we were still about two hours from home, our friends called to say they were getting together at R and N's place that night. It was kinda funny -- JW called OFK's cell, and then R called mine a few minutes later. I was driving at that point, so OFK got to field both the calls. As we got closer to home, we decided we'd head over and say hi to everyone, hang out for a bit, then go back to our respective apartments. There wasn't a lot going on -- mostly just some video games and board games, but it was nice to be around everyone again. I got some backrub action going on, and I honestly could've had someone rub my back and shoulders for a few hours without complaint. But alas, I couldn't convince JJ to do so. :)

I went home and saw my girls, and that was nice. They freaked out at first when I showed up, but afterwards were quite happy to be fed, and have me around. I was up kinda late that night, and Thena curled up on my bed and went to sleep first. Once I got in bed, Venus curled up by my side, and the two of them were glued to my sides all night, which was awfully cute. The same thing took place Sunday -- while I was home, they more or less just kept to me and curled up with me, and Thena once again curled up on my bed before I went to sleep Sunday night.

Sunday night I did in fact wind up having dinner with my folks, something about which I'd been somewhat debating. They took me back home and my dad mostly set up a mirror my mom had gotten me, and they dropped off more curtains, bedding and poked at the cats. Whenever my folks come by, my mom tends to torment/cuddle the cats while Dad putters around and fixes things. Of course, the cats get all wound up from the people being around, so they're not at the cuddly-best, but it works out. Maybe one day I'll have my folks over for dinner or something, and then they'll see the cats as they are. Brats. :)

So there you go. That was Toronto.

P.S. Apparently I fucked up my MA application, so I have to ask one of my profs for ANOTHER fucking letter of recommendation (which would make four, since I lost one of them), and I have to resubmit the application. Since it's not due until February, this won't screw things up for me too badly, but holy fuck could I just get in to do an MA already?

P.P.S. Crap. I forgot.

P.P.P.S. Oh yeah, updated Angry Apostrophe.

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