An eight hour weekend drive just to get a patch. The little blue back pack with the flag patches is a constant companion on each of our trips. The little bag is not only practical for keeping travel necessities like kindles, snacks, and hand wipes but, your pricey electronics, like your new digital SLR. A camera bag is target for any thief. But, I digress.
The backpack is an important part of this story because it is the sole reason sun worshipers like us are heading to Canada in February. We’ve been to Mexico and wanted to complete the North American trifecta. I wonder if they have a flag for that? So we decided to take a drive of 450 miles from Frederick, MD to Toronto, ON, Canada, in order to buy a Canadian flag patch for the little blue back pack. We also chose to choose a weekend that our Washington Capitals are playing the Maple Leafs in Toronto. I can’t wait. I’ve never been to an NHL game; it’s kind of ironic since I’ve interviewed many of the players in the locker room as part of my job. I’ve been to see AHL (minor league hockey) games in Hershey, PA, GO BEARS! and love it.
We crossed the border around 11 and were only a little disappointed that they didn’t stamp our passports. We arrived in Toronto around12:30 and we pleasantly surprised by our room being ready. The Fairmont Royal York is a grand old lady of a hotel built in the twenties right in downtown. We had plans in the evening and it was raining so we decided to take in the Royal Ontario Museum (The ROM). The real irony was the special exhibit was on the Mayan Civilization. We visited actual Mayan ruins at Tulum in Mexico two years ago.
The most amazing thing we learned about Toronto is the P-A-T-H. The PATH is an underground network of tunnels that like a lot of the downtown buildings. We love it. We walked from the hotel to the subway without ever setting foot above ground. The subway stop was even on the block of the museum. The subway was easy to navigate too. You go to a kiosk in the subway and feed a ten dollar bill (Canadian) into the slot and get tokens. The tokens cost 3 dollars a slug. You plop them in a slot on the turnstile and head to the train. It is a flat fare so no matter where you go on the network you just have to pay 3 dollars a trip.
A note on Money, I hate not having the local currency on arrival. You should have cash to tip the people that help you and pay for incidentals. We drove all around the Toronto suburbs so when we arrived at the hotel we’d have some cash to tip the valet. I eventually found a Bank, went to the ATM then took the cash inside and had them change it for small bills. I find it just a way to help show you aren’t and ugly American.