From my last post, you might think that didn’t do anything between having nachos and eating dinner. In point of fact, there was quite a bit of planning that went on. The next item on my bucket list of things Torontoan was to visit the Toronto Zoo. But the Zoo isn’t in downtown Toronto, where we were, but far to the northeast. Far enough that there isn’t a direct route to it.
There are routes for subway-to-bus, trolley-to-bus, and even subway-to-trolley-to-bus. All of the routes have added costs and add lots of time. The Zoo bills itself as twenty-five minutes from downtown Toronto. Yet, the fastest public transportation could get us there was an hour and a half. Add to that the tokens for the subway and transfers and that time isn’t exactly cheap. Well, we are on vacation. What if we just take a cab? The hotel has cabs sitting at its front door 24/7. We checked. It was going to cost nearly three times the cost of public-trans. Fine. I didn’t want to spend three hours getting to the zoo and back. And I didn’t want to spend a sizable chunk of vacation change either. There had to be a third option.
Do you recall those commercials about Enterprise picking you up when you rent a car from them? Well, they didn’t. But they did reimburse us for the cost of the cab fare. And a one day rental was actually cheaper than the public-trans cost. Thea had even thought ahead and gotten a temporary drivers license sort-of-thing which the car rental shop said that she wouldn’t need but she felt better having than not. So, now my dear wife has done something that I have not. She has driven a car in a foreign country.
A second advantage to this option was that having the car, we could run some errands for our stay and visit another one of my bucket items, Hey Meatball. It lived up to its billing as a dive and the food was good. But they were out of tee-shirts so I could only get a hat. The other errand was for more liquid assets for our stay. That’s where we really discovered we were in another country.
In Ontario, if you want to buy, let’s say, craft beer, you can go to a ‘Beer Shop’ and buy what you need. But it’s not aisle of beer there. There was a kiosk where an order could be placed and then a box from the back would slide out of the loading racks where you could get it rung up. If you want to buy, say, wine, you can go to a ‘Wine Rack’ and they would have a few selections of wines and ciders for you. If you wanted to buy anything else, you had to go a LCBO. The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has their own shops. The shop was well-lit, pleasant and clean with a wide selection of everything alcoholic.
(I know that it shouldn’t seem so foreign. It’s just a little thing after all. But consider for a moment if that were the method that your laundry got done. You could do your clothes at home or at a laundry-mat. But suits and jackets and gowns had to be taken to an Oklahoma Dry-Cleaner Control Board location.)