Sunday, June 21, 2009

Postcards



I haven't written because the girls and I took a flying (literally) trip to Canada to Niagara Falls for the weekend. We met up with one of my best friends (one of the Kathys) and her daughter Jessie.

We meant to come in Thursday but our flight was canceled as Long Island got 1.5 inches of rain. (ENOUGH WITH THE RAIN!) So we came Friday morning, flew to Buffalo and drove to the Canadian side of Niagara.

We've really had a wonderful time. First of all, it's spectacular. But also, my friend Kathy is like ...some long lost member of my family. I wish we hadn't neglected to be born into the same family because, dudes, we could have been serious trouble in our younger years.

Realizations from Canada:


I really like Canadians. I mean, as a species. And I realized why—every Canadian I know or that I have met on this trip, is VERBAL. I have yet to meet a strong silent Canadian. I asked Kathy, "ARE there strong silent Canadians?" and she said, "Well, um...No." I find I like that in a country.

It also explains to me why I didn’t really engage with the Ballet a few weeks ago when we took my mother-in-law. I mean, I didn’t engage to the point where I kind of fell asleep during the second performance. But see, NO WORDS. I could admire the grace and strength of the dancers –the sheer athleticism and dedication to their craft –but I don’t CRAVE the Ballet, the way I do, say, live music or theater. It’s just kind of interesting to me that I need words. I’d make a good Canadian, I think.

Kathy and I had this whole conversation about how we’re not really maternal with any children but our own and then every time we saw a baby, we cooed and waved and if one was crying, we stared at the mother with distrust of her ability to soothe that baby. Hand her over, Sister.

The hotel we stayed in was a Hampton Inn, which is one of those budget offshoots of the Hilton chain. The staff was so good-natured and laid-back, that it was a really pleasant experience. Like, you can forgive a lot when the staff lets your kids swim an extra 30 minutes or looks the other way when you bring your bottle of wine down to the lobby to sit and chat. I forgot to register my rental car and when I came down after the first day and told the front desk, the clerk said, “We don’t REALLY tow, just between you and me.” I don’t know, it was such a relief from the normal, overly officious hotel staff I’ve run into. It made the fact that each movie we rented for the kids cost FIFTEEN DOLLARS a little more bearable.

AND there was a glass elevator, which excited the kids to no end. Inside both elevators were these signs, though. Here's one:


We just didn’t get them. I mean, someone had gone to a lot of trouble. Kathy had the best suggestion, though. “Maybe it’s to give people something to talk about in the elevator.” Makes sense to me, especially in Canada.



Niagara Falls is beautiful --really beautiful --but the town is all about tourism and the prices are really high for everything. In fact, at one point we all went to the restroom and while I was still in a stall, Jane, who was washing her hands, said, "OH MY GOSH, Mom, they charge for paper towels here!!"

I said, "No, Sweetie, I don't think so."

And she said, "No, it says right here: Napkins are $.50."

9 comments:

Mrs.Q said...

You would make a great Canadian. And while it rains a lot on the West Coast, the winters are a lot milder than in NY. Also, we have great yarn stores. And fantastic coffee shops. And BC wine rocks.

Just sayin'.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Wait - you went to Canada without making a pilgrimage to Toronto, home of the Yarn Harlot?

Kathy said...

SubCorr - next time Barb comes to the north side of the border - she's definitely coming to Toronto.

We had such a fun time - just not enough of it as usual.

Becca said...

We'd be happy to have you as an honorary Canadian my dear!!!

(and yes, the falls are beautiful but the town is a hole)

DK said...

HA! Jane...

I, too, like Canadia (you know, where they keep the Canadians). I really like Quebec province. Montreal I found to be kind of iffy, but the Quebecois were really lovely people, and very understanding of my paltry grasp of the language. I had many conversations in which I was speaking French (to practice) and they were speaking English (to practice) and everyone involved enjoyed that very much. Canada's a good time.

Miriam said...

I thought the backseat driver illustration was SO PERFECT. And hilarious. What's wrong with me? Maybe I'm secretly a Canadian. Glad you're back and so glad it was fun.

Rohit said...

Very well written and such a refreshing blog..

Mary Ellen said...

Sounds like a fun time. I love it when the hotel staff actually understands that they're in a service industry.

As an exceedingly verbal person myself, I'm glad to know that our neighbor to the north would welcome me should I decide to defect!

MadMad said...

Oh, lucky me! I get back to a bunch of posts to catch up on, so that's why I'm way back here! Sounds like you had a great time! And that's so funny about the bathroom - my son had the same comment after a bathroom visit last summer!