Day 1-5: From NYC to Ontario

After a heartbreaking saying goodbye, I left Towanda with counselors. After we went through the main gate a lot of counselors started yelling “freedom”. Yes, after two month under strict rules, we were finally free. In Honesdale, we stopped at the Dime Bank and took the money we earned. I checked the weather a day before we left camp and according to it was supposed to be raining on Saturday. But the sky was totally clear. The journey to NYC was boring so I started talking to one Canadian counselor and we were talking almost until we got to NYC. It s a pity she won t propably come back next year. Because I didn t want to have two thousand dollars in my pocket, I needed to go to Washington Mutual. They were closing at 1pm and we arrived to NYC about 12:30pm. Fortunately, the nearest branch was 5 minutes of walking away. Then I was supposed to go to some hotel to meet Adam. I don t remember the name but I was told to go to Port Authority, then turn left and then right. I did so and I found Westin hotel. I told myself: Such a fancy hotel, how could they pay for it? I had taken 20 minutes until I realized it was a right hotel. So I went further and finally found the right hotel. I don t remember its name again 🙂 But it was far less fancy than first one. Then we went with other guys to some other hotel so that they could put their stuff there. That time, everybody of us got hungry. So we decided to find something to eat. They chose McDonald s and it was heartbreaking for me even more because my beloved Burger King was on the other side of street. After meal, we need to look for something to drink and if I say something I mean beer 🙂 I found ESPN sport bar on 42th street. We spent there maybe two hours and I had propably the most expensive beer in my life because I paid $10.30 for one glass of Samuel Adams. But still better than to pay $8 for glass of water called Bud Light. Then it was my turn to leave my friends because my bus departed from Penn Station at 8.45pm. Originally, I was supposed to go about 10 but I found special Greyhound coach called NeOn which has wifi and plug-ins. The journey from NYC to Toronto was supposed to take slightly less then 10 hours but it took 11 hours actually because we were delayed. Anyway, although I don t like travelling in bus, it was OK. I spent most of time sleeping or browsing internet. I didn t know what I could expect on the border because I had never traveled through borders by bus, even in Europe. In Buffalo, which was the last stop before the borders, a driver checked all passports. He was confused that I had a Canadian visa from last year but I didn t need it this year. Custom officer wasn t so nice but it wasn t as bad as in Toronto Airport last year. Just few questions and that was it. I arrived to Toronto after 7am. Unfornately my American cell phone doesn t work in Canada, so I had to look for some public phone to call my aunt (actually, she is not my aunt, she is a cousin of my grandfather, but in my country we call all older female members of your families aunts). She told to take a GO train to Oakville station where they would pick me up. 30-minute ride was 6 dollars which is not so much. My aunt is about 75 but she looks much younger she still practices several sports including golf and hiking. In the afternoon after I took my breath after long journey, we went to her partner s house which has a really big garden. We had BBQ and two her daughters with children and husbands came, too. In late afternoon, I became very tired, so I went sleep until dinner. On Monday, aunt Ilona went to play golf to Collingwood, which is 2-hour ride to north, and I stayed with her daughter Kate who lives in Oakville, too. It was a really hot day and we spent few hours on Lake Ontario. In the evening, I was asked to draw our family tree because Kate makes a tree of whole family.
Next day was pretty lazy. I got up about 9am and watched the Olympics. Then I went to hike with my aunt and her partner Ron. Entire Ontario around lakes is totally flat. So it was surprising when we were hiking along a stone wall which is about 100 meters high. In the evening, I finally had a great Czech-style dinner. After tons of fried and lemon chicken, I had a tasty plain chicken and potatoes. Next day, we walked along Lake Ontario. Oakville is one of the most expensive locations in Canada and it looks like it. There are residences which are so big that they could be schools. I made my last laundry before leaving to Newfoundland. Then I, Ilona, Ron and Rose, who is Ron s daughter s friend from England, had a last dinner – a roasted trout with wine. Ilona and Ron took me to Pearson International Airport and after hugs, I was ready to go. Everything was very fast because there were just few flight that time. Matt left me a message on Facebook that I had to call his girlfriend s cell phone because he didn t have his one. So I did it and I was told that they would wait for me on the airport. I was supposed to arrive to St.john s in the middle of night so I didn t expected this. Cool. Then I had had one hour until boarding started so I paid five bugs to connect to airport wireless. My aunt has got just dial-up connection which is only for checking few websites unles you want to spent your best years waiting for loading pages.

My aunt Ilona and Ron

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