I am planning on some trip recaps/reviews from our trip up North, but before I do, I wanted to share a few observations that I made from our visit, in list form:
- I already knew Canadians were a friendly lot, as I have many pals that reside there, but actually being there made me realize a different “sort” of friendliness. In both Toronto and Niagara Falls, all my encounters with Canadians were generally KINDER, as in, a genuine niceness, rather than a forced sentiment (I recall hearing a similar observation from former international colleagues when I worked at Disney). Examples? When looking at a directory in the PATH walkway (which was amazing, BTW) I had people ask me if I needed help, in an earnest “I want to help you” kind of tone, rather than me desperately flagging down help, as I have been known to do in other “I have no idea where I am” circumstances.
- Despite this nice factor, I had only 2 out of approximately 25 waves returned when running the Toronto Waterfront (I always do the subtle wave when I run, and experiment with it wherever I pound the pavement). However, there is no evidence that all the runners I encountered were Canadian, as the area was touristy, so that social experiment may have been a wash.
- EVERY restroom (AHEM, *washroom*) I visited in Canada had changing facilities for babies. I never had to question this, but as soon as we returned across the border, I was once again hunting around.
- I felt 1000% comfortable nursing Abby when she needed to, wherever we were. In fact, I saw “nursing friendly” stickers in the windows of several businesses in Toronto.
- The food there was SO good – especially in Toronto. Such a variety of fresh and diverse items, all reasonably priced and as tasty as they were attentively prepared.
Of course, there was ONE thing that stood out to me that wasn’t quite as positive as, well, pretty much everything else about our Canadian experience, and that was the surprising amount of smokers we encountered! SO many smokers – and I am talking the FULL spectrum of the population – young, old, men, women…frankly, it was shocking! There were many instances of us having to walk very briskly out of buildings because there were clusters of smokers gathered near entrances.
So, there you have it – my wholly unscientific report of my Canadian experience. Do I wish I stayed there a week ago, instead of flying back? Well, if I had had all my American monies with me, maybe! 😉