Royal Ontario Museum
07.19.2013 - 07.19.2013 94 °F
We got off to a bit of a late start and had our first experience with Toronto's Underground/Subway. Any time you walk into a new city with a new (to us) transport system like this, you get that stupid feeling. Machines all over the place...we looked at all of them...and with the dumb American look, sheepishly walked to the window with the lady behind it...HELP!! Speaking really slowly and over enunciating her words, she said, "You...will...each...need...two...tokens" to get to and from our destination, which was the Royal Ontario Museum. When she said "two" she also held up two fingers. I felt like saying, "Look lady, we may be dumb Americans, but we are not deaf Americans." So, I look around and, alas, there is a machine that says tokens...$3 each. But you can't buy 4 tokens...Noooooo! On the face of the machine is a picture of a $5 Canadian bill with a red circle with a line through it. The choice is to insert a $10 bill which gets you 3 tokens and change, or a $20 bill which gets you 6 tokens and change. Surely, I thought, there must be a 4 token machine. I once again walked to each machine in the area...none issued 4 tokens. Oh well, we can probably get a single token on our way back. So, in goes the $10 bill and out comes a number of coins. We have now been in Canada five days and these are the first coins I have seen. None of them appeared to me to be tokens. I show my handful of coins to Margaret and exclaim, "No tokens!" She walks up to the lady behind the window to complain, and the lady says, "Show me what you got." I empty the coins from my palm to the counter at which point she separated the three smallest coins from the group, looks at me with a serious frown, and announces, "Tokens!" ...as slowly as one could possibly say the word. If I had a tail, it would have been firmly planted between my legs. So I gave one to Margaret and followed her and others through a turnstile which led to the trains. It was at that point that I realized I could have bought the exact number of tokens from the window lady and paid with a credit card. Oh well... Having been temporarily distracted, I did not see Margaret or the others deposit their coin into a hopper next to the turnstile. I just went through and, alas, we still had the two tokens needed for the return trip. All of a sudden I wasn't feeling so stupid...just a little paranoid about the Underground police that were approaching. I breathed a little sigh of relief when they walked past. The Toronto subway is much like the city, clean and efficient. The trains are BART like, but you can go anywhere for one $3 token.
It was a short ride to the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada's largest world culture and natural history museum. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is Canada's largest museum of world culture and natural history. Founded in 1912, the museum has maintained close relations with the University of Toronto throughout its history. With more than six million items and forty galleries, the museum's diverse collections of world culture and natural history are part of the reason for its international reputation.The museum contains notable collections of dinosaurs, minerals and meteorites, Near Eastern and African art, East Asian art. It also houses the world's largest collection of fossils from the Burgess Shale with more than 150,000 specimens, and we saw every one of them. The museum had a fascinating exhibit on Mesopotamia on loan from the British Museum of Natural History. There were some amazing exhibits of black and white photography and we spent about six hours taking it all in.
Urtilizing our two remaining tokens, we made our way back to the Trump. We have been anxiously awaiting the results of Margaret's EPPP licensing exam which she took on July 5. When she walked onto the train she said that she had a strong feeling the results would be out today. When we got back to the room...sure enough...she had an email advising that the test results were available online. You could cut the tension with a dull knife. Then came the two best words we heard on the trip..."I PASSED"...she cried out...and she spent the next half hour making sure...while I quickly chilled and opened the champagne we had purchased at NOTL. We eschewed our dinner reservations in favor of cheese, snacks and champagne in the room. We then set off to the Ed Mirvish theater to see Andrew Lloyd Weber's and Tim Rice's new production of the Wizard of Oz. This is the North America premier of the old story with a number of new songs. It was no Kinky Boots but a very entertaining production nonetheless. We walked about a block from the theater to Toronto's version of Time Square where a Led Zeppelin copy band was blasting it's music in a public square. The thunderstorms we had experienced for the first time earlier that afternoon had passed, easing the extreme heat and humidity we had been experiencing since New York. We then went to the Hard Rock Cafe for a late night supper and returned to the room...knowing we would sleep better now that the EPPP dragon had been slain.