07.20.2013 - 07.20.2013 83 °F
Saturday morning was the first day in the 80s since we landed in New York. It was warm and still a little muggy, but you didn't get sapped just walking a couple of blocks. We walked to a new breakfast spot about a half mile from the hotel, gearing up for our trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame. I expected that this would be just a token visit so that I could report to Kevin Douglas that we had been there. We ended up spending a few hours there and it was very interesting and entertaining. The absence of a Sharks' presence was palpable. Even the gift shop was lacking in Sharks' items by comparison to the other teams. The Rocket, Gretzky, Hull and Orr were prominently featured among all the greats. The current Stanley Cup was on display and photo opps abounded. That and other memorable trophies were on display in an area that had a large vault where I assume the Stanley Cup was put to sleep at night.
There was a lot of interactive stuff. I talked Margaret into trying her hand (or stick) at the interactive hockey shot on virtual goalie. ThIs consisted of an area approximately 25 feet long by 20 feet wide. The participants stood behind a blue line and were given 5 pucks to shoot at a life size virtual hockey goalie. Male hockey wannabe after wannabe lamented how they "had been robbed" as their pucks clanked off the virtual pole of the goal...ending up with a zero score. Then stepped up #64 with CAVALLI across the back of her teal jersey. She deked and deked again and "SCORED" with her fourth shot...just sneaking the spinning round missile under the glove of virtual goalie. The crowd behind the goal rose as one, arms raised, the roar deafening. Then the "clamoring queen" struck again (inside family joke). We were looking for the gift shop, and we approached a young lady employee who in perfect Canadian asked, "Wayoat?" I understood her to ask, "Are you looking for the way out?" Margaret scrunched up her nose, looked back at the girl and said, "Whale?" The girl, a little annoyed, repeated, "Wayoat?"...to which Margaret again responded incredulously, "Whale???" An intervention was obviously necessary and I said, "She asked, 'Way out?" ROFL...this will provide many yuks for years to come!!!! (Side note to Jen...I typed the word "yuks" and the iPad tried to autocorrect to "yucks"...so there miss smarty pants!!)
As good a run as we were having with the test results and the goal...our fortunes were about to take a turn. Next stop on our itinerary was the CN Tower. The CN Tower ia an 1,815.4 ft concrete communications and observation tower in Downtown Toronto. It .was completed in 1976, becoming the world's tallest free-standing structure and world's tallest tower at the time. It held both records for 34 years until the completion of Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower in 2010. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere. In 1995, the CN Tower was declared one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The CN Tower is right next door to the Rogers Center where the Blue Jays and Toronto Argonauts play. The Blue Jays were in town as we waited in line to pay our $35 to ascend to the tower. After climbing numerous stairs and waiting in line, we were informed by the young lady at the ticket window that there would be a 45 minute wait to see this modern wonder of the world. We decided we had better things to do and more itinerary items on our last day in Toronto. With the purchase of our hop on-/off bus ticket two days earlier there was a 45 minute boat tour of the islands of Lake Ontario. Perfect, since one of the bus stops was right outside the CN Tower and the boat ride was only another three stops. So, Margaret went to the bus while I stood in line at the mobile hot dog stand to get some drinks. I saw Margaret going through her purse...looking slightly annoyed. Long story short, the tickets were nowhere to be found and, try as we may, we could not convince the 18 year old ticket taker that we really had paid $70 for two tickets two days earlier (good for 3 days). No worries, I said in Canadian...let's go to the Harbour Sports Grill, have a beer and watch the end of The British Open...saw the add for the HSG on the map that we got with the bus tickets. So, we hailed a cab for the $12 ride and the cabbie pointed out the sign in the Harbour Mall which said "Harbor Sports Grill". We a lot from the cab and walked the mall...couldn't find the HSG. Margaret finally went into the Sushi place and was informed that "it closed"...hat trick!! We walked across the street to the Westin, had a couple of Stellas, watched highlights of the Open and cabbed back to the Trump for a little R&R before dinner. Dinner was at Epic Restaurant in the Fairmont Hotel. This was a Groupon I found which gave a 4 course dinner ($250 value ) for $99. The dinner was excellent.
Turn down service at the Trump was unlike any other we have experienced. Not only is the bed turned down, robes are placed on the bed, slippers on the floor on a little mat, a bottle of Evian water with a glass on each side...and truffles in their own little trump boxes...with a little soft jazz on the radio. We thought there was an incredible, additional nice touch shortly after we returned from dinner. A Trump employee rang the door bell and when I opened it she handed me a beautiful three partitioned dish with a colorful macaroon in each partition. I thanked her and the Donald profusely, and gave the macaroons to Margaret. She took a bite of one and the "ummm...." described their goodness. Ten minutes later, the doorbell rang again. I opened it to once again to see the smiling Filipino lady who had handed me the macaroons. She said," Sorry, sir, but I forgot to give you the check!!" I informed her that we had not ordered macaroons, assumed they were a parting gift and she was welcome to the two and a half that were left. She left quietly, not to be heard from again.
Tomorrow...the train to Ottawa.