A little less than a week ago, I set off from my home in Tucson, Arizona to spend about six weeks outside of London, Ontario. Before and after my five-week W.W.O.O.F. volunteer program, I will be spending a few days with my boyfriend Colin and his family.
Thursday, 28 May: I usually fly into Detroit, Michigan and take a shuttle into London, but this time, I flew into Toronto and took the same shuttle service into London. I got into London at about 9:00 PM, where Colin and I had dinner before heading back to his house in Zurich, Ontario. After a long day of traveling, it’s an understatement to say I was ready for bed as soon as we got there.
Friday, 29 May: We visited Colin’s work in Exeter, where I met a few of his coworkers. For the rest of the day, we just chilled at home and watched Better Call Saul among a few other shows while enjoying some local pizza.
Saturday, 30 May: We met up with Colin’s friend, Max, at a bar in Exeter for the Western Conference finals (go, Blackhawks!).
Sunday, 31 May: Colin’s friend, Scott, picked us up and the three of us into London for a night of bowling and mini golf. Although I lost at both, it was a good time had by all.
Monday, 1 June: For the first time all week, it was (mostly) sunny, so we took advantage of the lovely weather and went down to the beach in Grand Bend and later took a walk in Exeter.
The next day, Colin dropped me off at the farm and I participated in a five-week volunteer opportunity, you can read about it here.
Sunday, 5 July: Colin had to work all morning, so I hung around the house, worked on this blog and some travel plans and catered to his sick 11-year-old brother, Kurtis. I also started using a free language-learning app called DuoLingo. I’m hoping to learn a few European languages (at least, the basics) and brush up on my Spanish before I travel abroad. As it turns out, I remembered a lot more than I thought I did.
Monday, 6 July: In the morning, Colin and I rented a jet ski in Grand Bend. We rented it for half an hour and rode tandem. It was great fun! We took turns driving and although we fell off once while I was doing some donuts, we reached speeds of 75 kilometers per hour (about 47 miles per hour) on the lake. After that, we went to London for a busy afternoon of lunch (and beer for me) at Beertown and bowling and ice cream with Clare.
Tuesday, 7 July: It rained more or less all day, but that didn’t affect us as we had no plans anyway. We had a relaxing day of watching movies, playing Mario Kart, board games and charades and other easy-going activities.
Wednesday, 8 July: We had another relaxing afternoon of movies, then in the evening we went over to Colin’s coworker’s house in Exeter for a cookout.
Thursday, 9 July: While we were away last night, Colin’s parents picked up his sister, Kaitlynn, after living in Australia for the past year. They got back early in the morning, so I didn’t see her until the afternoon. We didn’t do much before the four of us (Colin, his parents and myself) hit the road at noon. As a Christmas present, I bought Colin and I tickets to see his favorite band, Foo Fighters, in Toronto. We got to the city just in time to eat and queue up to enter the venue. Although our seats were in the furthest section (the lawn), it was general admission, so we got the best seats in that section (quite literally, we brought our own lawn chairs). Shortly before the opening band, I noticed some employees handing out V.I.P. passes. I was told they hand them out randomly, but when I saw they were getting low, I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask. I got passes for Colin and I, however, it didn’t include a backstage experience like I anticipated, but rather two free beers. The opening band was one I am familiar with; an up-and-coming English band, Royal Blood. Foo Fighters put on an excellent show. The lead singer, Dave Grohl (who also drummed in a little band called Nirvana), broke his leg about two weeks ago, forcing them to cancel their European tour. However, he designed a throne for himself to play in and to keep his leg elevated. It was quite the display. Despite being in a chair, they rocked. They played for about two and a half hours and during that time, they let someone from the audience play the drums, covered a few songs including “Under Pressure,” jammed a bit and made us all laugh. I’d say we definitely got our money’s worth. After a frustrating drive through venue traffic and confusing airport avenues, I was dropped off at the Toronto airport after the show. This was the most practical itinerary; fly out of Toronto rather than Michigan (where I usually fly out of), to spend a few hours in the airport and take a morning flight back home. Colin and I had a tearful goodbye, but I know I will be with him again before I know it.
Photo by Tim Gouw.