After 4 months hard at work I finished up my contract early in the month and finalized my packing to return to Buenos Aires, Argentina to live for 5 months or so. On the way I stopped in Toronto on a 4 day lay over to check out a Chilean visa. While I was there I thought why not see the Hockey Hall of Fame, CN Tower, George Stroumboulopoulos and my first NBA game.
Mid December on my way to Toronto.
I found it incredible that this was my first time visiting Toronto considering I rode a motorbike across Canada in 2005. During that trip I wasn't too interested in visiting cities over 1 million on my bike which meant Toronto would stay virgin to me in 2005.
Fortunately this time I had an opportunity to visit for 4 days while I was checking out a Chilean work visa, so I made the most of it. The best part is through good friends and connections I was lucky enough to land a place to stay. Thanks Tom and of course Neal and the three sisters (Cindy, Sherry, Tracy) who took me in to their nice house in Mississauga. I will definitely need to return for summer and some pool time!
The Hockey Hall of Fame, a must see for any Canadian kid. Full of hockey stuff and neat games/ technology. It was actually very emotional and a I think a place all canadians and hockey fans would appreciate.
Check out the virtual TV control.
|The classic table hockey that I
grew up with.
|All I can say is I needed more of a warm up
|Least favourite player - Bobby Hull
All about the money.
|Old school! 1910 ish
|These were the days when goalies
had more guts than brains.
|Strongest franchise in history
|My favourite team
|And the best player of all time
"The Great One"
|One of many amazing
|There it is, the prize, the
"Stanley Cup" (the display one)
|Going to the elevator
|Heart of Toronto
|Lamb schank and a view of a plane taking off from the Billy
Bishop Airport servicing Toronto islands and the centre
|Sorbet over cranberry crumble
|Looking West along Lake Ontario
|Rogers Centre for Canadian Football
and American |Baseball
|Not a job for me
|And just like Auckland's Sky Tower with a glass for I
was crapping my pants!
|Great pic of the shadow
of the CN Tower thanks
to the waiter.
|Final set arrangement for a 1 on 1 with Steve-O
|George appeasing the fans
First NBA basketball game. Sure it's only the Raptors, but it's still the pros. Sorry Raptors, try not to suck anymore (When I wrote this the Raptors were last in their division even after a 4 game winning streak).
Neal and I decided we would go to the Friday game if I was able to get last minute tickets for a good price from Kijiji (Buy and Sell site in Canada). As you may have read in July for the Slash and Joe Rogan shows this is what I did and once again it worked. I believe the tickets were $180 each normally and we got them for $45 each, but may I remind you there is always a risk when you do this over the internet (you need to trust your fellow man).
We arrived at the Air Canada Centre a touch late due to incredible Friday night traffic on the highway and had to pay a premium for parking ($20!). We made it in to the game for some of the second quarter and went up to the lounge at the half for a beer ($11.25 for 600ml). Cheap tickets, but the rest of the cost will get you. Pro sport games are definitely limited experiences for me due to the cost for a couple hours of entertainment, but worth it once every 35 years, haha.
To top it off The Raptors even won the game against the Dallas Mavericks. Nice.
|Heavy traffic at 7pm going into TO
|Great shot of the football / baseball stadium and CN tower
|Vince Carter the "Old" star for the
Raptors now playing as the enemy
|Damn, that's some high prices!
|Neal and I enjoying the game
A video of what goes on during a commercial break at the NBA game in Toronto. I love the mascot in the video. Just watch it!
|Down in front! Drunk dancy girls
having a lot of fun at the game.
Back to Buenos Aires. Neal dropped me off at the Airport and I checked in for my flight back to Argentina. Before leaving the Canada I bought a couple items that if I didn't use them down South I could easily sell for a small profit due to a high tax system driving the prices up especially in Buenos Aires. Electronics are definitely more expensive and Apple products are so expensive people don't even buy them (Iphone = $1300 USD). One thing I debated buying was an Ipod touch, but since I am not an IAnything user I would have bought it purely to sell so I didn't. Or did I? As I made my way to my gate I walked past a "Bestbuy" vending machine. Unbelievable! It was stocked with all kinds of vending machine size items anywhere between $20 and $500 so I thought I might as well buy an Ipod Touch (exact same price as the mall). With the profit from this sale I hoped to cover my Argentina visa fee so how could I really say no.
Bye, bye Consumer Canada.
|Same price as the store. You do have to pay provincial tax.
|Taxiing on the runway in Santiago
|Over the Andes again, Love it!
Mid December and on I nabbed myself a great little apartment just east of Palermo (the good spot in BA) with everything I needed to get writing a film idea and to practice Spanish. Plus an outside temp of 30 C so life was good in December.
Nice stylish apartment I got through a friend I made last time I was in BA.
Side Story. My best friend's brother, Kevin, wife Gaby (Argentina) and kids visit his mother-in-law every Christmas. They invited me out to Pilar (a relaxed suburb of BA) where Graciela lives in a closed community (24 hour security gates, very common in Latin America) for a visit, a swim in the nice pool and lots of food. Good fun and great relief from the 30+ C.
When you got a bike some times people want a ride. On this day I had my youngest passenger ever and my oldest passenger ever! The age range was from 7 to 80!
|Paulina and Del
|Sister / Aunt Sole
|Great Aunt Susy
|Fun in the pool
Second Side Story. My flight buddy from TO to Santiago was a French Canadian guy, Pascal, who was touring Chile and Argentina for 3 weeks so I invited him to meet up in BA which he and his buddy, JP, did a couple of times. I'm always happy to meet up with adventurers and lord knows there are a lot of French Canadian touring the planet who are always up for fun.
Surrounded with fireworks at the up-scale community of Puerto Madero on NYE.
|JP and Pascal
Interesting moments in BA ...
|Now that's a tight BBQ (parrilla) set up
|My grandma's family in Argentina
|Finally some new bills
|I'm no expert, but that's tight parking
|"I'd like to thank my seamstress
who always makes me look good". Looks
like she's got a bit of a backlog.
|Security tagging on a top
shelf bottle of wine at the
supermarket. $12 USD
Plane taking off from Billy Bishop Airport as seen from the CN Tower
|Union Station Toronto
Have a listen!