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Monday, May 2, 2016

Cavorting in Canada

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cavort: 1. To prance or caper about. 2. To behave in a high-spirited, festive manner; make merry.

Canada: 1. The Great White North. 2. The producer of Alanis Morisette, Steve Nash, Thousand Foot Krutch and the like. 3. A great destination.

Put them together and it makes for a fun four-day weekend. For the record, there was more high spirited behavior than there was prancing and capering (unless dancing to The Roots counts as the latter.)

Some may ask, "Why go to Canada during the July 4th weekend? Isn't that a bit un-American?"

In reality, Canada is a part of America, too, though we don't always claim them and one needs a passport, and endure about an hour-long wait at customs, to go there. Furthermore, Canada turned 141 years old on Friday, three days before the United States' celebrated 235 years. So, taking off for Toronto on Thursday and returning from Niagara Falls on Sunday allowed for the celebration of two national birthdays in four days.

A lot was packed into those four days.

Thanks to Eastern Standard Time and the long line at customs, in addition to too many stops along the way, Toronto was not reached until 1:30 a.m. Friday. Despite the busy day ahead, we still found the energy to visit an all-night eatery called Fran's. Having been introduced to putein by a Canadian roommate, I just had to try to French fry, gravy and cheese concoction in its homeland. It didn't disappoint.

After a few hours of rest, we were off to the Toronto Jazz Festival to pick up tickets for the night's Roots concert. While there, we enjoyed a few songs with the Heavyweights Brass Band, singing "Oh Canada" and asking "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

With tickets in hand, we headed to Rogers Centre to enjoy $10 foot-long hot dogs covered in beans and cheese. Oh yeah, and there was the game. It was literally as exciting as a baseball game can get, with two home runs blasted by the home team. Unfortunately, they couldn't deliver a win for their country's birthday.

Chilling on the roof of Wayne Gretzky's Bar somehow made the loss a bit more bearable.

Though we missed reservations for 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower, my cousin, Justin, and I showed up anyway. Thankfully, we got a table and were able to rotate our way around the Toronto skyline. The sun wasn't quite set when we left for the next event, but it was still quite the picturesque setting.

We hustled to Metro Square for The Roots. For those who have never heard of the Roots, think of a groovy mix of rap, soul, R & B, a little bit of rock and, of course, jazz. These guys were high energy and got everyone moving. Unfortunately all the screams and shouts in the venue could not earn the crowd an encore. Nonetheless, they left everything out on that stage.

Saturday brought our trip to Niagara Falls. Our 19th story hotel room gave us quite the view of a portion of the falls, but the up-close-and-personal version was much better. A constant mist in the air made the hot and humid day bearable. Watching blueish, green water crash into a white oblivion is an amazing phenomenon.

It was a fitting way to conclude our trip, which was very refreshing, overall.

It truly was relaxing to escape from the craziness of life for a while.

The best part?

On vacation, there are no politics.

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Gabe Licht
Junior Moments