Tuesday, March 29, 2016
I can get a little bit nervous, going places I am unfamiliar with. And when this happens I get a little weird; like, I want to just stay in my hotel and hunker down. Husband encouraged me: no, you're going to go all this way, you HAVE to go to a basketball game. Me: what? basketball? that will cost a fortune. And how would we get there? And what time would it start? And what if I'm too tired?
As I got completely and totally airsick on the plane ride there and ended up taking a handful of Gravel, by the time we did arrive in wet and rainy Toronto I was groggy and in no mood to go anywhere, let alone a sporting event. Not my thing.
But it is the daughter's thing, and I figured fine, since we're here. I'd be the first person to tell someone to just do it, so we got the map on the phone, borrowed umbrellas from the concierge, and walked on over to the stadium? arena? Not sure what it's called: the location of the basketball court. No matter. We got there.
All along I had intended to buy the cheapest seats possible. In fact, I was hoping to spend approximately 30 bucks a piece. As soon as I got to the window I completely abandoned this plan and somehow spent 300 dollars on tickets. This may have been a mistake as the seats came with wait service, which was really nice. The girl next to me was drinking red wine. In a glass. This was much more fun than going to a Rider game, where it's either freezing or too hot and the lines to get a pink lemonade with vodka are 20 minutes long. The game was fun. Intense. Fast. Perfect ambient temperature, fun distractions when they weren't actually playing basketball. Which happens to be pretty much the only sport I can tolerate.
On the way back to the hotel the drizzle had turned into steady rain. My old iPhone was going on about 10 percent battery and the screen wouldn't work because it was wet. We walked around and around, trying to find the hotel we knew was so close yet so far. We walked past the Ritz Carlton, I pointed it out, glamorous in the dark, chandeliers glowing. Women in floor length dresses were getting into limousines, men in tuxes smoking outside. I wondered; was it the Giller Prize? We asked a cabbie to take us to our hotel. He scoffed at us (yes, scoffed) and said, your hotel, it is around the corner.
The next morning we experienced true luxury. We ate our continental breakfast in a beautiful room, each with enough room to spread out our own Globe and Mail. No fighting over sections. Coffee was Americanos, made to order, served by a delightfully interested employee.
And it was the Giller. So close.