Monday, July 14th, 2008

There was no easily visible clock in the guest room I was staying in, so I just slept and slept until I woke up. When I finally got up and spotted the clock, I saw that I had slept for 10 hours! My initial reaction was to be irked with Kevin for letting me waste most of the morning, but really, I felt a lot better so I'm sure it was better that I was able to sleep. I got up, got showered, got dressed and made it all the way to the basement before I found anyone else in the house!

We didn't have much of a plan for the day, so we were just gonna go with the flow and do whatever. We had talked about spending the day in Toronto, but there wasn't much there that I really wanted to do, so we just decided to hang around near Kevin's house. I was hungry since I hadn't eaten much dinner the night before, so we headed out, with our first stop being for sushi at Aji Sai in Barrie.


I really enjoyed the concept of eating at Aji Sai. They give you a menu, and you can get whatever you want, and however much of it you want, but if you don't eat it all, they charge you extra for what you don't eat. They had tons of different types of sushi, as well as soups, salads, fried meats, rices, noodles and ice creams. We got some salmon, egg and crab nigiri, and a roll with three different types of fish. I had some chicken katsu, some eel rice and some udon soup, and Kevin had some spring rolls and some wontons. To end, we got some green tea and red bean ice creams. I though the green tea was weird, but the red bean was great, and I finished it all. I really loved this favorite thing was the chicken katsu, even if Kevin said it was "just fried chicken" hehe

Leaving lunch, not surprisingly Kevin spotted some more people he knew. After exchanging pleasantries, we headed off to visit a Costco-type store. We immediately beelined for the candy section, where I promptly grabbed a case of Mr. Big bars. Mr. Big bars are super awesome, but I can't get them in the states (except at Epcot, where they are like $3.50 a piece!!). I also got a large tub of sour gummy worms and three packs of Kinder Surprise eggs. After goofing off a little more in the store, Kevin grabbed a few things and we checked out.

Since I was completely out of Canadian cash, I stopped at a nearby ATM, then we made a stop at the nearby Value Village. Again, I found most of their stuff to be a little overpriced. I did manage to find a cool green Guinness shirt that only cost a few bucks, but that was the only thing I got.

Kevin enjoys some dill pickle flavored Pringles. They should sell these in the US.

After Value Village, I said that I wanted to go to Dollarama, which was a favorite stop of mine on every prior Orillia trip! This is a great dollar store, and I ended up buying $13 worth of stuff, including some candy bars, some plastic containers and this adorable little picture holder clip with two rubber ducks swimming around inside it. Kevin got some snazzy sunglasses, but I couldn't find any that I liked enough to buy them.

We weren't sure what to do next, so I suggested stopping by Casinorama so I could check it out. Since we didn't have anything else to do, Kevin agreed and we headed that way.

Casinorama kind of reminded me of Wilderness Lodge, only with a little more tribal influence to it. It was lovely inside, with large chandeliers, plush seating areas and even a little round theater with screens and fiber optic lights. We went inside the gaming area and wandered around for a while before ultimately deciding to stop at a video poker game. I promptly lost $20...oh well. Kevin also played a slot machine and lost $20 as well.

When we were done, it was getting close to dinner time, so we headed off to Webers.

Weber's owns the only privately owned bridge that runs over a highway in Ontario

During my last semester of college, I had a project to design a tourism brochure for a city of my choosing. Since my professor was from Toronto, I decided to pick Orillia, and Weber's was one of the places I talked about in my brochure. Kevin said that Webers is insanely popular with all the people who have weekend and summer homes in Muskoka, and plenty of people eat there regularly when they pass by.

Weber's doesn't have a huge menu, but what they do have is grilled and prepped right in front of you. They were quite efficient with getting the food out quickly, and it was fairly busy when we were there (though Kevin says that sometimes the line extends out the door and across the bridge, so I guess I should consider that it wasn't busy at all!)

We both got burgers and fries...mine with extra pickles. The fries had seasoned salt on them and were very tasty. I try not to eat too much fried food now, so having fries three days in a row was very out of the ordinary for me.

After dinner, we went back to Kevin's house and I got all my purchases packed into my backpack. I decided to hang around a little bit longer so I wouldn't get to my Buffalo hotel until later, so we were stuck with a few more hours with nothing to do. I asked Kevin what he would normally be doing if I wasn't there, and he said geocaching, so we decided to go find a new nearby cache.

Me, in the great Canadian wilderness (at least that's what it looks like)

Kevin said that he thought the entrance was next to a little playground, which we both agreed would be a kind of strange place to have random adults snooping around. But luckily, once we got there, the GPS led us well off into the woods away from the playground. There was a cute little bobblehead moose inside the cache, so I left an American dollar (it was all I had that I was willing to part with) and I took the moose for my desk at work. After leaving the woods, Kevin said that he wanted to stop by the nearby Future Shop to check out cameras.

Kevin tries to decide which camera he will attempt to not ruin next

After he was done, we went back to his house and just hung out for a little bit longer until it was time for me to go. I ended up leaving at about 9:00pm, and arrived at my awful Niagara Falls, NY hotel just before midnight. I won't go into details about this hotel because, honestly, it would take a million years to type out. Long story short is that Priceline stranded me without a room for the night. So after arguing with them on the phone for almost an hour, I decided to go to the Seneca Niagara Casino because I knew it would be open.

Ohhh...pretty! Three casinos in four days...not bad.

I wandered around the casino for a while, and played some nickel slots to make the time go by. Eventually I went and laid down in the front seat of my car and slept for about an hour. When I woke up, I got my GPS to direct me to the airport...but it sent me to the wrong airport!! Another long story short is that I missed my original flight that morning because of it, and had to be put on a later flight. Everything ended up being fine though since I was still able to get back to work on time (albeit with only one hour of sleep that night!).

Aside from the last few hours of the trip, I had an awesome time. I love hanging out with Kevin, and I love the Niagara Falls area. It's just so kitschy fun that I always want to go back! Canada's Wonderland is ok, though I would have enjoyed it more had I felt better when I was there. And any trip that includes Swiss Chalet garlic cheese loaf is a wonderful trip!

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