The following is taken from my journal entry of
Saturday, June 24, 2006
I got out of bed at 7:30 or so. Barb was startled awake at 2 a.m. when someone returned to the B&B and was apparently arguing with someone else. Barb also heard glass breaking outside and imagined that someone was breaking into our car. It did not happen. After showering and dressing, we made our way downstairs and went to the dining room. We were obviously the only straight people in the place. Six lesbians congregated on the patio. Two gay males came inside after we seated ourselves. One was a hand surgeon from Winnipeg and the other was from Alberta but I’m not sure what his profession was. John was cooking breakfast. He apparently works for (or is partners with) our host, Geoffrey Pimblett. John is a charming fellow, and gets along easily with the guests. The hand surgeon, a boyish fellow, talked with us quite a bit. Barb asked if he liked to tinker with clocks as a boy. He said he didn’t understand mechanical things, but the workings of the hand came easily to him. Another fellow came to the table. He was from England, and talked about fund raising as a line of work. John cooked breakfast to order. I had scrambled eggs, toast, sausages, bacon. Barb had the same. We did not see Geoffrey during breakfast. John asked if we planned to attend the Gay Pride parade on Sunday. I didn’t even know it was going to take place while we were in Toronto. I told him we would definitely like to see it. The last time we were in Toronto, the parade had already taken place. After eating, and after talking to some of the other guests about walking to town and how long it took, I felt rejuvenated. We could walk and wouldn’t have to worry about researching the bus and train routes. We left the B&B at 10:30 am and walked to the Eaton Centre Mall. It is huge, with 3 or 4 floors of shops. We walked around and killed time before heading to the Princess of Wales Theatre. We sat in our seats at about 15 minutes before show time. Our seats were in Row A of the top balcony, center, seats 31 & 32. I thought they would be good seats, and they would have been had the view not been diminished by the hand rail that was at eye level. Not only that, but a vertical support for the handrail was in direct line with center stage. But we were able to adjust to the handicap. The Lord of the Rings was very well done and very powerful. A memorable scene was Gandalf’s encounter with the Balrog to end Act 1. Bright lights, an evil beast, extremely loud sound effects, and a high wind blowing black confetti into the audience made a suitable ending to the act. The lady to my left looked at me when the scene ended. “Now that was exciting,” I said. She nodded in agreement. Barb went to the washroom during the intermission. I asked the lady next to me and her husband if they lived in Toronto. They do not, although they used to. She asked me where we live, and told her that she probably had never heard of Warsaw, Indiana. “Oh yes I have,” she said. “I like to visit Shipshewana.” Amazing. She also said that she lives in St. Catharines and works at a small winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. The show was a great success with us. It followed the book more closely than the movie did. It started at 1 p.m. and ended at 4:30. I found myself choking up from time to time with emotion. We walked back to the B&B after the show, talking about it along the way. At the B&B, Barb called Gisela and told her that the parking lot here would not accommodate another car. So we made arrangements to meet at the Town Grille, and did so. Barb and I walked from the B&B. We stood outside the restaurant waiting for Alain & Gisela to show up. Alain came from inside the restaurant and said they had just arrived. I greeted Alain with a handshake and Gisela with a hug. Barb gave Gisela the gift box containing the wine glasses from Warsaw. Gisela was very appreciative. We shared a bottle of red wine (Barb, Alain, and I) and Gisela had a glass of white wine. I remembered Alain well when I saw him at last. He is a very pleasant and friendly fellow. Gisela looked very well and happy. We talked incessantly about children, grandchildren, colleges, education, plays, The Lord of the Rings (Gisela saw it with her daughter), restaurants, Sande Ptacek (Gisela and Alain have not seen or heard from her since the last night we all spent with her at the Carbonnel), memories of our stays with Sande, and memories of various B&B’s where we’ve stayed. Alain and Gisela talked to the waitress about the change of décor, which was done by a TV show called “Makeover” or something like that. I’m not sure if it’s the show we see in the US or if it’s strictly a Canadian thing. We had delicious salads (mine was asparagus on vegetable things covered with a poached egg and Barb’s was mushroom something). Barb had scallops for the main course. I had sirloin and fries. Alain ordered the wine. He also paid for the meal. I was not prepared to argue about it, and would have deferred to him at any rate. After Alain, Barb, and I finished our bottle of wine, Alain ordered a new glass of Shiraz for himself and for me. Barb did not care for another. After the meal, I felt like I should have insisted on paying for our part of it, but decided that we will reciprocate someday. We lingered over coffee until nearly 10 pm. We parted company with Gisela and Alain on the sidewalk outside the Town Grille. Handshakes and hugs. Barb and I walked back to the B&B. Some young guys were leaving. They seem to have been guests of Geoffrey. We spoke with him when we entered the front door. We opened a bottle of Reif Cabernet Merlot. I worked on my journal. Geoffrey has a wireless Internet network (I discovered it on my laptop) but I haven’t asked if I could use it. We see street people when we walk the streets in Toronto. Occasionally, someone will ask us for money. I always decline. Today we saw a sidewalk artist (using chalk) and a young woman singing opera on a street corner. We also saw a couple of guys playing guitars. All had cups awaiting donations. I didn’t throw anything into them, but might do so sometime.