Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Yesterday, a lovely Dutch woman greeted me in her native language at breakfast. Today, I try to repeat it and I mangle it badly. The man next to her smiles and repeats it. I do better the second try. He invites me to join them. I do! They are brother and sister, in for their older brother’s 50th wedding anniversary. They show me a photo of a happy group and we share family stories.
WelcomINNS is a simple, clean hotel that has a simple breakfast. The difference from the average American hotel that has complimentary breakfast is the way guests are treated. There are bright white tablecloths, silverware, ceramic mugs, juice glasses and trays to carry everything. The petite blonde who maintains the dining room greets everyone with, “Bonjour!” and a sunny smile. She hums as she bustles about stocking foods and condiments and cleaning off tables. A co-worker pops in to get a muffin and stays to help her re-stock some supplies, cheerfully chatting away in French. You can tell this hotel has great team chemistry!
Our sweet daughter has been calling us throughout the trip to see how we are doing. It is good to hear her voice.
I do not do well connecting with tweeters on this trip. @AnnTran_ , @earthxplorer @DanielHebert, all a miss! They agreed to meet with me, but it always depends on schedules. Ann Tran had just returned from hosting a tweet-up in Maui, Hawaii. She hosted a tweet-up in Washington, D.C., her home base, that Thursday. I had planned to attend, but we were still in Virginia. Then, she was playing catch-up when I was free. She tweeted me later to see how I was doing. What a lovely person! She has over 350,000 followers and still makes time to connect one-on-one. J.D. Andrews, was exploring the earth in Paris when I came to Miami, but took time to wish me safe travels. Daniel Hebert was coming back home to Kingston, Ontario but I couldn’t be sure when we’d be going through that day. Oh, well … there’s a reason for everything that happens and I accept that.
Everyone’s back from their Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, so it’s harder to find a parking space. We ask for directions to a tunnel entrance and a kind woman walks us to the nearest one! It’s a BIG underground system and we go to the area with lots of shopping. (Most of the businesses provide services for the downtown workers: eateries, cleaners, convenience stores, shoe repair, etc.)
Eureka! After looking for the past two years, I find my winter jacket! Most quilted jackets make me look like the Michelin Man – puffy. Or, they are short ones. I want one that gives a little more coverage. This one does that. It’s on sale and its slim-fit sillouette doesn’t make me look like a marshmallow. Happy, happy!
We enter the Biodome. It reminds me of Galveston’s Moody Gardens. The dome houses everything, whereas Moody Gardens’ three pyramids are separate buildings.
The five ecosystems represented in the Biodome are rich in animal life and flora & fauna.
We’re too old for the kids’ activities, so we make our own!
Tour the Biodome with us!
Tonight we lay our heads in Toronto. We’ll be based at the Delta the next three nights. It’s near the Markham Chinatown and is a former Radisson. It could use some updating, but right off the bat, I love it here – there’s a big view of the city lights, recycle trash bins, soft beds with fluffy pillow tops and a separate switch for the bathroom fan!