Okay, well maybe not... I've been in Toronto since Tuesday afternoon and I haven't yet stopped for Timbits and coffee-- for shame! I have, however, been to The Keg for a nice juicy steak and a couple pints of Caffreys Irish Ale. For the uninitiated, Caffreys is mana from heaven in the form of beer and it's next to impossible to find it in the USA. So, whenever I'm north of the border, I make it a point to seek out a local watering hole which serves this divine Nectar of the Gods. I've found such establishments now, in both Toronto (the aforementioned Kegs Steakhouse chain) and in Ottawa (I forget the name of the place but it's on the corner of Elgin and Cooper-- ink, maybe you can help me out here?)
At any rate this trip has been a very productive and enjoyable one. I love how these business trips really recharge my batteries and my overall enjoyment of my job. I also managed to win over ALL of the Canadian store managers (I'd done so with some of them at last year's regional meeting, but I knocked one out of the park this year). We had an informal (see also "open bar") mixer type thing on Wednesday night. I showed up wearing a Team Canada hockey jersey and hat, and took each and every opportunity I could to make fun of American beer (c'mon, it's such an easy target. We Americans have plenty to be proud of, but our beer is NOWHERE to be found on that list). Since it was a business related function, I did keep things in check but I still enjoyed a few Blue Lights (they didn't have regular Blue) and a couple of Molson Exports (which are preferable to the aforementioned Blue Lights. Incidentally that sounds like a beer you'd find at K-Mart). I was, however, disappointed at the lack of Rickard's and Moosehead which are truly the creme de la creme of Canadian beer.
Today there were a couple of interesting occurences of note that I thought I'd share. Tuesday through yesterday I spent most of my time at the hotel-- didn't venture out in the rental much. Today I had to drive over to Peterborough to visit some of the stores I buy for. On the way back to Toronto I stopped for some Mountain Dew because I was starting to feel a bit fatigued and noticed a sign on a fence advertising honeymoon suites at the Peterborough Comfort Inn. Okay let's rewind here... "Peterborough, Ontario" and "Honeymoon Suites" are two things that you don't generally think of being in the same sentence. Don't get me wrong, Peterborough was a nice enough place, it was unoffensive enough... but it was PETERBOROUGH. You don't go there for a honeymoon. You go there to catch a Petes/Generals game if you happen to be a big fan of Junior Hockey.
"Sweetie, where do you want to go for your honeymoon?"
"I was thinking the Caribbean, but now that you mention it, I've got a real jones to go to Peterborough."
I mean the only way I'd ever have even thought of going to Peterborough for a honeymoon would be if I had two choices and the other choice was something like Altoona, PA; Newark, NJ; or even worse... Detroit (I take back that last one, at least in Detroit I could catch a Wings game).
And the other incident du jour... and I'm looking for XX chromosone feedback on this one (although if you only happen to have one X and your other chromosone happens to be a Y, that doesn't necesarily preclude you from offering feedback)... So I was at the Keg, alone-- yes eating solo. This either comes across as sad and pathetic or as incredibly self-assured (depending on how you look at it). I didn't feel sad and pathetic and I hope that in not feeling sad and pathetic eating at a nice restaurant alone, I instead came across as being self-assured (and I'm pretty sure I did as you're about to see...). So, anyway, I was eating alone and enjoying my Caffreys and steak (oh and Escargots) and I noticed at a nearby table were 2 guys and 3 girls. The two guys got up and left and the 3 girls stayed for about 10 more minutes. The 3 of them then got up, 2 of them walked away and the 3rd walked over, sat down next to me and asked me what my name was and what I do for a living. I politely answered and she said that she and her friends have this weird game where they try to guess people's names. She then thanked me for my time and mentioned that she'd noticed my wedding ring-- which, unless she'd been hitting on me up to that point seemed incredibly non sequitir... But on the flip side, being a bit of a people watcher myself, her story about her friends' game didn't seem too unusual to me. So-- I'm putting this out there ladies & gents... was I being hit on? I'm a clueless male here. Is the lady's story plausible? If she WASN'T hitting on me why would she bring up my wedding ring in such a non sequitir manner? Discuss amongst yourselves...