Monday, July 14, 2014

A Trip to Toronto: Part 2 - 08/07/14

So now I get to tell you about all the fun parts of my recent day trip to Toronto to visit two of my friends from high school. Let's get to it!

A couple street car rides and a short walk later, the three of us arrived at my heaven on earth - a board game cafe! I walked in completely in awe, taking in the comfortable seating, the long table close to the window and the wall lined with pretty much every board game I could think of, from Monopoly to Pandemic, from Power Grid (and an expansion pack I did not know existed) to Hanabi. Unfortunately they didn't have a copy of Betrayal at the House on the Hill, which is a game I've been hoping to play for a while now. Hopefully I'll get the chance by the end of this month, but that's a story for a snail mail-related post ;)

At the cafe we were soon met up by three of Alex's friends, and we started off with something simple and fun, that being Cards Against Humanity. I'm surprised that this game could still be fun to play in a public place in the middle of the day, but we played for quite a while and we had a blast. After we got tired of playing that, we tried out a game called Snake Oil, which is a game you have to be outgoing to play, mainly because of the fact that you're trying to sell outright silliness. You use two cards - "snake" and "oil", "blood" and "umbrella", "shell" and "socks" - to try and sell a miracle product to a specific type of person, like a vampire or a castaway or a babysitter. We came up with the most ridiculous stuff, it was a lot of fun.

Once we were done with that we decided we'd go back to Alex and Kelvin's place to play another board game without having to pay an hourly fee. On the way out, however, I spotted a card game that I'd recently heard about the night before in the FGB Cons At Home: Tabletop hangout, called Gloom. so I bought it when I went to the back to pay for my time, the waffle I ordered and a glass of Fanta.
We passed by this place as we were walking - we didn't go in, but I kind of wish we did XD
After that our group split up for a bit - Alex and a guy only known as "No Socks" went off to grab a bite, Alex's friends went off to a Korean BBQ place, and Kelvin and I headed off to grab some more Roulette Doritos that he introduced me to earlier at his and Alex's place, and then to hang out at the apartment and wait for everyone else to join us for a game of Munchkin.

Eventually we made it back to the apartment building - it amazes me how much walking you can do in Toronto, and yet you've barely covered an inch of it on a map! Pretty sure we could have made it mostly across Welland with the distance from Castle to where Alex and Kelvin are staying. Luckily I love walking, so if I do get the chance to move to Toronto for a few months, I definitely won't be put out. 
My friend Kelvin checking out the afternoon view from the balcony. Apparently they cut into the screen over the balcony on purpose. Didn't exactly help my nerves, or my fear of heights.
Once we got back to the apartment - and I sufficiently burned my mouth off the first few Roulette Doritos I decided to pop into my mouth - I happened to ask Kelvin what two of the doors went to that I hadn't seen used since I got there. One was a door to a second bedroom, and one went out to a balcony.

The light hitting the buildings as the sun was going down took my breath away. People can easily call most big cities dirty, like Toronto, because of graffiti and the usual examples of street grime, but when you've got a glorious Toronto sunset to look at from a balcony on the 21st floor, it's hard to think of things like that. I snapped up a few other photos as well, feel free to take a look.
After that it took a while, but soon everyone from the cafe arrived back at the apartment, and we put together a game of Munchkin. It was too dark to get a good picture, but I wish I had because for the short time that we did play we attempted to play with two expansion packs, Zombies & something about Cthulhu, I can't completely remember. It was rather interesting, to say the least. One of Alex's friends had a curfew though, and the rest of the group minus No Socks left with her. I was watching the time rather carefully myself, because I knew I had to catch the last bus back to St. Catharines or I'd be screwed. Luckily I managed to keep a good eye on the clock, and Alex headed out with he to bring me back to the bus terminal.

He happened to mention something as we were waiting in line for my bus to stop loading. It was his belief that I was the one who helped him become part of our group that hung out together at school. In fact he even quoted me regarded something I said sometime before prom. My mother had told me when I was in 10th grade that when my senior prom came around, she would gladly pay for a limo to take me, and the friends I've had since 9th grade, from our house to the hall where prom would be held. Alex didn't come to our high school until grade 12, but he was in our English class, and it didn't take long for him to become one of my friends. Apparently when I relayed this information my mother had given me to my friends, Alex pointed out that I didn't know him in 9th grade, and I said to him, "Well, yeah, but you're one of us now!"

While knowing this, he felt bad that we had lost touch over the past couple of years, and he wanted to right that wrong, which was why he had invited me to hang out for the day and why he hoped we could keep in touch and hang out more when neither of us are busy. It was really nice of him to say that, and for him to say that and think that I was the reason that he is friends with the people from high school that he still knows today . . . I'm not sure if all of that's true, but it's nice to think I have a friend that holds me in that high of a regard. I'm glad I have the friends I have, and I'm glad that he allowed me to enjoy a day in the city with him :) I hope there will be many more in my future.
Here's a look at my "haul" from my day in Toronto - an on-sale copy of the second volume of Fables from The Silver Snail, a copy of the card game Gloom from Castle Board Game Cafe, and a bag of randomly-spicy Roulette Doritos.
That's it for this day trip! Here's hoping I'll get to walk the streets of Toronto with new and old friends again very soon. Until then, you'll be kept posted.

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