Tuesday, May 29, 2018


We are just hanging out in Toronto - it’s way too hot for me (36C/92F with humidity) and Janet does not have air conditioning. Our flight to Dublin is this afternoon at 5 pm and it is much cooler in Ireland - the forecast is showing 17 to 20C (62-68F) for the whole time which is just fine for me. Apparently one does not go to Ireland for the weather but it works for me!
the bad wheels
I left Thunder Bay on Sunday afternoon, with my bargain, hard side, spinner, wheelie suitcase, weighing in at 40 lb.  Arriving in Toronto, I had to find a place to purchase a TTC token to get on the bus to get to Janet’s. This part, getting myself to Janet’s on my own, using public transit, is my personal litmus test for the practicalities for our trip. I need to be able to manage everything on my own. Of course, it’s been a year since I did this and things have changed. After getting my luggage and trundling up and down a few times, I found someone to ask and was informed that there was a machine that dispensed them now and it should be back that way on the left. I went back, couldn’t find it, asked again. Again directed the other way. Finally spotted two tiny red kiosks with a small little TTC symbol on the side. Spent 10 minutes pressing buttons on alternate machines before I decided they were both non operational. Gave up, went outside to try and bluff my way. I found the proper pillar to get the bus I wanted, having googled the directions beforehand. Of course, there was construction and after asking another bus driver where to get #52 and if I could just pay cash (yes but they do not give change, hence the need for a token) I moved down to the next pillar. That bus driver looked at my ten dollar bill and said that's too much, just get in and never mind. I thought it must have been my curly hair and nice smile! On the bus, rode for about an hour, got off at Lawrence West where Janet was to meet me at an hour and a half after my flight arrived - I do not have a cell phone so this is old-school and why I was maybe getting a little flustered with the delay in the token-search.  Turned out it was perfect timing. Janet was there and we then went downstairs to catch the subway, going one stop to the nearest to her door. Lift the bag up a hefty flight of stairs to street level, drag it a block or so.  Needless to say, I was worn out and already cursing the virtually useless wheels on this bag.  At this point I’ll pay anything for another bag that actually wheels! 
That night, we had a nice little Maher family, Toronto-based, get together - brother Patrick and his wife Irm, nephew David and his wife Cathy,  Janet and I, with Janet having made ribs, risotto and veggies with affogato for dessert,  an at-home dinner.  It was a nice evening and good to catch up with everyone.
Next morning we went downtown for Janet to pick up euros so we would have some cash.  Wouldn’t you know my luck, there was a shoe store almost next door and I scored a pair of the coolest sneakers! They feel like slippers (a good thing) but they kinda look like oven mitts - they’re grey/silver and I couldn’t resist because it means I can delete two pairs  of others from my current 40-pound status. I later found out they light up like a hologram in the sunlight!
We had another stop to make and found Winners nearby and realized they have luggage! Oh man, I’m so happy! I got a Heys bag the exact size I originally wanted,  (24 x 16 x 10 with the expander feature) matching that cute little sky/clouds one I’d left at home and for under a hundred bucks! I know it has great wheels and will do the job no matter how heavy I pack it! And it's much nicer inside with a couple of zippered pouches. After paying, we toss our current purchases inside, remove the tags and wheel to the bus stop! It was so cute - we went into the subway, me with my bag, and a really nice man came over and offered to carry my suitcase down the stairs. I laughed, raised it up one-handed and said, it’s empty but thanks anyway! He chuckled and said have a great trip! Back at Janet’s, I transferred everything to the new bag and Janet took it down to the trash area in her building. She stopped off to check the mail and when going back to the elevator, spotted a person happily wheeling that bad bag to its new home!

The moral of the story, don’t cheap out on luggage unless you are bringing a strong, good-looking porter with you all the way!

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