Canadian Roadtrip

The SVG Working Group met in Ottawa for the SVG 1.2 Tiny Test Fest this week, which went very well.  The Test Fest was sponsored by BitFlash at the Brookline Hotel, which is where the Bilderberg Group met last time I was up here.

With airlines prices being what they are, and anticipating having to rent a car, I decided to drive up instead of flying.  I actually looked into train tickets, but was sorely disappointed… it would have taken 2 days, required finding a hotel room in NYC, and booking a connecting train in Canada, and it would still have been the same price as a flight.  Apparently, Amtrak is not only not ramping up their service to meet what you would think is a growing demand for cheap, eco-friendly travel… they are actually removing passenger lines, because the freight industry controls the rails. What a pity… I would like to have taken a train.

As it turned out, though the drive was long (about 13 hours), I didn’t really mind it.  I kind of enjoy road trips.  I loaded my iPod with podcasts and audiobooks; I loved the podcasts so much, I haven’t even gotten to the audiobooks yet.  This is the first time I’ve ever listened to a podcast, and I am definitely going to subscribe to some feeds (I know, I’m behind the times, but I work from home and normally just listen to NPR or music while I’m driving).  The changing leaves were beautiful, too.

On the way back down, I decided to detour to Niagara Falls.  The only other time I was in this area, as I was roadtripping across the States with a friend (on my way to move from Missouri to North Carolina by a very circuitous route), she didn’t want to go to the Falls, and I’ve been wanting to go ever since.  So, I figured, hey, since I’m in the area… But we worked pretty late last night, so I ended up leaving the hotel just before midnight… I was pretty drowsy about half the way to Niagara Falls, so I pulled over and slept in my car in a rest area.  But that gave me a chance to see a bit of Toronto by day;  I detoured from my detour to see the CN Tower and Kensington Market in Toronto, which seems like a nice city… it’s one of the few major Canadian cities I’d never been to before, so I’m glad I did it.

In Niagara Falls, I did the normal tourist thing, strolling along the walkway above the falls, snapping pictures, and taking the Maid of the Mist boat tour that takes you into the deluge under the falls.  I got soaked, naturally, and the roar was deafening. It was pretty fun.  The falls –American Falls and Horseshoe Falls– are pretty impressive, with the rainbows and towering mist and translucent water rushing over the edge.

So, off to dinner, then I’m hitting the road again back home to North Carolina.