Ottawa to Toronto - 9/22/07
This was day six of my east coast Rush tour
This morning, while Ray slept in, Monica and I got up and ate a continental breakfast at the Country Inn Suites. Practically everyone in the room had been at the Rush show the night before, including a family with two young girls, whom I'd seen at the show. I thought about how much easier it was to attend a show without your kids.
When we went back upstairs, Ray was already up. Now, it must be said that before we went on this trip Monica told me that Ray was the best snorer she or her husband Steve had ever heard (enough to drive Steve to sleep in the bathtub on one trip). So, I knew I had some serious competition. But then Ray told me, "Andy, you had a gold medal performance last night." I'm not sure if that's an award that I want, but it's always nice to be recognized by one of the best ;-).
Highway 7 to Toronto
We left the hotel a little later and stopped by Tim Horton's again (for Ray), and then we drove out of town. I knew I'd only seen one small part of Ottawa and hoped to return one day to walk around the actual city.
The drive between Ottawa on Toronto on the two-lane Highway 7 was beautiful, with the Fall colors starting to ignite across the countryside. Here are some pictures of what it looked like:
Toronto traffic jam
When we got outside Toronto area, we found out that the road we wanted to take, Don Valley Parkway, was closed. My GPS couldn't seem to figure out any other way to go, so we stopped and asked for directions.
Once we started driving again, we found that we (and the rest of all Toronto drivers) were stuck in a mess of a traffic jam, trying to get into downtown. Ray asked several drivers out the window if there was any other way to get into downtown, and they all said there wasn't. Most of the time we were driving on Danforth street and even passed the famous "Danforth and Pape" crossroad (the name of a section in the Rush instrumental La Villa Strangiato).
Earlier in the week I'd talked to Ed Stenger, who runs the amazing Rushisaband.com website, about meeting in person. Given that we both run Rush-related websites, we end up periodically talking in e-mail, and I thought it would be fun to meet. But the traffic ended up ruining our initial plans of me getting dropped off at the hotel. I called Ed and told him to meet us at The Spaghetti Factory, which he thought sounded great.
Spaghetti Factory - take two
Ray had called in reservations for a semi-large party of people. It was a good thing, because unlike the night of the first show, the place was packed. After we got our seats, I walked out into the lobby area and found Ed. I actually recognized him from the picture on his website.
Dinner was great again. Monica's friend Heidi joined us, too, whom I'd met at several other Rush shows on the west coast. Ed and I talked "webmaster" shop, and also talked about other shows on the tour -- namely the show he'd seen in Cleveland, which Heidi also attended.
In Toronto, Ed was attending RushCon, and he told us about some of the things he'd learned there. He'd met Sam Dunn, who was filming a documentary about Rush. Dunn's earlier documentary was Metal: A Headbanger's Journey, which I haven't seen yet.
After dinner we walked to the Air Canada Center. Here's a picture of Ed and me standing in front:
Now I was ready for my last 2007 Rush show.