Last weekend I flew out to Toronto on a whirlwind trip to catch a good friend’s wedding. Brian had originally asked me to participate in the wedding party, but unfortunately I didn’t have my visa when I was asked, and had no guarantee that I’d be allowed back into France if I were to leave it. As soon as I got my carte sejour back in February I eagerly booked the trip at the last minute. In an effort to reduce the late booking premium a little bit, I picked a flight that left Saturday morning, and returned the following afternoon. This meant that I only had to find a place to stay for one night, and could skimp a little on the food. Breakfast and lunch would be provided by the airplane in both directions, and dinner would come during the wedding.
The morning flight out was surprisingly nice. Unlike the 14 hour craziness of going to the west coast, I only had to spend 8 hours, or 3 1/2 feature films (Australia: Fantastic – go see it; Quantum of Solace: OK; Largo Winch: OK; X-Files: meh.) on a plane. My flight left about 10 am here, and arrived around 1 pm in TDot which would have been plenty of time were it not for my perpetually broken internal compass. Somehow I ended up at a hot dog stand, Cafe Crepe and a Tim Hortons well before I got anywhere near to my hotel, which was conveniently (read: cheaply) located in Chinatown above an all asian grocery shopping mall.
With only 15 minutes between check in and the ceremony, I didn’t have much time to get ready. Just enough time for a quick shower and I ran out the door with my unwrapped gift. I made it to the wedding with only a few short minutes to go, and located the nearest top-hat wearing wedding authority in the hopes that he could direct me to my seat. We talked for several minutes before I discovered that he was a musician, not an usher, and didn’t have much more of a clue about where we were supposed to be than I did. The spot we randomly selected turned out to be a pretty good choice, as it put as both near the only other person that I knew who was not in the wedding party; Annie. I hadn’t seen her in at least 5 years, and we caught up over Indian food between the ceremony and reception.
I won’t spoil the ceremony by describing it in any level of detail. Needless to say, it was beautiful. The theme was scottish, and included a Kilt for the groom, and 4 red-headed bridesmaids, and matching bride. There was an open bar following, and a good selection of tunes for dancing that lasted well into the night.
The following morning, I got up pretty early, and had to find a post office so I could mail some Birthday gifts Express Post. Nothing was open until 1, so I killed time at the Ontario Museum of Art. More about that later. Breakfast was rad. The upside of having a cheap hotel in Chinatown, is that you are near to the cheap food in Chinatown as well. I popped into a bakery down the street just in time for the hot-out-of-the-oven Bar-b-q Pork Buns. That, and some more Timmies, made up the bulk of my Sunday diet.
Some touristing and travel later, and I found myself on a plane back to Paris. I had specially selected the seat second from the back of the plane so that it would be quiet, and I could recline the seat to sleep. When I got to where I was meant to sit, I found an old french guy snoring in my place. The flight attendant looked a little put out that I wanted to sit in my seat, and carefully explained to me that they had moved the old guy there because his seat, the one behind mine, smelled too terrible to let him sit there. I asked him where I was to sit then, and he looked even more put out. He went in search of a better place for me, and came back with a different flight attendant instead. She sniffed the seat and deigned it worthy afterall, and I was invited to sit in the stink chair for the flight back. All things considered, it wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be, and I slept most of the flight back anyhow.
My flight arrive back in paris at 7 am, which left me plenty of time to make it home for a shower, and onto my usual train for work. The trip was quick, but I’m now convinced that reasonable travel can happen in a weekend. This is good, as I think it just opened up all kinds of weekend forays around the Ile-de-france area.