Harrison Happenings: Back from Ontario, safe and sound

Benefits outweigh the risks when traveling as a senior

I just want to let you know that we, Ruthy, my alter ego and I, are back again safe and sound. We had a wonderful time in Ontario, met with relatives and friends, many of whom we had not seen for a long time. We even made new friends, which is always a delight for both of us. We had dinner up on the CN Tower plus 16 other neat restaurants, walked a lot and, best of all, avoided all calamities — there were plenty of opportunities.

There will be, for instance, a super walkway from the Toronto Union Station to the CN Tower in the future, but it is still being constructed at present. In fact, the whole front of the Union Station is currently under severe renovation, leaving lots of room for mishaps. Mind you, I, Ruth, watched out like a hawk, while Ruthy, forever the optimist, just had fun!

For both of us, however, to dine “way up high” on the CN Tower was certainly one of the highlights of our trip; where else can you have a delicious dinner while taking in a view of Toronto, Lake Ontario and more?

The only thing Ruthy regretted was the fact that the window washer’s cage was empty when it rolled by our window. I am sure she would have waved to them!

Most of our stay in Ontario, however, was spent in Mississauga and Kitchener/Waterloo.  All these places have undergone tremendous changes since we left 25 years ago and I will tell you about it sometime soon.

Today, however, I want to mention the superb home cooking of all our hosts, starting with a champagne breakfast at my sister’s place to several garden feasts, including a falafel breakfast at our longtime Egyptian friends in Kitchener. And I haven’t even mentioned yet the ongoing warm hospitality of Irmtraut, another good friend from the past. Some of her recipes will certainly be featured in my recipe collection! As you can see, Ruthy and I had a great time and a follow-up reunion in Harrison Hot Springs will be in order next year, to repay their hospitality. It really is now that far away, a mere four-hour flight (not including a two hour lay-over in Winnipeg or Calgary) is getting us from here to there.

And that brings to my mind to say a few words about the airline, West Jet, that flew us to and from our destinations. In a world that distances itself more and more from personal service, they certainly are a welcome change. Very competent in every way —  they still have a personal touch in everything they do. To Ruthy’s delight, for instance, the captain still speaks (no computerized announcements) and even saw us off personally after one stretch of the flight where we encountered quite a bit of turbulence. Ruthy was so impressed, she swore never to fly with another airline if West Jet was available in the future. I have to say that they also took great care of me, since I, perhaps, was the oldest passenger on the flight.

Traveling as a senior certainly requires some courage, though it is quite feasible if we know that we have to be extra careful. There is lots of help along the way and rightly so. After all, seniors represent a large segment of our society and this statement will be more and more true as time goes on. Furthermore, we seniors not only have the time to travel, it also is a time in our life when we like to reconnect with relatives and friends we had met and knew along the road. But, as I mentioned before, even with all the assistance offered, it requires us to be extra alert. One day, for instance, we went to see the movie The Great Gadsby. The house was packed with people and I decided to leave before the end to avoid the rush. I think it was a good idea but Ruthy, who absolutely loved the movie, sulked a little. I promised to show her the end at another time, when circumstances are more favourable.

So, after a great time in Ontario we are, or course, glad to be back. As the saying goes:  “If you never leave, you can never come home!”

Now, where will we go to next time?