I’d like to start my “I’m going to Canada!” announcement by saying hi to my only-but-who-needs-anyone-else Canadian friend, Cheryl Arkison. Hi, Cheryl Arkison! I’m coming to Canada! Unfortunately, your country is enormous and there’s no way I can drop by for a cup of tea. I’m going toward Ottawa; you live in Calgary. I looked up how far away Ottawa is from Calgary. It’s two-thousand miles! Google Maps tells you to go through Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota to get there! Who does that?!
Indeed, I’m going to Canada in a few weeks for six or seven days. It’s high time I visited my neighbors to the cold, cold north, and I’m thinking about moving there. It’ll be easy: I’ll rent my apartment, sign a lease (sight-unseen), ship some boxes. What could go wrong?
This is almost not funny.
My end-of-February trip to Canada is partly for business, partly for the pleasure of high-fiving Canada. Many years ago I went to visit a college chum who lived in Seattle. We drove up to Vancouver and I remember being freaked out by the large number of heroin addicts on a street downtown, but I also remember cobblestone streets and friendly people walking them. It was rainy, but no more than Seattle, and Seattle doesn’t have Stanley Park, which has something to do with a governor and the Stanley Cup because hockey.
This is a car trip, not an airplane one, so that will be neat, especially if there are bears! Our route will hit Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal; after our final stop on the tour, we’ll turn around and come back to Chicago, which may feel temperate after our journey through a country closer to Antartica.
Cheryl, I wrote an entire paragraph about how I wasn’t going to trot out references to maple syrup, Mounties, the Canadian accent, etc., but then remembered I shouldn’t write checks my you-know-what can’t cash and I can’t cash my checks because you guys have different money.