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Bridgeport, CT – 7th Level of Hell

Taken from the hotel room window – Photo by Kadian Tracey

I should have known the moment I couldn’t find an airport in Bridgeport Connecticut that I was going to have an issue there. I mean what medium size town has no international airport? I searched for almost two weeks and every flight I tried getting brought me into New Haven then kind of just left me there to dangle. So, I gave up and took the Greyhound as you can see in my previous post. If I knew about the Metro train I would have just taken the Greyhound to New York then take the Metro Train to Bridgeport. Anyways, that’s over and done with.

I get to Bridgeport and thankfully my baby sister was there already and we got a ride to where we were staying together by my new step brother. First of all Bridgeport has ONE hotel. I am not kidding. They have one hotel – a holiday Inn. While it was nice we tried booking a room there and it was full. So we were stuck staying at some lady’s place. I personally was not pleased because well, it’s someone’s place.

Aside from the hotel, the most of the people we had contact with outside the family and close family friends were douche bags. I mean these people were horrible. I was walking behind this man into the Greyhound terminal after I got off the bus. I had one medium size suitcase on the wheels dragging, plus a large gym bag over one shoulder, along with my blanket and my purse and camera over a wrist. He saw me walking there. Can you believe he walked through the doors and let it slam on me? A man, saw me with all my crap and instead of at least holding the door until I step in so I can balance it with my hip or something, he simply walked through and let it close in my face.

I was NOT impressed.

Anyways, I karate kicked the wheelchair access button and the door opened. The good side was, when I pressed the one button it opened both sets of doors for me. So I’m in the terminal and thank goodness there was a place to get food. I went over to the counter and stood there. There were TWO cashiers there having a conversation so I stood waiting for them to finish their sentence then see what I wanted. Oh no, that would have been the polite thing for them to do. Instead they kept talking and laughing until I got irritated, slammed my fist into the counter and said “excuse me!”

They didn’t look too pleased that I had interrupted their conversation but after being stuck on two buses for 16 hours, having a door slammed in my face and every muscle in my body throbbing, I couldn’t care less. I ordered my food, watched them make it then carried my loot back to where my sister was. She only wanted a water bottle since she’d packed enough pizza for her three hour trip from Manhattan to Bridgeport to feed an army.

So–finally we got to the house and dropped off our stuff and the madness began.

We stopped first at the dress store to have my sister fitted for her bridesmaid’s dress. What I found so messed up, is she was swimming in the dress after she’d given them her measurements that were professionally taken. I kept pulling the dress up and it kept falling down. The dress wasn’t a little big–it was so big she couldn’t walk around in it without holding it up. The kicker was, she had to pay and added 15 dollars to alter the dress. They made the dress above her size, against her measurement and had the audacity to charge her to fix it so she can wear it. They did the same to my second sister and by that time I was so furious I was spitting fire.

The woman said “It’s not like I made the dress big so I have to alter it.” I glared at her at that moment wanting so badly to punch her. She silently walked away. I was not impressed and neither were my sisters or my father. But we paid the money because let’s face it, it was his wedding day and we didn’t want to cause a fuss. Lets face it–they deliberately made the dresses oversized. There were no other explanations.

We ate at a Subway that same day and that experience was less than stellar. The two cashiers in the place were arguing with each over a man and I was standing there blinking at them thinking “for real?”

Then my step mom (to be at that time) brought us to a mall and pulled into a parking spot. At the same time some crazy lady was pulling into the same spot from the wrong end – she had to drive through another parking spot to get to it so she was coming in the wrong way and almost crashed into my step-mom’s car. Then had the nerve to try and argue with my step-mom. I looked at my sister and asked, “why are these people deliberately pushing me?”

My sister chuckled because she knows me very well and she was thinking the same thing I was thinking if this woman said anything to Mama she’s going to have to deal with the three of us (myself and two sisters). I mean hell, you’re doing something illegal then have nerve to want to start a fight? Anyways, that ended without an issue, Mama got another spot and we went into the store.

When my sister and I were leaving Bridgeport we called a cab to take us to the bus shelter. When the cab came, the driver sat in the car and popped the trunk then watched as my sister and I struggled with our bags and suitcases to put them into the trunk. So with my sister’s help we got the suitcases into the trunk then climbed into the car. We said nothing to the driver. When we paid, I gave him a tip because I am a huge believer in Karma.

Overall, everyone we met, aside from the really cute storekeeper on the corner close to Mama’s place seemed to be in a horrid mood. They were all grumpy and rude and sometimes I wonder why they even left their houses that day. I am not sure what their problem was or if they were just having an off weekend or what but it was a horrible experience.

My only reason for going back to Bridgeport will be to visit my father and his new wife.

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Fishing in Norfolk County – Port Rowan, Turkey Point

Photo by Kadian Tracey

Visiting Ontario shouldn’t be just about the noise and chaos – you know? The parties, sports games, Olympics etc. Most love visiting places for the peaceful areas of the town or country. For Canada, I find Simcoe offers the best places to just sit back, put your feet up, enjoy a cool beverage and just breathe.

On a road trip taken in August, I had the chance to visit Turkey Point, Port Rowan and Simcoe. The sceneries were breath-taking. We were driving along the road just chilling, listening to music and stopping from time to time to take pictures and peek into places we probably shouldn’t have been in the first place. But still, we carried on, walking down the middle of streets in the middle of the day since these towns are so small, there is little to no traffic at certain times of the day.  We stopped at one roadside place where we saw a man and his son with their fishing lines in the water. So of course we pulled over to see what was happening and what they were looking to catch. The son began rambling off all these different kinds of fish. I was sitting there wide-eyed and amazed!

Norfolk County – Photo By Kadian Tracey

Photo by Kadian Tracey

Photo by Kadian Tracey

Photo by Kadian Tracey

 

Photo by Kadian Tracey

 

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Greyhound – Sigh

Found through Google Search

Every time I tell my friends I’m about to get on a Greyhound, they laugh and tells me they are waiting for the rant when I come home. I’ve been taking the Greyhound for about ten years now (in college and university I took them every couple of months to go to and from school). And Greyhound has yet to have me disappoint them.

This go around, I was to go to Bridgeport Connecticut (coming soon in another post) for my father’s wedding. The issues started when I called Greyhound, told them where I was going, when I was going there and ask how much. Their website said $170, to go from Toronto to Bridgeport Connecticut via New York City.  When I called them, they told me it was $198.72 to go from Toronto to Bridgeport Connecticut via New York City. When my mom called them, they told her a different price and when my father called them they told him a whole other price. Nevertheless, because I’ve been working like a crazy person and going to school full time as well as nanowrimo, my mom was downtown and close to the bus station so she bought my ticket. She was charged $170 for the round trip ticket.  I figured, okay…drama complete.

When my mom got the ticket and I took it, it was heavy. So I rolled it out and read each piece. The tickets read as follows:

Toronto to Buffalo.

Buffalo to Syracruse.

Syracruse to New York City Port Authority

New York City Port Authority to New Haven

New Haven to Bridgeport.

After 14 hours on bus from Toronto to New York, I get to Port Authority but this place is like going through a maze, blindfolded, backwards and in the dark. No one knows where anything is so I spent most of the time going up the escalators, down the escalators until I finally I found where I was supposed to be. I stood there and got to talking to this lady and told her the bus was taking me to New Haven then to Bridgeport and she tilted her head and said. “I’m not sure why they printed it like that. Going to New Haven then to Bridgeport is going around in circles…it’s like doing it backward.”

I blinked at her–exhausted and shook my head. When the driver finally left NYC, they stopped in White Plaines, Stamford and then went on to Bridgeport. That part of my Greyhound journey was complete and I thought–“not bad.”

Then we had to return.

First we over slept and had to rush like crazy people to the bus station. We got there and our bus was there. (We now is myself and my sister). We hurried over to the door and said to the driver.

“Morning! We’re going to New York Via New Haven.”

Driver said (without looking at our ticket) “This is not your bus. Go ask information.”

We thanked him, wished him a good day (I am not kidding. We wished him a good day) and hurried inside to information.

We explained to information what happened and the guy there turned and pointed at the departing bus. “No, no,” he said. “That is your bus leaving right now.”

Let me tell you how I wanted to punch someone in the face. I was so upset. He looked at us and told us it wasn’t our bus and now had the NERVE to leave us when we were trying to confirm. Okay *breathes* so the guy was a douche….surely another bus was coming so my sister and I could meet our connections to, me Toronto and her DC. Surely!!

But no. Greyhound doesn’t work that way. If you miss one bus you’re basically screwed for the next one. What we had to do? Drag all our crap up an elevator, down a long bridge that was supposed to be warmer than outside but no, it seemed to be half built and dragged on for two blocks to the local Metro train that rain between CT and NYC, shell out almost thirty bucks to get on that train to carry us not to Port Authority like we needed to be at and that the Greyhound would have taken us to, but to Grand Central Station.

At that point, I wanted to cry because for some STRANGE reason the machines to buy the tickets were not reading my credit card OR my CANADIAN debit card and the ticket booth wasn’t open.

My sister and I sat there, staring at the amtrak and local train ticket machine with contempt until finally the ticket place opened. We bought our tickets and got on the train. It wasn’t bad on there. It was clean, large seats, comfy seats because after my trip to CT my tail-bone was sore and hurting every time I moved.

So, my sister and I took that time to take more pictures, talked, went through pictures from the wedding and just spend more time together. We reached NYC earlier than if we’d taken the Greyhound but there’s a leg of our trip we paid for twice! Finally we went up to the Greyhound counter to have my sister’s ticket reissued.  We told the guy at the counter what happened and he said if we could give him the tickets or receipts from the metro local train, he’d give us a refund. I blinked at him, waiting to reach over with a bull horn and scream “WHAT LOCAL TRAIN YOU KNOW GIVE RECEIPTS FOR TICKETS?” but my sister grabbed my hand and I breathed. I showed him the unused Greyhound tickets and he still wouldn’t give me the  money back. I decided not to let this joker raise my blood pressure any further. I was going to have lunch with my sister and it was going to be yummy.

We hugged and parted ways because her bus to DC was at gate 64 and mine was at 22 on different side of Port Authority. I finally found my gate and they were starting to board.  I got to the door and there were TWO buses. The female driver took my ticket and was ripping it and the male one stopped her. Then they proceeded to argue about the fact that I was getting on the wrong bus that I had to wait.  I stood there, amused they’d do that before a customer and finally the woman won and ripped the ticket. I asked which of the buses I was to board and she pointed. I collected the rest of my tickets and hurried to the bus. The gentleman took my suitcase, smiled, asked where I was going and I told him. He wished me a good trip.

Not all Greyhound personnel are filthy creatures after-all.

The trip went well until we got to this middle of nowhere place and was early we got a half an hour break. Then we stopped again and again until finally we were at Buffalo. I was going back to sleep when someone poked me. I lifted my head and she told me we had to get off because we were switching buses… WHAT???

I hastily checked my ticket for a transfer but it said nothing.  This had to be a joke! I looked around but aside from the woman that woke me, I was the only other person on the bus. I grabbed my crap and got off, grabbed my suitcase and went inside with the others. After using the bathroom, I found a ticket counter and asked. Apparently our driver got us to Buffalo so early, all they could think of doing was hording us off our bus, unto another bus which we now have to wait an hour to get on. By this time it was after eight at night. I’ve been trying to get a smooth ride home since 7AM and I was no impressed.

Anyways, we waited and waited and waited…the bus was supposed to leave at 9:30PM. That didn’t happen until around 9:50PM.

Then to top it all off…I was “randomly” selected for additional screening at the border!

Now, I ask you, wasn’t that an amazing trip *sarcasm*

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Toronto- A To Do – Pt 3

It is not all about the busy things in Toronto. Sure there’s plenty to get lost in but sometimes one needs some peace and quite. Visit the Guild.

Toronto Guild – Photo by Kadian Tracey

The quite, serenity of this place gives you time to think and breathe.  Sit back and stare at the water or walk along the many walk ways leading to different locations in this park.

Cannon at the Guild – Photo by Kadian Tracey

Check out the many different historical artifacts located all throughout this park. From the Cannon, to the amphi-theatre to pieces of buildings carried from all over Canada. This places is just chock full of things that talks about Canada’s history.

Histoyr at the Guild – Photo by Kadian Tracey

History at the Guild – Photo by Kadian Tracey

 

The Old stage at the Guild – Photo By Kadian Tracey

Having your wedding in Toronto? The Guild is the perfect place to take your pictures! Sure its a drive away from the downtown core but it would be worth the ride. Just pray it doesn’t rain and your pictures will be perfect.

Photo by Kadian Tracey

At the Top of the Guild Bluffs- Photo by Kadian Tracey

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[Fantasy Trip] Xingping China

There are many places on my list of places to go and CHINA is one on my very long list. I’m not sure where

Image taken by John and Sun Ling

the idea came from to go to China at first but I wrote a book called A LOVER’S WISH that had the two main characters rushing to China since the male’s father was ill. Then I figured why just go to the same big cities? Why not let the characters go somewhere smaller, somewhere not many would even think of? So I hit the internet and my mother’s old, paper encyclopedias and the Toronto Reference Libary and BAM! Xingping came up.

This place from what I can see and from what I’ve been told by students I’ve met from China is a beautiful place. From the fog covered mountains to the Li River and the boats that travel along it. There is just something quite peaceful about this place with all the research I’ve done on it. Actually, with all the research I’ve done one would think I would be completely bored with it and not want anythign to do with Xinping ever again. But that is not the case.  The more I look into the place, the more I want to go. This is one of my fantasy trips. I am aiming for it in five years but who knows what will happen? One day I just might throw my hands in the air and head to the airport with nothing but the clothes on my back, my passport and money.

That’s a scary thought.

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LEST WE FORGET

TODAY WE STOP AND REFLECT ON THE SACRIFICES OUR SOLDIERS HAVE MADE IN THEIR FIGHT FOR OUR FREEDOMS.  BE IN A SOLDIER FROM WW1 OR WW2 – OR THE VETS FROM IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN – TELL YOUR VET YOU CARE TODAY AND HUG THEM ESPECIALLY HARD.  TO MY BELOVED BROTHER WHO FOUGHT IN THE WAR AGAINST TERROR – I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH AND I AM PROUD OF YOU.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS – Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Image from IN FLANDERS FIELDS

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

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Toronto – A to do Pt. 2

There are plenty to do in Toronto. In this blog post there will be picture then explanation. Why? It is Nanowrimo month and since I am also an author, I have decided to go nuts and do nanowrimo. This adds another novel to my plate lol.

Casa Loma – Picture by Kadian Tracey

1.   Casa Loma is a beautiful castle in Toronto that visitors flock to. This is no Scotland but it is majestic all the same. If you wish to have your wedding there, you can but you have to book years in advance and it does cost a pretty penny. The history of Casa Loma is written here.

Casa Loma – Picture by Kadian Tracey

 

2.  Another thing to do that would cost no money (Unlike entrance to Casa Loma), you can visit any of our many different waterways. In you can visit the bluffs either in winter time or summer.

The Bluffs – Photograph by Kadian Tracey

The Bluffs – Photograph by Kadian Tracey

 

3. The CN Tower  is something you all know. It used to be the tallest free-standing structure in the world.  It does have a fee to go up to the top but to enter the ground floor is free. You can go into the store and wander around. Up ton you get to check out the skypod, the restaurant and check out the wonderful view.

CN Tower at Night – Photo by Kadian Tracey