Tag Archives: Great White North

Oh Canada

American Airlines — you know, the bankrupt one — sent me an email reminder last night to check-in for my ‘international flight.’

Can I really leave the country on American Eagle in less than 90 minutes?

Turns out I can.

That breathtaking view is Toronto, Ontario.  This won’t be my first visit there, but my first real opportunity to see the city .  Last time the weather was so heinous, I only saw the airport and my hotel, which was located on the outskirts of the city.

Didn’t step a foot outside.

This trip I’m staying in the heart of the city.  So I’m crossing all my available appendages that it will be nice enough outside to do a little sightseeing during my 30-hour stay.  But the forecast says ‘light snow.’

How many inches = light in the Great White North?

Way hay

Happy Canada Day!

Royals William and Catherine are now touring the Great White North, but I first journeyed there more than a decade ago.

An article in Smithsonian Magazine inspired my ten-day tour of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  Until that photographic spread, I’m not sure that I even knew Nova Scotia was part of Canada (doh!).

I certainly knew a lot more when I left.

For instance, I knew why the women there all looked like LL Bean models, in fisherman sweaters and makeup-free, windblown faces.  That’s because the wind blew really hard every day.  Even if you put makeup on, it was gone in a matter of hours.

I also learned that Truro, Nova Scotia is where the tides turn…literally.  The tide sweeps in from the Bay of Fundy and forces the Salmon River to flow in the opposite direction.  Times are posted daily, and people bring their lawn chairs and sit and wait and watch.

It’s pretty cool.

And the last thing I learned in Nova Scotia that has stuck with me for a decade is the words to a song.  I sang it in a pub in Halifax, and they’re different than the ‘official’ lyrics you might find posted online:

What do you do with a drunken sailor,
What do you do with a drunken sailor,
What do you do with a drunken sailor,
Earl-eye in the morning!

Chorus:
Way hay hang the bastard
Way hay hang the bastard
Way hay hang the bastard
Earl-eye in the morning!

Canada, aye?

Before the Vancouver Winter Olympics began — has it really only been four days? — I had an ‘acquaintance’ relationship with Canada.

I traveled to Nova Scotia on vacation more than a decade ago and loved it.  I have been to Montreal and Toronto on business and have found both cities beautiful.  But I’ve never spent any real time learning about the different provinces of Canada or their culture.

Well, NBC’s Olympic coverage has taken care of that.

And I have to say, I’m really starting to bond with Canada.  When they won their first Olympic gold medal in their history as a host country, I cried along side all the natives of the Great White North.

Plus, they have these charming little identifiers that tell the world they’re Canadians no matter where they are — “aye” and “about”  (pronounced “aboot”), to name two.

Which made me wonder: what tells the world that I’m an American when I travel abroad?  Or any American, for that matter?  Do we say or do anything that says to the world “American”?

(And if so, is it something positive?)

‘Cause I’m loving the Canadians!