Sunday, November 29, 2009

Welcome to Canada!

By the grace of God, I've made it to Toronto.

My start was nothing but smooth. After confusion over my departure gate, I ended up at Terminal B (a domestic terminal, go figure). Because curbside check is not offered for international flights, I had to maneuver my way around the busy area with two suitcases, a book sack, coat, and purse. I'm pledging, from this day forward, to learn how to travel light.

I eventually made it through and cleared security check, finally finding my way to my departing gate. Thankfully, my flight boarded early, so I didn't have much time to dwell over the fact that the plane looked smaller than it should. My seat was in the back - I sat next to another passenger and an aisle divided us from one other seat. A tight fit doesn't even fully describe the situation. I had hoped that the passenger next to me would move into the empty seat adjacent to us, but instead, he used the open chair as a holder for all of his belongings.

Unphazed, I pulled out my laptop and immediately began watching Gilmore Girls - my go to calming mechanism. Two and a half episodes and a few songs on my iPod later, we were planning for approach. The cloud cover up north is a little thicker than down south, so the descent was a little bumpy. The eeriest part of the landing, however, was the fact that I wasn't even able to see ground until about 10 seconds before landing. Thankfully, we landed in one piece. My first taste of Canadian weather was stepping off the plane (we had to use one of those open air, movable staircases). My first reaction was, "This is wonderful" - it was a nice 50 degrees or so. I've now come to know a different Toronto climate.

Customs was an interesting experience. All of the customs agents wear full black, SWAT looking outfits, their best accessory being their bulletproof vests. They asked a ton of questions, most curious being "Why would you stay with nuns?" I eventually made it through that process as well and exited customs to be greeted by Father Rosica, who was giving me a ride to the convent. The drive was nice - I was able to pass by all the major landmarks. Finally we ended up at the Felician Sister's home - where I happily discovered hat the nuns house was off of the main shopping district - I'm sure my Dad is just psyched about that.

There are five sisters that live in the house. Only a few wear any distinguishing garments. From my initial impressions, it seems a bit more liberal than organizations like the Franciscan Sisters. They were all very pleasant, but left me alone after initial hellos to let me unpack.

At this point I was exhausted and hungry, (not having enough room on the plane to keep my laptop out and eat the snack - I chose Gilmore Girls instead). Ironically enough, there is a Texas Bar and Grill on the corner of our street. I ended up eating dinner there (the nuns tend to eat individually as they become hungry). I have a feeling I'll escape there at least once a week - there's Texan paraphernalia everywhere and they play American channels and sports.

All in all, it was a busy day. Now it's just a matter of establishing a routine and getting into the swing of things. I guess we'll see how things go :)


  1. Seems like a good start. Most of the comforts of home. Great to have the Texas Bar and Grill nearby. ;)

  2. My first comment is lost in space, so I'll try again. I love the blog. Stay warm. Watch out for the moose. I'll be looking for future blogs.