Canada is…

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a beautiful country.

a proud country.

a country with a long history.

a country with fun, friendly people.

a country with a strong hockey tradition and a long proud hockey history.

a country with beautiful blues skies.

a country with brutally cold winters, and a people that are built for dealing with them.

a country that prides itself on being outdoors and walking or biking everywhere it can.

Except, in the middle of February, without a jacket, in search of some loonies (dollar coins) required for doing your laundry while staying at a hotel that doesn’t have any loonies available, and the friendly person at the front desk tells you of a gas station a couple of blocks away that might have some available for use. A couple of blocks in this instance equals a couple of kilometers, or roughly a mile and a half.

At least that’s as far as I made it, without my jacket (which is safely in my closet back in the states(hey I didn’t want to have to deal with the bulk(yeah I know it’s not the smartest thing I’ve ever done))), or my gloves (see previous parenthesis).while searching for the mystical loony. I am impressed I made it that far considering the fifty knot winds (okay that might be an exaggeration but it sure felt like it) that I had to walk into, both ways (again, it sure felt like it, anyway).. It should be noted that I never did find the gas station, heck I didn’t even see it, but I figured that my face was frozen in place enough for the day, so I turned around.

Do you want to know what I saw on the way back?

A father and his son walking along the same sidewalk as I – wearing their jackets, and gloves.

Three teens having a great time walking along the same sidewalk, the young lady even singing “what a beautiful sunny day” – to which I concurred, it was a beautiful sunny day. They too, were wearing their jackets and gloves.

I should also note that they still looked cold.

There are two things I can take from this event; 1) I am tougher than the Canadians out walking in the same weather, because I did it without gloves or a jacket, unlike them, or 2) I am just a dumb American that is lucky he didn’t freeze his butt off for a loony.

I know which option my wife will choose.

At least I got some exercise, right?

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