When I began to write this paper, a lot of events came to mind. One event that stands out is the family vacation I took to Toronto, Canada. It took place in middle of the hot month of July in 2007. It was a family trip that I went on with my church, Brown Missionary Baptist Church. I had never gone on a trip with them before but was filled with so much excitement and anticipation as well as curiosity and being very nervous as time winded down.
I guess it had something to do with me really getting to know my church members. You would think that we would want to travel by plane but that was not a part of the plan at all.
We travelled on an icy cold, long, white Coach Bus that seated fifty two passengers. The interior had a type of royal blue theme going on which matched the temperature because when you think of running water in a sink or bathtub the cold water is usually represented with the color blue.
It was so cold on the bus it seemed like it was fall when the heat from summer hit your cold body. It stayed cool like that the entire way there. As we approached Canada, I began to get butterflies as if I was starting my first day of high school or college.
After showing everyone’s birth certificates and forms of identification, the time had finally come, I made my first visit to Canada and my second trip out of the country. As we arrived there, my first impression was that their environment seemed to be very clean and neat. The fine for loitering was $500,000. The air was clear and had a fresh smell. You could tell that pollution was not one of their problems, well at least not in Toronto. Unlike Memphis, the streets were as clean as fresh snow that had just fallen.
It really stood out because pollution and trash on the street is a very common in Memphis, TN from what I have seen. It was like nothing I had ever seen. The funny thing is I noticed this just as we were on the way to the Hilton, the hotel we were staying in for the week, which was right down the street from the place where you get your identification checked. The first day was just for relaxing and to enjoy the nice hotel. It was a very tall building made with glass that looks blue when the sun reflects on it. The style inside was exquisite! The first tourist attraction to see was Niagara Falls.
That is the most beautiful sight in the world! To see the waterfalls collide together and make a splash that you would see in a painting is beyond exciting. The water is falling so fast that it looks white. The shape or sculpting of the rocks the water flows off of is flawless. The shape just adds to the awesome sight of the water. We had the great opportunity to get on a boat with two levels and ride under the falls. You think that it is a beautiful sight on postcards, paintings, and looking at it in person, you haven’t seen beautiful until you are right there in front of it and directly under it.
The feeling or rush is so exhilarating! Standing on the second level, just letting all the water hit you as you approach the falls head on is a feeling that I will never forget in life but nothing can peak the feeling of being underneath. It feels like you are standing in a thunderstorm while at sea but it’s just the falls. You get soaking wet even with the ponchos that you are given to block some of the water. Usually when you hear women and water (rain) in the same sentence, you think of umbrellas and running. It is so different.
It feels so wonderful and special that getting very wet doesn’t even matter. I mean it was one of the most fun, historical, and educational moments I have ever experienced. The scenery around the falls was even great! It was so unreal it felt like you were fantasizing or daydreaming. I advise anyone who has a chance to see such an incredible landmark to go right ahead and see the magic that they would take from it. Another activity or interesting section of the vacation was their main tourist attractions: the mall and China Town.
The mall we went to was huge in area. It consisted of three main levels with around twenty stores on each level. It also had a separate level for just the food court. The people in the mall are not rushing at all; they are taking their precious time walking and bonding with the family. They all were so nice and walked around smiling as if they had no care in the world. Another thing that you would notice is the different nationalities that build Canada. Even though slavery and the things that went on during that time are much less now, racism still goes on.
The objection of who should or shouldn’t be with a human being is still big but there it does not matter one way or the other. I love the fact that you can be any nationality and fall in love with someone of an entire other nationality and no one objects. It’s like the freedom land. All I saw throughout the mall were cute families with different nationalities, colors, styles, beliefs, and many other things. I felt so at ease because after observing the surroundings the only feeling that anyone could have was freedom and peace.
That is one thing that I truly miss and wished everyday that the United States could pick up. The message Canada is giving or portrait is it doesn’t matter who you fall in love with because everyone deserves to find that special someone regardless of their differences whether they are big or small. The last activity was going to the amusement park. I remember this day as if it was yesterday. It was called Amazing World of Canada. Their amusement park is as big or bigger the Six Flags alone. They also have a water park that is within the Park which adds to the landscape.
I have never seen a park as big as that with restaurants within. It contained all the foods that all the major amusement parks, fairs, and carnivals and more. You could order chicken fingers, subs, salads, and other things. One thing they made the same or different were their funnel cakes. The American way or the common way is to use the powdered sugar as the topping and that’s it. In Canada, they used the powdered sugar but also ice cream with strawberries on top. That was their tradition which at first looked weird but tasted great.
The one thing that stood out the most throughout this entire trip was a roller coaster ride. It was a kind of tall yellow ride with many curves and huge dips. The ride was called Top Gun. My brother could only ride that ride because he had surgery on his foot and was only permitted to get on the ones where your feet could dangle due to his cast. The only thing missing was a partner to ride with him but his luck seemed to be running short. My mother, father, and I did not ride roller coasters and could not find anyone who wanted to get on that particular ride.
My dad got on a ride at the local fair in Memphis in Kiddie Land and said that was the last time he would ever get on one and my mom has the weakest stomach in America. I was his only hope yet but I am terrified of roller coasters and just started to ride them. Since my brother really wanted to get on and have some fun, my dad decided to go. As soon as the ride began, all you could hear is the change of my dad’s voice from normal to a certain tone with a high pitch and see his little feet dangling like a chandelier in someone’s living room or dining room.
It was so funny because he sounded like a teenage boy whose voice was beginning to crack during puberty. So when the ride was finally over and all his screaming seemed to seize, we waited until we could see them coming from the exit. All my dad was saying after he got off was never again, never again under any circumstances as well as whoa it’s over. He had taken his glasses on the ride but put them in his pocket instead of giving them to my mom so he wouldn’t lose them or have the possibility of them falling out of his pocket since the ride took them upside down also like she told him to.
Instead of listening to her, he decides to keep them since he thinks he knows everything and that nothing will happen to them. Everyone said put your glasses back on because you know you can hardly see with them off. They were dark brown glasses that had a light brown tint in them to make like sunglasses when the sun is shining directly on his frames so the sunlight won’t blind him with a gold band that went across the nose. He took them out of his pocket and the inevitable happened. His glasses broke symmetrically in half. The gold band was where they split.
He was the talk of the whole trip and still is to this very day. Every time someone asks about a vacation trip that Brown Missionary sponsors he is the prime example. They would always say, Ralph had so much fun that he broke his glasses in half. This wonderful trip was the highlight of my summer that year but the event of my dad breaking his glasses on that roller coaster was a highlight of my life and I believe everyone else’s! The whole significance of the trip was to have one last family vacation before I began college and my brother prepares to go to high school.
I enjoy every vacation but this was the absolute best. It seemed like everyone bonded closer like never before. There was so much peace, fun and happiness that it was almost unreal. The love that we showed towards one another was on a whole other level in life. There was no arguing or fighting of any sort. If anything tends to happen or lead to the questioning of how we feel about each other I can always recollect on our family vacation to Canada and see how strong and deep our love for each other runs.
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