Subject: Re: Fabulous GTG Toronto!
Hi, Ziners,

Was it worth it buying a plane ticket to Toronto just to attend my first GTG? A rousing you betcha! Great food, great city, and best of all, great company. The only drawback? Way too short. So many exciting and interesting stories and so little time.

Kudos to Linda and Don and anyone else that lent a helping hand. They sure know how to throw a party!

And it is so easy and cheap to get to downtown Toronto from the airport. For $2.25 you hop on a bus, which takes you to Kipling subway station. The transfer is free and the subway takes you downtown. I stayed at the Victoria Hotel. My room was very nice, comfortable and clean and very centrally located, just one block from the subway. Continental breakfast, which included some good coffee and croissants came with the room.

On the morning of the GTG, I attended the Turner, Whistler, Monet exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) using a ticket I had prepurchased on the internet. The entry was timed, and I chose 11:00 a.m. The Impressionist bug bit me at the Musée D'Orsay in June, so I was looking forward to this showing. I was not disappointed. Neither were the other Ziners who had gone to the exhibit. (Some twice!) After the museum, I had time to mosey on down to Harbour Square at the Lake before hopping the subway to Spiga Restaurant.

The day after the glorious GTG, I spent the day at the Toronto Zoo (not enough time to do it justice.) The zoo is in Scarborough, and, like getting to and from the airport, it is a one-fare subway and bus ride. Then it was on to Chinatown for dinner.

On Monday, for a 9:30 flight back to Newark, I was at the subway at 6 A.M. when the entry gate was opened. The Toronto subway is closed between 1:30 A.M. and 6:00 A.M. On Sunday, it doesn't open till 9:00 A.M. It took one hour and twenty minutes by subway and bus to reach Pearson Airport. And then came the hard part. I checked in for my flight, then got on the line for U.S. Customs.

WARNING: IT TAKES LONGER TO GET THROUGH U.S. CUSTOMS HERE THEN IT DOES AFTER RETURNING FROM EUROPE OR THE MIDDLE EAST. YOU MUST LEAVE PLENTY OF TIME. Everyone going to the States, no matter on what airline, stands on one line. You snake Disneyland fashion until the end, where you are seen by the next free customs agent. It took about an hour and a quarter after check-in to get to my gate. When I got there, the plane ahead of us still hadn't left yet because its passengers were still trying to get through customs. My plane was waiting on the tarmac until this one left. All part of the travel adventure, but people don't realize that it's not as easy as it once was to cross the U.S. border from Canada.

And then came the worst part. After an abfab weekend, I had to get off the plane and go back to work. Aghhh!

Carrie Bardonia, NY