Well, there is a saying, "If you want to make God laugh, make plans".
I got to the hotel all right and the room was lovely and there was free wi-fi and I was happy.
The next morning, while downloading my Niagara Falls pics onto John's laptop, it froze. I tried to force quit everything and it refused. Then it started clicking. Then the screen went all blue. Then it started BEEPING. Like something out of Dr. Strangelove. Click, whirrrr, BEEP. Click, whirrrr, BEEP. Click, whirrrr, BEEP. Click, whirrrr, BEEP.
Context: THIS IS THE COMPUTER JOHN WRITES ALL HIS STRIPS ON. He has NEVER let me borrow it before. Is everything backed up at home? I HAVE NO IDEA. I thought I was going to faint.
I thought to myself "a city the size of Toronto must have an Apple Store" so I got out the GPS unit and did a search. Thank goodness I had that unit. It not only told me there was an Apple store but gave me directions to it. (Its estimation of my driving time was a wee bit off - it seems to be unfamiliar with the gridlock traffic of Toronto) Well - no sightseeing in Toronto for me. No Museum. It was off to the Apple store. While en route I did get to see Toronto's Chinatown and Little Italy.
An hour later I get to the Apple store only to see the place is packed and the big screen where they announce appointments to see a "genius" has the next available appointment listed as 6:00 p.m. (It is currently 10:00 a.m.) NOT GOOD. I must have looked like hell because pretty soon a nice manager lady approached me and said "Are you OK?" "Actually, no", I answered. I then proceeded to incoherently describe my series of noises and problems and tried not to fall apart. I must not have done that very well because she next asked if I need a hug. Here's how bad off I was - I said yes.
She says that, even though the "geniuses" are all booked up, she'll see what she can do and we take the laptop out of its triple padded carrying case. "Oh," she says, "this one's pretty old. I'm not sure how much we'll be able to help."
My Sunbeam mixer - that still runs perfectly great - is approximately 70 years old and this 4 YEAR OLD computer is too old. Again, I thought I was going to faint.
"He has Applecare" I offer hopefully. 30 minutes later I will find out that the Applecare expired in July of 2008.
She sees what a mess I am, tries to calm me down and takes it into the back. When she returns I find out that a "genius" best guess is that the hard drive needs to be replaced.
"Does your husband have everything backed up?"
"I don't know, can data be retrieved off of the old hard drive?"
"Yes, but it's expensive."
"Well - at least a thousand dollars."
"How much to replace the hard drive?"
"Probably about $350."
"And I'm afraid that, because the unit is so old, we don't have the part in stock and would have to order it. How long are you in Toronto?"
Well, I tell her that I have a reservation for that night in Kingston and she contacts a tech in Kingston to see if he can fix it while I'm there. He can do the work but doesn't have a replacement hard drive. I tell her I'll be in Syracuse NY the following day and she contacts the Apple Store there to see if they can help. While they also don't have the part, they can order it. Unfortunately, it cannot arrive before I will be in Olean the day after Syracuse. I am unwilling to abandon my plans to visit Margaret Friday (see previous post) so, at this point we decide to give up and I'll just take the best care of it that I can until I get back to my home turf where we can deal with things better. Even though she wound up not being able to help me, I cannot say enough in praise of this woman - she really tried everything she could think of to fix the situation. I wish I had thought to ask her name.
So scratch happy day in the Toronto area. I DID make it to that Spanx store and I did get to try things on which turned out to extremely helpful in narrowing down the bits of their product line that work best for me. I also left with two beautiful pashmeena shawls and a cool scarf, which rescued the day a little bit. Also, while walking around Unionville, I happened upon this sign.
I was in a hurry to get to Kingston so I didn't go in - now I'm dying to know what a "cake gallery" actually is :-)
So most of the day was awful because I knew I was going to have to tell John everything at some point. I decided to wait until after I checked into the bed and breakfast in Kingston and got myself settled. Waiting turned out to be a good idea because the B & B was WONDERFUL. If you have any reason to go to Kingston Ontario you should stay at Arabella on the Lake.
When I arrived, the host was not there but had put an envelope on the door with a letter and my key. She said there was lemon cake on the sideboard and I could put on a pot of tea if I liked and to make myself at home and use the fireplace or the hot tub if I wished. There was a beautiful deck with hot tub right on the shore of Lake Ontario, a fireplace in both the living room and my guest room, a small fridge with bottled water in the room, comfy plush bathrobes. I was in heaven. Not only that, the place is small enough - only two other rooms - and the other guests were all out to dinner, so I had the whole establishment to myself, which was exactly what I needed on the heels of the day. I settled myself in tried to shake off the worst of my anxiety (lemon cake, tea, and hot tubs help a lot in this area) and braced myself for the call to John.
As it turned out, I really should have called him earlier and saved myself some stress because he was absolutely wonderful about the computer, said he was pretty sure anything that wasn't backed up was unimportant, and felt terrible that I had been so stressed about it. He truly is a wonderful man and a great husband. My biggest fear was that I had lost several scripts for upcoming strips (he had pulled these off before I left) or that there were all his big graphic design jobs on it. That was really my biggest fear because once these jobs are complete, they represent hours and hours of production work and are next to impossible to recreate. Fortunately, when John upgraded his graphics computer last year, he stopped putting these accounts on the laptop. Talk about relief.
So the bad news is that I did not enjoy Toronto. The good news is that it will give me an excuse to go back, and take John with, and truly explore what I am sure is an awesome city. At least I already know my way around and know a good hotel!
And I will definitely be returning to Arabella on the Lake - here are some pics.
My room. Fireplace #1 is on the right hand wall and the deck is through the patio window/door.
The front entryway.
The kitchen another view.
The living room with fireplace #2.
Part of the back deck. The deck from my room and the hot tub are out of frame.
I did take advantage of these chairs as the sunset progressed. And not too may bugs either :-)
The water was actually not too cold. This was the perfect amount of beach for wading a little.
I tend to fall out of hammocks so I did not give this one a try :-)
I was in the "sunset room" which has a personal deck and window to this wonderful view.
Thanks for everything, Donna - I'll be back!