One week ago and again today, I was waking before the ass-crack of dawn to catch a plane. Last Monday, I stumbled home from the end of a weekend long Pride celebration and caught an hour of sleep before I left for Toronto, Ontario in Canada for a week. I personally didn’t want to go and was sort of dreading it.
When I got there, passing thru customs was a breeze. My boss and I went to the company condo and unpacked. We went over to the company’s club right on the main street of Toronto’s gay village off Church Street. It was in the evening that we arrived due to the 3 hour time change and 5 hour direct flight. We went and had an amazing steak dinner and finished off a great bottle of Cabernet.
My boss went home and I decided to hit up some of the local bars. I stumbled into what would be my evening home for most of the duration. Being in a new city and not knowing anyone there, I decided to break out of my introverted shell and started walking up to random people and striking up conversations. I started off by introducing myself and asking what local spots are good to hit up on various nights of the week.
Almost everyone was very receptive and it lead to some conversation and sometimes just a, “thanks, have a good night.” I ended up making out with one guy, and then losing him. I found another guy and we decided to go home…
Well my boss is sometimes hard to read and tell when he is joking and when he isn’t. He said, “Alright no tricks in the condo” (which btw the company condo is a BEAUTIFUL huge 2 bedroom 2 full bath condo with washer/dryer and everything u could want). I was late and I figured what the hell maybe he’s asleep and/or maybe he was joking. We get back to the condo and I open the door and see him there. I decided that going back to the company club might be a better idea, so we did.
The next day was a bit strange. It was Canada day and the managers weren’t in plus add to the incident the night before. After realizing no one would be there my boss after about an hour of us around said I could go for the day. I decided to see some of the area by walking around. I shipped something off, and did very light shopping. I think I spend more in shipping costs then on what I bought that day.
That night, I decided to hit up Woody’s again as it was pretty hopping and no one had given a good suggestion on what to do on a Tuesday. This is where the trip really began for me. I started walking around and saw a few groups of people. I randomly decided to walk up to this one group of 5 guys. I start by saying I am from SF and wanted to know if they knew what to do, etc. One of the guys then asks, “Are you Nick Starr?” Shocked, I turn and say, ” Yes….ummm. How did you know that?”
In my preparation for heading out to Toronto, I messaged a bunch of people that came up in the Tornoto network about things to do and see while I was there. Turns out he was one of them. They eventually tell me to pull up a chair and we begin talking the night away. There were 2 couples, Neale and Shawn, Richard and Alex, and then Phil. When they went to go on a smoke break, I told Neale that Phil quite cute.
By the end of the night Phil and I were making out as he was leaving. I was sad to see him go, but we made plans to go to The Barn the next
On Wednesday Tara aka @MissRogue also had a Tweetup and a nice bar/restaurant closer to to the waterfront and I met some very insightful people.
Later, the Barn was a blast and while I am going to leave out quite a few details, I did enjoy myself quite a bit this trip ;-) . Phil wasn’t able to make it to The Barn as he was rehearsing for a performance at Crews and Tango tonight (Monday the 7th) & his throat was hurting and wasn’t feeling well. I ended up not realizing the higher alcohol levels in the Canadian beer and ended up going home. I couldn’t find Shawn to say goodbye, and felt so bad. I emailed them to make sure they knew I was okay.
Thursday was a bit of a lull. I remember going out, but it wasn’t a very eventful night.
Friday was awesome. We went out to, the newly opened after a 10 day suspension for overcrowding, Crews & Tango. It is where they have drag performances almost nightly on one stage, a upstairs dance area, smoking deck, and dancing area in the back. We watched some of the show, we danced…Neale and Shawn disappeared for an hour or so and Phil and I had a great time together.
Later we went to The Barn for maybe a half hour and off then off to bed.
Saturday was the downfall of the whole week. Phil and I had setup to go out for dinner, yet he wasn’t able to make it b/c of his rehearsal schedule and other obligations. We all ended up deciding to go to Fly another 3-4 story club, and showed up before the $20 cover charge took effect.
We were dancing, drinking, and having a great time. Here’s where the drama started….I personally didn’t witness ANY of this so I don’t know, but someone got upset at something someone else did in jest…and things came tumbling down from there. I later learned that Shawn and Neale broke up that night. I feel bad b/c they are both great guys and seemed to be happy together.
I had to leave, as I didn’t want to be in the middle of all the craziness that was happening, and it was nearly 2am anyway. The club goes all night, but stops serving at 2am. I kissed Phil goodnight and went home. We talked online that night and made plans to hang out on Sunday, my last day there.
Sunday I enjoyed the town, and our club one last time. Because of all of the drama the night before, not everyone was in the best of spirits, but Neale came out to Crews for one drink with Alex and Richard. Phil showed up around midnight, after a long night of rehearsing since their performance was tonight. Alex and Richard left shortly after Phil got there and we talked and watched the drag show.
We left as they were kicking everyone out around 2am, and talked and kissed till 2:30 or so….My airport limo was stopping by at 4:30, so I decided to stay up and we talked on IM till I had to leave.
I was very emotional and sad to leave….I never in my wildest dreams would of thought that I would of had so much fun and made so many great friends while being in Canada. A few of them might be headed to Las Vegas at the same time as the New Media Expo in August, so I should be able to see them then, although Phil won’t be there.
I hope to make it back sooner rather then later, as there were quite a few other people I only briefly got to know, and would love to talk to longer. Thank goodness for the internet…I am able to talk to them more now…and hopefully plan something big when I come up next time.
Well that’s my story…well the non-juicy parts…we will leave those details for another blog perhaps ;-) I’ll miss ya Canada, Shawn, Richard, Alex, and especially Neale and Phil.