There are many things Canada is known for – mounties, moose, igloos (yes, I jest), etc. – but this weekend, I experienced the ultimate of Canadian activities. I was invited to spend the night with my friend at her house in the Durham Region (sort of like our “county” in Houston) about 40 minutes outside of Toronto. We had planned to have her boyfriend grill his fabulous steaks, drink some wine, watch “Sex and the City” and cause general debauchery. We also watched her dog eat corn straight from the cob. Normally I would say “only in Texas”, but in this case, it’s “only in Durham”.
On the opposite side of the building were the hockey ice pads. These tiny little boys looked just like the pros but were all of 5 or 6. It felt like the entire town was at the arena that morning and I was told that the same scenario was happening all over the GTA that day, like every Saturday. Once hockey begins in September, practice and games are a weekly event that occur until April of the following year. Holy crap — that’s a lot of weekends spent bundled up in North Face drinking Timmy Ho’s. Not to mention, it’s not exactly cheap for your kid to play hockey, averaging $450 just to join the team and not including equipment, travel, etc. Wow.
While we were waiting for my friend’s son to change into his gear, we scurried over to the ubiquitous Tim Horton’s to get a coffee – the MOST Canadian of all Canadian institutions. There must be more Tim Horton’s coffee consumed per capita in Canada than all the Starbucks in the universe combined. There is literally not an hour that goes by without seeing someone holding a Tim Horton’s cup in hand. I’m convinced they spike their coffee with something to make you come back for more (crack?)
By the way, did I mention the very good looking dads at the arena? Definitely the place to spot hot guys. But I digress. Once we got back to the arena, practice was starting so in we went. It was, of course, even colder inside and I had stupidly only brought my light scarf and coat. So there I sat – in Whitby, Ontario on a saturday morning, Tim Horton’s in hand, watching little boys and girls play hockey and ice skate at the local ice rink. It was one of my most memorable Canadian experiences.