Driving through Toronto and stopping at weed dispensaries on my trip to Montreal

There are plenty of sights to see in Michigan as a resident of Sterling Heights, but my roommate and I wanted to take a drive over the border in Sarnia and head east until we got to Montreal.

  • He has cousins that live there and they always raved about the cannabis that’s available in Quebec and neighboring Ontario.

Don’t get me wrong, I would take any excuse to do a transnational road trip into Canada, but I wasn’t really convinced at first that the cannabis in Canada could rival what we purchase in Michigan. Either way, I agreed and immediately applied for a passport. Thankfully we were planning on a July road trip so the weather would be warm and pleasant. Since his cousins mentioned the quality of the cannabis in Ontario, I figured that we should stop in Toronto on our way to Montreal. I read online that Toronto has over 250 cannabis dispensaries in the city, which is absolutely staggering. There are many skyscrapers as well, especially the massive CN Tower. The first cannabis dispensary that we visited in Toronto was located in North York. We each got cannabis vape pens and a jar of cannabis flower buds to smoke in our hotel. After scanning various cannabis store locations on my phone, I decided to drive across town on the Ontario 401 Express until we arrived in Scarborough. The dispensary that we were headed to is on Ellesmere Road near Confederation Park. I was happy that I got a chance to try some of my fresh cannabis while sitting on a park bench. By the time we made it to Quebec, we had already sampled some of the best weed that Ontario has to offer.

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Frustrated the first dispensary was closed before hitting Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

I was really excited when Cannabis was legalized nationwide in Canada in 2018.

You can even get it through the mail system if you aren’t close to the dispensary of your choice, but I’m lucky living here in Toronto. When I read online that we have over 250 cannabis dispensaries in the city and the surrounding area, I was astonished. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware of the density and size of Toronto, but the idea of having just short of three hundred different weed stores in this area is impressive. That’s a lot of marijuana being sold in just one single metropolitan city, but that’s the impact of national cannabis legalization in Canada. Whenever I take trips on the weekend to various places in Toronto, I like to visit a cannabis dispensary first. I have my favorite marijuana shops that I frequent when I want a cannabis product that is reliable and predictable for medical reasons. With that said, I love nothing more than to try a new marijuana store at least once a month to see if there is killer cannabis lurking somewhere nearby right underneath my nose. Sometimes I get frustrated when I have to make multiple stops if one or more of the dispensaries I try has recently been shut down. You can imagine that having hundreds of dispensaries creates an extremely competitive market in Toronto, so these stores are closing and opening all of the time. I was hoping to visit one particular weed store on Queen Street before heading southward to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. When I saw that the dispensary on Queen Street was already closed down, I was annoyed because I spent 20 minutes trying to find parking close enough. Thankfully I found another nearby dispensary on my phone that I could reach on foot off King Street one block south.
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The service crew couldn't fix the heating problem too

Saturday morning, I was working on the garbage disposal and I realized that there was a serious and major leak under the kitchen sink.

It was behind a wall and in an area where I would not have noticed.

Since I was under the kitchen sink with a flashlight, it was easy to see the leaking water. I carefully removed the wood and I saw the area where the plumbing appeared to be leaking. I didn’t want to tackle the job on my own, so I contacted a contractor from Orland Park. The contractor had availability the next day, but he promised to arrive early in the morning. The Orland Park contractor called at 6:45 and he was 15 minutes away from our property at that time. He arrived shortly after 7 and immediately started working on the plumbing issue. While the service professional was in the house, I also had a problem with the furnace. I thought it was horrible luck, but I hoped the Orland Park contractor would be able to lend some assistance. Although the Orland Park’s service technician had some knowledge on boilers and hot water heaters, he did not feel comfortable working on the furnace and suggested we contact a different Orland Park company to handle those repairs. After a weekend filled with repairs, I certainly hope these are the last issues that we will encounter before the new year. I still have a lot of Christmas presents to buy and all of these repairs are slowly diminishing my savings account and Christmas funds.


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A good place to take photos is Eugene, OR

My fiance and I had been together 8 years and didn’t really want to plan a wedding. It was like one month we decided to finally get hitched. The two of us didn’t want it to be a big deal. I didn’t want to have a bunch of people around and pay for food, a band and booze. Instead, the two of us booked a small trip to Eugene Oregon to say our vows, take some pictures and hang out there. Eugene was chosen because the two of us could book a direct flight and the area looked pretty. It turned out to be a perfect location. At first I was concerned that the pictures wouldn’t look good. That was the only thing I wanted from the day. I bought a nice dress, did my hair and put on make-up. I wanted to have a picture that I could show years from now that looked beautiful. I worried that Oregon wouldn’t have the landscapes for me. There were plenty of areas to choose from. Our photographer had us start at Mount Pisgah. It was 4,000 acres of natural beauty. There were long plains of grass, trees, water and the sun was just starting to set. It was a gorgeous backdrop for our fall wedding. We even made a quick stop at Owen Rose Garden. I was expecting a tourist trap and maybe one rose bush. Instead it was tons of different colored blooms and archways. I was thrilled to take my picture there. After we said our vows, got our pictures taken, the two of us just walked through the city. We ate delicious food, smoked legal weed and enjoyed a few days at our hotel. It was perfect.

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We decided to visit Sandia Peak while getting our new air conditioner installed

I have really enjoyed living in Albuquerque after years in the muggy swamps of the American southeast.

  • My inexperience with traveling made me assume that Albuquerque would be unbelievably hot like Arizona, but its high elevation above sea level as a city makes it much more milder by comparison.

You can also count on much drier air than what I experienced living in the swamp, where mold was a constant concern. Even though it was early November when I moved here, the temperatures were only dropping into the low 60s in the late afternoon and early evening. As it gets later at night, the temperatures can drop 15 to 20 degrees, but still stay above freezing. The humidity was at an amazing 18% compared to the 80% and up humidity living in the southeast. Although it gets colder in Albuquerque as the winter progresses, the lows in the middle of the night rarely get colder than 20 degrees fahrenheit, with many evenings being closer to 40 degrees. However, cold air is the last thing on my mind as we’re headed into summer here in Albuquerque. In fact, we just had our new air conditioner installed a few days ago. While the heating and cooling technicians were in our house, I took my family to Sandia Peak for the afternoon. There is a tramway that takes you to the top of the mountain and offers spectacular views of the city down below. You can see Cibola National Forest to the northwest if you’re looking down toward the city from the top of Sandia Peak. Once the air conditioning installation was complete, the technicians sent me a text and my family and I returned home.


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All of the space heaters are sold out at local stores in Cocoa after a cold snap

Living in Florida has been a wonderful experience from the start, especially since I have seen different parts of the state over the years.

My family settled in Tampa for a few years before buying a house in Sarasota where my parents still live.

During college I was living in Fort Lauderdale, but afterward I moved southward upon finding a job in Cocoa. It’s a beautiful area to be in, especially having both the Kennedy and Cape Canaveral Space Stations within driving distance of my apartment. There are numerous shops on Merritt Island and in Old Cocoa Village. If you drive toward the ocean, you’ll find the highly coveted Cocoa Beach. Sometimes I take my kayak and explore the Banana River Aquatic Preserve with one of my friends. There are plenty of people to meet if you go out at night, but it’s also great enjoying Florida without being in a massive metropolitan city like Tampa or Miami. However, Cocoa is toward the north in Florida, and is famous for an event called the “Great Freeze” in which citrus crops were lost and farmers were forced to seek other employment. Although this was in the last years of the 1800s, Coca still experiences cold weather from time to time. I have kept thinking about getting a space heater for my apartment, but I put it off every year. This year I couldn’t find a space heater even though it was still the last week of November. I drove to Titusville just to find a space heater, but then I left empty handed as all of the hardware stores there were out of heating equipment as well.
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Wedding and honeymoon itinerary

I decided that my fiance and I are getting married in California and going to do our honeymoon there.

  • I asked around and got all sorts of locations that people enjoyed.

It is such a big state that I had to pick and choose. I decided I wanted a whole blend of California fun. I wanted the city experience where you see the sights, eat at high end restaurants and try legal cannabis. So I have us starting out in San Francisco. Then after we enjoy the city, the two of us will go to Santa Cruz for a beach and boardwalk experience. Afterwards we go to Carmel by the Sea which is where our elopement is taking place. Carmel is such a quaint little town with cute shops, a beach and tons of picture perfect locations. After that the two of us drive further south to Big Sur and then end up in Santa Barbara. I think this will be a good end spot because Santa Barbara has everything we could want. There is city stuff like legal cannabis dispensaries, good hotels, spas and restaurants. There is quiet, quanti shopping. I also found parks, beaches and great stuff with nature too. I think Santa Barbara will be the location where the two of us are a little loose on what we do. I did manage to book us a really expensive hotel right in the heart of the city. It is our last leg of the trip after all. We will be a married couple. Might as well end the trip in style!

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Tarzana means everything is closeby

I found a hotel that is walking distance to the cannabis dispensary there.

My best friend Cindy and I like to go on a trip every year. Our plan is to someday say we have seen all 50 states. Right now the two of us have a trip planned in California. I debated on where to go exactly and decided that we needed more of a city trip. We are going to fly into Los Angeles and then stay in Tarzana. It is only 40 minutes away from the big city and is a great jumping off point. I really want to see Universal Studios and that is only a quick, 20 minute drive. The Santa Monica Pier is said to be a gorgeous sight around the time Cindy and I are going. That is under 30 minutes. Yes, we have to drive to every place that we want to go to. I like that the two of us can stay in the same hotel for a week though. I would way rather drive further to have a strict homebase. The two of us really sprawl out in a hotel room. It is annoying checking in and out and paying attention to those times. Also, the two of us liked to get boozed up or smoke recreational weed. That means we need to be in an area that caters to that and have a hotel room closeby. I found a hotel that is walking distance to the cannabis dispensary there. It looks really high end and properly stocked. I know one day we will try Californian wine and enjoy recreational weed. Cindy and I won’t worry about driving. We will just walk around feeling loose and return to our safe hotel room.



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There are pros to the area

When my husband got a promotion at work it required him to move.

I was devastated when we had to pack up and move to Glenview, Illinois.

We had lived in South Carolina for years and had a house. I was really upset to move to a city that had basically nothing to do. If I wanted to see a movie, watch a show or eat at a nice restaurant, it was at least a 30 minute car ride. I was also angry at the weather. It is cold all the time in Illinois. The only redeeming thing was that the cold doesn’t dip into the negatives. The summer season was virtually non-existent too. Basically a month of barely 80 degree weather. It took awhile, but now I like the area. Our house really helped me. In South Carolina the houses were right on top of each other. If I wanted to garden in my bikini top, my neighbor was right there. In Glenview we were able to get a giant backyard that is totally private. The kids can play and make noise without bothering anyone. My husband walks around in his undies and I can run in a sports bra. It is so quiet too. I thought I would miss city life but I am used to being in silence. There is virtually no crime and the cost of living is quite low. I have a new appreciation for winter sports and heating systems now. Our house now has heated flooring in every room and that has really changed things. Feeling toasty warm inside helps me deal with the outdoor chill.
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The welding shop had a high tech smart thermostat

My wife and I were visiting some friends and family in St Petersburg, and the stairs on our RV broke.

We didn’t know who to call and there weren’t a lot of options for RV repairs.

One of my family members suggested calling a welding shop to have the stairs repaired. I thought that was an excellent idea. I called a couple of places and I found a welding shop in Tampa Bay that was willing to see me at any time. I took the stairs off the RV and packed them into the back of the truck. I went to the welding shop and spoke with a person in charge. I went inside of the building. When I answered the shop, I was very surprised by the cool, comfortable atmosphere. It felt more like an office than a shop for mechanics. The welding shop had a high-tech smart thermostat that controlled the heat, AC, humidity, and air purification products. I mentioned something to the office manager about the high-tech smart thermostat and she told me that the owner’s son owns a heating and AC repair business in Tampa Bay. The kid is wildly successful and set everything up just a few months ago. I asked for the name of the heating and AC repair business, just in case my family and friends didn’t have a full-time Tampa provider. The guy sounded like he was headed in the right direction. The stairs were completed in less than two hours and I waited in the lobby while the shop manager finished the work.

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