I had never been to Indianapolis but it’s become one of my favourite cities. The architecture and the feeling you have walking around. It’s a fun city that looks like it promotes the culture to guests and residents. We went here to visit the Eternal James Dean exhibit at the state museum. No photos were allowed inside so I don’t have any to show. Another thing I liked about the city was the mix of the old and the new. The old buildings with new ones right next to it, or new buildings with vintage-themed shops. Here are some photos of the city.
So there’s is no explaining why I like James Dean. There’s something about him that from the first time I saw him I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Then I found out he was dead and I felt my heart was broken. I’m not going to lie, I cried when I found out. Even before I knew who he was I felt kind of tied to him. Since grade 4 my motto has been “Dream like you’ll live forever, Live like you’ll die today“. It was funny to find out 8 years later that he was the one who said that.
A few years ago, I was going through a really difficult time with my family splitting up and I felt no one understood me or what I was going through. And there was something about him that I felt did understand just through his movies. I haven’t watched the full movie of Giant because I just can’t. I can’t say it’s all over.
Before this trip I never saw James Dean out of my room or house. None of my friends were really fans or knew who he was. Walking into the James Dean Gallery I was overwhelmed by how much other people loved him. It wasn’t just me and people felt the same as me. They adored him but couldn’t understand why. He didn’t have a lot of interviews and you had to go off what other people said about him. And they definitely didn’t portray him as some kind of God. They talked of him as being kind, gentle, respectful, shy, can talk you ear off, and loved cars and bull fighting. But there were others who described him as sick and needing help because of his shyness and not being able to talk or approach people. His close friend described him as the loneliest person in the world. Maybe that’s why I can relate to him during difficult times in my life, because I feel the exact same way most of the time.
His grave was smaller than I expected and a lot smaller than any of the tombstones there. My father and I walked around for a good 20 minutes before we found him. He’s buried beside his aunt and uncle. His grave is very small with lipstick marks on it. It’s a tradition to kiss the stone but I couldn’t because my father was there and that made me uncomfortable. Seeing him in his grave made everything very real. This man I looked up to was dead and there I was just standing there, not knowing what to do. I wanted to cry, but again, my dad was there. He was a great actor and a great man.
I thought I would go to his hometown and pay my respects to a man who helped me in ways you can’t imagine and I will never be able to explain.
So my father and I decided to take a road trip from Toronto to Fairmount to Indianapolis to Tennessee to Memphis and back. On the way there we drove through Detroit. Now, in my experience, Detroit has always been portrayed as a scary, violent city. But driving through it I was shocked to see how much of it was abandoned. It was kind of sad to see a city with some parts just forgotten. Here are some shots I took.
So my father and I went on a road trip we dubbed the “Dead Man’s Tour”. You may be wondering why we did this. The answer is, simply because we were visiting James Dean and Elvis.
James Dean has been a hero of mine since I first saw him only three years ago. Since then he’s been a constant inspiration and person I can relate to, even though he’s dead (RIP). I read online that the Indiana State Museum in Indianapolis was having a James Dean Exhibit and of course I couldn’t pass that up!
My dad had offered to bring me on a road trip wherever I wanted to go, and I couldn’t choose between going to visit Jimmie and Elvis or go to Salem then up to the Maritimes in Canada. So while weighing the two options I made the choice to watch some Supernatural and it was the episode that helped me choose James Dean. In a tv show that’s about demons and ghosts and monsters, there was James Dean and Little Bastard in an episode. It was a sign from Jim, no doubt. 🙂 It was also lucky because the week we went, the east coast got butchered by rain.
So we went from Toronto-Fairmount-Indianapolis-Tennessee-Memphis and home again. In the next few weeks I’ll post highlights from the trip so stay tuned! Here are some photos to get you started.
So it took me 19 years but I finally went up to the CN Tower!!! (I get to cross yet another item off my bucket list). For the past month I’ve had my two friends I made at camp stay with me, one from Germany and one from Mexico. Something neither of them have done is go to the CN Tower so we decided to do it. Thanks to CouchSurfing we found a coupon that allows us to go up for $10 past 8pm.
I did this mostly to get over my fear of heights and at first I was terrified, especially when we were going up the elevator and the ground kept getting further and further away, and we went higher than the tallest building. But when I was up there you realize it’s not that scary. There’s nothing to be scared of at that height. You are secure and what’s the worst thing that could happen? Everything I thought of wasn’t realistic and realizing that helped me calm down. Then I had to get over my ultimate fear…the glass floor.
At first glance I felt like I was falling. It’s a weird feeling being up that high and being able to see the ground with nothing blocking your view. And to be honest I had to hold someones hand the first two times I walked over the glass. But the third time I was able to do it by myself and the feeling of accomplishing that was far greater than my fear of heights. I’m excited to say I may be over my fear of heights.
There are some stereotypes about Toronto, or Canada in general. I’m here to say most of them are false.
No, we do not ride polar bears to school.
No, we don’t live in igloos.
Yes, we have phones.
No, we do not have funny accents. (Maybe in Quebec)
Yes, we say “eh?” a lot.
Yes, we say please and sorry a lot.
No, it is not always snowing here!
One of the biggest misconceptions I find about Canada is that it is always snowing here, even in Toronto. That is not true in the summer. I hope this guide provides you with enough information so you know what to pack on your trip to Toronto.
I don’t even know where to begin with summer. Summer in Toronto is unbearably hot most of the time. During the summer, there are constantly heat warnings and smog warnings.
The best thing to do is hit up one of the beaches in Toronto. You could check out Dutch Dreams and get some ice cream.
Don’t bring tight clothing if you sweat a lot… Bring shorts, skirts, and dresses. Also, tank tops and loose shirts. Bring flip-flops/sandals and lots of sun screen. You will sweat so make sure you’re drinking lots of water.
The difference between Toronto and Vancouver is that when it’s hot in Vancouver, it’s hot. When it’s hot in Toronto, it’s 30C plus humidity so it’s probably around 36C. And that’s on a good day.
The dreaded Canadian winter!!! It’s exactly how it’s stereotyped.
Bring jeans, track pants, sweaters, winter jackets, and waterproof, cold-proof boots. Hats, gloves, and scarves are often required as well. Be prepared for weather to get as cold as -30C!
For those who read my last post, you know that I’ve been working at a summer camp for the past 5.5 weeks. There I met so many different people from all around the world! I worked in the kitchen as a dishwasher as I’m not too qualified to be a counsellor. In the kitchen staff was 4 Canadians (including me), 2 Mexicans, and 1 German. At the camp workers were from all over the world (Spain, Italy, America, Australia). Thanks to this job I now have very close friends in Germany, Mexico, and Italy and have places to stay when I travel to these countries. I now also have a travel buddy to go to Australia and Indonesia with!
I would definitely recommend getting a job at a summer camp if you are working abroad during the summer, either in the kitchen or for the camp. Working at a camp gives you somewhere to live, food, and an income. Plus it’s a great way to make friends. Here are some photos of my adventure there. (For those who are curious I worked at Camp Wabikon)