Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hunting for treasure with Kelly and Nelly (with P.S.)

(P.S. 28-05-07 You can read Kikipotamus's version of our adventure here, with photos.)

As I write this, it is 9:59 a.m. ... late for me to get out of bed! Normally I am up and about by 6:00 or 6:30 a.m., regardless of the time I go to sleep. But after yesterday's ten hours of fun (eight of which were spent walking!) I knew I would sleep well ... and I did.

Yesterday was the first time I met up with fellow blogger, Kikipotamus the Hobo (Kelly), who came to Toronto by bus from Waterloo to spend the day. She is the one who sent me these great gifts the other day for being one of the winners of the treasure hunt on her blog.

Ironic, as our day turned out to be one big treasure hunt in itself! Kelly/Kikipotamus is one of those people who's willing to spontaneously do and enjoy anything.

In keeping with the labyrinth book she had sent me, we started the day by walking the labyrinth. This 'full circle' turned out to be one of the major themes of the day ... as every place in the city kept leading back to itself ... each time revealing something new.

After leaving the labyrinth, in trying to decide where to go next, I asked Kelly to suggest a random 'clue' which we could follow, to lead us to our next destination. She chose the colour purple ... which led us into the nearby church (maybe it should have led us to Alice Walker) which had the colour purple recurring within it. There was a little booklet with a treasure hunt featured on it ... leading us to search the church to find the objects depicted as clues on the pages. That was the beginning of the 'treasure hunt' theme of the day.

As we left the church, I created the next clue by choosing two elements: the number seven and the direction East. So ... we headed East and instinctively got onto a street car, not knowing where it would take us. We ended up in Kensington Market. There, as we stepped onto the beginning of the street (to enter the Market) we were met by a small art gallery type place whose name reflected the numerical part of the clue ... The Collective 7! (So heading East had led us to #7).

After exploring some more and stopping for something to eat at Temptations, we went looking for Contact photography exhibitions. Every location we found was closed ... so eventually, we practically gave up, realising that Contact just was not 'making contact' with us that day.

Time for another clue ... and it was Kikipotamus's turn to choose one. She said: "The number three" ... and I added a part two: "Fruit."

We instinctively headed in another direction, walking and talking. All of a sudden I saw one of the pink rectangular CONTACT signs stuck on the window of an antique shop which was actually open. We went in and found the exhibition. Lo and behold ... the first thing we saw at the entrance was ... three fruit! (Three apples). That one blew us away, as it was the strongest example so far of the clues 'working'!

For the final clue, I spun around in the street with my eyes closed and took a random shot which I showed to Kelly. Whatever she selected in the image would be the next clue. She chose a small dot in the upper left corner, which looked like a bird.

In keeping with the saying: "it's a bird, it's a plane ..." I then said that the next part of the clue would not be 'plane', but a word rhyming with plane. Some of the overhead wires in the shot had reminded me of train tracks ... so the clue became 'bird' and 'train'. I looked at my TTC subway map to see if there was a subway station with the name of a bird. And there was ... Finch! Did this mean we were to go to Finch?

In the end, as we had been walking for eight hours, we decided to not go to Finch, but to find somewhere to sit, rest our weary bodies and have a meal. As we sat and ate at a small outdoor cafe in Mirvish Village, three pigeons and some little birds came pecking nearby. It was then that Kikipotamus pointed out that these small birds are known in some parts as Finches! So that final clue turned out to be not Finch the station, but Finch the bird.

In all, there were many interesting treasures discovered throughout our adventure ... but it's hard to capture the full experience of such a fun, spontaneous day in words and explanations. The above only gives a basic outline.

Thanks for being such fantastic company for a fun day, Kikipotamus. It was great meeting up! May Nelly the Elephant* always guide you and yours along the path of great things in life.

* Toward the early night, as we grew tired, we had to rely on Nelly the Elephant to get us where we were going. Since childhood, Nelly the Elephant Squirts Water has been my way of remembering the cardinal points: N, E, S, W.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like a good warm up - but you may want to try the 8 day road rally and adventure race from DC to New Orleans with Ravenchase Adventures. Check them out at

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Wheee! It was so fun, I am still smiling.

7:03 PM  

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