I had the great opportunity this week to attend SES Toronto which is a week-long conference focusing on digital marketing, especially topics like email distribution, search engine optimization, and social media. It was one of the best learning experiences I could have asked for when it comes to what I’m doing right now at work. It was truly fantastic.

Getting to and from Canada, however, was not so fantastic. The flight was long, I had delays which forced me to change my itinerary, a Jeep Wrangler was the only car left to rent (which was fun to drive, but not in one of North America’s busiest cities), traffic was awful, parking was super expensive, I missed my flight home and had to stay the night on a bench at the LA airport, and Canadians pronounce the letter “z” as “zed.”

Other than that (and numerous other strange Canadian pronunciations), it was a pretty fantastic trip. The conference sessions didn’t last all day, so I still had quite a bit of time to wander around Toronto with my camera. I was especially interested in visiting Toronto’s Chinatown which wasn’t too far from my hotel.

So I set off one afternoon after getting out of the day’s last session, and while everyone else was getting slizzard at the opening social being held at the bar, I wandered for hours on foot through Toronto. I walked around downtown and took some pictures of buildings before heading off to Chinatown where I was loudly berated by a Chinese guy who apparently has a deep hatred for white people. I was tempted to yell some equally scalding things back in Chinese, but though better of it and moved on. At that point, I thought it would be good to head back to the hotel, but I got distracted by a pretty college campus and became hopelessly lost. I ended up walking for about 5 hours and covered a lot of the city included the gay district with it’s “cinemas.” It was at that point that I stopped taking photos and really focused on getting back to the hotel.

I wish I had had more time to make it down to Lake Ontario and several places in Toronto, but I guess I’ll have to save that for another trip (preferably in the distant future).