Surviving in a Strange City

Martini at the WaterfrontI like exploring in different places but the first few days in a strange city can be very stressful when you haven’t quite got your bearings.

Thank the gods for Google Maps.  They got me where I needed to be for dinner last night with friends, this morning to the work venue (sort of) and this afternoon to Dollarama to purchase a few things I needed for the class.  The only glitches were when it didn’t recognize the lane to local  golf course, where I was to be working, was off a small side street. I went down the road and had to turn back to find the spot. This evening it got me to the first store I wanted to visit but once I got into “Big Box Hell” it really had trouble directing me to the second.  I finally gave up looking and then when leaving the parking lot defied the instructions with positive results.  No I should not have turned right like it said.

Then there is the issue of food.  Where in the city does one eat.  Out at the big box end of town are all the usual suspects like Kelsey’s, Boston Pizza and the like but frankly I can go to them at home so why would I not want to venture into the world of local culinary fare?  Simple answer.  Because you need to have a tour guide, a big wallet and an epi pen to survive.

Someone had mentioned the “Delta” had great food.  They didn’t mention the entres began at $40.  After making my way to the waterfront restaurant through a maze of cars and side streets I sat down at a lovely table looking out over the night lights on the water in Kingston.  It was beautiful and so calming.

The wait staff were charming and sympathetic to my ever annoying and often embarrassing shell fish allergy.  They and the chef went out of their way to accommodate my problem and all was well until someone in a neighboring table started to enjoy their shrimp dinner.  I was grateful I was finished my meal but there would be no desert.  I had vacate the premises in short order.

The distress had started with a couple of sneezes but grew quickly to being completely stuffed up to the point of having trouble talking.  Because I had walked there I hadn’t wanted to carry my purse.  Mistake noted.  In it were both my puffer and my epi pen.  From this day forward the purse and I will be inseparable.

The waitress got a good tip because she met me at the door with my bill to accomodate my hasty departure.  She also took my name and phone number so she could check on me later.  She did check on me and it was much appreciated.

Tomorrow another friend who is a local will be joining for dinner.  Here’s hoping we can find somewhere uncomplicated to eat.

And yes, Kingston does have a homeless population.  I was very sad to see someone wrapped in a blanket on a park bench as I wandered back to the hotel.  Sort of wished I had shared my dinner budget with him.


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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2 Responses to Surviving in a Strange City

  1. My daughter lives 20 minutes from Kingston so we go there often. It’s a beautiful city! Enjoy!

  2. Ah, the trials and tribulations of travel, but the end result can be beautiful memories. Hope you had that in abundance in spite of the shellfish episode.

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