Fantastic Voyage

7 02 2014
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and a recent brief conversation with “Dispersal of Darwin” blogger has made me realize I didn’t post anything about my trip to a very large collection of Darwin and Evolution related books and items. 

Story of all Stories.

To start, how did I even get the chance to visit this or find out about the personal collection. Well I went to lunch with Wanda my girlfriend/fiancé/partner in this crime called life.The lunch was with a bunch of family of hers because her aunt had just moved into the area. Also her cousin was there with a couple friends to make sure she made the move as transition ok, and as something to do.
We brought our son to the lunch and upon introducing him to the friends of her cousin their eyes lit up a bit and they seemed very excited to meet him and hold him. As it turns out one of them had a father who owned a very large collection of Charles Darwin books etc etc etc. The rest of this story is probably clear now. The other friend and the cousin worked for an airline so they helped arrange the trip and accommodations to see this place. And the arrangement with the father was made so we were on our way.

Baby on a plane.

Darwin being on a plane at the ripe age of 1 was a bit scary. We thought since it was a short flight and was directly there and back it wouldn’t be tough. Well. The flight had a stop over both ways. The trip there we had to turn back to the stop over point to let some snow clear up as the visibility was 0. So that 1 flight turned into 3. And on the way back we were told there was a huge storm at home so we may end up stopping halfway for the night. Luckily we just had a quick stopover and the skies were clear. So in the end 2 quick flights turned into 5.
However. Darwin being as awesome as he always is, made tons of friends on the plane. The crew was the same there and back so they loved him. He didn’t cry much other than the landings which the only one that was really bad was the final coming hole one. It was a very long slow landing and so our ears just didn’t pop until later that night.

Here We Are

So we get there to our destination. Quickly we shuffle off to our Holiday Inn to relax for a minute. We thn go for some lunch and let the baby sleep. Then head to the mall. The subways almost took my hand off when the door shut and almost lost Darwin in the process. It was a stressful moment.
We trek on, and really overwhelmed by the size of the mall we just walk around and only bought Tramp from Lady and the Tramp, and Spot from 101 Dalmatians, from the Disney store.
We went to the Royal Ontario Museum the next day. That was huge and awesome. We didn’t have time to go through all 4 floors and explore all the exhibits fully but it was still awesome. Tons of fossils and historical displays.
On the final day it was just way too cold to really do much and the flight was at 2 so I decided to go quickly down the road to see some of the local stores and bought some records, Wu Tang socks (I’m a Hip Hop head) and some little toys for Darwin.

Pièce de résistance

So let’s now step back a day to the event of interest. The Darwin collection. As we walk in I see the Porsche and Bentley in the driveway. I realize my mind may be blown soon. I was expecting a room with a nice solid collection in it. I didn’t realize that each room in the house had a collection and theme in it. Everything was nicely placed as if a master decorator had placed it specifically. Turns out returning was done by himself. Things had been purchased from all around the globe and placed where it suited best. There was even a very small closet size room downstairs that had a statue in it with a red light behind a large heavy door and rot iron cemetery style gate.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get more amazing things would become even more amazing. As many people will know, any discussion on evolution would likely end up about religion because people tend to drift to it regardless of their personal beliefs. So he had made a room right as a walk in thy is roped off and is called the world religion room. It had pieces of every religion placed all around it. Ancient books like bibles qurans torahs etc. Crosses menorahs and Buddhas etc. It was a place to discuss religion to whatever extent and with whatever topic you may desire but that was where it ended, the rest of the house was for evolution talk. He also explained that this was how every visit would begin. Even with the recent visit from Richard Dawkins, who say in the exact same chair as I was sitting in. (Like I said, mind blown)
So below I’ve put together some images of the trip. Some fun personal ones from the flights and the museum. And then some photos from the visit to the house. Needless the say, the trip was well worth the intense cold of the polar vortex, and the delayed flights we had to endure. We plan to return sometime later when Darwin is older so he can appreciate this place a bit more.

Click on a photo to get a better look, and to start the slideshow.

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