Niel and I got back last night from Toronto. We left Thursday for a long get away weekend. Now that we are back I feel like I was never on vacation as usual. The pictures and our tans, ok my slight redness are my only proof. We had a good time. Niel and I are already planning our next escape. Toronto is a nice city. A mixture of old with new. English with French translation. Loonies and toonies. Street signs that chirp. Good public transportation. Great hot dogs. We stayed at the Metropolitan hotel. It is Asian themed. Niel found a good deal for it on Hotels.com. It is a four star hotel. Never stayed at a four star before. Not much different than a Marriott though. Except our room was smaller and there was no internet access in it, so we had to go to the lobby to check mail or post sporadically. I guess that's four star for ya. LOL. The hotel did have two nice restaurants inside but they were too pricey so we ate our meals out. There were a good variety of dining options, such as Indian, Thai, Chinese and West Indies. After we arrived and dropped off our luggage we decided to go exploring. I heard that Toronto or Canada in general has great hot dogs. We spotted a vender. They were all over the place and got two beef hot dogs. They were awesome. The carts also come with little buckets of condiments. I like mine with relish, mustard and sour kraut. They also sell German, Polish and vegetarian hot dogs. We saw a neat looking old building and started to walk towards it. We saw some protestors and asked the guard what it was. He said the building was the Ontario parliament and if we wanted and were quiet we could sit in on it. It was really hot(it was the entire trip) so going to an air conditioned building was a relief. The building was as pretty on the inside too and it was very interesting seeing the three parties discuss and sometimes argue over laws. There were also these kids who would bring water or pass notes to the members. We stayed for a while then walked to the Eaton Center. The biggest mall I have ever seen. Two long floors underground and two long floors above ground. They also had two food courts. We walked around a bit with our mouths open. We got a bit more peckish and decided to try an Eastern Canadian delicacy Poutine. It is fries with cheese curds and gravy. Really good. Then we went back to the hotel hung out in the pool and hot tub. For dinner we had some dinner from the West Indies restaurant down the block. It was yummy and a nice first day!
Friday, our second day and first full day, we had breakfast at Tim Hortons. Another place in Canada I wanted to try. Sort of reminds me of Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. I love their cheese croissants. We underestimated the map and decided to walk to Casa Loma from downtown Toronto. Big mistake. Our feet hurt so badly. But the castle was beautiful. They have a tunnel to the stables. Really good sound quality for singing. We took pictures and walked around a bit. Afterwards we ended up in Little Italy and ate fantastic pizza at Johns. I had a pesto, roasted pepper and goat cheese pizza, and a pizza marguerita. Niel had two pepperoni. We tried each others slices. They cut the slices down the middle. Easier to eat. We also drank a lot of water. Niel tried Steamwhistle beer. He liked that a lot. Then we headed over to Kensington Market. An eclectic neighborhood with restaurants, and shops. Next we walked over to China town. Also lots of shops and dining options. Afterwards we headed to the CN tower. Similar to the Space Needle in Seattle. We had to walk through these detectors where this steam was sprayed. I think they were to check for bombs. Our ears popped when we went up the elevator. The view is gorgeous from top. June 26 was its 30th anniversary. They also have a small clear floor where you can see all the way down. A bit scary. We went back to shower before going to see the Blue Jays play the Mets at the Rogers Center. The stadium is not that large, so we got to see the field pretty well. The Mets won. Yay! We got more hot dogs and called it a night.
Saturday we learned our lesson and took a lot of subways and street cars. The street cars are electric. Toronto is a pretty eco friendly city and I believe country in general tries to be. We took a street car to the Riverdale section of Toronto. I wanted a picture of the Degrassi street sign. It is no where near the junior high where Degrassi Junior High was filmed in the eighties. More on that later. Degrassi street is cute. I loved the show so getting a picture was neat for me. We also found where old China town was and caught another bus. We got to see a lot of different neighborhoods that way. Who says you need a city tour when you can ride the buses for cheaper. LOL. We even visited a local supermarket Loblaws (no not owned by Scott Baio's charachter Bob Loblaw in Arrested Development) and Zellers. We went back to Kensington Market Niel wanted to eat at Big Fat Burrito. It was good. We only had two small burritos and walked over to an ice cream parlor for some walnut ice cream. Delicious. We went back to the Rogers Center and saw another Mets game. They lost that game. Pooh. We were hungry and decided to go to the Harbourfront to look around and perhaps find some dinner. The Harbourfront is lovely but for some reason there was a soft core porno being shot on a boat IN BROAD DAY LIGHT!!!! I kid you not! We left after not finding any food. We ended up going to a Red Lobster. Their portions of food seemed so much more then what we are used to at our local Red Lobster. A wonderful meal.
Sunday we took a triple decker train to Mimico. It was a short ride. We sat on the third deck going and the second coming back. Mimico is a suburb of Toronto. Niel is great with directions so it was really easy to get there. In fact the entire subway/streetcar/bus experience was. I wanted to see Vincent Massey Junior High School. It is where Degrassi Junior High was filmed in the eighties. Niel was game since he got to see the Mets play twice. I knew it was the school once we hit the corner. I never thought I would see the school in person. We took a lot of pictures there. Afterwards we went back to the ginormous Eaton Center to eat some more Poutine. Niel wanted to try KFC's version. It is cool they sell it at Canadian KFC's. I like finding how chains are a bit different in each country. It was a lot better tasting. Their gravy is peppery and the fries are softer. We also tried a burger from Harvey's. Sort of like Burger King. I like that they offer pickled peppers on the burgers. I love pickled peppers. Afterwards we went back to the hotel and hung out by the pool. In the evening we went to see the famous Second City. We got their a little early so we walked around the Entertainment district and found a cute bookstore that sold refreshments and sat there for a bit. The show was very funny. Especially the first portion. The finger foods were so so. Some of the alum from Second City have been Mike Meyers, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, and Martin Short to name a few. We ate a late dinner at Gabby's. One of the chains in Toronto. The service was awful but their wings were awesome.
Monday we had a good breakfast and walked around a bit more before having to go to the airport. The hotel held our luggage. Our plane was delayed two hours so we naturally we didn't get back to NYC till later. Some highlight photos here. Niel also had Tuesday off. Before going to his softball game he visited his mother and did laundry and brought grocieries for the week. I very much appreciated that.
Song Stuck In My Head:"Dani California" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
Craving: To be back on vacation