© 2011 jemma

Toronto!!

Jess said I shouldn’t have posted two blogs so close together, so I hope you have all read the Californian Road Trip blog AS WELL at the LA blog. Mainly for continuity, but also because there will be a test at the end. It will be multiple choice so won’t be that hard…don’t worry…it’s only a years worth of content! 🙂

Moving on – this may be in the test – we were very happy to be back on Canadian soil. Everything just suddenly felt safer, but things definitely were hotter. The humidity in Toronto was definitely the first thing that hits you. It is thick and wet and the sun is scorching!

On our first full day in Toronto Jess and I went for a big walk around. We were staying in Chinatown so that was a good start and we found a place that sold the BEST Vietnamese vermicelli noodle salads outside of Wollongong. Ahh memories.. It soon became our go to place for cheap food, as well as Sobeys.

From Chinatown we went and checked out the harbour. Toronto is not on the ocean, but it is on one of the great lakes – lake Ontario – and has the Toronto Islands in front of the harbour. There was no relief down on the water from the heat though. I think it was worse.

We finally found some shade in the wetlands and the Music Park on the harbour. Not only were the flowers beautiful but the shade was even better. There were so many bees on the flowers too. Very relaxing, if you are not allergic.

Our weekend in Toronto included a lot of walking. On Saturday we walked around the city taking in Kensington markets with it’s retro stores and Haight – Ashbury attitude. My favourite shop was a sewing co-op where all the clothes were made people from in the area. Jess’ favourite was the fire that started in a house and the 15 or so fire engines and firemen that came to put it out. There were three ladder trucks, guys going in, smoke galore and hoses everywhere. I just hope everyone got out ok!

After the fire drama we headed up to Bloor-Yorkville, walking past the University and Legislative building. Bloor-Yorkville is the now trendy area of Toronto where all the big name shops and chains line the main street and the lanes. It was quite nice, but way out of our price range.

We went to Downtown Toronto next, and headed down the main street. It was ok. The usual shops, malls and people. There was a square with big TV’s. After down town we headed over to the distillery district to St Lawrence market. It is a lot like Granville Island with lots of fresh food and a small amount of artisans. Was ok, another good reprieve from the heat.

The next day we bought picnic salads from Sobeys and caught the ferry with the thousands of other people to Toronto Island. We got off at Centre Island and strolled around the grounds. It is really pretty with large grassy areas, ponds, rivers and flowers. We then headed to check out the ‘beaches’ and a good place to picnic.

After lunch we went for a swim at Wards Beach and fought off the algae. The water was quite cool and refreshing but the green stuff was a little off putting. After our swim we walked around the island some more and headed back to the mainland on the ferry. It had been a good day, but we got lots of sun!

Mondays adventure was a tour of the Steamwhistle brewery. I have never had so much free beer on a tour! We were all given a bottle of freshly bottled beer. Very nice, as well as other tastings. They only brew one beer here, a pilsner. It was a fun tour. We got to see everything, the big shiny vats, the bottle machine and the steamwhistle. We even got to see the workers having their afternoon beers. The bottles they use are extra thick so they can be reused up to 45 times – they have bottle drops in North America – so the 6 pack we bought was quite heavy to carry home!

The next evening our new found beer knowledge came in handy when Jess and I met up with an old school mate of his. Kent brought his girlfriend Jess along for a few drinks at some local pubs. Jessica (Kents g/f) came from Milton, where Jon – Jess’ friend from Vancouver (keep up now!) – would be taking us to on Wednesday. It just happened that she knew Jon and Tom (we drove his car to Calgary) AND had a cousin that knew Jess’ brothers who had worked in Taiwan. It was a small world!!

We had a great evening and Jess was reminded off most of his high school days that he seems to have forgotten. It is funny how much Jess can not remember about high school, so it was lucky for him that Kent’s memory was quite good about things like what happened at their year 12 formal, classes they had together etc. It was a nice reunion but there were too many Coronas!

The next day Jon picked us up to take us to Milton where he grew up. We got to his parents house and met his lovely Mum and Dad and their dog Kolt, a Vizsla who is absolutely adorable. We had a BBQ for dinner and Jess and I made sausage sizzles – there is not a Bunnings here – and we supplied the salad since that is all we eat so we are experts at making them.

We were going to go to Canada’s Wonderland the next day, but it rained. :(So instead I swam laps of the pool in the morning – yes in the rain – and then we went to see Harry Potter. I can’t believe it is the end of an era. Good old Harry eh, what a trooper. We then spent the night watching TV and The Lincoln Lawyer. It is not the best movie…in my opinion because I just LOVE movies.

We are hanging out for our next adventure though, catching the train to Ottawa to stay with Jess’ brother Doug and his girlfriend Kerrie and see Chris and his wife Lindsay. Jess is VERY excited and so am I! It should be lots of fun catching up with the family!

Onwards to Ottawa!!