Sunday, August 9, 2015

Toronto Day Four: Niagara Falls

The only way to end our trip to Canada was to go to Niagara Falls. We went to the Canadian side of the falls and boy was it crowded. I can only imagine what it is like on peak days! It was also super touristy and tacky on one street in the town. There was a wax museum, a Ripley's Believe or Not museum, haunted houses and more. Definitely not what I thought the town of Niagara would look like!

The falls themselves were beautiful and magnificent.

The mist hit us as we were walking to the shopping area. It would feel great on a super hot and humid day!

One time I would like to see the falls from the US side to see if it is as touristy as the Canadian side! After doing some souvenir shopping and getting a snack, we got in the car to drive home. We finally got home at around 9 p.m. (it was a long drive)! We had a great time in Toronto and in Niagara Falls. Now we are in Florida and having fun in Walt Disney World!!

See you next time!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Toronto Day Three: The ROM and Shopping in Yorkville

Toronto is a great city for art and culture, and one of the best places to see that is at the Royal Ontario Museum (or the ROM). I used to go to camps at the ROM, but I don't remember anything from it except for vague recollections.

Before going into the museum we needed some breakfast! We went to Over Easy across from the museum because it was one of our favorites when we lived there. I did remember the interior of the restaurant!

Even though the pancakes were enticing, I decided to go for something more unique: the Montreal style bagel with bacon, cheese and egg.

Emma ate the Western omelette, Dad got the Full English and Mom had the Huevos Rancheros.

After that fantastic breakfast we crossed the street to the ROM to take some photos before heading inside. The exterior is a great background for any photo!

We went to the Pompeii exhibit, which was fascinating. We spent an hour there looking at all the artifacts. It got a bit heavy at the end because they have the body casts of some of the people that died due to the volcano.

The next thing on our to-do list was some shopping! Mom, Emma and I got a pair of shoes each and some stuff at Anthropologie. I love Anthropologie, even though some of their stuff is over-priced and can be a bit ridiculous.

Shopping can be exhausting, so we needed to grab some lunch. Luckily we found a great Italian place called Trattoria Nervosa.

We started with some bread and olive oil. The olive oil is their speciality and it was very good.

For my entrée I chose the most delicious pizza ever! A cheese pizza topped with prosciutto and arugula. I absolutely loved it!!

Dad also got a pizza, but he got one with olives, artichoke, prosciutto and mushrooms. Mom and Emma split the Rigatoni al Pomodoro. I tried a bit of the pasta and it was one of the best pastas that I've ever had.

That night we got together with friends at Salt Wine Bar for delicious tapas and great conversation. I love Toronto and I want to go back for at least a week so I can explore the city more. There were so many restaurants that I want to try and museums that I want to go to. I also want to visit others parts of Canada because I have only gone to Toronto, Quebec City, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls. The next day (Monday) we started the drive back to Massachusetts and made a stop at Niagara Falls.

See you then,

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Toronto Day Two: Kensington Market and Brunch

One of my more distinctive memories from Toronto is of the St Lawrence Market in Old Town. I remember the "Honey Boys" cookies from the one of the bakeries and toddling around next to my parents. So of course we needed to see how much of the market had changed in the past decade.

We walked from our apartment building to the St Lawrence Market, about a twenty minute walk. It was wonderful to walk around after sitting in the car for hours the day before!

A fountain with bubbles!
We stopped at a Starbucks for coffee before entering the indoor market. We made a beeline for Carousel Bakery for the world famous Peameal Bacon Sandwich. Dad and I got the sandwich with egg and cheese, while Mom and Emma had theirs plain.

For those of you who don't know, Peameal Bacon is a St Lawrence classic. According to Wikipedia Peameal Bacon is a type of back bacon that is brined, rolled in cornmeal and then grilled.

Yum yum!
After our light breakfast, we walked around the market and looked for the famous Honey Boys! Unfortunately the bakery does not seem to have Honey Boys anymore! *Sad face* 

No Honey Boys!
The variety of meats at the market is absolutely astonishing. One of the butchers, White House Meats, has everything from camel to turtle! Emma was not happy when she saw them. 

Since we had such a great walking tour in NYC, we decided that we had to do one in Toronto. After much deliberation we chose the Kensington Market and Chinatown walking tour from Urban Adventures.  And I am so glad that we did! The tour was fantastic, and Mike (our guide) added enough fun facts and humor that the entire tour was entertaining.

We met in front of a statue outside the Art Gallery of Ontario and of course we had to have a photo shoot!

The tour went through Chinatown and we saw some gorgeous graffiti. The guide told us about the different types of graffiti and the history of Chinatown. It was really upsetting to hear about how the Chinese people were treated throughout Canadian history. The murals, however, were inspiring. The city of Toronto now endorses some of the graffiti murals, which is helping the artist community.

You do not want to be called a "toy" in the graffiti community

Kensington Market is one of the coolest neighborhoods ever! It reminded me of the Village in NYC, but much more eclectic and bohemian. After more murals, a stop to a coffee shop and a bagel shop, the tour ended. It was a great tour and gave me the opportunity to take some great photos!

After the tour we shopped a bit (there will be a blog post all about shopping and what I bought) and decided to get some brunch. We went to Templeton's in Kensington Market.

Mom, Dad, and I split a pitcher of mimosa, which were so good on that hot day! 

I got the breakfast burrito with sausage. It hit the spot, although I could only eat half of that!

Mom ate the chicken avocado wrap, Dad had the breakfast burger (which was my second choice) and Emma chose the breakfast platter. 

We then headed back to the apartment before going to a friend's house for the reunion. We had a great time there seeing people that we haven't seen in years. It was particularly weird for me because the last time I saw most of those people was when I was seven or eight!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our first full day in Toronto! The next post will feature the Royal Ontario Museum and Yorkville.