Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
A slightly overdue Toronto wrap-up...
Naturally, we stopped in Niagara Falls after we crossed the border. I had never seen the falls before, and it was a lot more magnificent in person than I imagined. Thankfully the sun came out for us, even though it was insanely windy (all those tornadoes had ripped through the midwest the night before) and we got pretty wet from all the water spray. We took a lot of pictures, but I was clinging to the camera as if my life depended on it—I am pretty clumsy with phones, devices...basically anything expensive, so of course I was just waiting to drop it in the water and watch it float away.
There's the US portion of the falls, viewed from the Canadian side.
A glimpse of our room in the Gladstone—we would definitely stay here again. Great location on Queen Street, super friendly staff, unique rooms and galleries on each floor...it was a total experience.
We used our second day to just walk around and shop, so we had breakfast at Niche before we got moving. I had the deep dish french toast with bananas and burnt sugar sauce and I'm basically drooling just talking about it. We noticed over the course of the trip that we always got a green salad with our eggs and toast, so...must be a Canadian thing.
Yes, I realize there are a lot of pictures of food in this post. Sue me. It was good!
Out on Queen Street.
We stopped back at the cafe in the Gladstone after all the walking for a beer and some classic Canadian poutine. I mean, put a plate of gravy cheese fries in front of me and I'm definitely going to do some damage.
Out for Japanese at Momiji.
Breakfast on our last day at Raging Spoon...just look at that vintage tabletop—rooster napkin holder and all. The inside of the place was very kitsch and cute.
We had originally planned to spend our last day riding bikes out on the islands, but the bike rental place was closed (it was still freezing) so we just walked to the harbor instead.
The whole lakefront area was so clean and bright, and reminded me a little of Chicago's waterfront (minus Navy Pier...I didn't see any amusement parks). There were kayak rentals and a lot of restaurants along the water, and a private airport was just across the lake so we got to see a lot of little planes fly across the water.
Some general observations: The city is very walkable, and also very drivable, but we saw LOTS of bikes. I haven't seen so many since I went to Amsterdam. For every parking spot on the street, there were at least two bike racks, always occupied by at least 2-3 bikes each (and many were super rusty?). We saw so many variations on the bike basket, different messenger bags, backpacks, safety accessories...naturally we stopped in a bike shop, and I ended up buying a helmet (finally) and I actually really like it. The cable cars that run through the street make you feel like you're in Europe—I can't imagine how much stronger that feeling must be in Montreal.
It all went too fast..I can't wait to go back.
*photo of our room from the Gladstone's site