Monday, August 20, 2012

Small Town Girl Meets Big City

Alrighty.  This is coming at ya a whole week late, but I’ve finally got my Toronto pictures uploaded and ready to share!

For those of you who already read Lindsay’s T.O. post…I’ll try to not repeat her exactly word for word… ;)

So Linds, Ryan, Rebekka, and I set off on our adventure to the Big Smoke after work on Thursday, August 9th.  We had decided to travel by train, because, well… I had “Take a train somewhere” on my 101 List, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to cross that off the list!

I have only taken a trip by train once before in my life, back several years ago when Lindsay was still going to school in Guelph, and her parents surprised me with a train ticket to visit her one weekend.  The only problem was that I was super-nervous about doing it all as a first-timer by myself, and I really didn’t get to enjoy that part of it – worrywart that I am.  It was much more enjoyable with friends!

We arrived at Union Station in downtown Toronto late that night, and walked to the hotel we thought we were staying at – only to be told that our reservations were actually at a different property, a few blocks away – The Residence Marriott instead of the Renaissance Marriott!  No biggie, right?  Except that I had made the big mistake of packing my over-the-shoulder travel bag instead of my suitcase on wheels. 

I am a girl.  I over-pack.  It weighed, like, eleventy billion tons.

Thankfully, I had brought my pack-horse with me (aka Ryan) and he relieved me of my super-heavy bag, letting me wheel around his instead.  I am eternally grateful, because if I’d had to carry it the whole time, I probably would’ve broken my shoulder.  (If that’s even possible.)

Lesson learned.

OK.  So, Friday morning we were up and ready to head to the C.N. Tower – yet another item on my 101 List that I was excited to cross off!

Ryan had already made it clear that there was no way in hell he was going up that thing.  Here, he is confirming that!

Linds, Bek, and I left him on the ground while we rode the glass elevator up to do the Sky Walk and the Glass Floor.

I was a little worried about doing this.  There were a bunch of people already on it, and I hesitated, saying, “I’m a big girl…I don’t know if I should go on here…”  One of the employees over-heard me, and she laughed, jumping up and down on the Glass Floor, saying, “It can hold 15 hippos, get on here!!”  …So I did!

Pretty incredible, huh?

I was very glad I made the trip to the top… It was breath-taking, despite the overcast skies and gloomy weather.  Our tickets also permitted us to see a movie in the tower – Lindsay & I opted for the motion ride film, while Bek and Ryan (our squeamish pals) saw the 3D flick.  Ours was fun – not sure what it had to do with the C.N. Tower, but still fun!

This picture was taken in the gift shop.  It was shortly after this that Ryan informed me my zipper was wide open.  I’m really glad that didn’t show up in the picture!!

After that, we hit up the Blue Jays store in the Rogers Centre to get our gear for the following day’s baseball game that we had tickets to.  And then, I don’t remember what we were trying to do, but we kinda got lost…

Next on our list of things to do was to hit up the Hockey Hall of Fame and Real Sports, but for some reason, the power was out in that area and they were closed.  We made our way to East Side Mario’s for lunch instead, and while we were there, the skies opened and it really started to pour.  We opted to pick up some drinks at a nearby LCBO, and then retreated to our hotel room for the afternoon.

Well-rested and with the weather cleared up a bit, we headed for a late dinner at Wayne Gretzky’s Restaurant.

Naturally, the coffee comes with a hockey stick!

The Chocolate Puck for dessert was sooo yummy… and sooo cool!!

We were so full after a delicious dinner, that we decided to relax in our room playing Asshole and having a few drinks.  I may have had a few too many – I recall laughing uncontrollably over the stupidest things…  But it was fun.

Saturday – Jays game!  I was super excited to go to my first MLB game.  We dressed up in our new blue apparel - (except for Lindsay, who decided to cheer for the Yankees – go figure, she cheers for the Leafs, but not the Jays?!?) – grabbed a bite to eat a pub near the stadium, then headed over and found our seats!

We had great seats just beyond first base, 19 rows up.  My only disappointment was that Brett Lawrie was injured and not in the line-up. :( 

He’s hot.  He’s tattooed.  He’s Canadian.  …SO SAD that he wasn’t playing that day!!!!

Fortunately, before I left, my mom told me how much she likes Edwin Encarnacion, so I made sure to take pictures for her – and literally spent the whole weekend trying to learn how to pronounce his name!  (Still kinda sounds like Kim Kardashian when I say it, for some reason…)

The Jays lost 5-2, but I had fun booing Derek Jeter, dancing in my seat to the be-boppin’ music that they played for each individual Blue Jay as they came up to bat, and laughing when the mascot rocked out right in front of us during the 7th inning stretch.

Of course, the Jays won on Sunday.  When we weren’t there.

For our last night in T.O., we talked about walking down to Real Sports again, but opted for a shorter walk and ate at the Lone Star.

Lindsay quite enjoyed her Three Amigos!!

I vowed not to eat as much as I did the night before.  I failed.  So the leisurely stroll back to the hotel afterwards felt good, and I tried to take some nighttime pics of the C.N. Tower, all lit up and so pretty…

Then a man saw us trying to take pictures and offered to take a group photo for us. He told us we looked like “good kids”!!

The plan was to return to the hotel room and have some drinks and play cards again, but my cohorts apparently were too tired… Ryan was snoring within minutes, and the rest didn’t last much longer!

Now that I’m a little more experienced with taking the train, I’m already plotting my return to Toronto… There’s still so much I’d like to do!  I’d love to make it to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Real Sports, and of course, take in a little of the night life.  I’d also love to go to another Jays game – it was a highlight for me.  I love watching ball.  And I’d want to spend some time visiting with my T.O. relatives, of course!!

It was a great trip and I had so much fun with Lindsay, Ryan & Rebekka.  We made a good travelling team!

Looking forward to our next adventure :)


Lindsay said...

Love the pictures! I love seeing ours! I especially love the "lost" picture! ha ha! Can't wait to go back either! xo

Nicole said...

Looks and sounds like y'all had a blast! We really don't have trains around here, the closest one is KC and that's 2 1/2 hrs away so I might as well drive or fly somewhere... LOL But it definitely could be a good way to travel still. I want to go to Toronto. I was supposed to last year (?? or the year before I can't remember) but it didn't work out.

Stacie said...

That glass floor would have freaked me out and I would have had the same exact fear as you! Looks like you had fun though.

Jo said...

From the photos it looks like you had a fantastic time.