(some photos shamelessly stolen from my travel companions Laura, Beth, and Tonya)
I'm still trying to catch up on my sleep after my trip to Toronto. Spending four nights with three other women in the same hotel room, an hour out of your own time zone and off your usual schedule, does not lend itself to getting a whole lot of sleep. (TOTALLY worth it, though, obvi.)
Very VERY excited to be awaiting our Niagara Falls tour
bus at 7:45 in the morning. Or, perhaps too much coffee???
As I settle back into normal mama life, complete with the tearful, meltdown-heavy after-effects of my absence courtesy of my 7-year-old, I continue to ponder some notable aspects of life in Canada. Or, at least, some things that made me go, "huh?" while I was visiting there.
How crazy is it that Laura and I traveled all the way to Canada only to find that "our" subway stop (i.e., the one by our hotel that we used coming and going each day) boasted the same unusual name as the tiny village right next to our Minnesota town that houses our KMart and Menard's?
No, Laura is not doing a wall squat in the subway. She's scrunching down so the name is visible.
Why are they called REESE peanut butter cups in Canada, instead of REESE'S?
Why is the Niagara Falls tour boat called "Maid of the Mist" when what riders actually encounter is to "mist" like "great white shark" is to "pet goldfish"? Shouldn't it actually be called something like "Maid of the MONSOON"?
Beth captioned this photo, "Mayhem!" and that's about right. I had water IN my clogs.
As well as...
Do they all actually like poutine? Or what? (Full disclosure: None of us ate poutine. Nor did we want to.)
Why is it "the Toronto Maple LEAFS" instead of "Maple LEAVES"?
Why was it so much warmer in Canada than it is at home in Minnesota?? (Seriously, it's like 30 degrees here right now. I had only worn a coat once so far this season when I left for Canada, and now I'm digging out gloves and hats.)
I'm not sure I ever actually told you some of things we were doing/did in Toronto. Laura planned lots of great touristy adventures, and since it was her birthday trip after all, the rest of us pretty much happily let her.
We visited Casa Loma (incredible!), the Bata Shoe Museum (fun and interesting), the CN Tower (where we ate a fancy dinner at the revolving 360 Restaurant at the TOP), Niagara Falls/Skylon Tower/Diamond Estates Winery/Niagara-on-the-Lake (the latter where parts of "It's a Wonderful Life" were filmed), Second City (where we scored FRONT-ROW SEATS), Little Italy (where we enjoyed the best pastries ever at Riviera Bakery after a delicious Italian lunch at a picturesque cafe), Honest Ed's (a crazy, indescribable, gigantic remainders-type store that sold everything from kitchenware to bulk groceries), and the huge downtown underground shopping mall (I forget the name right now).
The view just off my shoulder in the revolving glass restaurant at the top of the CN Tower.
Pastries in Little Italy
We did LOTS of walking (as well as plenty of subway-riding), which was great considering the great food we were eating (we covered a variety of ethnicities in this diverse city, including Vietnamese, Indian, and Italian) and the fact that we weren't doing any other exercise while there (who wants to use the hotel fitness center when you can be either sleeping or sightseeing??).
My trip to Toronto with Laura was a ton of fun, but, as every mother will understand, nothing I did or saw in Canada was as wonderful as the moment I hurried up my front walk on Sunday night and saw Genevieve's face at the window, and then opened the door to find my daughters jumping up and down and squealing with joy over my return. The squeezed-tight, full-body hug Genevieve gave me when I came home topped it all. But that's what it's like when you're a mom.
The little urchin who missed me the most.