Sunday, October 23, 2016

Post-Wedding Getaway: Toronto

After our wedding on September 3rd, Daniel was amidst the beginning of his PhD program (my smarty pants!), so a grand getaway of a honeymoon simply wasn't in the cards for us. That being said, we decided to visit a place we had never been before for a couple days for a mini-getaway, and I'm so glad we did! Though by the Thursday after our wedding we were back into normal life, the couple days we spent in Toronto were so nice and worth it!

We drove up on Sunday the 4th, checked into our hotel mid/late afternoon, so we decided to just get dinner somewhere nice and call it a night. We ended up getting dinner at a cool place within walking distance of our hotel called Earl's Kitchen and had some amazing food, documented via snapchat...

White peach sangria

The next day, Labor Day, was much more adventurous! We bought the Toronto City Pass (which I highly recommend), which gives you a discounted price for 5 major attractions in Toronto, and then add on the fact that every price feels discounted going from American to Canadian dollars, and it just feels like a steal! So that being said, with the City Pass, we walked to Toronto's Entertainment District where we visited the CN Tower and Ripley's Aquarium.

View of Toronto from the CN Tower
Lake Ontario from the CN Tower

Top of Ripley's Aquarium from the CN Tower

Growing up along Lake Ontario in a small town my entire life, it was really neat to be on the other side of Lake Ontario and see it from the viewpoint of a bustling city!

Off to the aquarium!

Being with Daniel for so many years, I've been to many an animal establishment with him, but this aquarium had something I'd never seen before - when you put your hand in the water, these little shrimp would flock right over and nibble on you, cleaning your hands!

We intended on going to visit one more attraction in our City Pass booklet this day, but man - having a wedding is exhausting, so we decided to visit more things the next day and instead spend the evening recharging. We got some take-out and lounged in the hotel room - much needed!

The next/final day, we started off bright and early with a trip to Casa Loma - a historic castle within the city limits. We had intentions of going here under the recommendation of our friends Sarah and Andrew, and then they happened to be part of the City Pass booklet anyway, so it was perfect! If you can, we highly recommend going first thing in the morning. We got there only about a half hour after it opened, and there was practically no one there. By the time we left about an hour and a half later, it was so much busier! We truly got to see it with a lot of peace to take in the space, which was great.

Side note - Mike Tyson was there shooting a movie while we were there. We didn't see him, and he's not "that" famous on the scheme of things, but still, how cool?!

Mary Pellatt, who originally lived in this castle, was the First Chief Commissioner of the Girl Guides of Canada (the equivalent of Girl Scouts in the US), so of course I had to check out their display and get a picture!

From there, it was off to the Toronto Zoo, for our final attraction of this city! As I said above, I've been to quite a few zoos and aquariums with Daniel, and I have to say - as much as you hear about the size and what have you about this zoo, we weren't super impressed. It wasn't laid out well and there was a lot of unused space... They also had only one food location open serving lunch because September 5th was considered the "off season," so that was a little annoying come lunch time, but it was a good time to be there because otherwise, there wasn't really anyone around in the scheme of things... and we can never have a bad time at the zoo and the animals were surprisingly active, so it was still a lot of fun!

This deliciousness called a Beaver Tail was one of the best parts about the zoo, honestly... 

But absolutely hands down, the best part was the pandas (we didn't have to wait to see them whatsoever, either) - this guy was being insanely active gnawing away at his snack, which is pretty rare to see them being so lively; it was awe-inspiring!

And from there, our few days were up! Caught this sunset crossing over the border in Niagara Falls.

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