Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ontario Outings

Oh, Ontario and your adventures. My favorite of course was that jaw dropping waterfall, but let us not forget perusing downtown Toronto, the Distillery District and the Belt Line. This post is directed at our Ontario based excursions and all the fun we had while pretending to be Canadian for one month.

Let’s start with my favorite, Niagara Falls! A-freaking-mazing! Granted driving into Niagara you feel like you've taken a detour and have suddenly landed in the Canadian version of Las Vegas. It is kitschy, full of casinos, Ferris wheels and total Niagara clich├ęs, but in reality the city does need to provide some other form of entertainment, I mean one can only stare at a waterfall for so long, regardless of how remarkable it is. 

We had made plans to meet up with Tom’s long lost cousin, Tim and his partner Steve from Buffalo, while visiting Niagara, but first we needed to take in the fury of the river. We arrived a couple of hours before our lunch date, bound and determined to hike into the whirlpools; unfortunately heat and lack of adequate planning prevented us making it before having to turn around and head back into town. Feeling slightly defeated, but the excitement of meeting family members for the first time quickly overcast our brush with failure.

Tim is a cousin from Tom’s biological father side and since Tom was quite young when his mother said sayonara to Ralph, that part of his life has been minimal to say the least, especially since he passed about eighteen years ago. Fortunately though, Tom’s brother, Todd, did some genealogy research, looking for family members, medical history and what not and came across some long lost cousins, including Tim. Being able to connect with him, learn that part of their genetic make-up has been a great experience and learning what little was known about Tom’s biological father has been fascinating. Meeting up with Tim and Steve made for a wonderful afternoon; we spent hours chatting, getting to know one another, learning about that side of Tom’s heritage and it’s definitely one of the greatest treasures we've had on our journey. Thank you Tim and Steve for making the drive across the border and dining with us even though we were a little ripe from our hike; we did test that unconditional family bond by meeting up post exercise. 

Tom and his cousin Tim
On our way back into Toronto, we took a quick drive through the thriving wine town of Niagara on the Lake, of course part of me want to stop, taste the wine, but the urge to shower and crash had a greater pull. Although I would strongly recommend for those honeymooners or couples checking out Niagara Falls area to stay in Niagara on the Lake. The streets are lined with flowers, adorable cottage homes, a park as the centerpiece of the city and vineyards just around the corner; this is a city that exudes romance and full of so much more whimsy than Niagara Falls.  

Tom taking in the Distillery District
Toronto and our excursions here were pretty mellow, taking them a day at a time to peruse the downtown area, the urban beaches, the Distillery District and the Belt Line. All unique and each got their own day of adventures. Why? Because Toronto is the Los Angeles of the East, seriously! This town is so spread out and you literally have to drive everywhere and in horrific traffic; it was a quick reminder of my strong dislike of LA and why I could never live there. Although there was lots to see and do in Toronto, it was my least favorite city so far, and maybe it had to do with how spread out it is and that everything is at least thirty minutes away by car. Or maybe I have become accustomed to walking cities and having everything one could possibly need within a fifteen minute walk from our apartment, literally being able to run out for something is a true gem.

Locks of Love at the Distillery District
Although we were ready to head back stateside, there are a few things we will miss about Canada. Poutine for one, the delicious concoction of fries and gravy, I mean, what’s not to love!  Plus by the time we had left I was mastering the metric system and my ability to read directions in French, phenomenal! And, I am not going to lie, Netflix in Canada, awesome! Thanks for the adventures Canada, but it is time to bid you adieu. 


  1. Okay, I don't think that worked. I'll try yet again. I have to figure out what I am doing wrong. I think I have to sign in FIRST not after the comment. We shall see. Your pictures of Canada are spectacular. We are enjoying your blog and love living vicariously through you. Continue to have an enjoyable and fun adventure. Love and hugs to all.

    1. Yeah it worked. :) Senior moments.

    2. Yay, you're getting the hang of it! And we love sharing our adventures with everyone, thank you for reading them.