I am loving being able to be a tourist, roaming around and exploring a different city. There is so much to see and discover in Toronto... the past week I got to check out the CN Tower, Casa Loma, Bata Shoe Museum, Osgoode Law library, etc. I also got to check out the gigantic T&T supermarket (a Chinese supermarket) and a Korean supermarket... they were so much fun.
I am also enjoying catching up with friends in a different city... I even got to meet up with my friend Alex who was my childhood neighbour in HK and went to primary and high school together but lost touch with and hadn't seen in 15 years!
Kel tried explaining to me what all the rage was about the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) when I was still in Perth and to be honest I didn't quite understand... but being here in Toronto when the festival was happening, I was able to blend in with the locals and soaked in the festival atmosphere and watched 'Black Swan' (which I really enjoyed), 'Bunraku', and 'The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman'. It was truly amazing seeing the whole city get revved up about movies, and people were willing to wait in line for hours to get tickets and also to queue up to get a seat in the theatres.
I have heard about Kel and Pat's annual Niagara on the Lake (NOTL) trips for years, so when I discovered that I was going to be in Toronto around the same time as the NOTL trip I immediately signed myself up. Kel organised everything for us, from the accommodation, food to even the wine tour bus! There were twelve of us who spent the long weekend together... half the group came up from the US. On the Saturday, we managed to visit six wineries (Fielding, Flat Rock, Coyote's Run, Icehouse, Konzelman and Stonechurch) and there were a lot of purchases made that day. I am particularly partial to the region's Vidal icewines... it's like drinking iced honey! Mike Cheung was so keen about this trip that he even pre-ordered some wines from Fielding before coming up to Niagara. There was plenty of food too... the Americans pretty much attacked the Coffee Crisp chocolate bars and Lay's Ketchup Chips as these items are not available in the US. It was Kwun-Ye's birthday on Saturday so we celebrated it with tonnes of dessert! All in all, the trip was amazing and it was so brilliant being able to meet up with old friends and make new ones and hang out with them for the entire weekend. Loved it and loved all the hard work Kel put into making this trip so fantastic. Wish I was able to make it every year...
More things I have discovered about Toronto:
- people here often agree with things by responding with a slurred 'oh yeah' [/aw-yiah/]
- I really like the street signs... certain districts in the city have the district name/distinction above the street sign... and there are other quirky street signs which I found amusing and fascinating
- the most Canadian cup of coffee is a Tim Horton's double double (aka percolated coffee with 2 creams and 2 sugars)
- the subway system (TTC) can be a quite temperamental at times
- images of iconic Canadian animals are use everywhere... beaver, moose, geese, bear, squirrel
- pineapple chunks.. it's 'crack' according to Kelly
- cherry pretzel pie
- ketchup chips
osgoode law library + bata shoe museum
niagara on the lake + shenanigans at the tiff midnight madness
Links to my pic:
Toronto - part one http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=503851&id=859840586&l=e5de3873e3
Toronto - part two http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=504251&id=859840586&l=eb5d6ddfd3
Niagara on the Lake weekend http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=503191&id=859840586&l=7c7720e4f5