March 1st 2019
The first of hopefully many travel adventures this year~
It has been quite a while since I have been able to bring you a new installment of my travel series, Wish You Were Here, but I am super happy to be back and ready to share a whole new travel experience with you!
Toronto has been on my travel list for a couple of years now and I knew I wanted to make it there before I move and wasn’t as close to it anymore. Lucky for me, I have 2 great friends who also have the travel bug and wanted to turn the whole thing into a girl’s weekend/birthday weekend celebration for me!
Our journey to Toronto started at 2AM on February 22nd as we began to drive from Long Island, NY to Toronto. The trip was due to take us roughly 8-9 hours and we were equipped with snacks , music, and a lot of patience. Long car rides aren’t as daunting as they used to be for me. I find that a long car ride is a great place for good conversation, comfortable silences, and eating junk food for no reason.
Around 10:30/11:00AM we made it to the US side of Niagara Falls and decided to stop for some exploring, photos, and to grab a bite to eat. We got to see the Horseshoe Falls, Three Sisters Islands, and a few other areas surrounding the falls.
We also went to a cute little exhibit and video presentation about Nikola Tesla and how he contributed to restoring the beauty and wonder of the falls while also contributing to the generation of power, not only in the Niagara area, but in many other areas of the continent.
After we got our fill of walking around, we headed to a nice Mexican place nearby called La Galera before we moved onto the border and into Canada!
Once we got into Toronto, we checked into our hotel, The Bond Place Hotel, to freshen up a bit before we headed out again. Since we only had a little less than 3 days to work with, we tried to cram everything into what little time we had.
The first night, we headed over to the Distillery District to go to the Toronto Light Festival. It was this huge exhibit of all sorts of light and neon art filling the back alleys of the Distillery District. The best part is that it was completely free and there were tons of photo ops! Some photo ops were just walk up and other bigger ones had lines (which we chose to skip because it was cold and getting late so we were tired).
Despite skipping some of more intricate photo locations, I still got a lot of nice photos, mostly taken by my friend Brigid (her photography Instagram is @captured.inspiration if you want to check out her work!).
The next morning, we decided to go out and check out the Eaton Center which was a nearby shopping mall to look around and find some place to grab breakfast. We decided on Second Cup Coffee Co. which I had never heard of, but seems like a Starbucks (even though Canada also has Starbucks….so that’s cool!). I got an iced chocolate chai and I wish I could drink it every single day. It combined my love for chocolate milk and chai into a beautiful and tasty beverage.
After breakfast, we began exploring. Our first stop was a Toronto sign right by a skating rink that seemed like a good photo op! We were on our way to St. Lawrence Market and just happened to stumble upon it so we stopped and grabbed a few shots during the day (and we came back at night when it was all lit up too!)
Then, we found St. Lawrence Market which was a huge indoor market filled with a bunch of different vendors selling everything from fish to wine to cheese and hot meals. We didn’t buy anything but it was cool to check it out and see what it had to offer!
Moving on from the market, we finally made our way to the 2 big attractions of the day which were the CN Tower and The Ripley’s Aquarium (which was the top thing on my list because I love aquariums).
The CN Tower offered this cool package deal called “Sea the Sky” where you could enjoy both attractions for $56 CAD (which was about $42 USD) which was a great deal considering the price for each was $30+.
Our first stop was the Ripley’s Aquarium which was really beautiful and super fun. The Aquarium featured so many different sea creatures, a lot of which I have never seen before. But the real highlights for me were the jellyfish, sting rays, and the tunnel of sharks and other creatures. The coolest part of the tunnel was the fact that there was a moving sidewalk so you didn’t have to fight people for a good view, you all got to see everything up close and personal.
After, we went to the CN Tower which has the best view of the whole city. I got a ton of really great photos of the view and really enjoyed taking photos on the glass floor that looked out on the view below. We tried for about 2 minutes to stand on the outside observation deck, but the wind was just too strong and I am not sturdy enough to handle that.
When we were starting to feel hungry, we headed over to the arcade restaurant called the Rec Room and grabbed some apps to tide us over until our plans to go out that night to celebrate my birthday. I didn’t get any pictures of the food besides the cute complimentary popcorn they gave us because I was too hungry and my phone was almost dead.
We headed back to our hotel after eating to get changed and looking good to head out to get food and drinks at a bar called “The Shameful Tiki Room”. I love themed places so this place was right up my alley. It had really fun cocktails and some really awesome food. I ended up just doing apps again which was more than filling enough for me! I also had 2 Blue Hawaiis which were super yummy, and I normally hate alcohol so that is saying a lot.
We ended our night with a bit of ice cream and headed back to our room to get a good night’s sleep before checking out the next morning. We ended our trip with some Tim Horton’s and headed to the Toronto side of Niagara. We went behind the falls which were all frozen but still cool to look at.
Then we headed home where I finally got to bed at 2AM (pretty much full circle, haha)
So that was my first trip of 2019 and I can’t wait to share even more fun with you!
Thank you to all of you who continue to support my travel series and encourage me to book more trips to share. I hope to, one day, be able to make some money from blogging to fund even better trips that I can share with you!
Bonus: The winds at Niagara Falls were pushing 70 MPH our last day in Toronto so here is a picture of me after the selfie above when a good gust hit me: