A Travellerspoint blog

March 2010

Brunch at The Senator

So here we go to brunch with my mom and dad. Every Sunday I am in Toronto they meet us. I picked the Senator restaurant, not because of the historical connection it has with Digg, that I figured out later, but just because it was close to our hotel.

We checked out too quickly and I forgot my sandwich and my mom's daffodils I bought for her in the room. I had to run back and get these things twice, as I remembered them in sequence. We were still way too early for meeting them at 11.

I didn't like the breakfast here. I only had a milkshake, it was watery.

From here, mom took us to a little exhibit in Frank restaurant beside the Art Gallery of Ontario called The Dork Porch. It was interesting, but not really worth the trip there. Mom had all these things planned out, but we couldn't do them because Rick decided to leave earlier than 4 p.m. like he originally said.

So from there, we wandered aimlessly around Chinatown again, I bought some steam buns that didn't turn out to be as good as the last steam buns I bought two weeks ago. I also tried to find Thai coffee, but I could not find that either.

Later, we went to meet up with Rick and the rest of the girls, but it was a wild goose chase. They said they would meet us somewhere, and then decided to change the meeting point at the last minute, so we had to go somewhere else. Sigh.

Anyway, I got home earlier than normal because of the early departure time.

Senator Restaurant

Senator Restaurant


Me vs. cold day

Me vs. cold day


The Dork Porch at Frank

The Dork Porch at Frank


The Dork Porch at Frank

The Dork Porch at Frank


Chinatown

Chinatown


Chinatown signs

Chinatown signs


Me vs. Chinatown

Me vs. Chinatown


Ugly chandelier

Ugly chandelier


Me vs. Chinatown

Me vs. Chinatown


Dundas St.

Dundas St.


A tiger

A tiger


Owen vs. his reflection

Owen vs. his reflection


Tangerines

Tangerines


Graffiti vs. Owen

Graffiti vs. Owen


Sculpture

Sculpture


Me in the backseat

Me in the backseat

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

St. Lawrence Market and Canoe

Today is the day that we go to St. Lawrence Market and Canoe, we didn't really have a whole lot planned for today.

The St. Lawrence Market is an insane mob on Saturdays, don't go there. The breakfast we had was kind of gross. There was a string quartet which was nice, and I bought some fresh juice, carrot-apple-ginger, and that was gross too.

Soon, there was a soprano opera singer on stage. It was terrible so we got out of there.

Owen bought a coat at Winners and I bought some champagne that was supposed to drown out the taste of the terrible drink that I bought. However, I did not have time to drink it so I had to carry the Spumante Bambino all the way back to Ottawa. *eyeroll*

We wandered around some more, went back to the room an got ready for dinner. It was Earth Hour and Canoe is at the top of Toronto. We thought we would see some of the lights being turned out, but it wasn't that dramatic.

Tonight, there happened to be a seven course tasting menu, with lots of wine, explained to us by actual winery reps. By the end of the meal, my flavour capacity was full to the extreme top and I could not understand what those wine reps were saying anymore. If you want a good time in Toronto, this is definitely the place to come. Make sure you check Canoe out.

String quartet at St. Lawrence Market

String quartet at St. Lawrence Market


St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market


Me vs. toast

Me vs. toast


Me vs. St. Lawrence Market

Me vs. St. Lawrence Market


St. Lawrence Market

St. Lawrence Market


Nectarines

Nectarines


Plums

Plums


Getting the juice

Getting the juice


Pineapples

Pineapples


Garlic

Garlic


Ribs

Ribs


Skinny building

Skinny building


Owen vs. Winners

Owen vs. Winners


Famous painting

Famous painting


Lost coat

Lost coat


Me in the elevator

Me in the elevator


Downtown Toronto

Downtown Toronto


Me vs. Canoe

Me vs. Canoe


Me vs. water

Me vs. water


Me vs. Canoe menu

Me vs. Canoe menu


Me vs. wine

Me vs. wine


Me vs. wine

Me vs. wine


Me vs. Canoe

Me vs. Canoe


Canoe

Canoe

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Rideshare to Toronto

Waseq (aka Rick) was a little late picking me up, apparently there was traffic and he went to the wrong street corner, far away from where I was standing.

We picked up his three girlfriends, Heba, and I can't remember the other two. One of the ladies was from the Philippines, where she trained to be a nurse. She came here to take a get this, marketing degree at Ottawa U. Bizarre.

Anyway, I got to Toronto way earlier than I had planned and so I decided to slowly make my way downtown to the hotel. I got dropped off at Islington station which is forever away from downtown, but no matter. There was a lot of time before I had to meet Owen, I don't think he was supposed to get to the hotel until at least 1 a.m.

There were no maps in the subway car I was in, so I got lost of course. There was a lady looking drunk and swaying around. I figured she would be a good person to ask directions of. She told me I was on the wrong subway line. Yeah, I know. She told me how to get there, and I thought I was back on track.

"So what are you doing tonight?" I ask.

"Going to see Avatar."

"Oh..." sad look on my face, I did not want to see Avatar. "I have a few hours to kill, so I was hoping it was something exciting."

"Ohhhhhhhh but it's in a special space."

I laugh, "What? What kind of space?"

"What do you do in Ottawa?"

"Oh I work for a travel website."

"Oh OK, it's a pot cafe."

"Haaaaaaaaahaha what? I'm TOTALLY in."

Her name is Naomi and she takes me on a wild goose chase to try and find the subway to "Clandestiny" the head shop where in the back, there is a secret room with clocks all stopped at 4:20, people nearly passed out on couches, large hookahs scattered about and dogs romping around the room.

By the time we get there, Avatar is halfway done, and that's good anyway, since I kind of have to get back by 12:30 ish. The movie sucks but it's a nice way to end my travel to Toronto.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Brunch with Andrew, mom, dad

I have not seen Andrew since he lived in Ottawa, which was a few years ago, so I scheduled brunch with him at Cafe Crepe smack downtown in Toronto.

We munched on overpriced pancakes and talked about our lives etc. etc.

Andrew had to go meet with Thomas, so my mom, dad, aunt, uncle and Mike went to the Steam Whistle Brewery. Mom kept calling it the "whistle stop" brewery and it became a running joke.

The tour was pretty interesting, and you get a beer and glass to take home afterward. I actually got to pull the steam whistle at the end. Yes! The glass will come in handy for taste testing beers at the beerfest in Montreal in June. I hope to go again this year.

Aunt Anne et. al. left after that, and the rest of us went to the St. Lawrence Market. We didn't realize it was closed on Sundays. Sucks. Because of this, we also missed the famous St. Patrick's Day parade. Nuts.

So what do you do if you are bored in Toronto on a Sunday?

The old standby, Chinatown. If everything is closed in the world, you can always bet that Chinatown will be open. And fun. And cheap.

We stopped at the Chinese Bakery and I found some steamed pork buns (delicious) and bought some donuts to take for the road.

Mom looked for a purse, didn't find one, and dad and I got some bubble tea. She will come back to Chinatown next time we go to Toronto and hopefully find one.

Steam Whistle

Steam Whistle


Mom vs. CN Tower

Mom vs. CN Tower


CN Tower

CN Tower


Steam Whistle

Steam Whistle


Me and mom vs. Steam Whistle beer

Me and mom vs. Steam Whistle beer


Steam Whistle Brewery

Steam Whistle Brewery


Aunt Anne vs. Steam Whistle

Aunt Anne vs. Steam Whistle


Train

Train


Train

Train


Mom vs. Chinese Bakery

Mom vs. Chinese Bakery

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Everything got screwed up

In the morning, mom and I went to Senses Spa in the Americana Hotel.

Before that though, we went to the Thai grocery store to look for the Thai coffee mix that I so desperately want to find. We didn't find it.

We also went to "Liquidation World" and I marveled at the explosion of sex shops now competing with Lilly 'n' Lace on Lundy's Lane.

Anyway, the massage was lovely. I had a "deep tissue" massage and it was worth every penny. I walked out feeling like a dream.

Mom met this lady who she sort of knew in high school in the "sanctuary" room. Basically the waiting room, but with a prettier name. So that was funny.

The only weird thing was that the lady who was supposed to give me a massage got me mixed up with my mom and we had some confusion but that didn't last long.

I also got a free half hour basically, because the massage lady accidentally went for a long time. I guess she doesn't really know what she's doing.

The spa was located at the back of a water park, so we had to walk through that to get to it. There were crazy kids running around because it was March Break. There was also a snake display in the lobby, which was a little unsettling after leaving the spa, don't you think?

For some reason, Mom had an urge to buy me some bras, so after the massage we headed to the La Senza at Niagara Square before it closed. I got three.

Later on, we had tickets to the "dinner and comedy" show at House of Comedy. I put it in quotes because the dinner is a little insulting. You get pasta, salad and a bun with your show. Later I realized that this dinner is not really supposed to satisfy you. It is only a legal ploy, so that if anyone tries to drive home drunk after the show, they can say they tried their best to provide food to their customers.

So, I had seen the comedian the last time I went to a comedy show in Niagara, Larry Smith. He kept mentioning to the audience about how he "really" needs a ride home and also mentioning to the ladies about how he's also "really" good at oral sex. It got really lame after a while. He has a few really funny jokes, but that's about it.

Anyway, we had a nice time with Alicia, Bill and her Hungarian friend, I can't remember his name, sorry.

House of Comedy

House of Comedy


House of Comedy

House of Comedy


Me vs. cold bun

Me vs. cold bun


House of Comedy

House of Comedy

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Rideshare to Toronto, Greyhound to Niagara

So the plan this weekend, was to head over to Toronto for Canadian Music Week with Lorina, just like last year.

A day before we were meant to leave, Lorina suddenly remembered that she was leaving for Toronto Friday morning, not after work. So I can't go anymore.

"Well can't you find a rideshare and meet us there?"

"Yeah, I could."

So I do that, but my couch for the weekend still had not been confirmed by Mr. Alan Parker, so I decide to make the trek all the way to Niagara instead of Toronto.

I meet my rideshare after work, leaving my bicycle locked to a parking meter. I am a little apprehensive about this, but I don't have a choice because my driver is leaving from across town at 4:30.

The car is full with Jenny and Janet who are nice ladies and we chat all the way to Toronto.

When we get there, it is pouring rain and we have to run through it to get to the subway. By the time I make my way to the Greyhound station, I find out that I was 10 minutes late for the 9:30 bus to Niagara.

That makes me a little sad, the next bus comes in 1.5 hours so I lay down, read a few chapters of Lord of the Rings (yeah I'm actually reading that book, don't judge) and before I know it, it's time to get on the bus.

I actually got on Coach Canada this time, which I've never done. I have to say the driver was a lot friendlier than the Greyhound drivers usually are.

The whole way down, this guy across the aisle keeps bugging me. He's been fidgeting and generally looking like he's on some sort of stimulant since he got on the bus.

"That's a good book eh?" He says to me.

"Yep."

"Where are you going?"

"Niagara."

"Oh yeah? Me too, are you going to the casino?"

"Nope."

"No? Where are you going then?"

"Visiting my parents."

"Oh that's nice that you have parents, mine are both dead."

"Yep, sorry to hear that."

"Yeah, it's nice to have someone care about you."

.... "Yep."

...... two minutes passes.....

"What's your name?"

"Louise."

"I'm George."

"Hi George."

....another two minutes....

"Do you want to come to the casino with me? We could have a good time."

"No."

"OK, I'll stop bugging you now."

.... another two minutes....

"Do you need a light? It's dark in here, you can have mine."

He shifts his light over directing it at me.

"Better? You sure you don't want to come to the casino?"

"Yes, I'm sure."

"OK, I'll stop bothering you."

.....two more minutes

"Am I bothering you?"

"Yes."

"OK, I'll stop bothering you."

He goes to sleep and then I switch spots.

By the time I got to Niagara, it was after midnight. My dad picked me up, but I had not packed very well, I was FREEZING COLD.

I had only my small windbreaker and a scarf to keep me warm outside the closed terminal. Dad shows up pretty quickly and I meet mom at home.

I had brought some videos to watch because they had to go back to the video store on Monday, so we watched The Picture of Dorian Gray until 3 a.m.

Phew, long day.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)