Today started relatively late.Â A and I stayed up till about 1:30 last night, watching an episode of Game of Thrones.Â His mom was pretty tired from traveling from Buffalo, NY to Toronto, so no one woke up ’til 10:30 or 11.Â Our “starting the day” preparations took a while, so we left around noon.Â True to my hopes, A drove.Â No more car Kat for a while!
We picked up C and S, then all went to Tim Hortons.Â For those who don’t know: Tims is a doughnut & coffee shop chain that’s as ubiquitous in Canada as Starbucks is in the US.Â To stay competitive in a diversifying market, they’ve had to expand their menu to include sandwiches and other light noshables.Â But it’s really all about the doughnuts.Â I’m a big fan of the honey crullerâ€“it’s a puffy, very eggy, glazed confection that has a good mouth feel.Â They’re also rather pretty:
After our highly nutritious breakfast, we spent a few hours touristing.Â Our first stop of the day was Casa Loma, which was the castle from Scott Pilgrim.Â I’m sort of surprised it’sÂ Casa Loma, and notÂ Chateau Loma, since Canada’s official languages are English and French, but hey, whatever works, I guess.
After our very brief stop to take pictures, we moved on to the Don Valley Brickworks, an old brick factory that has been turned into a museum and green-living educational center.Â It seems like the perfect place for a school field trip, but it has a lot to interest grownups too.Â Here’s how it describes itself:
There’s a bit of something for everyone there.Â When we arrived, there was a farmer’s market going on.Â One very persistent guy was trying to get us to buy his blueberries.Â They were tasty, but we had nowhere to keep them cool, so we had to pass.
In addition, there were several exhibits showing urban sustainability proposals for Toronto.Â I thought this was a pretty cool statement:
And newer, “authorized” works:
We spent about 2 hours there, and could have spent a lot more.Â However, we had to get going to ensure that we’d arrive on time for our dinner reservation at the CN Tower.
Instead of trying to park downtown (and paying through the nose for it) we parked near C & S’s place, then took the metro to Union Station.Â A series of indoor walkways got us most of the way to our destination, and after passing a giant woodpecker statue, we reached the tower itself.
The restaurant is rather elegant, and the minimum dress code is “business casual.”Â We all had on either polo shirts or buttondowns, so we passed, but I still felt under dressed.Â My nod to fashion?Â A string of pearls, of course.
The food is as delicious as it is beautiful.Â However, the real reason for going up there is for the view.Â You’re so high that you can almost make out the curvature of the earth!Â Plus, the restaurant rotates, so your perspective is always changing:
Dinner was a long, lazy and delicious affair.Â We all ate much too much, and had a good time talking about the differences between Canada and the US.Â It’s clear that C and S will miss living in Toronto, but have a few things to look forward to when they return to the US.
As we left, I got this picture:
Unfortunately, no image can properly convey the staggering immensity of the CN tower.Â It is so tall and wide that you can’t really see the whole thing at onceâ€“unless you’re lying on your back beneath it.Â To see the first platformâ€“the round bit in the image aboveâ€“you have to tilt your head back at 90Ëš, and even then, you have to do a mini backbend to take it in.Â Such a monument makes you respect the constructive power of humankind.Â It’s definitely something worth visiting, at least once in a lifetime.