Oh Canada!

Here’s to another adventure!

This time the trip was planned by Devonte much like the Baecation Trip to Gatlinburg. This was our anniversary, spring break, and my birthday trip. I think the actual planning of this trip started back in September…maybe October, either way, it was like six months in advance. All I know was that I needed to take off and to save up. We originally budgeted for $700 which included the hotel, gas and all other excursions.

At first, the whole trip destination was supposed to be a surprise, but I started putting it together when Devonte mentioned he needed to get a passport and that wherever we were going was within in driving range. But let's just dive into it all.

Prepare for the cold…especially if you're going in the month of March. Basically

THERE WILL BE SNOW.

I packed a thick winter coat, toboggans, scarf and gloves. Me being extra I also brought thermal bottoms which I wore underneath my jeans almost every day. I also wore warm boots with boot socks as well. But if your used to the cold then do you boo.


march 6th

DAy 1: travel day

We get up around 3 am and start the drive from Fayetteville. We agreed to switch every 150 miles.

Fast forward 12 hours we arrived.

We checked into the hotel, dropped off our bags, and decided just to explore the area for food and to see what was around. I ended up getting lobster mac and cheese while Devonte got a pizza.

Afterward, we headed back to the hotel for the night to plan the next three days and to catch up on sleep. (

SIDENOTE

: we purchased our tickets for the places we were going to on CityPass, and I would highly recommend you looking into it if you travel to Toronto)
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march 7th

Day 2: Toronto

Toronto was maybe an hour, hour and a half drive (maybe 2 hours) from our hotel, so we got up reasonably early to beat the traffic into the city. I feel like we still hit traffic though now that I think about it. But regardless, we had the whole day mapped out. We were visiting multiple places and checking off all the touristy things to do in Toronto.

Up first was the

Museum of Illusions

. The museum is self-guided and located usually on the floor are markers for you to stand for each illusion to ensure that you're getting the optimal photo. (There's also a coat room for those bulky winter coats that you might not want in your photos)

The only thing I would comment on is that I wish there were more illusions, but that could be due to the size of the location.
The city of Toronto is a mixture of old and new and you can tell by the buildings as you walk by. The walk was about a 15-minute walk, and IT WAS QUITE WINDY.

Ok back to the

CN Tower

.

CN Tower (short for Canadian National) a world wonder in 1995 reaches 1,815.3 ft in the air. The elevator opens to the Lookout Level…which like it is appropriately named is for you to look out onto the city of Toronto. The windows are from floor to ceiling and circles the entire floor, so you're bound to find open space.

(Pro Tip: ask one of the Guides there to take your photos, as they'll even go as far as put the perfect filter on your photo for you)

Below this level was the Glass Floor. Now if you're petrified of heights, I don't recommend this. However, it's literally a glass floor that allows you to look down to the very bottom of the tower…the entrance that you came in. But to quell your uneasiness… the glass is over 2 inches thick and can withstand the weight of 35 moose.
Because we didn't spend the extra money to go up to the sky-pod, we came back down to the gift shop, to buy our mother's gifts and continued on with our trip to

Ripley's Aquarium of Canada

.

So Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is literally right next door to the CN Tower. So thanks to our city passes were able to bypass the lines for tickets. Not to be short but if you've been to an aquarium you've been to all of them.
The cool thing about this aquarium though is unlike the tunnel at the famous Georgia Aquarium, the underwater tunnel here is quite a bit longer. For this portion of the trip, I took more videos than photos which you can take the time to watch….or not.

From the aquarium, we walked maybe 10 minutes to eat lunch, and afterward, we walked back to the parking deck where our car was. We stopped by Saint Lawerence Market, where I was just so in awe. I love the authenticity of fresh food markets. The fresh meats, the fresh vegetables. I'm pretty sure I told Devonte that I wanted to live somewhere that had a fresh food market nearby. We purchase airplane bottles of Ice Wine (which are EXTREMELY sweet by the way), and I had my first crepe.

The last stop of the day was the

Royal Ontario Museum

. I meeeaaaaan it's a museum. So you use your imagination on how that went. I mean, I like to see artifacts but again. It's a museum.

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Welp. That wraps up Day 2. As you can tell, it's been definitely a busy day, especially since we had a lot of stops that we wanted to make sure to go see. Unfortunately, we got caught in traffic headed back to the hotel AND LET ME TELL YOU the traffic is absolutely terrible. I think it took us about 3 hours to get back to the hotel.


March 8th

day 3

So today was dedicated to

Niagara Falls

. and the surrounding area. We did some research on what we wanted to do however, we didn’t buy tickets until we actually got to the center. The passes that we bought allowed us to go to three different places, which I was highly appreciative of.
Alright, the nitty gritty details of everything. Our first "destination" was

under the falls

. We took an elevator down, and it was a self-guided tour in one of the tunnels that ran through and under the falls. Not to downplay it but it was eh. Maybe because it was the falls were actually frozen or the fact that it was self-guided and extremely short.

Next was I guess you can say the 4D movie,

"Niagara's Fury."

this movie was catered for the younger crowd as it was a cartoon version of how the falls were formed. BUT before you write this one off…I still recommend going through it. The actually 4D portion of the movie is pretty good for what it's worth. We didn't really get wet like that…but that could just be because of where we were standing.
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The last official stop was to the

butterfly conservatory

. The consensus amongst Devonte and Me was that this was the best part of everything….weather considered. After watching a quick maybe 5-10 minute introductory video, you walk into the actual conservatory. And it's just butterfly galore. Granted it's specific species but still. There are just a TON of butterflies flying around, eating, and even landing on you. I had at least two lan on me while we were in the conservatory, probably because I was wearing a purple shirt. Like Devonte said in the interview I conducted on him… the butterfly conservatory was the best part of the day.
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For lunch we had Poutinerie…which was basically something we couldn't leave Canada without trying. Poutinerie is basically in a nutshell… fries + gravy + Cheese curd. That's the basis of it; however, you can add additional toppings such as chicken, beef, etc.

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march 9th

DAY 4

The last day in Canada. Well, the last day of being able to sightsee in Canada before we had to hit the road to head back home. We went back to the city of Toronto to see some last minute tourist attractions. The list was a lot shorter than the first day. I wanted to see the Toronto sign and of course go street art hunting. Devonte wanted to visit China Town, and we wanted to try a new restaurant for lunch.

We got to Toronto pretty early because I didn't want an obscene amount of people in front of the

Toronto Sign

. It's interesting because in front of the sign is an ice skating rink and of course there was a handful of people there already. The sign itself changes colors and is probably really pretty to see at night.
After I was satisfied with my pictures, we headed to

Chinatown

, which beknownst to most people is just a section in the city that where the majority of the habitants are of Asian descent. This is actually where we got breakfast from a small Chinese bakery.

Because we were in the city so early, not many businesses were open, so we mainly walked along the main street. Which then lead us to

street art

. It was literally an alleyway of nothing but graffiti and huge street murals (which change with the seasons). Just the amount of detail that goes into street art amazes me…The talent that people have and share with the world. . It's interesting because in front of the sign is an ice skating rink and of course there was a handful of people there already. The sign itself changes colors and is probably really pretty to see at night.
Even when we finished looking at all the street art, we were still early in the city, and the restaurant we wanted to look at was not open until 11. So we ended up walking to a cafe (which maybe it's just me, but the hot chocolate was gross ) to wait out our time before lunch at the

WVRST

. It's a communal beer, cider, and pub hall that specializes in Bratwurst and as someone born in Germany… a real nostalgic place for me.

I appreciate the communal set up of the restaurant as it forces people to meet new people due to the long hall tables, however, since we were literally their first customers that day… we weren't sitting next to anyone. Anyone knows I love a good bratwurst and this place hit the spot. I think for both of us this was our favorite restaurant and we would gladly come back if we ever decided to travel back to Toronto.

As we walked back to our car… we ended up walking down like a marketplace street where I ended purchasing my Toronto Hockey Jersey. To wrap our day up, we went to Lake Ontario to walk along the edge and just take in the rest of the city. Our adventure was coming to an end, and we had seen all that we had wanted to. I think after it all I had over 600 photos (which may include the duplicated but same thing), And even better, we didn't blow through all our money.

Cheers to another adventure.