Highlights from our Toronto trip

Hi everyone! If you don’t know, Bec and I recently returned from a New Year’s vacation in Toronto. An extensive collection of photos is up on Flickr.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5

I have different photographic moods. Sometimes I think taking photographs is silly and I should just enjoy the moment. At other times, I really enjoy taking photos. This trip I mostly enjoyed taking photos.

And now, the highlights!

Day 1

Day 1 was spent getting from Lansing to Toronto. The Lansing-Detroit leg happened on a Greyhound bus with a cheery driver who informed us that his name was Bill, unless we were planning to call with a complaint, in which case it was George, and we were on Indian Trails (a MI busing company).

Then we arrived in Detroit, where we used the Detroit People Mover, an automated train and enemy of Reason, to move from the Greyhound Station to downtown. The People Mover may operate at 2.5% of capacity, but we enjoyed it.

We had some time to kill, so we found ourselves unexpectedly having lunch in GM’s headquarters, the Renaissance Center, seen here in a photo we took from Canada, across the Detroit river.

Inside, we found a car that cost more than our condo.

We then took the “tunnel bus” over to Windsor. I was surprised how dedicated Canadian border security was – they took the time to go through our bags. Then we wandered to the Windsor train station, to catch our VIA Rail Canada train to Toronto.

I already mentioned below how the food service on the train reminded me more of being on an airplane. The people sitting in the emergency exit rows also got a talking-to. The procedure for opening the emergency exit windows was:

1. Take hammer.
2. Smash window.
3. Use seat cushion to remove shards.

I kid you not.

Day 2!

By the end of Day 1 we had arrived at our hotel in Toronto. Day 2 was spent going to two attractions – first, Casa Loma, an early 20th century home built by a very wealthy resident of Toronto.

My favorite part was probably the long underground tunnel that connected the home to the stables across the street. During WWII, the stables were used as a location to secretly develop an early sonar system. (It was thought that enemy spies wouldn’t check what was, by then, a popular tourist attraction.) An “under construction” sign was used to divert any tourists who lost their way.

After Casa Loma, we visited the CN Tower, surely a building you are familiar with. The view from the top was, of course, splendid.

We briefly went on the outside viewing platform – the wind on the harbor-side of the tower was intense and intensely cold.

Day 3!

Day 3 we went to the Royal Ontario Museum, a natural history museum. I probably should put up a picture of me at some point – here I am chilling with a large crystal.

But that wasn’t the coolest crystal around.

You can learn about that guy.

But I most enjoyed seeing what are thought to be actual pieces of rock from Mars, blasted off that planet by some celestial collision and eventually finding their way here.

Day 4!

On Day 4, we first visited the Ontario Science Center, where they had tornadoes and stuff.

But I think Bec most enjoyed this part.

You can check out some videos we took here and here.

Day 4 was also Dec. 31, so we found a few ten-thousand friends to hang out with in Nathan Phillips Square.

And when the fireworks were over we scooted back toward our hotel as one giant mass. ‘Twas a good, remarkably un-frigid, time.

Day 5!

Last day! Was Sunday, so of course we went to church first.

This church had a bookstore – which I think is a great idea, by the way – so I had to go see what they had. Oh, irony.

We then walked right next door to check out a large indoor greenhouse known as Allan Gardens. It was warm, humid, and very pleasant inside. Here I am eating a banana (plant).

Afterwards we went to lunch, and I tried this dish called “poutine” which I had seen everywhere. Conclusion: it must be an acquired taste.

And we concluded our trip with a walk down by the harbor, followed by a visit to Little Italy.

It was a fun city to visit! We should try it in the summer some time. 🙂

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