A Canadian Christmas Getaway (Part Two)

(Continued from Part One:  Montreal)

Toronto

We got into Toronto around dinnertime and decided to do some exploring of the Distillery District, just a mile or so from our hotel in the Harbourfront area. What a cute area! They’ve converted what used to be an old large distillery into a whole pedestrian only cobblestone section with bars, shops and restaurants. We found a local brewery to enjoy dinner and a sampling of the local beers before heading back to our hotel.

A sampling of Canadian beers

A sampling of Canadian beers

SNOW! Again!

SNOW! Again!

The next day Toronto somehow ended up being a similar experience to Montreal. No, it wasn’t the biggest snow storm they’d ever had, but we got into town on a clear evening, and woke up to a snow storm the next day. The weather wasn’t nearly as bad (they probably got like 4 inches … however many cm that is) and we were able to walk a few miles to get around the city, just by foot. We first walked to Casa Loma, about 4 mi from our hotel and took a tour of the huge castle-like estate that sits on a hill at the most northern point of the city. It’s a beautiful old house that was owned by a Toronto millionaire back in the day – but now is a tourist destination that has been restored to as it was nearly 100 years ago.

inside Eaton Centre

inside Eaton Centre

in front of casa loma

Casa Loma!

After Casa Loma, B and I decided to check out Toronto’s Asiatown. It was not disappointing! We strolled around the large area of Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai) restaurants and stores, stopped in a few (I bought some ginger coconut candy –yum!) and decided to stop by for a snack at a dumpling restaurant. The snack turned into 15 dumplings – EACH – that we finished completely. Whoops! I guess that’s what happens when you eat “Brunch” at 2 p.m.!

Dumplings in Chinatown

I ate every single one of those dumplings

B and I left Chinatown and walked back to our hotel – but first, a stop at the CN tower! The former tallest standing structure in the world was gorgeous at night – all lit up in green and red for the holidays and bright in the now clear sky (it stopped snowing finally!).  We debated going up to the top – but decided against it at the last minute and headed back to our hotel to relax for a little bit before our last night in Toronto. My boots had broken so my feet – socks and boot liners included – had soaked through so the walk back was a slow, trudgering mess. After changing, B and I hit up our hotel’s top floor restaurant – at the 38th floor, it offered a beautiful view of the city and we were able to relax and have a drink before heading out for the night.

our approximate walking tour - included checking out Easton Centre Mall, Bloor Street shopping, and more along the way

our approximate walking tour – included checking out Eaton Centre Mall, Bloor Street shopping, and more along the way

Not wanting to walk too far after finding a few blisters on my feet and soaking through my boots, I found a bar close to our restaurant that sounded Canadian for us to check out for drinks and dinner – the Loose Moose! (Come on – if that doesn’t sound Canadian …) We found it easily and grabbed a table right in front of one of the many large screen TVs in the bar – and lucky us, within a few minutes the bar became crowded with people there to watch the Dos Santos vs Velasquez UFC fight. We stayed, ordered dinner and enjoyed our last night in Toronto.

loosemoose

Last night in Toronto .. the Loose Moose!

loose moose b

Guess what – the trip wasn’t quite over! After a quick workout, we left the hotel and while driving back into the U.S. we made one more stop – to Niagara Falls! B and I had been there a few years ago, but decided to stop by on our way back. It was just as beautiful with the snow-covered landscape – but way more crowded!

niagara falls

And that, my friends, wraps up our 2012 adventures. Here’s to many more in 2013!

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