Toronto

For spring break Quinn (16) and I boarded a flight to the Cold Nawth.

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I didn’t really research the weather much before we went.  There was no point, because the whole reason for the trip was to go see Quinn’s favorite team, the Raptors, play basketball on their home turf.  We bought tickets for 3 games, and then planned the rest of the trip around those dates.

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His first plane ride that he could remember. He flew once when he was around 2.

Landing in Toronto, we took a train into the city and walked outside. It was 17 degrees.  Quinn was in shorts.  Seriously.  Only a Texan would wear shorts to Canada.

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Holy Mother of God, it was so cold.  I had on a full length down parka, and Quinn was in shorts and a hoodie.  Being 16, there was no way I could convince him to change, so we walked most of the way to our Air BnB apartment like that.  I finally made the decision to duck into a restaurant to grab some quick lunch in hopes he would go in the bathroom and change into something less likely to get frost bite of the knees.  He did, and was much less numb.

I know there are horror stories out there about Air BnB, but after such a positive experience in Japan, I can’t imagine not trying it each time we travel.  This one did not disappoint either.  Here is our view…for around $88 a night.

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What can I say about Toronto?  We loved it, in spite of the fact that the week we were there was so damn cold.  Like 11 degrees.  We were frozen for the first 2 days, then you sort of get used to it…….after you buy big scarfs, better gloves and learn to layer your clothing.

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Let me take a moment here to make an observation: I am not sure how people fall in love in the Cold Nawth.  Everyone is so bundled up and covered from head to toe. How do they see each other?  I was all hunkered down in my giant scarf thingie, trying to keep my nose from freezing off my face and thinking this must make socializing interesting.  And hat head.  Seriously, static was off the charts.  I finally started braiding my hair so it wouldn’t end up in dreads.  Cold Nawth problems.

This city is so easy to navigate by foot.  Our apartment was on York street near the waterfront, and we walked everywhere.  We took the subway one time just for the experience.  We put in 7-11 miles a day, and there is simply no other way to really explore a city than on foot.  You see everything, and run into so many treasures you would miss if traveling destination to destination underground or via a bus.  I highly recommend this because it is all about the journey, so find those gems on foot!

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When it snowed, we hit the streets.  It was gorgeous walking around that city with a soft snow falling on us.

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As cold as it was, I am really glad we hit Toronto that week.  I think it snowed for 4 of the 10 days we were there.  This was Quinn’s second time to ever see it and I think it was just magical.

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Kensington market was for sure a favorite. All the little vintage shops were a blast to comb through. Bonus points for more snow!

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I think we walked up there almost every day.

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We got street tacos from Seven Lives.

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Ducked into coffee shops to get warm cocoa at every opportunity.  Here is one from Dolce Gelato.

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We even found a warm fire to drink chai lattes in front of at Jimmy’s Coffee.

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Chinatown was another favorite.

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More snow from 13 stories up.

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For a month before this trip, I blew my Pinterest board up with Toronto stuff. I had a pretty good idea of the things we should see. It seemed that food was the theme of my Toronto Board, and Toronto delivered. I won’t go into detail, but here are a few pics. Toronto is an ethnic melting pot so there was so much variety.  I knew some of the places I wanted to hit, but many of them were just holes in the wall that we wandered into and scored on.

Sansotei Ramen was one such place.  There was a line outside, after dark, with temps in the low teens. It was well worth the wait.

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Cold hands and hot green tea.

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Oh mah gawd, it was delicious.

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I haven’t had good Ramen like that since japan.  And the Sakura crepe cake was amazing.

Burger Priest was delicious.  We had to wait a long time for our order, and when I asked, apparently the order never got to the cook.  So what did they do? Made our food very fast, added fries and shakes to the order AND gave us our money back even though we insisted they didn’t need to do that.  Best burger joint in Toronto IMHO.

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Ice cream around Toronto

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Wonderful noodle bowls we stumbled on in Little Italy.

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This place was amazing, and I cannot remember the name of it.  The dipping noodles were killer.  I have all of the places saved on Trip Advisor, but I am much too lazy of a blogger to look them all up today.  Le sigh.

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I did not like this macha and red bean ice cream though. Blek blek blek.

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Dumplings from Mothers Dumplings

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The Mothers hard at work.

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Pizza and stuffed meatballs from Scaddabush.  You cut your pizza with scissors.

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And I cannot tell you how amazing hot beverages are in this city.

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This right here….it was like drinking melted chocolate.  This place is in the Distillery District and it is a must do when you go to Toronto.  Total indulgence.

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More hot cocoa. I had some espresso and hot cocoa’s several times a day.  Boing!

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We also got lucky and there was a small maple syrup festival going on down the street from our apartment.  I believe it was called the Sugar Shack Festival.  Maple snow candy was the bomb. It is rolled around in snow and has a sweet, cold, crunchy thing going on.  Very good.

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We also had to do the CN Tower. I am afraid of heights, and when I walked out on the glass floor, a bunch of kids started jumping up and down on it as hard as they could. Little maniacs.  I died 1000 deaths.

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Kudos to the weirdo who thought this one up.

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Graffiti Alley.  Incredible street art.

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We toured a castle.  This place was a bit odd.  It was built during the Victorian Era and was decorated as such, but the tourist board had all kinds of medieval castle decor too….. ….complete with jousting and some gargoyles thrown in for good luck. It was confusing.

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Aaaaaand Raaaaaaaaptors basketball!!  So much fun.

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The first game was kind of a dud, but the last game of our trip was excellent.

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And then the next morning we took off for home.

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What a fun, eclectic city Toronto is.  So glad to have spent time there one on one with my son.

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