tvordlj: (Toronto)
I haven't been lax in keeping up the "Keep Livejournal Alive" campaign, i've been away in Toronto! I met [ profile] gramie_dee who flew in on Saturday evening. We met up with lots of long time Corrie friends on Sunday and had a wander around Yonge Street, (pronounced like Young) which is the longest street in the world, it goes up north right through the province of Ontario for hundreds of miles. The main bits, though, through the city of Toronto go past tall buildings, posh shops, theatres and some seedy bits too, all beside each other sometimes. We had a meal at Jack Astor's later which was just around the corner so it was convenient.

Monday, in the damp overcast weather, we took a bus tour around the city and then checked out Chinatown. We bought some chrysanthemum tea that we'd tried in a shop and then went for dim sum for lunch. That was our first time and it was quite an experience. It was a large restaurant nearly 99% filled with Chinese people. There were people wheeling carts with bamboo basket stacked on them, each having a few pieces of food in them. Most of them didn't seem to speak English and even if they could, with the din in the restaurant and the accent, I don't think i could have made out what they said anyway. We just had a look at what was offered and gestured to accept some of it. We got chopsticks. No other options. We missed the carts with the soup and the noodles. That never reached us until later and we had had our fill by then. The various foods were not bad, some quite tasty. No idea what any of it was aside from rice that was steamed inside a big leaf with garlic in it and some other bits. Quite nice, actually. Some of the dumplings did have prawns inside but when we had them put on the table, we didn't know as they are wrapped in a semi-transparent white cover. Most of what we had was. They just kept circling things on a card on the table. I had no idea how much each basket would cost so braced myself but when Graham came back from the cashier, he said it was only $20 total! Wow!

From there we walked through the area, looking in a couple of the shops and then came up to Kensington Avenue which is the main drag for the Kensington Market, a very different neighbourhood than the one we just left. It's several blocks of older houses that have all been painted bright colours. Many of them have shops that sell vintage clothes and jewelry, or crafts, maybe music though we didn't see that. There are also fruit and veg stands and also stores for meats, fish and cheese. There are bakeries and little cafes and restaurants too. Graham found a second hand leather biker jacket in excellent condition for 80 dollars taxes in. Excellent! We had cake and coffee in one tiny place that was really mainly take out and did catering but had a counter with two stools where we sat.

We walked back around to the Art Gallery where we'd got off the tour bus, and en route passed some nice streets with some schools and the Italian Embassy. We also stopped into an old branch of the Toronto city library to use the toilets. Nice building! Old doors, brass railings on the stairs. We finished the tour and then went to the CN Tower. Up the outside elevator in 58 seconds and checked out the views... I have a couple of photos i took from there in 1999 and one in particular was interesting to see how the shoreline has changed. (All the photos from toronto are here) There are way more condo buildings along the shoreline now in just 11 years!

It was raining when we came out of there after having a cup of coffee/tea in one of the restaurants (not the really expensive revolving one!) so we didn't go on the free boat tour that came with the bus tour. One really good thing, the bus tour ticket is good for 7 days so you could use that for transportation to the various tourist sites if you were staying for awhile as long as you were willing to sit through the tour each time to get to the attraction. We just went back to the hotel and ate at the pub in the hotel for our supper. Later we met up with a long time internet friend of Graham's and her husband. We walked a few blocks past the train station to a nice pub, called, i think C'est Moi or something like that. They only carry micro brewed beers, no commercial ones like Labatt's or Molsons. Nice place and i think the food might be good too though we didn't eat. Beer was very good, though! Good beer, good company!

Tuesday was the day we were going to Niagara Falls. It rained. It rained fairly hard. *sigh* We picked up the rental car anyway, hoping we could drive out of the worst of it which we did. We finally got there with one or two wrong turns. When we arrived, we paid to park and went to the main visitor centre at the falls and decided to have lunch there. Got a seat right by the window overlooking the falls and watched the tourists with their umbrellas walking around. By the time we went out the rain had kindly stopped for a bit so we did get to walk around taking photos and staying more or less dry aside from the spray from the falls. It wasn't too bad, though, as it wasn't very windy. We decided against the maid of the Mist boat tour to the base of the falls as it looked pretty cold and rough on the river. There wasn't anything else we really planned on doing there in Niagara though there are quite a few other attractions, some tacky, some probably interesting. I wanted to go to the quaint Niagara-on-the-Lake to look at the pretty shops so we got back in the car and drove along the road that follows the end of the lake/river. And here came the rain again.

We walked around a little and then went in to an Irish tea room in the back of a shop that sold Irish woolens and goods and had lovely coffee and tea and really really rich chocolate cake! It was really dense and moist, Graham's flavoured with Bailey's and mine with Bushmill's whiskey. Whooo! And the rain had nearly stopped when we came back out so we window shopped and looked in some of the stores. It really is a very pretty town even if busloads of tourists get dropped there daily. As the weather really was depressing, we decided to go back to the city early and managed to get there and find our way off the expressway without getting lost or getting off on the wrong ramp. The rental people were surprised we were back that early but it wasn't great weather to be out and about. We did what we went to do and that was the main thing.

We relaxed in the hotel room for awhile, having some Tim's sandwiches and drinks. Later, we went to the hotel pub again and had a lovely visit with [ profile] lola_is_naughty after he got off work.

Back to the airport on Wednesday early to come back home here. The rest of the vacation will be easier on the feet and we can mainly sleep in every day. Got some groceries and did laundry today and that reminds me, i gotta get the stuff from the dryer so i better go do that now.
tvordlj: (Default)
HAve landed in Toronto and been fed and watered. Again with free wifi yay! Montreal airport charges for it from what i could tell. Flight was really comfy and touchdown was superb! Not a jolt or a bounce.

Found my way to terminal 3 and got something to eat. .. An awesome ham and brie baguette which they heated up for me. Nom ! Graham won't land for a couple more hours but i have a book. Must call the hotel to say we might. B e late as the arrivals board says his flight is a little delayed.

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tvordlj: (Toronto)
[ profile] neenaw has declared it to be Save Livejournal Month. Though I haven't stopped posting, i've been posting a bit less often, mainly because there hasn't been a lot to talk about. With that in mind, however, I shall endeavor to post a bit more often.

[ profile] gramie_dee arrives in Canada tomorrow and we're going to have a few days in Toronto. So, um, i won't be posting for a few days unless i manage to get free wifi somewhere up there. Go figure :) I may be able to post a pic or two from my phone, but it doesn't always work right and the LJ people have changed some of that. I think the picture text still works. Shall investigate.

We're going to meet up with Corrie friends and a long time net friend of his who he's quite excited to finally meet. We're going to do touristy things like drive to see Niagara Falls and go up in the CN Tower (see icon). Our schedule back home is already filling up with people that want to see him so we've declared a couple of days at least that will be off limits and will be "us" days.

So, yes, 1 SLEEP!
tvordlj: (Toronto)
There's barely a week to go! W00t!
I dump my change and save it, rolling it up when there's enough to do so. Usually before i trip, i'll cash it in and buy currency with it but i didn't get around to doing that in May so i have a bit more than usual for this vacation. I brought it in today and took it down to the bank to deposit and mentioned that i was going on a trip to Toronto. She said she'd put a note in my account so they'd know. I joked that the bank is used to me going all over the place but apparently, said the teller, Toronto is a different story. Quite a lot of the bank fraud that happens, comes out of Toronto!! I never knew that. I guess it kind of makes sense.

Got the gig tickets for Black Label Society et. al. Only thing is that it's the day that i had told my best friend that we might drive up to NB to see her so i'll have to reschedule that for a different day that week. I don't want to have to rush the visit to get back here for the gig in the evening. Must get my traditional pre-holiday pedicure scheduled, too.
tvordlj: (Us)
Another quiet weekend was had. I did get out for a few groceries on Saturday after collecting my new passport from the post office. My sister popped in for a few minutes on Sunday to pick up some clothes. I'd gone through my closets again and she can wear some of my tops and once in awhile a jacket. I just find i buy tops and they fit but one wash and they shrink so that they're too short! She's shorter than me and likes shorter tops anyway so she inevitably inherits them.

I've had a google street view around the hotel where we're staying in Toronto and Yay! There's a Tim Horton's right across the street. This is *not* for the coffee fix because neither of us is all that keen on Tim's coffee but since breakfast isn't included in the hotel room, Tim's at least does ok breakfast sandwiches and bagels for a cheap and filling breakfast. The Sunday morning, though, we are eating in the hotel restaurant as a few of my friends are coming downtown for brunch before going to a Corrie ping in the North TO area somewhere. Monday is our day to do the city and Tuesday we're renting a car and going to Niagara on the Lake and Niagara Falls. Back here on the Wednesday. I'm already making a list of possible things to do and people to see if there's time. We don't want to spend all our time visiting, we need some "us" time too! (12 sleeps!)

[ profile] gramie_dee will be in Canada for Thanksgiving so it'll be his first one of those here. Good chance to get everyone together, too.

The new "Personal Fitness Dragon" is working out pretty good so far. I cracked her up today. I was struggling a bit today, and at one point she said "Oh it's not that bad, is it? You're smiling!"

I said "It's not a smile..... it's a lid on a scream!"
tvordlj: (Toronto)
It's much easier just to link to the Toronto Travelogue than to re-paste it all here. I also experimented with a new style sheet that i think i quite like though i shall probably tweak it a bit as time goes on.Thank you Zengarden for the inspiration.
tvordlj: (Toronto)
I spent about an hour scanning and converting some of the photos to black and white and i uploaded both versions into two albums. I will probably have a look and decide which to keep in the album and which ones to delete from the album. Some of them i quite like in B&W. I think one of my favourites is a shot on Ryerson University campus with reflections of trees in a puddle. The panorama skyline looks pretty decent as well in both. Anyway any comments on pics you prefer are more than welcome
Pics are here, there are two albums, you don't need to sign in to see t hem.
tvordlj: (Toronto)
I took the films to Econo Colour in Scotia Square. Asked them how much they would cost to also put the pics on cd for me. $7.50!!!!! If you get the one hour photo processing in Shopper's Drug Mart over by the DArtmouth Bridge, you get the cd for free!!! I did't take them there because the weather is crap today and i wanted to get them back. Guess i'll just be scanning the ones i want instead. No biggie. But 7-freakin'-50? Having said that, i'm quite pleased with some of the shots, taken both before and after the seminar ;) I think some will look nice in greyscale after scanning, though i may scan in both formats. I may even put both in an online album and ask for opinions. Black and White is sometimes much more suitable. There were a couple good shots of the Falls in particular though it would have been nice to get a full shot of Horseshoe Falls. The mist, however, made that impossible. I did manage to avoid boring white sky most of the time and a couple of the shots that have it, also show the towers fading into it which i think it kind of sharp. You certainly get the idea of what kind of day it was. Photo sorting and typing a travelogue will keep me busy for a few days.
tvordlj: (Toronto)
Managed to get caught up on most of my flist, skimming some posts, making a few belated comments. Y'all were very prolific and entertaining while i was gone thankyouverymuch :)

The weekend in the Big City was a lot of fun, I'll do a proper write up later but it included a lot of walking, some shopping, Oohing and ahing over Niagara Falls, cocktails, beer, wine and good food and good friends, a camera related Accident but, fortunately, not a Disaster. I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar and could go on at length but i won't. Some of it you just had to be there to see the photos that went along with the narrative to truly appreciate though there was one shot that the photographer called the "Hail Mary" shot and i shall be using that expression in the future. To set that up, he's in the passenger side of the front of an old convertible. He's trying to take a pic of the Cuban guide who is driving and his girlfriend who is beside him. The photog. holds the camera out over the windshield and points it back towards the other two in the front seat and fires off a few shots, moving the camera a bit for each shot to make sure he can get at least one shot that's usable. Marvelous.

Weather was variable, from absolutely gorgeous to cold and wet. Plane was late going both ways. Didn't manage to see my cousin but did speak to him briefly on the phone at least. Was wonderful to see my friend Sue, who used to live here and then moved to Florida and is now living in London, Ontario. Have missed her a lot.

Took 2 rolls of film and about 60 digital pics.

Ok, i gotta get some lunch and drop off the films for developing.
tvordlj: (Toronto)
First off, Happy Birthday [ profile] steer!

Second off... Yay Toronto! Now ordinarily i'd be dissing Toronto as too large, soulless and unfriendly even though i know some lovely people that live there. But not dissing it today because i'm spending the weekend there and quite looking forward to it. I expect you gathered that :) There's a chick ping in Niagara Falls tomorrow after noon come rain or shine. Apparently There's a restaurant called Rainforest Cafe, one of those Disney like theme places that's done up like a rainforest complete with animated large animals and a shower that sprinkles every 20 minutes. Not over the diners and food i should hope. Sounds incredibly kitch and i won't direct you to the website because it's awful. I had thought it would be so kitchy it might be fun but the website has put me off. Still, you never know.

Brian emailed me back so i shall at least talk to him and hopefully meet up though his wife is flying in from Halifax too, and they'll be busy over the weekend before she goes to Florida on Monday. I hope i get to see them both though! Wonder if she's going to be on the same flight as me! That would be pretty neat!

[ profile] lola_is_naughty is cooking and baking up a storm for me and i'm very much looking forward to that on Sunday. The get together Saturday night might not be very well attended but it will be nice no matter what. Weather looks like there might be a bit of rain but i don't mind.
tvordlj: (Magenta specs)
Paraphrasing Richard III, as you do. ;)
I've noticed on occaision that my little finger and fingernail gets blue stuff on it. It never struck me what it was until a couple of days ago. I have a cheap mousepad and there was a logo on it applied with blue paint or ink or something and that's what was rubbing off on my hand. I caught the guy responsible for the hardware and asked him if he had a mousepad around or... better yet... a spare optical mouse. Why yes, he said, i think i do have one. And so now i have a brand new optical mousie on my desk, and do not need a mousepad. The roller ball is very nice and smooth too though the mouse is more sensitive than my old one so it's just getting used to it.

My gosh, it also just struck me that it's Wednesday not Tuesday and i have only 2 more sleeps until i leave for Toronto! Wooo! I must pick up a few postcards. We are planning to visit one of our other chat friends at her school in Niagara and she teaches a group of special needs kids. She said the kids love visitors and i thought i would bring some cards that show where i live. I think they'd like that. Also need to get some cash from the bank machine, charge up my phone and remember to pack the charger. Am charging up all my extra camera batteries as well and i got to remember to get the rest of the film from the top of the fridge. Am mostly packed at least. I was going to get the bus to the hotel where the airport bus stops but i may get a taxi instead. It's not far and i'll get dropped right at the door.

Still haven't heard from my cousin Brian so i'm making my plans and he'll just have to fit in around them if he's in town. Too bad if he isn't, i haven't seen him in a couple of years or more and would have liked to. He works for Reebok Canada and does do a lot of traveling. They're expecting a baby in May too :) She's been staying with her parents here in Halifax and in Florida while they are renovating the house.

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