Our nine year anniversary came and went a few weeks ago- and while we went to dinner- it was a pretty rushed day so I was determined to do something fun and kid free on Kent's time off. The stars almost didn't align when the day we were set to leave we couldn't find Kent's passport ANYwhere. After much prayer- it turned up- and off we went! Laney and Taylor owe us about a week of free childcare- so we cashed out just a bit of it with a trip up North. But- shhhh- it's a secret because I don't think Kent is allowed to cross borders. And speaking of borders - we were detained shortly on our return to America because the border agent accused me of recording our conversation. He was one nasty man. And I couldn't stop giggling at his accusations and questions :) We're lucky we weren't really detained!!
We hit the big city- Toronto- the day after the Canadian Thanksgiving. I love visiting big cities. I love the feel, the people, the chaos. All of it. I don't want to live in it- but I love the adventure of a visit!
Our first stop was St. Lawrence market! It's an indoor street market with shops of every kind! I love big city markets!!
They had the most delicious fresh pastries!
\and lots of nasty meat cuts on counters :) I'm sure that's semi common in some New York City neighborhoods- and other big cities- but it seems so foreign to me. It reminded me of Russia and Kent of Brazil :)
We spent a lot of time just exploring the city.
It was a gorgeous fall day. And I love just wandering around places and taking pictures so it was lovely.
lots of great art-
and several beautiful churches spread throughout the downtown area!
There was so much we wanted to see- and parking all over town is OUTRAGEOUS- so we ended up parking on the lakefront (Lake Ontario) and renting 'BIXI' bikes for the day! it was CRAZY. they only cost five dollars a day! but there is one stipulation- you can't have the bike out for more than 30 minutes at a time without getting charged an extra dollar per ten minute increments! There are 40 something bike depots spread throughout Toronto so you have to make it to the next station and 'click' in your bike to exchange it for another within thirty minutes. It was NUTS. and a little like 'The Amazing Race' Toronto version. And Kent and I once again confirmed we would not fare well as partners on the show!! navigating a new large city while being timed can be VERY stressful :)
I love this picture. We are at a red light and Kent is feverishly trying to figure out the map we took a cell phone pic of that has all of our bike stations on it. We were in a rush to get to the next spot and we could NOT find it for the life of us. So I'm sure I was giggling while simultaneously blaming him for our predicament. and snapping pictures. so funny.
It was really fun! and a little scary at times. and a lot crazy. We got to see so much of the city and were only penalized once for not making the time cutoff :) And we blame our tardiness on construction!!
Toronto is very much a biking town! and I'm sure all of the regulars and business men and woman didn't love me and my touristy bike riding and picture taking! Kent was a little worried about me, too. He thought for sure I was going to veer into traffic! we just rode in the lanes with cars and hard core bikers flew past us during rush hour with crazy traffic and fast cars! it was really adventurous!!
In several spots- we dropped off our bikes at stations and did a lot of walking around. We spent quite awhile in China town and loved it. Toronto is such a melting pot!
The shops were filled with all sorts of crazy trinkets and toys. Imagine this lady telling us over and over with a thick chinese accent: 'no pictures! no pictures! toy 15 dollars! 15 dollars! no pictures! no pictures!".
We love all of the Great Lakes! Toronto is on Lake Ontario.
I'm so glad that Kent shares in my love of adventures- small and large! and I can't wait to explore more big cities of the world together!!!