Trip to Toronto Part 1

March 2017

When Colt came to me some months ago about spending the weekend in Toronto I was an immediate, without a doubt, YES. Canada has always been on the good ol’ bucket list and Colt was going to be flying out there for a case competition with school. Since Colt was going to be busy most of the time with his competition and school stuff, we invited my sister, Angel, to go fly out with me so I wouldn’t have to travel alone. For the past few months, we’ve been counting down to this trip… it did not disappoint.

We flew out on Friday. I didn’t take the day off from work thinking it would be a breeze to leisurely leave right after school and jet on over to the airport. I was wrong. The whole day was a whirlwind. Deadlines needed to be met before I left work, substitute plans had to be made & set out, there was some drama with a few of my students and a parent called wanting to talk to me before I left. I finally left work only to be met with horrific traffic the entire way to the airport. By this time I was sweating buckets. I was set to board at 5:45 PM and I wasn’t quite sure I was going to make it! I still had to park my car and take the shuttle to my gate! Alas, I made it just fine and all was well. My sister and I grabbed a bite to eat and then boarded our plane. I could finally take a deep breath and leave all my worries behind. Canada, here we come!

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We landed in Toronto close to 11 PM and we had to get through customs and call an uber. For as long a day as it was, I wasn’t too exhausted. I was excited to be in this vivacious metropolis and couldn’t wait to start exploring!

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Since Colt flew in the day before, he and his friend met us at the hotel where we changed and went out to this cute little place across from our hotel where we enjoyed a few night caps. We didn’t stay out too late though because we wanted to get an early start the following morning!

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to downtown Toronto. The view from our balcony was breathtaking. The weather was a little dreary, it was windy, cold but we were ready to go out and see the sights and the soaring skyscrapers. We had heard that Toronto was the “clean version of New York City” and I definitely agree that it was!

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Saturday we walked the downtown strip, went shopping, had lunch at the Hard Rock and ate some delicious Poutine, watched some talent shows in the main square, did more shopping at Toronto’s largest mall, Toronto Eaton Centre and enjoyed the crisp, cold weather. By evening we were exhausted and ready for a mid evening nap! We headed back to the hotel, met up with Colt and took a luxurious nap. We woke up starving and headed over to this quaint Japanese place for ramen.

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After ramen we ubered over to Madison Avenue Pub. This place was the coolest! There are 6 British style like pubs inside these 3 connected Victorian Mansions! Complete with dance floors, patios and a piano bar! Little did we know that this is also the popular spot for the local undergrads to hangout. It was overly crowded with early 20 something year olds and you literally could not get through the crowds, but still so fun. We were easily the oldest people there. I’m pretty sure I was at least 10 years these people’s senior, but we didn’t let that stop us. We stayed until 2 AM closing time, where we crowded around the piano with the fellow Canadians and belted out Billy Joel’s “Piano Man”. It wasn’t until everyone was leaving and walking down the street trying to catch their ubers when we realized we were located on “Greek Row”. Hah! The cherry on top was the snow fall we got to see right before we left. What an epic night!

Sunday morning we were up fairly early and dressed to make the 10 minute walk to church. We visited St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica. It’s one of Toronto’s oldest churches and the church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. Mass was lovely and the cathedral and its architecture was absolutely stunning.

After Mass, we walked back on this beautiful, sunny, but cold, Sunday to meet up with Colt’s buddies at the hotel and pick up our rental car. There was no time to waste. Next up on our agenda… Niagara Falls! First we headed to “PATH” which is Toronto’s famous “underground city”. There are tunnels, subways, shops, food and entertainment underground. This was basically built to help pedestrians stay warm and safe from the harsh conditions of the winter cold and snow. How neat is that?! We picked up the rental car and headed off on our hour and a half journey to Niagara. Unfortunately, this also happened to be the coldest day of our trip!!!

After stopped traffic and a stop at Tim Horton’s for the world’s worst meal, we arrived at our destination. We were greeted with ice cold winds and dropping temps but we were eager to see The Falls! We walked for what seemed like forever before finally catching a glimpse of the waterfalls. By the time we made it up to the falls, I could no longer feel my legs nor my face. That didn’t keep us from enjoying the views and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures. #americantourists

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Tesla! 

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After the photo op we headed inside for coffee, hot chocolate and to defrost while waiting for the sun to go down so we could see Niagara at night. It was so worth it. At night, the falls light up with all different colors. It was beautiful. How incredible are these natural wonders???

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The Canadian Flag!

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The walk back down to our car didn’t feel nearly as bitterly cold as it had been earlier. Still, we couldn’t wait to get in the car and put the heat on full blast and turn on the seat heaters! I fell asleep instantly once we got on the road. Before I knew it, we were back at the hotel picking up another of Colt’s buddies and onward to our next adventure!

If you made it this far, kudos to you & thanks for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed following along! Part 2 of our Toronto trip will be up on the blog soon.

Stay tuned!

XO

 

Planes & Pancakes

November 2016

Good morning, friends! Breakfast on Saturdays is our “thing”. When we were first married, Saturday morning tradition consisted of making homemade breakfast together or going out to breakfast together. It’s our way of not only enjoying each other’s company, but also a way to reconnect after a busy week. With Colt in school full time and us being on 2 different schedules, we don’t always get time to talk and catch up throughout the week. Saturday mornings and food is our way to do just that.

For awhile now, we have heard from many friends and family members about this little cafe tucked away in a private airfield. We have heard nothing but positive reviews about the atmosphere and most importantly, the food. Colt and I have been wanting to try it for so long and yesterday our wish came true! We woke up starving and no one felt like cooking anything up. Just when we were about to give up and head to Waffle House, the idea came to me to try something new! We excitedly hopped out of bed, got dressed in record time and off we headed to Beacon Cafe.

This little cafe is a short drive from our house. When we first drove up, we immediately saw airplane hangers, airplanes and the airfield. Processed with VSCO with a6 presetProcessed with VSCO with a6 preset

We pulled into the parking lot and walked up to the cute little cafe. It was a short 10-12 minute wait. Which wasn’t too bad for a Saturday.

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We were seated inside the cafe, which was great for us considering how chilly it was outside. The waitress handed us a menu but we said “no thanks…”. We were there for the All You Can Eat Weekend Brunch Bar!  Oh man, was it worth it! The aroma of pancakes and omelettes cooking up made to order made our taste buds dance. Omelettes, pancakes, hashbrown casserole, biscuits and gravy, sausage patties, bacon, tamales… everything southern cooking is made of! I was told to try the pineapple upside down pancakes but I went with the blueberry. Omg. The amount of butter they use in those pancakes makes the pancakes melt in your mouth. Seriously, butter makes everything taste better.

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I filled my plate up because I wanted to try a little of everything. The food and service did NOT disappoint. The servers were so attentive and the food was nothing short of delicious. We ate to our heart’s content and our bellies were full and happy.

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Don’t let the looks of the inside of this place fool you. What I love about small towns is the fact that little cafe’s like this one are diamonds in the rough. On the inside were all different types of maps, photographs and plane memorabilia. I loved how you could watch and hear the planes taking off as well. It made the atmosphere even more enjoyable.

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When we realized we could no longer eat another bite, we asked for the check and headed out to take another look at the grounds. We walked around for a few & checked out the planes. Has anyone seen the show “Airplane Repo”?! I’m pretty sure a few planes have been repoed from here!

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One of my favorite things to do is explore and find new gems in our hometown. This was definitely a fun find this weekend! Thank you to everyone for all the recommendations! If you don’t mind a drive, you must try this place out! Totally worth it. I was wondering if this place has been on the show “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives” because if not, it should be! I know Colt & I can’t wait to return and try some different pancake flavors. We also look forward to bringing family and friends here on weekends. 

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If you and your loved ones are interested in checking this place out, it’s located off Business Hwy 287 at Hicks Airfield. Once you try it, let us know what you think… or better yet, invite us! We’d love to join you!

We love you all!