happy christmas

My folks and I celebrated by going on a short hike in the rain the other day.

I hope all of you out there in blogland have a merry, merry.


visiting our neighbors to the north

Awhile ago, M invited me to accompany him on his trip to Toronto. He got to spend the week working and I got to spend it wandering around a pretty big city. There aren't a lot of touristy things to do in Toronto, but we ate a lot of good food and I got a lot of walking in.

For the most part the weather held out. It was gray and kind of cold, but not too wet. Except for Wednesday. That day was Deluge Day, so I decided to spend it indoors at the Art Gallery of Ontario which has a pretty decent collection of both contemporary and not so contemporary stuff. There's a whole room dedicated to Henry Moore sculptures which I spent a lot of time in as he's one of my favorites. As far as I could tell, most of the Canadian artists spend a lot of time painting landscapes which don't really do much for me, so I pretty much skipped that whole gallery.

On Friday, M took the day off of work and we went up the CN Tower. It is ostensibly a broadcast tower which seems a dull reason to build a tower, but it's supposedly the largest one of those in the world and the second largest man-made structure. We spent enough time up top to see the city in both the daylight and the night time. You know, to get both perspectives. It's always interesting to see cities from 'up above'. Everything looks so much closer together than it feels when you're on the ground walking around the bases of all of those tall buildings and it gives you a better feel for the layout of everything.

Saturday we were blessed with the one day of sunshine we had the entire week, which was good as we had plans to visit Niagara Falls. We rented a car and drove about an hour and a half south of the city to see a lot of water fall off a cliff. The Maid of the Mist boat tours were dry docked, so we just walked around up top. Everything was pretty iced over because it was so cold outside, but that added to the appeal in my mind and made the Falls a much cooler experience than it might have been otherwise. Plus, the cold weather kept the crowds to a minimum. We fantasized about pushing one of the kids over the edge just to see what would happen, but figured we might get in trouble if we actually followed through, so we kept our hands to ourselves.

Apparently people throw money into the falls for some reason. I guess to make wishes? Is any body of water considered a wishing well? After we saw the falling water, we wandered around the town of Niagara Falls a bit. It might be the gaudiest place on Earth (besides Las Vegas). I guess it would be a good distraction for any kids you might have in tow, but other than that, it seemed really random and weird.

M likes to wander around cities as much as I do, so Sunday we took the subway up north and wandered around the University of Toronto, which weirdly seemed closed for winter break already. So, all in all, I feel like I got a pretty good tour of Toronto and a decent feel for what it has to offer. I still don't really understand Canadians' fascination with the Queen though.

If you're in the know, you can see other pics on my Flickr. If you're not in the know and want to be, give me a shout.



- Somehow, over the past year or so, I've developed an allergy to tomatoes (I think). Which saddens me very greatly because I love tomatoes—in all of the forms they come in—but will probably make M5K (I can't find the posts, but he had this whole thing about trying to learn how to like tomatoes) secretly happy.

- M and I are going to Toronto next week. I'm pretty excited to visit our northern colonies and see what life is like amongst the savages. I hope there aren't too many language barriers. I'll probably come back with a toque and an inordinate love of donuts.

- I really, really like living close to a major metropolitan library. I've virtually stopped spending money on books because the DPL has so many things I want to read readily available. Unfortunately, I may've gotten a tad bit punch drunk—the other day I put about 10 things on my holds list and 7 of them came in at the same time. I don't know how I can possible get through 7 books in the next 3 weeks. I guess I should stop spending so much time online, huh?

- I have been playing way too much Scrabble® online I think. The other night I had a dream that featured lettered tiles pretty prominently. And money. That's all I can really remember.