So … Toronto Happened

So, yeah … the boyfriend (David loves it when I call him that) and I traveled to Toronto over New Year’s.

There was a lot of pre-trip craziness with work that had me in a near meltdown. It seems like vacations are always a pain in the ass in that respect. There always seems to be some last minute rush job that has you throwing things around your office, hyperventilating, and crying out of frustration. Yay.

We did eventually make it down to Atlanta for the overnight stay before catching out flight the next morning.

The hotel we stayed in was insanely swank.
This Hotel Room

Friday morning we were at the airport at 6:00 am for our 9:00 am flight. I hate flying, so there was liquid courage flowing in the Delta lounge and on the airplane before take off. It’s fun to be buzzed at 8 o’clock in the morning.
Pe-Flight Courage
More Pre-Flight Courage

The flight was (thankfully) uneventful. Yay!

Upon arrival, we Uber-ed over to Andrew & Kathleen’s place and hung out for a bit. Andrew is David’s best friend from high school. We walked around the neighborhood and saw Casa Loma. the Baldwin Steps, and the Artscape Wychwood Barns.

Casa Loma (obviously) …
Casa Loma

Reading history at the Baldwin Steps …
At The Baldwin Steps

We also hit up the ATM for some Canadian currency. The bills are made of some sort of plastic and have clear, see-through sections running through them. Definitely a switch from boring old US dollars.
Canadian Benjamins

After a tasty dinner of Pizza Pizza, it was off to our hotel (which was nowhere near as swank as the one in Atlanta) where, much to David’s chagrin, I crashed early. Old Fart Mode was in full effect.

Saturday, we kicked around in the morning and ended up at the Bata Shoe Museum. A&K had told us it was a cool museum. David and I were skeptical, but we had time to kill before meeting Andrew for lunch. For the record, you should totally check out the shoe museum. It’s really interesting and fun!

Then we met Andrew for a super tasty lunch at KINKA IZAKAYA on Bloor St. We had Sake and ate with our shoes off. Super fun!
Eating With My Shoes Off

After lunch, we met up with Kathleen and went up to Yorkdale to go to the Lego store, catch a movie, and get dinner. I don’t know that I have even seen a mall that big with that many people in it.

On the way back to the hotel, David and I stopped into Storm Crow Manor which claims to be the nerdiest bar in Canada. It is indeed pretty nerdy. I had Butterbeer and we rolled a 20-sided die for random shots. Pretty damn nerdy.
Storm Crow Manor
Butterbeer and Shots at Storm Crow Manor
Butterbeer at Storm Crow

We also stopped in a Woody’s to check out Toronto’s landmark gay bar. Pretty cool place and somewhat nerdy that night too. They were showing Alien and Blade Runner on the televisions. We were bummed to find out we missed watching the Best Ass Contest by one day.

Back at the hotel …
Hotel Fun

Sunday, we woke up to some snow. Yay!
It Snowed ... A Little!

We beat it over to the Royal Ontario Museum and had a fun time checking out the special exhibition on spiders plus all their regular exhibits on natural history and ancient art.
Royal Ontario Museum

Spiders at the ROM
Spiders at the ROM

Dinosaurs at the ROM

We had planned to go to the Art Galllery of Ontario as well this day. I was pretty museum-ed out by the time we got done at the ROM. We had lunch wherein I tried poutine for the first time. It’s pretty damn amazing. We then went on a record store quest (more on this in another post). As a bonus, we came across a cool bookstore and video game store. We also made a quick through Eaton Centre. Yep. It’s another ridiculously huge mall with way too many people crammed in it. Afterwards, we went to Andrew and Kathleen’s to hang out with one of their friends. It was relaxed evening (with way too much gin) after a pretty hectic day.

On New Year’s Eve (Monday), I went and toured Casa Loma while David and Andrew ventured into Chinatown for lunch and a return visit to the video game store we had come across the day before.

Casa Loma was pretty sweet. I love grand old mansions. It would have been better had there not been 5,000 kids running around due to their holiday Nutcracker presentation that was still going on. One of the things I had not realized was just how many movies have been filmed there.

Here is Downtown Toronto as seen from Casa Loma’s Norman Tower.
Downtown Toronto as seen from Casa Loma

After the tour, it was back to Andrew and Kathleen’s for a low-key New Year’s Eve with takeout Thai and junk food. It was this night that I tried All Dressed chips and fell in love with them. Canada really does rock! I really dug the Canadian New Year’s Eve celebration that was on the CBC. It’s much nicer than that overdone Time Square insanity. Nice thing too is that the TTC (Toronto’s mass transit system) was free from 7 pm until 7 am. So, we got a free ride back to the hotel.

New Year’s Day is apparently a bit of a crap shoot in Canada with lots of places being closed for the holiday.

While foraging for coffee that morning, I ran across some gay Pepsi at Loblaws. We were staying in the gayborhood after all.
Pepsi Pride

I also discovered that Ketchup chips are a thing. Weird (and gross).

The main tourist destinations were open for sure and we decided to take in the Art Gallery of Ontario. Along with the permanent exhibition, we saw the fascinating (and depressing) Anthropocene exhibit along with the Mickalene Thomas excellent solo show.

Anthropocene …
Athropocene at AGO

One of Mickelene Thomas‘ pieces …
Mickalene Thomas Art

Here’s Downtown Toronto as seen from the back of the AGO.
Downtown from the AGO

We grabbed a delicious fried rice and dumpling lunch in Chinatown. The wind was particularly cold this day, so we beat it back to the hotel before meeting A&K for dinner near Yonge-Dundas Square.

Here we are being even more touristy.
In Yonge-Dundas Square
Yonge-Dundas Square

After dinner, at the suggestion of A&K, we nipped into Eaton Centre for some Sweet Jesus. Holy Crap. This place has the BEST ICE CREAM EVER! I loved it so much I stole some spoons.
Sweet Jesus Ice Cream!!!

We said our goodbyes to A&K and beat it back to Woody’s for some final gayness before leaving the city. After Woody’s we ended up in the Church St. Garage because we saw some queens performing inside. We had a drink there, I tipped the performing queen and got a kiss … and then it was back to the hotel to finish packing for the return trip the next day.

Everything was packed up and ready to go, so why not take another hotel bed selfie?
Last Night in Toronto

The next day, I was not nervous at the airport. Yeah. See how casual David is? Ugh.
Return Flight Nerves

The flight back was a bit bumpy but we landed okay and survived the 3-1/2+ hour drive back home in the rain.

Now Bowser is home, the work week is underway … and I am already ready to go on vacation again. Though I doubt David is up for another round of my travel craziness quite so soon.

And thanks to David for letting me use a lot of his photos. I was very lazy about taking pictures on this trip. Probably because I had gloves on the whole time.

So … Toronto Happened

One thought on “So … Toronto Happened

  1. You guys need to come visit me in Tucson. Also, we could go to Mexico and you would have another country visited.

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