To finish off an already amazing month, I was once again bound for my home country and another 3 day layover in Toronto. While thoughts of Tim Horton's and buying groceries were exciting, the true icing on the cake was the fact that my fiance Ryan would be flying in from Alberta to spend the weekend with me! It had been nearly 2 months since we'd seen each other last, and we were most definitely due for a reunion.
Of course, before we could reunite I was forced to work a 14 hour flight to make me wait in anticipation for as long as possible. It was nothing less than chaotic, filled with a handful of crazy passengers and a good serving of crew drama. With all of that out of the way, we landed happy and safe in beautiful Canada. I rushed through the airport to the bus, eager to get to the hotel and see a smiling Ryan waiting for my arrival. The traffic on the way was less than favourable, added to my already high level of impatience. I couldn't wait any longer! We finally arrived and I was the first one off the bus. I rushed to the lobby ready for a hug, but Ryan was nowhere to be found. I immediately began forming assumptions as to where he could possibly be. Maybe his flight was delayed. Maybe he'd got tired of waiting for my delayed flight. Maybe I was secretly imagining all along that he said he'd meet me in Toronto. I checked into my room and waited around a few more minutes before going upstairs. I wasn't sure what to do. I had no phone, no internet access, and no idea where he was or when he'd arrive. I changed out of my uniform and flicked on the TV, waiting for some news.
Finally, after the longest 20 minutes ever, my phone rang. He was in the lobby! I gave him my room number and waited patiently for a knock at my door. We were together again, and life was lovely!! We talked about our flights and he explained that he'd tried to surprise me by meeting me at the airport. Unfortunately, he'd missed me by a matter of minutes as I rushed to the bus. Once he'd realized that I was gone, he proceeded to the hotel himself, but of course I beat him there. He was frustrated with the timing, but it didn't matter. We were together now and I was one happy girl. I was even happier when he surprised me with some super exciting news that I'll save for another post.
Before succumbing to jet lag and fatigue, I insisted that we go for a walk begin what was sure to be a food-filled weekend. We were leaning towards healthy options and had our hearts set on sushi, but after a few minutes of searching for a particular restaurant, we gave up and caved to our cravings. It was off to Wayne Gretzky's restaurant instead. We shared an order of delicious hot wings and threw in a salad to make us feel a bit less guilty. Everything was yummy, and it was so nice to be in the same place as the person that I love the most!
After dinner we made our way back to the hotel for an early night disturbed by my frequent tossing and turning. Jet lag kills me on this trip, and Ryan was suffering from my sleeplessness as well. I was up early begging him to wake up so that we could go for breakfast. I had bacon on the mind and I wouldn't give up the fight until he was out of bed and dressed to go.
We headed to Marche, a cool restaurant with several different stations. We walked past the waffles and fruit salads straight toward the bacon and eggs, where we loaded up our plates with breakfast amazingness. Oh, bacon... how are you so great? There was a short time in my life that I was a vegetarian (about 5 months to be exact), but my love for bacon drew me back.
After breakfast we continued walking down Yonge Street until we reached Eaton Centre, a popular shopping mall in the area. I got my broken iPod replaced at the Apple store, and proceeded on to do a bit of shopping, dragging Ryan into girly stores as I tried on clothes... he didn't mind though.
We were meeting up with some of my family later in the day, but we decided to go see a movie before they arrived. We saw Bridesmaids, which was hilarious. Just before the end of the movie we noticed Ryan's phone had a message. It turns out that my family was already waiting in the hotel lobby! Fortunately the movie ended a few minutes later and we walked to meet them at the mall. Awaiting our hugs were my grandparents, my Uncle Troy, and Sheri. We walked around the mall chatting and catching up, and then proceeded to the St. Lawrence Market for some yummy food shopping. Ryan and I were feeling pretty hungry, but after circling the market and loading up on samples we were satisfied.
My grandparents were enjoying a mini-holiday of their own, including a night at a nice hotel. It's not often that they come to the big city! We walked to their hotel to check in and went up to their massive room to enjoy some drinks and snacks until my favourite time of day... dinner! Yes, far too much of my life revolves around food and meal time.
After reading my blogs proclaiming my love of Korean BBQ, my grandparents were eager to try it for themselves. Being the technology loving grandparents that they are, they Googled a popular restaurant and we set off to eat.
I explained the basics as we began to cook our meal on the table in front of us. It wasn't quite the same as Seoul, but it was quite delicious nonetheless. Once we'd filled up on more than enough, it was time to go. My grandparents headed to their hotel as Ryan and I headed to Tim Horton's for the first time this trip. I'm amazed that it took me so long to enjoy an iced cappuccino! We got a caffeine buzz and set out for a walk along the waterfront. He took photos of the beautiful city lights reflecting in the water. We sat there awhile, enjoying the view and the company before retreating to our hotel room for the evening.
I tried really hard to sleep in the next day and let Ryan do the same. It was still quite early when I grew restless and once again got him out of bed far earlier than he would have liked to have been. We ate fresh raspberries that I'd bought at the market and lounged around watching TV before going for a quick walk. My grandparents came to the hotel when it was time for them to check out of their own. They left their luggage in our room as they had a few hours to kill before catching the train home. My grandma was set on buying a new dress, so we said goodbye as they headed to the mall and we ventured off in search of lunch.
Ryan and I were both craving sushi, so we walked around until we found a place that was open. It was very yummy, and the fact that it was 50% off on Sunday afternoons made it taste even better! Next on my list of cravings was bubble tea, so after finishing our lunch we asked our waitress where we could find some. We followed her directions and found a tea shop, where we were informed that the tapioca pearls wouldn't be ready for 20 minutes. Ryan was fine with this, but it's just not bubble tea without bubbles, so we decided to wait. We walked down the street and sat on a park bench taking photos.
I figured that 20 minutes had passed, so we returned to the tea place and ordered our drinks.
We'd made plans a few weeks earlier to go to Medieval Times, a dinner show. It was a beautiful day so we opted to walk even though it was about an hour on foot. We strolled along the lakeside, stopping to play on swings like the children that we are. We finally reached Medieval Times and took our seats just in time. If you are ever in the Toronto area, I'd recommend going! We cheered for our yellow knight as we feasted on huge portions of food.
To add to the experience, no utensils were provided and everything had to be eaten by hand. Ryan, myself, and every child in the place loved this part the best. The food was good, and so was the show.
Once it was over we slowly began the walk back to the hotel, stopping for photos along the way. If you ever spend time with Ryan and I you'll get used to the frequent photo stops. It always takes us a long time to get anywhere.
We eventually got back to the hotel, tired but not ready to call it a night. It was our last night together and I was craving a real Canadian caesar so I suggested going out for a few drinks. Our first stop was Jack Astor's, where I satisfied my craving but longed for a fruity cocktail as well. Deciding to explore our options, we headed next door to a restaurant called "The Loose Moose" where we ordered another drink. The place was uneventful, so we continued our wandering down towards Queen Street. A big storm was approaching and we watched as the sky lit up with lightning. It had been a long time since I'd witnessed a thunder storm, and I was a mixture of scared and excited. We didn't have a plan as to where we were going, but when the sky opened up and rain began pouring down our decision was made for us. We ran to the nearest restaurant and sat inside, warm and dry. We watched the storm and waited for the rain to die down before continuing our adventure. Next stop - PIZZA! We each ordered a slice and watched as lighting struck the CN Tower. So crazy! It was late and we were finally ready to call it a night, so we returned to our hotel and got a good night's sleep.
The next morning I purposely woke up early in an attempt to make myself tired enough for an afternoon nap before my flight back to Dubai. We found a cozy little restaurant where we ordered an amazing breakfast complete with bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and French toast.
We wandered the streets for a few hours, stopping for coffee and discussing lunch plans... clearly we need treatment for our food addiction. We hung out around the base of the CN Tower for awhile, talking about life and playing with my camera.
Finally, it was lunch time! We dined at an Asian restaurant that was so great, I only wish that I had discovered it earlier! The menu offered everything, from sushi to Thai to dim sum... everything that I love the most!
We each started with my favourite soup... Tom Yum Goong. It was not quite as spicy as what I'm used to in Bangkok, but pretty darn delicious!
Next up was pork and shrimp dumplings and a platter of salad rolls and tornado shrimp... amazing. We were well fed and ready for bed, but first we stopped for dessert at Wendy's. Mmm, Frosty. Feeling guilty for ruining my healthy eating plan, we walked to the supermarket where I loaded up on healthy goodies to bring back to Dubai... raspberries, blueberries, spinach and peas!
Back at the hotel we napped until it was time to get ready and head to our respective flights. I'm always sad to say goodbye, but after such a great weekend I was staying strong, much unlike my usual emotional self. We parted ways as I jetted back to the desert, but it won't be long until we are reunited once again!
I can't believe that I get paid for weekend getaways with my fiance!