Little did I know in going to Canada (Toronto to be more specific) for Forth of July, that July 3rd is Canada Day!
Not only might it be the most un-American thing to do for the 4th but its a VERY BAD idea to drive somewhere that far on a holiday weekend!
Granted, in taking an hour to drive one mile past Niagara Falls I did realize that it is absolutely beautiful and somewhere I want to go again, but next time I will fly!
I also learned that Ontario is apparently very well for its vineyards. When I go back to visit Niagara Falls I am definitely taking a tour of the wineries:)
Once in Toronto I realized the city is HUGE and very spread out. Toronto has major sports teams, concert venues and is home of the Toronto Film Festival. Of course now I forget who it was, I want to say Brittney Spears and Black Eyed Peas but could be wrong, both had concerts the week I was in Toronto.
As far as sports go the Blue Jays were Playing the Phillies and I was very close to just buying tickets on the street to go to the game, since it was such a gorgeous day to sit outside, and then reminded myself that I am not a Philies fan, or a Blue Jays fan.
Instead I decided to go to the CN Tower (above) on of the tallest buildings in the world which actually dwarfs the Empire State Building. After paying an excessive price (Canadian-the exchange rate is close but some places charge you up to an additional 10% for using American dollars! Gurr…) I got the privilege to stand on line with a lot of people cram into an elevator and shoot to the top of a very large building in a matter of seconds. Not gonna lie, it was pretty cool. The elevator has a window to outside and the tower is right above the Blue Jays stadium. You could see the stadium directly under you getting smaller and smaller by the second.
Once atop the CN Tower was pretty cool also. I have no fear of heights (and have jumped out of a perfectly good plane before) but there is a glass floor that you can stand on and look down below and even I started to feel a little dizzy. Mind you not fearful, but definitely dizzy. When going outside onto the observation deck you have the most amazing view! Unfortunately of a body of water which is escaping my recollection right now, along with some beautiful small islands, names of which are also escaping my recollection right now.
After getting the amazing views from the top of the tower I went to see what else I got with my all access pass. I watched a really cool 3D movie about surfing (on some island I forget the name) of the largest wave in the world that all the big time surfers go to ride (I’m going to have to google that again later also). I know nothing about surfing but the main character was Kelly Slater (kind of makes me think of Saved by the Bell) who apparently is this big time, 10x, world champion. Not to mention the fact that he has dated the likes of Pamela Anderson, Cameron Diaz and some other people I forget. Lets just say he’s good-looking, his surfing is amazing and I really want to go to that island, even though I forgot the name. Lol.
Next up was the simulated roller coaster ride, also 3D. You remained seated the whole time but watched a video on the screen in front of you, while your chair was going nuts, so you actually did feel like you were dropping 100 feet down a waterfall at times. The water being splashed in your face helped with the effects.
Next up was the gift shop where I spent entirely too much money on my son and nephews. Although my son got a really cute CN Tower jersey. .
Next onto the HOCKEY HALL OF FAME!
After like a crazy tourist trying to find it I finally arrived at the Hall of Fame. Well actually the gift shop first, where I spent an extensive time browsing and of course made more purchases. Since I am a Devils fan I had to buy a Devils necklace but obviously quickly realized that was silly since I had just been to the Devils Den (team store in Newark) the week before and could have obviously bought the same thing there, but of course my impulsive spending is tenfold on vacation. Since the CN Tower jersey was not enough I had to buy my son a Toronto Maple Leaves shirt…since I at least needed something that said Toronto.
Down in the Hall of Fame, which is actually in the basement of the building, I felt almost like I . was transported to 50 years earlier.
Lets just say I had no big interest in hockey, until my 2-year-old son became strangely obsessed, but now I have a huge appreciation for the sport. In fact probably would not even know of some of the greats that existed, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, but for the fact that my son has every children’s hockey book ever written so I’ve read about them all. And of course the great Wayne Gretzky was a Ranger so we know who he is.
I am a very sensitive person, and call me crazy, while I was going through the Hall of Fame I was actually getting choked up!! On several occasions I was overwhelmed by just thinking of the greatness that exists in the world and the amazingness of people’s accomplishments that I was so impressed and overwhelmed at the same time!
Of course some of my favorite parts had to deal with my Devils 3 Stanley cup championships and the Big USA Olympic Win!!! Unfortunately it was within the 100 some days after the Bruins had won the cup so the “actual” Stanley Cup was not there, but a exact replica stand in was to get pictures taken with.
I have to say, it is AMAZING to see the old school skates, padding, jerseys, that were worn back in the day! All leather and wool, nothing compared to the Bauer, CCM of today. The helmets had no face masks and the face masks had to helmets! I’d cant imaging that anyone had the special gel shock protector mouth guards….
Anyway…I will Definately be going back to the Hall of Fame! I don’t play hockey, never had any interest in hockey till recently, and I was sooo impressed and so touched by the emotions of being in that building.
As always my son asked me as soon as I got in the door “what’d you get me” He was very happy with his souvenirs but I think he was most happy with the promise that he will go next time.