Monday, December 15, 2014

Thanksgiving Travels 2014

Several months ago, my parents invited Rich and I to go with them on their annual trip to see a play in Canada the Friday after Thanksgiving.  We left after Thanksgiving dinner with Rich's family Thursday and arrived in the Toronto area that evening.

Friday morning, we got going bright and early to fit in some sightseeing before the play.  My parents and I had been to Toronto before, but Rich hadn't and there were some places we thought he might enjoy.

Our first stop was Casa Loma.  I could really go on and on about this place, and all I learned while there this time, but I'll spare you all that reading. ;-)  This first picture is the back side of the castle with some remodeling going on with one of the towers.  (We never made it around front of the castle.)
This is the stable that we got to through an underground tunnel from the castle.  It's absolutely beautiful!  The stalls are actually made out of mahogany if I remember correctly.
The carriage house was obviously beautiful as well.  It was around the corner from the stable...same building.

After we made our way back through the tunnel, we went to where the swimming pool was suppose to be. (The castle was never finished.)  There is a small theater area in there now and we learned all about the amazing man whose home Casa Loma was.

We then toured the castle and the whole place was decorated for Christmas.  This room was called the Oak Room.

The gorgeous main floor hallway.

This is the library.  It may have been my favorite room.

The conservatory with a domed stained-glass ceiling and a little fountain.

This is the sitting room of the lady of the house's bedroom.  If you can take a closer look at the picture, be sure to check out the chandelier! 

The view from the top of on of the towers was quite awesome!  We could see the CN Tower quite clearly. :-)

After leaving Casa Loma, we made our way to the building where the Hockey Hall of Fame was.  My parents and I knew of a neat place to eat there called "Marche"  I think it's the only one in North America and it's quite an least for us small town folk. ;-)  They gave us each a card (like a credit card) and we walked around to different stations to collect the food we wanted.  Each station put the cost of the food onto the card and when we were done eating we took the card to a checkout area where we paid for the meal.

We then went to the Hockey Hall of Fame.  Rich was able to see and read about some of his favorite players who are now 'legends' at the Hall of Fame.

The most exciting thing was seeing the Stanley Cup...

...and touching it...and getting lots of pictures of and with it. ;-)

We also saw our first 3D movie in a little theater in there.  It was only about 25 minutes long, but kinda neat to experience!

That evening we made our way to the theater for the play.  My parents were actually featured in the program this year because of the distance they come, and the number of years they've been coming, to see one the 4 "Walt Wingfield" plays.  (A series of one-man plays about a man who leaves his job as a stock broker to farm.)  We first enjoyed the plays back in the 90's when we saw them on PBS and have loved them ever since!  For Rich and I, it was neat to see the play in person and really appreciate how talented this one man is to be able to change his voice, his mannerisms, his everything, in an instant to become another of the several characters in the play.

This is the actor, Rob Beattie, playing the character "Freddy" from the website.

We got back to our hotel fairly late, 10:30-11:00 PM and pretty much crashed after a very full day.

The following day was more laid back.  We worked our way to the Niagra area stopping at wineries, and distilleries, and a brewery along the way. We checked into our hotel and made our way back out to do more wine tasting and explore the town of Niagra-on-the-Lake.  We got back to the falls in the evening and Rich saw them for the first time as they were lit up.  (The ones below are the American Falls.)

Bright and early the next morning we went down to the falls again to see them in the daylight before there were big crowds.

The American Falls

Niagra Falls from a distance

The falls up close where you can see the horseshoe shape :-)

I had been to the falls such a long time ago I didn't remember the whole experience of it.  It was fairly loud, but the mist that gets you as you approach it is like taking a shower!  Thankfully there was no wind and it was a mild morning, probably near 50 F.  

Being it was now Sunday, we grabbed breakfast, checked out of the hotel and started making our way home.  Of course we had to stop at a couple more wineries along the way and made it the bridge thinking we were basically home...not the case!  The wait at the bridge on the Canadian side was about an hour, then we got the U.S. side and had to wait about another half hour to get through customs....then we were almost home!  LOL!

It was a wonderful trip and I'm very thankful to my parents for inviting us to go along this year. :-)


Marissa said...

What a wonderful trip!! How great that you are so close to Toronto - my sister and Dad live there. We did Casa Loma and the Stanley Cup the last time we were there :)

Cascia Talbert said...

Looks like you had a fantastic time! I've never been to Toronto. But I've been to Niagra Falls, but on the United States side.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

What a great trip. That Casa Loma looks like a place I would love to visit. I've never been to Canada. I've never seen Niagara Falls either. What a great weekend you had. The play sounds like it was very good.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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