I’m back from what hasn’t actually felt like work, but a mini vacation! We departed from Dubai at 9:50 with 13 hours 40 minutes over to Toronto Pearson International Airport. The flight over was super full and rather busy, however we still got a 2 and a half hour break where surprise surprise I did not manage to fall asleep even after only sleeping for 3 hours before the flight… The life of cabin crew is one with no body clock I’m telling you.
Landing into Toronto at 4pm we made our way through immigration and over to the hotel in the city centre. As soon as I got to the hotel my friend Katie was sat in the lobby waiting for me! It was so great to see her as we haven’t seen each other in almost a year, so I was looking forward to spending Labor Day Weekend with my American BFF.
We checked in, headed up to the room so I could shower and change after being in my uniform all that time and looked up places close by for dinner as we were both pretty hungry at this point, but I was also incredibly tired due to the 8 hour time difference between Toronto and Dubai. The concierge recommended a restaurant over the road which we made our way over to. We sat down at a high table inside, as I was finding it a little chilly to be sat outside. (Imagine finding 22 degrees celsius chilly after spending a summer in Dubai reaching a regular temperature of 47 degrees celsius). We ordered some edamame beans (my absolute favourite) to start with, and a jug of sangria! For my main I then had a lobster grilled cheese sandwich which was heavenly!
It was then back to bed as we were up early the next morning to head over to Niagara Falls, somewhere I have wanted to visit for so so long. We woke at 8am and quickly got ready to meet the tour guide downstairs and grab some breakfast for on the go. I was in desperate need of a coffee still feeling pretty tired from my travels and a lack of sleep combination.
The tour guide was incredibly informative on the way over telling us all sorts of facts and figures to do with Toronto/Ontario/Canada and it made the hour and half journey over to our first stop seem much shorter! The first place of the tour was the Niagara School of Winery where you can do a degree in wine, beer or distillery… Something tells me I may have gone and done the wrong degree!
We were given a talk and some samples of different wine they produce followed by a wander round the vineyard and a chance to purchase locally produced wines at a discounted price due to the free labour from the students. After a couple of samples, I picked up a nice bottle of wine to take home for my Mum!
Moving on, it was time to finally head over to Niagara Falls, and what a spectacular view that was driving in! We had three hours to spend at Niagara which began first with the boat trip that takes you right into the heart of the falls, followed by time to explore and to grab some lunch.
The boat tour, even though you’re wearing the dashing green ponchos, gets you absolutely soaked. My hair was wet through, my make up had run and the ends of my dress and sleeves were sopping with water. Still an absolute experience though, one that everyone should encounter at least once in their life! Feeling pretty peckish now, we headed on up to a restaurant called the Secret Garden ready for some lunch. I’d been wanting to eat some Poutine, a typical Canadian dish of cheesy chips and gravy. Anyone who knows me, will know that’s my favourite post night out snack, so I was definitely keen to have this with my meal.
A little walk around the area, it was soon time to head back towards the coach to make our way to the next stop of the tour, a little place called Niagara-On-The-Lake. It was a really quaint little village which Prince William and Kate visited on their honeymoon. Our tour guide told us of an ice cream parlour that they visited when they were here which was now famous because of them, so we tried out some ice cream and it really did not disappoint! Even if we had to queue for 20 minutes as the queue was so long. We also walked along down to the waters edge to see where the Niagara River opened up into Lake Ontario.
Back to the coach again to make our way back to the hotel after a long and tiring but very fun day! We wanted to go out for food and maybe a night out in Toronto so we went back to the room, changed and googled some restaurants that were good for food downtown. We managed to get lost struggling for somewhere to eat, so were taken on a bike pulled sort of Tuk Tuk styled transportation that dropped us at a place called Spice Route, a really good restaurant especially if you’re wanting something a bit more lively, with incredible food!
The next morning we awoke a little later and decided to go for brunch. Katie really wanted to try a Caesar which is Canada’s version of a Bloody Mary except its made with ‘Clamato Juice’ rather than regular tomato juice. I began with a Mimosa as they’re my favourite, and then got a bit more adventurous and decided to try a Caesar and they’re so delicious!
It was then time to make our way over to the CN Tower to see the great views over the city, something that I’d been wanting to do since I’d seen Toronto on my roster. The trip up cost $40 as we weren’t really bothered to go up to the extra viewing platform, and there was no chance I wanted to walk around the edge of the tower strapped in with a harness.
From here we then went back down and decided to do some shopping and see what Toronto is actually like! I was looking for a red dress for an event in London, so the mission was on!
After a few hours of shopping, we were feeling tired and ready for something to eat. We’d seen a restaurant with a great garden terrace overlooking downtown Toronto’s Square so we made our way over hoping we could get a table outside to make the most of the summer nights drawing to a close. We ordered the most amazing crab and lobster dip to begin with, and it is without a doubt one of the best things I have ever tasted. Followed with some wings and chips watching the sunset over the city.
As the evening drew to a close, it was time for bed before Katie left Toronto in the morning to fly back to St Paul, Minnesota. I had the whole day ahead of me before my wake up call at 7pm, so decided to walk down to the waterfront and take a boat over to one of the islands to be able to see the beautiful skyline of Toronto. However, when I got there the queue was so huge, I would miss the next boat over and I would have 10 minutes to see the island and the view before I needed to get back to go to bed again. So instead, I rented a bicycle and cycled along the waterfront!
It was finally time for me to head back to the hotel to get a sleep before the flight back to Dubai, but I only managed a 50 minute nap before I woke up again. Toronto was an absolutely unbelievable city, if it didn’t get so cold in the winter I could probably see myself living there. So glad I got to see my American BFF as well, great to catch up over the Labour Day Weekend. Thanks so much for visiting Katie, you superstar! I miss you already.
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