After hiking near Niagara Falls, we drove about an hour to Toronto, Canada. We didn’t do much that first day because we arrived there in late afternoon. We walked to a Canadian bookstore called Chapters, where I gravitated to the huge display of Hunger Games stuff. I found a great book called The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion, which I will be reviewing soon. We had yummy miso-ramen at a Japanese restaurant. On the walk back to the hotel, I took some good photos of a street performer.
The next day, my dad went to work while my mom, brother, and I took a ferry to the Toronto Islands. On the way there, we stopped to play a piano. Toronto has several of them scattered across the city; we saw another one in Chinatown. They’re not there for any real purpose, just for fun. I actually got some applause after playing Harry’s Wondrous World!
I actually enjoyed the Islands because the weather wasn’t cold and we could actually find unlocked bathrooms when we needed them. We wandered around the Islands, watching ducks, taking lots of photos, eating ice cream while sitting near the fountains, and laughing hysterically when a woman was chased by a goose.
Later, Quentin and my mom waited in line for an hour and a half to go to the top of the CN Tower. I don’t like heights, so I stayed in the hotel room and happily used the computer. I hadn’t expected them to be gone for so long. They were rather disappointed when they got back, because it cost a lot of money, they’d had to wait a lot, and the view was actually not that impressive. That evening we had falafel, which is like Middle Eastern fast food, at a restaurant called Ali Baba’s, fondly remembered from our last trip. My dad and I talked about how jaunty the crosswalk signs are, while my mom and brother rolled their eyes. But it’s true! The little man on the sign looks like he’s stepping happily on his way to work.
I hadn’t been to a zoo since I was really little so I was looking forward to our trip to the Toronto Zoo. We visited almost the entire zoo, except for the Indo-European area, which was closed, and the Canadian area, which didn’t interest us. My favorite animals were the penguins, giraffes, and orangutans. I saw Pete’s and Latisha’s friends there. (Pete is the title character of my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel, Pete the Penguin and His Amazing Adventure; Latisha is a shopaholic polar bear and his friend.) However, I was slightly depressed by the Zoo. It’s cool to see animals from all over the world, but it’s also sad to think that most of these animals have spent their entire lives in captivity. I know they’re treated humanely, but still. I saw a tapir that was just lying on the floor of an indoor enclosure, staring at the wall as if depressed.
That night, we walked to Chinatown and had a yummy dinner. I failed at using chopsticks, as I always do, and my lips burned. My dad’s idea of a great meal is one where you sweat a lot because the food is so spicy and your lips are still burning half an hour after you’ve eaten, so he loved dinner.
On the way back, we stopped to get poutine, a strange Canadian food, for my brother. I was bored, so I drew Neville on the chalkboard.
On our walk, we also found where the Hunger Games tributes stay before the Games! Click on the picture to see it better. The next day we drove home.
I liked Toronto much more than I had last time! I think it was mostly the weather. It had been cloudy and kind of cold, so that had limited the amount of outdoor things we could do. After San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Chicago, I think Toronto is one of my favorite cities.