Sunday, 26 June 2011

Belfast Titanic Maritime Festival


Lee and I got the train to Belfast for the day. We love £6 all day train tickets.
The Titanic Maritime Festival was on. We had a pretty good time last year, and thought we'd give it a go again. The weather forecast got it wrong, but I'm not complaining, 'cos instead of 17 degrees and rainy, it was hot and dry. Yay!

 'Kit'

We watched the pirates battle at sea with their cannons and their guns and swords. We drank cider in the sunshine and we met Aidan and sat in the Rockies in the Odyssey. 'twere a lovely day.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Toronto date night - Canoe

We like to eat, and we like to eat in expensive nice restaurants. Canoe featured pretty highly on Trip Advisor, so Lee made us a reservation before we'd even left Northern Ireland. Canoe is up on the 54th floor of the Dominion Bank Tower, a big black tower next to the CN Tower. These were the views from our table:

I'm a fairly picky eater and have squeamish problems with anything even vaguely creepy, so I ended up going for the goats cheese starter (as usual). It was lovely though :)

Pink lamb and lentils

Rolled butter tart and cranberries!!
Outside Canoe, street level
Toronto at night and the CN Tower all lit up
We'd walked past the Horseshoe Tavern on our way home the previous night and decided we must check it out. So we sat there and had a couple of drinks and watched the bands play. I missed their name, but they were very Mumford and Sons.

Kensington Market Toronto

Our first morning in Toronto, after our breakfast at Saving Grace, we took a dander over towards Kensington Market. It was early, and nothing much was open / happening yet. So I took pictures of the graffiti. It's a colourful market, and we came back again later in the day only to find more crazy people than we were really comfortable with. Sorry Toronto, I'm sure your citizens are not all crazy...but we did encounter a fair few of you...

A bit o' Toronto

Arend dropped us off at Kipling station nearby his work and we hopped on the train for down town Toronto. It was HOT when we got there, and our first stop was the 3 Brewers on Yonge Street. It's a restaurant and micro brewery and it had come recommended by trip advisor.
The food was only meh, but the beer was amazing!!
We got a street car over towards Dundas Street West. Two minutes in to the drive and the driver stops and gets out. There must have been ten of us on that street car and everyone just started to panic and go mental, shouting, making tearful panicked phone calls, running up and down. The man next to me looked worried and asked what was happening...I just assumed he'd stopped for a slushie/snow cone (since we'd stopped next to a van). The driver gets back on and everyone calms right down again like nothing ever happened. Strange.
The CN Tower (of terror) and outside Union Station. We didn't go up the CN Tower. Lee's not good with heights, I don't particularly like them much myself...and $28 each to go up? Ha! We're saving for a house...
So we got to Dundas St West and dropped off our bags where we were staying and headed out again. It was hot. Really really hot and the news told us later that it was the hottest 8th of June on record for Toronto, ever. I can believe that. So we spent a good amount of our first day sitting in an air-conditioned Irish bar drinking Canadian lager.
The Hockey Hall of Fame.
You always see these on the telly, we had to have a dodgy hot dog from a street vendor. We're hoping it wasn't dog.
St Lawrence Market. It's big and busy and lovely. Just tricky to maneuver around it with bags. 
Trains near the Railway Children theatre.

We spent our second day in the city exploring on foot. Everything was so damn expensive that we didn't go in to anywhere except to eat and drink, but we liked the city and enjoyed our time there. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Niagara and a brief stop in Port Dalhousie

After our good soaking from the falls, we moved the car and went for a walk about Niagara. We didn't have long there and kind of wished we could stay longer to go in to some of their strange attractions. Ripley's Believe It Or Not looked like fun, so did the Rock 'n Roll wax works and the Criminals Hall Of Fame wax works.
 The Ripleys building!
These strange dolls were singing and dancing to Lady Gaga. It was exceedingly creepy. 
 The enormous souvenir shop in Niagara. Me, Lee and Murray the Moose.
We liked Niagara. And on the way home, we liked Port Dalhousie too which some of the locals had recommend we go see.
Port Dalhousie has an enormous carousel which still charges 5c per ride. We had no change or I'd have been on it! There's also a lovely stretch of beach with signs that encourage swimming.