Saturday, September 23, 2006

HOLIDAY OF A LIFETIME




I'll never forget my holiday in Canada, a special treat to celebrate my 40th birthday. Canada was wonderful. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. My Mum and I stayed in Montreal for the first 3 nights and then spent the remainder of our stay in Toronto. We toured Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto and Niagara Falls. Montreal was a nice city and very easy to find your way round. It was good to see the government buildings in Ottawa. I also enjoyed looking around the artists’ paintings in Quebec. It was such an “old world” type of place. It reminded me a bit of York in England. It was nice to hear the range of French accents. I still remember a little French from my schooldays but not very much.

For me the highlights of the holiday were going up the CN Tower in Toronto, walking on the glass floor and looking out at all the wonderful views over the city and going for a boat ride on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls. I donned my blue poncho but didn’t get quite as wet as I expected! Having watched the film, “Niagara” with Marilyn Monroe, I was expecting to wear a yellow rainhat and mac but apparently they were phased out a few years ago, in favour of the blue ponchos which are more cost-effective! It was an unforgettable experience seeing the falls close up and one I will never forget. My Mum (who is afraid of water and can’t swim) decided to take a helicopter ride over the falls instead and persuaded me to accompany her. That was great too, in a different way to the boat and the views above the falls were fantastic.

Toronto was a fun city to visit too, with many shops and attractions. The night we arrived, the city was busy as everybody was out in full force, hoping to catch a glimpse of Beyonce who was performing in concert. We found a wonderful restaurant, “The Pickle Barrel” which had over 300 menu choices! There was something for everyone. It was refreshing to meet a girl from Liverpool who greeted us at the door of the restaurant. She had lived in Toronto for over 10 years and we caught her up on the latest news from England. I would definitely recommend “The Pickle Barrel” to any visitors to Toronto. It’s very easy to find, on Yonge Street, just a couple of blocks from the famous Eaton shopping centre. Good food, good service, lots of menu choices, pleasant, helpful staff. What more could you ask for! We dined there all the time we were in Toronto. Another favourite place is Tim Hortons! They do wonderful coffee and pastries! The best coffee in Canada we were told and we weren’t disappointed.

We crammed so much into our Canadian trip. But it was great! The Canadians were really warm and friendly people and many stopped to talk to us when they heard our British accents in shops and restaurants. I also caught a couple of American T.V. shows whilst I was over in Canada, “Dancing with the Stars”, the American version of our “Strictly Come Dancing” show. I also saw an interesting show called, “The Ghost Whisperer” with Jennifer Love Hewitt. Apparently it’s shown on the satellite channels in England but I’ve never seen it before. The town where the Ghost Whisperer is set reminded me of Niagara on the Lake, another place we visited in Canada. It's a small, old-world colonial style town. It's really nice with lovely shops.

It’s nice to be home again but my memories of my Canadian holiday will stay with me forever. It was definitely the holiday of a lifetime. Now I’m back home with my cuddly Canadian moose (a souvenir of the trip) and back to reality again!

N.B. This was originally posted over at Diary From England in September 06.

8 comments:

Sheila said...

Glad to hear about the trip. I was wondering how it went. I've never traveled to Canada. I guess I feel that it's too close to the U.S. England would be fun though. My husband and I have been to Italy several times. Travel opens your eyes and we Americans could use a little more global perspective.

Pretty brave of you to take the helicopter ride. Bet that was fun.

Naomi said...

Yes it was a lot of fun but the boat ride was even better! I've been to Italy a couple of times. It's one of my favourite places. I'm sure you would enjoy England. You could come and visit me!

CyberCelt said...

I spent a Christmas in Vancouver with my son one year. The Canadians are very friendly.

Sharon Lynne said...

What a wonderful trip!

That is funny about your mother preferring to ride in a helicopter. I think the helicopter takes MORE courage!

I know a little French, also...and wish I could practice more. I've lost most of it.

Great post!

Janey Loree said...

This is BLOG VILLAGE Recreation Carnival Post #9 of 25...

What a picture you painted for me as I read through this great post! The extent of my world traveling is when I visited Piedras Negras, Mexico. It is a border town to Eagle Pass, Texas. My dream is to travel and see the sights with my own eyes and take my own pictures!!

It is wonderful that you have memories like these that include your Mum!!!

Crystal said...

I LOVE that you included Tim Hortons! No Canadian experience is complete without a trip to Timmies, lol.

Dirty Butter said...

We drove to Canada when I was a child, and I remember how awed Niagra made me feel. But I was with "grown-ups" who would never have even thought about a boat or helicopter ride! Now you make me want to go again, so I can get wet!

Thanks for sharing on our BLOG VILLAGE Recreation Carnival!

kailani said...

I've visited Canada a few times with my family when I was younger. I remember it to be a beautiful place. I definitely want to take my girls there one day.

Thank you for sharing your experiences and for bringing back such fond memories!

Here from the Blog Village Recreation Carnival!