A Birds Eye View of Toronto

Toronto a City of almost 3 million people, just 1 hour West of Wellington County is a great City to go day tripping.  We finally had the opportunity to take the amazing hop on hop off City SightSeeing Toronto bus tour the other day with a friend and our kids. 

My 12-year-old daughters dream of riding a double-decker bus had finally come true!  We hopped on the last ride of the day at the habourfront pick up point at 249 Queens Quay West.

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What a view, if you have never had the opportunity to go on an open air double-decker bus it is highly suggested from my daughter Meaghan!  Our travel friend Dawn always takes the bus tours when traveling, and knew the City of Toronto well.  It is always great to go with someone who can add their favorite comments about your travels.

The bus departed and we were off!  The tour of the City, took us about 2.5 – 3 hours (normally a 2 hour tour), to take the whole tour and it was well worth the ticket price. 

It also includes access for 48 hours and a boat tour.  The boat tour is so amazing, we set sail from the Toronto Harbourfront around the Toronto Islands.  The photos we took from the boat tour on the Serendipity Princess Cruise added to our wonderful memories of our day in the City!

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Having taken the tour, which included a commentary it allowed us to walk away with much more knowledge of this amazing City.  Here are my 5 things I learned on the tour.

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  • Toronto has 140 ethnic neighbourhoods in the City.
  • The St. Lawrence Market has been a culinary focal point since, 1803.
  • The Distillery district has no car access, looks like its own little Village.
  • John Graves Simcoe moved the capital of Upper Canada to Toronto, which he named York, not wanting an aboriginal name.
  • The R.O.M. Royal Ontario Museum, only has 5% of their collection on display, with the other 95% at a secret underground location.

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We got to see sights and sounds you wouldn’t normally be able to see driving on your own.  Such as when the bus stopped we all watched a band play in front of the Eaton’s Center. 

It was an amazing way to just sit back and relax and not worry about the crazy rush hour traffic.  It was a beautiful warm sunny day, however there was a lovely breeze to keep us cool as we drove along the scenic streets.

We got to see all of the major sites in the City which included a little history about each of the sites.  I loved all of the architecture and the different ethnic communities we traveled.  Here is the link to the tour, https://citysightseeingtoronto.com/

Talk soon ~

 

Nancy

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Jason Raso “Funktet”

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I attended my first Jason Raso performance last night, and I can tell you it will not be my last.  What a wonderful intimate evening with local Guelphite Bassist, Jason and his “Funktet”, http://riverrun.ca/whats-on/the-jason-raso-funktet/.   They kicked off the Borealis Music Series at the River Run Centre last night to a full house of Jazz loving attendees. 

My daughter Meaghan who was my date for the evening, is in grade 7 and just starting her musical journey.  She chose the trumpet as an instrument to play in her music class.  She was watching the 6 piece band playing and I knew she had her eye on the trumpet when she nudged me and whispered, “Mom could I get my own mouthpiece?”  I gave her a hug and whispered back, “of course Meaghan!”, being that I played trumpet in the high school band I knew the importance of having something of your own in the musical instrument world.  I secretly can’t wait for her to come home for the first time carrying thru the door her school loaner trumpet for the weekend.

 Jason the bassist lead guitar player and his band, include a trumpet, keyboard, guitar, saxophone, and a drummer. They began their first set with the spotlight on the trumpet soloist.   Band leader, Jason Raso began strumming along, slowly introducing all of the 6 piece “Funktet”.   I had always wanted to attend one of Jason’s performance’s.  He has been performing for crowds for over two decades and is very well-respected within the local community and is a very busy professional playing worldwide. Check out his website here, https://www.jasonrasomusic.com/.

Memories of my first live Jazz performances came flooding back during the night.  My first real introduction to live Jazz was in Montreal nightclub, I will never forget the first time I sat and listened to a bluesy live jazz performer in a smokey club in Montreal.  My mother’s love of Diana Washington & Ella Fitzgerald playing loudly in the background of my youth also helped to in grain the love of Jazz.

One of my favorite songs of the night titled Eviction, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DET6ZZf3NoY .  He shared with the audience his inspiration for the writing of the song came from a photo he saw of a beautiful shiny expensive guitar sitting in a room of what looked to be someone who was down on their luck.

During this song I had visualized a troubled soul who had to choose to sell their instrument at a pawn shop just to survive. This image along with the haunting sounds of the band conjured up feelings of loss and sadness of long forgotten dreams.  Oh, the power of music to paint such a vivid portrait of the human condition.

Later in the evening he dedicated a song to his father.  Pointing him out in the audience he joked that the last time he had done that his father had excused himself to the facilities, the audience roared.  These comments and others felt like you were part of his family and maybe sitting in his living room watching the live performance, which I am sure many of the attendees in this cozy venue would agree upon.  If you ever get a chance to attend or listen to his music I highly recommend that you do so.

 

Talk soon,

 

Nancy

 

5 Reason’s We Need Little Breaks

ADVENTURE AWAITS

Lets face it, this life can get really busy at times.  Being a Mom to young children can get really crazy at times, busing the kids around to their various activities, packing the lunches, bathing them, washing the clothes, making the meals, shopping.  Oh my, I didn’t realize how glamorous all of the motherhood duties sounded until I wrote them down. 

I don’t know if you are like me?  Sometimes I have to admit, I am not always excited about making their lunches day in day out, or sitting in a cold arena watching my son’s hockey game, as I hear other parents screaming at their kids to do better. 

I have to admit I like to daydream of far away places at times, and think of perhaps the last time I treated myself to vacation or a girls night away.  OK maybe I do indulge in a few girls night’s away.  I must say I am rather lucky to have a wonderful support system for my kiddies.  I know lots of women with or without children, who could certainly use a much-needed break from the everyday demands of living in this fast paced world.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in love with my 2 little people, and I LOVE THEM TO THE MOON AND BACK!  But being an older Mom, I truly appreciate “little breaks” and some time off from my duties to recharge and relax a bit.

Here are 5 reasons we all need a little bit of a BREAK.

1. Recharge your Batteries

2. Perspective

3. Gratitude

4. Take Care of Yourself

5. Have Fun

 

These are my top 5 reasons why a little break from the ordinary is needed.  What are your 5 tips for taking a break from reality, I would love to hear your tips.  Stay tuned I am in the process of creating some cool excursions to help busy people like yourself take a little break, and have a little FUN!

NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST

 

Talk soon ~

 

Nancy