Snow Shoveling Fun

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Canada  ,
Friday, February 16, 2007

As we packed to leave cold Michigan it was overcast and very windy with storms forecast for most of the surrounding states.  We said a sad goodbye to Dana and Terry, thanking them for their awesome hospitality and jumped onto the bus bound for Detroit where we would have to change to another bus for Toronto.  As we left it began snowing and seemed to get worse the closer we got to Detroit.
On arrival it was freezing cold with a harsh wind and snow everywhere.  We lined up to find out where our other bus was leaving from and got more and more nervous as we heard everyone else in the line being told their bus had been cancelled due to the poor weather conditions.  We nervously approached the desk but thankfully were told that ours was one of the only busses leaving that day.  It quickly pulled in and we jumped aboard to find there were only three other passengers and ourselves.  We didn't realise how close to the Canadian border we really were and only ten minutes later we found ourselves in Canada having our bags checked out by sniffer dogs and a nasty customs lady asking why on earth we would come to Canada in winter.    
Thankfully she let us into the country and we settled down for the slow and nerve wracking ride to Toronto through the thick snow.  Eventually we arrived, unfortunately a few hours later than planned, jumped on a train and were happy to find Audrey and Steve waiting to pick us up from their local Metro station. 
When we arrived it was -15 degrees Celsius and it definitely felt it too.
After a great nights sleep and a lazy sleep in we were ready to explore Toronto and catch up with Audrey.  We happily looked through photo albums of all her wide travels and chatted about life.  In the afternoon, after we had shoveled the driveway so we could get the car out, Audrey took us to the local shopping mall, Yorkdale Plaza.  It was huge and entertained us (read Carlie and Megan) for quite a few hours then we took the bus back, managing to find Audrey's house just in time to sit down to a lovely home cooked meal.  Yum! 
After another restful nights sleep we headed into Toronto city to do some tourist stuff.  We managed to negotiate the bus and train and found ourselves at central station and close to the CN Tower.  We bought our ticket and took the lift all the way up for 360 degree views of the snow covered city.  We tested our nerves by standing on the glass floor which gives you a great view of the ground far below and a mild case of the heebie jeebies.  We managed to find the PATH system which links the entire city underground so you don't have to endure the cold weather and walked all the way to the city hall where we chickened out on ice skating as all the people were so much better than us, oh, and it didn't have hand rails so we would have had nothing to hold onto.  After wandering around looking in various shops, including the huge Eaton Centre, we made our way back to Audrey's where we were just in time to catch the Ice Hockey match between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers.  Very exciting stuff for us who had never watched a game before.  We are told the players earn millions per year and have just as many groupies as the local AFL boys do back home.  Carlie wondered where she could find one of these boys but it appears Russia is the place as most professional players are from there rather than Canada.
On our last day with Audrey we had a few things to take care of.  To start the day Audrey kindly whipped up some lovely blue berry pancakes we soaked in Canadian maple syrup for breakfast.  Yum!  Our highest priority was getting a care package of Canadian food to our sister-in-law who having lived in Canada for two years was craving a few important food items.  Audrey was nice enough to take us to the local SuperStore where we found everything we needed and then to the post office to get it back to Australia.  All sorted we headed out to celebrate Chinese New Year and our visit at the lovely Mandarin Restaurant.  Yummy!  What a great meal it was too.
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segacs on

Hi there, I've been reading your blog with much interest, after being pointed here by Travelpod's main page. Sounds like an incredible trip that you're on, and I've been mentally adding a whole lot of the places you visited to my 'to do' list for future travels.

Just one question: Of all of Canada, why would you choose Toronto and Niagara Falls? As a Montrealer, I feel the need to point out that you've missed out on all the best parts of the country (Montreal included). And that the Leafs suck! :)

Enjoy the rest of your travels.

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