Sunday, March 06, 2016

Canadian Adventure

The airline tickets and hotels were booked and paid months ago, the rental car has been ordered and will be picked up in Toronto on the 22nd. Nikolas's passport has arrived and Shaun renewed his old passport. All that was left for our Canadian adventure was the itinerary for the activities which I spent time planning these last two weeks.. Our first stop in the city of Toronto is the Hockey Hall of Fame followed by a tour at Casa Loma which is a castle in the heart of the city. I wanted to book a castle because Nikolas has not had the "castle experience" and Shaun enjoyed the numerous castles we visited in our 2014 trip to Ireland. Our second stop will be Niagara Falls (Canadian side) where I booked a hotel right on the falls and paid the upgrade to a higher floor overlooking the falls with floor to ceiling windows. Our first stop in Niagara will be the I-Max theater in town where we will view a short movie on the actual history of the falls before heading over to Queen Victoria Park to view the falls and take a trip behind the falls. The following day will be spent at the Indoor Waterpark connected to our hotel followed by the Sky wheel in the sky and the movie land wax museum. Easter Day we will have brunch at the Skylon, where the top floor restaurant rotates in the sky. In addition, to these activities we will be driving and exploring as much of Ontario as possible. There are a ton of lakes to visit and parks to explore. Hopefully, we will get to see some wildlife including the moose and grizzly bear.  I wanted to add Quebec City in Quebec however I wonder if we will have time. We will play that one by ear. I left one night open in the event we plan to spend it in Quebec. Currently our hotels are booked in Toronto and Niagara Falls. If we do not get to Quebec then we will probably spend an additional night in Toronto. There is a lot to see and experience in Toronto. The last time I was in Toronto was several years ago when I went to a company Christmas Party and spent a long weekend.

Anyone who knows me also knows I love to travel. Most importantly, I love to experience new cultures. I rarely spend time in "Tourist Trap" areas and rather fly then drive to our destinations. When my sister, mother and I went to Italy a few years ago we flew into Venice then took a boat to where we were staying. While in Venice we explored by way of water taxis or foot. When we left Venice, we took the train into Rome then traveled by taxis, bus or foot to explore. When we left Rome we traveled again by train to Naples then private car to Amalfi where we walked most of the time. After a few days in Amalfi we hopped back on the train to spend one more night in Rome then flew out of Rome to London before back to Philadelphia. Traveling in this way, granted us opportunity to live among the citizens and experience their cultures. Though I have been to my share of beach resorts like Atlantis in the Bahamas or Rivera / Cancun in Mexico, they are not my first preferences. I would chose history and culture every time which is probably why I prefer not to take cruises.  

I also love to travel with children. When my boys were growing up their father and I took them on many adventures and now that I have grandchildren, I take them on adventures and hope to continue this practice as long as possible. Watching life's experiences through the eyes of children is priceless. The difference between traveling with my own children as they were growing up and my grandchildren is I never really took the time to relax and enjoy those experiences with my children as I probably should have. I am much more relaxed with my grandchildren then I ever was with my sons. I look forward to the time Aubree can join us and Ava rejoin us.

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