When you’re my age, and living in a somewhat remote area, you travel to see your kids – it’s a part of your lifestyle. They leave the sticks for the big city and you follow. Link left home 4 years ago. Every year we trek up to Toronto to visit, and Link gets down here once a year to visit us. We are very happy not only to see Link, but to vacation in Toronto, which we really like. We never run out of things to do.
We’ve developed some routines, no matter what the season. We have visited in April, June, October and November of different years. Even though it is “family visiting,” it is our vacation time too, so we make it into a proper holiday. Link is living a very spartan lifestyle, so we make our trips there into a vacation for Link, too. They live in a tiny apartment somewhere affordable, and we stay at a B&B downtown. Every day we get together for meals, sight seeing, shopping and attractions. Since we know the city pretty well, we check what is going on for concerts, plays, museums, art shows, and public events.
This year our itinerary was:
Thursday – arrived in the morning, shopping at Eaton Centre (large mall at city centre) and Indian buffet. Then to a Purity Ring concert
Friday – Rom and I out to comic/toy/game shops, met up with Link and friend for AYCE sushi, then out to the musical Kinky Boots (have you seen the movie?)
Saturday – shopping in Kensington (funky independent, thrift & vintage shops) and lovely lunch at Hibiscus
Sunday – out to my favourite restaurant Fresh and over to the Royal Ontario Museum for the Pompeii exhibit (also a good exhibit on traditional Mexican textiles)
Monday – to Link’s apartment for a home-cooked dinner, then out to a Garbage concert (20th anniversary of their first album – does anyone remember “Only Happy When It Rains“?)
Tuesday – full day at Toronto Zoo – first trip there in over 10 years. Predictably, my favourites were the cuties: red pandas, lemurs and meerkats!
Wednesday – travel back a.m.
It sounds like I did a lot of shopping, and yes, I did. However, I bought things I was specifically looking for: a pair of short brown boots, brown gloves, two thrifted cashmere sweaters, two strings of beads, and a few spices (ground chili varieties).
I have a new challenge for forthcoming trips. For the first time, we had to pay for checked luggage on a domestic flight. Travelling light, with a carry-on only, is a real possibility next time. Alas! I may have to change my ways!