Back in June my 2 best friends and I went on a ‘lil road trip to Toronto. When we came up with the idea we were under the impression it was about an 8 hour drive from Chicago, but it turned out to be closer to 10 hours. Oops! We went for a specific event (which I won’t tell you because it’s embarassing) but decided to make a weekend of it and do all the touristy things. Toronto was awesome! I really really love that city. It’s similar to Chicago but I’d say less chaotic. I will definitely go back, but I think I’ll fly next time. 😉

Now…Cliff is Live Love Pasta’s official picture taker. However Cliff wasn’t there. So these pictures are all taken by Jen, Alana or me. Maybe not quuuittte as awesome as his. But I think collectively we got some good shots and we’re giving Cliff a run for his money!

The second day of our trip (the first I’m not talking about) we started off by walking to St. Lawrence Market. It’s a huge place with every kind of food you could imagine–pasta, fish, fruits and veggies, healthy vegan type stuff, crepes, baked goods and lots more. It was early in the morning and we had just eaten breakfast, but what’s a vacation without trying the local fare? I got a butter croissant, Alana got a chocolate croissant and Jen got a pecan tart. Luckily we walked everywhere the whole weekend so none of us felt the least bit guilty about indulging. Not that I ever do.

In addition to all the venders with food, there were several gift shops. One had all kinds of kitchen gadgets which I spent a lot of time browsing in. Another one had this awesome shirt that I wanted so so bad, but I decided to pass because it was as big as me. It was hard though because I’m a sucker for anything doxie. If it had been a long-haired dachshund I would have bought it no matter what size it was!

After St. Lawrence Market we walked towards the lake and caught a ferry to Centre Island. The ride to the island was less than 10 minutes and it gave us a great view of Toronto’s lakefront. This was one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. The island was enormous. Plus it was clean and beautiful. There were lots of lush grounds and a beach too. There were people playing beach volleyball, rollerblading, running, walking and playing games in the grass. Lots of people brought their dogs. And lots of people packed picnics…I wish we had thought of that.

We decided to rent a quad bike and tour the whole island. It was hilarious! Each of us took turns driving and every time we made a turn I was cracking up. We didn’t make it around the whole island because it was exhausting. After that adventure we walked by the water for a bit then decided to catch a ferry back.

On the walk back to our hotel we stopped at the Rogers Centre and got tickets for that nights Blue Jays game. Although they were playing the Red Sox and not the Cubbies we thought it would be fun to catch a baseball game. We got to the game during the third inning and the seats were not too packed. Probably because that night the Canucks were playing (against the Bruins I think) and people were way more into that. But the game was fun!

After the 7th inning we left and made our way to Wayne Gretzky’s bar. It was only about 2 blocks from our hotel and it was just the type of bar we were looking for. There was outside seating upstairs so that’s where we went. It was casual but loungy at the same time. We found some couches and sat down for a few drinks. I don’t think that would ever happen in Chicago unless you spent a few hundred dollars on table service. So I loved that bar!

On our last day we ventured off to Niagara Falls. That was something I really wanted to do. From Toronto it was almost a hour and a half drive, but the drive was very scenic. Lots of trees and water, and a couple of bridges too. The city of Niagara Falls was really neat, but definitely touristy. It was kind of an amusement park atmosphere. We did the Maid of the Mist boat tour so that we could get as close as possible to the falls. It was beautiful. I can’t even explain it. It’s something everyone should experience.

On our way back from Niagara Falls there were TONS of wineries. We decided to be adventurous and pick a random exit to explore. We ended up stopping at 2 wineries for wine tastings. Unfortunately I forgot the names of both of them. I had never been to a winery before. I loved it! The wineries both had really pretty grounds and really tasty wine. The first place had a wine that was made with honey instead of grapes. We all tried it and agreed that it was good and interesting but really really sweet.

For our last night in Toronto we took a cab to Little Italy for a nice dinner. The neighborhood was kind of like the hip place for young people to be. I almost felt too old! The night ended perfectly in my opinion…with a scoop of gelato. I got half lemon and half watermelon and it was a yummy combination. I love gelato!

All in all the trip was a blast. Thanks for driving all those millions of miles Jen. And thanks to Jen and Alana for sharing your pictures with me. Here’s a picture of us 3 the first night at our secret stop. Just enjoying a few beers! Does anybody know where we went?