We have some tried and tested strategies for warding off jet lag
- · DO NOT SLEEP until it’s bed time at your destination. This is the most important one. We did let Taine have a little nap on the plane because it’s entertaining to kiss him and take ridiculous photos of him with his jaw hanging open but apart from that, NO SLEEPING.
- · Eat whatever is offered to you as well as the M & Ms and Pringles stashed in your carry on ( it passes some time, you don’t feel so ripped off about the airfares and I’m sure there’s a valid medical reason about blood sugar or something)
- · Drink lots of water. My rule is double water to every alcoholic or caffeine beverage. Yes, that’s a lot of water. Yes, I had to go to the toilet a lot – that’s also good because it means you have to move your legs and you’re less likely to die from a DVT.
- · Get some exercise as soon as you get off the plane.
So far, these strategies seem to have done the job. We all slept from 9.30pm till around 5 this morning and woke up feeling pretty good.
It’s the Canada Day public holiday here today so the streets were pretty much deserted when we left the hotel after our North American style breakfast of waffles and bagels. With no real plan in mind we set off to explore the city, first on foot and then via the magnificent Toronto bike share program. We thought about the Hop on, hop off bus but it was over $100, whereas the bikes were $7 each for 24 hours! No contest. We’ve used bike share in a few cities but I reckon this is the best serviced with bike banks every few blocks. There’s an awesome, dedicated exercise path along the waterfront, bike lanes on most of the major roads and a population tolerant of old ladies riding on the pavement when the traffic gets too hairy.
Our first stop was the water front area. It was a picture perfect day for sightseeing and the harbour looked lovely – apart from the litter, which seems to be a bit of a problem here. I’d love to see this space in the Winter when the ponds are frozen but given how chilly the water was today in mid Summer, I’m not sure I’d want to partake of any water sports. The big drawcard at the waterfront was a giant, yellow rubber duck, apparently commissioned at a tax payer cost of $150K to celebrate the sesquicentenary. Bizarre!
|Happy 150th Canada|
We had a wander in the free art gallery where there was an interesting but confronting exhibition made up of sculptured wooden figures. I’d like to know enough about art to fully appreciate this sort of work but I don’t. Mostly I just worry about the way the mind of the artist works.
When we’re on holidays I try to book places that include breakfast and I encourage everyone to eat well enough to last them through to dinner. That’s probably not going to work now that we have an unfillable teenager with us and besides, we stumbled upon a Canadian version of Wholefoods with a hot food buffet bar that we couldn’t pass up.
The food fortified us enough to keep riding, down through the distillery district, up to the old town and then across to the Toronto Easton Centre, Canada’s answer to Chadstone. We did a wee bit of shopping as a reward for packing lightly ;-)
The degree of difficulty associated with bike riding is doubled by the fact that the traffic comes from a different direction for us. We were constantly screaming ‘look right’ as Taine gung hoed his way through the city but eventually we made it back to Chinatown in one piece.
The architecture in the city is pretty boring, very rectangular and industrial except for parts of the old city and some of the side streets in Chinatown where remnants of a more creative building period remain. So far the stand out about Toronto is the warmth and friendliness of its people. Everyone has been lovely and so obliging, from the shopkeepers to the people in the street who ask if you need help before you even need it! It feels like a very liveable place.
Tonight we ate at Burger’s Priest (I don’t know why the apostrophe is there – either the priest belongs to the burger or the sign writer got it wrong or the owners’ grammar needs work). I’d read great reviews about it and it was nearby. The burgers were OK but the fries were cruddy- not a patch on the poutine from last night.
Also found a bottle shop across the road so we can nightcap with a lovely French merlot.