Back in the car, off to Toronto and through the most stressful driving I've ever experienced. And I wasn't the one driving. I think there are nail marks in my headrest.
We survived and the first thing I wanted to do was shop. Shop we did. There's this little shop you may not have heard of, a little Swedish place. Yeah, IKEA! I was never in an Ikea before and it was like I had come home. If you got something to be organized, they got something for you to put it in. I can't believe how big it is! I got lost. My husband had to call me on the cell phone and ask me where I was. Ridiculous. I drooled over the bookshelves. I wanted them all.
Anyway...there is more to Toronto than Ikea. We had a look around at the CN Tower and downtown. I'm strangely without photos. My niece took tons. I'll have to bum some from her.
We left Toronto for a couple of days for Niagara Falls. The Falls are amazing. Definitely were on my bucket list. Surprisingly, of the 15 people who've gone over The Falls in a barrel only 5 have died. The first survivor was a 63 year old woman. All I could think of was my Mom who is that age. The thought makes me giggle. I wish I had The Day the Falls Stood Still to read, but I didn't. As if the Falls aren't enough, they are illuminated nightly and a couple of times a week there is a huge fireworks display. I was very impressed.
Can I just say that Niagara Falls is a combination of beautiful and cheesy? There is a whole street devoted to sideshow-esque type entertainment. Not really my thing. What was my thing was the Botanical Gardens. The Butterfly Conservatory is gorgeous and the grounds so peaceful. It was a nice respite from all the craziness. I was jealous of the students' vegetable garden. There were tomatoes the size of pumpkins! Of course, it is the heart of wine country, how can things not grow to gigantic proportions there?
Just before we were to head back to Toronto we took a walk around Niagara Falls. Suddenly the sky turned black and it poured buckets. We hopped into a Starbucks before the sky lit up and waited out most of it. We figured all was calm as we headed into Vaughan just outside Toronto. It turns out we just missed disaster. A tornado destroyed a neighbourhood and killed one person. Scary. I kept the newspaper from that day to remember my one and only tornado encounter.
Next week I'll tell you about my amusement park experiences.