G – Wednesday 12th August 2015 – “Panamania!!”

Oh my GOD the CN Tower was AMAZE-BALLS!!! In fact this whole day has been brilliant, start to finish! It started off in the Sunset Grill, an all-day breakfast restaurant that’s right beside the hotel. Oh WOW do they do good breakfast! I had the sunset super – sausage, bacon, fried potatoes, 3 eggs AND a pancake! It’s like I went to breakfast heaven…AJ got the blueberry pancakes with bacon, they looked delicious. Plus the maple syrup on the table was proper thick syrup, beautiful!

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All set up it was off to the tower. It’s insane the amount of safety checks we had to go through – I had to take off all my earrings and rings and hair pins, so my fringe was going MENTAL in the wind. We had to do a breathalyzer test and even though we hadn’t drank in several days there was still a tiny part of me that was worried I might fail it, like maybe I’d eaten something that would set the detector off. We were all good though and after a metal detector sweep we were put in our overalls and harnesses (which were checked at least 5 times before they let us out) and given multiple safety briefs. It was then up up UP to the platform, where we were hooked up to the harnesses and lead out onto the platform by our instructors.

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The feeling when you first step out and walk along that platform and then look down… It’s almost indescribable – somewhere in between exhileration and terror. It pretty much stays with you the entire time, you just get a bit more comfortable and buddyish with it, and oh boy do you get an adrenaline rush. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. We did ‘toes over Toronto,’ first which is quite simple: you step up to the edge of the platform and place your toes over it and look down. It was definitely the hardest activity to do out of everything. I’m getting tingles down my fingers and toes just thinking about it. After that we did a ‘lean back,’ – brilliant fun, and a ‘lean forward.’ The lean back was more comfortable, but the view with the lean forward was way better. The whole experience was so incredible, I’m thrilled we did it! And we got a video of our walk and a bunch of photos as well, such brilliant memories to have!

All set and ready to go!
All set and ready to go!

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What was definitely lacking from the CN Tower gift shop were CN Tower patches – I have a feeling we may struggle to find decent Toronto patches…

My feelings were confirmed when we went to the gift shop in St. Lawrence Market – NOTHING, except some Canada flag ones and some Quebec flags. Moving on, we explored the market – it was full of amazing food stalls, everything looked so good!

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We spotted an Olympic Cheese Market so stopped off to pick up some Canadian cheeses to take home – I’m excited to try them out! We got an everything bagel with cream cheese from St. Urbain Bagel which did ‘World famous,’ bagels – it was really really hot but super tasty! When we’d been getting ready for the edge walk one of the guides had highly recommended a Nanaimo Bar from downstairs in the market, so we headed down and hit up Eve’s Temptations to get one to split. Oh WOW it’s good! Chocolate coconut biscuit base, cupcake frosting on top and chocolate over that. It was a bit too sweet for AJ, but I was all over it! I tried some coffee from a proper coffee bean place, nommy!

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As we wandered back upstairs we passed the Carousel Bakery which had a tonne of reviews and celebrity endoursements about their Peameal Bacon on a Bun. Having never heard of peameal bacon we knew we had to give it a go. Holy God it is GOOD! If you ever end up there you have to get one!

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After the market we were at a loss as to what exactly we could do besides wandering aimlessly, so we headed to the tourist information centre to get some inspiration, and boy did we! The woman there was fantastic, pointing out cool places to check out and see, including a bunch of free events that were running celebrating Panam, the Toronto Paralympics. This included free gigs down near our hotel and tonight was the last night! She showed us the line up and I felt completely giddy when I saw that Austra was playing – I LOVE HER!! 😀

A plan was formulated: we would wander down to the harbour, have a look at some of the parks and attractions, and then head to the gig in the evening.

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The harbour is beautiful and so well laid-out! It was all done up and reopened only recently and you can clearly see the amazing job that was done! We stopped off first at the Music Garden – a park that was designed and inspired by different pieces of music such as the menuett. AJ and I completely lost ourselves in it, it’s such a beautiful and peaceful place. As usual I took a bajillion pictures, mostly trying to get a nice picture of a bee… I did okay, but the focus on my camera just wasn’t cutting it for the most part :/

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After a further wander in the sun, a respite was needed, so we stopped off at Amsterdam Brew House for a beer and some yummy fish tacos, getting to watch a bit of the tennis in the process. I tried a larger with blood orange in it, the Sweetwater Squeeze Radler, it was super refreshing!

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From there, on we went to Nathan Phillip Square to check out the gig. There were a bunch of stages set up, some food trucks, a bar and a gift shop! We headed inside to look for patches, but none were to be found! 😦 I swear to God, we were born in the wrong era – patches were HUGE in the 70s, but now you’re lucky to find one, let alone one you like, while there are MILLIONS of key rings and pins in every shop, blargh! We were in need of sustenance and while getting into the food/bar area we were, for the first time this whole holiday, ID’d, ha! After that we felt it would be rude if we didn’t have a beer to celebrate, and split an ‘Aporkalypse Now’ from Localista – a super tasty pork sandwich.

IMG_2612 IMG_2678 IMG_2608 IMG_2616 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe sat chatting, chilling and listening to the music, and headed out when Austra came on. She was AWESOME!! She played old and new stuff and was super nice and cute. The guy playing keyboard wore short shorts (my God did he have the legs to pull them off!) and glitter around his eyes and lipstick and looked awesome, while the woman playing the drum looked super cute and chillaxed in a slouchy jumper that I wish I owned.

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After Austra was an interpretive dance group who were really good, and then lastly was ‘A Tribe Called Red,’ who do sort of music mashup electronic music, mixed with tribal noises and sounds. They were really cool, though OMG the stink of weed when they were on was overpowering. I was nearly getting high from the fumes!

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The night ended with AMAZING fireworks: the perfect end to a perfect day.

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Slán! 😀

G

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