Day 1 & 2: Travel & hello Toronto!

Woohoo! The day has finally arrived. I have taken off and went on my long awaited trip. By the time you’re reading this I will have been in Toronto, my first stop, for a few days already. From now on you can expect daily posts on my goings on across the globe.

The first day was very uneventful as I only spent it traveling. I had to go to the airport, take a plane to Dublin where I had a layover onto a a 7+ hour flight to JFK International. The flight was pretty uneventful. I ended up chatting to the girl who sat next to me for a while and then I just watched 3 movies as I wanted to try to keep myself awake so I could get used to my jetlag asap. The movies I saw were This Means War, Man on a Ledge and Tangled. I arrived at JFK a little earlier than expected, got a shuttle to my hotel and had a great night’s sleep in a so-so hotel.

When leaving Holland the day before, the weather was dark and dreary. Landing on JFK meant meeting a wall of warm, muggy air. North East America has been dealing with a heatwave for more than a week now so the weather is insane. Just compare these two pictures:

Noon @ Schiphol Airport Amsterdam

Sunrise over LaGuardia Airport, New York

See the difference? And note how the second picture says sunrise… I had to get up at 5 AM to catch my plane, but it does make for pretty pictures right? I arrived at Toronto well on time and by noon I had found my hotel (a B&B run by very sweet Asian people with a very clean room and a free upgrade to a kingsize!) and set out to explore.

Since the weather was so hot, I didn’t do much yet. Temperatures were as high as 37 degrees C, which felt like 44 C because I was in the city. All I did was explore the most amazing foodstore in the world called Loblaws. I will try to get a picture of that if I can. It’s a supermarket/ deli/ foodcourt/ fresh food counter all in one. I don’t think I have ever seen as much fresh produce together in one room. At Loblaws I had some delicious sushi and a fruit salad for lunch, after which I explored the down town area around Yonge & Dundas Street.

Fresh sushi @ Loblaws

Dundas Square

I walked along Yonge Street to Dundas Square which is where you can find most high street stores and Eaton Shopping Center. Since the weather was sweltering hot I decided to escape the heat by going from store to store where air conditioning made life much more manageable. I didn’t buy anything apart from a pair of sandals as my sneakers were simply too hot. After walking around for 4 -5 hours I felt peckish and went to Hard Rock Café where I had a delicious shrimp & pear salad.

The lady who runs my hotel had told me that on Tuesday you get better deals at cinemas across Toronto so when I saw an AMC right across the street from Hard Rock Café, I made a beeline for it and went to see Snow white and the Huntsman. By that time it was around 9 PM and I had been out and about for nearly 9 hours. So I walked back to the hotel, stopped at Loblaws to grab some snacks and drinks (as I have a fridge hooray!) watched some tv, wrote some blogs and called it a night.

Things I have noticed about Toronto so far:

- there is a lot of construction going on around the city.

- people are really nice, but not as approachable as in NYC.

- products available are very similar to US but cost more.

- I’m starting to understand why people say Toronto is a substitute for NYC when it comes to scenery.

Stay tuned to read about my 2nd day in Toronto tomorrow!

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