|Subject: Incredibly late Toronto GTG Report|
I have wanted to write about our trip to the Toronto GTG for three weeks
now, and I'm finally doing it. Here goes.
Toronto was fabulous! It is a big, dynamic, clean, fun filled and fascinating city. And I'm not just saying that because we like Don and Linda so much. ;-)
We spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday morning in the city and enjoyed every minute of it. Our hotel was the Howard Johnson's Yorkville, which was a pretty good bargain, especially if your currency happens to be the US dollar. The price for a standard room was $140 Canadian, and a kind angel asked for an upgrade for us, so we had a huge room. The hotel was clean and pleasantly furnished; nothing fancy but all quite nice. We did have to laugh at our big room though: the TV was so far from the bed that we could hardly see or hear it with our old eyes and ears.
The best thing about this hotel was its location. We were next to the Four Seasons (la di da) and in the fun Yorkville neighborhood. I will add here that Toronto was very easy to navigate. It's subway was great, and the grid layout made driving and finding neighborhoods very easy.
And speaking of neighborhoods: Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Big City apartments, cozy duplexes, fabulous mansions, I could go on and on. Suffice it to say that Toronto has the most varied and vibrant neighborhoods that I have seen in a long time. This city is terrific and should be on everyone's list of destinations.
On the Friday, we had dinner in a Chinese restaurant in a Chinese neighborhood with Don and Linda, and Anne and Kirk Woodward from the DC area. The restaurant was Lee Garden, and it was fantastic. Then on to an Italian and Portuguese neighborhood for gelato at the fabulous La Paloma. This was a wonderful evening, and we had a great time.
On Saturday, we were back in the same area for the GTG lunch, which you have already heard about. We bought some Italian recordings at a great music and video shop. After the wonderful GTG, we went home to rest, and in the evening we rode to the shore of Lake Ontario, then to some sophisticated little neighborhoods on the upper east side of Toronto, where we saw a great British film called Wonderland and had dinner at a chain restaurant which proved to be better than many places here in our home town of Pittsburgh. Toronto seems to us to be a terrific city to eat in. Even casual eating was great.
On Sunday, we visited the hip and trendy streets to the west of the University and also went to the Art Gallery of Ontario for two very good traveling exhibitions and some surprisingly provocative and charming Canadian art. Met Don and Linda for dinner and the took us to a neighborhood steakhouse at the area called the Beaches; we had a fantastic time.
Don and Linda had a lot to do with how wonderful our trip to Toronto was. They drove us around to many areas of Toronto that we would not have seen on our own, and showed us a generally wonderful time in a great town. The GTG was a lot of fun, and in was great to meet Joachim, Tom Cobbin, and Frances from Toronto. We were sorry that we didn't understand GTGs last year when we went to Italy, and missed meeting Flavio in Rome. At that time, I totally underestimated the value and fun of meeting fellow Ziners, and thought maybe we were pushing ourselves on people. Well, that was goofy! Meeting fellow Ziners in our travels is so rewarding, that we promise to never skip another opportunity to do so.
Before I close, I have to add that I got a great haircut at Vidal Sassoon in Yorkville, and it was affordable, thanks to the exchange rate. Toronto was about a six and a half hour drive from Pittsburgh, and we stopped in Niagara Falls for lunch and positive ions on the way home.
Sorry to be so late with this, Debbie in Pittsburgh