Saturday, September 3, 2011

Oh Canada: Toronto Mini Vacation!

     I mentioned in some of my other posts, I went on a little vacation to Toronto, Canada recently(sort of, it was in the end of July).  I went with my dad and brother for four days and it was interesting.  I took a lot of pictures (as I always do...on vacation or!) and we saw some neat things.  I'll show you a few (maybe a little more than a few!...) picture, show you my outfits, and tell you about the trip, so keep reading! :)  

     The day before we left my dad surprised me with a new camera that I've been wanting, a Canon , and I love it!  We drove about ten hours from Pennsylvania to Toronto....and I got bored and took a lot of pictures of the sky, road, farms, and cows (lol!).  Driving through New York was interesting...there were hours and hours of farmland...not the first thing I think of when I think of New York (I guess I think of NYC and not the rest of the state).  My camera takes really nice pictures compared to my old one, so I love all the pictures I took! (about 500, but I'll spare you from seeing them all! lol!)   :)

 So many! :)

     When we finally arrived in Toronto, we were thrilled to get out of the car, even though I like long car rides/road trips, it was a long time!  I've been to Canada once before; a few years ago I went to Montreal (also a beautiful city), but this was my first time in Toronto.  Canada in general seems to be such a nice place.  The people are generally very friendly.  We would be standing on the street lost, staring at a map, and instead of just walking by people actually stopped and asked us if we needed help.  That doesn't really happen in the U.S. too often, at least where I live...haha!  I also loved that Toronto is an interesting and very multicultural city.  There's a bunch of different little neighborhoods, each focusing on a different culture.  Part of the reason we went there on vacation was because there's a lot of European culture there, in particular, a lot of Italians and a few "Little Italy" neighborhoods.

Canadian Border:

The first night we got there we went straight to "Little Italy" for dinner.  We ate at this cute little restaurant called "Il Gatto Nero" (The Black Cat).  It was cute little place.  We sat outside; there seemed to be a lot of outside dining there.  All along the street, there were outlines of Italy in lights attached to the street lamps, so cute! :)  Little Italy was a cute place to visit; it was filled with lots of restaurants, gelaterias (gelato shops!), bars, and little stores, most of which are Italian themed.

 Cute jewelry store :)
Pastry shop (not as good as in Italy..but still good :))

I love all of the lights on the street, very festive.

Outfit 1: (I didn't get any good outfit pictures on the first day, since we were mostly traveling.) 
 I love this orange maxi-skirt!  You can't tell from the first picture, but it's chiffon and has a pretty layer of sequins underneath the top layer that sparkles in the light! Love it! :)


Chiffon Skirt: Jessica London, Peach Tank top: Dots, Vest: stole from my mom! (not sure where it's!), Belt: Fashion Bug, Bracelet, Necklace, & Earrings: Forever 21, Ring: ??

I love gelato!  It's so much better than ice cream! :)

     The second day of our trip, we went to Kensington Market, a large outdoor marketplace with lots of different shops, restaurants, etc.  All the travel books I read said that it was a top place to see there, so I figured it would be fun.  It was cute, I loved all the brightly colored buildings and cute little shops.

Tree in a car?!  Hehe, had to take a picture...

Next we went to a castle! Of course I had to see that! (Principessa/Princess...get it, I like castles, obviously! lol!)  It was called Casa Loma (Spanish for Hill House), and was built in 1911.  It once belonged to Sir Henry Mill Pellatt.  Most importantly, it was gorgeous!  I loved all the pretty antique furniture and the huge rooms, especially the library!   See for yourself:

A throne :)

 Pretty bedrooms (There were like 15 of them!):

 Wine cellar: 

The library!  This was definitely my favorite room! Ever since I saw that scene in Beauty and the Beast when he gives Belle his giant library, I've been obsessed with huge, pretty, libraries, preferably with dark cherry wood shelves!  If only I had a castle to put one in...haha!  ;)  


     Later that day we went to another Italian neighborhood called "Corso Italia."  It was pretty similar to Little Italy, filled with the same type of Italian shops, restaurants, bars, etc...  

Pretty Store Windows:  

Like Italy, they love espresso in Canada! :) I can't stand regular American coffee but, I like to drink an espresso or cappuccino every once in a while. 

We ate at this elegant little restaurant called "La Forchetta" (The Fork).  The Italian food was really good there.  I'm really critical when it comes to Italian restaurants because my dad has owned one most of my life, and in my opinion, most Italian chains and a lot of so called Italian restaurants aren't authentic and their food is pretty bad.  surprisingly this one was really good!  I had risotto (one of my favorite Italian dishes) with mushrooms and it was delicious! (picture below)  Sorry the pictures in here are a little dark, I wasn't going to turn the flash on my camera and have people!    

(A Bellini, a peach flavored sparkling wine cocktail...pretty & yummy!)

Strawberry Gelato, my favorite! :)

Outfit 2:

Top: Forever 21, Midi Skirt:, Gold flip-flops: Lane Bryant (I think?), Belt: Torrid, Flower: Claire's, Bangles: Torrid, Colorful bracelet: Forever 21, Necklace: Forever 21
On the third day, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe because my little brother is obsessed with visiting these places whenever we travel somewhere they have one.  In case you don't know, Hard Rock is a chain of themed restaurants filled with tons of mostly music memorabilia and cool stuff like that.  It's fun to just walk around it and read all the plaques, records, instruments and clothes/costumes that belonged to famous musicians, etc. 

 (Madonna's umm...outfit, lol!)

 The food was pretty good too. :)

This was on the ceiling! :

     Later, we went to this huge shopping mall called the Eaton Centre.  It's a humongous mall with 5 floors and so many stores!  I could have stayed there for days looking in all the stores....but my dad and brother weren't having that! Haha! 

 I always find a MAC store when I travel because there aren't any that close to where I live.  :) I love that place!

Lastly, we went to Toronto's most popular attraction according to everything I read...the CN Tower!  It is a communications and observation tower in Downtown Toronto.  It is an insane 1,815.4 ft (553.33 meters) tall!  Crazy!  Apparently, it is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere!  I'd never heard of it until I started looking for things to see in Toronto, but I'm glad we went, it was pretty cool.

Moose! Haha!

You can take these glass elevators to different levels of the tower.  You can go to the big circular part at the top that has a spinning restaurant in it, along with an observation deck to look out onto the city.  You could have also gone a little higher to the next level but we didn't...we were high enough up there! lol!
 Going up!
 Everything looks so tiny from up there!  I took lots of pictures because when am I ever going to be able to take pictures of a city from that high up again! :)

 There's also a part off the floor that's made of (very thick) glass that you can stand on and look below you at the city...way down there! A little scary!  

Random quote: This was taken in our hotel.  On our way to the hotel restaurant, there was this random dark room with only a tiny biy of light reflected on the random Shakespeare quote!  Ironic... ;)

The third day, we went to St. Lawrence Market, an indoor marketplace that sells a lot of food, (including baked goods, fish, fresh fruit, breads,etc.) Canadian specialty items like maple syrup and souvenir type stuff, jewelery, and a bunch of random things.  I think I liked this marketplace better than Kensington market.  It was interesting.

 So many teapots!

Outfit 3:

Pleated dress: Forever 21, Shrug: Fashion Bug, Silver Sandals: , Necklace, bracelets: Forever 21, Ring: Lane Bryant 
Handmade Jewelry:

 Random frozen electric lemonade drink...I love the color!

 Pretty pictures of the city at night taken form the hotel balcony:

 (This was at the end of the night so most of my makeup was gone...)

We had to visit a pasticceria (pastry shop) one more time before we left!

 I absolutely adore sfogliatelle!  One of the best Italian desserts ever!

     That's finally it!  Anyone make it to the end of this post?  Haha, my posts are always long.  I think I'm going to break the Italy vacation stuff I'm working on posting up into 3 or 4 different parts so it's not way too long...   So, I hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures and reading about my little trip to Toronto.  Have any of you ever been there or anywhere in Canada?  Lovely place to visit! :)

     Thanks so much for visiting my blog!  Leave a link to yours if you'd like, I love finding new blogs to read!   P.S.  Follow my blog if you'd like and Like my new Facebook page for the blog, thanks!  :)   

                                                                                                      Xoxo Gabriella 

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