"Ontario Highlights!" Canada by Africancrab
Canada Travel Guide: 39,598 reviews and 90,852 photos
My plans to spend a month in Canada with family changed the minute my husband received a re-assignment detail to their Washington office. My brother's wife and I had planned to tour Toronto and other parts of Canada during the summer because I will not visit Canada in the winter. She arrived in Canada only six months ago and knows little about the country she now calls home. I had been on the East coast for seven weeks and counting, when I got a last minute airfare deal from Washington to Toronto, I could not pass it over even though it was for only 5 days. I jumped at the opportunity of seeing Josephine, Arnold and Emmanuel for five days. The plan then changed from seeing about 20 attractions on our to-do list to maybe five.
It was one of the few afternoons when we had not driven to downtown Washington to tour an attraction, I called Arnold and Josephine to talk about our planned summer visit and advise that I, was still looking for a good airfare deal. Suddenly my husband announces that Air Canada has a deal for $190 to Toronto out of Reagan National Airport, I immediately tell them I will call back and get online to see if we can book a 1 week trip at the going price. The dilemma was trying to get the two weeks advance purchase time to get the $190, this meant traveling at the end of the month, which would then leave me with just a day before our return trip back to Arizona. I played around with the dates until I came to July 30. It was a little after midnight on July 17 when I bought tickets for me and the children. Mark could not make it because he could not take time off. The ticket was through a new online travel seller known as Vayama.com; they came up after I searched Kayak.com for comparison rates. I will write an independent review on Vayama, be on the lookout.
Once our tickets were confirmed by Vayama, I called my family back having e-mailed them copies of our travel details. My sister whom I had not seen in 12 years happened to be having a two week vacation time just about the same time we would be traveling, so she offered to pick us up from Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (check out my review on Pearson also). Since we would only have five days, we divided the days as follows: Monday and Tuesday, we would be with Molly who also offered to drive us to Niagara Falls. From Tuesday evening to Friday noon when we leave, we would be with Arnold, his wife and son. This plan worked like clockwork and we managed to cram in as much sightseeing and family time as we could. The weather co-operated with us, giving us as much humidity free days as possible, the first day was really hot though.
So in summary, we arrived on Monday, got picked up by Molly who took us straight to her beautiful home in Kitchener. After resting a while, taking tea and feeding little Isaac (my sister’s son) we headed out to see a little of Kitchener before driving to St. Jacobs. Tuesday we headed early to Niagara Falls where we spent most of the day returning in the evening. At 6:30 same day, my sister dropped us off in Mississauga where my brother picked us up to take us to his home in Etobicoke. Wednesday we did a tour of downtown Toronto on one of the Toronto Open top bus tours returning home late evening. Thursday we returned for another tour of Toronto using the same tickets we purchased the day before. Friday, we left Toronto for Washington, DC. That concluded out high and high travel to Toronto this summer.
After 12 years of not seeing each other, my sister and I, finally met when I decided to make what is known as a 'igh travel'n to Canada, and she in turn agreed to pick us up at the airport and have u spend a night with her. Kitchener is located in southern Ontario and is the location of the municipal of Waterloo. From the United States, one can actually drive into Kitchener especially if you live in Detroit or Michigan. It is located about three- four hours drive from the two states, and about 100 kilometers west of Toronto. My sister relocated there 12 years ago and has since purchased a home in this beautiful town. Our flight out of Washington arrived in Pearson on time, so the drive to Kitchener was smooth and easy seeing as it was early in the morning. The sun was promising to keep the day hot, by the time we got to my sister's place at 10:00 am; it was a burning 89 degrees Fahrenheit. My sister told me that Kitchener is known for Canada’s greatest Bavarian Festival; the Oktoberfest. She said I would love it if I ever made it to the festival, but since I was there in July and not October, we did what girls do when they get together, go to the mall (smile!).
As you can imagine, we spent a lot of time catching up on what happened to the both of us over the past 12 years. My daughter grew up, she had a son who I was meeting for the first time, and I had a son who she was meeting for the first time. It was quite joyous reunion, for once, I did not think much about going out to tour sights and attractions of a destination I looked forward to seeing. However, my sister knowing how much I like culture and art, decided to include the attractions of her home city in our conversation. We talked about the religious attractions and art museums, we did not visit any due to time constraints, but we made plans to spend more time touring next summer, God willing. We both agreed that we needed more time to visit the historical, cultural and religious attractions, enjoy the parks and restaurants, none of which my sister does due to the demanding nature of her job. She mentioned the Farmers Market and took us to the location of one of the largest farmer’s markets in Kitchener and Waterloo. I love farmers markets, I shop at a few in Arizona.
We visited the mall downtown Kitchener where we had coffee and tea at Tim Horton’s, and later lunch at the food court. Independent reviews of the two eateries will be written, look out for those later.
My brother his wife and son live in Etobicoke, a district within greater Toronto, Ontario. This was the family I had made plans with initially, but since my older sister had offered to pick us up at the airport, we planned an overnight in Kitchener. My brother and his wife were kind to welcome me and my two children to their humble home. To be honest, I had never heard of Etobicoke up until my brother moved there. We did not spend much time here since most of our sight seeing was in downtown Toronto, Niagara falls, Harbour Front and St. Jacobs.
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