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Posts tagged ‘Toronto’

Niagara Falls

When my parents married, Niagara Falls was a popular honeymoon trip.

They married in November, and decided to drive south from Wisconsin along the Mississippi River instead of driving over icy roads to Niagara Falls.

My husband had been to the Falls when he was about 7 but I had never been there—so the add-on trip was definitely on my bucket list–there are much fewer things in that bucket. I’ve accomplished some of them, others lost their appeal.

We loaded up on a very nice bus and drove through the countryside filled with vineyards. Those grape vines look very stark–as they are trimmed bacvk to just the trunk at the end of each growing season.

Our first stop was at Niagara on the Lake. This is a touristy town with lots of shops along the main street.

Of course, there were tulips.

This hotel occupied most of a block and had some lovely outdoor seating—too chilly for me to contemplate.

There were lots of places to have lunch–but I opted for a chimney cake—a thin roll of yeaast dough covered in cinnamon sugar–although I could have had jalapeno or pina colada.

there is a Shaw festival each year and in one storefront, several people were working on a costume for a gypsy…it was pink with lost of spangles.

Of interest was a milliner’s shop, with assorted sewing machines, advertising hat shaping.

I’m not sure how you organized a ride in this horse and carriage but it seemed to make the rounds on an hourly basis.

After loading back up on the bus, we headed for the Falls. It was a chilly rainy dreary day and I hoped it would not be a full downpour when we got there.

Still raining, Cherty Blossoms, and the Textile Museum

Sunday was equally not very nice weather, the rain today seemd to be coming sideways as it does n a hurricane—but bitterly cold.

I made my way to the conference stopping to walk through City Hall and its surround yard/garden.

I tried to get photos of what I thought might be cherry blossoms.

And here is my closeup.

Taking photos with freezing wet fingers is obviously not something within my skill set.

City Hall was bordered on three sides by a fancy wrought iron fence with interesting entrances.

I found entering to be a bit of a tight squeeze particulary since I had that jam-packed backpack on my back.

The conference concluded with a fantastic fashion show of bojagi, a Korean wrapping technique. All of hte pieces were kimono forms and made from silk; some had printed images on the silk.

Once again the weather was dreadful but I determined I was going to not spend the afternoon in my hotel room. Fortunately the Textile museum was only a block away.

The second floor is a curated gallery of work by various artists/makers. I took a lot of photos and watched all the videos.

With textiles there is an urge to touch—and I so wanted to pick this one up and look at the underneath of the embroidery.

I found the documentray of Afghan rug construction interesting—with all the story telling details.

I ran our of space on the SD card at this pont—and luckily had a second (and third) in my pocket. Those images are for tomorrow.

More Rain and the Rhinoceros Orphanage

Saturday seemed to be even colder than the tday before with more rain, fog, and mist.

I shivered and hurried through all this to get to the conference. My shoes were soaked by the time I arrived but fortunately the conference area was warm and dry.

I attended two interesting workshops n the afternoon, one on using a variety of art mediums to get desired effect, and the other on experimenting with somethng she called surface weaving—images reminding me in a distant way of MC Escher’s work.

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to museum tours—I had thought I would find a lovely spot to paint—but I don’t do cold very well—and since I had water colors-…the rain and mist wouldn’t work very well either.

So I spent my afternoon in the hotel room learning all about an orphanage for baby rhinos.

Rain I did not schedule

Since my hotel was a ‘brisk 5 minute walk” from the converence. I tended to be up fairly early.

The weather on my arrival was chilly but sunny.

This day and the next two would be dreadfully windy, rainy, and miserable.

I took photos of the mist over the tops of the buldings.

Across the street was a large silvery sculpture with lots of twining leaves. It was hard to get a good photo without standing in the middle of the street—although the Canadians tended to be quite polite in their driving–not many honking horns—I didn’t think they would appreciate a hapless tourist standing in the middle of the one lane open to traffic—road construction in spring and summer months seems to be prevalent everywhre there are seasons.

Lunch was substantial.

And with two huge trays of butter tarts.

Tulips and Toronto

I am now in the midst of the delightful task of sorting through and editing photos from the past week.

It had been a very long time since I had flown–anywhere…and it is certainly different. We decided to run down to the airport and ask about boarding passess the day before my trip betgan.

I had two carryon-ss a backpack and a weekender bag. That backpack was HEAVTY! I also had a heavy shirt and fleece vest. It feels so odd to carry winter clothing when the temperature here is in the mid 70’s,

Boarding for me was without incident although I did have to take off my two watches to clear the metal detector. Someone ahead of me argued about each item she was asked to remove—making everyone else staniding and waiting.

Arriving in Toronto, I had to answer some questions before being allowed to enter. They wanted to know my purpose in being there—I had a choice of ‘study’ ‘returning national’ ‘business’ or ‘immigration’. I decided I must be there to ‘study’.

I managed to find a place to exchange money and then made my way to the train to take me to downtown Toronto. There was plenty of graffiti to see along the way–interesting in that none of them overlapped. Of course I didn’t take any photos

All the maps to the hotel detailed ‘brisk walks’ as opposed to saunters I suppose. It was a bit windy and the streets were somewhat uphill for this person who now lives in a very flat place.

It was spring there—and there were plenty of flowers, tulips, daffodils, and grape hyacinths.

After checking into my hotel, I wandered around a bit and found this center square area.

I asked a bystander to take my photo just to prove I was there.

It was not warm enough for me to pose without all that outerwear on–you can’t see the three shirts I have on underneath or that my teeth were chattering.

Registration for the event was open and I picked up my badge, swag bag and took photos of the bojagi pieces hung on a large frame—Chunghie Lee is the keynote speaker on Sunday.