Jenn Jam-Packed Weekend – Saturday

Canada - Toronto October November 2015 190Meeting up at 9:30am, we walked to the Allan Gardens Park, which also houses the Allan Botanical Gardens. Within the park to one side of the greenhouses are two dog parks. Ron and I were delighted with the doggie antics while waiting for the greenhouses to open at 10am.

The botanical gardens cover 16,000 square Canada - Toronto October November 2015 146feet comprising six individual greenhouses. Represented here are plants and flowers from around the world. They do offer guided tours at times, but we did not have time in our agenda for one. We needed to get to Canada - Toronto October November 2015 155Union Train Station by 11:30 for the Toronto Walking Tour.

Meeting Neal by the clock in Union Station, we joined a diverse group of others who we would share next two hours. Neal was young, vivacious, and entertaining. He led us through the streets and underground of the city’s financial district while educating us with stories, lore, and facts.

Ron keeps saying this is a vertical city and it truly is. As Neal explained, in order to save Canada - Toronto October November 2015 203the environmental resources, they had to build upward to save land, but accommodate the ever-growing population. As of July 2015, the population of Toronto passed six million. Toronto houses 17% of all Canadians.

By the end of the tour, we needed some lunch. The closest place was a small restaurant called Freshii where the motto is Eat. Energize. We all had fresh veggie meals that were truly delicious while being healthy at the same time. This energized us for our next trek.

Canada - Toronto October November 2015 209Casa Loma dubbed Toronto’s “castle” is truly a site to see. Sir Henry Pellatt engaged the Canadian architect E.J. Lennox to create his dream home, the ‘house on the hill’. The house took three years to complete at a cost of $3.5 million. Remember this was 1911. World War I eventually became his undoing as his business went into bankruptcy.

Still today, the home is grand and worthy of a visit. If you are not willing to spring for the $24 admission fee, at least view it from the outside. Canada - Toronto October November 2015 216Pellatt was enthralled with the Queen’s Own Rifles. There was some festivity the day we were here surrounding this, but I honestly was not very interested to delve into it.

In the basement, where the original kitchen was, there is now a cafeteria. Movie posters of movies that which used this location lined the long hallway. The most often filmed part Canada - Toronto October November 2015 218of the mansion was the great hall.

We had a couple hours for rest and relaxation before our 7pm reservation at the Hard Rock Toronto. There we had a wonderfully relaxing dinner while sharing stories and observations alike. Barring ourselves from the dessert menu, we took Jennifer to the Infusion Café for tea and coffee.Canada - Toronto October November 2015 236

Having tickets for the Click Bait, and Switch 10pm show at Second City, we did not have a great deal of time to spare.

The show was great, though the seats left us with poor humors, specifically the choleric of the butt.

Our day ended by midnight and thankfully, there was not a pumpkin among us when the clock struck twelve.

After completing my Ed.D., the frustration of finding a teaching position where I was willing to live, led to Ron and I leaving the country. We intended to travel for a year before settling somewhere in MA or RI. We left the US without any credit card debt, no car payments and our house mortgage paid by renters. We had $10,000 in the bank to make our way through a year.