Monday, May 20, 2013

Holiday Round Up Part 3 : Oh! Canada

So after the whirlwind of touring and shopping, I got on a plane and flew 5 hours to Toronto to visit my brother Matty for a week.  He's lived in Canada for about 8 years now, and while he was in Australia earlier this year, I took the opportunity to visit him and his girlfriend Holly since I was so close.  Matty's good mate Nate also arrived the same day as me - he's moved over there to live and work with Matty.  I've known Nate for ages too so it was great fun for the four of us to hang out.

My first day in Canada we did the touristy thing and went to Niagara Falls.

Insert obilgatory touristy photo here.

Now as far as I'm concerned, there are two things they don't tell you about Niagara Falls:
  1. The sound : all that water rushing over the edge (just under 2,000 cubic metres per second!!!) makes one hell of a noise... and spray!  Standing where I was is enough to get your hair and skin and clothes damp.
  2. The cold air : The water rushing down causes all this freezing air to rush up, so the closer you get to the edge the colder it is.  That combined with all the moisture in the air makes it like a natural air conditioning system.  It would be a brilliant place to visit in the middle of summer.
Here is another thing that I found very difficult to comprehend (but people in most other countries won't get).  Look at this river:

The land on the left side of the river is Canada, and the land on the right side of the river is America!

(see - most of you are going "so what!")

You see, when you are in Australia, any land that you see is Australia.  So the whole idea that different countries are separated by a small body of water (or nothing at all) is totally foreign to me.  Clearly, I need to travel more!!

The next place we visited was the lovely little town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, gorgeous quaint buildings and streets lined in tulips.  I loved it!

We stopped in at a pub and had a beer.  The pub was called the Angel Inn and its OLD (by Australian standards).  It was first established in 1789 but was rebuilt in its present form in 1816 soon after the War of 1812 between the British and the Americans came to an end.  Its a fabulous atmospheric olde-english style pub.

Holly and Matty

The next day Holly's parents had a big family barbeque to welcome Nate and I - what a lovely thing to do!  It was a great afternoon meeting Holly's very large family - lots of fun!

Believe it or not, this selfie is the only photo of Matty and me on my camera...

Matty may have been a bit hung over the next day...

After Matty recovered somewhat from his hangover, he took me to the construction site where he is working, which means I had to wear flat shoes with my toes in!

Still cute!

They are tearing down this house...

Yes, this $32 million dollar, lakeside mansion is being torn down (!!!) and in its place will go some lovely looking condos (which Matty is building) which, when finished, will be worth $55 million.  The dollars involved with this project just make my head swim really...  But it is an amazing location right on the water and I'm pretty jealous that Matty gets to work there every day for the next few years.

Here is me in the 100+ year old boat shed that I hope is not getting torn down...

After such a whirlwind tour in LA it was really lovely to just relax in a family home and do things like watch tv, and chat, and walk the dogs, paint my nails.  So I did a fair bit of that.

One day when Matty was at work, Holly's mum Lorraine, and Holly and her sister Lucy and I went on a trip to Kensington Markets in Toronto.

I managed to only buy two more dresses!  Both lovely 1950s deadstock - one shirtwaister and one sun dress:

I love the pockets on the sun dress!!!

We also visited the lovely little lakeside town of Grimsby Beach - specifically to see the painted houses:

Love love love!!!!

By the way, has anyone ever eaten a deep fried pickle???

These things are so amazingly delicious, I want to have a go at making them!  Mind you, I might be the only one eating them because every time I've mentioned them to anyone they look at me like I'm strange...

Anyway, after a lovely 6 day visit it was time to start the journey home.  I packed my bags, and with the help of Matty and Nate (who convinced me they were under-weight) I headed to the airport with confidence.

Thank goodness there are such things as airport luggage trolleys!

So after a 5 hour flight I was back in LAX... for a 7 hour wait.  Sigh!  So I settled in with a good book.

It was good actually - I recommend it.  Where did you go Bernadette by Maria Semple, available here and lots of other places too I'm sure.

And then I settled in for the 14 hour plane flight home, which (with the help of some tablets) I managed to sleep through half of!  Hooray!!

I must say it was so lovely to see my husband, and Miss Stella, and to be back home!  I threw myself into unpacking my suitcases and photographing all my new things and before I knew it, it was time to head out for our usual Friday night cocktails!

Yes, somehow, even though my flight landed at 6.15am, and I'd been awake for god knows how long, I was still up and out for a good time at 9pm that night. 

And thats it.  Thats the story of my fabulous overseas holiday!  I really hope you've all enjoyed reading these three posts!  I've really enjoyed sharing them with you.  Its actually been lovely to relive everything going through the photos and now I have a good written record for the future!

As a thank you to you all for being patient with me while I went on holidays, I've decided to have a little Thankyou Giveaway!  Those of you that follow my Facebook page will already know what it is, but for everyone else I'll be showing you what I'm giving away and how you can win later on this week!!



  1. That river thing made me think of the Murray River. Separates Victoria and New South Wales. Is that the only one of it's kind in Australia?

    1. I think it is Soozi... the rest of them are straight lines, apart from the wobbly bit of the border between New South Wales and Queensland. Don't know what was going on there... maybe the cartographer was drunk!

  2. Sounds like you had loads of fun in our neighbors to the north. I've never been to Canada, but would love to journey there one day.

    1. Sean, Canada is a wonderful country! I've been there a lot (due to the length of time Matty has been living there) and this is the first time I've seen something other than Banff and Alberta. Not that I'm complaining - Banff is one of the most beautiful places in the world in my opinion :)

  3. I am so jealous of your trip! And of course, you look absolutely amazing. Can't wait to see you in your new dresses! I absolutely adore reading about your adventures, thank you for writing them!

    1. I've really enjoyed it too Holly, I'm glad you have as well :)

  4. these pics are totallydifferent from the ones you showed us on the first part of your trip. you'd think you were in a nother country or something ;). those houses are so wild and fun! i cant believe that gorgeous mansion is going down 8^O. does it not make yourbrother sad to see it go down? must be the hard part about it - the rest sounds like a great opportunity for him.

    1. You know boys - they like destroying things, and this is destroying things on a massive scale! Mind you Matty hasn't done any of the demolition... He's project managing the build, and yes, it is a wonderful opportunity for him :)

  5. well it was great having you here beccie, if on;y for a a little bit, one correction, the house and land is worth 55 million, the development is worth around 150 million.

    give my love to mum dad and the rest of the family.

    love and miss you.


    1. Crap! Got that wrong Matty!!! I will pass along your love - miss you!!!!! xxxxx