DINKs and Death Cab

Last week, my wife and I took off on a short little getaway vacation to Toronto.  Although only a three-night stay, the fact of traveling to another city, in another province, did a lot of good for both of us. I find that going away forces your brain to realize, “Hey, I’m not at home.  I don’t have to worry about my job, or laundry, or yard work, or anything else.” 

We were in Toronto for a total of 72 hours (landed at 2:30 on Wednesday, took off at 2:30 on Saturday), and got in a total of 50 KM of walking over those 72 hours.  Here’s a quick rundown of our DINK Days.

Day 1

We landed at 2:30 on Wednesday and made our way to our hotel.  As this was a trip to celebrate my wife’s upcoming 40th birthday by attending a concert, we splurged a bit on a hotel directly across the street from the concert venue.  Hotel X is a new hotel, having only been operation for about a year.  The hotel was stunningly beautiful, with an outdoor rooftop pool.  This is how we started every day – an early morning swim, followed by breakfast. 

We decided to visit the CN Tower that evening. We made our way up to the LookOut level, 346 m up (1136 feet).  Simply stunning views of the city and surrounding areas.  I’m glad we decided to do the Tower visit. 

CN Tower in Toronto
Look up, way up

We had no plans at all for our time in Toronto, including no idea where we were going to be eating.  We opted to try out Wahlburgers, the burger chain owned by the Wahlberg brothers.  Unbeknownst to us at the time, NKOTB were performing in Toronto that evening, so the place was packed.  Everyone was hoping that Donnie would show up.  Despite the crowd, we managed to get a nice table right in the open window on the street.  The food was good but not great.  The highlight for me was the “Thin Crispy Onion Rings”.  Not what I was expecting, but delicious!

After all was said and done, we’d walked 11.06 km by the time we got back to the hotel.

Day 2

Thursday was the big day – concert day!  We made our way to a store I’d been told about by a co-worker.  Craig’s Cookies makes the BEST chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating.  They have a variety of flavours available, depending on the day.  The best one I had was the Brownie Chocolate Chip Cookie.  Simply put – it’s a chocolate chip cookie with a brownie stuffed in the middle.  If you’re ever in Toronto, do yourself a favour and check them out!

Best cookies ever!

The gates to the concert site opened at 6:30, so we headed over around that time.  As luck would have it, it began to rain at the same time.  The light rainfall quickly gave way to a major downpour; a downpour that lasted until around 9PM.  Despite the rain, we had a great time.  Isabelle managed to snag the last free poncho at one of the radio station booths, so she was good.  After standing in the pouring rain for a good hour, a friendly concert goer brought over a spare umbrella they had (since they had managed to get ponchos as well).  I was already soaked, but at least I could keep the rain off my head for the rest of the night.

Guess which one of us had a dryer night

The concert was great.  The show opened with Jenny Lewis who played a fun hour-long set.  Then, it was time for the big show – Death Cab for Cutie. Thankfully, the rain lightened up as they were starting their set, so the sea of umbrellas went away.  Many of the band’s songs are melancholic in tone, so the rain, oddly, fit the mood of the concert.  As much as I liked Death Cab beforehand, I became a fan following this show.  At one point during the show, one of our fellow concert-goers said to his friend, “They sound even better live than they do on an album!”  I couldn’t agree more.

Upon returning to the hotel, our step count for the day read at 14.35 km.

Day 3

The following morning, we made our way towards the Eaton Centre, the busiest shopping mall in North America.  On the way there, we stopped at a few shops my wife enjoys (Urban Outfitters & Anthropologie) as well as made a (disappointing) stop at Momofuku Milk Bar. It wasn’t the full bakery like they have in NYC, only a small room with prepackaged cookies. We eventually strolled around the mall for a while, having lunch, before heading back towards on hotel.  On the walk back, we happened to come upon a little ice cream shop on Queen St. called iHalo Krunch.  How do you not stop when you see people eating purple and black ice cream out of black cones?  So. Good.  Another must if you’re in Toronto. 

We had supper at a spot 20 minutes away from our hotel. Local Liberty Village was the cherry on the sundae. This was the best meal we had during our trip, plus the server was phenomenal. The place was packed to the gills, but we still had a very enjoyable experience in our back corner booth. After a satisfying meal, we moseyed on back to the hotel to crash for the night.

Our final step count at the end of the day on Friday was 19.31 km. 

Day 4

Saturday, we flew home mid-afternoon.  Between a visit to Starbucks for breakfast and walking through the airport in Toronto, we still managed to get in 6.08 km. 

All in all, this was a very fun trip.  Lots of new experiences, good food, great music, and lots of laughs. 

Thanks for the hospitality, T-dot.

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